Imagine being that child in Mark’s Gospel today being taken by the hand of Jesus and placed in the midst of his 12 disciples, listening to Jesus teaching an important lesson about servant leadership, about how one must be “the last of all.” Was this child frightened, being summoned by Jesus, and put in front of a group of men? Did the child feel comfort and peace from the divine Grace flowing through this great Teacher? Perhaps the child didn’t quite understand what was being discussed and waited to be dismissed so he could run outside and play? As for the Twelve, did this lesson help them look at children differently? Did they understand that children, too, must be welcomed in Jesus’s name? Did the Twelve understand that the young are true gifts from God and they need to be formed in the faith as well?
Jesus instructs the Twelve, as well as all of us, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” When I hear this Gospel, I think of the work we do in our parish school. For decades the parish elementary school and high school, have helped thousands of students in partnership with their parents to know of God’s love for them, and that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to bring us all salvation and eternal life. Our parish school is a blessing to so many and I am so grateful to be a part of it.
For the past seven years, I have been very blessed to be a part of a very specific part of our school, our parish high school. Back in February 2017, we made the decision to phase out the high school grade levels of our parish school due to demographic trends informing us there is not enough demand for a small Catholic high school. I am grateful that our parish decided to phase out the high school over two years instead of just shutting it down. As a parish community didn’t just send the high school students and families away, but we call them our own and rally around them to ensure they, too, will be a St. Benedict graduate. To all of our parishioners, alumni and friends, thank you for supporting them in your prayers and with your generosity. If you only knew how so many lives have been positively impacted. Our community “received these children” in Jesus’s name – and I have faith that God will continue to bless our community in return.
This school year we will be graduating our 65th and final senior class. We are not going to phase out the high school quietly and sweep it under a rug. Rather, we have planned a year-long celebration of the gift of our parish high school. For 69 years, the high school has been bringing teenage children to know God’s love for them. Our parish has been serving these young people for almost 7 decades, and that is something for which to be proud. From Father Fasnacht, the founder of the high school, to the School Sisters of St. Francis who dedicated their lives to teaching young people to the current faculty and staff today, we celebrate all those who dedicated themselves to the educational and faith formation of our parish and neighborhood teens.
I’d also like to thank all those who gave so generously to the high school in terms time, talent and treasure. There are several donors who lovingly gave tens of thousands of dollars to support the high school in its last two decades. Please know that your generosity made a difference in the lives of so many young men and women. I wish you could know all their stories – your hearts would be moved. Your generosity and legacy will continue to bear fruit; the parish educational endowment will continue to support our parish families who desire at St. Benedict education for their K-8 child.
Finally, we know that high school alumni have been asking about the plans for the final year of the high school. We are pleased to share with you a year-long series of events that celebrate the St. Benedict High School spirit and hope you all feel moved to attend some or all of the events. We also ask our parishioners and alumni to share this information with other St. Benedict alumni who may no longer be a part of the parish, but who have St. Benedict forever as a part of their hearts.
Besides marking these dates on your calendar, we are also looking for committee members to help organize and promote these events. We already have faculty/staff dedicated to chair these events, but we know they will be so much more successful with the loving help from parishioners and alumni. This year we are celebrating all aspects which made our parish high school program a well-regarded program for decades: music, drama, art, sports, travel and more. If there is an event that excites you, please reach out to the staff member below and inquire how you might assist. You don’t need to sign up for all events – just the one or two that really appeals to you. And then, invite your St. Benedict classmates and friends. Let’s have a great year of celebrations so that we can give our beloved parish high school a proper “send-off” which it deserves. Will you help?
Please see the following summary of events and the chair people whom to contact. I look forward to celebrating this last precious year with all of you.
Year Long Calendar of Events
The Administration and Staff of St. Benedict High School invite you to a number of events to celebrate the High School legacy during this 2018-19 school year. Please mark your calendars and join us! All alumni are especially welcome for these events!
Monthly: Join us for 8:30 Mass every third Tuesday, followed by coffee and continental breakfast, and a tour beginning on October 16th. Able to join us, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Annual Memorial Mass for our Deceased Faculty and Students on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at the noon Mass followed by reception and tours of the high school. Presentations of our endowment scholarship awards will take place at the reception.
• Secondary Christmas Show – December 5, 2018 – Invite some alumni – come and sing, perform Looking to have 5 alumni acts – Christmas music – join the band
• Girls Basketball and Boys Tournament on Saturday of Catholic Schools Week – Saturday, Feb 2, 2019 -- Alumni Hall of Fame – one person from each decade
• Art Fair to showcase Carol Molenda and any alum who want to display their work May 18-19, 2019(tentative)
• Tour Italy 2019 – April 26 to May 6, 2019
• Celebrating 69 Years of Blessings: June 2nd Noon Mass followed by luncheon, memorabilia display, walk the halls, one last group picture.
We're Looking for Alumni to Help us with the Planning!
A group of faculty and staff have come together to plan the above events and more to ensure a great year ahead to celebrate the HS legacy. If interested in helping out please connect with the following:
Alumni Memorial Mass: Joe Accardi jaccardi@ stbenedict.com
Christmas Show: Rachel Gemo email@example.com
Alumni Basketball Tournament: Amanda Genge '11 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner: Joe Accardi email@example.com
Spring Art Show: Jackie (Stevenson) Stancin '02 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2nd Celebration: Jean (Bahr) Hybinette '72 email@example.com