Saturday, February 28, 2009

Various tidbits...

A few things to mark your calendars for...
INTERNET SAFETY – A Session for Parents
Monday, March 2nd
7:00pm in the CMH Auditorium

All are welcome!

Ms. Gwen Mueller, Director of Technology at Divine Savior-Holy Angels High School, will present a session on internet safety for parents. On the following day, Tuesday, Ms. Mueller will make presentations to the entire CMH student body.

An outline of her presentation can be found at

Theology of the Body -- A Session for Parents
Tuesday, March 10th
7:00pm in the Julia Weber Gymnasium
All are welcome!
Deacon Dan Janasik, a CMH alum and soon-to-be priest, will offer a presentation to parents on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Earlier that day, Deacon Dan will be making presentations to all CMH students and will be available after school for a Q & A session.
What is the "Theology of the Body"? Pope John Paul said: "The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine." Wide in its scope, at once both modern and ancient, the Theology of the Body addresses the deepest questions of life. It proposes a vision of love for our times and experiences.
Given as a series of talks by the late Pope John Paul II, the "Theology of the Body" is a profound reflection on the biblical understanding of love. It illuminates the meaning of our bodies, sex, and marital love. It emphasizes our dignity as men and women, the goodness of the body and sexuality, and our call to live in full freedom and joy. Through the mystery of the body, each of us can come to know our particular calling to image God's love in the world.
CMH Profile Weekend --
Fr. Paul Hartmann will celebrate and preach at all the weekend Masses at St. Joseph Parish in Big Bend on Saturday, March 14th at 5 PM and on Sunday, March 15th at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM.

Join Fr. Paul, student speakers, and members of our Office of Admissions in thanking the St. Joe's community for being a supporting parish.
Sports and Alumni Highlights
Congratulations and prayers of best wishes to all!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Congressmen Sensenbrenner Visits CMH

Representative James Sensenbrenner visited CMH today and spoke to about 100 of our IB History and AP American Government students.

The Congressman spoke on the duties of a Congressman, how the House of Representatives works, and how legislation is made. After his presentation the Congressman took questions from students on any government or legislative issue they chose.

Everyone can be proud about how well our students handled themselves, as well as the insight and awareness which their questions represented.

Thank you Rep. Sensenbrenner for his visit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

St. Blaise redux

This afternoon I celebrated mass with the cast, crew, and families of the CMH Spring musical, South Pacific.

While the patron saints of actors are St. Genesius & St. Vitus, and the patroness of singers is St. Cecilia, today we asked the intercession of St. Blaise.

Just over three weeks ago, on February 3rd, the Church celebrated the Memorial of St. Blaise, on that day most Church's (the CMH Chapel included) offered the blessing of throats, or St. Blaise Blessing.

It has been a tradition at CMH in the last few years to offer this blessing to the actors and singers in each of the productions. A nice, faith-filled, touch I believe.

If you don't remember the words of blessing...

“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you free from every disease of the throat, and from every other illness. In the name of the Father and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.”

“Per intercessionem Sancti Blasii, episcopi et martyris, liberet te Deus a malo gutturis, et a quolibet alio malo. In nomine Patris, et Filii +, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.“

My 100th Blog Post!

Yea! I am sticking to the blogging thing pretty well.

100 postings in less than three months
Lately, the blog has been averaging almost 200 visitors per day
This week alone the blog has been visited by people in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Iran. Yes, Tehran, Iran -- go figure.

Additionally, my Facebook friends list now exceeds over 1000 CMH alumni.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Ash Wednesday Message from Fr. Paul

Dear Friends:

I remember growing up and on an evening shortly before Ash Wednesday my mother, from her place at one end of the dinner table, would hush all seven of us kids (something that only took a certain look or a slightly raised hand), and proceed to ask what each of us planned to give up for Lent. Candy was common, specific desserts like ice cream were next, and cartoons were almost too big a sacrifice to make. My mother, a usually very controlled woman (remember, just a look could quiet us all down), was never so exasperated as on one of these occasions when one of her sons, who shall remain nameless, indicated that for Lent he was going give up “hitting my brother.”

It does not take too much reflection to understand that “giving up” something that we should not be doing, or do not really need, in the first place, is no sacrifice. The word “sacrifice” comes from a Latin combination which means “to make holy.” It is sacrifice, and the spiritual lessons learned, that are at the heart of Lent. Today, Ash Wednesday, we sacrifice in outward ways by fasting and abstaining from meat. Throughout Lent we work to allow acts of prayer, penance, and almsgiving, to be further outward signs of our remaking our lives to be more sacred.

Consider how each of these Lenten acts prepares us for Easter. As awkward as it might feel for us at times, prayer is an encounter with Christ – what could be more holy than that. Penance is an act of cleansing, removing that which distracts us from the Christlike around us – what could be more life-giving, more healthy than that. Almsgiving lifts up a world in need in ways that better all. Almsgiving is a source of joy not only for the receiver, but for the giver – a divine joy that is the source of our being truly happy. In a sense, working to be happy, healthy, and holy is a goal of our Lenten journey. Doesn’t that sound very familiar to us at CMH?

As Catholics we are to be an Easter people. As part of the CMH family, we always allow these Lenten acts to penetrate all aspects of our lives. At CMH we strive to ensure a faith-filled environment for our students, which works to make them happy, healthy, and holy. We are very obviously Easter people.

This year, the world’s experience of Lent certainly carries more anxiety and worry than in the recent past. Economic crises, internet scandals, political in-fighting, and even pending changes in archdiocesan leadership, will weigh heavily on us. In trying times such as these there is great benefit in the Lenten acts of prayer, penance, and almsgiving. They are, by definition, actions of sacrificial holiness; they are actions which, when they bring us to an experience of Christ’s own sacrifice, result in our being a people who are happier, healthier, and holier.

Is that not what Easter people are? Is that not what we truly need right now?

Throughout Lent, the entire CMH family – students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and past parents – will be in my prayers each day. I ask that you do the same for us. This Lent, make prayer, penance, and almsgiving vivid and outward acts. May you Lenten journey be fruitful.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Paul Hartmann

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our loss, but still a gain.

If I may offer some non-CMH news.

You have probably heard, Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Timothy Dolan to be the next Archbishop of New York.

I have had the great honor of working closely His Excellency these last seven years, and he has taught me more about priesthood and leadership than I will ever be able to fully identify, nor fully offer my thanks.

The Archbishop has always been a great friend of CMH. Personally, pastorally, and professionally, he will be greatly missed.

His departure will certainly be our loss, but his role as head of the archdiocese in the "Capital of the World" will be a gain for the American, and the universal, Catholic Church.

I hope to be able to travel to New York for his installation in April. We shall see if the details can be worked out.

Let us keep His Excellency in our prayers as he prepares for a transition. Let us pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst as we make the transition. Let us pray that wisdom and insight guide Pope Benedict as he chooses the man to be the 11th Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for him!

Friday, February 20, 2009

An update on Molly Burke

A message I received last night from John Burke --

Fr. Paul,

Thanks for forwarding the messages. Molly struggled with the first round of chemo today, but all the tests and treatments have gone as well as can be expected. She's a tough kid, and she'll find a way, with God's help, to survive.

This morning, our CMH daily mass was offered for Molly and her family. My thanks to the teachers and students who turned out at 6:55am. It was standing room only.

In the Eucharist, and in prayer, we are one.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

CMH achieves much at Junior Achievement

Matt Campbell '09, Courtney Breidel '09, and Noah Lentz '10, receive recognition from Junior Acheivement

Yesterday, three teams of CMH students participated in the Junior Achievement Metro Milwaukee Business Challenge held at Briggs and Stratton today. One of those teams took first place in their division.

Congratulations go to Noah Lentz, Courtney Breidel and Matt Campbell were our medalists. We also had strong showings from the team of Erik Drwila, Matt Krause and Derek Benz, as well as the team of Matt Calhoun, Max Seeger and Mike Loporchio. The winners took home Bucks tickets and Kohl's gift cards.
Thanks to Mike Previte, CMH Business Education teacher, for organizing our participation in this event. We look forward to continued success in the future.

Sports Updates --

CMH/Pius hockey team rolls
Junior Elizabeth Guhl scored a game-high 18 points

Looking ahead. Be sure to turn out tonight for the Conference Championship game!

Arrowhead at Catholic Memorial, 7:30 tonight:

FYI -- Think Norman Dale...
Ends simple prayer invoking David over Goliath.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

An update on John Burke's daughter, Molly --

John let us know last night that Molly has been diagnosed with acute lymphomic leukemia, pre B cell. Their pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital is one of the experts in the field, and there is much reason for hope for a successful outcome. Today at 10:00 AM, they will do a spinal tap, gather some more bone marrow, and place a cath tube from her arm into her heart so that they can begin chemo treatments. There are several dates in the future when they will get more test results.

John says that Molly is holding up well and bravely. There had been some anomalous symptoms in the past few days that led to them taking her for testing, leading up to yesterday’s news.

John’s parents are coming up from Illinois to take care of Maureen and Maggie and the house, so meals are taken care of for the time being. As for sharing info with our kids, he is OK with letting them know what the diagnosis is, asking that they continue to pray like crazy, particularly today at 10:00, and to tell them that he and Mary are confident that Molly will survive.

He plans to be at school on Friday, and sends his thanks to all for their continued thoughts and prayers.

More on Theology of the Body

It has been about two weeks since the sad revelations at New Berlin Eisenhower High School. Sadly, today's paper adds to the concerns about incidences at Waukesha West High School.

Previously, I let you know that here at CMH we are not only committed to teaching, and expecting of, our kids a sense of Christian dignity and worth that might change these trends, we are also going to increase our efforts.

I am a strong proponent of Pope John Paul the Great's systematic approach now called, Theology of the Body. Last weekend, three faculty members and a number of parents participated in an archdiocesan offered program on the subject featuring Christopher West.

Our immediate additions will be a two part approach. On a day, yet to be scheduled, we will have a presentation to all of the students further reiterating issues and safeguards when it comes to Internet Safety. I know that the young people will say they know this stuff, but hearing it again probably doesn't hurt.

What we have already scheduled is a set of presentation by Deacon Dan Janisik, a CMH grad from '01. He has become a very engaging speaker and presenter on ToB. On Tuesday, March 10th, he will speak to all of the students, be available right after school for Q & A sessions, and then will make a presentation to parents in evening.

More details will be sent to you soon, but please, parents mark your calendars.

A small complaint.

I have said previously in this space that I have been thankful for the positive press that the local paper has given to CMH in these last 8 months. But, in reading through today's Waukesha Freeman, I was struck by the approach taken in one article in particular --

Skim down below and take note of how this Blog reported on the same event.
So, could someone explain to me why the Waukesha Freeman devotes a headline and an article to the "runner-up" team, while pretty much brushing aside the Champions?
Just wondering.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A call for prayers!

CMH English teacher, and girls soccer coach, John Burke’s two-year-old daughter Molly has been diagnosed with leukemia. She is scheduled to have a bone marrow aspiration at noon on Thursday to determine more specifics. Right now Molly is at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa.

John has asked for prayers, and is very thankful for those already being offered. Molly and the entire Burke family will be added to our CMH prayer list. Please add them to your own prayers.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

A long distance visitor...

If you are reading this, you might sometimes ask yourself, "Self, who else visits this blog?"

Well, I can't tell you for sure. But, Sitemeter can tell me how many and what webpages they link through. Most interesting is how Sitemeter indicates the location of the visitors ISP.

So, to the blog reader who visited last night, at about 11:45pm our time, all the way from NEW DEHLI, INDIA, welcome! Thank you for taking an interest in CMH.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CMH wins State Skiing Championship!

From intrepid reporter, Mr. Tim Colombe --
We just returned from La Crosse where the CMH Men won the Wisconsin State High School Ski Championships. The team consists of Billy Wong, Chris Colombe, Steven Kemp, Ryan Kemp, Andy Colombe, Chris Siepman and PJ Feichtmeir.

Based on the results of dual meets throughout the ski season the top 23 teams qualify for the State Championships held in La Crosse. Each team has 6 skiers; the best four times are scored. So, with 23 teams and 6 skiers per team plus, another 14 that qualified as individuals, there were 152 men competing.

The State Championship consists of three events -- slalom, giant slalom (GS) and super giant slalom (Super G). Each event includes only one run. Scoring for each event consists of the "place points" of the top four results of the six skiers on a team. For instance, in GS, CMH scored only 37 points with Billy Wong at 2nd, Steven Kemp at 9th, Chris Colombe at 10th and Ryan Kemp at 16th.

In total, CMH had 223 points; second place Brookfield East (BE) had 243 points. Kettle Moraine (KM) took 3rd with approximately 350 points, and far back were Arrowhead in 4th and Oconomowoc in 5th place.

CMH jumped out to a big lead in the first event on Sunday scoring 37 in GS: BE was second with 73 and Arrowhead third with 139. Since slalom is really our strongest event, it looked like we might run away with it -- possibly set a record for the all time lowest point victory. However, anything can happen in ski racing -- which means, even great ski racers can fall down and thus ruin their run.

CMH started out Monday in slalom with Billy Wong, our first seed, laying down what turned out to be the first place slalom run. Then, the trouble started. Chris Colombe, our second seed, nailed the top half of the course and the headwall (the most difficult part of the run) and looked like he was heading for a top five finish when he dropped his shoulder slightly while making a turn causing his feet to slide out from under him; the result was a fall and a hike and an unusable time. Next, Steven Kemp had difficulties, then Ryan Kemp had a troubled run. Chris Siepman turned in a good performance but then, Andy Colombe finished our slalom event with a fall. The result was that we took third in slalom scoring 113 points. BE took first in slalom with 84 points. So, we gave up 29 points to BE and leaving only a 7 point lead at the start of the final event, Super G, this afternoon. KM, Arrowhead and Oconomowoc were all out of contention for first or second place by that point.

Super G started at about 2pm Monday afternoon with Billy Wong laying down the fourth place run, Chris Colombe nailing an 8th place run and Ryan Kemp scoring around 20th. Meanwhile, the the four BE skiers each scored in the high teens or low 20's. So, they had 4 "goods" and about 80 points. We had only 3 "goods" totaling about 32 points. Our last hope was our 6th and final skier, Andy Colombe, who was about 135th in the run order of 152 competitors.

So, the guys from CMH and BE were all together in a huddle at the finish line and, as usual, trash talking each other. A BE senior skier was heard to say "OK, I think it's like this guys...if he scores a 35 second or better run, CMH wins; if he is slower than 35, we win." Just then, I heard the announcer say "Andy Colombe is on course". Everyone watched as Andy came down the course, crossed the finish line and the digital timer read 34.75 seconds.

It turned out that Andy scored 37th place to round out CMH's score for the event at 69; with BE scoring 82 in the event. So, CMH won the State Championship over BE by 20 points.

In addition to CMH winning the team championship, Billy Wong won the individual championship. Billy scored only 7 points for the entire meet -- 1st in slalom, 2nd in GS and 4th in Super G. Other notable performances were Steven Kemp's 9th in GS, Chris Colombe's 8th in Super G and 10th in GS and Ryan Kemp's 16th in GS and 20th in Super G. Andy Colombe, Chris Siepman and PJ Feichtmeier all did a nice job.

The entire CMH team returns next year. Plus, Billy's younger brother Anthony may attend CMH – noted to a very strong skier.
Good job guys!

Monday, February 16, 2009

One small parish, and one big announcement!

CMH Junior, Kelsie Golabowski, speaks to the gathered congregation of her home parish, St. Therea of Avila, in Eagle, WI.

This weekend, as part of my continuing effort to eventually visit, and thank, all of the twenty-six supporting parishes of CMH, I celebrated all of the parish masses at St. Theresa Parish in Eagle. I was joined by Julie Lindahl and Mary Hutchens from the Office of Admissions, and Kelsie Golabowski who spoke at all of the masses to express her thanks for everything the her home parish has done for her, and for CMH. We also had the pleasure of having Mr. Jim Yourkovich, a CMH faculty member, and a parishioner, as our lector at one of the masses.
Just by its size and architecture, St. Theresa could well be the last "country church" in Waukesha County. Although the worship space is small, the community is vibrant, devout and was very welcoming to us. It was a great experience.
Thus far we have been hosted by a number of parishes for these CMH profile weekends --
St. Agnes, Butler
St. Paul, Genesee Depot
St. Charles, Hartland
St. Anthony of the Lake, Pewaukee
St. Mary Visitation, Elm Grove
St. Theresa Avila, Eagle
We are scheduled to visit St. Joseph. Big Bend for the weekend of March 14th & 15th. Mark your calendars.
Now, the big announcement -- I am not being named the new Archbishop of New York.
More importantly, as of the end of the first semester, 382 CMH students made the honor roll. Each is to be congratulated for the hard work and discipline that is needed to attain this.
For a listing of all the students on the honor roll, please go to the CMH website.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Student Exchange with Messmer!

I wanted to share the following message which I received from Mr. Jeff Monday, principal at Messmer High School --

Dear Mark and Fr. Paul,

I want to thank you for the hospitality that was shown by your school community to Messmer students during today’s exchange visit. The students came back to school lit up with excitement by their experiences of the day.

They described the welcome sign, the gifts, the welcoming spirit of your students, the kind and thoughtful faculty, and even the cheesy pretzels that were served.

The experience began a process of breaking down the barriers of race and culture. Every Messmer student felt a kinship with your school community and appreciated the opportunity to be a part of such a great place for the day.

We look forward to hosting the Catholic Memorial students next week. This is truly what Catholic education is all about!


P.S. Mark - thanks for the idea and making this a possibility!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday's Election

As a surprise to many, next Tuesday is a state-wide election here in Wisconsin. On the ballot is the position of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To date (maybe because I am a priest who heads a private, Catholic school) I have directly received information or literature from one candidate.

Thus, I can safely (and legally) say, she really does have the best argument that I have been presented with!

Get out and vote.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Highlights and observations...

Today, 30 students from Messmer High School, a rejuvenated Catholic school in central Milwaukee, will visit and shadow here at CMH. Next week, the 30 CMH students who host them todeay, will go to Messmer and shadow there. I trust it will be a very good experience for both school.

On a related note, let offer words of great admiration for Br. Bob Smith, OFM Cap., who is the visionary force behind Messmer's great service to the community, and Mr. Jeff Monday, the principal at Messmer. Jeff and I were in grade school together. He is a good man and a great educator.

Be sure that you get you tickets in advance to see the
CMH Drama Department's Spring Musical,
South Pacific.

For more information,

Congratulations to CMH alum, Dan Beyer, '05, a UW-Eau Claire senior forward who was nominated for Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. He is averaging 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds in league games this season.

Good Luck Dan in all things.


It doesn't really take the Waukesha Freeman to let us know that tomorrow night is a big, really BIG, game for CMH/Pius Hockey.

The away game match-up pits CMH/Pius, ranked #5 in the state, against the big, bad Hartland Arrowhead, ranked #8.

QUIZ Question -- What might Pope Urban II have to do with CMH/Pius co-op hockey?

Be the first to send me a correct answer, and I will pay your admission to tomorrow night's game.


While a final plan for the lay-out of the day has not yet been set, I think it good to let you know that a date has been set for a school-wide program on Theology of the Body.

Following on my previous posting on the importance of this integrated approach to understand self, love, and life, CMH will host Deacon Dan Janisik (CMH '97 and soon to be Father Dan) on Tuesday, March 10th.

The day is planned to include presentations to all of the students, an afterschool Q & A session, and a presentation for parents and catechists in the evening.

More information will follow, but please mark your calendars.


On a totally seperate issue, in fact a near opposite issue -- from today's Waukesha Freeman:

Grad ceremonies at Elmbrook Church under fire
Complaint claims setting violates separation of church and state

Sad that we so easily lose sight of our own American history.

The first public school established in America -- 1635
The first Catholic school established in America -- 1606

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A teacher's reflection on the March for Life

Catholic Memorial and the March for Life, 2009

This past January, my wife and I had the privilege of travelling to Washington D.C. with thirty-four CMH pro-life club members, as well as two CMH teachers, Jim Yourkovich and John Waliszewski. The trip gave members of the CMH community an opportunity to express our opposition to the abortion industry in the United States. The Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan, and Catholic Memorial President, Father Paul Hartmann, led us in marching and in prayer for the lives of unborn children. Among us were a few hundred thousand other pro-lifers, and together, and with hopeful hearts, we made a statement to support the sanctity of human life.

After the march, we attended a dinner event with Father Hartmann and Archbishop Dolan. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner also attended the pro-life dinner that night (the only legislator to respond positively to our invitations), as well as some CMH Alumnae. The highlight of the dinner was when Mr. Sensenbrenner gave us a detailed a presentation about his work in Congress over the last 30+ years. He has been a very vocal and active advocate of the pro-life cause since he started his career in American politics in the seventies. He spoke to us about three pieces of legislation that he expects will be dealt with this year. He informed us about the Mexico City Policy, the Hyde Amendment, and the Freedom of Choice Act. These are three important pieces of legislation that could lead, and in the case of Mexico City Policy, will lead to an increase of abortions, depending on the decisions made in Washington in the near future. These are policies that, if implemented by pro-abortionists, will dramatically affect the safety of the unborn both on the national and international level. It is important that Christians are aware of these pieces of legislation, as they will affect our future and future generations. We can do something about these policies, but allow me to first explain how they will affect our future.
On the day of the March for Life, I first learned from Congressman Sensenbrenner about the Mexico City Policy. Little did I know that on the next day an executive order would be signed by the president, to finalize this policy. As of that day, the Mexico City Policy allows our federal government to fund international family planning groups that provide abortion services. You may have already shaken your head in dismay about this policy after having read about in the news, as I did.

We also learned from the congressman that the Hyde Amendment will, most likely, be the next pro-life issue that Congress will deal with. If reversed, which Sensenbrenner fears, this bill would allow Americans’ federal tax money to be used to pay for abortions. Yes, your hard-earned money and mine would be used to destroy the lives of unborn children, even though abortions are already quite profitable for doctors, healthcare systems, and clinics that perform them. It has been illegal for federal tax dollars to be used for abortions since the Hyde Amendment was put into place in 1976, but that could change soon if the president signs the repeal of this amendment.

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is another piece of legislation that the president pledged to Planned Parenthood that he would pass. This piece of legislation is the worst piece of all since it would lift all restrictions on abortions that are currently in place. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), it would be, “the most radical abortion legislation in history.” Here is why:

1. FOCA will invalidate laws to protect a woman from unsafe abortion clinics and to ensure that she is informed about abortion.
2. FOCA will require taxpayers to pay for abortions. (That’s why the Hyde Amendment needs to be reversed first).
3. FOCA will require states to allow “partial birth” and other late-term abortions.
4. FOCA will require states to allow abortions by non-physicians.
5. FOCA will ban laws protecting the right of conscientious objection to abortion.
6. FOCA will deny parents an opportunity to be involved in their (own) daughter’s abortion decision.

These 6 points were taken from a Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities Fact Sheets- United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB).

So what, if anything, can we do about this? Bishops’ Conference suggestions urge us to contact our local house representatives, our congressmen and congresswomen, and the president with messages of protest. In addition, I urge you to pray each day with your family for the lives of unborn children. I also urge you to have conversations with people about this issue and to do so in a loving way. Communicate that this is the issue of our time, but prepare yourself by doing a little research beforehand. Tell them that there have been 50,000,000 legal abortions since January 22, 1973 (The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood's Family Planning Perspectives, 2008).

We have the power to inform, and to lead others toward a deeper understanding of the sanctity of life. It is our challenge and responsibility at Christians. This is another reason I encourage Catholic Memorial students to join the Pro-Life Club – to learn more.

During my time marching for life in D.C., my wife and I talked to many people about the sanctity and value of life. All that time, we didn't realize that our first child was growing silently in the womb of my wife. Knowing that now, my march for life has even greater meaning for me because now my wife and I know that we also marched with life during those days, marching with our first child with us all along the way.

In closing, before the March for Life, there was a beautiful mass at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. The place was packed to the brim with more than 20,000 people. Through his personal representative, Pope Benedict the XVI delivered a powerful but troubling message: American society is “enslaved by the culture of death.” Wow, what a statement. Is this true? Well, if you stop to think about that for a second, you'll realize that the Pope's assessment is the truth. With pieces of legislation in action and on the horizon, with the president advocating the expansion of abortion availability, and with the exorbitant amount of destruction of human life that has already taken place around us over the last thirty three years, nothing could be closer to this heart-wrenching truth.

Now is the time to stand together in this fight to defend the sanctity of human life, so let’s act today. To borrow a slogan, “Life: Imagine the potential!”

Joe Fricano
CMH Spanish Department
Boys' and Girls' Soccer
Panama Service Project
Catholic Memorial High School

Progress at the Rectory

The new windows are in, and the roof has been repaired. Electrical has been updated to code, and the space for a Eucharistic Chapel has been drywalled.
These, among other accomplishments, shows the progress being made at the CMH rectory. The goal is that I will be able to move in during the month of March.
Thanks to so many volunteers, donors, and workers who are making this happen. This rectory, or more precisely an "Apostolic House", where I and two other priests from the area will live, will be a great sign about having priests in this school and in this neighborhood.
This week I have to pick paint colors. Oh, that will be tough for me. Can't we just paint everything off-white?

Monday, February 9, 2009

CMH mourns a loss.

Nov. 29, 1933 – Feb. 6, 2009

Mary “Dianne” Young of Waukesha died Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, at Avalon Square at age 75.

She was born Nov. 29, 1933, in North Dakota, the daughter of Albert and Kathleen (Sheehan) Korsmo.

Dianne worked as a secretary at Catholic Memorial High School for 24 years and was an active parish member at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Her family and friends filled her life with blessings and love. Dianne cherished every moment with her large family, especially summer vacations in Minnesota and frequent road trips with the Korsmos. She delighted in her time with her children and especially her beautiful grandchildren. We will sorely miss her wonderful cooking and quick sense of humor. Dianne was blessed with true friends who meant so much to her. We are especially thankful for Judy and Wayne Roller, Dar VanPietersom, and Yvonne and Ron Beranek for their love, compassion and tireless loyalty.

Dianne will be deeply missed by her six children, Greg of Waukesha, Jim (Susan) of Sun Prairie, Tom (Jane) of Madison, Dan (Jodi) of the town of Summit, David of Columbus, Ohio, and Mary Beth (Scott) Lewis of Waukesha; nine grandchildren, Katie, David, Cami, Ben, Claire, Justin, Jordyn, Jaden and Willow; her sister, Kathleen (Gordon) Lambrecht of Minnesota; and two brothers, Dennis (Gail) Korsmo of Greendale and Michael (Angela) Korsmo of North Dakota,

She is preceded in death by two brothers, Gerald and Richard Korsmo, and her parents.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. today, Feb. 9, 2009, at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S Grand Ave. in Waukesha. Visitation continues from 9 a.m. until the 10 a.m. Mass of Christian burial Tuesday, Feb. 10 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 225 S. Hartwell Ave., Waukesha. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Catholic Memorial High School, 601 E. College Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186, or Avalon Square, 222 Park Place, Waukesha, WI 53186.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral Home at 547-4035, or go to for directions or to leave an online tribute.
(Waukesha Freeman – Feb. 9, 2009)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

CMH Spring Musical

Five great reasons to come and see the CMH Spring Musical, South Pacific --

  1. Fabulous Singing
  2. Energetic Dancing
  3. A cast of (what seems like) thousands
  4. Hundreds of committed volunteers.
and, what could be the best reason...

...5. So many of the boys got haircuts to look more like WWII U.S. Navy officers and sailors!

For ticket information, click here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A follow-up on yesterday's letter to parents.

In yesterday's letter to all CMH parents, mention was made about Pope John Paul the Great's "Theology of the Body" as being a poignant resource given the news of late.

In a moment of Spirit-filled coincidence, next weekend, various organizations in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are sponsoring a multi-event conference on the subject. Through the graciousness of a CMH supporter, we have already offered the opportunity to attend to any member of the CMH faculty or administration.

I would also recommend it to any Catholic catechist, youth leader, or any parent.

I am told that there is still room for more participants. For more information follow the link to:

To Fill These Hearts Full: God, Sex, and Universal Longing

I hope many members of the CMH community will attend.

Great article...

Actually it is a great editorial commentary about the new President's indebtedness to Catholic education and the sense of obligation which should come from that.

Worth reading though this link.

3 CMH seniors named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

We were notified the other day that three CMH students are being recognized at National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Finalists.

Congratulations to --

Matt Calhoun
Stefanie Moertl
Conor O'Halloran

The National Merit Scholarship Program identifies for itself three goals --

1. To identify and honor academically talented U.S. high school students;
2. To stimulate increased support for their education;
3. To provide efficient and effective scholarship program management for organizations that wish to sponsor college undergraduate scholarships.

Less than one-tenth of one percent of American high school students qualified as NMS semifinalists last fall. Fewer still are recognized as finalists. Best of luck to Matt, Stefanie, and Conor, in the last stage of consideration, that of naming the National Merit Scholars and the awarding of the scholarships.

Thank you for representing CMH so well!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Letter to CMH Parents

February 6, 2009
St. Paul Miki and companions, martyrs

Dear CMH Parent:

In the last day and a half, discussions that we have had with parents and teachers as a result of yesterday’s sad news about high school students from our area being convinced (tricked) into sharing inappropriate pictures of themselves, and then being blackmailed into sexual activities because of the pictures, prompt us to offer some reflections . A number of our own CMH students know young people directly affected by this situation and all of us offer prayers for them, and their families. Sadly, there is no guarantee that our CMH family would be exempt from these types of challenges.

It is the case that this difficult situation shows us two things: 1) The world today is terribly close to losing touch with our understanding that our physical being is a graciously offered gift from God, and that gift is a sign of our dignity as opposed to the course of our downfall; and 2) Our young people are now very nearly trapped in a vicious cycle that misunderstands self, sexuality, and love.

Along with Mr. Brzeski and Mr. Benyousky, we are discussing steps which CMH can quickly take to even better effectuate what we already strive to teach – that having been lovingly created in the image and likeness of God means that we have far different standards than the rest of the world. We hope to soon offer both students and parents, special opportunities to gain needed information about the Church’s teaches on these sorts of matters, and practical recommendations about internet safety considerations.

For now, some faculty and parents have asked for suggested “talking points” when trying to delicately address this matter. As such, when talking to teenagers, the points need to be concise, pithy, and yet, loaded with fodder for discussion. So, here is a “Top Ten” if you will, of lessons to be learned –

1. Photos are required to get a driver’s license, not to start a friendship.
2. Asking for photos is about what someone wants from you, not about what, or who, you are.
3. If, on vacation, you tell your mom “I don’t want my picture taken”, stick with that policy.
4. One click of a camera = one picture; one click of a mouse = millions of copies.
5. Old pictures fade and get thrown away, files on the www never do.
6. Blackmail is about your view of what you yourself did, not what they threaten.
7. Facebook is about communication, not primarily about friendship or any other sincere relationship.
8. Our bodies are about real, sincere relationships, not merely superficial communication.
9. No matter what anyone makes you think, you are better than that!
10. No matter what you might fear, God, faith, family, and true friends are always better than Facebook!

On Wednesday, January 2, 1980, Pope John Paul II began a series of reflections for his weekly general audiences. In the text for that day, devoted to a reflection on our essential worth as created by God, it is likely that the Holy Father anticipated that the take-away line, or title, which would mark the world’s reception of his lesson would be “hermeneutics of the gift.” Unfortunately, “hermeneutics” is far too technical a term. Instead, two sentences later, Pope John Paul the Great would offer a definition of the gift itself, and how we might now come to know it – he coined the phrase “Theology of the Body.”

With that series of reflections, our Holy Father made one of his most significant contributions to modern Catholic thought on the very essence of our being. By extension, he pressed us to form and educate the next generations of Catholic youth with a clearer, and a completely renewed understanding of their self-worth and their high dignity. That worth and that dignity are given to each of us by the very fact that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. We must all share in the task of arming our young people against sacrificing their true worth and dignity to reduced, worldly priorities.

So much of what the world tries to tell us would say otherwise – pictures have to be “hot”, relationships have to be immediately physical, and Facebook is more important than anything else. Even though modern ways of connecting on the internet can serve a purpose (as in the way CMH uses Facebook, or e-mail, to stay in contact with alumni), in the end it can never be a substitute for a real relationship. For us, as Catholics, there is a different set of standards and goals in life that make all the difference. It may never be fully understood what the kids who are now so embarrassed were looking for. Whatever it was, the outcome should be a wake-up call. Rest assured that we at CMH are considering the ways that we can continue to improve what we uniquely offer to help our students navigate a tumultuous world.

In the end, we should stick with what we to do so well here at CMH – starting with our Catholic faith, working with families, and as a family, to produce young people who are Happy, Healthy, and Holy.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

Yours in Christ,

Very Reverend Paul Hartmann


Mark Schmitt, Ed.D.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A note from the Deacons about DC

A few weeks ago, when members of the CMH Pro-Life Club traveled to Washington, DC for the March for Life, Archbishop Dolan, encouraged three of Milwaukee's transitional deacons to travel with him, and to march with us.

Below is the text of a card I received from them. God willing, each will be ordained to the priesthood this May. It was a joy to have them with us for the day.

Hi Father Paul:

We wanted to thank you for your hospitality in including us in the March with your students and for your invitation to dinner in Washington, D.C. It was a very worthwhile day and it was just plain fun also.

Please forward our admiration to the students for how they conducted themselves, and for their efforts in the Pro-Life movement. It was a great witness and very edifying to see the enthusiasm of these men and women as future priests.

Again, our thanks to you and the students of CMHS.

Yours in Christ,

Deacon Mark Brandl
Deacon Sean O’Connell
Deacon Luke Strand

To read short biographies of these deacons, be sure to go to the Archdiocesan website for vocations - ThinkPriest.Org

Mirror, mirror, on the web...

Note, this blog is now also mirrored on the CMH Website itself.

Just another way for you to get the good news. Thanks for reading along!

CMH Board Member recognized for commitment to education

From today's Waukesha Freeman --

Oconomowoc priest recognized by Archbishop Dolan for education commitment
Yockey’s emphasis on learning given archdiocese award

Fr. John Yockey, pastor of St. Jerome's Parish, Oconomowoc, has been a CMH Board member since 1997 and has always been a great supporter of CMH's mission.

Congratulations to Fr. Yockey and, by extension, the parishioners of St. Jerome.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wow! It was cold!

In my ongoing endeavor to get to at least one event for every CMH team, club, and extra-curricular group, I drove out to Alpine Valley Ski Resort tonight. Our CMH Ski Racing Teams were participating in a regional competition. It was cold!
I should have known that something was up when the phrases that team parents greeted me with included "Is that what you are wearing?" and "You should have come last week, it was in the teens."
Regardless of the freezing, bitter, penetrating cold, the race runs were fun to watch and the student-athletes are very committed. Between races, I met with our students in the chalet, some of whom were taking the down time to do homework. I was very impressed.
Congratulations to our racers tonight! Good luck to them at the State Championships in ten days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We shall all learn more Latin!

Denuone Latine loquebar?
Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.

Last week the CMH Latin Club went to the state convention of the Wisconsin Junior Classical League. Overall, our kids did a great job. Check out the results below.

People think football and hockey are tough…it is not often you see competitions in the “War Machine” category!

Congratulations to all of the CMH Latin Scholars!

Jeff Condit – 1st in Photography, 5th in Greek History and 9th in Reading
Vince Rinaldi – 1st in Mosaic
Alfie Garcia – 2nd in Roman History, 3rd in Latin Literature and Greek History, and 8th in Pentathalon
Nora Kral – 2nd in Memorized Oratory and 10th in Grammar
Deanna Lanigan – 2nd and 5th in Photography
Charlie Werner and Sam Lange – 3rd in War Machine
Chelsea Schrubbe – 6th in Reading, 8th in Greek Histrory, 9th in Greek Derivatives and 11th in team sight reading
Leigh Schneider – 7th in t-shirt design, 8th in Latin Derivatives, 9th in Girl costume, and 10th in Grammar, Roman Life and team sight reading
Lydia Ozug – 7th in Couple’s Costume and 10th in Latin Derivatives
Gabe Wichser – 7th in Couple’s costume
Steve Landowski – 7th in Roman History and 9th in Vocabulary
Taylor Duncan – 7th in Reading and 11th in team sight reading
Sam Engsberg – 8th in Roman History and 10th in Latin Derivatives
Jessie Bretl – 9th in Reading and 10th in Greek History
Corinne Nierzwicki – 10th in Grammar and 10th in team sight reading
Maggie Armstrong – 11th in team sight reading

What is a Sticky Rhinceros?

"Judge a nation by the smiles, by the laughter of her children."
E.B. Michaels
CMH's own, Sticky Rhinoceros, performed last week for students and faculty at Queen of Apostles Parish, Pewaukee. Special thanks to Mr. Tom New, the faculty moderator, and Ms. Julie Lindahl, Director of Admissions, for making this performance possible.
A description from Mr. New -- Sticky Rhinoceros is Catholic Memorial’s improv troupe. Like ComedySportz or Whose Line, we get our audiences to laugh by taking their suggestions and using them to create a wide variety of games that are made up on the spot. Directed by one of the members of the drama department, Mr. Tom New, Sticky began in the fall of 2002, and now we do our school-wide performances as part of the CMH one-acts in November, and then at Fun Fridays and High Interest Days throughout the rest of the school year. Becoming a Sticky troupe member starts in September. Announcements are made, and anyone interested reports to the auditorium. For the next three to four weeks, we meet after school Monday through Thursday, learning the basics of improvisation, doing exercises and games, and then a troupe of around twelve students is chosen. This year’s troupe has thirteen students, including four freshmen.
Sticky Rhinoceros troupe members 2008-2009
Maggie Berens 11
Gavin Briscoe 11
Lauren Della 9
Phil Engsberg 12
Sam Engsberg 11
Alex Gromacki 9
Olivia Hurtgen 12
Drew Karczewski 9
Vince Klain 9
Kelly Scherrer 9
Hailey Schwindt 11
Maddie Sternig 10
Maria Stout 10

(For the curious, the name—Sticky Rhinoceros--means nothing. It just sounds funny.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

CMH Trounces Waukesha South

Be sure to check out the Waukesha Freeman story about last Friday's 64-48 CMH victory over South.

The victory was also the subject of half the Sports Extra photo spread.

Photo -- Waukesha South’s Tim Woodford is defended by Catholic Memorial’s David Smith in the third quarter Friday Kevin Harnack/Freeman Staff

Another Facebook milestone!

Fr. Paul reaches 750 friends on Facebook!
Most of those are younger CMH alumni with whom we are making our first "re-connection" since they graduated.
Thanks to everyone who confirmed me for their friends list.
Now I look for 1000!

A multiple choice quiz -

What is today's best example of Caritas in Omnibus?

A. The Blood Center being invited to CMH for a blood drive among students and staff.
B. The students who wait in line to make a donation (even if scared).
C. The student who reassures a nervous friend.
D. All of the above.

(Imagine 30 seconds of the music from Jeopardy...)

The answer is ...

Oh, come on! Do I need to tell you.
Just today's simple example of CMH at its best.

P. S. The Blood Drive continues throughout the day today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fundraising milestones for the Archdiocese.

Catholic Archdiocese past halfway point to fund-raising goal
By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee has surpassed the halfway mark of its $105 million capital campaign, raising $57.5 million in pledges less than two years into the five-year drive.

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said the success so far, in tough economic times and with fewer than half of parishes reporting, reflects local parishioners' strong commitment to stewardship and Catholic education.

Hopefully, the same good fortune will spread to the Crusader Fund.

CMH in the news.

Great coverage of the CMH pilgrimage to the Washington, DC, March for Life by the the Catholic Herald, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.