The annual Levittown School District Memorial Mass will be held this year on Wednesday, December 13th at 3:45pm at St. Bernard’s Church in Levittown.
The first mass was held in December of 1970 after beloved Division Avenue math teacher, Mr. Thomas Murphy, passed away during the holiday season. Two of Murphy’s closest friends and colleagues at Division Avenue, Mr. Joe Mezzapesa and Mr. Louis DesRoches, decided to honor his memory by having a mass said for him at St. Bernard’s church.
From 1970 to 1979, the mass took place annually just before Christmas. Each year, the mass would remember not just Mr. Murphy, but other Levittown teachers who had passed away. In 1980 it was decided that the Memorial Mass would include not just deceased Levittown teachers, but all deceased employees of the Levittown School District.
Before the mass takes place each year, retired Wisdom Lane Librarian, Jim O’Gara, and retired Division Avenue English teacher, Tom Cestaro, mail out over two hundred letters to retirees around the country informing them of the date of the mass and providing them with a list of those who have passed. The Levittown United Teachers provides Jim and Tom with much needed help in printing the letters and getting the mailings out to the retirees. Current Levittown staff members are also contacted and invited to attend the ceremony. Jim O’Gara and Tom Cestaro are also instrumental in planning the reception that is held after the mass in the parish center.
Those who have attended this moving ceremony in the past can attest to the celebrant's knack for reaching all religious faiths. At the reception following the mass, food and beverages are served and attendees will have a chance to renew old acquaintances and reminisce. One thing is for certain, those who do attend leave the event with a feeling of warmth and joy.
If you wish to give a small donation for the celebrant, the use of the church and mailing costs, you may give a contribution to an LUT Building Representative, or bring a contribution directly to the LUT Office. You can also make a donation at the memorial service.
Every effort is made each year to list the names of the school district's deceased employees. If you are aware of any omissions, kindly inform LUT Elementary Schools Vice-President, Donna DiPalo at firstname.lastname@example.org.