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Greater Cincinnati’s Jesuit High School

Men for Others

Retreat Programs


Prayerful Introspection

ALSO: Incoming Freshmen Outgoing Senior Class



THURSDAY EVENING. The occasional star of this space tugged at his Angels ball cap and pontificated from the back seat while riding to Little League. My oldest nephew, less than 48 hours from making his First Communion, explained the meaning of eucharist. “It’s the bread and wine turned into the body and blood of Christ,” he said. Yes, but what does eucharist mean? “It means you take communion, like the Last Supper with Jesus and the apostles. Like I will on Saturday. Eucharist is a sacrament and a tradition.” Very good. But what does the actual word eucharist mean? Silence. Curious. A beat. “Well… what does it mean?” Thanksgiving. Silence. Contemplation. A beat. “Well… I think that makes sense.” Me too. Difficult not to be thankful for this amazing sacrament. Holy Communion is everything unique and awe-inspiring about Christianity rolled into one moment. It is where the one true God meets His people. Spirit meets flesh. Spirit becomes flesh. Communion is rooted in community, in celebration, in sharing. It is nourishment, the miracle of the loaves and fishes revisited. It offers redemption and recollection. Through Holy Communion we are part of the new covenant Jesus promised; we continue His mission. John and I went on to discuss synonyms, a concept maybe his second-grade curriculum hasn’t thoroughly addressed yet. I explained a dictionary would tell him the definition of a word, like he told me. “Eucharist is the bread and wine turned into the body and blood of Christ.” A thesaurus, on the other hand, would not have a strict definition for a word, but would list other words similar in meaning. Look up eucharist and he may find words like communion, sacrament and daily bread. (At one point Johnny asked, “Uncle Mark, what would you find if you looked up ‘thesaurus’ in a thesaurus?” I find it difficult to


drive while alternately laughing and welling with pride.) We played the synonym game until arriving at the ball field. I’d say laugh. He’d say giggle. He’d say fire. I’d say flame. He’d say cow. I’d say bovine. I’d say sports. He’d say games. He began to say supercalifragilistic… I said real words only please. Circling the wagons, I hit him with transubstantiation, thinking I might catch him with a dose of his own polysyllabic medicine. Nope. He answered simply as we reached the parking lot. Change. Play ball. Over time I’ve asked many priests what it is like to be the agent of that change from bread and wine to body and blood. Do they know the exact moment when transubstantiation happens? What does it feel like? Is there a palpable presence? Most have told me the moment of transubstantiation isn’t like the culmination of a magic trick: Presto, change-o, here’s Jesus’ body and blood. My favorite answer—an image I can and do hold onto—goes far beyond the altar. The moment of transubstantiation fully occurs when we become the body of Christ. When we, accepting the body and blood, move into the world following Him. By being more patient, more respectful, more forgiving, more compassionate. Indeed, when we become more thankful.


Uncle and nephew pose in front of Guardian Angels Church following First Communion in May.



VOL. XXXIX, NO. 3, SUMMER 2011 “The most precious crown is reserved in heaven for those who do all that they do as zealously as possible, for to do good deeds is not enough by itself; we must do them well.” —St. Ignatius Loyola

cover story ‘God is in the Whisper’

Retreat Programs Teach Prayerful Introspection by Mark D. Motz (’87) Cover story, page 14.

EDITOR Mark D. Motz, ‘87 ART DIRECTOR/DESIGNER June Pfaff Daley CONTRIBUTORS Rev. Dennis P. Ahern S.J., ’56 Cheryl L. Asper Sylvia M. Betz Richard P. Klus Heidi B. Eveleigh John Schrantz, ’96 Mark D. Motz, ’87 Ralph A. Nardini, ’77 Michael A. Sadouskas, ’74 Anthony E. Schad, ’81 Jynefir D. Slusher Catherine Smith Andrew E. Sweeny, ’68 Paul J. Zook, ’57 ADMINISTRATION Rev. Timothy A. Howe S.J., President Mr. David B. Mueller, ’72, Principal Rev. Ed L. Pigott S.J. ’55, Rector

PHOTO BY JAY BACHEMIN, ’73 Students receive simple pewter crosses after making a Kairos retreat, a powerful symbol of the need to stop and reflect.

10 12




Come On Down... or Up, or Over Class of 2015 Arrives From Alll Over the Map


Xavier Men Forever


Class of 2011 Spread Its Wings

24 X-PEDITIONS 28 BACK PORCH 29 CALENDAR CORRECTIONS: In a sidebar to the “Right Place, Right Time” story about female faculty at St. Xavier, Mary Helmheckel of the business office was inadvertently left off the list of women who have served St. Xavier High School 20 or more years. She has been part of the staff from 1984 to the present.

Xavier Men Forever, page 12.

In a story on the Healy Society, later research revealed a third African American student graduated in 1965 with Phil Cox and Michael Walker, Mr. Peter D. Samples. St. Xavier regrets both omissions.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Mrs. Beth L. Basil Mrs. Ann M. Berger Mr. David J. Cassady, ’75 Mr. Robert J. Davis, ’84 Rev. Joseph D. Folzenlogen S.J., ’58 Mr. Thomas A. Gill Rev. Michael J. Graham S.J. Mr. Richard A. Haglage, ’73 Mr. Steven L. Hils, ’71 Dr. J. Richard Hirte Rev. Timothy A. Howe S.J., Ex Officio Mr. Michael K. Keating, ’73, Board Chair Mr. Lawrence A. Leser, ’53 Rev. Patrick E. McGrath S.J. Mr. Michael S. McGraw, ’73 Dr. Gerri S. Mosley-Howard Mr. William J. Mulvihill, ’65 Rev. Edward L. Pigott S.J., ’55, Ex Officio Mrs. Patricia P. Robertson Mrs. Bettina Ross Mr. Timothy J. Schroeder, ’75 Rev. William L. Verbryke S.J., ’71 PRINTING Joseph Berning Printing Company St. Xavier Magazine is published three times a year by the alumni, development and public relations offices. St. Xavier High School 600 W. North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45224-1499 Phone (513) 761-7815 ext. 121 (513) 761-7600 ext. 121 Fax (513) 761-2586 e-mail Alumni Hot Line 1-800-572-5340 ext. 114 Direct all Letters to the Editor, address changes, or other correspondence to the above address. Postmaster: Send address corrections to: St. Xavier Magazine, 600 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45224-1499.




magine you’re on an elevator and someone recognizes you as a member of our St. X community. The person asks you, “Tell me what is wonderful about St. Xavier High School.” You’ve only got 30 seconds before the elevator reaches the floor where you will part company. What would you say? I think many of us have been in this kind of situation. We recall so many meaningful experiences with St. X over the years we’re tempted just to say, “You have to experience it yourself to really understand.” Undoubtedly, it is hard to summarize in just a few words all this school means to us. Yet we’re challenged to try. Some people chuckled at the recent President’s Dinner when I introduced our Elevator Speech in this way. It’s merely a tool to help give us the words we might use in those 30 seconds between floors. The mission promotion committee of the board of trustees created just such a tool this year for us to use. The speech builds on the excellent research last year that reaffirmed our commitment to the “Men for Others” tagline. The language of the speech is this: “Since 1831, St. Xavier High School has been helping boys across Greater

Cincinnati transform into leaders and men for others in the Catholic faith and Jesuit tradition. Located on a 110-acre suburban campus, its committed faculty and staff inspire the students to pursue excellence across a wide array of rigorous academic programs, enriching extracurricular activities and community service. Students experience a broad diversity of thought, people and opportunities designed not only to prepare them for college, but to propel them successfully through a lifetime of personal, intellectual and spiritual growth.” I ask you to become familiar with the elevator speech to help you tell the story of St. X to the people you encounter. You don’t have to memorize it. There’s not going to be a quiz. But if you ever found yourself looking for a succinct way to summarize St. X, now you have one. If the person asking you seems passionate about one aspect of the school or another, by all means depart from the script and engage that interest. You will begin to see and hear more of the elevator speech in the coming school year. We shared it with our incoming freshman families in the form of a wallet-sized card which also features the daily examen for easy reference. The video of the speech we shared

“As St. Ignatius did with the early Jesuits—St. Francis Xavier chief among them—we want to energize and empower you to carry the good news of St. X far and wide.” 2


with benefactors at the President’s Dinner now resides on the St. Xavier website at It features a number of voices—including mine—giving the speech together with some examples of how to leave the speech and elaborate on important areas of interest for people. As St. Ignatius did with the early Jesuits—St. Francis Xavier chief among them—we want to energize and empower you to carry the good news of St. X far and wide. Our students, faculty and staff, together with our alumni, current and past parents and friends all are ambassadors for the school with the people you encounter. With your help we will continue our mission of transforming exceptional boys into academically accomplished men for others who are prepared to discern, commit to, and successfully carry out God’s plan for their lives.

We Are... St. X


President’s Dinner Serves Up Thanks Fr. Joe Folzenlogen S.J. (’58), Steve Hils (’71), board GIFTS OF GRATITUDE flowed, filling chair Mike Keating (’73) and Tina Ross. the audience with a sense of overwhelming Former teacher and coach Myron Kilgore humility. For every “thank you”—and there received the Magis Award recognizing his were many—there were three “I couldn’t pioneering service to the school. have done it without…” remarks “Fr. Beckman (who hired Myron) during the 2011 St. Xavier High told me later that he took a chance, School President’s Dinner. and as a result of that chance and An audience of about 400 choice I have gained many new alumni, faculty and staff, benefacfriends and to some extent opened tors and friends attended the May doors and acceptance to the St. 3 event at the Cintas Center. Xavier community,” Kilgore said. “I come tonight to thank you,” “Many thanks for inducting me to St. X President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. the elite Magis group and presenting told the assemblage. “You are the Myron Kilgore, left, received the me with such a prestigious honor ones who make it possible for us Magis Award while Terry Horan (’69) and award.” to keep our promise to our most was named Insignis Award winner at the 2011 President’s Dinner. Terry Horan (’69) received the Insignis vulnerable students. We literally couldn’t Award, the highest award the school can give do what we do for the boys without you.” an alumnus. Highlights of the evening included the St. X “To those who have received this award ahead of string ensemble, Chamber Blues, entertaining guests me, thank you for making the path wide and smooth with your as they arrived and the vocal ensemble Something Blue great accomplishments, shining a clear light for me and others performing a three-song set after the meal. to travel,” Horan said. “Fr. Howe, the Board of Trustees, adminFr. Howe presented the 25-year service award to istration, faculty, fellow alumni, honored friends and guests, my Tim Cronin, Lee Yeazell and Donna Moore, and gave the heartfelt thanks. I am deeply touched to be this year’s recipient.” Trustee Service Award to outgoing board members

St. X Experiences Seder Tradition DURING THE SEDER meal at the Jewish celebration of Passover, the youngest person at the table asks, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” St. Xavier High School freshmen from the Ricci House and older students from Hands Across Campus learned the answer during the Festival of Freedom: A Community Intergroup Seder, hosted by the Cincinnati chapter of the American Jewish Committee. Seder means order, as in the order of events of the ritual meal, but also implies the intimacy of family or friends gathered to share the Passover story and celebrate the freedom of the Jews from Egyptian slavery. The Haggadah (or book) outlining the rituals of the Seder can be and is adapted for specific communities. Rabbi Gary Zola led a diverse group of worshipers including Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims through the rites and rituals of a Seder celebration.

Students and others recited blessings in Hebrew, literally broke bread (matzah) together, drank four cups, dipped herbs in salt water and shared bitter herbs as prescribed by tradition. The rabbi and AJC hosts at each table explained each part of the ritual along the way. “That was a great experience for me personally and certainly for our students,” said Ricci House social studies teacher Tony Nardini (’95). “We’ve read about the Passover in social studies and religion, but I don’t think many of us had ever been to a Seder. The ritual and history behind it are very rich.”

St. X students dip herbs into salt water before eating as part a traditional Seder celebration.



We Are... St. X St. Xavier students extend their hands in blessing over the graduating seniors and the juniors who will go on mission trips this summer.

Out On a Mission THE SIGHT OF THE St. Xavier High School community outstretching its hands in blessing moves one deeply. Offering prayers for their brothers who will venture into the world this summer—whether on mission trips or after graduation— inspires. “This morning as we commission you, I think Jesus is very clearly inviting you to his friendship,” said Fr. Fran Daly S.J., who presided over the annual Commissioning Mass. “Helping others is essentially sharing the life that God has given us. It is with your specific gifts that God wants you to help. By looking beyond ourselves we are better able to see, serve and reverence those we will help and serve.” Mission trip participants include the following: PERU: Ryan Borgemenke, Joey Bruns, John Cavanaugh, Nate Dorlac, Tim Kasckow, Fr. Rick Millbourn S.J. (’86) and Mr. Jeff Morgeson. LAKOTA: Chad Dorger, Seth Huxel, Ben Mackenzie, Connor Muething, Michael Schrieber, Tyler Stafford, Chris Stepien, Tyler Stoeckel, Sven Wang, Alex Woroncow, Ms. Marguerite Bourgeois and Ms. Paige Lumpkins. OVERTHERHINE #1: Alex Breen, Marshall Chabot, Tommy Crafton, Nathan Duderstat, Nick Heflin, Gavin Hobson, Adam Jones, Josh Keeling, Jake Messer, Conor Neyer, Mr. Andy Wietmarschen (’01) and Mrs. Mary Wietmarschen. 4


CHICAGO: Mark Boemker, Jacob Eyers, Alex Kallemeyer, Adam Lehnig, Ish Lucas, Kieran McCrate, Jake Owens, Ian Raffenberg, Sam Schroeder, Michael Stahl, Mrs. Lisa Castellini and Mrs. Linda Gloeckler. NEW ORLEANS: Neil Capeci, Joe Dillon, Chris Groh, Philip Leisring, Braden Miller, Zach Perry, Weston Rich, Sam Slayton, George Spohr, Mark Williams, Mr. Bill Freudiger and Mr. John Meyer. OVERTHERHINE #2: Don Baverman, Alex Crowley, Brian Daugherty, Robbie Dorger, Ethan Frey, Rich Hidy, Jacob Martin, Austin McDermott, Mark O’Quinn, Andrew Pund, Fr. Tim Howe S.J. and Mr. Andy Castellini (’82). ECUADOR: Gabe Albacarys, Chris Atwell, Edward CaJacob, Jay Carroll, Nathan Crockett, Raymond Huber, Trey Keitel, Tyler Kratzer, John Scott, Max Wrolstad, Ms. Kathy Raffenberg and Ms. Cindy Fazio. VANCEBURG: Jonathan Clausing, Tim Goeppinger, Andrew Gerbus, Adam Price, Michael Romano, Sean Shields, Tyler Strotman, Chad Thieman, Zach Vogelpohl, Lyon Wang, Ms. Tami Prophater and Ms. Katie Meyer. CAMDEN: Brian Bryson, Alex Evans, Will Foote, Justin Hackett, John Longaberger, Brian Neltner, Hank Rumpke, Tom Schmitt, Brian Shannon, Brian Walsh, Mr. Tom Broe (’04) and Mr. Rod Hinton.


X-Cellent X-Travaganza ST. XAVIER HIGH School has never been confused with clothing capitals Paris or Milan. Yet fashion tips abounded when the school masqueraded as Cape Cod for X-Travaganza 2011: X-Cape to New England. From boat shoes with no socks to Nantucket Red slacks to bow ties, the St. X community was styling and profiling for its annual dinner auction. Maybe the most valuable tip? According to Dhani Jones there’s no need to button a suit jacket when wearing a bow tie. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones supported X-Travaganza with his bow tie initiative.

Jones would know. The Bengals linebacker and reality TV star brought his Bow Ties for a Cause to X-Trav and helped raise nearly $40,000 for the retention program in the process, just one of many highlights over the course of a successful weekend. In total, X-Trav 2011 grossed more than $900,000 for the school. “Mary and I have had a great time this year with the opportunity to be general chairs,” said Jim Thacker. “I’ll never get to be a graduate of the school, but I feel like through this opportunity the community took us in and made us feel like we were part of the family. We’re so grateful for everyone who helped make this X-Travaganza great.” The Thackers helmed several changes to the annual event, including a flipflop of locations for First Night and the dinner auction. First Night: Knot Your Usual Clambake took occupancy in the Berning Gym March 11. More than 600 people attended, including about 200 incoming freshman parents from the class of 2015. “First Night has grown so much in the last few years, we thought making

X-Travaganza 2011 chairs Jim and Mary Thacker pose with President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. before the main event.

some changes to bring people together would be a good idea,” said Sara Schindler, director of X-Travaganza. “Bringing the new parents is a great way to welcome them, show them what the community of St. X is like. We do a lot for the boys, but we also make sure we have fun.” The move into the Ellis Gym for the main event proved a success, too, with more room between tables, a new video display and improved sound. In addition, patrons could vie for auction items from their seats by way of the Bid Pal devices employed by X-Trav for the first time.

Surviving Auschwitz FOR MOST 15-year-old boys at St. Xavier High School a bad day might include missing lunch, some extra homework or a jug. For Werner Coppell—who spoke May 10 to St. X freshmen in Pro House—being 15 meant leaving home and never seeing his family again. Simply because he was a Jew in Germany in the 1930s. “When I was growing up, at age 13 in 1938 we heard parades of Germans marching and singing the words, I quote, ‘When Jew blood runs on our knives, then we will have accomplished something,’” he said. “And nobody protested them. Nobody did anything to stop them.” As a result, the discrimination and terror grew worse, culminating in the holocaust of some six million Jews by Hitler’s Third Reich. For Coppel, that

included time served in a forced labor camp near Berlin and—in April of 1943—being arrested into “protective custody” and deported to Auschwitz. “There is no way to explain the agony of appearing naked in front of a non commissioned SS officer and wondering if he thought you could work or if you were too weak and would be—in the words used at the camps—going up the chimney.” Coppel did survive, however, and even said the number tattooed on his arm now serves as his PIN number for his ATM card. He came to the United States in 1949, settled in Cincinnati and made a career as a gourmet food importer. A letter to the editor denying the holocaust in the Enquirer in the 1970s set him on the path to public speaking.



We Are... St. X New Class Offers Flexibility MAYBE IT’S THE wall of mirrors. Maybe it’s the jete over the jumping jack. Maybe it’s the pas de burree over the pull-up. Nope, Emily Brinkman’s movement and dance course—a new offering for St. Xavier High School this semester—is assuredly not your father’s phys. ed. class. While Brinkman—Theatre Xavier’s choreographer for several years—might not fit the stereotypical mold of gruff old line coach who doubles as gym instructor, make no mistake: she’s tough. Especially if the dropped pounds and increased flexibility of the 15 juniors and seniors in her inaugural class are any indication. “They’re working very hard in class,” said Brinkman, a McAuley High School and Northern Kentucky University dance graduate. “Some of them were hurting the first week because it is hard, but they’ve come a long way. “The main goal is to give them a lot of flexibility, some muscle tone and a good workout. It’s just a different way to

Faculty member Emily Brinkman leads her charges through a new kind of physical education class.

do that than most of these guys have experienced. They all came in at different levels, with different experience, but they’re learning to push themselves, literally to stretch themselves, and how to do what maybe they never they could. It’s rewarding to see.” How did it happen? “I know Michele (Mascari) has wanted a dance class for a while for fine arts,” she said. “I know Coach (Don) DiGiacomo and some of the health teachers were looking for new

Visionary Art Show ST. XAVIER HIGH School art students collaborated with Cincinnati nonprofit Visionaries and Voices for Portraits: Our Ways of Seeing Each Other, a joint exhibit of more than 100 pieces featuring St. X student works and the efforts of V&V artists. 6


About 150 people—students, faculty, guest artists and the general public —attended the March 10 opening of the exhibit in the first floor gallery space of the Walter C. Deye S.J. Performance Center at St. X. “I’d have to say it’s successful,” said

ways to get guys active in gym. I think after (TX’s 2009 production of the dance-heavy) Cats, there was a new sense of appreciation for dance among the guys. It made sense to try it.” In addition to the physical demands of stretching, moving, learning steps and combinations, Brinkman offers lessons in terminology, theory, appreciation and connections to dance and daily life— be it in music videos or in the form of improv exercises.

St. X art teacher Mary Ann Meyer. “There are some great pieces here and some obvious passion for creation.” As the title indicates, the exhibit leaned heavily on portrait work—pencil drawings, color pencils, painting, mixed media—but features much more, including ceramic sculptures and even some pointed social commentary. Maybe the most arresting pieces were the body sculptures V&V artist Brian Dooley created with shrink wrap, tape and colored plastic, making what some at the opening referred to as “the aliens.” “I just feel so proud and so glad for all the artists,” said Linda Dietrich, Visionaries and Voices executive director, whose program offers disabled artists studio space and a forum for selling their work. “Art is not always something that is highly thought of by a lot of people, but it’s obvious through the facilities and talent you have here, it is well regarded at St. X.”


Golfers Raise Money for Research


AUGUSTA NATIONAL serves as home for the Masters, the first golfing major of the year, but some master men for others Students and faculty alike gathered to hear stories of how St. Xavier High School broke its and major medical benefactors call St. color barrier 50 years ago. Xavier High School home. St. X again led the charge in raising more than $26,000 for cancer research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital through the Champions FORE Children’s 54-hole golf marathon March 26. HE QUOTED SCRIPTURE, not in a The brainchild of Smith Brinker holier-than-thou way, but illustratively. (’11), the third annual event has raised “There’s a passage in the Bible,” said more than $100,000 for researchers at Leonard Watson (’67), referring to ProvChildren’s. Brinker—who had a cancer erbs 27:17. “‘As iron sharpens iron, so scare in 2008 that proved to be a non one man sharpens another.’ I had to rub malignant tumor—founded Champions up against a lot of iron to get sharp. My FORE Children’s as a means of expressing freshman year I thought they were trying gratitude for his good fortune while helpto get the most out of me. What I learned ing those with less favorable diagnoses. is they were trying to get my best out of “It has become an amazing success,” me.” said Alex Kepley (’85), St. X head golf The subtlety and power of his comcoach. “Smith had a great idea and found ments made Watson—joined by fellow help from tons of other people, including graduates Judge Dwane Mallory (’75), Children’s, to support his dream to help Rob Davis (’84) and John Richardson people.” (’97)—ideal to speak about race to St. Brinker said the golf marathon is Xavier High School students, faculty and perfect mix of team and school mission, administration Feb. 23. an opportunity for the squad to bond in Hands Across Campus, the school’s service to the community. diversity group, offered the living his“With all the resources this tory experience as part of Black school has we’re very lucky,” he History Month. As similar said. “That first year I was able program featured veteran to bring a concept to the team faculty and administraand within five minutes I had 41 tion talking about the guys signed up to play. The last school as it began two years we’ve had players from breaking its color other schools joining us, which barriers in 1961. has been great.” “There was some Event proceeds help fund Dr. turmoil,” Watson Biplab Dasgupta’s research into the said. “Things enzyme AMPK and improved treatments were different in for brain tumors. the ‘60s. I grew “When we talk about our students up in Avondale learning to be servant leaders, this is the and I took the kind of thing we mean,” said St. X Presi78 Metro up dent Fr. Tim Howe S.J. “We don’t ask our Vine Street and guys to save the world, but we certainly had to thumb up want them to be aware not everyone North Bend hill to Senior Smith Brinker has things as well as many of them school. There were do. They have—we all have—a a lot of days I’d see responsibility to those in need.”

X-Ploring Our Racial History classmates driving by, guys getting a ride from their parents, who never stopped to pick me up. It was hard.” The faculty panel included former history teacher and current school archivist Karl Hauck, Fr. Fran Daly S.J. of the adult faith department and former teacher, coach and board member Myron Kilgore, the school’s first black faculty member. Alumni chaplain Fr. Denny Ahern S.J. (’56) provided some additional historical perspective. “At that time our country was becoming more aware of civil rights,” Fr. Daly said. “I think there were two things (driving St. X to integrate): One was to educate the African American community and help it assimilate better into the country the way different ethnic groups of whites had. The second was to evangelize. The African American community was traditionally Protestant and the Church wanted to reach out and maybe get some converts.” “Once you’re stuck in one community, you’re limited,” Kilgore said. “Our summer programs back then opened up the city for people. It got people from downtown mixing with people from around town. Once you see more, you can dream. And once you dream, you can start to accomplish.” “When I came back to St. X in 1998 we were at a point where we realized we as a school would be enriched by diversity, not the other way around where we thought we would be enriching other people,” Fr. Daly said. “We’ve kept that attitude, which will keep making St. X a diverse school a high priority.” SUMMER 2011


We Are... St. X


Student Trio Pulls Perfect Score

Principal Dave Mueller (’72) and President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. congratulated the three students who earned perfect scores on the ACT college entrance exam.

OUTSIDE OF GOD there is no such thing as perfect. However, even reaching the human definition of perfection is elusive and somewhat ethereal, certainly rare and difficult. So for three St. Xavier High School students to reach the plateau on three separate occasions in a single school year is remarkable. Seniors Doug Kirkpatrick and Max Riestenberg, as well as junior Ryan Welch, each notched perfect composite scores of 36 on the ACT college entrance test. The ACT consists of timed tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of

1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. According to the ACT, the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, though roughly only .1 percent earn the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2010, for example, only 588 among 1.6 million students across the country scored a composite of 36. “Having one in your school is rare, having three is unheard of,” said veteran guidance counselor Gary Sabourin. “I’ve never heard of more than one perfect score here in any given year. People will

be asking us what’s in the water. It’s an amazing feat.” Kirkpatrick took the test last summer and learned of his accomplishment in early autumn. Welch and Riestenberg took the test in late fall. All three received hosannas from the guidance department, Principal Dave Mueller (’72) and President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. on Feb. 1. “We’re very proud of these guys,” Fr. Howe said. “Perfection in anything is rare so it’s exciting to know we have some of it here among us. They obviously used their God-given talents well and to good purpose.” “I thought I had done well,” Welch admitted. “You don’t really think about a perfect score though. Actually I wasn’t really perfect, perfect. The way the ACT works you can miss three or four questions and still get a 36. But I’m pretty happy I did do so well.”

Sports Program Earns Award THERE’S A first time for everything. As it happens, the first time St. Xavier High School entered its fall sports program into a competition it came up a winner. The National High School Sports Publications Awards based in Maryland selected St. X as the Gold Award Winner in its class: private school, 1,0001,500 students, staff-driven publication. Judges for the fourth-annual awards included a panel of graphic designers, coaches and athletic directors who were looking for “excellence in sports publications at the high school level.” “It’s very nice to be recognized for a job that often goes thankless,” said Mark Motz (’87), director of communications and publications. “Like 8


anything else at St. X, we try to make the program about the students, a way to enhance their athletic experience with a really nice keepsake of their season. “The bulk of the credit has to go to Teri Smith in the athletic office. She coordinates the program—arranging team and individual photos, inputting rosters and schedules, working with the Boosters on the ads, acting as the liaison with the printer. It’s a big job. “Thank you, too, to Booster President Bob Rinaldi. Bob pushed us to enter the competition in the first place and his sales staff from the Boosters makes it a profitable venture. We’re hopeful this award will help attract some additional advertisers to what is a good product supporting a great cause.”




opefully a cool glass of lemonade sits at your side as you leisurely peruse St. Xavier. The school year is anything but leisurely, so given the lazy, hazy days of summer, I feel like now is a good time to introduce some of the changes in store for next year. We have reconfigured our academic administrative team in an effort to have administrators playing to their strong suits to best serve our students and our faculty. Bill Sandquist maintains his role as assistant principal for academics. Mike Dehring (’88) expands his role as assistant director of admissions to also serve as Bill’s support, taking charge of responsibilities such as AP exams, academic awards night, academic data management and administrative contact for student conferences. Dan Minelli serves as assistant principal for freshmen and sophomores. He focuses on formation, discipline and attendance for freshmen and sophomores, and continues to oversee the freshman house program. Steve Specht (’86) becomes assistant principal for juniors and seniors. His duties include junior/senior formation, discipline and attendance. He also moderates Bomber Pilots, Navigators and CREW.

Former assistant principal Matt Keith (’93) moves into the new role of director of student activities. He resumes some of his former duties as guidance counselor while overseeing and coordinating co-curriculars, including student council. In addition he is in charge of guiding students in their planning of fun events such as pep rallies, MusicFest, dances and socials, and whatever new fun (and “Jesuit-appropriate”) fun events students dream up. He oversees safety and security, with support from safety and security officer Don Brichler (’75). Mike Meyer continues as director of guidance, which is expanding to include the school psychologist (Charlene Ponti), the student transition coordinator (Rosemary Schuermann), the retention program (Tami Prophater) and the school nurse (Sandy Grammel). Veteran social studies teacher Jen Wiegele assumes the role of director of faculty services. She will coordinate the work of the seven faculty instructional coaches to plan and implement faculty professional growth. She also will oversee pedagogical formation of new faculty members as well as teacher licensure renewals. Dan Hogan becomes technology integration specialist, providing training and classroom support for faculty as they develop their skills in using instructional technology.

Many members of the faculty have been awarded grants from the school to fund participation in summer programs to benefit our students. Please visit for a detailed list of how our faculty remains lifetime learners, something they share daily with the student body. Change is never easy. But as we teach our students, we ourselves must be open to growth and seek out the best ways to provide an effective, excellent learning environment in the school. I try to make decisions that honor and support people who demonstrate creativity, collaboration, and enthusiasm, and I am extremely grateful to the faculty, staff, administrators and students who are that and more every day.

“We ourselves must be open to growth and seek out the best ways to provide an effective, excellent learning environment in the school.” SUMMER 2011


Come On Down... or Up, or Over Class of 2015 Arrives From All Over the Map

Four boys fr from om N Nativity atitiv at ivitityy Sc S Sch School chool hool ol iinn Pleasant Ridge madee it clear where they intend to be in the t fall.

by Mark D. Motz (’87) 10


BRANDON PHILLIPS is coming to St. Xavier High School. Not for a promotional appearance. Not as the featured speaker for the Hall of Fame Induction Evening. Nope, he’s coming to St. X to go to school, get a great education and—with some hard work and luck—make you forget about that Gold Glove second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds who happens to share his name. This Brandon Phillips is a blonde, slightly built, smiling young man who already has earned the nickname Sunshine among the 418 members* of the St. Xavier class of 2015. The boys who make up the future of the Long Blue Line come armed with impressive credentials. “This may be the smartest class we’ve had, at least on paper,” said Rod Hinton, St. X director of admissions. “About a quarter of the class—101 of them to be exact—scored a 96 percent or above on the entrance exam. Half

Members of St. Xavier High School class of 2015 link arms as they learn to sing the school’s alma mater during one of two Incoming Freshman Parent and Son Nights hosted by the school.

the class scored 90 percent or higher. They are incredibly bright. Based on their applications, not only are they smart, but they’re engaged and they’re ready to go when they get here. They already have an idea of what we want them to be in terms of becoming servant leaders. Most of them have a lot of extracurricular activities and community service experiences. “We have made a very intentional effort as the number of boys in the city goes down to make sure we have the kind of boy here who can do well, who can grow a lot, who can make an impact. You look at the options they have—a lot of these guys turned down merit scholarships from other Catholic schools and there are so many good public school options out there for them— that we’re excited to have so many good guys. They’re rambunctious. They’re fun. They have a great spirit about them.” As usual, the class comes together from a wide cross section of Greater Cincinnati and beyond. In addition to representing 87 different grade schools from three states—58 Catholic or private and 29 public—there are three students—including Phillips—who were home schooled. Three more come from outside the Tri-State, including boys moving here from Texas, Georgia and Colorado. Nearly nine percent of the

class is of minority heritage. “We are excited to have this next generation of ‘Xavier men forever’ coming in the fall,” said St. Xavier President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. “One of the great things about the high school ministry of the Jesuits is its dynamic nature. We have the opportunity to reenergize an already energetic community every year with brand new faces. It’s exciting to watch them grow up, to become men of deeper faith and knowledge and to go out—as St. Ignatius said—and set the world on fire.” “On our end we have to continue to expose them to what it means to be a St. Xavier student,” Hinton said. “We do it with what I call our spring and summer orientation. It starts when they shadow, then come for their freshman family conferences and the freshman parent and son nights in May. A lot of them will be here over the summer for study skills classes, sports camps, summer sports workouts, band camp. All that exposure to other St. X students, faculty, staff and administration helps them understand who we are as a school and as a community.” X *As of press time. The target number for the class is 405, and some members likely will drop before the school year begins the third week of August.

Northern Exposure THE ST. XAVIER CLASS of 2015 comes from 87 different grade schools, 58 of them Catholic or private, as well as 29 public districts. The following schools (with the number of students in parenthesis) have double-digit attendees among the class: St. Margaret of York, Loveland (23) St. James, White Oak (20) Mason Middle School (19) St. Ursula Villa, Mt. Lookout (19) St. Columban, Loveland (16) St. Susanna, Mason (16) St. Mary, Hyde Park (15) Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anderson (14) St. Vivian, Finneytown (13) Cardinal Pacelli, Mt. Lookout (12) St. Michael, Sharonville (12) All Saints, Kenwood (11) Mother Theresa, Liberty Township (10) “We still have a very strong presence from some of our more traditional feeders, but you can see we continue to draw more and more students from our northern suburbs,” said Rod Hinton, St. X director of admissions. “If you add the different schools in the Lakota system (Hopewell Junior High, Lakota Plains, Lakota Ridge and Liberty Junior High) they’d be tied with Mason Middle with 19 students.” SUMMER 2011


Xavier Men Class of 2011

Spreads Its Wings

Seniors had some great moments this year, everything from linking hands to pray the Our Father at an all-school Mass, to whooping it up with Cincinnati Bengals Terrell Owens (81) and Chad Ochocinco (85) at a pep rally.



by Mark D. Motz (’87)

ROBES DONNED, tassels flipped, mortarboards tossed, the St. Xavier High School class of 2011 joined the alumni ranks with the celebration of commencement exercises June 2. While this magazine went to press too soon to give specific honors and awards for individual class members, it can paint a broad-stroke picture of what’s on the immediate horizon the 180th graduating class in the for th school’s history. schoo Of the 373 members of the class, 372 will matriculate to c 79 7 different colleges, universities t and military academies.* ((See sidebar for information on the most popular among them.) th Nearly a quarter of the class—86 N ttoo be precise—will continue its at Roman Catholic eeducation d including 48 who plan sschools, ch to attend Jesuit universities. They have named 85 intended courses hav of sstudy literally ranging from A Z—aerospace engineering to to Z Most popular among them zzoology. ool aare re bbusiness (113), engineering (61), sscience cien (50) and professional studies (19), including 11 pursuing pre-med majors. m ajor Other double-digit majors include liberal arts (16), social sciences (10) and the arts (10). Seven graduates plan to study education, possibly

Mary Ann Meyer—one of 23 women to teach 20 or more years at St. X—assists a student with his artwork.

Caption C Ca aapt ptio pt ion ne nee needed eed eded eded ed hhere... eerre ree........

Forever hoping to follow in the footsteps of the faculty who guided them to this point. “That’s the story behind this story, the excellence of our faculty, staff and administration,” said St. X President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. “They have done an outstanding job preparing these young men for college and to go there with distinction. We are all focused on the mission of educating leaders and men for others. Our mission statement reminds us that we do this in the rigorous Jesuit tradition. The work St. X students do is demanding, but when you see results like this you know it’s worth the effort. My prayer for this class is for them to keep building on the good foundation they received here and do great things with their lives in service to the world. “The other story here is one of thanks. First, thanks to the students themselves for buying into the program, for setting and achieving goals that will propel them forward on a path of success in all aspects of their lives. Second, thanks to the parents and families who entrusted their son’s formation to our care; we’re deeply grateful and honored. And finally, thanks to our many benefactors, those who financially support the mission of the school. Their generosity ensures that every class to come through these doors will have the same wonderful opportunities in store for them.”

The graduates kept the guidance department busy while making their college choices, processing and sending out almost 2,400 applications and transcripts. Not that the counselors mind. “We really try to work with the students to find a school that is a good fit for them and for their family,” said Mike Meyer, guidance department chairman. “It’s a question of what they want to study, where they are comfortable, what they can afford, who can offer them the best opportunities. There are a lot of variables they have to consider and we want them to have a lot of good choices in front of them, not be restricted. The counselors take a lot of time explaining options and helping research scholarship opportunities. We create programs at school not just for seniors, but starting as early as freshman year, to help paint a realistic picture of the process. By the time the applications go out they usually have a good idea what to expect. We try to take some of the stress out of the decision-making process.” For the complete collegiate profile of the class of 2011— including scholarships and awards received—please visit and click on the guidance department pages for a downloadable packet. X *As of press time.

The St. Xavier High School class of 2011.

By The Numbers THE ST. XAVIER CLASS of 2011 includes 373 members, 372 of whom are heading to 79 different four-year colleges, universities or military academies; 77 percent of them reported receiving some type of academic, athletic or service scholarship, honor or award. The following schools (with the number of students in parenthesis) will be the future home to about half of the school’s newest alumni: University of Cincinnati (69) The Ohio State University (54) Miami University (50) Xavier University (21) University of Dayton (21) St. Louis University (10) University of Notre Dame (9) Indiana University (8) Ohio University (7) University of South Carolina (7) Vanderbilt University (6) Ivy League (5) (2 to Princeton, 1 each to Cornell, Yale and Penn) Bellarmine University (4) Denison University (4) Loyola University Chicago (4) University of Kentucky (4) Northwestern University (4)



‘God is in the

Whisper’ Jesuit founder St. Ignatius is the patron saint of all spiritual retreats. Students at St. Xavier High School have opportunities to share in his search for God in all things through the retreat program covering all four years.

Retreat Programs Teach Prayerful Introspection 14



ne of the great Jesuit phrases one hears in the education apostolate is the idea of “ruining students for life.” One of the exceedingly Jesuit ways schools ruin their students is by conducting a series of retreats, teaching students the value of introspection and examination, especially in relationship to God. According to the student handbook, “The retreat program at St. Xavier is designed to give students at each grade level opportunities to develop spiritually by recognizing God in the people and events of their lives. This is one of the most direct ways we fulfill our mission of helping students bring their faith values to their daily lives.” Freshmen participate in a one-day off-site retreat focused on recognizing God in all things. Sophomores go on Experience Day, where they get a taste of the life and work of the mentally and physically challenged. Juniors have an overnight retreat centering on interpersonal relationships and God’s active role within those relationships. Seniors have a variety of retreat options, ranging from individually directed retreats, to silent retreats at Gethsemane, to the most popular option, Kairos. “It’s imperative as a Catholic school to put (students) in a position to at least contemplate their relationship with God, if not grow that relationship with God significantly,” said faculty member Mike Dehring (’88). “Our retreat program is a great way to do that, starting with the freshmen and sophomore days all the way through. They force you to think about God and the many gifts you have through God.”

Text by MARK D. MOTZ (’87)

Kairos retreats came to St. Xavier High School more than 25 years ago and have since spread to other Catholic schools across the city. Above, members of the class of 1986 make their Kairos retreat at the Athenaeum in Mt. Washington. Below, a quarter century later, the scene has shifted to the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford for members of the class of 2011, but the goal of all St. X retreats remains the same: finding God in the whisper. (2011 retreat photo courtesy faculty member Lora Pateras.)

A long tradition Some 300 years after being canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, Pope Pius XI declared St. Ignatius patron of all spiritual retreats. His Spiritual Exercises might be considered the mother of all retreats, a 30-day imaginative exploration and prayerful contemplation of human sin, Jesus’ life on earth, his death and the Resurrection. Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuit Fr. Raymond Guiao S.J. wrote during his tertianship in the Philippines that, “Not many other religious orders grant their members time out of their busy ministerial lives to seriously consider the spirit and content of their founder’s rule. I am deeply grateful that the Society of Jesus gives us … the opportunity to re-anchor ourselves in our founder’s vision.” While members of the Society make 30-day retreats at the beginning and end of their Jesuit formation, most people are unable to devote an entire month to prayer and contemplation. Yet Ignatius knew the value of people withdrawing from the bustle of daily life, turning inward and intentionally focusing on God for whatever length of time they could. He adapted his Exercises for a wide variety of audiences. “It was Ignatius’ great wisdom that we have to stop and listen to our own hearts,” said Jim Gresham (’77) of the SUMMER 2011


religion and campus ministry departments. “When we do that we find God has been talking to us all along. There’s the passage in Kings (1 Kings 19:11-13) that says ‘God is in the whisper.’ And we miss it if we don’t listen, don’t pay attention.”

The Good Old Days While student retreats have been part of the St. X experience since the school’s founding 180 years ago, they looked a lot different in the days before Vatican II. “Everything was silent in those days—classes, chang-

ing classes, the retreats,” said Fr. Denny Ahern S.J. (’56), alumni chaplain. “Even the men’s retreats were silent. You were silent to let the Lord speak to you. You could sign up with a director and discuss an issue you might be having in your life with him, but that

Alumni retreatants gather on the grounds at Milford during a weekend retreat on Ignatian Spirituality.

Alumni Retreat RETREATS ARE NO LONGER strictly the province of students. Former St. Xavier High School President Fr. Bill Verbryke S.J. (’71) led a retreat on Ignatian spirituality for Bomber alumni at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford in April. About 50 men spent a Friday night and Saturday learning about the life of St. Ignatius, the idea of Jesuit prayer and putting the examination of conscience into regular practice. “I think it’s a continuation of the formation and education we provide at St. X now,” Fr. Verbryke said. “For some of these guys who maybe didn’t have that as part of their curriculum, it’s a natural draw. It became very apparent how many guys on the retreat were very interested in looking at a different way to pray. “(The examen) helps any of us to step out of our business and to appreciate what I will call the ‘God moments’ in our lives. Even if we’re having a down time, we can still see where God is working. And in the good times to see where we can be grateful to Him. “I think the draw of all being alumni and the draw of Ignatian spirituality was pretty powerful. Why not try and provide that to that audience? You know they’re bright and receptive. One of graces I mentioned I learned is that the Long Blue Line is not a myth. The love these guys have for one another and St. X—even across generations of classes—is tangible.” “You felt like the Lord was walking with you in that time out there,” said retreatant Andy Sweeny (’68). “I can’t speak for everybody, but I think we came away with a great feeling - about ourselves, one another and the ability to know more about our faith.” Al Cucchetti of the Spiritual Center staff said comment cards evaluating the retreat concurred with both men. “Fr. Bill continues to be a wonderful teacher, shepherd, and inspiration,” said one. “The facilities and grounds were excellent, a wonderful atmosphere that is extremely conducive to contemplation and prayer,” according to another. Plans are under way to make this an annual retreat.



was the extent of the talking. “Retreats mostly reflected the first week of the Spiritual Exercises. We would assemble and they’d bring in a priest —usually not from school— who would come in and give talks. They’d lecture us on the nature of sin, the enemy, what have you. You could say there was a bit of fear mongering. I remember the priest would take a match and light it and hold his hand over it. It looked like he was burning his hand, withstanding all the pain of sin. “They told us. We didn’t have questions. It was the same in our religion classes. We got our textbooks and we memorized and regurgitated answers. It wasn’t until after Vatican II that we were encouraged to really explore our faith on our own. “The whole thing about questioning is very important. It’s not that we doubted, it’s that we wanted to learn more. I think in those days the teachers didn’t want to answer questions of faith because they weren’t sure. It was rote. That was something for the priests.”

Changing model The retreat game at St. X changed in December of 1984 when six students went to Loyola Academy outside Chicago to go on a Kairos retreat. Those students then brought Kairos to Cincinnati in February of 1985, a program that has grown to include six retreats annually. The April Kairos includes juniors who will carry the retreat forward the next year. While senior retreats are not a requirement, the vast majority of students do participate in the four-day experience. While elements of the retreat must remain secret to maintain their impact, one visible sign of Kairos’ success is the number students

and faculty alike who wear pewter crosses when they come home. Kairos alumni frequently repeat the mantra “Live the Fourth,” referring to the fourth-day culmination of the retreat. Alumni in general often contact the school to replace crosses lost in a variety of ways. The cross is a meaningful symbol of a powerful experience. “Individually has it made a difference in people? Absolutely,” Gresham said. “It’s been important in that regard, a very meaningful experience to a lot of people, people who refer to it as a sort of a touchstone years later. For some it’s very profound. That’s long-lasting for the individual, but not for the institution. The lasting value of Kairos in a lot of ways is for the faculty and staff, the people who go on the retreat, who remain here and who see its effect on themselves and on the school. “In a lot of ways Kairos isn’t the game changer. Kairos doesn’t mean anything if (students) don’t have these other experiences to prepare them for it. It’s the retreat program as a whole that’s the game changer. If junior retreat wasn’t any good, (seniors) certainly wouldn’t be signing up for Kairos the way they do. I really do put a lot of store in the fact sophomores have to go outside and explore things outside their comfort zone.”

Forward Retreats One goal of the St. X retreat program is to invest students with the idea retreats are not just for the school years. Alumni have seen the value

Creating the Cover TTHE SIMPLE AND ELEGANT cover photo ffor St. Xavier’s summer edition took more tthan a hand and a quick snap of photogrrapher Jay Bachemin’s (’73) shutter. In fact it took four people about 40 minutes to get the image just so. Yet in a m ddigital age, the photo came about with tthe help of some surprisingly low-tech ititems including poster board, empty bboxes, rubber bands, scotch tape and hhuman hands. “Making a photo with emotion and impact without including a person’s face im is challenging,” said St. Xavier editor Mark Motz (’87). “Jay created an imM ppromptu studio out of found materials, lit it and made the beautiful image you see on the cover.” Bachemin used a long lens to create a sharp focus and soft background. He used the strobe of his camera and an

and started a retreat (see sidebar). Many members of the faculty and staff participate in annotated versions of the Spiritual Exercises through the school’s adult faith department. “Catholics are getting more knowledgeable about scripture and about matters of faith,”

external lamp to create the lighting effect he and St. Xavier designer June Pfaff Daley desired. Part of the effect came from bouncing the light off a white poster board held up by office assistant Jynefir Slusher. The blue background came about by taping the back of some posters left over from X-Travaganza to the wall. An empty box served as an arm rest for Motz, who held the crosses for the photo. When the chains hung too low, Slusher provided rubber bands to tie them off and hide the extra length behind Motz’s hand. While Bachemin shot, Daley arranged the chains, suggested camera angles and generally art directed the shot. Alumni Director John Schrantz (’96) happened by and snapped the scene you see here.

Fr. Ahern said. “That’s a good thing. But it’s also a good thing to step away from the day-to-day and go to a place where you can let the Lord speak to you.” “Kairos is a beginning, not an end,” Gresham said. “If we let it be a culmination, we’re doing the program a huge

disservice. It’s a leaping off point for cultivating a deeper relationship with one another, of cultivating a deeper relationship with God through reflection and action, seeing Him in all things.” X



Faculty Q & A

Carol Lee Morgan

Few if any people in the 180-year history of St. Xavier High School have matched the positive energy of Carol Morgan. In her role as an award-winning guidance counselor she pioneered St. X’s drug and alcohol policy and helped create the proactive drug and alcohol guidebook for freshman families. She has served as department chair in guidance, moderated the National Honor Society and acted as the school’s faculty entertainment ambassador. Carol has spent 48 years in Catholic education and is retiring this year after 27 years at St. X. ST. X: After 19 years at Our Lady of Angels, how did you come to St. Xavier? CLM:Well, when OLA closed, Fr. Joe Brennan S.J. invited me over, but I didn’t think St. X was going to be my kind of place. We talked and he said, “Oh, the principal (Mike Trainor) wants to talk with you.” I still wasn’t sure, but he took me down to meet Mike and we talked for an hour or more. Mike took me to a faculty party and the first person I met was Larry Devanney, who was very kind and welcoming. And when I saw the food they had at the party, well… between how nice the people were and how well they ate, it was hard to turn down the chance to be part of that.

ST. X: Was the transition from counseling girls to boys difficult? CLM: Everything is a disaster and catastrophe for a girl between the ages of 14

and 18. Guys have a much better sense of humor about themselves. Girls want to get to know you—not Carol Morgan the counselor, but Carol Morgan the person. Guys want to do whatever they’re supposed to do and move on. It really is like Venus and Mars. I really have felt blessed to work with both, because over the years I’ve been remembered with great affinity by boys and girls.

ST. X: What’s your philosophy on being a counselor? CLM: I can be a cheerleader. I can be a kicker in the butt. I can be a teacher. But I’m only a facilitator. The important work is done by the counselee. My first couple of years I took credit for things that I really had no business taking credit for, because I just helped show students a good path. They were the ones who had to walk it.

ST. X: What do you take away from 27 years at St. X? CLM: I’ve grown very much spiritually here, and my faith is so important to me. Our all-school Masses, prayer services, retreats, programs and everything we do to remind ourselves we are a Catholic school have been invaluable. Where else can you go to work every day that you can share your faith like that? Not many places. I’m allowed to pray with my boys. It’s been a gift.

ST. X: After 48 years in education, is it going to be difficult to walk away? CLM: It’s definitely going to be hard. What I’ve found at St. X is so many people have become my friends and care about me. They’ve become my prayer warriors. They’ve never tried to make me anything other than what I am.



Digital Spotlight St. Xavier introduces a new feature for the magazine. The Digital Spotlight will highlight activity generated by one of St. X’s many electronic and social media platforms—including its website at, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.


hen St. Xavier High School first dipped its toes in the waters of webcasting sporting events in 2005, there was some trepidation. But after a tournament basketball game where a player’s father listened in from South America and the son offered an unsolicited “I love you, Dad” in the postgame interview, fears ended and audiences grew. Likewise, when the school began engaging in social media, there were concerns. Will people comment appropriately? How can we protect our brand? Will this actually do anybody any good? A recent post by Dan Reeder (’03) on LinkedIn answered the last question strongly in the affirmative. Reeder’s post reads as follows: “Greetings all, I am a Marine Corps veteran and Bomber alumni (‘03), whose military contract is over this summer, and looking for a new career in the Greater Cincinnati Area. “I am an infantryman who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a trained intelligence analyst with a security clearance. Those skills may not translate very well to the civilian world, but I am hard-working, self-motivated, tactful, trustworthy, reliable and have a proven ability to work in some of the most stressful environments imaginable. I also have leadership experience from my time in the service, as well as the ability to be a strong team player who can communicate effectively. I also hold a BA from the Ohio State University (’07) in history with a minor in criminology. “I am looking for an entry-level fulltime position somewhere in the Greater Cincinnati area. I have a strong aptitude for learning new skills and will bring a very unique set of experiences to my new career. If any other Bombers in the Cincinnati area know of any job openings that I would be qualified for, I would be grateful to hear about them. My resume is available if anyone would like to view it.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to getting back to a Cincinnati and becoming more involved in the Bomber community once again.” Within hours, St. X grads from local companies ranging from Cintas to Fifth Third, from Western and Southern to Ferguson, replied with offers to help him find work. Other grads from as far as Las Vegas did the same. Vice President for Development Ralph Nardini (’77) cited the exchange at the annual President’s Dinner, saying “It’s amazing to see how many and how quickly people wanted to assist this young man.” What he didn’t say was that he himself offered via LinkedIn to serve as a reference for Daniel. “This is exactly the kind of thing we had hoped for with the Bomber Alumni Network on LinkedIn,” said Alumni Director John Schrantz (’96). “It’s a great example of the right tool for the right job, and of how St. X grads stick together.”

Daniel Reeder (’03)—as seen in a yearbook photo—is lining up career options online via the Bomber Alumni Network on LinkedIn.



Alumni X-Cerpts films that includes credits in Dances with Wolves and The Patriot, John, now working under a family name Ivica, runs his own a production company. WonderWorld Film produces broadcast commercials, corporate marketing video, museum exhibit films and video projection events. He has been married 20 years to Jennifer Twiggs and has two children. Daughter Julianna studies at American University and son Logan is a rising ninth grader.

Members of the class of 1944 gathered for their annual Easter Monday reunion for the 67th consecutive year.

40s 50s 60s 70s ’41 JOHN WERDMAN and wife Mary Jane celebrated 60 years of marriage in May.

’48 FRANK SHIELDS recently turned 80 years old and celebrated his 50th year as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. (At age 33 he was elected president of the Archdiocesan Council of SVDP.) Frank and wife Barbara have been married 55 years and have three children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

’52 DAN WENSTRUP completed his quest of playing the Golf Digest list of the top 100 American courses (1987 list) with a final round at Riviera C.C. on 12/10/10. The first top 100 course he played was Boyne Highlands in Michigan in 1968 so it took 42 years to accomplish the goal. His favorite course was Augusta National. His favorite hole was #9 at Oakland Hills C.C. in Birmingham, Michigan, a 205-yard par 3 where he had a hole in one. Jerry Tarde, editor in chief of Golf Digest wrote in a congratulatory letter, “You are in rare company.” Next challenge—taking his wife of 54 years, Eileen, to the top 100 Shopping Malls in the USA.

’63 JACK TORBECK took over as general manager of the Tri-County Harley-Davidson Store on Route 4 in Fairfield, Ohio.

’71 GREG BENZ made his 32nd trip to China in September. He is working with a Chinese-American business associate to source carefully vetted and re-engineered (where necessary) chemical process equipment from China, and vice versa. He also consults on fluid agitation for a number of biofuel manufacturers, including cellulosic ethanol, as well as chemicals from renewable feedstocks. Greg’s wife and her sisters (also chemical engineers) are starting up a company to produce herbal preparations for skin care, etc., using herbs grown locally. ’76 PAT FISCHER is the president elect of the Cincinnati Bar Association. He will take over as president effective July 1, 2012.

80s 2011 Insignis Award winner Terry Horan (’69) celebrates with past Insignis recipients at the President’s Dinner.



’81 JIM DONNELLY was inducted into the Case Western Reserve University athletic hall of fame April 30. ’82 JOHN BILICH Is the owner/producer of WonderWorld Film in Charlotte, N.C. After a 15-year career in feature

’82 TOM HESS has been working in the field of rehabilitation counseling for 15-plus years. After 10 years as a partner in a vocational rehabilitation firm, Tom began his career at The Ohio State University Medical Center. He spends his time at OSU’s Nisonger Center working with young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities on maximizing employment opportunities and skill development. Tom has been married to his wife Amy for 15 years and has two children, 13-year-old Sophie and 11-year-old Henry. ’85 DOUG ARMBRUSTER was promoted to head of his region and has a new title—Senior Vice President & Regional Development Officer Cincinnati Region—for IDI, a large national industrial real estate developer. ’85 JEFF ANGELINE, MED, PT, ATC recently started his own physical therapy business (Angeline Physical Therapy, LLC), and is the proprietor of the newly opened Howell Rehab Center in Milford, Ohio. There he provides outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy, aquatic therapy in a state of the art Hyroworx™ therapy pool, and athletic trainer coverage for local sporting events. ’87 BRETT SMITH and his Edun Live on Campus initiative at Miami University (St. Xavier Spring 2007) is among the six finalists for the prestigious Ashoka U. Innovation Award in Social Entrepreneurship Education. Brett presents his innovation at the opening session of the Ashoka U Exchange, a conference at Duke University on social entrepreneurship education. ’87 JOE BRINKER said he runs into a number of Cincinnatians in his work at the Afghan embassy in Kabul. Recent visitors included alumni parent Karl Kadon and Senator Rob Portman, who was there to discuss the situation overseas. (See photo to right.)

Donor Spotlight


hen Bernard L. Menkhaus arrived at Seventh and Sycamore Streets in downtown Cincinnati to begin his freshman year at St. Xavier High School, fledgling delivery company United Postal Service installed its first conveyor belt system for handling packages. By the time Menkhaus graduated in 1928, UPS was turning into a national company, stretching beyond its Seattle roots, making deliveries along the entire Pacific coast. As UPS expanded eastward, Menkhaus finished school at Xavier University and joined the company in New Rochelle, New York, where he and wife Catherine settled. Their son Jerome is a Jesuit brother in the New York Province approaching 50 years in the Society of Jesus. Menkhaus remained close to St. X despite the distance, often traveling to Cincinnati for reunions and following the progress of the school as it outgrew its downtown facilities and moved to North Bend Road. He had been a consistent supporter of the school in life, but his death in 2008 revealed the depth of his passion for St. X. The final installment of his bequest came to the school in late 2010, an unrestricted gift of $732,000. “That kind of generosity enables us to do so much for the boys here now,” said St. X President Fr. Tim Howe S.J. “With that money we can fully fund tuition for a number of boys in perpetuity, which is something I’m sure Mr. Menkhaus had in mind when he made the gift.”

’88 DAN OKENFUSS and wife Ericka were matched with another boy through the Little People of America’s adoption network. Finally, after months of processing and paperwork, they got the call to travel to Seoul, Korea, to get him. On April 11, they met their new son whose Korean name is

Jun-ho—a very happy 16-month-old boy. They’ve decided to call him Jude. Hai Okenfuss is very excited to be a big brother. You can follow the adoption journey through Dan and Erika’s blog:

“Bernie kind of identified himself very early on by being a very consistent and generous donor to the Annual Fund and by getting involved in capital campaigns,” said Dick Klus, long-time St. Xavier High School development officer. “He was a very caring guy, always asking about the students. His favorite comment was, ‘Teach ‘em discipline Dick, teach ‘em discipline.’ He knew how valuable the rigor of a Jesuit education was to making a good career.” “When he would come to town he stayed in the Jesuit residence, which in those days was in the school building. He wanted to be close to the priests and brothers as well as the students. Whenever we went to New York, at least until the last four or five years when his health got bad, he always took the train into Manhattan to meet with us. He always said he was grateful for the education he got and wanted to make sure others had the same chance he did.” “I think a lot of people believe they have to be a multimillionaire to make a bequest, but that’s not true. It’s not that somebody has to leave us millions and millions. You can make a significant impact on a student with any gift.” For more information on how to make a bequest to St. Xavier High School or include the school in your estate plan in some other way, please contact major and planned giving officer Andy Sweeny (’68) at 513-761-7815, ext. 122.


’92 JIM MURPHY completed the Florida Ironman Triathlon Nov. 6, 2010. Parents Jim Murphy Sr. (’68) and Debbie Murphy joined Jim’s fiancée Andrea Blevins to greet him at the finish line. Jim and Andrea plan to marry August 12 this year.

00s Joe Brinker (’87), right, met alumni parent Karl Kadon, center, and Senator Rob Portman at the Afghan embassy in Kabul.

’00 CHRIS ALUISE PH.D. has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he will be conducting research in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Chris is engaged to be married in the spring of 2012 to Amy Lynch of Cincinnati.

Jim Murphy (’92) crosses the finish line at the Florida Iron Man Triathlon.



Alumni X-Cerpts ’01 MALCOLM VARNER self published a volume of poetry called Looking Beyond the Storm: Selections of Poetry, which is now available on Malcolm (formerly known as Donnell Kelley) also is working on a novel and has a new blog called living2write.

John Ravenna (’87), Mike McCafferty (’69) and John Shafer (’69) congratulate Myron Kilgore on his Magis Award.

’04 JOSH GAUCHE works for Bonar Yarns in the Netherlands—a yarn supplier for sports and landscape artificial turf applications. His territory consists of the Far East and Australia/New Zealand. Needless to say there is quite a bit of traveling and plenty of sky miles are accumulating. ’06 JIM REDDEN was named distinguished alumnus of the year for 2011 by St. Ignatius School in Monfort Heights. Jim is also a 2010 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he was the university’s 2010 distinguished student. ’07 STEPHEN FLEMING will earn a master’s degree at Churchill College, Cambridge University next year. The Case Western senior was among 14 students chosen from 103 U.S. colleges and universities to receive a Churchill Scholarship. Fleming, majoring in physics and biochemistry, has been probing how cells in the human defense systems sort out chemical signals and navigate to infection. Fleming is the only investigator who was chosen for the project as a firstyear student.

four grams. WSU is partnering with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for the continued development of this technology, exploring multidisciplinary design technologies and the use of alternative energy sources.

WEDDINGS ’96 PETE FEHRING and Kathryn Pflueger, 10/2/10 ’04 ROB BRICHLER and Tricia Banta, 12/4/2010 ’05 LOUIS HAMILTON and KayLee Scribner, 3/18/11

BIRTHS ’94 JON AND LORI KAYLOR, Oliver Zeppelin, 3/26/11 ’96 JOE AND LIBBY MEURER, Leah Marie and Lucian Thomas, 3/31/10 ’98 JAMES AND VERONICA FISCHER, Ryann Olivia, 12/20/10 ’98 JEFF AND COLLEEN MEYROSE, Cooper Robert, 4/25/11 ’01 NICK AND JENNIFER NARDINI, Nicholas James, 3/25/11 STAFF KATHY MENNO AND JUSTIN, Rosemary Christin 3/4/11

’08 ROSS MORAND was named cocaptain of the Columbia University football team for the 2011 season. Ross will spend the summer as an intern for an investment firm in New York City. ’08 ALEX FIEST is a junior in the college of engineering and computer science at Wright State University, a perfect fit for somebody who wants to be a designer and engineer in the aerospace industry. In addition to his studies, Alex has filled the roles of designer and pilot for the WSU SAE aero design team, research intern for ATK Aerospace Systems, designer and test pilot of micro air vehicles (MAVs) and speaker at aerospace engineering conferences in the USA and Japan. Alex has become a key member of the team in the Center for Micro Air Vehicle Studies (CMAVS), partnering WSU and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Modeled after the dragonfly, the CMAVS micro air vehicles have wingspans smaller than five inches and weigh as little as



Photo to left: Pete Fehring and Kathryn Pflueger married on Oct. 2, 2010 with plenty of Bombers on hand, including best man Jay Cormier (’96), Tom Fessel (’75), Chris Fessel (’01), Jon Fessel (’05), Ian Fehring (’01) and Andreas Lagan (foreign exchange student to St. X in 2001). Photo above: Jeff Meyrose (’98) and wife Colleen welcome new baby Cooper Robert.


Alumni Q & A ST. X: What does it mean to you to come back to work at St. X? AS: I get emotional about it; it’s unbelievable. I’m excited to be back here officially, to have that opportunity to fulfill the vision and mission of the school through advancement and development. That’s going to mean a lot of things—raising money, getting the school better known in different parts of town, just doing whatever we can to maintain and grow the success of St. X.

ST. X: What was attractive about leaving the corporate world for a non profit, albeit one close to your heart? AS: It is important work we’re doing here for the boys now, for the boys 100 years from now. I’ve got a lot to learn, but it wasn’t a stretch to get me here. I’ve been loyal to the school, involved in the school, and I look forward to being part of the future of the school. I think almost all of us who graduated from here, whether we were downtown or on North Bend, appreciate the amazing gift of education, of faith, of brotherhood that we got when we were here. I know for me, I know for my sons, the St. X experience genuinely shaped the way we look at the world and how we approach our lives as Catholic, Christian men. It’s hard not to be passionate about an institution that provides that for you.

Andy Sweeny (’68)

The newest member of the St. Xavier High School development office has one the longer views of the school on the team. He has seen—among other things from his student days—everything from a VW Bug driven down the hallway to the cafeteria for his first reunion to rock guitar legend Jimmy Page (then with The Yardbirds) playing for the junior/senior prom. He views joining the staff as a major and planned gifts officer as a logical extension of his love of the school dating back those many years. While Sweeny has been out of St. X for more than 40 years, he never had the school far from his heart. Sons Andrew E. Sweeny III (’03) and Michael (’05) are graduates. (Andy and wife Diane also have a daughter, Margaret.) He served as a member of the board of trustees from 2004 to 2010, working closely with the Jesuit identity and development committees.

ST. X: What specifically is your role at the school? AS: My title is major and planned giving officer, somebody who is going to be out in front of benefactors sharing the message of St. Xavier High School and working with them to meet their goals of financial support for St. X. Really I look at myself as additional manpower. There’s an outstanding program in place and an excellent team who has been doing this a long time. But I think if we want to achieve our ambitious fundraising goals, we need to have more help to do it. We have added an extra lane.”

ST. X: How can people get involved? AS: The short answer is any way they want. We welcome all kinds of participation in supporting the students. We have some excellent opportunities like the Annual Fund and X-Travaganza for people to be very immediate with their giving. But we also encourage people to look at longer-range opportunities, some great ways to make an enormous impact on a young man while capitalizing on tax breaks and financial strategies that are mutually beneficial. Give me a call; I’m happy to talk with you about any questions you may have.

“It’s hard not to be passionate about an institution that provides that for you.”



X-Peditions ON THE GLOBE, the long blue line is the equator. In St. X parlance, the Long Blue Line of alumni and student body appears all over the globe. Bomber blue turns up all over the map and we want the evidence. Send us your pictures wearing St. Xavier High School gear or hoisting a copy of St. Xavier magazine at an exotic locale or local landmark. Maybe a picture of Bombers at the Pyramids of Egypt or posing at the Pit. Either way, let us know where you’ve been displaying your X pride. Send your high-resolution digital images to or mail prints to Mark Motz c/o St. Xavier magazine, 600 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224.





5. 24



1. Keith Ruehlmann (‘06) with his aunt and godmother Ginny Wiltse pose together in Toamasina, the second largest city of Madagascar, working through Caring Response Madagascar Foundation. This charity was founded in 2001 by Ginny’s son and fellow Bomber David Wiltse Jr (’97). Although he is still the president, Ginny has taken over most of the work as David’s full-time job at the Pentagon prevents him from doing as much with CRMF as he would like. The organization looks to raise funds for projects concerning literacy, sanitation and hygiene, micro-lending and healthcare. To date they’ve helped close to a million people, increased their literacy centers from one to 15, funded a new sanitation plant, provided numerous families with farm animals and fish through micro-lending programs and are now looking to improve the pregnancy centers in Toamasina. The photo was taken on a medical trip—specifically prenatal and OBGYN care—that helped more than 600 patients. Find out more about CRMF by visiting www.caringresponse. org. 2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico was a popular St. Xavier destination over Christmas. Among those enjoying the sun and sand were, from left, Aaron Berry (’13), Michael Sieber (’05), Davis Stanislaw (’10), Robert Sieber (’06), Matthew Sieber (’05), Steven Sieber (’11), Ryan Dalton (’07) and Blake Stanislaw (’08). 3. Patrick Conanton (Fordham Prep ’14), Mike Conanton (’81), Ray Bosse (’73) and Tim Bosse (Our Lady of Lourdes ’12) posed together after Tim and Patrick faced one other in the 100 freestyle at the 2011 New York State High School Championships Ray and Mike, both former members Aquabomber state championship teams, see each other at swim meets for their respective competitive clubs and relive the old days from the stands as they watch their sons. 4. Marty Bechtold (’80) and daughter Bridget Bechtold (Brebeuf Jesuit, ‘11) attended the Brebeuf Jesuit/St. X lacrosse game at the Midwest Jesuit Lacrosse Invitational hosted by Brebeuf in Indianapolis. Bridget would not let her dad wear his St. X hat to the game, thus the Brebeuf gear. Missing in action are Marty’s wife, Naomi Bechtold, and son Bryant Bechtold (Brebeuf ’14). 5. Bruce Ross (’06) and brother Bryant (’08) visited the Coliseum in Rome after Bruce graduated from Vanderbilt. There they met up with Vanya Cetkovic, who lived with the Ross family and attended St. X during his foreign exchange to the United States in 2007-08. 6. Mark Rechtsteiner (’73) visited Malacca, Malaysia, in 2010 and came upon this church unplanned. Prior to this trip, he did not know Francis Xavier spent missionary time in the trading town 450 years ago. He was happy to have been wearing his St. X hat that day.





1. Three generations of Bombers celebrated Thanksgiving in River Hills, Wisconsin, including Stanton Vollman (’58), Jeff Vollman (’89), Alex Sammarco (‘89 ) and Adam Vollman (’25). 2. Drew Seery (’82) and wife Edwige stand atop Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa in January with Table Bay is in the background. Edwige was born and raised in South Africa and Drew joined her there for her class reunion from Loretto Convent in Pretoria. Future Bomber Alex (2027) stayed in the U.S. with his grandparents. 3. Scott Goodfellow (’89) took a trip to the Panama Canal in March and took St. Xavier with him. 4. Dave Striebich (’86) along with wife Jenny and children Luke (’16), Maria and Emma visited San Francisco and Alcatraz Island with St. Xavier. 5. Bill Steiden (’78) was in town from Atlanta and visited his alma mater with son Patrick. Both are scheduled graduate from Georgia State University in the coming year—Patrick with his bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Bill with a master’s of public administration. 6. Tom Gray (’69) caught Bomber alumnus Walt Gibler (’08) in action on the basketball court for Loyola University in Chicago against Kansas State in December 2010. Walt’s brother Kyle (’05) and a friend also are in the photo. 7. Bob Mackey at right subjected fellow 1961 classmates Bob Muehlenkamp and Bill Eastlake to endless operatic arias during a fishing trip to Florida in late March. No word on if any fish were actually caught.



7. SUMMER 2011






4. 1. Brooks Green (’10) and brother Jack (’15) brought some Bomber touches to Machu Picchu during a Christmas trip to the Peruvian wonder. 2. Brad Rentz (’07) was in Brazil for two weeks in January at the 2011 World Scout Conference as a representative for the Boy Scouts of America. He is pictured in front of the Jardim Botânico de Curitiba (Botanical Garden of Curitiba) in Curitiba, Brazil. 3. Chuck Meakin (’77) had the cover of St. Xavier in his mouth while ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado. Like many Bombers, he can multitask. Next year Chuck and his classmates hope to finally get six water skiers up behind the boat. 4. Denny Lampe (’65) and wife Ann brought St. Xavier to Columbia, South America with them in January. The couple is hoping to visit all seven continents—having been to China and other places already—and has Antarctica next on their list. 5. A strong contingent of runners and fans from St. X gathered for the Boston Marathon April 18. Pictured from front left are left Josh O’Neill (former St. X student now living in Boston, St. John’s ’12), John Gruenbacher (’12) and Adam Hasse (’10); in back are Steven Moffat (’05), Ted Muething (’05), Lee Luiso (dad of senior Taylor ’11), Kathleen Fussinger (mom of Joe ’05) and Ann Gruenbacher (John’s mom). Not pictured are parents Bill Fussinger (’67), Dana Gruenbacher and Peggy Hasse. Adam, Lee, Kathleen and Ann all completed the marathon. Steven and Ted currently reside in Boston and just happened to notice Lee’s St. X hat and joined the photo at the finish line.

5. 26


X-Cerpts/X-Peditions What is up? You can let us know in a variety of ways— send a photo for our X-Peditions feature or tell fellow Bombers about your wedding, a recent move, your latest promotion, a family addition, your retirement or other news via the Alumni X-cerpts pages. Just fill out and send in the form below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon. Mail the form to: St. Xavier High School (Magazine) 600 W. North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45224. FAX 513-761-2586 or e-mail:

1. Name Home Address Phone City


State E-mail address Business firm Your position


Business Address City

2. 4. 1. The first-ever McDermott family golf outing at Hueston Woods State Park in September 2010 included from right Todd Shumate (father of Zach and Quinn), Quinn Shumate (’13), Brett Holding (’13), Pat McDermott (’70), Andy McDermott (’00), Matt McDermott (’96), Brendan McDermott (’15) and Neal McDermott (’75). 2. In early March 2011, counselor Dr. Dan Funk (’67) visited Scotland and England where he met former students John Reber (’07), now at St. Andrew’s University in his final year studying international relations, and (pictured) John Muething (’10), who is in his first year studying physics at Durham University. 3. Skis and a magazine are more than enough to identify John Bilich (’82), John Belanger (’83) and Tom Hess (’82) as Bombers on a ski trip at Lake Tahoe, California. 4. Jimmy Siegel (’09) donned his St. X t-shirt while visiting the sleeping Buddha statue at Tacu Mountain in Vietnam; Jimmy studied abroad at the Loyola Vietnam Center through Loyola University in Chicago. 5. Michael Gear (’10) visited the Tower Bridge in London last summer; he recently completed his freshman year in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan.

State Zip Wife’s Name Maiden College(s) Attended/Degree(s) Earned

Year(s) Graduated News About You

5. SUMMER 2011





etreat hell. We’re just attacking in another direction.” This epic quote, attributed to Marine Gen. Oliver Smith during the Korean War, I think reflects a negative connotation that colors to the word retreat. To retreat from something or someone usually implies backing away from a frightening situation that we cannot deal with. “When in doubt, chicken out” might be a more popular—if less courageous—reaction to the position Gen. Smith’s troops encountered, but retreat is usually not a first choice. But annual retreats are a staple of Jesuit education, typically one to three days for students and annual eight-day retreats mandated for all Jesuits, with two 30-day encounters with the Spiritual Exercises thrown in for good measure at the beginning and end of each Jesuit’s training. So in the religious context and in modern business context, retreats are clearly not seen as a bad thing, if the word itself is even considered. It strikes me that Gen Smith’s understanding of a retreat is not without merit and that understanding our retreat experience as attacking—or at least moving in new directions—can be a valuable mindset to help us make the most of this exercise. And I use the word exercise most deliberately. St. Ignatius did not dictate retreats for his men as a means of escape. Rather the person making an Ignatian retreat is encouraged to identify the enemy in whatever form it takes, understand his or her leader (Christ the King) has a plan for the retreatant’s ultimate victory and go forth in the newly identified direction to seek the Greater Honor and Glory of God. It is not Ignatius’ vision for his associates to retreat or retire to a quiet, safe place. I think Gen. Smith’s statement would resonate quite well in the soul of our soldier saint. I do not recall the retreats we experienced in the ’50s as so clearly focused on the vision of St. Ignatius as I have seen



them at St. Xavier in my years at the school. This is not a criticism of the retreat programs then. Good men with the best intentions based on the practices of the Church at the time did their best to lead us to better Christian lives. However, the themes as I recall them centered heavily on the first part of the Spiritual Exercises —the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell—rather than the life of Jesus and the concept of finding God in all things. Today’s freshman and sophomore retreat experiences guide the students to search deeply into their own lives to find God’s working there (freshman) and to find God in the people around them (sophomores) and to encounter and deal with them, especially those who may differ from them. One of the most significant things I see in the junior retreat program (which like those of the first two years is mandatory) is the fact that virtually all seniors, whose retreat is not mandatory, sign on as seniors for one more chance to make a retreat, selecting from a variety of options. Of the various possibilities, the Kairos retreat seems to be the most popular. Led by a team of students and faculty

volunteers, this program has spread from St. X to almost all the Catholic high schools in town. It has created over the years, I think, a different atmosphere in the school, a tone gentler, kinder, more welcoming and accepting. My sense is this atmosphere comes from the top down. New students look to the seniors for clues about behavior and attitude. Gradually the seniors’ manner of acting, molded in large part by the Kairos experience, has permeated the building. Definitely not a perfect society but one clearly better than I saw in the good old days. In a real sense though, maybe things have not changed so much from those old days. Perhaps the new ways of the retreat programs have provided the new students with what we always received in one way or another: guidance to know the enemy, to recognize the leader, Christ the King, who leads us in our battles in new directions and to appreciate the sacraments and prayer to help us succeed. God is good. Life is good. Paul J. Zook (’57) worked at St. Xavier High School for 37 years and has enjoyed living the retired life with his wife Marianne in Pleasant Ridge since July 2005.

“Gradually the seniors’ manner of acting, molded in large part by the Kairos experience, has permeated the building.”

St. Xavier High School

summer 2011 CALENDAR Alumni Gatherings and School Events JULY


Independence Day (offices closed)


4 p.m. Alumni Cornhole Tourney at St. Xavier Stadium


Feast of St. Ignatius



8 a.m. Freshman Orientation at St. Xavier H.S.




11:30 a.m. First Friday Mass/ Luncheon at St. Xavier Church


8 a.m. Soph/Jr Orientation at St. Xavier H.S.

Noon Football on ESPNU at Ohio Stadium/Columbus





11:30 a.m. First Friday Mass/ Luncheon at St. Xavier Church


6:30 p.m. Named Endowment Reception at Holy Companions Chapel

8 a.m. First day of classes at St. Xavier H.S.

Labor Day (no classes)

8 a.m/1p.m. St. Xavier Golf Outing at Traditions

9:30 a.m. Mass of the Holy Spirit TBA


Faculty-Staff Retreat (no classes)

Students preparing for summer mission trips light their candles during the annual Commissioning Mass in April.

Puppies remained a popular item for the X-Travaganza 2011 Live Auction.


11 14

Noon/5:30 p.m. Grand Reunion Weekend Golf & Stag at Glenview/St. X


5:30 p.m. Grand Reunion Weekend Couples at St. X

26-28 First Quarter Exams

WE LOOK FORWARD to hosting the classes of 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001 in the fall for Grand Reunion Weekend 2011. To get involved in the planning for your class, please contact Alumni Director John Schrantz (’96) at, Local phone: 761-7815, ext. 116 Toll free: 800-572-5340, ext. 116 Reunion information always is available on our web site at Click on the alumni tab.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage 600 W. North Bend Road Cincinnati, OH 45224-1499


Cincinnati, Ohio Permit No. 5253


THE NEW LOYOLA CLUB—a pilot program of the Annual Fund— invited interested donors to directly sponsor an individual student’s tuition assistance. The initiative attracted 22 benefactors in its inaugural year; they contributed more than $270,000 to allow talented young men—students who otherwise might not have been financially able—to come to St. X. The 2010-11 school year saw 28 percent of the student body receiving tuition assistance, including 32 students on fulltuition grants. The Loyola Club is just one way to help fulfill the vision of Society of Jesus founder St. Ignatius Loyola, who believed any capable young man should be able to receive a Jesuit education, irrespective of his ability to pay.

Join the Loyola Club

For more information on how to get involved in the Loyola Club, please contact Director of Development Services Tony Schad (’81) at or by calling 513-761-7815, ext. 140.

St. Xavier Summer magazine 2011