St. Bernadette School honors NYPD with assembly during Catholic School Week

January 30, 2015 Jaime DeJesus
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A hero’s welcome!

As part of Catholic School Week, St. Bernadette School hosted a special assembly to honor dozens of NYPD officers from precincts around the city, including the 68th. Students, parents and teachers packed the school auditorium on Thursday, January 29 to salute officers in attendance.

A majority of the kids showed their enthusiasm by holding up homemade signs saying such things as ‘Thank you NYPD for keeping us safe.’

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Festivities included sixth grade students singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” and a poem written and recited by Sister Joan DiRienzo MPF, the school’s principal. There was also a video presented to the tune of “Amazing Grace” honoring fallen Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

The officers were touched by the gratitude shown by the youngsters. “I’ve been on the job 20 years and there has never been a more moving experience than to see the appreciation and gratitude from children,” said Captain Raymond Festino of the 68th Precinct. “It’s amazing. God bless them.”

“It’s all about seeing the kids getting that excited. It was nice to be honored after all that’s been going on lately,” added Detective Patrick Parke of the NYPD Crime Scene Unit, whose niece asked him to come as her guest and be honored. “Police officers have been getting a bad rap. There are a lot of great cops out there and it sometimes goes unnoticed. So it’s nice that Catholic schools are doing this.”

DiRienzo deemed the event a success. “It was important, especially in this climate today, to teach the children to respect those in our community that protect us and keep us safe,” she said. “It was a meaningful day. One of the three topics in Catholic Schools Week is service and we couldn’t think of any better organization to acknowledge for their service to us than the NYPD.”

For the school, the idea to honor officers started smaller, as the original plan was for the students just to make cards and send them. “One thing led to another and teacher Lisa Papio and I presented the idea to Sister Joan and she said we should have a full blown assembly,” said Sister Shirlee.

Along with cards, each officer received a blue flower.

“I’m very proud of how the day went,” said DiRienzo. “The teachers and coordinators did a fabulous job, as well as the people that chipped in. “It just grew and grew into this marvelous assembly and I’m very proud of our children.

“The kids showed a lot of excitement,” added Sister Shirlee. “They practiced on their own. They prepared for each of their parts. They extended themselves to be ready for today in midst of everything going in Catholic School Week and all the snow.”

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Jaime DeJesus
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

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