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April 10, 2024

Faith Abounds on Grandparents’ Day

Faith and love were in abundance as the Academy of the Holy Angels hosted its annual upper school Grandparents’ Day and Easter Liturgy (April 10). The Class of 2024 welcomed their esteemed relatives at a casual breakfast that was followed by Mass.


AHA President Melinda Hanlon welcomed grandparents and students in Grades 6-12 to the liturgy organized by Campus Ministers Maryanne Miloscia and Nick Fallivene. She reflected briefly on the close relationship she enjoyed with her own grandmother, and congratulated the Class of 2024 for their impressive list of college acceptances, awards, and resilience.

Father Michael Joyce, O. Carm., parochial vicar from Saint Thérèse Church in Cresskill, celebrated Mass with assistance from middle school and upper school students.

President Melinda Hanlon greets Fr. Michael Joyce, O. Carm.


In his homily, Fr. Joyce pointed out that the gospel message, “The Road to Emmaus,” is about belief. The two apostles who encounter Jesus on the long road to Emmaus, do not recognize him until they break bread together. The celebrant noted that many people meet Christ but do not recognize him.


He recalled, “The gift my Catholic high school gave me was the chance to encounter God.”


“God is always present,” he said. “Your value, your sense of self-worth, can never be taken away from you…There are going to be moments you don’t feel loved, and people stop believing in you.”


He pointed to the faith grandparents share with their own children, and then with their grandchildren. Faith, he said, would allow those experiencing challenges to shine their light for all to see.


The choir, led by AHA Choral Director Lisa Marciano, included Martine Alvarez, Haedyn Brigati, Crystal Buelvas, Bella Butler, Alessandra Cardamone, Areni Chaglasian, Claire Chiang, Audrey Collins, Mia Diaz, Alyssa Finch, Ellie Finnegan, Alexandra Fontana, Gabrielle Fontana, Madeline Gagliardi, Lilianna Garber, Nora Giannantonio, Lauren Gumban, Kate Kim, Sarahsihu Kim, Caroline Ko, Faye Kontzamanis, Kiera Kwiatkowski, Charlotte Lasaga, Jenni Lee, Caitlin Liau, Christina McCoy, Gigi Ochs, Olivia Papp, Hailey Park, Norah Park, Nataly Perales, Gabriella Petriello, Sofia Petriello, Mina Puma, Helen Quigley, Gabriella Ragucci, Claire Reilly, Ellie Sawyer, Victoria Velasco, Isabella Wisniewski, and Rachelle Wu.


The readers, banner bearers, and altar servers were Alessandra Boncaldo, Erin Dempsey, Hannah Kim, Roumei (Laura) Li, Cristyn Lindsay, Xenaya Medina, Ella Menapace, Lucia McClure, Victoria Perez Vega, Isabella Perillo, Camila Reynoso, and Sparrow Smith.


Eucharistic Ministers included Attiana Badolati, Sofia Cardoso, Keira Corcoran, Grace Cuttita, Kristina Migliaccio, Ashley Miskovitz, Olivia Papp, Marina Poire, Rylie Smith, and Ava Tripodi.


Members of the Eighth Grade Handbell Choir, conducted by AHA Performing Arts Director Dan Mahoney, are Allison Chung, Ava Cifelli, Charlotte Conover, Sophia Garzon, Hannah George, Lizbeth George, Eftihia Giannikos, Kaci Li, Kaelyn Malig, Valentina Mendoza, Reina Mercado, Suzanna Shayakhmetova, Hailey Smith, Sparrow Smith, Vivianne Van Ost, and Chloe Zaladonis.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.



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