October 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Holy Angels Celebrates 140 Years of Empowering Women

Demarest, NJ: Happy Feast Day! These words were shared many times as the Academy of the Holy Angels celebrated its 140th birthday on October 2nd.

Sister Nonna Dunphy, SSND, signed the deed for the original campus in Fort Lee on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels in 1879, and the Academy borrowed its name from the occasion. AHA remained in Fort Lee until 1965, when additional construction on the George Washington Bridge necessitated the move to the school’s present location in Demarest.

As the school community gathered for Mass, AHA President Melinda Hanlon recalled that, when S. Nonna and S. Cyrilla Geifel signed the contract for the Fort Lee property, S. Nonna had just $20 in her pocket. President Hanlon added that it took much more to establish AHA, including the courage and strength of character of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Celebrant Rev. James Heuser, head of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, observed that AHA was built by women who were listening to the voices of angels.

In his homily, Rev. Heuser spoke of a friend in the Secret Service who was responsible for protecting President Barack Obama. Rev. Heuser learned from his friend that this mission was about guarding, protecting, and guiding the president as anonymously as possible.

“I think of angels as the secret service of God,” Rev. Heuser said, noting there is a whole world of angels we do not see. He asked those present to pay attention to daily life, let God in more, and allow God’s angels to guard and guide them.

In keeping with AHA’s Feast Day traditions, several members of the senior class who successfully completed their training became

Eucharistic Ministers. Rev. Heuser commissioned Kristin Anderson, Angelina Busetto, Baylee-Rose Cooper, Diana Esoldi, Julia Farah, Colleen Farrell, Grace Flynn, Sarah Folk, Gianna Maria Guido, Sofie Miles, Morgan Morrissey, Maris Rodriguez, Jacqueline Rubino, Hannah Shultz, and Nicole Tasca.

Lectors at this milestone celebration included Czarina Alfonso, Emily LeHane, and Gabriela Sandoval.

Members of the Music Makers were Mariel Bacolod, Myra Bocage, Catherine Callahan, Cara Chang, Juliana Dominguez, Valeria Gonzalez, Nora Jacobi, Maureen Murray, Caitlin Neville, Kayla Pringle, Mary Quimbo, Leah Sanchez, and Valentina Zazzali.

Handbell Choir members included Annabel Hazrati, Elizabeth Kim, Lizelle Bacalod, Mariel Bacalod, Arielle Maravilla, Josephine Noble, Emma Yale, Gabriella Borges, Myra Bocage, Meredith Cruz, and Raphaela Cardenas.

Banner bearers and altar servers were Isabella Darmanin, Emma DeMarco, Dylan Vonderhorst, Zeida Ben-Fredj, Jackie Arbogast, and Juliana Camporeale.

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 high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’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.

Academy of the Holy Angels

315 Hillside Avenue Contact Us & Driving Directions

Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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