Friday, December 28, 2012

CMH in today's Freeman

From today's Waukesha Freeman --

In the Sports Year in Review, highlights of coverage of CMH's State Championship Football Game.

In the College Notebook, highlights of TJ Bray's, CMH '10, record number of assists for Princeton, and Derek Schell's, CMH '10, stellar play at Hillsdale College.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Message

Dear Family and Friends of CMH,

There is a wonderful scene in the original movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours” which starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda as parents to a large blended family. The scene is the first Christmas morning for the new family. What I remember is, as the younger kids all rushed to their toys from Santa, one little boy found that the handle bars of his new bike fell off. At that point, up stepped one of the older brothers who helped with the situation since Santa was so busy on Christmas night.

In one way or another, we have all been there – riding the roller coaster of life that is Christ night and morning; feeling anxiousness and joy, busyness and calm, frustration and satisfaction. What should be telling to us is the realization that, in the end, we tend to remember one side of things much more than the other.

We each encounter these ups and downs as individuals, but also in shared ways as families, communities, nations, and even as a global community. I won’t touch on the “some assembly required” roller coaster ride that some of you may still have to face in a few days. But, I do know that whether measured in the wee hours of the night, or in a week since a great tragedy, or a semester of some four months, the experience is best considered for two great lessons. 

First, we will (or better, we should) always remembers the best times. In fact, if the joys, friends or the loves are going to be what become our lasting memories, is it not a great indicator that we will move through a down time faster if we just move on to the good things? The second lesson is that even in the unexpected down moments, sometimes all that is needed is a new older brother to step in and be Santa’s helper.

So many great things have happened at CMH already this year that there are just too many to list. More importantly, the future holds even greater promise. When there is a partnership between the school, families, alumni, parishes, and community, all with the mission to educate, guide and prepare young people to serve the Church and the world, how can we have anything but great successes to remember?

Every Christmas, we remember that the Lord came to us so that we might be helped, be saved, by one like us – an adopted older brother if you will. In being the receiver of great gifts, we quickly learn that we must also become givers of Christ’s gifts to the world today.

I am so deeply grateful for all the God-given gifts that shine brightly at CMH. But, I am most satisfied that our students, families, and alumni are so bold in their thanks to God for their gifts and so committed to being givers of those gifts. Essentially, that is Caritas in Omnibus, that is The Memorial Way, and that is, sometimes, being Santa’s helper.

Blessings to all members of the CMH Family in this Christmas season. May those blessings extend into a joyous New Year, and be extended to a needy world by all your acts of love and kindness.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

Very Reverend Paul B. R. Hartmann, ‘84

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan Calendar?

For anyone who believes that tomorrow will be the end of the world, please make your end of year, end of the world, donations to Catholic Memorial by the end of today. For anyone who doesn't think the world will end tomorrow, please make your donation in honor of the education you received at CMH. Have a great snow day.

To make a donation to the CMH Crusader Fund right now, click here.

First Snow Day of the year!

Enjoy the additional time to study for exams.

Sorry that this means that there will be 5 exam periods tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mr. Farrell Day in the Lunch Room

In honor of the last day for Pat Farrell ever doing lunch room supervision, students found an appropriate way to show appreciation on Mr. Farrell Day.

Pat officially retires at the end of the month, but will be around for a few of the key CMH events in the spring.

The entire CMH family is tremndously thankful to Pat for his 42 years of service.

More to come...

Fr. Paul on Fox 6 news

This weekend, Fox 6 news called me twice to offer thoughts and reflections about how we should react to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elelmentary.

Local priest: Praying after tragedy is important

Father Paul Hartmann offers perspective following tragic shooting

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayers for Sandy Hook

Dear members of the CMH family,
Traditionally, the Third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday.  Gaudete means “rejoice” and the day is to be a brief interruption of the season of preparation looking ahead to the joys of Christmas.   But, this year, it does not seem fitting to don the rose-colored vestments of joy when sadness weighs down upon us.
The tragic violence of what happened at Sandy Hook has neither explanation, nor silver linings.  Whatever reason might be found, or cause which might be determined, it is fair to accept that there is, in this event, the presence of evil.  In response, it is necessary in faith to hold that only goodness and love can ultimately be victorious. 
So many prayers need to be offered for so many touched by this tragedy.  But, I have in my heart a special thought for the priests, ministers, and rabbis who will walk with the families, especially, the parents, of the victims in coming days.  The struggle of grief is often a search for meaning and a simultaneous fight for, but resistance of, closure.  It will be too tempting for some to try to draw these suffering families into the externals of this tragic moment, however important to our culture the issues might be. 
Our faith tells us that what God wants for us is to know that we are loved and, in being created in His image and likeness, we can show some small sliver of the fruitful, life-giving love which God shows to us.  This is why the love of husband and wife is a sacrament, and why the love between a parent and child is the near perfect opportunity to realize God’s embrace of our souls. 
When Jesus told the disciples to let the children come unto him because “the kingdom of heaven belongs to just such as these,” he was not just offering words which give us consolation today.  In a deep and abiding truth, he was offering us a Christian insight into the path toward fulfillment in our lives.  He teaches us that the love of children, with the double meaning of the love given and the love received, is itself an incarnate and vivid rendering of God’s love present among and embracing all that he has created.
In this season, we look forward to Emmanuel, God with us, bringing comfort to His people.  It is the sincerest hope of all the faithful that each of these families can find in their prayers, can treasure in their hearts, and can build upon in their lives, the sure and certain knowledge that even in lives so tragically ended there was a joyous experience of love, of God’s love, to hold so dear. 
Therein is a path which fulfills God’s plan for each soul welcomed to the heavenly banquet.  Therein is the path to consolation for each of us who remain.  That in each day we have in this world we live in the knowledge and hope that we are created by God to fully receive, and selflessly offer, His love in every encounter he have. 
May the victims, the children, of Sandy Hook be remembered for the love which God showed to them, and through them, in their ever so brief time on this earth.  For all of us, this will be a path to eternal joy.
Fr. Paul Hartmann, '84

A moment of silence, and a prayer...

At last night's Girls Varsity Basketball Game, in lieu of offering our CMH Team Prayer as the usual invocation, with the gathering of CMH  and Mukwonago players and fans, we offered a moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting followed by this prayer.  It is based on the prayers used in the Catholic funeral mass for a child.

Heavenly Father, and Tender Shepherd of your flock,
The victims of Sandy Hook Elementary school have been welcomed into your kingdom
And now lay cradled in your eternal love.
Soothe the mournful hearts of their families, their friends, their community
And, in time, bring peace to their lives.
In the days ahead, strengthen their faith,
And give hope to their broken hearts.

Loving God,
Grant mercy to all your people in this time of suffering.
Comfort us in the knowledge that those taken from us, those little children,
Now live with you and your Son, Jesus Christ,
And the Holy Spirit
Forever and ever.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R./ And let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they each, rest in peace.   R./ AMEN
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yesterday shopping, today delivery

Today, members of the JV Boys Basketball Team delivered to representatives of the Salvation Army and the Christmas Clearing House, the toys and household items the whole team went shopping for just yesterday.

Representing the whole team, and pictured above, were CMH sophomores Jack Crain, Matt Morris, and Eric Brown along with Rudolph and Brad Beach, mascot for the Milwaukee Wave.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

After practice...what else, shopping!

Today, after practice, members of the CMH Crusaders JV basketball team went shopping for Waukesha Christmas Clearing Council Family whom hey are sponsoring. As a team, they will be delivering gifts to the family this Saturday morning.

All the guys can be proud.  A special thanks to the leadership of Coaches Ryan Mills and Tom Gotzler.
Caritas in Omnibus!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CMH alum parent recognized as a lead Business Leader of Milwaukee

from the Business Journal of Milwaukee -

Slideshow: Johnson Controls CEO draws big crowd at Power Breakfast

Johnson Controls Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Roell drew quite a crowd to The Business Journal's Power Breakfast on Dec. 7.

More than 500 Milwaukee-area business executives turned out for the event at The Pfister Hotel to hear Roell talk about the growth plans for the largest public company in the state of Wisconsin. Roell also talked about the company's aggressive plans for China, his concern about the upcoming federal "fiscal cliff" and Johnson Controls' Milwaukee operations.

Read reporter Jeff Engel's coverage of Roell's remarks on our website and watch for extensive coverage in our Dec. 14 issue.

Those in attendance at the event included Milwaukee developer Gary Grunau; Mary Lou Young, president of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee; Mark Williams, managing partner of the Milwaukee office of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP; and Tim Sullivan, former Bucyrus International Inc. chief executive officer and current unpaid consultant for business and work force development for the state.

N.B. Be sure to review the Slideshow of the event, click here. 

CMH Pride Point - Note that in the slide show, four of the 13 individuals given prominence are either CMH alums or alum parents, or present CMH board members.  (Steve Roell, alum parent of four CMH grads; Bill West, CMH '79, parent of three grads, present and future parent, and present member of the Board; Leon Janssen, parent of two CMH grads and grandfather of two present students and member of CMH Board; my pic is in there and you see part of Dr. Bob Hall's head twice.)   Note also that among those noted to have been in attendance is Tim Sullivan, CMH '65.

Nominate CMH grad Charlie Werner for Waukesha's Person of the Year

from Waukesha Patch.Com -

It's the end of the year, and Waukesha Patch has had the privilege of telling the stories of some amazing people.

There was Charlie Werner, a Catholic Memorial High School who fought strong odds against a rare medical condition but graduated. Dianna Gutierrez was 10 years old when she doused a fire started by an arsonist – potentially saving property and the life of her 4-year-old sister. Gabriel Granados-Saucedo was honored by police for stopping a man who appeared to be sexually assaulting a woman. And we can't forget Mike Noonan, a smiling Target worker whose customer service has touched man. But we know there are people doing good that we never heard about.

To put in your nomination for Charlie, follow the link below -

Boys BB Bounces Back

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

North, Memorial, Mukwonago win Michaelis’ buzzer-beating halfcourt shot beats Beaver Dam

Classic 8 Conference schools went 3-1 against Milwaukee City Conference schools in the tournament. Milwaukee South beat Waukesha West 55-52, Catholic Memorial downed Milwaukee Washington 70-58 and Mukwonago nipped Milwaukee Riverside 55-51 in overtime...

• • • Memorial outscored Milwaukee Washington in each of the first three quarters, including 17-10 in the first period.

Four Memorial players scored in double figures, led by senior Ty Sabin with 16 points and junior Ayinde Starling with 15 points. Senior Andre Boddin and junior Jake Shomin each scored 10 points for the Crusaders, now 4-2.

Now Memorial prepares for a key Classic 8 Conference game Friday at

Monday, December 10, 2012

We're #1... for a good cause.

We have received the most up to date results in the Salvation Army of Waukesha Kettle Challenge:

Here are the CURRENT Top 5 in the Youth Competition:

1. Catholic Memorial                 $1558
2. Waukesha South                $1375
3. Kettle Moraine                $1125
4. Cub Scout Troop                $1050
5. YMCA Adventure Guides        $ 822
We are just barely ahead of Waukesha South.  We have had about 10 groups out and it was great to see that five members of the Freshmen Boys Basketball players are going to be out this weekend.  

This is a great service project for the school.  We hope to see even more student involvement over the next 2 weeks.  

One CMH mom who was helping said "I was picking up a group this weekend, I was there for 1/2 hour, you can't imagine how thrilled shoppers are to see teenagers out there, singing, laughing, saying "Merry Christmas" to each and every person that walked past them!"

CMH Boys VB Coach also Coach of the Year

from JSOnline.Com -

Coach of the year: Not only did first-year Catholic Memorial coach Dave Schmidlin have to replace last season's state player of the year in Trevor Novotny, Tim Heyrman also graduated after making all-area second team.

After a season-opening loss to Milwaukee Marquette, Schmidlin admitted the team wasn't on the same page and it was going to take some work.

A few weeks later, Schmidlin guided Catholic Memorial to the state quarterfinals, where the Crusaders lost to Burlington.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bill Young named Coach of the Year

from today's JSOnline.Com -

Catholic Memorial's Young is coach of the year

If you're not careful, you can become numb to the success Bill Young and his staff enjoy at Catholic Memorial.

The Crusaders have made the playoffs nine times in 12 years in the WIAA and reached the state final three times. This year they were once again the smallest school in the Classic 8, with the closest in enrollment, Waukesha North, listed with 478 more students, according to the WIAA website. Most of Memorial's league rivals are at least twice as large.

There is a competitive advantage larger schools enjoy. It is the reason schools are split into divisions based on enrollment for the playoffs. It is also the reason conferences, for the most part, are not only determined by geography but also by enrollment. Having a significantly smaller pool of talent to draw from has drowned other programs, but Memorial continues to defy that logic.

For Young and the Crusaders, the 2012 season may have been the sweetest example of that, as they rallied from a 2-2 start to win their final nine games and capture the school's first WIAA football championship.

For their work, Young, with the help of his staff, is the Journal Sentinel area coach of the year.
"There's no one more passionate and more dedicated to coaching football than Coach Young," Memorial offensive coordinator Bob Hall said. "There might be some people out there who are the same, but there is no way someone is more than that."

After closing the season with four straight victories to finish tied for second in the Classic 8 with Mukwonago, Memorial defeated unbeaten Pewaukee and Wisconsin Lutheran in the second and third rounds of the playoffs and later took care of previously undefeated Waupaca, 42-7, in the WIAA Division 3 championship game. It was the Crusaders' first title since they won a private school crown in 1996.

The turning point, however, was the second half of the Muskego game in Week 5. Down, 18-13, at the half, Memorial outscored the Warriors, 21-0, in the second half to win, 34-18.

"I think what happened in the middle of the year that kind of caused the turnaround was Coach Young leading the discussion of what is this team's identity and what are we going to be known for," Hall said.

The Crusaders continued to run the ball, but it was the added wrinkles for junior fullback John Clark and junior running backs Jake Piette and Alec Kocour that helped take some of the pressure off senior tailback Matt Hubley and helped him blossom into the Associated Press state player of the year.

Pewaukee coach Justin Friske was struck by Young's ability to manage a smaller roster through the Classic 8 and have the team clicking heading into the playoffs. Young is 282-103 in 35 seasons.

"Those guys are completely, totally prepared for what they're going to see," he said.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

CMH grad makes her mark

Creighton University sophomore, and CMH graduate, Kelli Browning '10, was selected first team AVCA All-Central Region.

Browning, who was selected the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 2.82 kills and 1.65 blocks per set. Her 189 block assists are an MVC single-season record, and her 204 total blocks and .370 hitting percentage also set Creighton single-season marks.

Browning had five different matches of 10 or more blocks, and she tied a league mark with 15 block assists Sept. 8 against Tulsa. She is Creighton’s all-time leader in career hitting percentage (.340) and blocks per set (1.35).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

CMH Grad recieves Rugby Scholarship

Yesterday, Catholic Memorial alumni Katie Mueller was awarded a Kevin Higgins College Scholarship.  A nice article on Katie, CMH ’12, is re-printed below.  Articles on her award can be viewed at the USRugby Foundation and at RugbyMagzine.

Katie Mueller -
 2012 Kevin Higgins College
Scholarship Grant Recipient

San Diego, CA (December 5, 2012) - Katie Mueller has been playing organized sports for as long as she can remember. First it was basketball where she starred on AAU teams from the sixth grade on. She also played hoops all four years she was at Catholic Memorial High School. Her team was good and so was she as she led CMHS to victory over the number one team in the state of Wisconsin in the regional playoffs. At 6’ tall, she was also a gifted volleyball player playing club and high school volleyball from the ninth grade on.

Excelling in the classroom seemed to be as natural for Katie as excelling on the court. She was one of the top students in her class finishing with a 3.9 GPA.

With what looked like a basketball or volleyball scholarship waiting for her, imagine if you were the coach of the women’s rugby team at Catholic Memorial and you saw Katie approaching you just before the start of the team’s first practice her junior year. Here’s how her coach John Waliszewski remembers that day.

“It was the first day of rugby practice last year. A tall and happy-faced 17 year-old hopped over to me to announce she’d like to join our team. This was a big deal. Katie is one of the best students and best athletes in our school, and now she wanted to join the newest team on campus. What excited me even more is that she is one of the most sincere and caring young adults I’ve ever worked with. Not only did she join the team, but Katie became a captain of the team her senior year, despite only having one year of experience. She is so well respected, works so hard, and communicates so well, that it was clear her teammates would follow her anywhere.”

Katie was named Catholic Memorial’s Rookie of the Year her junior year leading CMHS to a Wisconsin State Runner-Up finish. She won 20 Brickhouse awards that year for individual game achievement in performance or leadership by coaching staff and teammates. She was also named the team’s Defensive Brickhouse Award winner.

As captain of MCHS her senior year, she led her team to the Midwest Championship game as well as 4thplace finishes in both the 15s and 7s National Championship tournaments.

Despite her success on the rugby pitch, Katie and her family expected her to accept a basketball scholarship to college. But after a conversation with Penn State and U.S. Women’s National Team coach Peter Steinberg following her last rugby game those plans changed. After her strong season at CMHS Katie realized she had the potential to go to the next level in rugby. Her conversation with Coach Steinberg made it even more clear for her.

“Katie is exactly the type of person that USA Rugby is looking to identify and develop to help us compete at the World Cup and Olympics. She is a quality varsity athlete that has chosen rugby over her other sports.”

Penn State is receiving much more than a smart and gifted student athlete. They are getting a well-rounded individual who has given back to her high school and community. She was a member of the National Honor Society her senior year. She has been on her school’s Honor Roll without interruption since the 5thgrade. She won the Outstanding Academic Achievement-President’s Education Award in the 9thgrade. She was also featured in the Who’s Who in Middle School and High School in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9.

She was a Student Ambassador for Catholic Memorial her junior and senior years. She volunteered for the CMHS Open House and the CMHS Book Sale all four years of high school. She was a CMHS Girl’s Basketball Camp Coach in grades 9-11. She was a Peer Leader for the sophomore retreat her junior year. She was also in CMHS Leadership Development Program in 10thgrade.

She was a member of the Auxiliary to the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters her senior year. She volunteered at a number of community events, including: local retirees picnics (from grades 7-11); Charity Mania Booster Club Fundraiser (grades 11-12); Lionel Hoffer Scholarship Bowling Tournament (grades 5-9); Great Milwaukee Muster Volunteer (grade 12); Milwaukee Fire Department Family Campout Children’s games co-coordinator (grades 6-10); and Ronald McDonald House (grades 8-10).

Katie is the only freshman at Penn State that has started every A side match this fall and would have played every minute except for an injury in one match. She is already a leader on her team. Serving in the Air Force is her goal and Katie will soon be immersed in the ROTC program at Penn State. “I hope that my Air Force career and rugby career work together in that I can travel the world serving both my country and enjoying life while playing the beautiful game of rugby.”

Congratulations Katie on being named a 2012 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.

Caritas in Omnibus

In October it was the CMH Haunted House to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project as well as each fall sport, team service project.

In November is was the NHS Thanksgiving Food Drive which provided Thanksgiving baskets for family celebrations for 50 needy Waukesha families.  Also, on Thanksgiving Eve, the CMH Service Club continued a more than thirty year tradition and served a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for more than 200 people in difficult circumstances.

Looking ahead to December, numerous students, staff, and parents will be volunteering as Bellringers for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.  The NHS will devote the month to "adopting" 50 local children, recommended to us by the charitable Christmas Clearing House, to provide them with presents and gifts, lest they receive nothing.

Your prayers and support of CMH helps support our kids as they live out our motto, Caritas in Omnibus; as they live out The Memorial Way.

Thank you.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

KidsWrites helps students harness creativity

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Middle school students share feelings, high school students adapt them for stage
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – When the man who walked into their classroom told Mary Kuemmel’s fifth-grade students that they didn’t need to worry about grammar or spelling for the rest of the day, they knew that the writing activity he had for them would be different than the rest.

“Think of a time when you were really happy,” instructed Tom New, an English teacher and drama director who was visiting from Catholic Memorial High School. “The main thing is to get ideas on the page.”

The student writings that stand out as particularly unique or descriptive, he said, will become part of a high school drama production in late April. In addition to seeing his or her story come to life on stage, any grade school student who has his or her writing selected as part of the KidsWrites program – which creatively links the two grade levels – will be credited as a contributor.

This is the second year New will travel to grade schools in the Waukesha Catholic Schools System, prompting students to submit their most descriptive writing.

“Think of who you were with when you were happy,” he said. “What time of day was it? What were the sensory details? What did you see? Smell? Hear?”

Over the course of the next few months, high school students use these narratives as source material to create their productions.

“Twenty to 25 percent of what the kids write will be used,” New said. “This means 60 to 90 middle-school students will have contributed toward the finished product.”

New’s first stop was Kuemmel’s class at St. Mary’s School Tuesday. Other stops this month include St. John Vianney in Brookfield, Holy Apostles in New
Berlin, St. Dominic in Brookfield, and St. Leonard in Muskego.

The absence of the usual parameters, such as punctuation and spelling, allows students to concentrate on the flow of ideas and how to communicate them effectively, New said.

This year’s prompts are designed to facilitate a discussion of feelings. Questions are meant to make students focus on times when they were happy, worried, triumphant, or embarrassed “Grade-school students experience the full range of emotions,” New said. “It would be wrong to not acknowledge that fourth-graders experience the full gamut of emotions that adults experience. Sometimes they even feel them more deeply. Generally, adults tend to hide their emotions, where children are more in touch with what they felt.”

Students were quick to discuss what they wrote Tuesday.

When asked to write about a triumphant moment, Elijah Sledge imagined he was the first kid to make a pizza 7,000 feet wide. The dish took a century to eat, he wrote.

Amy Wildes shared a moment when she was truly happy.

“My sister came home from college ... and I hadn’t seen her since she went away to school,” she said.

Wildes was watching a movie in the dark, so didn’t know the figure approaching her was her sister until she got close.

When asked to share a moment that worried her, Valentina Medrano chose the time when she nearly fainted in front of the whole class.

“I was really sick,” she said.

When her class participated in KidsWrites last year, Kuemmel said she saw the benefits right away.

“They really blossom under this kind of freedom,” she said. “And there is a real buzz leading up to and following the production.”

The high school students benefit as well, New said.

“They get the thrill of realizing a project as it goes from germ to fruition,” he said. “They work together as a team to complete a project on a large scale.”


Photo credit: Charles Auer/Freeman Staff     Tom New holds a stopwatch Tuesday as he talks about the timed KidsWrite exercise during a visit to St. Mary’s  Catholic School. Fifth-grade students participated in the creative writing exercise.

Monday, December 3, 2012

4 men and a boy

 A version of this article appeared in last week's Catholic Herald, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  I wrote as a reflection on the occasion of the elevation to Cardinal, or His Eminence James Harvey.  Cardinal Harvey's niece and nephews attended CMH.

I am on a flight home from Rome.  I know it sounds bad, but I cannot recall if this was my ninth or tenth trip to Rome.  All my past trips were fine - some business, some pilgrimage, some touring.  But this trip was different.  This time I went with a little bit of hesitation.  I had a long trip here just last February, and commitments would limit this trip to nothing more than a long weekend.  So, I feared the trip was wasteful.  But, in honor of Archbishop James Harvey, a friend and mentor, becoming a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, I went.  I am glad I did.

In the few short, yet full, days that I was in Rome, something special happened.  Last night, Monday, at Cardinal Harvey's Mass of Thanksgiving at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, I came to an insight about the Church and myself. As I looked around during the quiet time following the Cardinal's exceptional homily, I framed my thoughts as being about four men and one boy.  Allow me to tell you something about each. 

"The boy" is eight year old Johnny.  He came to the Consistory with his father and grandfather.  The latter has been a longtime friend of the new Cardinal.  Johnny was a welcome presence among the gaggle of frenetic priests and often reserved bishops.  His eyes always sparkled as he stared up at the soaring spaces of the various churches he was seeing for the very first time.  Johnny relished the straight man role which I gave him when, almost like a devious uncle, I convinced him to tell the Cardinal that the best thing to do for fundraising at the Basilica was to "think waterpark". 

I could see him at St. Paul's growing more tired throughout the mass.  At the start, his dangling legs swung energetically and his head bobbed about looking at all that his young eyes could take in.  By the end of mass he was nestled snugly into the crook of his father's arm.  Johnny saw everything through eyes of wonder, awe, innocence and hope.  

For the events of the weekend Cardinal Harvey tapped young Fr. Jacob Strand to help him organize and keep track of things.  Fr. Jacob is about twenty-six years old and has only been a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for six months.  He was perfect for the job - organized, attentive, and personable. The day before the mass at St. Paul's, at a post-Consistory luncheon at the Pontifical North American College, Jacob offered a toast on behalf of all the seminarians of the place that Cardinal Harvey so loves.  

While nervous, Fr. Jacob's prepared thoughts expressed heartfelt admiration for the priestly father figure that Cardinal Harvey has represented to so many.  For the Mass of Thanksgiving Jacob served as Master of Ceremonies.  No less nervous, yet no less attentive, Jacob clearly wanted the Cardinal's first public celebration of the Eucharist to be a precious encounter with the Sacrament, but also a fitting first mass for a new pastor amidst his flock.  All through the weekend Jacob's attentive eyes bespoke the honor he felt for the parts he was playing and they also conveyed the enthusiasm and zeal of a young priest.

The creation of a new cardinal for the church is a surprisingly simply affair.  But, between the Public Consistory, the papal mass with the new cardinals, and an audience for the new Princes of the Church and their entourages, I had the rare opportunity to see and hear Pope Benedict XVI on three consecutive days.  There can be no denying that he looks more frail than I recall.  Clearly, at age eighty-five, he is growing weaker.  But, in each setting of the weekend, his voice was clear and strong, and his gaze intense and focused. 

Many of us there wanted to think that after seven years of working so closely with Cardinal Harvey, the pope looked on him with a special affection.  He may have, but he never let on that he had any less pastoral solicitude for the new Cardinals from Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Columbia, and the Philippines, or the vast communities they represent. His Holiness still shows a classic wisdom which comes not only from age, but from years of looking out across a broad, vibrant and diverse Church.  His are eyes that, when met, are windows into the heart of a teacher and, most importantly, a shepherd.

Time and again the man of the hour was His Eminence James Michael Cardinal Harvey.  I first met him some twenty-three years ago when then-Monsignor Harvey visited St. Francis Seminary.  After an extensive renovation of the seminary's main building, mine was the room he was brought to as an example of a "typical student room."  More than the details of a remodeled building, he asked instead about my family, my home parish, and the priests who influenced oh vocation. These were details he never forgot and always asked about whenever we would be in contact. 

I have always looked upon the Cardinal as a man genuine in his concern, keen in his insightful advice, and a deeply holy "man of the Church."  But in these last few days I heard him offer provocative words at the residence of the US Ambassador to the Holy See - so important to Cardinal Harvey was this message that he read it clearly and slowly from a prepared text.  

I heard him offer, on behalf of the new cardinals, an homage to the Pope which reflected not only his personal dedication, but a real conviction that service to the Church is a true mark of the cardinal's blood red garments.  More than once the Cardinal's eyes welled up at the toasts and accolades offered.  His eyes speak of serious faith, a supreme intellect, a sharp memory, and vision of the Church which will now come forth from the background into which he had long and intentionally drawn himself. At a mere sixty-three years old, whether as an Archpriest, an advisor to the Pope, or in Conclave, he will both see, and offer much to the Church in the next two decades.

I had a distinct and consummate pleasure of seeing these three men and a boy in the course this whirlwind weekend.  I guess that leaves me to be the fourth man.  Definitely the least holy of the lot and probably the most privileged to be present at these events with them, I had an epiphany of sorts about faith and priesthood this past weekend.  Well, maybe not an epiphany so much as an unexpected reaffirmation.  Johnny and Fr. Jacob are roughly, and respectively, about forty and twenty years younger than I am.  They each see the world from a stance of anticipation.  Pope Benedict and Cardinal Harvey are about forty and twenty years older than me.  Each of them sees the world from the stance of their well-considered experience.

To be in Rome for the Consistory was not about spectating to ecclesiastical pomp and circumstance.  It was an unexpected opportunity to sit in the center of the Church - among it's people, it's leadership, it's prayer life, and be reminded that for all of what we do, and hope to do, in the incarnate world it requires constantly calling ourselves to open time and again our eyes of wonder, like Johnny; eyes of attention and zeal like Fr. Jacob; eyes of care and teaching like our Holy Father; and eyes filled with love for the Church like Cardinal James Harvey.

Cardinal Harvey is only the third Milwaukee native to be elevated to the place of a Prince of the Church.  Better than any pilgrimage or retreat, how good it was to have my priesthood, my eyes for ministry in the Church, renewed by being there to see it all happen.  How good it was to be among so many from this global Body of Christ, or at least to be among four men and a boy.