ALTAMONTE SPRINGS | Twenty-five years ago, Bishop Norbert Dorsey dedicated a new Catholic school in Altamonte Springs, Annunciation Catholic Academy (ACA). At the time, no one could have predicted the community’s silver anniversary would hit during a worldwide pandemic.
But celebrate they did. On Monday, Sept. 14, students, faculty and staff, as well as special guests Dr. Margaret Curran, founding principal, and Henry Fortier, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Orlando, gathered to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary during a school Mass. Bishop John Noonan celebrated the Mass, with the parish’s new pastor, Fr. Ivan Olmo, concelebrating.
During the celebration, Bishop Noonan recognized the faculty and staff who have remained with the school since the beginning. Among those educators is principal Patricia Kahle, who fondly recalled the dedication ceremony.
“Standing in the courtyard that morning, I would never have imagined what a significant role this parish and school would have on my life,” she said. “I have watched so many students (including my own two children) walk these halls and grow up to become outstanding young adults. The biggest compliment after all of these years, is being here to welcome the children of our ACA alumni families. It continues to be a blessing and an honor to be part of this dynamic Catholic community.”
In his homily, Bishop Noonan reminded the students of the importance of growing in their faith while at ACA. “You come to school every day, and you open your mind. You learn about things,” he said. “You learn about God. You learn about life. You learn about the world and you learn about who you are. And then that spiritual side helps you to know God is the Creator of everything. He wants us to appreciate this world and the most important thing we appreciate in the world is each other.”
By Linda Caldwell, special to the Florida Catholic September 14, 2020