AUBURN — Row after row of students, ranging from prekindergarteners to high school seniors, held hands, exchanged hugs and shared indelible moments with the special guests standing next to them in a packed Callahan Family Memorial Gym at Saint Dominic Academy on Nov. 22.

The students had invited their grandparents for the academy’s annual Grandparents Day as well as a Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley, in advance of the long holiday weekend.

“Now I know every word I say separates you from your Thanksgiving dinners,” the bishop said to the laughing crowd of over 1,200 people. “But what a wonderful celebration this is. While you are here, I hope you see what a wonderful formation your grandchildren and children are getting here at Saint Dominic Academy. The formation here is not just of the mind, but also nourishing the spirit of our children.”

Bishop Deeley told the gathering that he was amazed at the list of colleges that have already accepted Saint Dominic Academy seniors.

“It shows the caliber of education being offered here,” he said. “I want to thank the grandparents for all of the help you give to make this education and this school possible and so successful.”

To the students, the bishop said that Thanksgiving serves as a reminder to never forget the many wonderful people in their lives.


He also reminded them to be thankful for who makes it possible to share thanks at all.

“Thank God, who we believe gave us the gifts that we have received and who looks out for us and watches over us. To be able to say ‘thank you’ is an act of faith, because it connects us to something greater than ourselves: God and one another.”

The bishop pointed out that the best way to thank God is to do exactly what they were doing on Wednesday morning.

“You thank God when you gather for Mass. The Mass and the Eucharist is thanksgiving for all God has given us and it reminds us that God loves us, called us into being, and looks over us.”

Concelebrants at the Mass included the Rev. Timothy Nadeau, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, and the Rev. Seamus Griesbach, chaplain at Saint Dominic Academy and the diocese’s director of vocations.

Grandparents Day included a coffee and tea reception for the special guests prior to the Mass. The assistant chaplains, a group comprised of students at the academy who assist with ministry, also hosted “PiePalooza” featuring homemade pies made by students, parents and other family members.

Prior to his departure, the bishop “taste tested” some of the creations.


Bishop Robert Deeley celebrated Mass during Grandparents Day at Saint Dominic Academy on Thanksgiving Eve. More than 1,200 attended.

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