Archbishop Williams Grandparents Day

Archbishop Williams Grandparents Day 2018
By: Kathy Habel

It was the first “Grandparents Day” at Archbishop Williams High School and with all the smiles, hugs and tangible love that filled the cafeteria it will certainly be not the last.

The Stephen McGrath Student Center never looked as festive as the 7th and 8th graders greeted their grandparents and found a seat for them all to enjoy the morning’s program and breakfast. Mary Ellen Flanders McCarthy, Class of 1965, with husband Michael, was happy to return to her alma mater and celebrate that special relationship of grandparent and grandchild while also celebrating her granddaughter, Jessica Gavin, ’23, who “loves it all. She’s a” fully fledged Bishop”, much to Mary Ellen and Michael’s delight, and they are excited for Jessica to “start her own legacy”.

Grandparents were welcomed by President Duggan who extolled the virtues of grand parenting: all about love; little on parenting chores. The chorus of laughs from the Nanas, Papas, Grammys and Grampys revealed they appreciated President Duggan’s keen observation on that special relationship they came to celebrate. Dr. Volonnino cheered all those in attendance and reflected that “Williams is a family school, a legacy school and that is what makes this school so special.” As middle schoolers, the “students and their families have years ahead to grow together”, Dr Volonnino shared and then introduced Mrs. Katie Folan, Director of the Middle School, who feels “privileged to work every day with these new Bishops.”

Jeremiah and Louise McDonald faces lit up when talking about their grandson, Ben Fennelly, Class of 2024, and son of Christine Mahoney Fennelly, Class of 1985.  Granddad Jeremiah explained that “Initially, we were a bit worried for Ben. He attended South Boston Catholic Academy. It’s a small school. A family school very much like Archie’s. We hoped that the transition would be a good for him since he knew very few of his new classmates. And it’s been great! He loves it. And we are so proud of him. He has gone out of his way to make other kids feel welcomed.” For Ben, the day was special in the most simple, yet beautiful way: “I’m just happy were having this day. It means I get to spend more time with my grandparents.”  

Students entertained their grandparents with songs, a class video and AWHS picture taking. As always, prayer is part of any AWHS celebration and the day’s program ended with the All Saints Day liturgy. As the kids said good-bye to their grandparents and the “have a good day” was delivered with a hug, everyone in attendance knew that this day would be remembered as a good and special day.