In his first visit to Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, on Sept. 16, Archbishop Wilton Gregory urged students to live up to their highest potential with hope for the future. 

In reference to the story of Simeon and Anna in Scripture, Archbishop Gregory spoke of the love that elders have for their young ones and the faith that they place in them. 

“If you are fortunate, as I have been fortunate in life, to know and have love and be loved by grandparents, you know they are critical in your life,” he said. “Grandparents are wonderful. Tell them you love them today.”

The 845 students at Bishop McNamara High School marked the inauguration of the new school year with the Mass celebrated by the archbishop. Also in attendance was the provincial superior of the Moreau Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Brother Thomas Dziekan. The Holy Cross Brothers are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Brothers of St. Joseph, now called the Brothers of Holy Cross. That religious order sponsors Bishop McNamara High School.

Marco Clark, the president and chief executive officer of Bishop McNamara High School, said that the all-school Mass has been a special day for praising God and worshiping together as a school community for many years.

“My favorite moments over the years at McNamara since I have been here, is when we come together as a community in prayer,” he said. “This day is a blessing for all of us.”

Ayanna McCarley, a senior at Bishop McNamara High School, said she was honored by the presence of Archbishop Gregory at the school’s Mass. 

“I have never experienced something like this before and for him to pray over me, I couldn’t believe this was happening,” McCarley said.