Behind the Scenes of the Bicentennial Mass

Zoe Attard Portelli, McClancy News Editor

The two hundred year anniversary of the founding of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart was a reason for celebration at Msgr. McClancy High School. Everyone attended the bicentennial mass celebrating this anniversary, but what most students and staff don’t know is what went into making it happen. Mrs. Doddato, the director of campus ministry, shed light on this process. She shared the many preparations that had to be made and the difficulties attached to them. Furthermore, she also revealed some obstacles that needed to be overcome.

The annual tradition of the McClancy Brothers singing their community song, Anime de l’amour.

An intricate aspect of the bicentennial celebration was the preparation for the mass. This celebration contained different components that all needed to be managed at the same time. Mrs. Doddato addressed, “Getting what I’m used to doing for mass was one thing, but then to bring in the dynamic of the bishop’s office was another.”  Bringing about a regular school mass was already a difficult process; she needed to get both the music program and liturgical readers together. However, this wasn’t a regular mass, it was a special mass to celebrate the brothers. So, there were special readings that the Bicentennial committee had to choose and special music that needed to go along with these readings. These additions to the regular mass already made the preparations more difficult, but there was also the incorporation of the bishop’s office. The bishop’s office added extra responsibilities because there were many rules to follow and paperwork that had to be done. The communication between Mrs. Doddato and the bishop’s office was another complicated undertaking. The preparation for the celebration mass started in July, and Mrs. Doddato reached out to the bishop’s office asking what had to be done in order for the bishop to come to the mass. Then, she had to go through many steps that couldn’t be done over the phone. Once these steps were done, getting the bishop to attend the mass was unchallenging. These preparations may not have been easy, but they had a great outcome; the beautiful Bicentennial mass. 

The Bicentennial mass did not come without hardships and obstacles. One major setback for the mass was COVID-19. Originally, this was supposed to be a concluding mass for a year-long of celebrations honoring the Brothers, but instead, this was the school’s first opportunity to celebrate them. There were also many COVID-19 restrictions that Mrs. Doddato had to be up to date with until the week before the mass. This was done so she could make sure that the entire school community could be present. She was even on the phone with the deacon three days before the mass, to see if all the students and staff could be in the auditorium. COVID-19 pushed things back, such as when the celebration was supposed to begin and reduced the involvement of the students. One of the other problems that Mrs. Doddato ran into was that the copy machines were not working properly, therefore the special booklets were not able to be made. Nevertheless, even with these obstacles, the Bicentennial mass was a huge success.  

The Bicentennial mass was very important to Mrs. Doddato. With COVID-19 putting a damper on the celebration, it was very important to make the anniversary mass a big celebration. Mrs. Doddato emphasized, “For me, the importance was that the students, especially the freshmen and those sophomores that really didn’t have the experience of being in McClancy prior to COVID-19, really appreciated and understood the importance and how lucky we are to have so many brothers here to share their knowledge and their experience with us in the school because if it wasn’t for them, as I say to my classes, we wouldn’t be here.”