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Charger Lone US Student at Global Mass (read more)
Year of St. Joseph
Charger Lone US Representative at Global Mass
Written by: Tony Quattrochi, Director of Alumni Relations
Sisi Gomez admits being a bit nervous as she briefly took center stage at a special Saint Joseph’s Day Mass from Israel that was streamed globally on YouTube.
“Reading out loud is really not my thing,” said the Saint Joseph High School senior, who was the lone U.S. student with an active role in the March 19 event. “I was the only one in the nation doing it. But I faced my fears and did it.”
Late last year, the Catholic Church declared 2021 the Year of Saint Joseph. The Lasallian world, which Saint Joes is a part of, engaged the support of its ministries around the globe to celebrate the father of Jesus in a Mass from Bethlehem on the Feast of Saint Joseph, aka the Solemnity of Saint Joseph.
Gomez, 18, of Cicero, read the Mass’ first intercession prayer from a classroom at the school. She was one of 10 high school students worldwide, all attending schools named after Saint Joseph, featured in the proceedings. Parts of the Mass were said in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish.
“We felt very honored to have one of our students participate in this very spiritual and historic event,” said SJHS Principal David Hotek. “It was such a powerful reminder of the large community of Lasallians around the world.”
Gomez was selected for the honor because of her three-year involvement in the school’s peer ministry program, during which she never missed a retreat. She also leads all students in service hours and plays on the basketball and soccer teams.
“I was proud that out of everyone at the school, they chose me” said Gomez, who will attend Dominican University in River Forest next year.
Gomez said her mother, Iza, was able to watch the livestream at work. “She was excited. She told me she was proud and that I spoke well.”
The Mass was celebrated in the chapel at Bethlehem University, which was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1973. The order has roots in the Middle East dating to 1893 and has established schools in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jaffa and Nazareth in Israel, as well as in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
Brother Neil Kieffe, FSC, a member of the Midwest Christian Brothers who is serving in Bethlehem, is familiar with the Westchester school and suggested its participation, according to the school.
St. John Baptist de LaSalle, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!