Archbishop Borys Gudziak visits Assumption Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, NJ

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Archbishop Borys Gudziak’s visit during Catholic Schools Week – WHAT A DAY!

We started the day with a children’s Liturgy during which His Excellency Archbishop Boris shared with us how we are all unique in our gifts and personalities. He said, just as beautiful as Assumption Catholic Church in Perth Amboy is so is God’s grace in each of our lives. It was a true honor to learn about our church’s icons and their meanings, a privilege to watch two students receive a Merit Scholarship from the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and pure joy to see our children.

The day got better when the Archbishop visited ACS! He was greeted in English, Ukrainian, Portuguese and Spanish and presented with a spiritual bouquet (filled with prayers and love), a Welcome Sign personalized with ACS’s latitude and longitude (so he can always find us), a picture of ACS (so he can remember us) and our beautiful chimes group who played beautifully.

Our day continued with a touching ceremony blessing our brand new STEM room in the ground level of our school. The room was unveiled and the middle school students were in awe of the three 3D printers, modern desks and chairs, and the innovative room! It is a true blessing for our students!

The Archbishop enjoyed lunch with the teachers (sponsored by Investors Bank), visited each and every classroom and even played basketball with the 7th and 8th graders.

When the teachers were asked to share their experience, this is what they said:

Ms. Cuff’s Pre-Kindergarten class: Pre-K enjoyed singing to the Archbishop today. He was impressed that they used sign language in each of their songs. They were eager to answer his questions and tell him all about what we do in our school. They wanted to know when he would come visit again!

Mrs. Laffy’s Kindergarten: It was such an honorable and wonderful experience for both my students and I that you were a part of our 2021 Catholic Schools Week. Thank you for taking the time not only to visit Assumption Catholic School but also the Kindergarten class. The students were so happy to sing for you! As a Catholic School teacher, it is important to give young children a solid Catholic foundation not only on academic excellence but also to provide a faith based environment. Your kindness and encouraging words today was an important part of our Catholic Schools Week. We hope you come back and visit Assumption Catholic School.

Mrs. Lombardi’s first grade class: First grade was super excited for Archbishop Borys Gudziak’s visit today! They enjoyed the visit and talking about their favorite subjects in school. They loved sharing their stories and illustrations that they were so proud of.

Miss Drayton’s second grade: As Archbishop Borys entered second grade the students’ faces lit up with excitement and intrigue. It was great to see them engage in conversation with His Excellency as they connected through similar life experiences. Students were able to ask all the questions their hearts desired which made them feel important and heard! Truly heartfelt!

Ms.Drugos’s third grade class: Excitement was at a peak when the Archbishop came into the third grade classroom and students went right up to him to greet him. They were eager to tell him about themselves and were interested in hearing about his life. He was very down to earth in answering their third grade questions (like why does he wear all black). Students were proud to show their Catholic Schools’ Week art work. Third graders were honored to meet our Archbishop.

Mrs. Cooper’s fourth grade class: The fourth grade would like to thank Father Ivan and Mrs. Shumny for including us in Liturgy today. We have not been able to attend due to the recent pandemic restrictions and today’s Liturgy allowed us to be together as a family in our beautiful church for such a blessed event. Every time we are there we will remember the special day that Archbishop Borys visited us during CSW 2021. We know we are part of a beautiful church, a fantastic school ( we love the new stem lab). and a family where we are safe to learn and grow together.

Mrs. Lawrence’s fifth grade class: Catholic Schools’ Week could have been a huge disappointment as we fifth graders had to quarantine . . . but it wasn’t! Archbishop Borys joined our online google meet and we had a great visit. He called us by name, spoke with us and invited us to visit him in Philadelphia. Thank you, Your Grace, for making us really feel part of Catholic Schools’ Week at ACS.

Middle School:

Mrs. Garcia: It was an exciting day at ACS in celebration of Catholic schools’ week. ACS was visited by the Archbishop and our day began with a liturgy led by him. After mass, the middle school and the staff joined Father Ivan and the Archbishop as the new STEM room was blessed. It was a pleasure to have the Archbishop in our building and it was so kind of him to stop by each classroom, greet the students, and answer their questions. Although this Catholic schools’ week was not happening as planned, the surprise of having the Archbishop visit us brought great spirit to our school.

Mrs. Mieczkowski: Today we had a special visit from Archbishop Borys Gudziak. We were so in awe of his kind demeanor, his listening ear and uplifting personality. And what was the highlight?! Before he left the building he decided to join the 7th and 8th graders in a game of basketball! They have not stopped talking about it!

Mrs. Pickering: Liturgy with the Archbishop, the blessing of our brand new STEM classroom, and playing air hockey in your classroom during lunch sound like a great day for the Class of 2021. Could it get any better? Yes! While playing basketball with the Class of 2022 in the auditorium, His Grace came in along with Father Ivan and both classes played a very lively game. Everyone knew that Father Ivan was a good player, but all were definitely impressed with the Archbishop’s moves on the court. We’ve had many great Catholic Schools Week memories, but this one will last a lifetime!

by Fr. Ivan Turyk

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