North Shore Catholic Schools Gather
DHS Community Attends
by Nate Friday, DHS Campus Minister
Five priests; an archbishop; and 1,400 students, teachers, and guests walk into a gym. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Add local news cameras and reporters from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Catholic Herald and you’ll have the first-ever combined Mass of all five North Shore Catholic schools. On Jan. 27, Dominican High School (DHS), Whitefish Bay, WI, welcomed the students, faculty, and staff from the neighboring Catholic K–8 grade schools of St. Robert, St. Monica, St. Eugene, and Holy Family; and their pastors; and Archbishop Jerome Listecki into the William Crowley gymnasium to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. The celebration saw participation from every school with elementary students bringing forth the gifts to the altar, middle school students offering the psalm and reading, and faculty from each school serving as ministers of Holy Communion. Dominican High School senior and Veritas Preaching Team member Sean Repinski offered a reflection following Communion.
Though this North Shore Catholic school family has always been together in faith, coming together for the first time in one place to celebrate Catholic education and to celebrate the Mass in person was a gift that would soon not be taken for granted.
Fast forward just two months, and this “Mega Mass” might be reframed in simple terms of “a gathering of more than 50” and thus not allowed. Under the “Safer at Home” order, the moving of schools from traditional education to a virtual format, and the suspension of in-person Catholic Masses, the celebration may seem like ages ago. While it served as a wonderful event, few may have realized how pivotal and memorable of an event it truly was. As students are now learning on laptops from home, the celebration of Mass is now taking place over Facebook Live, and Zoom has become a household name. Face-to-face interaction and the forming of community is a gift that was truly underappreciated until now.
Moving into the virtual environment has had its challenges, but Dominicans have always held fast
that “providence will provide,” and that has never rung truer. While nothing can replace the memorable Holy Thursday prayer service held in the DHS auditorium every year, the campus ministry team put together “uKnighted in Christ,” a video reflection following Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection, complete with student video clips and a rendition of “Surely He Bore All of My Grief” sung by senior Maura Linn. As the resurrection continues to fuel our faith and the work of our DHS community, it also serves as a foundation from which we continue the new reality we face. But like the resurrection provides hope for eternal life, we hold fast in that Christ provides hope. We hope that our current reality is not permanent and soon again we will be able to celebrate our faith and our world, in the gym with 1,400 of our coworkers in the vineyard, or, simply, with our community members over a simple meal of bread and wine.