St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on Dec. 8 to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Rev. Jason Palermo, priest of St. Joseph Catholic Church in French Settlement, presided over the Eucharistic celebration in the school’s Activity Center.

Sophomore Abigail Livingston welcomed the large crowd.

“As Mary was conceived without sin to bear God’s son, so we are reborn sinless in baptism,” she said. “In faith and wonder, we weave one heart in praise of God.”

Sophomore Sarah McDowell read from the book of Genesis, and senior Laurie Lyon read from a letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

Seniors Raegan Gallegos and Betsy Bramer led the prayers of the faithful.

Before Mass, the St. Joseph’s Academy Singers presented three songs from their annual Christmas concert, held the evening before. Under the direction of Kimberly Hilliard, the singers performed “O Holy Night,” “Carol of the Bells” and “And Suddenly.”

Hilliard also directed the Liturgy Choir. Senior Lizzie Vukovics and junior Katie Vukovics served as cantors. Musical accompanists were Evan Roider, piano; and Stephen Barrios and senior Elizabeth Kasongo, percussion.

Following Mass, Assistant Principal Sheri Gillio thanked the Liturgy Team, Liturgy Choir, musicians and Palermo for planning the celebration.