Students assist Cardinal Rigali Thursday in the blessing of a cross at the new Pope John Paul II High School in Royersford.

Students assist Cardinal Rigali in the blessing of a cross Thursday at the new Pope John Paul II High School in Royersford.

One of two steel beams signed by students.

One of two beams signed by students.

ROYERSFORD PA – On the fourth anniversary of his death, the new Roman Catholic high school being erected in the name of Pope John Paul II was topped Thursday (April 2, 2009) by a specially blessed cross and steel beams signed by students who will be the first to graduate from the facility.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, arrived at the site of the future Pope John Paul II High School, 181 Rittenhouse Rd. at 9 a.m. to bless a cross as part of the completion of steel framing for the building.

During the blessing ceremony, two steel beams also were presented that had been signed by the freshman and sophomore classes of St. Pius X High School in Pottstown PA and Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School in Norristown PA.

The cross is raised into place.

The cross is raised into place.

The signed beams, according to Kevin Mulligan, the Archdiocese’s associate director for communications, demonstrate the unity of the two schools as they merge when Pope John Paul II High School opens in September 2010.

Later Thursday afternoon, following the ceremony, Cardinal Rigali  celebrated Mass in Philadelphia at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to mark the anniversary of the pope’s death.

The new high school is one of several named for the revered pontiff. Others are located in Hendersonville TN, Boca Raton FL, Hyannis MA, and Slidell LA.

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