Wednesday, February 29, 2012

D2 Boys B-Ball Tourney coverage

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 62
Union Grove 48

CMH's Accuracy Dooms Broncos
Crusaders put away game with 13-0 run
by Tony Mooren, Freeman correspondent

Quote of the article: "It is attributable to the guys being willing to trust each other, running the offense, and the shots they took were good shots." Coach Dean Bellanti on the formula for the win.

To read the full article, click here!

Scenes from State Fair!

Compliments of CMH alum, Billy Seidel --

Destined to be another Tommy Award winner!

Presser on McNulty signing for Valpo

from ValpoAthletics.Com --

Crusader Men’s Soccer Adds Five for 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Looking to build on a historic 2011 season that saw Valparaiso claim the Horizon League regular season championship, head men’s soccer coach Mike Avery announced today a group of three incoming freshmen and two transfers who will continue their soccer careers in a Crusader jersey. The five newest additions are Jordan Aidoud (L’Isled’Abeau, France/Centre D’Etudes Franco Americain de Management), Alvaro Betancourt (Caguas, Puerto Rico/Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola), Yannick Iwunze (Paris, France/Hightower [Texas] H.S. [Barton County C.C./West Virginia), Patrick McNulty (Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial) and Michael Walsh (Wilmington, N.C./Laney).

“We are very excited to welcome this talented group of young men to the Valpo soccer family,” said Avery. “Collectively, the class represents the same recruiting strategy we have followed over the past few years where we have blended some transfers, some international experience, and some high school seniors together to form a group that can give us some help immediately, and that can help us by providing depth for the future."

“These five have some big shoes to fill in replacing the group of seniors that led us to a solid fall season,” Avery continued. “But my guess is that we will see this group have a big impact on our team as we keep pushing toward even higher heights. We will be adding some additional names to the recruiting class in the next few weeks, but, as a starting point, I couldn’t have hoped for a better class. I thank my current players and my coaching staff for the work they did to bring this group into the fold.”

Patrick McNulty

McNulty has been a four year varsity player for Catholic Memorial H.S., where he has been a crucial part of the program’s success. In McNulty’s four years, Catholic Memorial has appeared in the State Championship every year and has taken home the trophy on one occasion. Named team captain in his junior and senior year, McNulty was honored as First Team All-Conference Classic 8 his final two years and First Team All-State this past fall. In his club involvement with SC Waukesha, his leadership and maturity have earned him the title of team captain for the last four years. With Waukesha, he won the 2011 Midwest Regional League 1st Division Championship.

McNulty first visited Valpo while attending the 2011 VIP Camp and enjoyed the family atmosphere of the team and staff which he saw at that event. “When I met Coach Avery and learned about his program, coaching staff, and the family that he’s created at Valparaiso, I knew this was the place for me,” McNulty recollects. “The coaching staff is committed to improving the whole player, on and off the field, and the team chemistry between players is something I want to be a part of. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I have been given and I look forward to being coached by this staff, which will help me continue my growth as a soccer player and as a person.”

“Patrick is a player we have grown very close to over the recruiting process, and I am so excited that he will finally be joining us,” said Avery. “He is one of those players that makes the game look easy because he is so simple in his decisions on the ball and clean with his technique. Additionally, he has a great engine and covers a lot of ground over the course of a game. He has a very positive personality, one that fits perfectly with how we try to view the opportunity we have here at Valparaiso, and I am certain he will be a leader among our freshmen class.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CMH Skiing

CMH senior, Anthony Wong has been named to the Wisconsin all-state alpine ski team.

This follows the boys' ski team's 3rd place finish in the Wisconsin state championship two weeks ago. There, Anthony took first place in the giant slalom.

Congratulations to Anthony and to the entire CMH Ski team.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recognizing volunteerism

from CMH girls' soccer coach, John Burke -

Nikki Condit received the Wisconsin TOPSoccer Volunteer-of-the-Year Award at Winterfest yesterday. The man on the right is John Janasik, the founder and director of TOPSoccer for the state.

Special thanks go out to Coach Young and Coach Bergan for bringing the wrestling team to help at the event. I include a picture of Bill working at the goalkeeping station--did you ever think you'd see Bill coaching soccer?! He's a natural, and it's clear that he missed his calling!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Senior Night is Big Night for Taugher

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 80
KM 61

Taugher Enjoys Quite a Finish
by James Hoffman, Freeman correspondent

Quote of the day: "Knowing it was my last home game and it has gone by so fast, I had to make it worth it." Ryan Taugher, senior

To read the full article, click here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CMH Alum named Volunteer of the Year

from DePaulBlueDemons.Com -
Condit Makes Our World a Better Place
DePaul Freshman Soccer Player Will Receive Volunteer of the Year Award on Saturday

Feb. 22, 2012

CHICAGO - There aren't very many college kids who would jump out of bed at 8 a.m. on a Saturday to watch "Sponge Bob Square Pants" on television before breakfast.

But the reason why DePaul women's soccer player Nikki Condit [CMH '11] would do something so anomalous and out of character for a teenager is the beginning of a heartwarming tale.

Since she was in eighth grade, Condit has been especially devoted to a wonderful program for special-needs children in Waukesha, Wis.

In this particular instance, Condit was paired up with seven-year-old Kristen who was making the most out of life despite a mental disability.

John Burke, the TOPSoccer program organizer and Condit's soccer coach at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, had a hunch Condit would establish a unique rapport.

"She was my first TOPS child," Condit said. "Kristen was one of the more challenging children, but coach Burke saw that I really connected with the kids and assigned her to me. Half the time, we would just play tag or run around and laugh. She liked to climb on the bleachers, so I had to keep her away from that.

"Her favorite TV show was "Sponge Bob Square Pants." So, I started waking up early and watching Sponge Bob before breakfast. Then when she'd come to TOPS, I knew what she was talking about. She was special. I loved to make her smile."

Condit, a freshman forward who played in 17 matches last fall with five starts and fired off five shots on goal, recalled another memorable TOPS encounter.

"There was this 11-year-old boy I worked with who had a mental disability," Condit said. "He was one of the most brilliant kids I met. He was a storyteller. We would pass the soccer ball back and forth and talk.

"He knew everything about Greek mythology---the names and powers of all the gods and goddesses. He could talk all day long about all the different kinds of dinosaurs. He knew all about Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman. His capacity for information---I was astounded by it."

Both of these children and many more will be in the audience on Saturday when Condit accepts the Wisconsin TOPSoccer Volunteer of the Year Award at the Winter Fest event at Catholic Memorial.

"It's a huge honor," Condit said. "I've always gone back at the end of the TOPS season and attended Winter Fest when kids and coaches from all over the state get together.

"I never once imagined me being the person to receive the award. I don't think of TOPS as community service or that I'm doing it to get something out of it. It's just very special to me, and all the children I've worked with will be there.

"You feel great afterwards. It's almost like a retreat from my own personal world. Whatever problems I have, they're not important. The world is so much bigger than I am.

"I stepped out of my comfort zone and ended up loving what I found. I found a connection with these children. I know what a powerful impact sports can have on a person's life, and now soccer has presented me with this opportunity."

Burke will be beaming on Saturday.

"Nikki builds instant rapport because she approaches each child with a soft-spoken gentleness," Burke said. "When you watch Nikki play soccer, the first thing that comes to mind is power, intensity, and precision. But then you see her at TOPS where she demonstrates a gentle compassion that surprises and inspires us all."

A favorite Catholic Memorial soccer memory came to mind as Burke talked about one of his favorite players.

"Although our Catholic Memorial team is one of the most successful high school programs in the nation, my fondest memory of Nikki on the field occurred during one of our rare losses," Burke said. "We were playing the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, Davis High School in California.

"Despite all the injuries that required us to play with many reserve players, Nikki played her heart out the entire game and led some kids who had never started before to a remarkable performance and a narrow defeat. This is Nikki's nature, to compete with passion no matter what the odds are against you. This attitude is something that contributes to her being an excellent TOPSoccer coach.

"I hope each of my four daughters grows up to be a lot like her."

Whenever Condit goes home on a school break, she heads to TOPS.

"Why do I keep coming back?" Condit said. "It's a very humbling experience. You realize how fortunate you are. Being involved in sports is an important outlet for kids. It teaches you life lessons, skills and values. I'm able to provide that outlet for children who haven't been given that opportunity.

"These children don't think of it as a struggle. They're just so happy to be there. I'm here---let's make do with what we have.

"Sometimes, we do things on a whim. They're so happy and energetic, it seems like nothing is wrong. They are in their own element, surrounded by friends. They say hi and hug."

And now the Volunteer of the Year in Wisconsin is spreading her influence to Chicago. Condit volunteers at the Anixter Center in Lincoln Park working with special needs children. She is also volunteers her time at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Condit was the official scorekeeper for a wheelchair rugby tournament on Feb. 12.

"I did a report recently on the history of the Special Olympics, and I've been thinking maybe I could be a special education teacher or work in management for the Special Olympics," Condit said. "Whatever happens, I definitely know this is a lifetime involvement.

"I enjoy it. This is my guilty pleasure. Some people eat chocolates---I go to TOPS."

CMH Girls Rugby selected for National Invitational

As part of the Division 1 and Division 2 National Collegiate Championships, USA Rugby has invited 8 high school level girls team to Stanford University for America's most prestigious tournament.

Catholic Memorial will compete at Stanford over the weekend of May 11-13.

Go Crusaders!

More on the Fine Arts successes...

from Waukesha Now.Com -

Catholic Memorial trumpeter knows music - and all that jazz
Aldred's ensemble represents Midwest in Big Apple

Quote of the article: After graduating from Memorial in the spring, Aldred plans on attending the University of Miami (Fla.) to study jazz and pre-med."At this point, I'm not exactly sure where (those degrees) will lead me," Aldred said. "I know I want to go to medical school. That's the plan right now. We'll see where it goes."

To read the full article, click here.

More coverage for CMH Theater alum, Brett Ryback

Good interview in today's Waukesha Freeman, click here!

3 Crusaders reamin among top BB scorers in county

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Among Boys:

13. Ryan Taugher, 14.2 points per game
16. Jake Giffhorn, 13.6

On the Girls' list:

7. Alison Mueller, 15.2

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CMH grad makes giving all the easier

from BizTimes.Com -
David Pazdernik [CMH '98] founded Dideo (pronounced like “video”) after realizing there was space in the marketplace for an easy way to give and receive donations for timely and relevant causes.Dideo is a social online platform that allows any organization, individual or business to easily give and receive financial support.
“We realized very early on that intrinsically many people want to help when they see an individual in trouble or a story like the disaster in Japan or other timely events,” Pazdernik said.
“They want to help, but unless there’s a massive organization collecting donations or funds for natural disaster victims there isn’t always an easy way to do that.”Dideo is on online giving platform that gives individuals and organizations the ability to set up a Dideo profile and begin receiving funds and support almost immediately.
The company launched the Beta version of its platform about a month ago.“It takes as little as 90 seconds in some cases,” Pazdernik said.
To read the full article, click here!
To see how Dideo works, and to support CMH at the same time, click on the icon below. And, thank you in advance!

Listen to my homily...

If you are interested, please listen to my homily from today's Ash Wednesday, all-school mass.

To access the audio, click here, and look for the link on the left.

Crusader Girls Hold On For Victory

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 61
New Berlin West 56

CMH Holds On
A. Mueller scores 22
by Evan Frank, Freeman correspondent

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CMH Alum Named Seton Hall Coach

from the Seton Hall Pirates website --

Allison [Smerz] Yaeger [CMH, '00] Named Seton Hall Volleyball Coach
Release: 02/06/2012
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Allison Yaeger will be the next head coach of the Seton Hall University women's volleyball program as announced today by Seton Hall Director of Athletics, Patrick Lyons.
Yaeger has spent the past five seasons with the Pirates as an assistant coach under Kris Zeiter, who stepped down last month. "We're very excited to have Allison as the next head coach of our volleyball program," Lyons said.
"As someone who has been involved with the program over the last five years and has been instrumental in our recent success, we feel confident that she will hit the ground running in an effort to continue moving our program forward."
Yaeger helped Zeiter lead the Pirates to a 17-13 overall record in 2011 and the team posted eight conference wins, the most in school history. Under her guidance, she saw the program break a 15-year postseason drought in 2009 and reach the BIG EAST Championship in each of the past three seasons. Yaeger played a key role in recruiting along with game and practice preparations.
Prior to coming to Seton Hall, Yeager was an assistant coach at Binghamton for two seasons. She was responsible for helping the team with defensive and serve reception along with overall ball control. Yeager was also involved with recruiting, making travel arrangements, and aiding various other aspects of the program. Prior to her time at Binghamton, Yaeger served as an undergraduate assistant at her alma-mater, Wright State, during the 2004-05 season.
Yaeger was a standout libero and outside hitter for the Raiders from 2000-03. She ranks third in the school's history with 1,319 digs. After the 2003 season, Yaeger was selected as an honorable mention AVCA All-American as well as Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year.

More on Cam Henson at the Westminster Dog Show

Visit a pope, and people take interest...

Like last night's first ever visitor to this blog from the country of Estonia. Welcome!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 11 in the Vatican, the Red Sea

The consistory has occurred. The Cardinals have been "created". His Excellency is now His Eminence.

It was a joy and an honor to be present to see the man who has so greatly impacted my priesthood and my ministry receive the scarlet (or blood) red marking of a Prince of the Church.

His day was tremendously busy, but many of us took part in receptions at the Pontifical North American College for both Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal O'Brien (both former rectors of the seminary) and then a reception for Milwaukee and St. Louis family and friends hosted by Archbishop James Harvey in the Apostolic Palace itself.

There are not many people who can say they were at a party where, halfway through, the guest of honor announces "Hey, let's go down and see the Sistine Chapel." And you do!

Congratulations to His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Thank you for all you have done for me, for Milwaukee, and for the Church. Our prayers are with you.

Day 10 in Rome

It was a full day, not with scheduled events, but with walking the city, shopping for some new vestments, and seeing the sights.

The Archbishop, Bishop Hying, one of the seminarians and I went to the Basilica of the Cathedral of St. John Lateran to celebrate daily mass.

Before celebrating mass in the ancient and beautiful sacristy chapel, we gathered by the main altar to recite the Apostles' Creed. While we were not with the full group of midwestern bishops, this visit completed the ad limina tradition of visiting Rome's four major basilicas.

Two interesting facts, St. John's is the Cathedral of the diocese of Rome, not St. Peters. Also, it is dedicated to the patronage of St. John the Baptist, not John the Apostle and not someone named John Lateran.

Bold and expansive like St. Paul's, St. John's has the magnificent statuary akin to St. Peter's. These fifteen foot tall behemoths show and teach us about the twelve apostles.

In the area of the Pantheon (an ancient pagan Roman temple claimed for Christianity) there are a number of religious stores catering to clerics. But, in the midst of the bustle is Santa Maria sopra Minerva. This great church has a shrine to St. Catherine of Siena and a great Michaelangelo sculpture of the risen Lord.

Tomorrow, or actually later today, will be the consistory elevating Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the College of Cardinals. A grand moment for the church of the United States, New York, and, in a way, Milwaukee.

And then home on Sunday...Happily!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Visitors from new places are becoming more rare

But last night this blog had its first reader from the Cayman Islands. I hope they have some bank accounts for CMH.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 9 in Rome

Today I half-fulfilled a promise I made to myself to visit the Roman churches which represent the patrons of CMH. With two of our Milwaukee seminarians (John Gibson and Nate Miniatt) leading the way, we headed to a beautiful residential neighborhood far to the north of the Vatican. There we visited Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

The church was interesting in that it turned out to be Gothic in style, one of the few in Rome. Inside was quiet, and even though dimly lit, colorful.

Given the number of Dominican saints represented in the art and at the side altars, we guessed that it might be Dominican fathers who staff the parish.

At the shrine of Our Lady, I lit candles for CMH students, staff, and benefactors. I took time to pray the rosary. Being Thursday, the Luminous mysteries are recommended. Along the way, with each Hail Mary I thought of some person or aspect of CMH to be blessed.

Unfortunately, we found that the parish of St. George (patron of Crusaders), is closed on Thursdays. Only in Rome...

Instead, we made our way back to the area south of the Vatican called Trastavere (meaning across the Tiber). Before lunch we stopped at the Santa Maria della Scala, St. Mary of the Steps or Stairs.

The stairs in this case refers to a tradition where an icon of Mary in the church was originally from a nearby home. A mother placed the image at the foot of the stairs leading up to the room of her badly ill child. Each time she climbed the steps to care for the child, she prayed for personal strength and intercession for her child. Eventually, the child was miraculously healed. A sign both of a mother's love, faith, and God's goodness.

Here I lit a candle for all CMH students, staff, and family members who are sick or suffering in any way.

We ended our trek at one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, also in the Trastavere section - Santa Maria della Trastavere. It's original portions are considered to be one of the oldest churches in Rome. Dating to the year 340, it is thought to be the first place of regular, public Christian celebration of the mass.

Eventually this minor basilica would be overshadowed by the four major basilicas of Rome (St. Peter's in the Vatican, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran, and St. Mary Major) but for its history and beauty it certainly deserves a certain pride of place.

Because this was the place of first public worship after decades of persecutions, I lit a candle here for strength for CMH to endure whatever challenges it confronts as a school community.

Three Marian churches made for a great day. I got a lot of great ideas for the chapel which I pray CMH will one day build! (Smaller and simpler, of course.)

I hope to try and get to St. George's tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crusader Boys trap Panthers

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 73
Greendale 52

To read the coverage, click here.

Here is a better picture...

of CMH student Cam Henson at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. Cam is kneeling, second from left.

Another catch-up picture

As part of the ad limina visitation, the bishops are invited to a reception at the residence of the US Ambassador to the Holy See. The present ambassador, Miguel Diaz, was back in Washington, DC "for consultations". On Monday night we were instead hosted by the deputy chief of mission.

Archbishop Listecki, on behalf of the bishops accepted the kind welcome and spoke of the bishops' hope for continued cooperation between the US, the Holy See, and the American bishops on matters of shared importance such as the free exercise of religious liberty.

Day 8 in Rome

While it is certainly one of the best places in the world to be, and I am very much looking forward to this weekend's consistory where Archbishop Dolan will receive the red hat of a cardinal, it is becoming a long trip. I have not been away from CMH when school was in session for this long since I became president. I will certainly be ready to come home on Sunday.

This morning I participated in a very interesting meeting with some of the bishop-canonists from our group at the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. Led by Bishop Tom Paprocki of Springfield, IL, there was interesting conversations about a variety of subjects. It is quite nice when the man in charge of interpreting our universal Code of Canon Law says to you "Father, that is a very good point." OK, it made my day.

This afternoon the ad limina bishops and all the Milwaukee pilgrims will be together for mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The presider will be Archbishop Listecki.

Good experiences (except the cold weather) are being had by all.

P.S. The Latin phrase above translates as "The salvation of souls, the supreme law". Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another day in Rome ends...

A full day of Milwaukeeans on the Eternal City. A great time, and a prayerful time in each event and each place.

Day 7 in Rome

The day started out with the Milwaukee pilgrims when they had their opportunity to celebrate the mass at the tomb of St. Peter. Archbishop Listecki presided and preached. The pilgrims and the bishops had a busy day, but with separate schedules.

The Archbishop, Bishop Hying, and I were able to join the group for part of lunch at a beautiful restaurant outside of the city. Tonight, will be a Milwaukee night for bishops, priests, and seminarians from Milwaukee to get together and celebrate.

Another great day!

And it is not even Greco-Roman style...

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Two CMH wrestlers qualify for Sectionals

Congratulations to Justin Dentici and John Clark. From Sectionals, it will be on to state!

Strong 3rd place finishes, were also turned in David MacLeod and John Anderson.

To read the Freeman article, click here.

A non-Roman topic

from the Westminister Kennel Club --

Judge William Sahloff selects the first and second finalists in junior showmanship at the Westminster Kennel Club.

On the left in the first position next to the judge is CMH Freshman Cam Henson with his beagle GCH Chardon Garden Party (Daisy).

Congratulations Cam, and Daisy!

The crypt at St. Paul's

I forgot to include this photo yesterday. It is looking down at the crypt of St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, in the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls.

That box near the top of the photo which looks like an old television set, is actually a storage case of a piece of the chain which held St. Paul prisoner here in Rome before his execution. In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI fulfilled a promise made by Pope John Paul and gifted two links of this chain to the Orthodox Church. Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and all Greece accepted the symbol of the bonds between us on behalf of all Orthodox Christians.

Still catching up...

Did you know that it is illegal to do video or film interviews in St. Peter's Square itself. Thus, we and others, line up right at the fence line to do these interviews.
See the scaffolding to the left? The famous Bernini Colonnade, along with the facia of the building neighboring St. Peters, are in the process of being restored. Consdiering the look of parts already will look magnificent when finished.

Catching up on some pictures...

Here is a picture from the Holy Father's Angelus address and blessings last Sunday. The head right in front of me is Bishop Don Hying, the new auxiliary of Milwaukee. I was a very cold (by Rome standards) Sunday noon in February, and the square still some 20,000 people gathered for the praying of the Angelus.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 6 in Rome -- St. Paul Outside the Walls

While there is no doubt that St. Peter's is the most inspiring Church in the world, St. Paul is the most fortifying in Christendom. St. Peter's inspires the Church perfected -- the aspirations for heavenly glory. St. Paul's fortifies the Church militant, or incarnate -- the drive of the Church in the world, seeking to transform the work.

When I visit St. Paul's Basilica, I ask myself if I am doing enough to transform the world. If only I could carry a big sword every day.

The pictures I promised of the papal audience...