Each Thursday from 8:30 to 9:30, the entire MPB school celebrates Mass with our pastor, Father Patrick Dolan. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade take turns presenting Mass to the community by homeroom. The school year begins with the leaders of the school, the eighth grade, presenting the first two Masses. From there, the seventh graders present two Masses and so on. Teachers spend the week before their Mass preparing with the students, and as many students are included as possible. A student is selected to read the first reading at the ambo. Other students read petitions created by the class. Still other students are responsible for bringing up the gifts. Great care is given to offering students varied and meaningful opportunities to participate.
When one homeroom is presenting Mass, the other homeroom of that grade is responsible for leading the school in song. The music teacher prepares all students during music classes so that they are familiar with the current collection of songs sung at both daily and weekend MPB Masses. The music teacher also works with specific students who will lead the community in the responsorial psalm.
Each week, students are given the opportunity to gather together, to reflect on the message given during the homily, and to celebrate the Eucharist together. MPB is deeply appreciative of the way Father Pat (and Father Mike when he celebrates with us) tailors the homily and the general celebration to the students of MPB. It is quite common to hear a connection between the Gospel and the playground during an MPB Mass.
Once a month, students celebrate “Buddy Mass” where older students and younger students attend Mass together in their buddy groups. Older students have an opportunity to model appropriate Mass behavior and to guide their younger buddies in the celebration.