The Northern Westchester Examiner

Dolan Celebrates St. Columbanus School Anniversary with Mass

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There have been over a half century of anniversaries at St. Columbanus School in Cortlandt, but this year’s anniversary was something out of the ordinary.

On December 17, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, visited St. Columbanus Church to celebrate the school’s 55th anniversary. More than 200 students from the K-8school were expected to attend the mass.

Dolan thanked those in attendance at the packed church for the parish’s “gracious invitation” to celebrate mass.

“I want to thank God for this wonderful parish and splendid school,” Dolan said.

Dolan said of all the responsibilities of being archbishop, “This is the one I enjoy most, to be with God’s people at mass” and especially being in church with students.

The pastor of St. Columbanus Church, Rev. Francis J. Samoylo, “is particularly blessed with a wonderful school led by a first class principal (Frank Disanza) and a tremendous faculty” Dolan said.

Dolan said he was proud of the students he saw while walking into the church.

“This is a good time of the year, isn’t it, as we get ready for Christmas,” Dolan said.

The Advent season teaches Catholics what “Christmas is all about,” he said. “In the masses during Advent we hear all about the family, the family of Jesus. Family is very important to us.”

“Family was very important to Jesus,” Dolan said. He quizzed the students to find out if they knew the names of the members of Jesus’ family.

“One of the things we look forward to at Christmas time is to be with our family,” Dolan said. “The church is our spiritual family. The church is the family in our heart.”

“The family for our soul is the church. The church is our spiritual family,” Dolan continued. “And the local branch of that family is the parish and you’ve got a wonderful one here at St. Columbanus. You’ve got a great parish. You’ve got a great school. You’ve got great families here on earth. You’ve got a great family in heaven with Jesus and Mary and Joseph and all the saints. And you’ve got a great family for your heart soul with the church.”

Following the mass, Dolan was scheduled to tour the school and visit classrooms.

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