Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Message

Winning –The Memorial Way

It was a beautiful day, a fantastic crowd, and a hard-played contest.  Best of all, the team we were cheering for won! 
Last Friday something unique about Catholic Memorial High School showed itself at Camp Randall Stadium.  “The Memorial Way” was evident not just in the State Championship trophy held high by our players. 
On Thursday, players, coaches and parents gathered for mass and heard from Maccabees that the horseman clothed in white, wielding weapons of gold and walking with God can overcome anything.  Elsewhere the danceteam rehearsed and students made signs, flags, and banners.   Our drama team prepared for their competition in the Wisconsin State Forensic Association One-Act festival.
It seems cliché to speak of the CMH family coming together like the small town does, especially when our kids live among and compete against suburban schools double or triple our size.  Yet, on Friday morning almost all CMH students gathered with hundreds of alumni and friends for a great game and our thespians headed with their supporters for the theater competition in Stevens Point.
The CMH success stories don’t simply follow a David and Goliath narrative.  Instead, they are about the stories of David, the Maccabees, or the saints being retold in our faith formation.  Our success stories in academics, sports, drama and fine arts are about intentionally lifting up every young person.  Like when every actor has their time in the spotlight and every senior on the team has playing time to remember from a state championship. 
Our successes, which certainly can be measured in test scores, college scholarships, and charitable outreach, are really about having a common mission to educate young people, guide their character development, and preparing them to be servant leaders for the Church and the world.  Our successes are inspired by the fact that we are called to be a living memorial to twenty-nine fallen servicemen who exemplified a willingness to sacrifice for things greater than one’s self.
At CMH, we don’t see ourselves as the underdogs of the Classic 8 Conference.  We see every opportunity in the classroom, field or court, studio or stage, to be a chance to live out our mission.  Regardless of a final score, this is The Memorial Way.
God has blessed us with many successes in all areas.  An element of The Memorial Way is to make sure that thanks is given.  So, to the students, faculty, staff and families of CMH – Thank you!  To the alumni, community neighbors and supporters – Thank you!  To our supporting parishes and partner schools – Thank you!  And, to God, Our Heavenly Father – Thank you!
Very Reverend Paul Hartmann, ‘84
President, Catholic Memorial High School

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