April 26, 2015

And they're off

Early yesterday morning, the students, teachers, and parents taking part in our two April vacation mission trips flew out of Boston.  We have 7 students, 1 teacher, and 2 parents spending the week in Guatemala City, Guatemala while 10 students and 2 teachers are in Browning, MT.  In both instances, our students will be working with children in schools - at the Fransisco Coll School and De La Salle Blackfeet School.  

I had hoped to go on the Guatemala trip this year but my wife is having a baby in less than a month so it would have been hard for her to take care of 3 kids on her own.  Plus with my luck she would have gone into labor when I was away.  I am so very grateful to Dr. Murphy of our science department and Mr. and Mrs. Chaput P'15 who took on the leadership of this trip.  I had a challenging time finding adult leaders and was so happy when Dr. Murphy and the Chaput's stepped up.  I warned them that the previous adult leaders of this trip became a nun and joined the Peace Corps so we never know what will happen to them (in a good way of course).

Our Montana trip is led by Mr. Arnold of our math department and Ms. Foley of our theology department.  Ms. Foley has run this trip since we began it in 2013 and this will be her last year as she is leaving us to become the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, MA.  We are going to miss her terribly but we are so happy for her and her new role.

I have asked the groups to send me lots of pictures and updates so do stay tuned.

The students taking part in the trip are:

Browning, MT:

Emma Barry '16
Bethany Boulanger '16
Olivia Boulton '16
Nina Hind '16
Halle Jones '16
Liam McHugh '16
Alyssa Pascucci '16
Anya Rochussen '16
Will Sheppard '16
Jessica Tremblay '16

Guatamala City:

Erin Barry '15
Rachel Chaput '15
Brandon Montgomery '16
Theresa Murphy '16
Jon Pope '17
Matthew Wright '16
Michael Wright '17

April 25, 2015

Saint Anselm Medal

Throughout this academic year, Saint Anselm College has been celebrating its 125th anniversary and the celebration culminated yesterday with the awarding of the Saint Anselm Medal to Cardinal Gerald Lacroix '75.  After graduating from Trinity High School, Cardinal Lacroix enrolled at Saint Anselm College but left after one year to pursue his vocation with the Pius X Secular Institute in Colombia.  Mr. Mailloux '72 and I attended the Mass.  Both Mr. Mailloux and I graduated from Saint Anselm College, 1976 and 1998, respectively.

The awarding of the medal took place within the context of Mass celebrated in the Abbey Church by Cardinal Lacroix.  Bishop Libasci concelebrated along with the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey and other priests including our chaplain Father Richard Dion.  Cardinal Lacroix also preached and spoke of the desperate need to evangelize.  He said in Quebec, only 3-5% of Catholics attend Mass and he often thinks of the parable of the shepherd who leaves behind the 99 sheep to find 1 that got away.  It seems today, he said, we need to leave the 1 behind to go find the 99.  

After the final prayer, Bro. Isaac Murphy, OSB, the vice president for academic affairs, read the citation awarding the Saint Anselm Medal.  The president of the college, Dr. Steven DiSalvo, came down with kidney stones and could not be present so Bro. Isaac filled in for him.  The medal was presented to Cardinal Lacroix by Abbot Mark Cooper, OSB, the abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey and the chancellor of Saint Anselm College.  Abbot Mark then offered some remarks as did Cardinal Lacroix.

Following Mass, Mr. Mailloux and I stayed back and greeted Cardinal Lacroix who was so humble about receiving the award.  This is only the second time the medal has been granted, the first time being in 1989 to Father Jean Leclercq, OSB, a Benedictine monk and scholar.  There was a light reception in the Cushing Center after the Mass which we attended and had the chance to catch up with some folks.  

It was a lovely afternoon and I was so glad Mr. Mailloux and I were able to be a part of it.  Cardinal Lacroix will be back in Manchester on May 14 for a major fundraiser for Trinity High School.

Gorski Cup I

Yesterday, Trinity High School began a new tradition - the awarding of the inaugural Gorski Cup.  The cup is named after our beloved colleague Mr. Stan Gorski '58 who died two years ago.  Mr. Gorski taught English at Bishop Bradley/Trinity High Schools for 51 years and was a legend in Manchester.  We've had a Spirit Cup that was awarded to the class who attended the most events during the year but it had falling out of use in recent years.  So, we decided to reboot the idea, get a new cup, and name it in honor of Mr. Gorski.

Throughout the academic year, we would take attendance at sporting events, concerts, drama productions, etc. and award Gorski Cup points to the class with most percentage of students in attendance.  We also gave points to the class that brought in the most Thanksgiving baskets and other service projects.  The final point tallies was attendance at Trinity Week events and the Battle of the Classes' games yesterday afternoon.

After the final game yesterday, student council advisor Ms. Comiskey had all the class presidents sit in the front and student council president Nick Capobianco '15 walked the Gorski Cup into the gym while "Fanfare for the Common Man" played (I love dramatic flair).  He put the cup on a table that was draped in the four class colors (yellow, white, blue, and red) and Mr. Mailloux '72 offered some poignant words about Mr. Gorski.  He pointed out the quote we put on the cup: "Today is another day in which to excel" and how Mr. Gorski would say that to Mr. Mailloux every single day.  He got a little choked up and the students - who two minutes earlier were going insane with the games - were so quiet you could have a heard a pin drop.

With that, Ms. Comiskey announced the results and the Class of 2015 was awarded the first annual Gorski Cup.  They absolutely erupted, stormed the floor, held the cup high, kissed it like it was the Stanley Cup, and took pictures with it.  I am glad it meant that much to them, Mr. Gorski would be very happy.

April 24, 2015

"You did it for Me"

Luke Testa '15 is the founder of an amazing non-profit organization called Project PLAY which provides gently used sports equipment to disadvantaged youth.  They also provide financial assistance for sports registration fees.  Luke was recognized for his work last fall in Washington, DC along with 49 other teenagers and he got to meet Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Luke approached me recently about running a used sports equipment drive to benefit the students we will be serving next week in Browning, MT and Guatemala City, Guatemala.  The response, as usual, was overwhelming.  Students brought in tons and tons of soccer balls, cleats, baseballs, bats, tennis rackets, etc, etc, etc.  Luke also got donations from Central High School, Bedford High School, and Pinkerton Academy.  The students from Trinity going to Browning and Guatemala tomorrow will bring suitcases of the donated equipment and Project PLAY will pay for the baggage fees.

Luke contacted WMUR and they came by yesterday and did a wonderful story.  They filmed the story in Campus Ministry where we had all the equipment nicely laid out.  You can watch it here.

April 22, 2015

Cathedral tour take 2

The new high altar and renovated sanctuary 
During Catholic Schools Week, we took our seniors on a tour of the recently renovated St. Joseph Cathedral here in Manchester.  Unfortunately half of the class didn't get to take the tour due to one of the many snow storms we got so we rescheduled their tours for today.  Barbara Miles, the archivist for the Diocese of Manchester, once again did a brilliant job showing the students around and teaching them about the history, architecture, and theology of the cathedral.

Ms. Miles speaking in the chapel

She began by talking about some of the stained glass windows and how they served as teaching tools for those who couldn't read.  She then showed them the new sanctuary area with the recently installed high altar, new paint, the Stations of the Cross, etc.  We then went to the crypt area where many former bishops are buried and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  Our final stop was the Cathedral Library which despite the name is the former rectory and a former library and is presently a meeting space.  The ceiling of the library has an enormous painting called (I believe) Our Lady of Triumph that Bishop Guertin commissioned after seeing the original in Venice.  There are also ceramic reliefs around the entire perimeter of the building.

Ms. Miles, once again, was a wonderful tour guide and really kept the student's attention (which can be hard, especially second semester seniors celebrating Trinity Week!).  We agreed to do it again next year.

Happy Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, a day marked across the world to celebrate our Earth and to encourage people to protect it.  We believe as Catholics that God created the Earth and that He put humans in charge of it. In fact, in the first creation story in Genesis 1, God looked at everything He created each day and found it "good."  But after He looked at everything after the sixth day, the day He created man and woman, He found the Earth "very good."

In honor of Earth Day, our prayer came from Genesis 1:26-31:

Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground." God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed - the sixth day.

April 21, 2015

Sending forth

This Saturday, 17 Trinity High School students along with three teachers, and two parents will be heading off to Browning, MT and Guatemala City, Guatemala for our annual April vacation mission trips.  This week is Trinity Week, our annual spirit week which consists of a fun afternoon assembly each afternoon at 1pm.  Before today's assembly I called all the students and teachers down to the front of the stage for a special prayer and Mr. Mailloux '72 then presented them with a saints medal.  The Montana group got a medal of St. Kateri Tekakwitha and a prayer card, the first American Indian to be canonized and the Guatemala group received a St. James medal as he is the patron saint of Guatemala (they already received prayer cards last week).

More to come on these trips and please keep the groups in your prayers.