St. Peter R.C. Church Rev. Monsignor David LiPuma had a special message for parishioners on Saturday: School Principal Maureen Ingham was promoted.
“I’m very pleased to formally announce today that Mrs. Maureen Ingham, our dedicated principal, is now going to be elevated to the title of president/principal of St. Peter’s School,” LiPuma said at the end of 4 p.m. Mass. “This was proposed by our school board as part of our strategic plan for the school, and it’s a model that is used in many high schools and now many elementary schools across our country.”
LiPuma explained Ingham’s new position will allow her to continue providing “effective leadership in the daily engagement of our children and our faculty,” while also offering her more opportunities in the community, “to go out and tell everyone the great advantages of our school that it offers; and to help secure our future for many more children to attend our school.”
Ingham will likely have assistance, as LiPuma noted, “This will also present us with opportunities to add additional administrative staff to bolster our growth plans and to strengthen the school even farther.”
“Together along with the staff, the families and all of our parishioners, we’ve grown St. Peter’s to be the most terrific place that it is today,” Ingham said. “And each time I take a family member on a tour, or answer a phone call from a prospective recruit, I feel a sense of such strong pride as I talk about all that we are, and all that we offer, in our Christ-centered exemplary elementary school environment.”
“I’m humbled by the support and vote of confidence, and I promise all of you that I will do my very best – especially for all my little kids that are out there,” Ingham said. “And I promise that I will continue what we have begun: To carry on the mission of our parish – St. Peter’s – to love God, to love one another, and to hold each other’s hands all along the way.”
LiPuma is leaving the St. Peter/St. Bernard Roman Catholic parish at the end of May to pastor Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna. He also will serve as president of Our Lady of Victory Institutions (Homes of Charity, Baker Victory Services and Our Lady of Victory Elementary School).
“God has blessed our school in many, many ways. And we trust that God will continue to help us spread our goal and spread his message to more and more families,” LiPuma said of St. Peter’s. “Knowing that Maureen Ingham will continue to be leading us forward, I believe strongly, provides stability and should give us all a great deal of comfort for our community that she will continue now to lead our school as the president/principal.”
More than 200 students are already registered for the next school year at St. Peter’s.
“On a personal note, I am deeply and profoundly grateful for Maureen, for her willingness to accept this position. And more so, she has been a valuable coworker and will always be a dear friend of mine,” LiPuma said.
Ingham was presented with a large red key, which is a symbol of the words Jesus spoke to Peter after the apostle’s confession of faith. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
On a related note, LiPuma told parishioners “Our beloved Sister Ann (McDermott), our pastoral associate, this past year has taken some time to kind of take less days at work, with all of her rehab. Then she decided over the course of the year that she might retire at the end of June.
“I want to acknowledge Sister Ann. She’s been here since July of 2012. She was immensely helpful to me over the years I’ve been here. And I will continue now to support her in prayer.
“She’s not leaving completely: She’ll volunteer in the school, and also, of course, she’s going to be a member of this wonderful faith community.”
When LiPuma first addressed the audience following Communion, some expected his announcement would be the naming of his replacement. However, a new pastor has yet to be named.
“It’s still in the process; so, as soon as I know, you will know,” LiPuma said. “But I do ask you to continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for the guidance of the priests of our diocese that they will come to this beautiful gem that we call St. Peter’s and St. Bernard’s.”
St. Peter’s is located at 620 Center St., Lewiston. Its sister site, St. Bernard’s, is situated at 218 Hinman St., Youngstown.