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Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School

News of the Diocese

May 30, 2024

Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School
Mass, marshmallow ‘Tower of Babel’ highlight Bishop Woost’s visit to St. Gabriel School

“I am excited to be here,” Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost told the 550 St. Gabriel School students, staff, parents and guests who gathered in the church in Concord Township on May 29 for an end-of-year Mass. “I’m sure you’re excited, too,” he said, noting May 31 is the end of the school year.

Father Fred Pausche, pastor, welcomed the bishop to St. Gabriel and thanked him for celebrating Mass.

“I’m sure your teachers are looking forward to summer break, also,” the bishop quipped, noting he’s been a teacher at the diocesan seminary for 25 years. He told the students Father Joshua Trefney, parish parochial vicar who celebrated the fifth anniversary of his priestly ordination on May 18, was one of his students at the seminary. Another seminarian who is a St. Gabriel parishioner, assisted at Mass as an altar server.

(See photo gallery above.)

The bishop challenged those in the church to think about ways in which God blessed them.

He put Father Trefney on the spot, asking him first to share his thoughts.

“Our identity as a beloved child of God. Each of us is that to God,” he said.

Next, the bishop asked the same question of the seminarian/altar server. His answer was related to his experiences as a seminarian where they are able to gather for worship and to encounter God’s love.

Bishop Woost asked Robert Kuzamec, St. Gabriel principal, for his thoughts.

“Whenever we meet a challenge, we come together to deal with it as a community,” he replied.

Seeking out the eighth-graders in attendance (the class graduated on May 22 but few students were at Mass), the bishop asked them what St. Gabriel School gave them to help them carry on in their life as they move onto high school.

One student credited the teachers for their hard work in preparing and educating the students.

“Today, we come together in prayer by sharing God’s blessings with one another,” Bishop Woost said.

He thanked the student choir, calling them one of the best school choirs he’s heard in the diocese.

“Your singing was great. This is the highlight of my week. I’ll continue to pray for all of you in the summer months,” he added.

After Mass, Father Pausche again thanked the bishop for his visit and for celebrating Mass for the school community. Acknowledging Father Trefney’s five-year ordination anniversary, he also noted Bishop Woost just celebrated the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

“This is the last Mass of the school year, but I encourage you to come (to Mass) as often as possible during the summer. And be sure to go home and tell everyone how great God is,” Father Pausche added.

The bishop toured the school, stopping in several classrooms to check in on students and teachers. In one second grade room, he accepted an invitation to participate in a one-minute challenge to build a tower of Babel from marshmallows.

Facing off against a second-grader, the bishop lined up a “foundation” of marshmallows as he tried to erect a tower within the time limit. It collapsed once, but he tried again and was having success – until time ran out. Suddenly, his tower collapsed again, giving the victory to his second-grade challenger.

He accepted defeat graciously, congratulated her and thanked the class.

The bishop had an opportunity to view the art room, broadcast studio where students deliver a morning news show complete with prayer, he stopped by the Spanish classroom and saw the Seton Sensory Room designed to offer a respite for students who need a place to decompress.

There was a quick photo opportunity and then the bishop moved to the office to greet staff members before taking the microphone to announce students could have a dress-down day on May 30 for their annual field day.

His last stop was to enjoy lunch and conversation with select students.

Learn more about St. Gabriel School here.

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