Easter Joy! As we approach the 2nd OurSeton gathering on May 22nd, this Blogic is going to take on a different look. A posting will be made each Monday for seven weeks, the seven weeks of Easter, and there will be a little 5 question multiple choice quiz each time covering the 35 years of Seton history, giving us 35 questions. We will try to touch on many of the years of Seton, so some of it you will know and remember and some of it you will just have to guess at, but everyone will learn something about Seton or remember something long forgotten. As became a tradition of multiple-choice questions, one, some, all, or none of the choices may be right. Second, we are going to read a short story over the next few weeks. Answers to the week’s quiz will appear right after the short story excerpt with some information about the topic covered in each question. OK, here is the quiz – remember one, some, all, or none of the answers may be right.
QUIZETON/CONQUIZTADOR THE FIRST
1. Who was a full-time teacher the first year of Seton: A. Miss Baumberger B. Miss Berger; C. Mr. Schaefferberger
2. Who has spoken at a Seton Sports Banquet: A. an Olympic medalist; B. a professional basketball player; C. a well-known sports broadcaster
3. What was the grand prize in Father Navarro’s “Grand Raffle” (for this school, this Seton school) A. $250 B. a 10-speed bike C. a statue of Blessed Mother
4. Who gave a joint-graduation speech: A. Janet Purdy and Chris Mirus B. Amanda and Laura Shaw; C. Jean Pennefather and Joe Soos
5. Where has Seton’s graduation never been held: A. The Old Cafeteria Building; B. The Old Carpeted Gym; C. The John Paul II Center (current gym)
THE LAST JOURNEY
by Father Lennon
I really don’t know where this typewriter came from. There were only two or three here in the monastery, and the only time Father Mark brings one up from the infirmary is when Doctor Swigart comes to give the injections for colds, then Father Mark has to type out the names of everyone here. There never has been any in this room, at least not for the last seven months.
Of course, I know He put it here on this little table. It was nearly midnight when He came. You probably think I’m delirious writing about “He” in capital letters, but that’s because you think that miracles and visions and things like that belong back in the Middle Ages when faith was strong. Well, faith can be strong in a Trappist monastery, and if you had lived here as long as I have you’d know that things like that do happen in the 20th Century.
You see, I’m typing this because He told me to. The typewriter was here on the table when we came back from our journey. He told me to write down all that had happened to me tonight, and while I’m doing it, He’s sitting over there in the rickety old chair waiting for me to finish. He is smiling and seems to be listening….perhaps to the soft sound of the office being chanted in the church.
I was anointed yesterday afternoon. I’ve had bronchitis all my life, and last Wednesday pneumonia set in. It took a turn for the worse yesterday morning, and in the afternoon all the priests, brothers and novices – nearly 150 of them – were kneeling outside my door asking the angels and saints to take me on a swift journey to heaven. Reverend Father came in wearing his miter and carrying his crozier and the holy oil to put on my hands, mouth, nose, ears and feet. During my 43 years here I’ve often been out there in the narrow hallway praying and watching Reverend Father get one of the monks ready for the trip, but it was only yesterday that I realized how comforting it is to die a Trappist.
After Extreme Unction had been administered and Father James (he was appointed to stay with me the next few hours) had sat down on the wooden chair near the window, I immediately fell sound asleep. Maybe it was the soft bed, ‘though in the last seven months here in the infirmary, I’ve almost forgotten what the hard straw mattresses feel like.
At any rate, I didn’t wake up ‘til a quarter after twelve. It was dark, and I could hear the wind howling around the infirmary. Everyone else, even Father James, had been in bed for hours. The usual light was shining in the hallway, and there was no sound except for the cold wind.
He didn’t knock on the door before He came in. He just opened it softly, and I knew it opened because the light fell on the other side of the room. Very softly He walked down and stood at the foot of the bed. I knew with great certainty that I wasn’t dreaming, that it was really He. And I thought of St. Paul’s “Christ being come….”
The greatest peace and joy that I had ever known filled my soul. He said very simply, “We’re going for a walk. I want to show you the monastery for the last time.” Then He came up to the side of my bed, pulled back the covers, and helped me out of bed.
“Here is your cowl.” And He handed me the heavy woolen cowl all ready to slip over my head. He was smiling and I thought of a little child who was trying with difficulty to keep a very pleasant secret.
We walked side by side down the narrow corridor of the infirmary, down the wide wooden steps to the cold grey cloister leading to the main building of the monastery. I wondered what He thought as we passed the huge twelve foot crucifix that hung at the landing of the stairway.
- 1. A. Miss Baumberger and Mrs. Carroll were the only full-time teachers the first year of Seton. Miss B was from Fort Morgan, CO. I am not sure how Mrs. Carroll knew her. Miss Berger taught the 1984-85 school year. She was from Broomfield, CO, and returned there to teach at the Catholic school she had attended. Interestingly, Miss Baumberger married Miss Berger’s brother, so she went from Miss Baumberger to Mrs. Berger. There never was a Mr. Schaefferberger, but there was a Mr. Schaeffer. He taught full-time the second year of Seton. He was from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- 2. All of the above. All these have spoken at a sports banquet. The Olympic medalist is Mrs. Salomon – the former Janet Lynn – who won a bronze medal in Japan in the 1972 Olympics and was world champion for several years. She has had a son graduate from Seton (Michael ’09) and one is a sophomore (Peter). For the professional b-ball player don’t think NBA or WNBA, but rather Japan again. Shelly Pennefather (now Sister Rose Marie) played professionally in Japan and spoke at a sports banquet the first year Mr. P taught. She gave her talk in the Old Cafeteria. The Denver Post recently gave its all-time prep team and chose Shelly as the best girls prep player in Colorado history. The sports broadcaster was Johnny Holiday, the voice of the Maryland Terrapin basketball team.
- 3. B. Father Navarro was a priest originally from Spain that Mrs. Baker came to know. Mrs. Baker taught math at Seton and two of her children, Rob and Mary Anne, graduated in ’86. Father Navarro adopted Seton and regularly said the Friday school Mass in the carpeted gym. He organized a raffle and the grand prize was a 10-speed bike. Don’t remember who won the bike.
- 4. B. Amanda and Laura, twin sisters, were co-valedictorians of ‘03 and gave their speech together at All Saints Church. Amanda and Laura were recent visitors here to Mom and me. They came out with their Mom to visit their grandparents who live in Arvada, CO, on the occasion of their grandfather’s 81st birthday. It was great to see them and reminisce about Seton days. They were part of the English 10 class that began the year with no classroom. We would begin by wandering around looking for a place. Finally, we settled into Nazareth (the kitchen in the JPII Center). We’d usually begin class by cleaning up lunch time debris. Laura said there was a question on one test in which they were asked to name eight different places we had had class in the 1st quarter. We also remembered the Picnic of Death from logic days. Their grandfather went to med school with the doctor that delivered my little sister Wendy. Jean and Joe were co-valedictorians in ‘89, but they gave individual speeches. Janet and Chris were co-valedictorians in ’93, but they didn’t collaborate on a speech. Other co-v’s are Nick Fowler & Shannon Nagurny ’07 and Rachel LaVigne and Danielle Delatour ’09.
- 5. A. Even though the Old Cafeteria was used for many things, a graduation was not one of them. Almost wish it had been. Graduations were held in the carpeted gym from 1981 to 1990 and in the JPII Center in 1995 All other graduations have been at All Saints including the first one in 1977.