By Paul Kurtz

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — It was a field trip today that many students, staff, and teachers at a newly formed Catholic regional school won’t forget.

This summer’s merger of two schools — St. Bede the Venerable in Holland, Pa. and Assumption BVM in Feasterville — led to the creation of the St. Katherine Drexel Regional School.

This morning, the student body got to learn all about their new namesake, during a mass over the St. Katherine shrine in Bensalem.

(Msgr. John Marine.)

Msgr. John Marine (right) says the event was designed to signal the official beginning of a new venture.

“We thought there was no better way to begin this whole thing than to invoke the blessings of our patroness,” he said.  “I told the children I can’t think of any other school that actually would be able to have the beginning of their school happen over the tomb of their patroness.  It’s a very unique situation.”

Many of the students are still making the transition, but so far so good.

“At first I didn’t really love it, but then I grew to like it because I realized it was a better idea than I thought it would be,” said eighth-grader Kylie Menarde, 13 (near right).  “There’s just a lot more people. It’s a different environment now.”

“Yeah, it’s better — there’s more people to talk to,” said fellow eighth-grader Kyle Nefferdorf (far right), also 13.

The new regional school has a K-8 student population of 383.