Homily of Rev. Robert L. Marciano ’75 at Saint Benedict and Saint Kevin 

December 22-23, 2018

It is the time of year when we give and get gifts, and this week, my creative parish staff gave me a very unique Christmas gift. This is the actual corroded pipe fitting complete with the hole in it that burst in the school.  It has a plaque on it with the date November 24, 2018, and this quote from the Gospel of St. Matthew:

“And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”

How true, St. Kevin Parish and its school is built on solid rock, is still standing tall, and is cleaned and ready now to be restored. We received bids this week, awarded the work, and they will begin the job next week. We think that it will be at least 8 weeks to repair the damage, but will certainly keep you posted.

Speaking of gifts…I also received a very unique Christmas gift this week, a HIGH SCHOOL – His Excellency, Bishop Tobin, asked if I would accept the appointment of President of Bishop Hendricken High School beginning January 1st following in the wonderful and sturdy footsteps of Mr. John Jackson, a parishioner and good friend to us all, who is retired after 46 years at the school with the last 8 serving as its President. I accepted the offer, on one condition, that I could remain here as Pastor of St Kevin and St Benedict. He agreed. I think it is an exciting opportunity and a great challenge. When this idea began to surface and was suggested for my consideration from several people many months ago, including the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, many of them quoted my own words that I have used for years that, “I never say ‘no’ to Hendricken.” And so, after much prayer and consideration and advice — pro and con — from family and friends, I assume my new duties on January 1st. I wanted to make this announcement to all of you first, and as I speak the Hendricken community, board, faculty, staff, parents and students are being notified by a robo call of this appointment.

To be honest, not much will change for us here at St Kevin and St Benedict, except one thing, that if I am the celebrant of the Mass, the Opening hymn will be Four Ruffles and Flourishes!

I know the concern of many of you as you hear this, is that I am already busy enough, but let me assure you of two things: 1. I am very good at managing and budgeting my time and 2. I am a very good delegator, and also, I think often of the quote, “The person who loves his work, as I do, will never work a day in his life.”

As you know, it has been my honor and privilege to serve as your Pastor these past 6 ½ years, and I look forward to that ministry for many years to come. These additional duties, and this ministry as President, is part of my lifelong love and gratitude for the gift of Catholic education, that my brother and I, and so many people whom you and I know, have benefited from, that literally shaped our lives and grew our faith. It is my responsibility now to give back in a new way and to help to grow and strengthen the great institution that Hendricken has been for almost 60 years, and will continue to be in the future.

With your help and prayers and support I look forward to the days and years ahead as I work with Mr Mark DeCiccio, the new Principal of Hendricken, the faculty and staff, and the families and students, to help to build a future that is bright for the Church and for our world with Hendricken men, dedicated and shaped by what their, rather OUR mission statement says.  It says a Hendricken Man is:

  • conscious of his own self-worth fashioned in the image of God.
  • confident in the power of the Gospel to meet the challenges of the future. and
  • committed to responsible decision making in the service of the common good.

What a privilege to be part of that journey!

And so, I ask for a kind remembrance in your prayers for me, for Mr. Jackson, for his many years of service, and his well-deserved retirement and prayers for the entire Hendricken family, past, present and future, that we may truly work each day to build up the Kingdom of God here in our midst.

God love you!