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Two Catholic schools rise from the ashes of historic wildfire

St. Rose Catholic School and Cardinal Newman High School share ongoing recovery from devastating 2017 Tubbs Fire

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In the early morning of October 9, 2017, the Tubbs wildfire exploded across the landscape of Santa Rosa, California. Fueled by high winds and dry conditions, it was the most destructive wildfire in California history at that time. Cardinal Newman High School and Saint Rose Catholic School were in its path and reduced to ashes.

What happened next was Biblical. Like the stories in Scripture where all is lost, the faithful came together to ensure all was restored. The community of Santa Rosa came together, wrapped its arms around its children, and started rebuilding. Learning continued for both schools, though dispersed at locations across the county. Portable classrooms were next, then new or rebuilt classrooms opened.

At the five year anniversary of the fire, Cardinal Newman High School and St. Rose Catholic School are hosting a "Gathering with Gratitude." The Gathering will include Mass at 10:00 a.m. in the Cardinal Newman gym, reflections, a dedication to a statue of St. Angela Merici, a BBQ lunch, and Open Houses for both schools. Families from both schools and area first responders will be invited to attend.

"Loss brings love to the surface. Santa Rosa was hurt; we were grieving and feeling lost. Where would we even start? Yet, love showed up and got us all moving in the same direction. Love for one another, love from afar, love from prayer," explained Cardinal Newman President, Dr. Linda Norman. "We want to thank our community for that outpouring of love. Our service will mark a solemn event and recognize the grace and gifts that followed."

"At the fifth anniversary, we continue to recover and remain grateful for the community who supported us following the loss," said Saint Rose Principal Kathleen Aymar. "As devastating as the fire was, it revealed the importance and strength of community. It showcased what can be done together, with cooperation, and out of love for one another and our children. Our gathering honors that part of the tragedy, where it turned in the direction of triumph."

Dr. Norman and Ms. Aymar kept a file over four inches thick of letters, donations, prayers, and cards from all over the world that came in following the fire.

Dan Dougherty
(707) 546-6470 x 123

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SOURCE Cardinal Newman High School

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