Friday, January 30, 2009

A Win-Win Situation -- On and off the court.

Catholic Memorial High School (CMH) has received a grant of $35,000 to implement the Project Lead the Way engineering program. The grant is made possible through the Kern Family Foundation.
The Kern Family Foundation’s mission includes the objectives of enhancing the lives of others by promoting educational excellence as well as high quality, innovative engineering talent. The Foundation’s partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is one significant program area that fulfills this mission to increase the quantity and quality of U.S. engineering talent.
Project Lead the Way is a non‐profit organization focused on introducing and preparing middle and high school students for engineering and technical careers of the future. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, institutions of higher education and the private sector to increase opportunities for students in engineering and technical fields. Particularly, PLTW provides a high rigor, project‐based curriculum meeting national science and math standards, professional development for teachers and guidance counselors and a comprehensive national support network. PLTW courses are accessible to college‐bound engineering students as well as students who may not have thought of college and a career in a technical field. The courses aim to instill problem‐solving, teamwork, communication and leadership skills in students as well as help them.

In my effort to make sure I attend an event of every sports team at least once, tonight I watched our Varsity Girls' Basketball team in their victory over Waukesha South.

Earlier today, the girls team, as well as our hockey players, attended daily mass. Since I arrived I have tried to use each of the Friday daily masses (6:55am in the Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel) as a chance for me to pray and celebrate the Eucharist with one of the sports teams.

That's CMH -- faith, academics, and extra-curriculars. Congratulations to our varsity Girls team, good luck to the Hockey teams who will compete tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Catholic Memorial holding Italian dinner

Community members are invited to the Catholic Memorial High School Booster Club’s 21st annual Italian dinner from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the school cafeteria, 601 E. College Ave., Waukesha

The meal will be catered by Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Brookfield and will include chicken marsala, penne pacchiu, Caesar salad and bread. Dine-in and carry-out is available. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12.50 for senior citizens, $10 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for children under 3.

For more information, call Catholic Memorial at 542-7101.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Student Reflections on the March for Life.

Wow! Four blog posts in one day. This last one is worth it the overload.

I asked the group of students who traveled to Washington, DC for the March for Life to share some of their reflections about the trip. Here are snippets from the first few that have come in -

For me, the best memory from my trip to DC was praying the rosary outside the Supreme Court. It was moving to look around at my surroundings and be so close to all the historic buildings and powerful people inside of them. We had said a rosary earlier in the trip, but being in front of the Supreme Court changed the mood for me and made the challenge of abortion seem more real. It was really special to be able to pray with my classmates who were all praying for a common cause which we all feel strongly about: protecting life at risk.

I can't believe how many young people were there marching, and how many people in general.

It is such a unique experience. If you really want to feel like you're making a difference in the fight against abortion I strongly suggest you make the trip.

My best memory is experiencing the presence of so many Pro-Life people together, marching to promote the sanctity of life.

It is something I will never forget, and seeing that many people working for what you believe in is an experience that everyone should have the chance to participate in.

CMH "linked" the the Franciscan Sisters

Sister Mary Ann Spanjers, Vocations Directress of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity (aka, the Manitowoc Franciscans) who staffed CMH for more than fifty years, has mentioned us in her blog.

Recall, that Sr. Mary Ann was here at CMH yesterday (up until the water main break) for the Vocations Awareness Panel.

Be sure to check out her blog!

Catholic Schools Week Mass with WCSS

The CMH InPro Center fills up with over 1500 students, faculty, staff, and families from both CMH, and Waukesha Catholic School System.

Fr. Paul Hartmann, President of CMH was the celebrant and homilist. Concelebrating at the mass were Fr. Jason Lavan, associate pastor of St. William's and pastors' delegate to WCSS; Fr. Jim Volkert, Pastor of St. Mary's and CMH Board Member; Fr. Len Barbian, Pastor of St. Williams; Fr. Bill Key, Pastor of St. Joe's; Fr. Jim Loehr, Pastor of St. John Neuman and former CMH principal; Fr. Dick Robinson, Pastor of St. Joe's, Big Bend; and Fr. Nate Reesman, associate pastor of St. Mary Visitation, and CMH Board member. Deacon Scott Campbell of St. William's assisted at the altar.

Choirs and musicians from both schools added to the celebrations. A special thanks to the CMH Mothers' Club for the treats offered to all the kids (young and older) after the mass.

Below, some of our senior were there to help the 4-yr old kindergarten students throughout the mass.

Proof that yesterday was a slow news day.

CMH's leaky pipe in the news...

The first one on the scene --

The second truck to pull up --
On station sent its helicopter --
The print media did not want to be left out --
Someone asked if we were the reason that the Freeman was not published yesterday. Sorry, no.

CBS 58 sent a cameraman, but we don't seem to be on their website. There must be a cat stuck in a tree somewhere.

Proof that yesterday was a slow news day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, what a day!

There was no class on this in the seminary. Shortly before 7:00 am this morning, the maintenance man from St. Mary's came over to tell us that a stream of water is flowing from our property unto, and down the hill of Hartwell Avenue. You guessed it, we had a water main break!

Once the plumbing contractor was able to reach the buried pipe, the hole just filled up. The water to the entire school building would have to be shut off to assess the extent of the problem and to make needed repairs. In the wonderfully succinct outlook of a trained professional, the contractors indicated that the water could be off "for one hour, or for eights hours." Who knows?

In what the students might think my greatest executive decision to date, Dr. Schmitt and I agreed that given the circumstances had to be closed for the day. Nothing else could be done. Sadly, this second such break in the last few years goes to show the ongoing needs we have in maintenance and capital updates.

St. Vincent Ferrar, the patron saint of plumbers, pray for us.


Vocations Awareness

Before we closed school today, as part of Catholic Schools Week, we had were hosting a vocations panel for the junior level theology classes.

Addressing the students about the call to lives of ministry were, Fr. Jim Lobacz, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Postulant Pam Peasel, a postulant to the Franciscan Sisters of Charity, Sr. Mary Ann Spanjers, vocations directress of the Franciscan Sisters, and Deacon Scott Campbell, a permanent deacon at St. Williams Parish.
Scheduled to have come later this afternoon was Deacon Luke Strand, a transitional deacon who will be ordained a priest for the archdiocese next May. It is sad that this event was cut short. Don't worry, it will be rescheduled for sometime in February.
Let me note at this time that when I was meeting with the Archbishop and the CMH Board about coming here as president, I wrote for myself a list of numeric goals. I had a number for what I want to see someday in our endowment funds; I have numbers for enrollment and annual fundraising; most importantly, at the bottom of my list is a "1". Simply put, a school as large and a vibrant as CMH should be able to produce at least one vocation to priesthood or religious life out of every graduating class.
Pray that I meet this goal, along with all the others.

Monday, January 26, 2009

March for Life follow-up, and an alumni sighting.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

- Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation,
January 1st, 1863

I have asked the young people who traveled to Washington for the March for Life to send me their thoughts and impressions from the experience. I hope to share some of those reflections with you over the next few days.

Above, five members of our group at the Lincoln Memorial. In the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves and officially calling black slaves "persons", Lincoln also wrote that the United States Government "will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom."

If not a message of Christian faith, may Lincoln's memory and legacy be brought to bear for the unborn!

Please consider signing this online petition about the plan to introduce late-term abortions at University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison --


A bit of alumni news -- Tom Katzfy, CMH '05, and his rank basketball team from St. Norbert's College, will be playing locally is this coming Wednesday 1/28/2009 at Carroll University right down the road from CMH on College Avenue in Waukesha. The game starts at 7:00 P.M. and is likely going to be a sell out as both teams are undefeated in Midwest Conference play and it is receiving a lot of hype. Tom's team is currently ranked 17th in the country in its division.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The March was one day, the commitment continues.

Sorry, no pictures right now...trouble with the camera.

The CMH Pro-Life group continued their pilgrimage of life today. To begin the day the group went to the National Holocaust Museum. It takes hours to walk the museum. At the end of that pilgrimage within a building, each had their own impressions of the exhibits. No one leaves the museum without being overwhelmed.

Ultimately, to disregard life is slippery slope. First the unborn, then the elderly, eventually the lame or simply the unwanted or those to be blamed. How, in 1945, could we have collectively said "never again", and today the slope is even steeper than before.

Today, I was not able to go to the Holocaust Museum with the group. But, I have been there three times before. On each visit, the most important moment for me is reading the names of the Righteous Gentiles. On my first visit, and both afterward, my eyes were drawn to the name of a Franciscan friar, Thaddeus Hartmann. Not a relative, just an inspiration to do the righteous thing.

In the afternoon the kids had some flexible time. Most stuck together and visited the monuments, or did some typical touristy things. We gathered for dinner and then, at about 8pm, we walked back to the Supreme Court Building. Yesterday, 250,000 people were clamoring to have their righteous voices heard. Tonight, 39 of us prayed the Rosary.

It was dark, and pretty quiet. Only once or twice in the half hour it takes to pray the Rosary did someone else even even walk by. Some of the kids were a little self-conscious, but they did not shrink from this act of faith and witness -- this act of righteous hope. We can all be very proud of them.

I will post some pictures when the kids share their shots with me. In close, let me share with you the reflections which we prayed at the Supreme Court. The leaders of the Pro-Life Club led the prayer. We used the Joyful Mysteries as our focus. The reflection and petition for each was written by Fr. Frank Pavone of the Priests for Life.

Blessings to all! Keep us in your prayers as we travel home tomorrow.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel

Mary is troubled by the angel's greeting, yet rejoices to do God's will. Let us pray that those who are troubled by their pregnancy may have the grace to trust in God's will.

The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother's womb. We pray that people may realize that abortion is not about children who "might" come into the world, but is about children who are already in the world, living and growing in the womb.

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

God Himself was born as a child. The greatness of a person does not depend on size, for the newborn King is very small. Let us pray for an end to prejudice against the tiny babies threatened by abortion.

The Presentation of Jesus

The Child is presented in the Temple because the Child belongs to God. Children are not the property of their parents, nor of the government.
They - and we - belong to God Himself.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The boy Jesus was filled with wisdom, because He is God. Let us pray that all people may see the wisdom of His teachings about the dignity of life, and may understand that this teaching is not an opinion, but the truth.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And the Crusaders Go Marching In

What a day! You really have to be proud of our students.
Last night their plane was late in departing O'Hare airport, which meant that they were late arriving at Reagan National Airport. When the group finally got all of it's luggage together, a common mistake made in Washington, DC had them getting onto the Metro train going in the wrong direction. Even though they caught their mistake quickly, when they got off the train at the next station, they found out that they had just gotten off of the last train of the night. That meant the 38 people in the group were going to be stranded at an out of the way subway station, with no transportation to their hotel. A huge word of thanks has to go out to the WMATA, they sent a train just for the CMH group! Prayers can be answered.
Even with all the delays the night before the dedicated members of the CMH Pro-Life Club got themselves out of their hotel beds at 5:30am so that they could be in line at the Verizon Center for the Youth Rally for Life and Mass. Over 20 thousand young people gathered for faith witnesses, pro-life testimonials, praying the Rosary, and celebrating the Eucharist. It was inspiring.
From my perspective, a very powerful moment came just before the end of the youth mass -- Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC asked all the young men and women in the arena who were considering a vocation to priesthood or religious life to stand. The hundreds...let me say that again, the hundreds were applauded dramatically by all the youth gathered. Hopefully, those prayers will also be answered.
After the mass, it was down to the mall to join the more than 200,000 other Marchers for speeches and music before the March on to the Capital and the Supreme Court. Many things about the afternoon were remarkable, but two things are worth noting: 1) No one, either present of mentioned in speeches, was booed by the crowd; 2) The group of thousands and thousands was disproportionately young, mostly high school and college-aged. Our prayers for the future are being answered.
The evening ended with a dinner at Holy Rosary Parish, where I lived while I was getting my canon law degree at Catholic University. Joining our group were Archbishop Dolan and three seminarians from Milwaukee, a group of CMH alumni working in the DC area, and Congressman James Sensenbrenner. (Other legislators, of both political parties, were contacted but only Rep. Sensenbrenner was able to attend.)
The leaders of our kids were great. They presented their own pro-life views, and discussed what needed to be done in the future and asked penetrating questions of the Representative. These young people are answers to prayers.
Enough for tonight. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CMH Pro-Life Marchers are on their way!

This is the sign that you need to look for if there are any reporters and TV cameras who decide to stay on the Capital Mall for the hundreds of thousands of people who will go to Washington, DC tomorrow for the March for Life.
Please pray for the safe travels of our kids and chaperones to Washington, DC. Archbishop Dolan, three seminarians (one a CMH alum) and I will meet up with the group at a Youth Rally and Mass for 20,000 young people and then for the March.
Most importantly, please pray for an end to abortion, and the abortion mentality in this country.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Pope a New President

Today, Pope Benedict XVI sent a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama, on the occasion of his inauguration. The message read, in part:

Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast, and those who have no voice.

May God bless us all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

CMH gets praise from Alumni

OK, so some of you might think I have fully consumed the Facebook kool-aid, but it is a very fascinating dynamic. Besides, there is no denying that in the course of a few weeks we have found more alumni, and made a connection with them, than if we brought in volunteers to start making calls to family and friends.

The best part for CMH is that Facebook has a demographic of people in their 20's and 30's, a group that we often lose track of through college and in the years following. Notably, I do have one member of the Class of 1970 who is now connected to CMH through Facebook.

Here are some great quotes from people that have re-connected to CMH --

**Happy New Year! Thank you for finding your alumni. I had a wonderful experience at Catholic Memorial and believe it's one of the best schools to this day. It's a wonderful school with wonderful teachers.

Kelly Nadboralski (CMH ’93)

**"If you ever need any help at CMH.. I am willing to volunteer.. let me know.. its been a few years since I have been there"

Steven Dibbs (CMH ’04)

**I think about CMH a lot and all the wonderful memories I had there.

Warm regards,
Katy Therese Lynch (CMH '02)

**“I loved my four years at CMH and if there is ever anything I can help with that involves the school please don't hesitate to ask :)”

Alex Picciolo (CMH ’06)

**I graduated in 2003 and my sister graduated in 2005. We both loved our high school experiences, and, frankly, some of my senior year classes at CMH were better and more challenging than some of my college ones.

Monica Charleston (CMH ’03)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From today's New York Times..."For Catholic Schools, Crisis and Catharsis"

For Catholic Schools, Crisis and Catharsis

I don't really agree with a lot of what the article says, but a few items are worth the consideration of every Catholic who is interested in the future of our Catholic Schools. (emphases added)

A series of major studies in the past few years, including one by the White House Domestic Policy Council, has described the dwindling presence of parochial schools as a crisis not just for Catholics but for society.

Supporting Catholic schools is the obligation of the entire Catholic community.

What many Catholics cite as the heart of the parochial school experience: going to church on Sunday and seeing one’s classmates, for example, or knowing the names of the young altar servers at Mass. It is the parochial in the parochial school.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Requiescat in Pace

The Reverend Daniel Pakenham
Pastor, St. Mary Visitation Parish, Elm Grove
Passed to Eternal Life,
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The prayers of the CMH community go out to the family and friends of Fr. Dan, and to the community of St. Mary's parish.
Fr. Pakenham was rector of St. Francis de Sales Seminary in the years of my college and theology formation. He was a great supporter of Catholic education, a friend, and a true man of the Church.
Among the choices that the Sacramentary offers for Masses for the Dead, an option for the Prayer After Communion in the funeral mass of a priest is quite fitting --
hear the prayers of those you renew with the food of life at your holy table.
By the power of this sacrifice may Daniel, your servant and priest, rejoice in your presence for ever as he served you faithfully in the Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Friday, January 16, 2009

450 Friends and counting...

As part of an effort to re-connect with our more recent CMH alums, I took the advice of a group of recent grads and set up a Facebook page.
I am struck by two things -- how much some people are willing to share on Facebook, and how many CMH alums I was able to find so quickly.
For my part, you won't read about when I am leaving to go food shopping, nor will there be any interesting pictures of me doing whatever.
I hope that with 450 as the list after one month, this way of connecting with alums will only continue to grow over the next few months. We shall see.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking for CMHers in the Washinton, DC area

One last call for contact info for CMH alumni who are in school or working the Washington, DC area. I want to invite them to dinner with members of our Pro-Life Club, and the Archbishop when they are in DC next week for the March for Life.
If you have contact info for someone there, please let me know asap.
I have furthered my cyber endeavors another step --
In addition to this Blog, and a Facebook page, I know also am trying to network with CMH alumni and friends through Linked In. (I think most people on Linked In are closer to my age than those on Facebook.)
I hope it works!

Catholic Schools Contribute $19,8 Billion to Nation

Check out this news from the National Catholic Education Association --

“Catholic schools are a gift to the church – and to the nation. The enormity of this gift is more striking during these challenging economic times.”
In addition to the monetary rewards, the nation gains in other ways. Catholic school students excel academically on standardized tests, 99.1% graduate and 94% attend college. Studies show that graduates of Catholic schools are reliable workers, good citizens and more likely to attend church.

It is notable that the near-$20B in financial benefit to the country does not include the further direct benefits of savings to public school systems, and more importantly the millions of service hours performed by Catholic School students and their families.

Imagine how different things might be if the world were willing, or even able, to put a quantifiable value on Caritas in Omnibus! Now that's a national stimulus package!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CMH Friday Fun Days!

Art, Fencing, Science, and a Sticky Rhinoceros -- What do they have in common?
Add to all of that pizza, CMH spiritwear, and some great CMH student leaders.
Still stumped?
All this is just a typical CMH Fun Friday for grade school or middle school students.

Fun Fridays are a chance for students and families, with an interest in CMH, to expereince some of the interesting and fun activities that our faculty and staff incorporate into each day's learning experiences. Small groups of grade school students have a chance to meet present students, future classmates, and teachers they might have when they arrive at CMH. Fun Fridays are a great offering organized by our Office of Admissions.

Last Friday, a large group of kids tried fencing, art, science, or even entertained themselves (and each other) with while learn the improvisational comedy techniques of CMH's Improv group, Sticky Rhinoceros.

There are two more Fun Friday's scheduled -- on February 6th for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders & February 20th for 7th and 8th graders. For more information, please contact our Director of Admissions, Ms. Julie Lindahl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Even CMH French Class makes Community Connections

CMH students, Tom Schiep, Sean McNaughton, and Tom Delano teach a French class at St. Mary’s School as part of their community connection requirement for their French class.

CMH/Pius Hockey Ranked #6 in State

The CMH/Pius Co-op Hockey team is ranked 6th in the state by the website, Wisconsin Prep Hockey.

More positive coverage of the Hockey team in today's Waukesha Freeman -- CMH/Pius "Building Momentum"!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crossing a Facebook Threshold!

Well, it seems amazing, but today I reached 400 friends on Facebook. Most of those are CMH young alumni with whom I can now better keep in touch about what is happening at their alma mater.

An Icy Wall of Cold!

Florida was great! Meeting alumni was wonderful! Talking about their memories of CMH was heartwarming! Everything was perfect...until...

Got to Mitchell International Airport a little late last night, took a while to get to my car (freezing the whole way since I left my winter coat in the car...didn't need it in sunny Florida), and guess what -- the battery was dead!

Thank you to Jason, the tow truck driver who saved me.

I hope to have more details later today about the Crusader Fund.

Take care, and keep warm.


Also, Crusader Boys Basketball, Co-op Hockey, and Girls Swimming are in the news!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crusaders Gather in Naples, FL

Fr. Hartmann with some of the CMHers living in the Naples, FL area who gather for a luncheon on Saturday, January 10th -- Marie and Tom Sobczak ('77), Bob Buchen ('56), Therese Marsicek Bilburg ('82) and her husband Ben.

Many thanks to Mr. Bob Buchen who hosted a group of CMH alumni and past parents for a luncheon at The Club at Pelican Bay in Naples Florida. The gorups shared favorite CMH memories and were updated about what's happening at CMH today.

Did you know that about 40 alumni of CMH are in the Naples area? This does not include all the snowbirds or young alums for whom we do not have up-to-date contact information.

The group that gathered today decided that a CMH Crusader gathering should be held annually in the Naples area. Thanks everyone for the great spirit and commitment to CMH!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Greetings from Florida.

Well folks, I arrived in FL a little late and with a rather beat up bag that I checked. But, it is in the 70's and sunny, so I will tolerate the other stuff.
I gave my talk last night to the local Legatus Chapter. They are a fine group of people, most of whom are transplants from the cold north.
The title of my talk was "The Changing Landscape for Catholic Institutions Today." As a starting point of my talk I used the challenging words that Pope Benedict XVI gave to the U.S. Bishops last April --
This leads me to ask how, in the twenty-first century, a bishop can best fulfill the call to “make all things new in Christ, our hope”? How can he lead his people to “an encounter with the living God”, the source of that life-transforming hope of which the Gospel speaks (cf. Spe Salvi, 4)? Perhaps he needs to begin by clearing away some of the barriers to such an encounter. (Emphasis added.)
Because of my work on this talk over the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about things at CMH that might actually be barriers to our kids, and their families, encountering Christ. I don't think there is much to worry about, but it is good to always ask the question.
Tomorrow I start visiting CMH alums and past parents who are here in South Florida. I am looking forward to it. I hope that Waukesha warms up before I return on Sunday.
Blessings to all!
Fr. Paul

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Still looking for South Florida CMHers!

Looking to meet CMH alumni, past parents, and supporters in South Florida!

This Friday, I will be in Boca Raton, and Satruday in Naples.

Contact us for details -- I look forward to meeting CMHers somewhere warmer than Waukesha.

What will you discover on Twelfth Night?

e⋅piph⋅a⋅ny -- [i-pif-uh-nee] –noun, plural -nies.

1. (initial capital letter ) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.

2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.

3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just a few tidbits....

From Friday's Waukesha Freeman, in the "Campus News" section --

CMH '08 grad and basketball standout, Dayton Young, has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL. As a freshman, Dayton plays forward for the Foresters men's basketball team.

Congratulations Dayton!


Today's Freeman, in the Sports Section has an article listing our Crusader Boy's Basketball team as one of the top teams in the county. Keep track of the Crusader Boy's Basketball schedule through their Edline page.

Over at the Journal-Sentinel, our Crusader Hockey team is ranked as the #1 team in the area, pulling ahead of University School and Arrowhead. At the same time, the website WisconsinPrepHockey.Net has CMH/Pius ranked 8th in the state (two spots higher than the Journal-Sentinel reported yesterday.) Check out the CMP Hockey page on Edline for schedules and news.

Because of the snow day on December 19th, school is back in session today after 17 full days off for the Christmas break. You can only imagine how thrilled all the kids look this morning.


Today is the Church's memorial to St. John Neumann, the first American bishop to be canonized. As bishop of Philadelphia he opened nearly 100 parochial schools and raised the number of kids in Catholic schools in the diocese from 500 to over 9,000.
We should all be inspired by this!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

CMH students to be joined by Archbishop Dolan at March for Life

On Thursday, January 22, 2009 about 40 CMH students and chaperones will be in Washington, DC to take part in the annual March for Life. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized procured abortion in all fifty states.
Sad to say, our kids may understand the impact of abortion even more vividly than their parents. It does not take much effort to realize that more than a quarter of their generation was never given the chance for life. Whether at the March in Washington; through silent, prayerful witness in front of an abortion clinic; or by outreach to needy women in crisis, the Pro-Life Club of CMH is a group we can be very proud of. In fact, theirs is an example we should all follow.
While in Washington, our student group has made requests to meet with legislators from both political parties who represent our area. The young people hope to convey to them their own ideas about how congress can work to foster a true Culture of Life in the United States. (We are still awaiting complete response.)
This year, Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be traveling to Washington to be with our students at the mass and youth rally at the Verizon Center on the morning of the 22nd, and then to march with them through the vast Capital Mall that afternoon. This is Archbishop Dolan's first trip to the March for Life as a bishop -- we should be honored and affirmed that he asked to make the march with our kids.
That evening, after the March, the Archbishop will join the students for a dinner at Holy Rosary Parish, near the Capital Mall (I lived their for two years while in my canon law studies at Catholic University of America). We have sent invitations for the dinner to about 60 CMH alumni that we know are in the DC area. If you know of alums or past parents who are there, let us know asap so that we can be sure to invite them.
Much is happening at CMH. Be sure to keep an eye on our website to view schedules of events, and this blog for postings of good news.
A blessed New Year to all!
Fr. Paul

Friday, January 2, 2009

Crusader Fund Update!

Great news for the start of the new year... the Crusader Fund at 53% of Goal!
We have passed the halfway mark for this year's Crusader Fund! The Crusader Fund now stands at $267,413.00 from 341 donors!

Marguerite Gallagher, our Director of Development, shared with me one donor’s letter which had a huge impact on those of us who were in school this week. Allow me to share this paraphrase of the letter (so as to keep the author confidential):

“Dear Crusader Fund, Several years ago I was unemployed and struggling as a single parent to come up with the tuition to send my student to CMH. As a college graduate this was hardly the circumstance I would EVER have imagined; yet it happened.

At that time, CMH assisted us with a generous tuition grant. I felt like we had the training wheels on a bike that allowed us to coast until we didn’t need so much help. I have a position as an educator now with another part-time job on the side. Please accept my small contribution to help another family educate their student in a time of need. God knows there will be others struggling in the current economy and struggling with their pride.”

Thanks all of the donors thus far, and to the Crusader Champions who are leading this effort. Thanks also to the staff of the CMH Development Office for all of their hard work.
Tomorrow, January 4th, will be the church's feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She is considered a patroness of the vast Catholic school system in the United States. What better day might there be to be thankful for the good news of the Crusader Fund so far, or to contemplate the role that our own thankfulness for Catholic education can play?
New Year's Blessings to all!
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.
Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

CMH News on a larger stage.

It is nice to see wider notice being given to the good things happening at CMH.

The other day, Madison's Wisconsin State Journal, re-ran the Freeman writer Joe Petrie's article about the CMH Rectory Renovation. The original article was noticed in this Blog last December 3rd.

The January issue of the trade journal "Athletic Business" highlights last November's record-setting Midwest fencing meet host be CMH. The article was written by Michael Popke, a CMH Grad of '86. This blog highlighted CMH fencing in one of my first blog entries.

Not a bad way to start out the new year.

Fr. Paul

P.S. Watch this blog for a great update about the annual Crusadaer Fund...more good news.