Now a tradition at Notre Dame, faculty, staff and students gathered together for our annual Mass for the Progress of People. Organized by the ND SHADES Club, this liturgy marks the start of Black History Month. ND Chaplain, Fr. Jason Parzynski celebrated mass assisted by Deacon Dr. Curtis Turner, Head of School for Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, who was our guest homilist.
During the liturgy, the prayers of the faithful were spoken by students in nine different languages including English, Creole, Polish, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Patois. Cultural artifacts, flags, and pottery were displayed on the stage. At the conclusion of Mass, we meditated to the beautiful music played by our violinist and cello musicians: Abigail Hwang ’24, Noelle Go ’25, Allie Williams ’24, and Lina Yang ’25.
Following the beautiful music, Alyssa Fleurant ’25 introduced the new SHADES video themed "faith inspiring us to be the change" by quoting a poem by Langston Hughes entitled I, Too. She asked the audience to ponder two questions while viewing the video: "How do you create a positive difference in society?" and "How has your faith supported that difference."
After the video, a beautiful praise dance to the song, Goodness of God was performed by Dance Performance students.
Guest speaker, Sister Marcia Hall, of The Oblate Sisters of Providence (OSP) concluded the morning’s events. Sr. Hall is a native of Trenton. She and her family were members of Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Church, a historically Black Catholic church in Trenton. Sister attended the parish elementary school and then attended Stuart Country Day School in Lawrenceville. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Her Masters and Doctoral degrees in sociology are from the University of Michigan. For several years, Sister taught in colleges and universities, however, the memories, mentoring, and faith of the sisters of her childhood beckoned her to answer the call of a vocation to religious life. She recently celebrated her silver jubilee as an Oblate Sister of Providence. Currently, she serves as a member of the Leadership Team, Vocation Director, Motherhouse Coordinator, and speaker for the cause for sainthood for Mother Mary Lange, founder of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. Sr. Hall had much to share about growing up in the area as a black Catholic.
Special thank you to the SHADES Club members for their hard work in organizing this special Mass, especially Allie Williams ’24, Sunsurray Joseph ’24, Simone Johnson ’24, Keihrah Boyer ’24, and the club moderators. We also want to thank the Campus Ministry Team and the Performing Arts Department.
Notre Dame High School Diversity Statement
Notre Dame High School is a Catholic community that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion by building empathy, respect, understanding, and unity with people who are different from each other by honoring each individual as unique and made in God’s image.
Notre Dame High School is dedicated to ensuring that our community has equitable access to available resources needed to enhance academic, spiritual, and social development regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, cultural background, ethnicity, linguistics, cognitive, and/or physical ability.