Throughout May—the month the church traditionally dedicates to Mary—Catholic school students across the Diocese of Rockville Centre have been assembling at special Masses and prayer services to honor the Blessed Mother.
On Wednesday, May 16, Our Lady of Mercy School, Hicksville, celebrated its patron with a two-part service that included a meditation and recitation of the rosary in the school auditorium, followed by a crowning ceremony in the parish church.
Representatives of all grades—from the nursery school program through the eighth grade—actively participated in the liturgy by presenting plants and flowers, offering reflections, reading petitions or assisting Father John McCarthy, presider and OLM pastor, as altar servers.
The highlight of the early afternoon service occurred when eighth-grader Sandhya LoGalbo placed a crown of colorful flowers atop a statue of Mary in the center of the sanctuary.
Mercy Sisters Jeannine Toppin, assistant principal, and Mary Winifred, religion coordinator, planned and directed the ceremony.
Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz
A statue of Mary and a rosary are displayed in the school lobby.
Students, faculty and administrators gather in the auditorium to recite a decade of the rosary.
Fourth-grader Tyler Schelp prays.
Sixth-grader Grace Carne prays with her classmates.
Eighth-grader Samantha Shea addresses the congregation at the beginning of the church service.
Shane McIntyre holds a Bible representing the Word of God while fellow eighth-grader Christy Lino cradles a candle symbolizing Christ as the light of the world.
Second-grader Meghan Sullivan smiles as she prepares to present a potted plant in Mary's honor.
Fourth-grader Collin Jingeleski speaks about the virtue of trust.
Madeline Huffman reads one of the general intercessions as fellow eighth-grader Eric Agtuca looks on.
Father John McCarthy proclaims the Gospel.
Eighth-grader Sandhya LoGalbo holds a crown of flowers.
Father McCarthy blesses the crown.
Sandhya LoGalbo places the crown on Mary.
Mercy Sister Jeannine Toppin joins the students in prayer.
Fifth-grade teacher Claire Messina leads the assembly in song.
Students sing at the end of the service.
Father McCarthy greets students as they return to their classrooms.
The coronation of Mary in heaven is depicted in one of the church's stained-glass windows.