April 4, 2017

John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School Celebrates Revitalized School Chapel with Mass and Dedication Ceremony

John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School will celebrate the revitalization of its school chapel with a Mass and dedication ceremony celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Donors to the revitalization project, alumnae, and supporters will join Bishop Fitzgerald in the Chapel.

Students, faculty, staff, donors, alumnae, friends, and representatives of the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future will participate fully in the Mass and dedication via a live stream in a satellite location set up in the school gymnasium.  Holy Communion will be distributed both in the chapel and gymnasium locations.  The live stream can be viewed beginning at 10:45 a.m. at https://www.livecast.video/hallahan.

Thursday, April 6, 2017
11:00 a.m.
John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School
311 North 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Plans for the chapel revitalization began in 2013 with support from generous donors including alumnae and friends. Then, due to lack of significant funding, the project was put on hold. A gift from the estate of Mary Mackey Cain, Class of 1941, enabled completion of the project.  Mrs. Cain’s wish, prior to her passing in early 2016, was to have the chapel completed. Upon her death, her family came forward to ensure their mother’s final wish was honored.  The revitalization work officially began in June 2016.  Mrs. Cain had previously generously supported other capital projects at Hallahan including, the recent main office renovation.

“Mary Mackey Cain very much wanted Hallahan to be part of her legacy.  She felt blessed to be part of a community of women who grew together in knowledge, in friendship, and in their Catholic faith,” said Susan Cain McQuilkin, Mrs. Cain’s daughter.

A stained glass window dedicated to the Class of 1976 is just one element that is included in the school chapel.  Mrs. Deborah Myers Sparks, Class of 1976, spearheaded the effort to raise $5,000 from her classmates to have one of the 5 stained glass windows dedicated in honor of the class of 1976.

“It is an honor and privilege for our class to have come together in harmony, generosity, and love to be a part of this great endeavor along with so many other Alumnae & Friends of Hallahan.  Now and hopefully well into the future, the Spirit of the Girls of the Class of 1976 will always be a part of this nurturing institution.  Hallahan forever holds a great piece of each of our hearts,” said Mrs. Myers Sparks.

In addition to the stained glass, a crucifix prominently displayed in the chapel was donated by the current Hallahan School Minister, Father Christopher Lucas, in honor of his mother a Hallahan alumna who passed away recently.  A portrait of Our Lady of Hallahan painted by Margaret Zangerle and Irene Tolosky, both members of the Class of 1943, which was recently restored by Hallahan’s Alumnae Association, and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame last spring, also now hangs in the chapel.

Mrs. Denise Kassekert, President of Hallahan said, “Our chapel is our heart and our soul. It is the core of our being. Our Catholicism is the reason we are here today and why we have been here for more than 115 years. We are thrilled to celebrate its revitalization.  This is a great moment for the entire Hallahan community.  We are forever grateful to all of our donors who made this project possible through their generosity, love, and patience.”

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Editor’s Notes:  John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School opened in 1911 under the name, Catholic Girls High School.  Since then, over 40 thousand young women have earned diplomas from Hallahan and have dedicated their talents and lives to the betterment of their community and the world through a variety of vocational callings.  For more information on Hallahan please visit, www.jwhallahan.com

For information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit www.aopcatholicschools.org.  For information about Faith in the Future, please visit www.faithinthefuture.com.



Bonnie Olinger
Communications Specialist
215-587-3747 (office)