Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated Mass and blessed the new Bishop Francis X. Ford, M.M. Center during his pre-Christmas visit to Cathedral Prep and Seminary, Elmhurst.
Following the liturgy, the entire student body, faculty and many alumni gathered for breakfast with the bishop.
The Bishop Ford Center, on the lower level, provides a stage for speeches, presentations and announcements.
“Cathedral Prep is one of our best schools because we have so many young men here considering the priesthood,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “Over a hundred years we have been giving young men a chance to discern a vocation, which ever it might be in life.
“Today we are dedicating a portrait and a room to Bishop Ford. We have proposed him for canonization and it is a long road. He actually went to the former Cathedral Prep in Manhattan. We have him pictured here and the young men can see him and know that someone went through what they’re going through and is now being considered for sainthood and that provided such great inspiration.”
“Through dedicating the Bishop Ford center we will learn of his life,” said Father Joseph Fonti, president of Cathedral. “A boy from Brooklyn, a boy from Cathedral, and a boy who discerned doing something great for God, Bishop Ford’s life and strength will help us all in so many ways.”
Father Fonti said the day was “an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. The head of our family, Bishop DiMarzio, is here to celebrate with his family and as the father of this house we are so happy he is here.”
He added that alumni and students consider Cathedral to be home and often return for visits.
Principal Richie Diaz said he was excited for the benefits that the Bishop Ford Center will provide for his students.
“The dedication of the Bishop Ford room is a tremendous example of what it means to be a Catholic young man in the diocese and, for our young men, it is a concrete example of what they can do in life and to dream big as they dedicate themselves to the Lord.
“We will use this space to learn more about him and dedicate ourselves to God through his inspiration.”