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The

Salesian

Spect ator

Volume 18 Issue 4

January/February 2017

Hello Students and Faculty, from the staff at the Salesian Spectator, the student-run newspaper of Salesian High School! Run by Daniel Brandon, Jon Cerini, Paul Chen the newspaper is seeking to enlighten the minds of all who attend this school. We are looking for any new members, as all students and their contributions are welcome. If you’d like to submit any material for The Salesian Spectator, send an email with your work as an attachment to salesianspectator@salesianhigh.org. Make sure you include your full name and year of graduation, so you can receive credit for it. Your name will appear in The Salesian Spectator’s credits section at the end of the issue to which you contribute. Thank you for reading and keep writing!

-- Daniel Brandon '17, Jon Cerini '17, and Paul Chen '17 Editors Daniel Brandon '17, Jon Cerini '17, and Paul Chen '17, Writers Jon Cerini '17, Paul Chen '17, Daniel Brandon '17, Nick Singlar '17, Joshua Farrell '18, and Charles Varenne '19 Editor In Chief Mr. John Small

In This Issue:  Salesian News  Current Events  Celebrating History  AND MORE!

Help Wanted: New Writers Needed Jon Cerini '17 Attention to all aspiring writers of Salesian High! Now that the Spectator has been handed over to the class of 2017, Daniel Brandon, Paul Chen, and myself (Jon Cerini) look forward to this year’s experience with the school paper. We hope to add new columns for poetry, comics, short stories, advice, etc. We already have several great writers who keep the school up to date with current events in sports, culture, politics, and more but we could still use extra people to help. If you have any passion for writing, sharing news, or are possibly interested in a career in

journalism, then talk to one of us to help strengthen the Salesian Spectator and make it even better!

Helped Wanted: AM Salesian Nick Singlar '17 A.M. Salesian is currently in search for new members. Our job is to broadcast the morning prayers and announcements to every homeroom and to make sure it goes off without a hitch (which does not always happen). Right now, A.M. Salesian consists mostly of seniors, so now more than ever do we need the help of the underclassmen. However, this does not mean seniors can't contribute. We need members ASAP, regardless of grade. You don't need any experience with computers, cameras, or AV equipment (although it helps). You will be taught on the job. All you need is a willingness to join. To preface: it is a lot of work. We have a job to do every morning,


and the entire school is watching. If you are interested, contact Father Bill or Br. Steve Eguino, or come to the A.M. Salesian Studio on the fourth floor before homeroom to talk to us directly. See you there!

Eagles Sweep Spellman Jon Cerini '17 The Br. Jim Wiegand Center was filled on Friday, January 13 as Salesian took on one of their biggest rivals: the Spellman Pilots, for some triple header basketball. The atmosphere for all three games was insane as Eagle fans had the bleachers packed. Spellman's cheers tried their best to beat the volume of Salesian’s cheers but failed ultimately as the home team’s spirit ran supreme. It all started with the freshmen team. Seats were just beginning to fill up as the young Eagles began to obliterate the visitors. By the end of the first game, the freshmen were able to warm up the stands with excitement as they knocked Spellman 63-31. By the second game, all the tickets were sold out, and plenty of seats were taken. Cheers were started by Brother Steve and other Salesian seniors that inspired the Junior Varsity players to perform with passion and determination. It came down to the wire with tight defense and back to back offensive plays from each side of the court. In the end, it came down to Sophomore Mark Nilaj who scored a tough layup to put the Eagles ahead by two with a few seconds left to go. After missing one of their free throws, the Pilots lost the game 45-44. The gym celebrated as the Salesian bench ran on the court with their teammates.

Lastly, the Varsity team arrived for warmups, ready to start the main match of the night. Seniors Damani Jones, Dijar Taraku, and Jorge Perdomo began dunking in an attempt to excite the spectators and bring fear into their opponents. Once the game had started, the intensity was felt through the gym. No side was able to carry a major lead as the first quarter held consistent action for both teams. It was not until the second half that the Eagles began to pull away. Marco Sinapi and Jack Silverberg shot and made several three’s together, bringing fans to their feet. The third and final game had ended 62-55 as the Salesian Eagles successfully swept their rivals. Fans were ecstatic as they began to post hilarious messages saying “You can’t spell “Spellman Pilots” without three L’s.” The night was a true victory for Salesian; going 3-0.

A Reflection on Silence Charles Varenne '19 The Gospel tells us “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This message is as pertinent as ever in Silence, a film set in 17th-century Japan about two Jesuit priests and their mission to spread the Catholic faith. At the time, priests and the Japanese Catholics were horribly persecuted, with many tortured or killed for their beliefs. I was disappointed by Father Rodrigues’s poor commitment to his faith. Although Garrpe died before apostatizing, Rodrigues eventually denied his faith and, by association, his vows as a priest. During the movie, it was evident the two were trying to live in Jesus’ image and compared their suffering to His. However, I doubt Jesus would have ever given up His belief in His father. The movie seemed to dramatize his “bravery” but I saw this as the failure, not strength, of Fr. Rodrigues.


disheartened when Rodrigues apostatized. As a human being, I understand Rodrigues’s desire to stop the suffering of other people. He chose not die for his faith. However, the Kingdom of Heaven is not to be found here on Earth, and in martyrdom, he would have found eternal life with God. The film follows the two Jesuit priests who were sent out to locate the missing Father Ferreira and gather information about his apostasy, all while spreading their faith in Japan. When they first arrived, they discovered multiple villages secretly practicing Christianity. If discovered, the villagers would be brutally executed as an example to others. Father Rodrigues was captured while on the run from Japanese officials. In captivity, he witnessed horrible acts of torture and persecution, and even the martyrdom of his companion, Fr. Garrpe. Fr. Rodrigues finally apostatized to save the lives of tortured Christians. This was his greatest error. Rodrigues commented multiple times during the film that the Church grows with the blood of martyrs, but he ultimately did not practice what he preached.

I found the movie to be superb and wellcrafted. Although somewhat slow-paced, the movie kept me interested from start to finish. I was unaware of the brutality of Christian persecution in Japan, but I thought the movie did a splendid job of telling the story of the apostate priests. This film also reminded me of A Man For All Seasons. Both protagonists had to choose between their life or their faith, and we became witnesses on their journey. When Thomas More died in defiance of the King, I believe he did a noble thing. More tells his wife if he did not keep his commitment to the faith, then he is a coward in all things. I felt

Dr. King Joshua Farrell '18 Many students consider Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) as the man who blesses schools with a day off in January. However, his legacy is not comprised of just that. Dr. King was an essential activist for the Civil Rights Movement: an attempt to end racial segregation and discrimination in the U.S. during the 1960s. Dr. King was a preacher and incredibly captivating during both his sermons and when delivering speeches. Simply put, when he spoke people listened. Dr. King convinced people of color to use peaceful protests as their way to bring about change, and that violence only incites more damage. Martin Luther King Jr. is not just important to the black community, but he's a vital component of American history! It is because of people like him who were brave enough to stand up and go against the norm that diversity in schools, restaurants, and shopping centers is even possible. I challenge you to stop looking at January 13 as a simply a day off, but to view it as a day to reflect and thank God for creating someone with the courage to help us progress as a nation.

Why the NBA is About to Change Jon Cerini '17


The 2016-2017 NBA season has been full of high expectations. Over the summer, several trades were made, free agents signed with different teams, and injured players returned. People went wild when Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, causing some to make bets already that the Warriors would dethrone the Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals.

seems that fans are getting bored of repetition at this point.

However, fans were also excited to witness the anticipated growth of the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Chicago Bulls as many great players put on their new jerseys. Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, and other All-Stars had new fans on their feet for next season after moving to their new teams.

No need to fear though, the NBA will change dramatically within the next five years. The 2017 NBA Draft will surely be one to remember with prominent prospects like Duke's Jayson Tatum. Standing at 6'8, Tatum can use his speed to score in any way he wants; his brilliance in one play had NBA Champion Kyrie Irving on his feet. Other key players of note are Kentucky Wildcats’ De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk who have led their team to one of the best records in the nation and both remain as top prospects for this year's draft class.

Also, young teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia 76ers had gained enough talent to put pressure on higher ranked teams. D’Angelo Russell, along with Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. are bound to have a winning season with patience and skill. Number one draft pick Karl AnthonyTowns along with Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, and Andrew Wiggins are proving to be a force for Minnesota to build on. The 2016 NBA Draft did not have as great of an effect as fans had previously thought. With Ben Simmons injured and no other draft pick performing on that future all-star level playing, except for maybe Buddy Hield and Kris Dunn; this year’s draft could be described as quite a bust. Cleveland and Golden State still rule the league, young teams still stay at the bottom, and the Clippers are still trying to get a ring. It

Another college player to remember is Lonzo Ball. This UCLA Bruin is by far the best player on his team, helping them achieve a current ranking of No. 10 in the country. Ball was a McDonald’s AllAmerican last year and has the skills of Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Stephen Curry. His court vision and passing skills are nothing but perfection, and he is always ready to make a clutch play with his ability to score. This young star could probably be the number one draft pick in 2017. Needless to say, whichever NBA team can get their hands on Lonzo Ball will have an incredibly bright future.


It does not end there, as even high school players are already being compared to NBA players. Zion Williamson is ranked No. 1 among all high school players and his been called the "next LeBron James." There is also players like Kyree Walker, Tyger Campbell, and Michael Porter Jr., whose highlights consistently go viral on different social media platforms. Lastly, keep an eye on the other Ball brothers: LaMelo and LiAngelo. These brothers are changing the pace of the game with high skill and determination. Their father LaVar Ball trained them their whole lives, telling them that "someone has to beat Michael Jordan one day." With this in mind, it is no doubt that these young players will be great athletes when drafted to the league.

Fabian Sawatski, one of the first people to “discover” Hitler, thinks that Hitler’s schtick is all for entertainment. They tour Germany and ask everyday people what they think is wrong with their country. Sawatski realizes that it is not entertainment that Hitler is providing, but a social lens for the people. Hitler is excited to observe how TV works, and sees it as a useful medium for spreading his ideas, i.e. propaganda, and so agrees to be a part of a television show. The people watching find themselves strangely agreeing with him. Ironically, an old Jewish woman with dementia is the only person who sees Hitler clearly as the monster he is.

Look Who's Back Charles Varenne '19 “Who else would destiny have chosen to bring back?” the former Fuhrer remarked as he contemplated his mysterious reappearance in present-day Germany. Adolf Hitler firmly believed that it was his duty to save Germany from the ills that plagued it. Upon his re-awakening, he neither reflected on his experiences nor attempted to change. Instead, he vowed to start over with the people of modern-day Germany. As he traveled around Germany, he listened to the issues that concerned its citizens. Ironically, their concerns echoed those of 1933 when Hitler was elected. The modern day Hitler spoke to the people and found that many of his ideas still resonated with them. This validated his beliefs that he was the one who could fix their problems.

The things he said made sense to me, and I didn’t expect to find myself agreeing with him on many issues. This ability to understand the common man and respond to him with solutions was what got him elected in 1933. The character seemed almost likable at times. I had to remind myself that Hitler was a butcher, and caused one of the greatest conflicts in human history. At one point in the movie, Sawatski asked him if he ever broke character, and Hitler responded with “this is who I am.” Hitler firmly believed he was Germany’s savior, and he alone could pave the path to greatness.


questions to a Salesian. This issue features Br. Steve Eguino. Question 1: What is your back story on how you felt called to the Salesians?

Interview with Mr. Cassiere Paul Chen '17 Me: Welcome back to Salesian. What made you want to return? Mr. Cassiere: It was the place I always felt was like a second home. Even when you become a teacher and you go out to a public school or college, there’s just something about Salesian that keeps calling you back. Me: How have things changed since you were a student here? Mr. Cassiere: Well the food’s still the same; nah that’s just kidding. Pretty much, I think the change is everyone here has a different attitude and the students all got cell phones and internet. When I was here there was none of that and the library and the computer labs; it seems like the school has a lot more facilities than when I was here. Me: Is there anything that you prefer about high school classes compared to teaching college classes? Mr. Cassiere: The kids at least have a voice and funnier here. In college everyone is just a drone and sits there and does nothing. At least here you know, you know when you’re teaching because everyone’s laughing.

"Ask a Salesian" With Br. Steve Eguino

Br. Steve: I went to Salesian High and graduated in 2007. I was involved in many aspects of school like NHS, Student Council, Basketball, Golf, Volleyball, AM Salesian, the Band (every single one), Youth Ministry and Music Ministry. I did a lot of stuff. Thinking about it now, it was really all just stuff. It's not a bad thing but being involved in so many things ultimately led me to see that life was meant to be lived joyfully and in the right way. It was through my experiences at Salesian that my faith and friendships grew. I realized that God had blessed me with the ability to excel in many areas and it was all through the charism of St. John Bosco. I thought about joining the Salesians when I was a Junior and realized how important my faith really was and I wasn't embarrassed or shy about it any longer. After graduating I had an interesting career as a "College Student". I studied at St. John's University and SUNY Maritime College. I went from being undecided and playing Volleyball to joining the Regiment of Cadets and studying Naval Architecture Engineering and shipping out for the summer with 600 students to study and work. All this time I was not truly happy until I realized that God had bigger plans for me and I needed to let go of what I wanted to do and honestly tell myself, "God, I have no idea what you want me to do with my life but if you want to let me know I'm listening." These are dangerous words because I dropped everything with only a year left to graduate to join the Salesians. I'm so grateful I've had all these amazing experiences so that I can share my life experiences with the people I meet.

Question 2: You and Br. Steve Demaio put a large emphasis on adoration, especially with events like NRG. Why is adoration so important for Catholics everywhere?

Jon Cerini '17 "Ask a Salesian" is a segment of the Salesian Spectator, where a writer presents

Br. Steve: Adoration is important because as Catholics we believe in the Real Presence


of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist : body, blood, soul and divinity. I came to really understand this for myself when I was a Junior at Salesian and went on the October Leadership Retreat. I came to the realization that the person who walked on water, gave sight to the blind, removed demons from people, cleansed the lepers, and rose again on the third day was right there in the room with me, present in the Eucharist and he knew who I was and cared about me, loved me, and wanted me to get to know him. Having NRG at Salesian is such a great way to grow together as friends but in a more important way to grow as brothers. Music is a very big part of my vocation and to be able to play music for Jesus as a prayer and to help others fall deeper into the mystery of Jesus Christ is such a blessing. #blessed. COME TO NRG. Question 3: What’s the best part about working as a religion teacher here for the past year and a half?

Br. Steve: My favorite part about working here as a Salesian and Alum is getting to know the students. For me it's the best thing in the world when I can see a student is tired or annoyed and throughout class they begin to wake up and enjoy their time here. I think my classes are pretty entertaining and we get to learn about our faith, which is a plus! Praying together, laughing together, growing together makes it all worth it. I love when students have those "revelation moments." These are the moments when they thought they took the biggest L and find out they passed and did well. These are the moments when a student finds out he did not ask a stupid question but asked a question that everyone was thinking of but did not have the courage to ask. These are the moments where a student realizes that God has a plan for him, God loves him, and that his life has

a purpose and a meaning which he is destined to find. This school would literally not be here without the students.

Jan/Feb 2017 Spectator  
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