Written on: August 26, 2019
At the farewell Liturgy for Grey Nun Academy, Sr. Dolores Beatty, spoke after Communion. Her words confirm that she had her finger on the pulse of the beloved Academy. We are grateful to her for sharing the story of GNA.
We remember 55 years of outstanding, Catholic Education in the Yardley area. We celebrate the faculties, staffs, and administrators, whose love for, and dedication to our students and their families, encouraged an atmosphere of inclusion and hospitality. (Many years ago, there was a movie entitled: “The Long Gray Line” about the Army academy at West Point. We have our own Grey Line, from Sr. Mary Martha in 1963, to Mrs. Deborah Kost in 2019. People who have served us for decades: Sr. Martha Moyle, Mary Beth McGinty, Anne Shields, Sandy Peters, and Mary Ann Turnbull. Wonderful role-models for our children, who were born with GNA in their DNA!) We believe that the legacy of our patroness, St. Marguerite d’Youville, will continue to be a driving force in our lives as we work together in creating a more compassionate world.
For the past 4 years, I was blessed to volunteer here at GNA. I looked into God’s face every morning as our children walked through the front doors. I saw them leave with minds a little sharper, smiles a little wider, laughter a little louder, and hopefully, hearts a little kinder.
GNA was never just a building of concrete blocks and mortar. It was always a SPIRIT: a family, a faith community, a feeling, an oasis, indeed, an ideal. Here, life-long friendships grew and flourished, character was formed and challenged, a comfortable home where “everybody knows your name” was founded.
When I first arrived in 1990, I was amazed to see college students return to visit their elementary school. I soon realized that this was a wholesome, and sacred space, a God –presence that captured you and held on tight—You didn’t change GNA, it changed you, (if you let it!)
Everyone acknowledges the many awards, accomplishments, and accolades of GNA throughout the years. The successes we have enjoyed are the result of our parents and teachers, who journeyed side by side, in striving to attain the BEST learning environment for our children.
Parents are, and always have been, my “saints and heroes.” Your overwhelming support and encouragement for our many Outreach and Social Justice programs here at GNA, have more than fulfilled St. Marguerite’s plea: “People must know that we never refuse to serve.” We are now, all of us, more than ever, Marguerite’s Hands to the Needy, proudly carrying on her Mission into the future. Thank you for the privilege of allowing us to share in your children’s lives!
It is fitting that we gather here in Sacred Heart chapel, the center of Grey Nun Academy life, filled with the memories of Sacraments received, Graduations attended, Liturgies and Prayer services held. Surrounded and embraced, by the magnificent windows of the Litany of the Sacred Heart who is kind and merciful, In the company of St. Marguerite and the Eternal Father of us all, in the shadow and sadness of His Cross. However, we know the end of the story, His life and our life goes on, the Resurrection is real! We believe!
In closing, I cannot help but think of wise, old King Arthur of England, who once sang:
“Let it NOT be forgot, that once there was a Spot called Camelot, a “shining city on a hill,” that we remember and celebrate today….Our Own Beloved GNA!
For other reflections on GNA history, click here.