Lacordaire Academy began its centennial year celebrations on Oct. 24 with a Mass celebrated by The Most Rev. Bishop Manuel A. Cruz, D.D. of the Archdiocese of Newark. The Mass, concelebrated by the Rev. Marc Viccari, was held on the front lawn of the Upper Montclair Academy under a large, white tent. The capacity crowd of 500 included over 40 Dominican Sisters, many of whom had taught or served as administrators at Lacordaire.
Following the Mass, Megan Mannato, Interim Head of School, and Nick De Toustain, director of development, led the re-dedication of Lacordaire’s administration building. Previously serving as a convent for the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, the Queen Anne Victorian building with 21 bedrooms and distinctive turret was home to 200 sisters over the past century. The building now contains admissions, alumni relations, development and business offices while its chapel continues to be used for sacramental preparation, and the ground floor serves as the operations center for the Academy’s annual used book sale.
Saydi Callahan Keefe, director of admissions and artist, created a large cherry blossom painting that was dedicated to the sisters that previously resided in the convent.
During the re-dedication, the convent was renamed “James Hall” in honor of the James family who have consistently provided support in the form of scholarships, donations, and volunteerism for over four decades.