New home for St. Catherine School blessed

by DioceseofVenice | June 2, 2017 4:53 pm

Relocation allows for space, added grades

Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)


Bishop Frank J. Dewane was joined by honored guests for a blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 24 for the new home of St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring.

Along with adding sixth-grade to its Pre-K3 to fifth-grade classes that are currently offered, the school’s kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will be moved to the new location for the 2017-2018 school year, while the Pre-K program will have room to grow its current site on the nearby St. Catherine Parish property.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane bless the new St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring on May 24.

Father José González, Pastor of St. Catherine Parish, said the purchase of the new building reflects the trust the Bishop has in the entire St. Catherine Catholic School community. “Thank you Bishop, thank you fellow priests, and thank you to everyone who has made this day possible.”

The celebration was not really about a new building, Father González said, but about the children who will learn and grow in their faith lives there. “So many have contributed and sacrificed to create a great Catholic School in Highlands County. It is time to celebrate God’s blessing upon our school.”

A ribbon-cutting at the new home of St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring took place May 24, with Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Father Jose Gonzalez, Principal Jorge Rivera, and Diocese Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristy Swol having the honors.

Principal Jorge Rivera said the new school offers more space which will allow for sports clubs and other extracurricular activities and additional grades in coming years.

“This is a unique and historic day,” Principal Rivera said. “God has blessed us with this building and the support we have received to make this possible.”

This temporary sign notes the new location of St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring. The students walk back to the current school following a May 24 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bishop Dewane said the community came together to ensure the success of St. Catherine School when it was first proposed more than 10 years ago.

“It is a true community partnership that brought us to this day,” Bishop Dewane said. “I’m also grateful to the parents who have decided to place their students here at St. Catherine. It means a great deal to all of us in the Diocese.”

St. Catherine Catholic School students particpate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new school in Sebring on May 24.

The Bishop noted that when the idea for a school begins, the goal is to set about to contribute to the lives of the students, but to also contribute to the communities where a Catholic School is present.

“We are forming students in how they grow and mature to turn around and be contributors in that same community,” Bishop Dewane added. “We are here to teach the children how to join the discoveries of human wisdom with the truth of the Gospel so that they will be able to keep the true faith and to live it in their lives.”

This handprint greeted people during a reception for the blessing and ribbon-cutting for the new St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring on May 24.

The blessing and ribbon-cutting included dignitaries and invited guests, including priests from across Highlands County and from Parishes which have directly supported the school since its founding in 2008.

As part of the blessing, Bishop Dewane first blessed the students, the supporters and then the building with holy water. In the building, the Bishop was accompanied by students who were able share in this important moment.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony then took place. As students held the ribbon, the ceremonial first cut was made by Bishop Dewane, Father González, Principal Rivera and Diocese Superintendent of Education Dr. Kristy Swol. Additional cuts were made by different supporters of the school, including priests, civic leaders, select teachers and students.

A reception and open house followed in the building.

The school, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018, will now have the space to eventually add seventh and eighth grade classes to its program. There are currently 132 students attending St. Catherine Catholic School, up from 30 students when the school opened.

St. Catherine Catholic School is enrolling for the 2017-2018 academic year. For more information visit

Source URL: