Schools Re Open

Santa Rosa Catholic Elementary School Returns to Campus After Tubbs Fire Damage

Santa Rosa, CA. January 22, 2018 (North Coast Catholic

Three months after the Tubbs Fire damaged the buildings of St. Rose Elementary School in Santa Rosa, Principal Kathy Ryan welcomed the entire student body back to home campus. Before classes officially resumed, Fr. Denis O’Sullivan, Pastor of St. Rose Parish, led the standing room only crowd in a short prayer service, and Bishop Robert Vasa blessed a plaque which honors the thousands of people who worked together to repair and rebuild after the traumatic fire.  Superintendent of Catholic schools Linda Norman Ph.D. and Assistant Superintendent Sister Mary Rose Mank MSSR were on hand as well as dozens of parents, community supporters, first responders. St. Rose students were treated to high fives and a red carpet welcome as parents and teachers cheered them on. After the prayer service and the ribbon cutting students were welcomed to their classrooms by their teachers as well as by Bishop Vasa. The entire event was organized by parents, teachers, and the St. Rose community. A banner on the outside of the school reads: “The Holy Spirit has Gifted Us with Fortitude: Courage for the Long Haul”.

Cardinal Newman High School also gathered in their gym to mark the first day of classes since the Tubbs fire gutted a major portion of the school. Portable classrooms lined the campus as students returned. Like St. Rose, they had been holding classes in four satellite locations (neighboring parishes) until today. Students gave a standing ovation to the first responders who attended, and who were offered words of deep gratitude from school President Laura Held, Principal Graham Rutherford, and others. At St. Rose Bishop Vasa encouraged the students to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’, and at Cardinal Newman, to take the gratitude, and ‘pay it forward’.