Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: September 2015

combined bands

Marching Illini Ramp Up the Excitement at Friday’s Football Game

combined bandsWhat do you get when you combine nearly 60 Saint Viator band members, with more than 100 middle school musicians — and 375 members of the Marching Illini? A total of more than 500 band members filling the football field, creating a symphony of school spirit.

That was the experience Friday night, when the Saint Viator Lions hosted their ESCC rival, the Dons from Notre Dame College Prep.

More than 4,000 fans packed the Morris Field at Robert Morris University in Arlington Heights, and they got their money’s worth. The game opened with a pregame performance that included the 120 middle schoolers from some of Saint Viator’s feeder school band programs.Corey and Illini

The Illini then joined with the Saint Viator band on the sidelines, in an added bleacher section, before taking the field for a “Disney Spectacular” halftime show, which featured music — fittingly — from the Disney hit, “Lion King.”

“What a great night to be a Lion,” tweeted Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, and an Illini alum and Illinois Law School graduate. “That was a halftime show like no other.”

Besides Fr. Brost, Saint Viator has another prominent Illinois graduate: Vince Genualdi, director of bands. He marched with the Illini in its sousaphone section, before earning a spot as one of three drum majors during his junior and senior years. He graduated from Illinois in 2013.St. James band

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for our band program and the school community,” Mr. Genualdi says. “The Marching Illini leads the collegiate marching band realm and has a long lasting tradition of musical excellence and integrity. Their dedication to music education and to excellence is contagious.”

For more photos and video from the night, check out this Storify.

Freshmen Retreat Draws 700 to Closing Mass

Less than one month after starting school, Saint Viator High School freshmen learned firsthand what makes their school different: retreats.

The annual freshman retreat took place Sunday, and class members found themselves immersed in the Viatorian charism, and ways that their faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.SVHS_-131 copy

“I thought it was a meaningful and energetic introduction to the faith life of our school, for the freshmen,” said Br. John Eustice, CSV, one of the campus ministers who ran the retreat.

Other faculty members who assisted included: Mrs. Rita King, Fr. Dan Lydon, C.S.V., Sr. Barbara Mass, SLW, Dr. Deborah Scerbicke, and Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V.

Freshmen broke up into small groups, led by upper classmen and first identified symbols around the school where faith is lived, before exploring through dialogue and discussion, how to deepen their faith.

“We really challenged them to dive in and find out who Jesus really was,” Br. Eustice added. “They ultimately learned that the way you do that, is through building better relationships with your friends and family.”

Following the day’s theme, the retreat ended with teens celebrating their faith at a family Mass. The concluding liturgy drew 700 people and involved young people in many parts of the Mass, including providing the vibrant music ministry.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of the school and an active retreat participant, served as the main celebrant.

“Something good is happening here at this school,” Br. John added. “That was apparent at the Mass, where we filled the entire gym. It was a first for the freshmen, but they are learning that this community is a place where our students and their families can live, deepen and celebrate their faith.”

Click to see more photos from the retreat. 

Class of ’01 Grad’s “Flat Francis” Goes Viral as Pope Makes First Trip to US

Read more about Class of 2001 alum, Matt Paolelli’s “Flat Francis.”

Follow the hashtag here.

Download #FlatFrancis here.

Sacred Heart of Mary High School’s Premier Class of 1965 Celebrates its Milestone 50th Reunion

For the premier class of Sacred Heart of Mary High School, it was an anniversary to remember.

Earlier this month, the class of 1965 celebrated its 50th reunion, and they made a weekend of it. Approximately 40 percent of the living class members returned to the area for their milestone gathering.

“We were a part of something so special,” said Roseann Bianca Gillig, class representative. “Our reunion gave us a chance to talk about our past 50 years—and where our education has taken us.

“We were introduced to an education that was bar none,” she added, “and I was so fortunate and blessed to have been there.”
corey mass
They gathered Friday, September 11 at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield in Schaumburg for an opening reception. On Saturday, they circled around the Our Lady of the Moon statue—which formerly stood in the courtyard of Sacred Heart and now stands prominently in front of Saint Viator High School—for a prayer service before heading up to the Alumni Memorial Chapel for a Mass.

“I was so proud to celebrate Mass with these women,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president. “They are strong, faith-filled women and serve as great role models for today’s Lions.”

After Mass, the crowd returned to the Hyatt Regency for their formal reunion dinner. In attendance were two members of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sr. Gabrielle Corbally and Sr. Mary Alice Young.
The religious order, based in Tarrytown, NY, responded to a call from the Archdiocese of Chicago to open a girls’ Catholic high school in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

When Sacred Heart opened in the fall of 1961, classes were held in a wing of Saint Viator High school, and they would remain there for the first two years until the facility in Rolling Meadows was finished.

“I think that being the first class to go through was instrumental in keeping us close,” said Mary Jeanne Reynolds Kedzior.

Gillig pointed to the Sacred Heart sisters, who set the tone for the school and its education, by teaching its students to appreciate and respect the world around them.

“They introduced us to an education that opened many doors in my life, and to this day I am grateful,” Gillig added. “For one thing, they introduced a deep love for my faith that I carry with me today.

Rhonda Starr '87 and Roseann Bianca Gillig '65.

Rhonda Starr ’87 and Roseann Bianca Gillig ’65.

When Sacred Heart merged with Saint Viator in 1987, its graduates lost their building, but gained an alumni association that helps to keep alive the spirit of the school and support its members.

“Saint Viator has been great to us and we should all be grateful that the we have somewhere to call home,” Gillig added.

Rhonda Starr ’87, a member of Sacred Heart’s last graduating class, now serves on the Saint Viator/Sacred Heart Alumni Association board.

“I do have a dream,” Starr said, in addressing the reunion gathering. “My dream is that every one of you will believe it when we say, welcome home.”

National Merit Semi-Finalists and Commended Students Announced, National Hispanic Scholar Named

Saint Viator High School announced Wednesday that seniors Drew Morton, Max Paulus, Mark Perkowski and Liam Warner have joined an elite group: They were named semi-finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program, based on their preliminary SAT scores taken in 2014.

Officials with the National Merit Scholarship Program said that the semi-finalist pool represents the highest scoring entrants in each state, or less than one percent of high school seniors.

These students now will have a chance to advance to the finalist level, and continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

In addition, these seniors were named commended scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Program: Emily Hayes, Danielle Laterza, Nicholas Spanier and Matthew Trimberger. While they are not eligible to continue in the competition, they do represent the top three percent of students who took the PSAT test back in 2014.

All eight of these students are members of the Fr. Louis Querbes Honors Program, which was launched in 2010 to offer additional challenges and enrichment opportunities for motivated students.

Rounding out the list was senior Michael Baker, who was named a National Hispanic Scholar by the College Board. In earning the recognition, he was one of about 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT.

Saint Viator Principal Eileen Manno said all of these students excel in and out of the classroom, and have scored well on their pre-college testing in part because of their rigorous course work pursued at Saint Viator.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for these students and their families.” Mrs. Manno said. “National Merit recognition reflects their dedication and openness to learning, as well as the school’s dedication to academic excellence.”

She added that Michael’s designation as a National Hispanic Scholar will help him stand out in the college application process.

Mrs. Manno pointed to the school’s commitment meeting ACT standards, which includes identifying benchmarks for college readiness, as well as its expanded Advanced Placement class offerings, equally focusing on content and skill development.

“The rigorous course of study offered to our students,” Mrs. Manno added, “helps boost their performance on tests.”

National Merit Scholarship officials say 90 percent of semi-finalists advance to become finalists. They must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Students Celebrate Querbes Day with a Cookie

Viatorians worldwide observed the anniversary of the death of their founder, Fr. Louis Querbes on Tuesday, September 1, mostly with solemn prayer services, remembering all of the Viatorians who had given their lives in service.

At Saint Viator High School, students observed the day with a slightly sweeter twist, with a cookie.

Fr. Louis Querbes

Fr. Louis Querbes

That’s right, near the end of the day on Tuesday, students emerged from their classrooms to find mothers stationed in the hallways, holding trays of freshly baked cookies — and offering them to students.

The tradition originated nearly two years ago when officers with the Parents’ Club launched Mom’s Cookie Day, taking a cue from ESCC conference rival, Benet Academy.

“We wanted it to be a surprise,” said Molly Wolfe, past Parents’ Club president said at the time. “It’s a random act of kindness.”

This year, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, suggested launching this year’s cookie capers on Querbes Day, as a way to make the observance special.

Cookie Moms Andrea Smeriglio and Diane McGrath, of the Saint Viator Parents’ Club, coordinated the effort, with the full support of Club President Diane Belletti.

“It’s fun to spoil the kids a bit,” Smeriglio says. “It makes for a nice distraction at the end of their day.”

In carrying it out, the mothers gathered in the first floor conference room with trays of four dozen cookies each — or nearly 1,500 goodies — including some without peanuts and others that were gluten free.

“Our biggest problem is that we had more mothers who wanted to participate, than we needed,” Smeriglio added. “It’s a good problem to have.”

Fr. Brost thanked them for their generosity and for reinforcing the family values that underscore Saint Viator,

Parents’ Club members have pledged to carry on this unique tradition, however, when they plan to return, armed with more cookies, remains a mystery.

Strike Up the Band! Marching Illini to Perform at Saint Viator Football Game

When the Saint Viator Lions host the Dons from Notre Dame College Prep on Sept. 25, the evening will feature more than an exciting conference match-up. That’s because the 375-strong Marching Illini will take the field before the contest, and during halftime.6386043209_2b7b87606b_o

The varsity game starts at 7:30 p.m. on Morris Field at Robert Morris University, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., Arlington Heights.

Vince Genualdi, director of bands at Saint Viator, marched with the Illini in its sousaphone section, before earning a spot as one of three drum majors during his junior and senior years. He graduated from Illinois in 2013.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for our band program and the school community,” Mr. Genualdi says. “The Marching Illini leads the collegiate marching band realm and has a long lasting tradition of musical excellence and integrity.

“Their dedication to music education and to excellence is contagious,” he adds, “and I know that their presence will ultimately improve our school spirit, band program and community.”

Look for the Illini to feature their exciting drumline, as well as the full band with its repertoire of fan favorites and traditional standards, including its block I formation before spelling out Illini on the field.

During the pre-game performance, band students from some of Saint Viator’s feeder middle schools will combine with the Marching Illini and Saint Viator Lions in playing the national anthem and the Saint Viator fight song.

Throughout the game, Saint Viator students will play on the sidelines with the Illini, in an added bleacher section for the combined band. The two bands also will join forces during halftime for an exciting, collegiate-level show.

Fans at the game will have a chance to see the Marching Illini less than two weeks after they perform at the Chicago Bears’ home opener at Soldier Field, and two months before they march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Following the Saint Viator game, the Illini band students will return to Champaign, in time to take field before the Illini host the Raiders of Middle Tennessee State University at Memorial Stadium.

Charter Class of 1965 Celebrates 50 Years with Weekend-Long Reunion

More than 14,500 graduates have gone through Saint Viator High School and Sacred Heart of Mary high schools since 1961, but only one class claims the right of being first.

The class of 1965 calls themselves the “Charter Class” and they gathered last weekend for their 50th reunion.

Ric Kethcart, Glenn Mitchell, Michael Massey and Ralph Elwart, were among the 85+ to attend the Charter Class's 50-Year Reunion.

Ric Kethcart, Glenn Mitchell, Michael Massey and Ralph Elwart, were among the 130+ to attend the Charter Class’s 50-Year Reunion.

“The day we started freshman year, was the day the school opened,” said Mark Condon, who helped plan their reunion. “We were the first class to go all four years at the school.”

Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V., president, celebrated Mass with the group at the opening of the milestone weekend, in the Alumni Memorial Chapel.

“Thank you for coming home,” he told the group that included over 85 guests from around the country.

Their opening night also included a tour of the high school, with the alumni able to see all of the latest enhancements, including the new Fr. Louis Querbes Dining Hall, the updated fine arts facilities, the Marie Gallagher Academic Commons and Scanlan Learning Center.

But many of the areas of the school, still in its original footprint, looked familiar.

“Just seeing the chapel and the Cahill Gym, the memories come back,” said Chuck Heinrich. “We never had names for these places. We’d walk in and there were buckets of paint. In 1961, this place was still under construction.”

Others remembered their teachers and administrators, nearly all of whom were Viatorian priests and brothers.

They fondly recalled Fr. Paul Gilgallon, who started the school’s chorus and musical, before demonstrating field goals to the football team and throwing batting practice for the baseball team—all while wearing his cassock.

During their senior year, class members dedicated their yearbook to their class moderator, Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, C.S.V., who had started the Pride Club, which is now the Ambassadors’ Club, and had instilled in them a sense of school spirit.

“The reality is, we had great Viatorian mentors,” said Dick Helmer.

Some of those Viatorian mentors were on hand for the reunion weekend, including Fr. Arnold Perham, C.S.V., the first chair of the mathematics department who still tutors at the school, as well as Fr. John Milton, C.S.V., the first chair of the science department, and Fr. James Michaletz, C.S.V., a chemistry teacher who would go onto serve as an administrator at both Saint Viator and Sacred Heart of Mary high schools.

At a formal dinner for the class, Fr. Brost described how the Viatorians had purchased 80 acres of farmland back in 1950. They established a novitiate in the original farmhouse, before building their province center, and ultimately constructing the school, after responding to a request from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Br. Leo Ryan, C.S.V., the last surviving member of the building committee, designed the school.

“You were responsible for laying the foundation of many of today’s traditions,” Fr. Brost told the crowd of more than 130 guests at the dinner. “There are more than 14,500 alumni and 930 current students walking on your shoulders.”

“Please know that each of you have set an example for those that came after you,” he added. “You took the lessons learned during your four years at Saint Viator and you are doing

God’s work in your own way.”

Saint Viator to Host Interfaith Dinner in Observance of Sept. 11

In a world of ever-increasing, religious-based hate, members of the northwest suburban Children of Abraham Coalition, find their message of tolerance and acceptance more important than ever.

The Children of Abraham Coalition will host a potluck dinner at Saint Viator High School Wednesday, Sept. 9 in an effort to promote interfaith dialogue between religions and observe the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

The Children of Abraham Coalition will host a potluck dinner at Saint Viator High School Wednesday, Sept. 9 in an effort to promote interfaith dialogue between religions and observe the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

For the fourth year, they will join with members of the Saint Viator High School community to host a potluck dinner for area families as a way to promote interfaith understanding and peace, on the 14th observance of Sept. 11.

Families are invited to reflect on their religious or cultural background as they dine with Muslim and Jewish families from around the area. Guests also will hear brief reflections on peace from a Jewish, Muslim and Catholic teen.

The event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at Saint Viator. Each family is asked to bring a dish to share, that reflects their cultural heritage, making the event a veritable feast as well as a celebration of diversity.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of Saint Viator, helped to form Children of Abraham in the fall of 2010 because of religious-based hatred and increasing religious hate crime statistics. He drew immediate support and members from area temples and Islamic centers in the northwest suburbs.

“We can’t stop all the religious-based hate in the world, but we can do our part,” Fr. Brost said. “We can be people of peace in our corner of the world, especially on Sept.11, a day that showed how deadly religious hate can be.”

Guests in the past have belonged to Jewish temples in Buffalo Grove and Long Grove, as well as Islamic centers in Schaumburg and Glendale Heights, and Catholic parishes in the northwest suburbs.

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