Engraving Our Ring: A Catholic Schools Week Reflection

Fr. Robert L. Marciano, KHS ’75, President, and Mr. Mark R. DeCiccio ’03, Principal, share a Catholic Schools Week reflection:

After her husband died, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton turned to God and the Church to make sense of where her life was going. Mother Seton, as she came to be called, quickly began to put her energy toward others.

After founding the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in 1809, the first community for religious women in the United States, she began to plant the seeds of Catholic education in our country and it quickly took root.

From her St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School to our Bishop Hendricken High School, the existence and mission of Catholic education reside in the giving of one’s time to serve others. As Mother Seton wrote: “Take every day as a ring which you must engrave, adorn, and embellish with your actions, to be offered up in the evening at the altar of God.

Actions are proved, time and again, to speak infinitely louder than words. While each day brings new challenges, it’s the use of our time and energy that defines how we live out Christ’s message.

So, if each day is about engraving, adorning, and embellishing a new ring to be offered up to God, here’s how Bishop Hendricken has given back in the past year.


Community Service

Here’s just some of how our students gave back to the local community this year…

  • JV Hockey volunteers: JV Hockey volunteered their time during the season to assist players on the Providence Jr. Bears Special Hockey Program, an initiative that teaches the game to youth with developmental disabilities.
  • Hunter Robbins ’23 & Jack Ciunci ’23 earn Civic Leadership Award: Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea honored Robbins ’23 and Ciunci ’23 with the Civic Leadership Award which is given annually to high school students who have made outstanding contributions to their schools and communities through their public service, leadership ability, and academic achievement.
  • Man Up Against Breast Cancer: Every year, our school community leads the charge and participates in the Gloria Gemma Foundation’s 5k in Providence to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer.
  • Veterans’ Day events: Fr. Marciano hosted our annual prayer service in the War Memorial Prayer Garden before Hendricken and Iggy’s Boardwalk Restaurant partnered to honor those who have served with a free Veterans’ Day Breakfast.
  • Community Thanksgiving Dinner: Another Hendricken and Iggy’s Boardwalk collaboration, this time to host and serve those in the Warwick community who wouldn’t otherwise have anywhere to spend the holiday.
  • No Shave November: Our faculty, staff, and students participated in No Shave November to spread awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer. We raised $1,100 which was donated to the Men’s Health Fund at Miriam Hospital.
  • Holiday drives: Around the holidays, our students are always eager to give back which leads to the organizing of various food, clothing, and toiletry drives. This year, the Leadership Academy held a canned food drive for Thanksgiving to benefit local food pantries and a Christmas toy drive for the students of Oakland Beach Elementary.
  • Leadership & Ambassadors Outreach Christmas Party: Our Leadership Academy and Ambassador’s Club took time out of their busy school days to host Christmas parties for our little friends at Blessed Sacrament and Bishop McVinney Schools in Providence.
  • DCYF Christmas gifts: Hendricken faculty and staff continued to be a selfless example to our students by checking off the wish lists of 17 children currently in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families.


Impactful Programming

To better support our students and instill in them the Catholic spirit of servant leadership, we’ve offered initiatives and clubs such as…

  • Hawks for Her: This past year, “Hawks for Her” emerged as a new club at Bishop Hendricken to promote and uplift the women within the school community. The brotherhood fostered within the club is reflective of the fact that women are, and forever will be, essential to the success of the Hendricken family; a family that recognizes and humbly respects those who have and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of others. 
  • Born to Stand Out: Inspired by The Brotherhood from years’ past, Born to Stand Out is an affinity group for students of color to come together and talk about the unique experiences they share at Hendricken.  
  • Hendricken Cares: An initiative aimed at helping students navigate wellness, and the challenges that come with it, in their high school years. It puts emphasis on the dignity of each and every member of our brotherhood while addressing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and more.
  • Youth Force: A student organization dedicated to traffic safety and safe decision-making skills, Youth Force worked tirelessly this year to honor Officer Ryan Bourque ’09, who lost his life due to a drunk driver. As part of this year’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) RI victim adoption program, the group hosted a door decorating contest in his honor and got our faculty and their classrooms involved.
  • Hunger Walk: An annual tradition, the Hunger Walk enlisted all students, faculty, and staff to embark on a 10K walk from St. Kevin Church through the neighborhoods of Warwick in solidarity with the poor and marginalized of our society. Additionally, the school community raised funds to benefit local food banks and pantries.
  • Brownsville, Texas Mission Trip: Students and faculty traveled to Brownsville, Texas on one of Hendricken’s annual mission trips. While there, Hendricken men served immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border while working at schools, shelters, welcome centers, and at the border wall.


Giving Back

Our alumni continue to know no limits for the next generation of Hawks. Here are just some contributions made within the year…

  • Joseph P. Healey ’84: One of our most transformative alumni and the largest cumulative gift in our school’s history, Joseph P. Healey ’84 and his Healey Scholarship continue to fund young men that want to attend Bishop Hendricken, but cannot afford tuition. Through his philanthropy, Healey sponsors 16 students each school year.
  • Benoits & the Collaborative Learning Center: The newest re-imagined space on our campus is the Michel R. Benoit ’70 & John A. Benoit ’82 Collaborative Learning Center. The Benoit brothers generously funded the renovation of Bishop Hendricken’s library into an updated space where students connect and study together.
  • Record-breaking giving (#GivingTuesday & Epoch): Our alumni and donors have been generous beyond compare to benefit the next generation of Hawks. Epoch: The 2022 Gala for Hendricken was the event of the season last spring with donors raising $270,155 in critical tuition assistance funds to help more boys realize their dream of attending Bishop Hendricken; a gala giving record. This fall, #GivingTuesday kicked off the holiday season with generosity pouring in from 482 donors who raised $179,602.


Bishop Hendricken gives back. It’s engraved, adorned, and embellished into not only the halls of our school, but the heart of every student, faculty, and staff member. While we each have our individual rings, it’s what we do together as a community that keeps us connected to each other and our faith.

We welcome you to let us know what you see next for us. Whether you recognize a challenge, opportunity, or chance to help, please don’t hesitate to call us at 401.736.5987, or email us at mdeciccio@hendricken.com.

God Bless!