Our Mother of Sorrows School Closes
The Sisters of Saint Joseph arrived at Our Mother of Sorrows School (OMS) in West Philadelphia in 1878. Families have relied on Our Mother of Sorrows to help their children reach their God-given potential for the last 138 years. Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and administrators have walked the halls, filled the classrooms, participated in academic and sports teams and established loving and lasting relationships at the school on 48th Street.
Typically, the last day of school each academic year brings big smiles from students and teachers alike. This year, however, is bittersweet for the OMS community. The upper grade students are moving over to the OMS/St. Ignatius campus at 617 N. 43rd Street for the 2016-2017 school year.
Sister Owen Patricia Bonner SSJ invited all of the OMS alums, administrators and teachers to the final closing prayer service on Thursday, June 9, 2016 in Our Mother of Sorrows Church. “We stand on the shoulders of the many, many students, teachers and administrators who have come before us. We would like to celebrate the closing of this sacred place as we move into other sacred spaces. Let’s fill the church with prayers, stories, memories and hope.”
Father Joseph Okonski, former pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, reflected: “When we are faced with a closing such as this, we could sometimes lose hope. At Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius School we still have a mission. The mission is alive. We can’t lose our dreams or just live on our memories. Our memories are important and they bring us great comfort and joy. But we must continue to move forward. We must continue to hold onto our mission and dream. We must continue to build and create – maybe in a different way – but we don’t give up. We continue to have hope and to know our mission: to provide a faith based, quality education in a healthy, respectful, caring environment. Academically and socially we help develop the whole child to meet the challenges of a global society.”
Thirteen years ago Sister Owen was appointed as Administrator of both campuses. At the close of the prayer service, she expressed her gratitude. “What I think of when I look back over these past 13 years is how welcoming everyone was to us: school students, parents and parishioners. What a joy it has been to be here. I am so grateful to the parents who have entrusted their children to us and for all the ways they have supported us in those 13 years. I am so very grateful."
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