Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Coach Mike Manno Named Class 3A Baseball Coach of the Year

BaseballThe hits just keep on coming for Saint Viator High School’s Class 3A state champion baseball team. A little more than five months after winning the title, Head Coach Mike Manno now has learned that he has been named Class 3A Coach of the Year by the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches’ Association.

He will be presented with the award in January at the Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, which takes place at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel.

“This award recognizes those coaches who have led their respective teams to an exceptional season of play,” said Brian Wujcik, vice president of the IHSBCA.

This is the second award for Manno in as many years. One year ago, he was named Coach of the Year for the Northern District of Illinois, after coaching the Lions to a fourth-place finish in Class 3A.

“I am truly honored,” Manno said. “But I’ve always said you don’t get awards like this without great kids who believe in what we’re doing, and a great staff who is as passionate about baseball as I am.”

Manno has led the Lions as head baseball coach for 11 seasons, leading them to 25 wins each of the last two years. He is a 1994 Saint Viator graduate, who played soccer and baseball at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin before he returned to his alma mater to begin coaching in 1998-99 as an assistant in soccer, basketball, and baseball.

“Actually, I date my first year of coaching back to 1996, when Coach (Bill) Pirman asked me to coach the summer varsity team,” Manno says. “It was before my junior year of college, but I began to think then that I would like to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

Manno points to those intangibles that helped fuel this year’s state-winning baseball team.

“There was such a sense of camaraderie on the team and of caring for each other,” Manno says. “Sure, winning was important, but we stressed from day one that we wanted our kids to be an extension of their home and their parents and of their school.

“Through that process,” he added, “of doing the right thing, it allowed us to be successful.”

Beyond Pirman, Manno pointed to such role models as Joe Majkowski, who coached varsity basketball for 35 years at Saint Viator, and Mike Taylor, who continues to coach soccer after more than 35 years.

“They taught me a lot of great things,” Manno says, “and I’m striving to live up to their expectations.”

Environmental Science Students Dive Deep into the Shedd Aquarium

Students in Mrs. Vicky Giusti’s Environmental Science class took their research on aquatic biomes, right to the source: The Shedd Aquarium, home to 32,000 creatures from aquatic habitats around the world. During a recent field trip, they were able to walk through a flooded forest in Amazon Rising and watch sharks swimming overhead in Wild Reef.

Literally, they came face-to-face with zebra, sandbar, wobbegong and blacktip reef sharks while enjoying the beauty of corals, before exploring the most diverse rainforest in the world.

But they were doing more than sightseeing.

With iPads in hand, students completed lab worksheets that focused on marine and freshwater biomes.

“This was a perfect opportunity for students to experience the Coral Reef, the Wild Reefs, and the Amazons exhibits,” Mrs. Giusti said.

At each exhibit, students had to answer specific questions as they observed the creatures in their native surroundings. They ranged from identifying animals that used camouflage to survive in the reef, to observing the different adaptations of the “jellies,” to discovering how plant life contributes to life in the Amazon. They also worked to identify some of the major environmental factors in marine biomes.

In addition to collecting data, students also captured photos of marine and plant life in their native biomes to add to their PowerPoint presentations, which they will begin sharing on Wednesday in order to teach their classmates about their assigned biome.

Look for these Environmental Students to be veritable experts on their biomes this week, including being able to identify their worldwide locations, precipitation and temperatures, as well as characteristics and adaptations that allow animals in these biomes to survive.

Exploring Music Composition Through Hip Hop

hiphop1Don’t look now, but Saint Viator students are producing their own hip-hop tracks. And they’re getting credit to do it.

Through the new Digital Music and Production class, students are composing their own music and lyrics, establishing the beat and vocals, before laying bass and drum tracks. But they’re not doing it alone.

Through a unique collaboration, Saint Viator students have partnered with their counterparts at the University of Illinois who are taking Music Technology with Associate Prof. Adam Kruse. The U of I’s Music School, and in particular its Music Technology program, has an international reputation for its use of electroacoustic and computer music composition.

hiphop5“That’s been the best part, partnering with a student from U of I to help guide us along and give input when necessary,” says Maranda Devaney ’18. “As someone with no musical background, this has been a great experience.”

The class is open to students of all grade levels, with or without musical experience.

Cailyn Currie ’18 says she is interested in possibly pursuing a career in music, so she was interested in learning more about the production of music as well as the business side, including learning about copyright laws and ethics as well as studio recording.

hiphop4“This course gave me a sneak peek at how music is produced,” she says, “and I really liked how we were able to work with the U of I students to create this song.”

Adam Domagal ’18 already produces his own music, but this class helped him polish his skills in arranging, sound design and mixing, he says.

“We recently FaceTimed with our partners to help us with the project as a whole,” Adam says, “but I have to say that it was the music production aspect that drew me to the class.”

hiphop2No matter the motivation, the course gives students who might not be involved in traditional band or choir, access to contemporary music and how it is produced, says Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands at Saint Viator. He graduated from U of I with a degree in music education, consequently, he describes this collaboration with his alma mater as a “win-win.”

“The Illinois students had an opportunity to mentor and guide a student through their composition project, while our students had the opportunity to work with an expert in the field,” Mr. Genualdi says. “It was amazing to see how our students, most of whom did not come from a music background, were able to talk about their compositions with a high-level musicality.”

AP Italian Students Experience College Class at Loyola

IMG_1944Seniors taking AP Italian know they are working toward earning college credits through Saint Viator’s dual credits program with Loyola University, but last week they got an added bonus: they traveled to Loyola’s lakeshore campus and sat in on two classes.

However, they did more than sit in the back. In an Italian literature class, Bennett Rizner ’18 presented a PowerPoint presentation on a sonnet written in the late 1200s in old Italian, while in another class Joy Bertagna ‘18 and Eleanore Kelleher ’18 actively participated in a grammar review.

IMG_1928Other seniors who made the trip included: Arianna Arthur, Angelica Ingraffia, John Hegerty, Catherine Kelleher, Gina Pieri and Anthony Maraviglia.

“It was fantastic to see how great our kids are,” said Mrs. Mirella Rullo, AP Italian teacher, and native speaker. “I am truly proud.”

Both classes at Loyola were taught by Prof. Anna Clara Ionta, a native Italian speaker and 30-year teacher at Loyola.

“We have planned this day since school started,” added Mrs. Rullo. “We thought that it would be fun for one day to be part of a college class and would translate into a positive experience, especially since they are all seniors.”

IMG_1936AP Italian is just one of the classes participating in the dual credit program with Loyola. Others include AP Biology, AP Math, and AP Spanish. Its teachers are considered adjunct instructors at Loyola, and in fact, Saint Viator’s AP Italian has been designated as Italian 104 at Loyola, where it is required for all language students if they want to enroll in advance classes such as literature.

At Saint Viator, AP Italian students are able to understand and write increasingly complex Italian sentences and paragraphs, and speak coherently about Italy, its cultural distinctness and its differences from the United States.


Clothesline Project Makes an Impact on Saint Viator Students

nwasaAccusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault lead the headlines these days, but at Saint Viator, efforts to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence, as well as teen dating violence and personal body awareness, have been going on for years.

A prevention educator from the Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault, Jessica Caccavallo, just spent two days presenting to sophomores in health class. Someone from the Arlington Heights-based agency has returned to Saint Viator every semester, as well as during summer school, for each of the last 10 years.

Their calling cards are the T-shirts displayed either on a clothesline or as in the case of her most recent visit, on seats in the auditorium. The shirts bear witness to survivors of violence.

“The shirts tell the victim’s story,” says Ms. Lisa Wilson, health teacher.

In fact, the Clothesline Project started in the 1990s on the East coast as a way for survivors of violence to share their stories and the stories of others whom they know have endured violence. The shirts bare witness to the violence that silently plagues communities, and allows for students and the community to begin to have a conversation about sexual violence, domestic violence, and harassment and learn the impacts these traumas have on an individual.

Each color carries a significance: Red, pink and orange represent survivors of rape and sexual assault. Blue or green is for survivors of incest and sexual abuse. Purple or lavender represents women attacked for their sexual orientation. Black and gray shirts signify emotional/verbal/mental abuse or more than one type of violence.

Caccavallo displayed 75 T-shirts and all were created over the last few years by high school teens in the Northwest suburbs.

“When students find that out, it definitely hits home,” Caccavallo says. “It’s not just some celebrity or politician on TV, it’s happening right here, to people their age.”

Caccavallo provides prevention education to students of all ages, from preschool through college, but at Saint Viator, she had the rare opportunity to pray with students for the survivors.

During each period, Caccavallo talked about what consent is, as well as bystander intervention and what to do if they know someone who has been assaulted. She also gives them resources for help, including the 24-hour hotline crisis intervention- 888-802-8890.

“The presentation helps address social norms and what students think about gender roles,” Caccavallo says. “Hopefully, it makes them more sensitive to the issues and they get a bigger picture of rape and assault, and that nobody is immune from being a victim.”

To find out more about services provided by the Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault, visit:, or visit their Facebook page, at:

Food for the Journey: Sunday, November 26

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

34nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 26, 2017

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23
I Cor 15: 20-26, 28
Mt 25: 31-46

The liturgical year is coming to an end. This last Sunday of Ordinary Time urges us to think about the end of our own lives. What will it be like? How will be judged? Maybe that final judgment will be for us a big surprise party. Maybe those who thought they were such great disciples of Jesus, the King, and Lord, will find out that they actually missed the mark. Even though they may have followed all the rules and said all their prayers and were very pious….they will have missed the mark because they spent most of their time judging others and failing to ‘shepherd’ others as God shepherds us.

The truly faith-filled disciple of Jesus is the one who tends to the needs of their brothers and sisters. Those who will “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” are those who seek out the lost, bring back the strays, refreshes souls, visit the sick and imprisoned and feed the hungry….those who give drink for those thirsting for love and compassion and forgiveness. Those who, in a word, love.

Fr. Dan Lydon, C.S.V. has served as teacher and administrator at Saint Viator High School for 16 years. Fr. Lydon currently teaches Religion and, with Mrs. Rita King, coordinates Adult and Family Faith Formation at Saint Viator.

Food for the Journey: Sunday, November 19

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#11 – November 19 

This week Br. John Eustice, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Whenever I run across the Parable of the Talents, I tend to cringe because I know what is coming for the third servant. What makes the cringing more poignant is the process by which I encounter him. The first two are each given talents and they are successful in doubling the master’s investment. And there is the third servant. He buries it. He is chastised. He has failed. I want to yell to him, “Do something with the gift you were given!” Then it dawns on me. I have been this servant before. I cringe.

At the end of my sophomore year of high school, my religious education career was coming to a close with being sealed by the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. A gift from my parish to me was a faux-leather-bound New American Bible with my name inscribed on the first page behind the front cover. It was beautiful and I knew it was a holy book. I imagine I viewed this prize possession like the third servant. I kept it in the box and placed it prominently on a shelf in my bookcase. There it remained for four years. It wasn’t until I was halfway through college that I opened it up and began to use it at the urging of friends. The Word of God didn’t nourish me by osmosis. I had to actually open the book and risk breaking the binding in order to be fed by it. The nourishment it has provided leaves me speechless.

God, like the master, provides all of us with everything the world needs to be responsive to its greatest needs. We are being invited to open and fully utilize these gifts entrusted to us because the world needs God now! We are not to be stingy with who we are. Now is the moment to share! What are we waiting for? Not using these gifts is like living in the dark. We are children of the light and need to be light for others now! Other people are praying for and are literally depending on the gifts we hold. How do we know what these gifts are? Gather for Eucharist weekly. When the Body of Christ gathers, all gifts are recognized. Jesus, help us to see you every day. Jesus, help us to be you every day. Adored and loved be Jesus!

Br. John Eustice, C.S.V. served as Campus Minister at Saint Viator High School and is currently working in Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Maternity, B.V.M. Parish in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Girls Volleyball Sets New Standard with State Run

IMG_3595Saint Viator’s girls volleyball team made a historic state run this month, one that drew hundreds of students, faculty, and staff to make the trip to Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, for the program’s first-ever state appearance.

“It was our goal from the first day of summer camp,” said Kate Nottoli ’19, one of six returning starters whose father, Tom Nottoli ’88, played water polo during his years at Saint Viator. “Right from the start, we knew we had high expectations.”

The Lions won the Rochelle super sectional title in three close sets over Bartonville Limestone, eventually prevailing 25-23 after senior outside hitter, Catherine Hickey ’18, made a key block.

“I just remember looking at Cat and we both just started crying,” Kate added. “It had been our dream for so long.”

In a send-off ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 9, Saint Viator’s “drumline” made up of teachers Vicky Giusti, Eileen Cairo and Cate Majka ushered the team through the hallways that were jammed with cheering students and faculty. On Friday, students were dismissed at noon in order to enable them to travel to the game. Fans unable to attend followed the team’s action on Twitter.

The Lions ultimately placed fourth overall, after losing hard-fought, three set matches in both the semi-finals against Resurrection and the consolation game against Normal U-High. But they still came home with individual medals and the fourth-place trophy, which will go into the trophy case in Saint Viator’s Hall of Fame hallway.

The team included Rebecca Wolf ’18, whose father Orrin Wolf ’85 played golf and swam at Saint Viator and he now serves as president of the board of trustees. A pair of alumni also served as assistant coaches: Kate Zydlo ’04 and Brennan Harrington ’13.

IMG_3581“Coaching this team makes me think back to when I played,” Zydlo said. “It makes me smile to know that they have left a legacy for the younger and future players in the program.”

Head Coach Charlie Curtin says the team displayed a no-quit attitude down the stretch and consequently they have set the bar high. He added that having veteran players, including Catherine and setter Michaela Mueller ’18, who had played together for the last four years, including three straight regional championships,  helped the team rise to the occasion.

“We changed our mindset from wanting to accomplish something to knowing we were capable of accomplishing our goals when we played the game the right way,” says Curtin, who wrapped up his 17th year coaching Lions’ volleyball.

“I knew at the beginning of the year that if we stayed healthy, played up to our potential, and continued to bond as a team,” he added, “that we were going to do something special, and we did.”

Saint Viator Students Serve as Ambassadors of Peace


Board member of the Children of Abraham Coalition, junior Sarah McDermott leading the opening prayer and sharing why she works for interfaith peace.

Junior Sarah McDermott remembers she was in seventh grade when she first learned that her grandfather, Steen Metz, was a Holocaust survivor. Metz was a child when he and his family were taken from their home in Denmark and sent more than 500 miles away, to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.

It was only in his retirement that Metz began talking about his three years at the camp and he eventually wrote a book. Metz spoke to the Saint Viator student body in 2016 and at the outset of his testimony he made one request: “Be my ambassadors.”

“You are the last generation to hear from a survivor,” he told them. “I need you to tell my story so people never forget.”

The Daughters of Abraham event organizers & author from left to right (Emily Egan, Sabeeha Rehman, Patti Nisenholz, Maxine Sukenik and Shaheen Kahn)

The Daughters of Abraham event organizers & author from left to right (Emily Egan, Sabeeha Rehman, Patti Nisenholz, Maxine Sukenik and Shaheen Kahn).

His granddaughter is doing just that, through her involvement with the Children of Abraham Coalition, started by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Saint Viator’s Justice League.

At a Women of Abraham event this week, Sarah spoke to the nearly 100 gathered—including Christian, Jewish and Muslim women—about why she has become an outspoken advocate for interfaith peace.


A Children of Abraham Coalition board dinner with Sabeeha the night before the event.

She told of her grandfather’s story and that after one of his first school presentations how they both had been on the receiving end of anti-Semetic slurs.

“That’s why I work for interfaith understanding,” Sarah said. “I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I did. I want the world to be a better place.”

Sarah works alongside several Saint Viator classmates, who are active in both the Children of Abraham Coalition and the Justice League, including Allison Bosshart, Amalia Sordo-Palacios, Devon Sheehan, Maura Hogaboom, Kevin Wilhite and Mamadou Camara.

DOA 3Already this year, they have worked at the 9/11 Potluck for Peace dinner, attended by more than 200 people from the community, as well as the Shoulder to Shoulder Interfaith Immigration Advocacy Day held in October at a synagogue in Evanston and at the Junior High Interfaith Leadership Day, where they taught pre-teens to be voices of peace while honoring all faiths.

Ms. Emily Egan, Campus Minister, works with both groups, and she is watching with pride as these students are becoming leaders in working for interfaith peace.

“I have seen a deep sense of purpose form in students who are actively working for social justice,” Ms. Egan says. “Fortunately, this is a value many carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Food for the Journey: Sunday, November 12

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#10 – November 12 

This week Br. Peter Lamick, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Wisdom 6:12-16
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13

The message from the scripture readings for this Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time is embodied in two words from the texts: “Awake” and “Seek.” The lesson Jesus teaches his disciples, and us, through a parable echoes the heart of the prophets’ proclamations to the people of Israel – return to God, for our God is with us. As Wisdom in the first reading, God seeks and waits for us; God knows our very souls thirst for His presence, grace and love.

In order to grow in our relationship with God we need a deeper awareness of His presence and action in our personal lives, families, and those we encounter every day. God invites us to remember the deeper reality beneath the ordinary and mundane responsibilities and experiences of everyday life. Conversion, a change of heart and mind, is not always the fruit of a specific episode or event in life: it is a daily, continual spiritual practice in which we center ourselves on God. With trust, we open ourselves to the transformative power of His mercy and grace.

Br. Peter Lamick, C.S.V. is a 2007 graduate of Saint Viator High School and coaches football and basketball at Saint Viator while finishing his M.A. at De Paul University.

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