FROM THE PRINCIPAL: Last month I wrote about my gratitude for the quality and faithfulness of the fifty-year marriage of Erv and Pat Mueller, my parents. I reported that Dad found out on New Year's Eve that lung cancer would soon end his life -- eight years after a stroke challenged him to learn again how to swallow, speak, and move.
To paraphrase Paul Harvey, now you will know…the rest of the story. It is the story of as beautiful and blessed a death as I could hope to have when my time comes.
Dad came home under Hospice care a few days after the diagnosis. His hospital bed, angled for a good view of the television, took the place of the dining room table. As his five children and their children visited day by day, we said to each other that Dad did not look like a dying man, though he seemed weaker. All of us, even my sister Jane from Florida and my brother Paul from Chicago, gathered for Mom's birthday on January 12. As usual when we get together, we ate and ate. We joked that the Hospice nurse would write in her report, "Patient abused by family members who eat like locusts and will not leave. House littered with scraps of chicken wings and banana cream pie." Dad took everything in during Mom's birthday party, and he talked as much as his energy would allow. When we asked him if he wanted us to clear out, he said no. But when he didn't join in singing "Happy Birthday," a feat he always managed for everyone despite the stroke, we saw it as a telling sign. This was tough for Mom.
The signs became clearer on the afternoon of January 17. The children and most of the grandchildren again gathered at Mom and Dad's condo. We reminisced, talked with Dad and Mom, watched old home movies, flipped through photo albums, and, well, ate again. As it grew dark, Dad's breathing became labored. He began to say Hail Marys. We joined hands around the bed and joined him in prayer, being more mindful than ever before about the phrase "pray for us now and at the hour of our death." Several times his breathing stopped for ten seconds or so, but eventually his breathing returned to rhythm, and he fell asleep. We talked some more, ate some more, and went home, leaving Jane to spend the night with Mom and Dad. This evening became known as "the dress rehearsal."
We were all back by noon on Saturday. The bill of fare was an appetizer tray from a restaurant and a deli tray. Dad ate a little and talked a little but mostly rested as the room filled up with his children and grandchildren and their conversation and jokes. Dad seemed to want us to hold his hand, and we took turns throughout the rest of the day. His grasp with his left hand -- the hand that had had to do the work of two since the stroke -- was strong. Paul, the Jesuit, celebrated a viaticum Mass at Dad's bedside at 1:30. It was hard to hear Paul tell Dad, very tenderly, "Dad, we think you're dying. We don't know when. But we want to have Mass with you and give you the special blessings of the Church at this time." We received communion with Dad. He received the Blood of Christ from a medicine dropper.
Lois and Dan brought a pot of chili around 5:00. By then, Dad's breathing had grown more labored, just like the night before. We pulled chairs into a circle around Dad's bed, and we talked about how it reminded us of the circle of beach chairs that all of us formed every afternoon during our week at Garden City Beach each summer, a tradition started by Dad. Periodically he said Hail Marys. When he did, we rose to circle his bed, join hands, and pray with him as we had the night before. At 7:30 the three grandchildren from Florida arrived from the airport and told Grandpa that they loved him, and he let them know that he loved them. By this time, his breathing was fast and shallow, and he could not talk. My eleven-year-old daughter held his hand. Mom hugged him. Unable now to return her hug or to talk, he did what he could: he puckered for a kiss. Mom told him that God was right next to him and that it was all right for him to go. We assured him through our tears that we would take care of Mom. He opened his eyes wide, gasped, and was gone.
My brother Dan noticed that his right hand, clenched like a cramped and painful claw since his stroke, was now loose and relaxed.
We cried and hugged each other. We kissed him. Paul led us in prayers of the Church around his body. After the prayers of the Church, we added, "Saint Erv…Pray for us." Five minutes later, we took glasses, formed a family circle around his body once more, and toasted him and his wonderful life.
The whole family -- Mom, the children, and the grandchildren -- had dinner together for eight nights in a row before, during, and after Dad died. The locusts simply moved from one house to the next.
Since Dad's death, I have reflected on some of the lessons that I learned from watching him live:
"Take the bull by the horns." Dad invoked this motto as a prelude to administering discipline to his children when it was called for. It translates into "Do the right thing, even when it is painful to you."
Have special respect and care for women, especially the women in your family. Dad doted on Mom. He had a soft spot for his daughters. After all, they were not bulls who needed to be taken by the horns. He cared for his mother. After my grandfather died, Dad regularly and faithfully called his mother and visited her and took care of her house and her finances. Even the timing of his life suggests a strong connection with his mother: he was born on her birthday and died six days after the anniversary of her death. Until Dad was dying, I was not aware of his devotion to Mary through the Hail Mary. Mary's intercession was evident in the peace and beauty of his death.
Keep cold drafts off of the back of your neck. 'Nuff said.
The best giants are gentle giants. Dad was a big man, but he was never loud, confrontational, or manipulative. He never called undue attention to himself. He led by quiet example. He kept a sense of humor -- even throughout the aftermath of the stroke. People liked to be around him and followed his example.
Put your stamp on your house. Dad made handyman improvements to every house he lived in: a finished attic, a patio roof, a shed, basement cabinets. He took satisfaction in making his house his own.
Find a kid magnet. Dad loved being with his family. He worked at discovering ways to lure his children and grandchildren to be together with him and Mom. When we children were small, he did it by surprising us with a tent. When we were a little older, it was a pop-up camper trailer. A little older still, and it was golf and tennis outings. He struck gold when he decided to put in a backyard above-ground pool. The pool led to weekly Sunday picnics in the summer. When some of his children had children of their own, he developed the water theme further by initiating an annual family week at the beach.
Grow in the hands of God. Dad took risks to grow in his early life. He left home to board at the minor seminary at 14. He was drafted into the army in the closing months of World War II. He changed jobs to grow in his profession as an accountant. He tried limburger and onion smeared on rye -- and liked it. Paul pointed out in his homily at Dad's funeral that both Mom and Dad grew enormously in the eight years since his stroke. Dad, the big, strong, athletic man, progressively accepted being completely dependent on Mom. His growth crested in his last breaths, as he trusted Mom -- and the mercy of God that she embodied for him -- when she told him that it was okay for him to go. Mom grew, too. Before the stroke, she lived somewhat in Dad's shadow. During the eight years after the stroke, she developed the capacity to be his full-time caregiver. For four of those years she cared for both Dad and her 90-year-old mother in a two-bedroom condo. She learned patience when Grandma periodically accused Dad of faking the stroke so that he would get more attention. Mom learned to conduct speech and physical therapy for Dad, manage their finances, and negotiate auto and home purchases. In his homily, Paul conceded that he has prayed "the prayer of the shaken fist" frequently since Dad's stroke. The answer to his prayer, he said, was his discernment that God's grace had brought from the stroke growth and fulfillment for Mom and Dad. The stroke, terrible as it was, made each of them more complete as persons and strengthened their faithfulness to each other. Dying well, like living well, can be hard and scary; but it can be done. I know this because I have seen Dad do it.
Dad's wake and funeral, like his death, were beautiful, though emotionally wrenching. I am overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of so many people who have supported my family and me as we try to get used to this world without Dad in it. People have told me that my relationship with Dad, though changed, will continue. A colleague who was the director of our partner Jesuit high school in Barcelona tells me that my communication with Dad will deepen. God will bring about the Resurrection in His time. I am open to intimations of the Resurrection unfolding in quiet surprising moments, and out of the corner of my eye.
BE A HOST FAMILY for one month for one of ten students from Collegi Casp, our partner Jesuit school in Barcelona, who will attend St. Xavier during September 2003. This will be the ninth year for this extraordinarily successful program. The one-month duration of the stay means that the burden on the host families is not excessive. The boys, 17-year-olds, are selected from among many applicants. A Jesuit faculty member from Collegi Casp accompanies them. The boys take a full schedule of courses at St. Xavier. They speak English well enough so that communication is not a problem. Each year, Collegi Casp reciprocates by inviting a number of St. Xavier host students to attend a two-week summer camp in the Pyrenees.
CONGRATULATIONS:The Aquabombers won their 47th consecutive GCL championship.
Marc Luff earned an invitation to the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston by achieving the best ergometer score in the country so far this year.
Alex Weber received the Lighthouse Vision Award for service to people with special needs.
Jesse Batsche has been named one of 2600 candidates in the 2003 Presidential Scholars Program. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leaedership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities.
Mr. Michael Daley organized the seventh lecture in the school's Diversity Lecture Series, which began in the fall of 2000. Dr. Diana L. Hayes, professor of systematic theology at Georgetown University, presented the lecture "We've Come This Far by Faith: The Faith Journey of Black Catholics in the U.S."
Mr. Michael Daley published "The Altar: The Church's Dinner Table" in the January, 2003 issue of Religion Teacher's Journal and "Stations of the Cross: Walking in the Lord's Footsteps" in the February, 2003 issue. He also published "The Answer is a Good Night's Sleep" in the January 17, 2003 issue of National Catholic Reporter.
The following students participated in the March For Life in Washington, D.C.: Joe Tomlinson, Nick Curl, James Sand, Stephen Poon, David Poon, Chris Tracy, Frank Hollencamp, Dan Arozarena, Jonathan Mueller, Stephen Dienger, Michael Sweeney, Andy Blankemeyer, Jim Maloney, Jacob Schlater, Michael Herrmann, Zach Hinger, Patrick Greve, Chuck Day, Martin Schroeder, Matt Grote, Evan Webelar, Andrew Sweeney, Patrick Maloney, Jeff Bigner, Steve Sagel, and Andy Louis. The students were accompanied by Mrs. Karen Mueller, Mr. Michael Daley, and Mr. Bill Schlater.
INCOMING FRESHMEN: Placement Day for math, english grammar and foreign language will be held on Saturday, April 12th. The math and english grammar tests are mandatory for all incoming freshman and the language test is optional for any students who have taken a year of a foreign language. Please look for the details in the packet you receive in the mail. Any further questions please call Joyce Vogt - Math (761-7815 ext 360) or Greg Lamping - Foreign Language (761-7815 ext 272), or the Principal's office (761-7815 ext. 177).
FROM CAMPUS MINISTRY: Just a reminder: If your son will be required to take any type of medication on his retreat this year, he (or you) should obtain the proper form from Donna Moore in the Assistant Principal's Office. This form should be returned to her in advance of the retreat. Thank you.
Attention Junior Parents: The April 8-11 Kairos retreat has openings for 30 juniors. If your son is interested in going on Kairos, this is a great opportunity to go early. Applications will be available during the last week of February and first week of March; your son should listen to the daily announcements for details. Please note…a student must have completed his Junior retreat prior to March to be eligible to go on Kairos as a Junior.
THEATRE XAVIER- NOTES and NEWS – SPRING PRODUCTION:
The final Theatre Xavier production of the 2002-03 season has officially begun. Thanks to all the talented students who came out to audition for the musical. This spring TX is returning to an old favorite, GODSPELL, by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. An adaptation of the gospel according to Matthew, GODSPELL always has a special impact on audience and performers alike. It holds a special significance for us involved with TX. GODSPELL opened Xavier Hall, the first show in the new facility back in the spring of 1986 with Steve Bolte (`86) in the role of Christ. We revisited GODSPELL in 1992 with Kevin Kern (`92) as Jesus. Now, 11 years later, it will be the last production to be mounted in Xavier Hall. A cast of 40 performs a modern retelling of Christ’s life and teachings.
Jeff Behrends shepherds the cast as Student Director. Mike Sherman `03 takes center stage as Jesus. Shane Murphy `03 tackles the split character John the Baptist/Judas. Other principal cast members portraying Christ’s Disciples are seniors Ben Schmidlin, Zak Kirchner, Eric Frye, Julie Dolan (Sycamore), junior Betsy Holt (Villa Madonna Academy), and sophomores Nikki Michaelson (Finneytown), Anne Valuri (Walnut Hills), and Becca Dorff (Ursuline). Male company members include seniors Adam Hampel, Mark Kinne, Matt Mauntel, Nathan Rudy, juniors Matt Borths, J.P. Carter, Jimmy England, and Nick Wolterman, sophomores Rick Coffey and Stephen Gunn, freshmen Carson Haynes and Drew Perkins, and Zach Stewart, a 5th grader from Blessed Sacrament. Female company members include seniors Linzie Griewe (SCPA), Senior Jessica Rothert (SCPA), juniors Katie Grant (Villa Madonna), Katherine Hart (McAuley), Emily Mustard (Ursuline), Caitlan Sherman (St. Ursula), Ann Shikany (St. Ursula), sophomores Ariel Kirchner (St. Ursula), Kristen Robinson (Ursuline), Genna Santen (Mercy), Elise Turner (Ursuline), Beth Ann Wietmarschen (McAuley), Katie Woodruff (St. Ursula), freshmen Erin Lange (Ursuline), Anna Sherman (5th grader, Immaculate Heart of Mary) and Julia Vonderhide ( 2nd grader, Holmes Elementary). Senior Tom Robinson, as Student Producer, is joined by Production Assistants David Kraynik, Chris Burke, and House Manager Colin Heidel. Building crewmen Joe Kluener, Danny Ketzer, Brian Fraley, David Shenz, and Jen Crooker (McAuley senior) and other upperclassmen will lead a crew of 50 or so in building the set and assisting in set component design. Lighting Crewmen Justin Rigling, Sam Corbo, Brandon Schamer, and Corey Philips, with sound designer Rob Thiemann will create special moods and sounds necessary for the show’s atmosphere. Katie Olinger and Maggie Rechel, Ursuline Academy seniors, share the costume crew leadership positions this year. Vesper Williams, Ian Beckman and others assist them. Properties managers Jessie Beckman and Jessica Lennard (Ursuline seniors) spark the creativity of Andrew Segal, John Kroeger, Zach Lee, and Kristen Denier (Ursuline junior).
GODSPELL opens on Thursday, April 3, and runs Friday April 4, Saturday April 5, Thursday April 10, Friday April 11, and Saturday April 12. Curtain is at 7:30 and all tickets are $8.00. All seats are reserved. You may mail your order in on the enclosed flyer, or phone in your order at (513) 761-7815, ext. 586, for more information please contact Ms. Mascari at ext. 585.
Come, fall under the “spell of God” and see GODSPELL and support the talents and efforts of TX performers and crew.
FROM THE COMMUNITY SERVICE DEPARTMENT: Mission Trip interviews will take place on March 3 and March 4. We anticipate more applications than we have spots available. Parents and students are reminded that it is the policy of St. Xavier High School that no qualified student be denied participation on a Mission Trip due to financial concerns. Students should stop by the Community Service Office with questions.
SENIOR SOUVENIR MUGS: Orders are now being taken for the Class of 2003 Souvenir Mugs. They are 28 oz. White Ceramic Tankards with the ST. X ROYAL BLUE logo, and can be personalized with the graduate’s name or initials – all for $12.00 (tax included). A great graduation gift! You may place your order at the Bookstore or call 761-7815, ext. 705. Deadline for orders is March 30th.
NATIONAL LATIN EXAM: The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League, will be administered at St. Xavier according to the following schedule: On Thursday, March 13, a late-start X day, the exam will be administered to 117 Latin I and II students in Rooms 158-160 during the first forty-five minutes of period 4 beginning at 12:34 P.M. On Friday, March 14, a late-start Y day, the exam will be administered to 55 Latin III, IV, and V students in Rooms 158-160 during the first forty-five minutes of period 5 beginning at 12:34 P.M. Students are to bring a soft #2 pencil only. The Latin instructors wish the participants good luck.
TUITION ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP: The St. Xavier High School Business Office will host an informative tuition assistance workshop on Wednesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Rooms 158/160 to all incoming freshmen parents and current St. Xavier families interested in applying for financial assistance. The purpose of the workshop is to walk through the PSAS (Private School Aid Service) packet step-by-step and to answer questions. Please RSVP to Rod Hinton at 761-7815 extension 106 by Monday, March 24th.
FROM THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT - College Majors Interest Inventory and Junior Questionnaire: Counselors began meeting with their juniors in February to discuss the results of the College Majors Interest Inventory. Juniors also received a questionnaire that is to be filled out and returned to the student's counselor by March 14. This questionnaire provides insights into the thoughts, values, and aspirations of the student and a listing of the student's school and community extracurricular activities. The questionnaire is a vital resource used by counselors in writing personal letters of recommendation for students during the senior year. It is also an excellent preparatory exercise for the student in responding to some typical questions asked on many college applications.
JESUIT COLLEGES VISIT ST. X: Juniors will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from 16 Jesuit colleges and universities on the morning of Wednesday, March 12. This program is an excellent start to the college decision-making process and offers the chance for all juniors to quickly receive a broad range of facts on a large number of excellent schools.
SENIORS' COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS: Parents should be consulting with their son about the 20 scholarship bulletins that have been published as of February 14. In addition to the school's scholarship bulletins, seniors have been advised and shown both book and computer databases of scholarship information available in the St. Xavier library, providing information on thousands of scholarships. Although the vast majority of seniors have completed the college application process, there may remain a few who have not. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their son his application status. Reminder: the Guidance Department must be given two weeks processing time on any application that a student brings to his counselor.
SAT II SUBJECT TESTS: Juniors and Sophomores currently considering applying to highly selective colleges are strongly advised to determine whether any of these schools require SAT II subject tests. Questions? See your guidance counselor for additional information.
PARENT NETWORK: Join us as Marianne McGrath M.D., Adolescent Psychiatrist, presents a lively discussion on "Sibling Rivalry." Join us as Dr. McGrath shares some tips on how to keep balance in our homes and in our families! Mark your calendars now to join us on Tuesday, March 11th from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Room 158. If you have any questions, call Carol Morgan at 761-7815 ext. 281or Karen Mueller at 923-4143.
ATHLETICS: The Annual Stag with Oscar
Robertson was a tremendous success. Thanks to all who attended and all
who spent countless hours in preparation for this great evening. Thanks
to Tom Fessel and all the Booster Club members for their support and help
at the Stag.
REMINDER: MEDICAL FORMS – Students who will be participating in spring sports are reminded that medical forms must be on file before they can begin practice.
Golf tryouts will take place the week of August 4-8. Information will be available for incoming freshmen at the Class of ’07 Orientation evenings this Spring – the Principal’s Office will send you information soon. At those meetings, we will pass out information about recommended tournaments and other tips for preparing for tryouts. See you then! Questions? Please call Brian Shircliff (761-7815 ext. 418).
MUSIC PROMOTERS NEWS OF NOTE: Third Quarter Concert: You are cordially invited to attend the Third Quarter Concert on Thursday, March 20 at 7:00 PM in the Intramural Gym Lobby. The Lab Jazz Band, the Freshman Studio Ensemble, the Sophomore Studio Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble will all contribute to a delightful evening of musical entertainment. Please join us to celebrate the musical achievements of our sons this quarter.
Music Promoters Meeting: The Music Promoters will meet on Tuesday March 11 at 7:00 in the Band Room. We finalize plans for the remainder of the 02/03 academic year and begin to plan for the 03/04 year. We will start to take nominations for the officers for next year. This is a great opportunity to get involved with Music at St. X. All are welcome.
Chorus Competition: The Chorus will participate in an OMEA competition March 13 and 14. We wish them good luck and high scores.
Palm Sunday Concert: On Palm Sunday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Bernard Church, the combined choirs of Roger Bacon, St. Ursula and ST. XAVIER with the St. Xavier Strings will perform MOZART’S Missa Brevis in Bb K275. The mass was written when Mozart was 21 years old. It was part of the last group of pieces he wrote for his home town, Salzburg. There is no admission charge.
Also on April 4 [Friday] St. Xavier Strings will take part in a special concert at NKU in honor of composer Philip Koplow. St. Xavier is the only high school invited to perform.
MOTHERS’ CLUB MESSAGES: Our plans for DAY OF RECOLLECTION are being finalized. PARKING IS VERY LIMITED due to construction at St. X and it is necessary for our guests to park at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 7000 Winton Road. Shuttle buses will run starting at 8:30 a.m. and run continuously until 3:00 p.m. We hope you are planning to join us for this day of reflection and preparation as we begin Lent. Our speaker is Matthew Kelly. He is a Catholic author and international speaker. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of the new gym. There will be time for Reconciliation and a recitation of the rosary. Our day will conclude with Mass at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel. Please see the insert for more details.
Our annual Spring Potluck Dinner and Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 16th from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. You will have the opportunity to socialize and meet St. X moms while enjoying a wonderful assortment of appetizers, salads, and desserts. Mr. Mueller will speak and a short general membership meeting will take place. The bookstore will be open from 6-9 with a large selection of spirit wear and St. X gifts. St. X jewelry and boutique items will be available for sale. Details can be found on the enclosed flier. Please complete and return the reservation form. Feel free to mention this date to any mothers of eighth graders who will be attending St. X in the fall. They will receive fliers in April and are encouraged to attend. Call Maria Quehl (759-5474) or Jane Gruber (232-6941) if you have questions.
We are thankful to all women who responded to our requests for nominations for the 2006 Mothers’ Club Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity to be of service to your son’s school and enjoy the camaraderie of the many wonderful volunteers at St. X. Anyone submitting information will be notified in May of the results. The new directors’ names will be published in the June newsletter. All nominations will be held confidentially in the event of future board vacancies. Freshman mothers and guardians are sincerely encouraged to participate in this process of becoming a board member. A Mothers’ Club board diverse in background and geographical area will serve St. Xavier well. Board members are routinely asked to give St. X their priority, energy and leadership. If you would like to discuss this in further detail, please call Debbie Federle (683-4448), Mothers’ Club President, or any current board member (names and numbers are listed at the beginning of your student directory).
Boutique Workshops will be held on Wednesday, March 19th and 26th from 10-2 in the Barrett Center. We will begin work on some of the many hand -crafted items for the holiday boutique. There is a job for everyone from the “very skilled” to the "I’m willing to learn." Future workshops will be held on April 2,9,16 and 30 and all Wednesdays in May. Mark your calendar and plan to join us.
MOTHERS’ CLUB CALENDAR:
Wednesday, March 5th - DAY OF RECOLLECTION BEGINS AT 8:45 A.M. in Theatre X
Monday, March 17th – Mothers’ Club Mass 9:00 a.m. Chapel of the Holy Companions ALL ARE WELCOME!
Wednesday April 16th Pot Luck Supper/General Membership
Meeting in the school cafeteria begins at 6:30
The Montgomery Women’s Club
31st Annual Antiques Show & Sale
March 15 & 16, 2002
Saturday: 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Sycamore High School
Admission $6.00 (good both days)
Provides scholarships for Montgomery student residents.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR APRIL
Apr 3 Late X Day
Apr 3, 4, 5 TX Performance
Apr 4 Late Y Day
Apr 10,11,12 TX Performance
Apr 14 Y Day
Apr 15 X Day
Apr 18 - 25 Spring Break
Apr 28 Classes Resume
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2002-03 CALENDAR
August 19,21 Freshman Orientation
August 22 First Day of Classes
October 22-24 Exams
November 26-28 Thanksgiving Vacation
Dec. 22 - Jan. 3 Christmas Vacation
January 14-16 Exams
March 24-26 Exams
April 9-16 Spring Vacation
June 2 Graduation
June 2-4 Exams
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