“Thank you for sticking with us all these years,” said GSE Dean Virginia Roach as she welcomed attendees to the 25th anniversary celebration of the Annual Catholic Schools Executive Leadership Dinner on May 29. Dean Roach also enthusiastically presented the first Elinor Ford scholarship to the Reverend Collins Adutwum, and then warmly introduced the dinner’s speaker, Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory.
Brother Consolmagno spoke to the assembled Catholic school leaders, who hailed from Archdioceses throughout the New York metropolitan area, about the pioneering work of prominent Catholic scientists including Descartes and Galileo, and emphasized the connection between Catholicism and science. Referring to the Bible, he noted that “Genesis gives us the courage to do science”, and “the Genesis story makes science possible”. Put simply, he declared that God created the system for how the world (nature) works.
Fourteen high schools in five archdioceses received the Catholic School Executive Leadership Award, given by the Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-Based Education. The awards were announced by center director Gerald Cattaro, Ed.D., and presented by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University.
In the standing room only mass held immediately before the dinner, the Reverend Joseph Michael O’Keefe, S.J., remembered the life of Elinor Ford, Co-Founder of the Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-Based Education. In his homily message, O’Keefe recalled his friendship with Elinor and shared a quote to illustrate it from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Brother Consolmagno and GSE students Ryan Birjoo, Tim Perron, and Vanessa Rotondo assisted Reverend O’Keefe during the celebratory mass.