Cardinal Dolan visited Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie Feb. 10 to bless and dedicate a new health and wellness center on the eve of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“I need this today because sometimes all I hear would be somber news about our schools,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We have to cut back. We have to merge. We have to close. Here, I come up when you’re expanding. You’re building for the future.”
The 7,000-square foot facility, which cost about $1.8 million, includes cardio equipment and strengthening spaces, weight training machines, new locker rooms, a media classroom for physical education classes and athletic teams, and a multi-use space for performing arts and physical education programs with a dance studio.
“I’d like to publicly thank the archdiocese for their generosity, too, and helping this and supporting this endeavor,” said principal Catherine Merryman. “We could not have done it without their help and the help of (our benefactors).”
Cardinal Dolan proceeded to bless and dedicate the center with prayer and a ribbon-cutting.
“We entreat your blessing upon this place with these magnificent facilities that they may renew and strengthen the soul, mind and body,” the cardinal prayed. “Grant to all the students who meet here that they would find enrichment, companionship and together offer you the praise as you do.”
Cardinal Dolan was joined by Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Colacicco; Msgr. Joseph LaMorte, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the archdiocese; Father Michael Connolly, school chaplain and parochial vicar of St. Columba in Hopewell Junction; Father Matthew Furey, pastor of St. Martin de Porres in Poughkeepsie; and Father Stephen Ries, the cardinal’s priest secretary.
Before the ceremony, Cardinal Dolan toured the school and entered the school chapel where he led the board of trustees, administrators, school benefactors and a livestream audience of students and faculty in prayer. He also spoke about the school’s academic and athletic successes as well as the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Feb. 11.
“This is a school where Jesus and Mary continue to teach,” he said.