The story told in “A True Father” has been updated with additions and corrections — Father Rytel-Andrianik sent me his sermon, so everything is accurate now.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
Tim Flagg. What is it about this name that every Seton student, parent and teacher should know? I could tell you in one sentence, but that would hardly be interesting. So we will make this into a whole story — a true story about the indelible mark that Tim gave to Seton. Now, Tim did have some help, but just as we say that Cortez conquered the Aztecs when we know he had a handful of men helping him, so we attribute this mark to Tim.
In the fall of 1975, the year of Mother Seton’s canonization, the first American-born saint, Seton School opened its doors to 16 students. By my reckoning there were 12 girls and 4 boys. Tim was one of the four. His family lived at the base of Bull Run Mountain across Highway 15 from Dr. and Mrs. Carroll. Tim was part of the daily bus route that Mrs. Carroll drove over the back country roads from Bull Run Mountain Estates to Trinity Episcopal Church in Manassas. Her bus was a burnt orange Rambler, (a much better color that school bus yellow), and her patrons were four students: Tim, Michelle and Roberta Desrochers and Teresa Eichler. These three other bus patrons are also important to the story.
I road the Rambler Bus a couple times a week when I would help out at Seton. I am important to the story too. The bus driver is important as well. This merry band of six held Seton’s future in its hands.
There was some talk among the students in that first year that the school should be Seton Academy rather than Seton School. Mrs. Carroll, however, said that she liked simple things and Seton School sounded much simpler to her than Seton Academy. The name of the school was not negotiable. I think we are all glad that Seton is a school and not an academy.
Since the school was just beginning, we had no mascot. There was talk among the students about picking a mascot. Mrs. Carroll said that the students should decide on one. I thought this was a little risky. What sort of a name would we end up with? Mrs. Carroll, however, put her trust in the students to come up with the mascot.
The Desrochers raised white German Shepherds. So Michelle instantly had the idea that the mascot should be the White Wolves and their dogs could be our living mascots. [Aren’t wolves associated with the enemies of the Church as in the Apostles being sent out as sheep among wolves? or as Pope Benedict petitioned, “Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of wolves”? Maybe those enemies were regular colored wolves and not white ones.]
Here’s where the memory gets a little shaky. I think there was someone else, not a Rambler bus patron, who also had an idea for a mascot. I just can’t remember for sure, and I definitely don’t remember what it was if there was one.
The day before the names were to be placed on the ballot and the election of Seton’s mascot made, the six of us were riding toward our homes in the Rambler bus [There must have been some other name bandied about, otherwise there would have been no need for an election.] Teresa and the Desrochers were dropped off, so now in the burnt orange mobile there was only Mrs. Carroll, Tim and I. The topic of a mascot was brought up. I had been thinking about a name, and so I said, “I think “Conquistadors” would be good.” Tim instantly said that he liked that name and was going to nominate it. Could it stand up to the White Wolves? Did Tim have a suit of armor somewhere that he could wear as a living Conquistador to compete with the Desrochers’ German Shepherds? At best it seemed like a long-shot, but I was glad there was going to be some name on the ballot that had an important Catholic element to it.
True to his word, the next day when nominations were due, Tim put in “Conquistadors”, Michelle put in “White Wolves” and maybe someone else put in something else. The ballots were made and passed out to the 16. Teresa Eichler declared that she didn’t like the names on the ballot, and that she was going to write in “Dragons”. [Aren’t Dragons associated with enemies of the Church as in the Book of Revelation? Maybe Teresa meant White Dragons.] Write-in ballots were not prohibited, so Teresa did vote for Dragons in something less than a secret ballot. We can be sure that both Desrochers voted for White Wolves. Tim we can assume voted for his nomination. That meant that the balance of the election was in the hands of the remaining 12 students.
After the votes were tallied, the ballots were burnt and the white smoke let the citizens of Manassas know that Seton had a mascot. (Not really, but that would have been a good idea.)
Again, I cannot say this for sure, but my recollection is that “Conquistador” won by one vote.
So we see that very important events, like the conquest of the Aztecs and the choice of Seton’s mascot can be the result of a few people. Cortez led a handful of dyed-in-the-wool Conquistadors; Tim Flagg led a handful of soon-to-be Conquistadors.
Thank you, Tim, for leading the Conquistadors to their first victory: a conquering of Wolves and Dragons and maybe something else.
The New World Conquistadors led by Cortez faced a culture of death. We modern day Conquistadors need to burn our ships and take up the battle daily. The dragon of the new culture of death carries out its carnage as a law-abiding citizen, while the tyranical wolves propogate in the environment established under the dictatorship of relativism. The very image of Blessed Mother was given to the Church so that Her “other sheep” would be converted. She brought about the miracle of conversion after the Conquistadors had faced the culture of death squarely. What is it that Blessed Mother wants us to do now so that she can once again bring about the conversion of the hearts of so many lost sheep?
On the 25th we will reveal how Seton’s colors came to be Royal Blue and Gold. That will be about a one sentence story but still of great interest. There will also be a guest writer on that day that you are sure to enjoy.
Jezu ufam Tobie