TECUMSEH (SNR) – Bishop James Conley blessed and dedicated a new statue of St. Andrew and prayer garden outside the entrance to St. Andrew School in Tecumseh Dec. 12.
Bishop Conley performed the blessing and dedication prior to celebrating Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The statue of St. Andrew the Apostle was a gift to the school, in memory of Andrew “Boss” Bossung (1978 – 2000), from the Alan and Ruth Bossung family.
The prayer garden also has two benches that were donated by the St. Andrew School classes of 1989-95. The area, with new, stamped concrete and a pedestal for the statue was formed by volunteers and paid for by benefactors and proceeds from the parish garage sale.
Father Craig Clinch, pastor of St. Andrew Parish and principal of the school, said the idea for the garden came from Sister Peggy, when she taught at the school. When she was later assigned to another school, head teacher Kathi Mercure took on the project.
After the blessing, Father Clinch said the students and staff look forward to warmer weather when the children can sit on the benches to pray and reflect on Scripture, the mysteries of the rosary, and the lives of the saints.
“They will also be able to enjoy God’s creation as we will be planting various flowering plants in the spring,” he said.
In the meantime, he added, “the statue of St. Andrew will remind all who pass by, especially our Catholic school children, to strive to be like St. Andrew, who followed Jesus as a faithful disciple, even to the point of giving his life for Jesus on the X-shaped cross.
“From our patron,” he continued, “we learn that once we have encountered Jesus we must run and tell our brothers and sisters that ‘we have found the Messiah,’ just like St. Andrew ran to tell his brother St. Peter. St. Andrew offers us great examples of the joy of discovering Jesus and of sharing our relationship with Jesus with others. It is said that when he was martyred on the saltire cross, he preached from it for two days. He shows us how we are to unite our sufferings to the Cross of Christ.”
St. Andrew School, which opened in 1963, currently serves 23 students in grades pre-K through 6. Their motto is, “Helping children discover and follow Jesus and strive for academic excellence for the glory of God.”