STUDENT TEACHER I
Blue&Gold, Seton’s school colors, were selected by vote, after the Conquistadors was selected as the mascot. It was Joe Scowcroft who submitted these colors and campaigned for their selection. They beat out Green&Gold and Burgundy&Gold. I think that the Royal specification was added on the next year but not by vote. I need to see if anyone has any recollection of that. I was thinking it might be a good idea to make our blue color Guadalupe Blue or Tilma Blue in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe which goes with Conquistador and our Pro-Life charism. Royal Blue would probably be the closest we could come to the color, so nothing would really change except the name of the color.
There are two things that I thank Joe for teaching me, one through athletics and the other through art. Here’s the athletic one first
One of the first sports we were able to compete in with the number of students we had was cross country. The first meet I remember was at Leesburg Christian. The gallery could not see most of the race, but we were lined up a ways from the finish line to watch for the runners when they came into view. The first runners appeared – a Leesburg Christian runner in first and Joe in second, a fair distance behind. There was a flat stretch, then a downhill, then a fairly steep uphill before leveling off for the dash to the finish. Inexplicably, as the first runner came into view, a fellow from among the spectators jumped into the race some distance ahead. No one seemed upset by this, so I thought that perhaps he was assigned to do this to show the way to the finish line which might not have been clearly marked.
We could see that Joe was running well, but the distance looked like too much to make up. Joe got to the downhill sprinting with his scapular flying in the breeze. Hills are killers at the end of a race, but Joe started up the hill in striking distance of the lead. Joe continued sprinting uphill and took the lead and won the race. The scapular, the effort, the thrill of victory: it is still one of my favorite moments of all Seton athletics.
I went down to the finish line and congratulated Joe on his race and victory. He said that he had finished second. He didn’t know that the person ahead of him had just jumped into the race at the end. That made his effort all the more amazing. There is so much about running cross country that is mental, and it is one thing to put out maximum effort when one thinks he is vying for first; it is another thing to do that when one thinks he at best will be only second.
Lesson taught: Our good efforts, even when they don’t seem to produce all that we hoped for, are never wasted.
The second, the piece of art, is more difficult to describe. Joe took the idea that man’s body may have evolved. In pencil he drew this evolutionary progression starting in the upper left hand corner and continuing to circle around the paper and leading to the middle of the page. In the center was Christ crucified.
It was very striking and to me turned the whole idea of evolution upside down. If there has been an evolutionary process it hardly matters. Joe’s picture led the viewer to a bloody and beaten body that was dead upon a cross – hardly what one would think of as the perfection of the human body.
Some years in Religion 9 when we were covering Humani Generis I would try to describe this drawing, but as with this description, I never did it justice.
Lesson taught: The real evolution of a man is the perfection of the heart: self-denial, the emptying of oneself in love of God and neighbor, is man at his greatest.
Year of the Priest Story
Our parish priest, Father Hector Chiapa, told this story to us last Sunday.
When Father was in seminary, he would teach a third grade class religion once a week. A day in Advent he headed to the classroom without having prepared a lesson. He quickly thought of something in transit – he could teach the three aspects of Advent: historical, mystical and eschatological. This was an obvious age appropriate lesson for 8 year olds! At the end of class, Father was erasing the board the beating himself up for having taught so far over the heads of the youngsters. Just then, a little girl from the class came up to him, gave him a hug, and said, “We love you Brother Hector.”
A blessed Solemnity of the Assumption to all. With joy I remember our visit to the Church of the Dormition during Seton’s Jubilee Year Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the singing of the Salve Regina in that beautiful church.
The posting on the 25th will be a report from Poland on Mrs. Haggerty-Schuller’s honeymoon visit there.
Jesu, ufam Tobie.