Severe thunderstorms didn’t dampen the focus, spirit, enthusiasm and drive of the hundreds of children and parents who attended the opening liturgy and family barbecue celebrating the commencement of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy in Park Slope this summer.
The crowds gathered at Holy Name of Jesus Church to celebrate one of the newest Catholic academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“There is truly something exceptional happening at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy,” said Mary Kay Kahaly, the new board chair. “It’s rewarding to see our newest Catholic education community unite and begin its journey toward educational excellence. We already have 345 students enrolled, and that number is growing.”
The title of St Joseph the Worker was given to St. Joseph, the patron of carpenters, builders and all workers, by Pope Pius XII in 1955. The academy’s name appropriately reflects its hardworking parent community and dedicated clergy who, together with their board and new principal, have created a new learning environment for local children.
St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy was created from the union of two successful schools – Immaculate Heart of Mary and Holy Name of Jesus. The new academy will be located in the former Holy Name School building.
Father Joseph Grimaldi, Episcopal Vicar for Brooklyn, addressed the parents and children during the celebration. He explained that the academy’s creation was a positive change that would help ensure a stronger Catholic education in the Park Slope and Windsor Terrace communities.
He recognized parents for their many sacrifices and hard work and acknowledged the accomplishments of the students, encouraging them to do their best in the new academy.
To ensure that children have the best possible learning environment, the school building has been undergoing extensive renovations and electrical upgrades over the summer months.
“We’ve had a unique opportunity to upgrade the school building in a dramatic way,” said Principal Robert DiNardo, who brings 39 years of experience in Catholic education to the new academy. “It’s exciting to see the transformation take place.
“Our goal is to make this a really wonderful place for kids to get a Catholic education.”
St. Joseph the Worker will open with the latest in educational technology (computers, SMART Boards, a SMART Table), a new science lab and a qualified faculty and administration. Plans are also underway to create a state-of-the-art library.
SMART Boards, furniture, books and other supplies from the former Immaculate Heart of Mary School will be utilized in the new space, ensuring that nothing has gone to waste.
The new academy will be dedicated at a special Mass on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Registration is still open. Call 718-768-7629 for an appointment and tour.