Strong Foundation


Cardinal Dolan’s message in the June 30 issue of Catholic New York struck a familiar note.

A recently ordained deacon, Deacon Richard Ellison, is the son of my first grade friend, Cynthia Ellison. As I read Cardinal Dolan’s letter regarding Catholic education, I thought of my early days at St. Mark the Evangelist School in Harlem, and Cathedral High School in downtown Manhattan where the faith foundation planted by my parents, and the parents of my classmates were strengthened by the Holy Ghost Fathers, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Sisters of Charity who believed in us. They knew our ability to learn and in spite of rumors circulated about us by those unfamiliar with the black community in the 1930s and 1940s, they gave us their undying support and inspiration.

From that foundation came priests, brothers, women religious and parents who all were examples of faith and service. To God be the Glory!

Mary Purcell
The writer is a parishioner of St. Mark the Evangelist in Harlem.