Published October 13, 2005
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory recently visited students of Pinecrest Academy for the first time, celebrating Mass with the faculty and more than 700 students.
On Sept. 19, Archbishop Gregory arrived at Pinecrest to the sounds of a cheering crowd. Then, while Pinecrest High School “secret service” members escorted him, the archbishop was chauffeured in a golf cart to the chapel to vest for Mass.
Rick Swygman, executive director of Pinecrest Academy, said that having Archbishop Gregory visit was an important day for the school.
“It was so exciting for our parents, faculty and staff to meet Archbishop Gregory and a great privilege to have him visit our campus,” he said. “It was a special day for us and as a result, our students and the school community feel even more compelled to help him, in any way they can, as the shepherd of our diocese.”
The archbishop celebrated Mass before a packed audience of students, parents, faculty and staff. In his homily, the archbishop challenged the students to be Christ’s light in the world and to bring Christ to others. After Mass, Archbishop Gregory was presented with a rosary bouquet—each of the faculty, staff and students across each grade was assigned a different mystery of the rosary to form an entire rosary bouquet offered for his intentions.
An avid racquetball player, Archbishop Gregory was also given a racquetball racquet painted in Pinecrest colors, framed with the caption, “Pinecrest Academy and Archbishop Gregory, a winning team.” The students also gave the archbishop a brand new racquet, the latest in racquet technology.
To the students’ surprise and delight, Archbishop Gregory gave them a day off and offered his thanks and blessings before leaving the school. “The Archdiocese of Atlanta is blessed with a number of excellent Catholic schools, some of them run by religious congregations,” he said. “We count among them Pinecrest Academy, under the direction of the Legionaries of Christ. Since I have come to Atlanta, I have learned of the academic excellence and positive spiritual formation provided at Pinecrest. I am grateful to the Pinecrest community for the many ways it supports the ministry of our archdiocese. May God continue to bless Pinecrest Academy and the Legionaries of Christ for their work in building up the church here in our archdiocese.”