God Bless Our New Courtyard

Bishop to Bless Courtyard Sept. 16
Posted on 09/06/2021
There will be a blessing and Siouxland Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting of the new outdoor Crusader Courtyard and Mary's Place on Thursday, September 16 at 1:45 p.m. at Bishop Heelan High School.

Heelan students and faculty will break from class for the event to hear comments from the student council president and other speakers. Bishop R. Walker Nickless will bless the courtyard and Mary's shrine, and Chamber ambassadors will cut the ribbon.

The addition of an outdoor learning and community space strengthens Heelan student experiences as well as covid safety measures. It offers an area for class discussions, lunches, meetings, music practices, socializing and boarding busses for school competitions for Heelan’s 500 students.

The new courtyard was created following construction of the fieldhouse which was completed in late 2019. 

“When Covid-19 struck last school year, it really hit home that we needed an area for students and others to gather safely outdoors,’ says Dr. John Flanery, BHCS president. “We are incredibly grateful for donor and community support.”

Larry Walsh, a Heelan graduate and grandfather of BHCS students, led the vision for the courtyard upon seeing an unused area after Heelan’s fieldhouse addition was completed.

Supporters created the courtyard with foundation fill, terraced concrete, retaining walls, hand railings and landscaping. Volunteer project manager Terry Hegarty worked with five companies to make the courtyard a reality. It has been fully funded by donors and a grant from the foundation for Knife River and Jebro.

Alumni classes and friends are sponsoring outdoor tables and benches to furnish the terrace. It will also be a project for Bishop Heelan in the Siouxland Big Give, an online day of giving for local non-profits on Oct. 5.
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