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Archives ‘Alive and well’: Trinity celebrates 40 years

November 15, 2023

By Keith Benman
Contributing Writer

The Trinity Catholic School community celebrated its 40-year history of Catholic education, and all that is yet to come, at a lively celebration on October 22.

“We look forward to the next 40 years at Trinity Catholic School with confidence and great resolve,” said Bishop Terry R. LaValley in his homily at an anniversary Mass celebrated at Sacred Heart Church. “We continue to invite and encourage parents to enroll their children in our remarkable, inspiring school and join the Trinity Catholic family.”

The Mass featured generations of Trinity Catholic students and teachers participating in readings and choirs. The seven priests who concelebrated the mass all helped guide Catholic education in Massena at various times over the years – that includes Bishop LaValley, who served in Massena in the late 1980s and early 90s.

“When I left here, back in 1992, I remember referring to Trinity Catholic as truly a gem, a treasure of this community,” Bishop LaValley said.

After Mass the party continued at the Trinity school cafeteria with students and parents serving lunch and birthday cake to nearly 300, along with big helpings of reminiscences.

The school was formed out of the merger of St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart schools. Sister Mary Eamon Lyng, a Sister of St. Joseph and a former principal at Trinity Catholic, told about the caravan of cars bringing students from St. Joseph’s to Trinity so they could get an advance look at their new school before the change was made.

“I can’t forget that journey,” Sister Eamon said in her speech. “And you continue to build a strong Catholic environment here.”

Sitting in the audience, Gladys Cameron’s reminiscences went back even further. She went to Sacred Heart Catholic school in the early 1940s.

She said being taught by the sisters, back then it was the Servants of Mary, made all the difference.

“Being taught by the sisters, they were good teachers,” she said. “We just enjoyed it so much.”

Trinity Catholic’s history was displayed in news clipping and memorabilia as people entered the cafeteria. Trinity Catholic students darted among the tables with serving carts passing out juice boxes, water and cleaning up. There were a lot of hugs exchanged as people recognized teachers, principals and priests from the past. Organizers said priests who could not attend because of their Sunday duties sent notes, emails and texts with their blessings, congratulations and good wishes.

Sister Ellen Rose Coughlin, a Sister of St. Joseph and diocesan superintendent of schools, was last to speak before the birthday cake was cut. She told her audience there are more memories still to be made at Trinity Catholic.

“We need to keep our eyes on the future,” she said. “On this anniversary we think not just about 40 years, we think about 45 years, and we think about 50 years. … Shout it loud and clear, Trinity Catholic is alive and well.”

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