2019 Academic Recognition Ceremony

Efforts in the Classroom Honored

Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria held its annual Academic Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2019.  More than 350 students were recognized for academic honors and department awards. Principal Kathie Brown opened the ceremony with the Holy Family prayer and the following message, “The Holy Catholic High School mission statement has two parts: 1. We provide opportunities to grow spiritually, morally, intellectually and physically within a community of faith, and 2. we encourage our students to achieve personal excellence, to use their talents to lead, to serve God, one another and the larger community. The development of the whole person is integral to this school. Finding ways to appreciate our students so they know their efforts matter is challenging. Recognition is valuable. Recognition is magnified when it is combined with appreciation. This is why our being together as a school community matters. Thank you for being here to witness the many ways our students grow in faith, integrity, leadership, and scholarship.”

Watch a complete video of the ceremony at this LINK.

GPA Honors

Fifty-seven students received their cream cord for seven straight semesters with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Mary Margaret Anderson
Margaret Berg
Brielle Bornhorst
Claire Bradley
Eve Breimhorst
Andrew Bresnan
Brandon Bueltel
Christopher Carlton
Connor Chalmers
Nikolai Charchenko
Grace Conroy
Matthew Deavan
Isabella Dervin
Colin Dosedel
John Enck
Jack Fink
Anna Galioto
Julia Geurs
Sarah Gonsalves
Salomé Greene
Mitchell Hausback
Shannon Hickey
Carly Hilgers
Jacob Konz
Ava Kunze
Thomas Lisko
Calista Lorenz
Claire Melander
Jolee Mesler
Anna Mohling
Grace Murphy
Zyler Niece
Haley Notermann
Brendan O’Connor
Julia Olson
Riley Palattao
Ashley Pass
Quinn Pausche
Taylor Pelzel
Megan Perry
Anita Phillips
Daniel Reddan
Madeline Ricke
AbbySaylor
Daniel Schneider
Erin Schneider
Emily Sokolis
Reid Stark
Leigh Steiner
Katelyn Stohlmeyer
Anna Taylor
Matthew Thurk
Anna Vakulskas
John Vogel
Andrew Waltz
Evelyn Willenbring
Jacob Zay

Thirty-nine students received their academic pin for five straight semesters with 3.5 GPA or higher.

Jaden Anderson
Ashley Anseth
Adam Beer
Ryan Burke
Jake Caron
Cecily Cronin
Kalie Dahl
Grace Elander
Annabelle Elsner
Abbey Fink
Ellie Frank
Shannon Furlong
Ella Haley
Kevin Haran
Morgan Hausback
Kathryn Jans
Allison Jansen
Brenna Jones
Benjamin Karst
Celia Kreykes
Lucas Lembke
Carson Liebeg
Jared Lorusso
Nicholas Lynch
Samuel McNulty
McKenna Mechtel
Allison O’Brien
Kaili Palattao
Max Pinamonti
Luke Puklich
Margaret Rothstein
Kelly Ryan
Abigail Smith
Jakob Teeter
Nathan Tinucci
David Torborg
Lucy Treat
Holly Trombley
Annie Wilson

Fifty-seven students received their academic letter for three straight semesters with 3.5 GPA or higher.

Allison Agerland
Elle Bernaski
Sam Bradley
Jack Buchholz
Benjamin Charpentier
Bennett Creager
Delaney Devins
Melissa Dwyer
Marie Fahey
Ewan Farrell
Jordan Flink
Etienne Foudray
Joseph Freitas
Andrew Frommelt
Antonio Gaeta
Casey Gess
Olivia Hesse
Ashley Heuer
Nicholas Huson
Alexander Janey
Cassidy Jones
Jacob Kirsch
Haley Klahsen
Dylan Krumpholz
Jakob Lenzmeier
Charles Lindberg
Jaden Lorenz
Gavin Lund
Taylor Millard
Haley Nahlovsky
Aidan O’Donnell
Katherine Olsen
Anthony Olson
Jillian Oncay
Sophie Paul
Alexandria Pellicci
Jordan Pelzel
Isaac Pitner
Caden Pottebaum
Brendan Quinn
Benjamin Reddan
Joseph Richelsen
Caitlin Rock
Luke Roelofs
Reyana Schaffer
Zeke Schneider
Bishop Schugel
Austin Schumacher
Jeremy Schumacher
Daniel Schwieters
Brendan Sieve
Gregory Stoffel
Lauren Taylor
Jacob Warmka
Stephen Webster
Katherine Wise
William Zay

Ninety-two students received their academic certificate for one semester with 3.5 GPA or higher

Julia Anderson
Katherine Anseth
Jack Barth
Thomas Baskfield
Christopher Bauer
Cassie Beddor
Addison Behler
Nicholas Blood
Hanna Bush
Jacob Cameron
Briar Charchenko
Ryley Covington
Edward Diminnie
Derry Donnelly
Isaac Fassil
Charles Ficek
Benjamin Fink
Lucas Frana
Tyler Franck
Elisabeth Gangwer
Luke Geadelmann
Firuza Graham
Elizabeth Guggemos
Aidan Greene
Thomas Guyer
Claire Haley
Grant Hayes
Sophia Heles
Nicholas Hendler
Lucy Hertel
Lauren Hickey
Katherine Johnson
Elizabeth Kamp
Maeve Kelly
Mackenzie King
Nicholas Kroening
Ella Kunze
Natalie Larson
Spencer Lewin
Marcus Lund
Owen Lund
Sophia Mackey
Elizabeth Marschall
Brynn Martin
Graham Miller
Tyler Miller
Madeline Morgan
Daniel Ngô
Molly O’Connor
Sydney Osterdyk
Derek Pass
Sydney Paulsen
Hailey Pavelka
Mackenzie Pavelka
My-Linh Pavelka
Lauren Perry
Pearl Phillips
Garrett Pinoniemi
Logan Radick
Logan Rasmusen
Nicholas Reichert
Samuel Riegert
Ellen Ries
Olivia Sadowski
Kalli Sampson
Matthew Santini
Jack Schafer
Joseph Schmidt
Lucas Schoenecker
Sawyer Schugel
Alex Schrupp
Emma Schuele
Allison Schumacher
Michael Spinner
Cole Spoden
Blake Stedronsky
Luke Terris
Laura Theis
Tanner Theis
Seth Thompson
Rachel Thurk
Ryan Thurk
Joseph Tinucci
Elise Torborg
Andrea Urzua
Jordan Van Eyll
Grace Vogel
Cela Watkins
Nellie Wicka
Paige Wicka
Matthew Wideman
Benjamin Wilson

Eighty students received their academic card for one semester a 3.0-3.446 GPA.

Spencer Adelmann
Patrick Barrett
Megan Beach
Brooke Beno
Sebastian Bojorquez-Rojas
Daniel Borbonio
Jacob Bornhoft
Nicole Bowlin
Ryan Bowlin
Nicholas Charpentier
Matthew Chromy
Regan Cizek
Austin Clifford
Ethan Conti
Alexa Cuadros
Joseph Dahlin
Eli Devins
Chelsea Diahn
Patrick Dowling
Ethan Drake
Dylan Ehlers
Juliana Escalante
Trey Fechko
David Frahm
Jack Garry
Parker Gnos
Humberto Gomez
Mario Gomez
Dylan Halliwill
Aaron Hesse
Joseph Heuer
Bailey Huber
Tatum Hussey
Keyrie Jimenez-Flores
Rory Johnson
Lucas Jorgenson
Tollef Kohrman
Nicholas Kotval
Evelyn Lacy
Grant Limke
Sydney Linn
Ethan Livermore
Sadie Long
Zachary Lorusso
Sophia Markstrom
Grace McGlynn
Mackenzie McMillan
Evelyn Miller
Alex Molina
Ruby Moya
Patrick Mulheran
Thomas Mulheran
Blake Muschewske
Colin Nawrocki
Luke O’Brien
Aidan Olson
Daniel Parker
Jacob Parker
Drew Pearson
Dominic Phillips
Mitchell Prosser
Mark Rahn
Noel Rahn
Mark Roane
Abigail Roper
Dylan Schenk
Jordyn Schenk
Sean Silva
Noah Seck
Ella Stapelton
Nicholas Strand
Jacob Taylor
Emmett Thuli
Josue Vivanco
Molly Weber
Josie Wicka
Marcus Wieneke
Cole Wilson
Emily Zhou

Department Awards

The following students received department awards:

Athletics
Activities Director Nick Tibesar announced prefaced this year’s senior athlete awards with the message: “Since 2002 – HF has recognized the athletic accomplishments of ONE senior MALE and ONE senior FEMALE each year. These individuals were nominated for their excellence on the playing field, in the classroom, along with their character and leadership. We were fortunate to have a deep pool of talented young men and women, who all matched and exceeded these parameters. This year’s senior class has contributed to conference, section, and state championships — along with countless individual honors!”

Senior Athletes of the Year Leigh Steiner and Sawyer Schugel

English
Excellence in English: Chris Carlton, Annie Wilson, Mimi Anderson, Connor Chalmers

Spirit of English: Katherine Olsen and Allie Philips

Fine Arts

Recognizes individual students who given us the privilege to experience their creative abilities and talents.

Visual Arts: Shelagh Gamble, Instructor

Senior Spotlight
AudreyBrooks and Austin Schumacher

Junior Spotlight
Madeline Doshan and Tollef Kohrman

Sophomore Spotlight
Grace McGlynn and Reyanna Schaffer

Freshman Spotlight
Elizabeth Guggemos and Joseph Dahlin

Photography:

Rising Star: Kalli Sampson

Photographic Eye Award: Collin Nawrocki

Vocal Music: Annelise Brown, Director of Vocal

Letter: Eve Breimhorst, Kalie Dahl,  Allie Phillips, and Emily Sokolis

Instrumental Music: Mrs. Laura Boillat, Director of Bands

Letter: Andrew Bresnan, Sawyer Schugel, Carson Liebeg, Sam Pellicci, Spencer Adelmann, Daniel Borbonio, Joseph Freitas, David Frahm, Collin Nawrocki, Bishop Schugel, Graham Miller, Molly Weber, Katherine Wise

Math:

Math League Letters: Captains Collin Dosedel, Jacob Konz, and Carly Hilgers
Grace Conroy, Derry Donnelly, Jospeh Freitas, Anna Galioto, Mitchell Hausbach, Kathryn Jans, Callista Lorenz, Jeremy Schumacher, Leigh Steiner, Abby Smith, Greg Stoffel, Lauren Taylor, Andrew Waltz, Acknowledgement Abby Saylor, Ashley Pass, and Haley Notermann

AMC High Score – Joseph Freitas and Riley Palattao

Service:

Presidential Volunteer Service Award Bronze (100-174 cumulative hours): Kalie Dahl and Abby Saylor
Presidential Volunteer Service Award Gold (over 250 cumulative hours): Collin Dosedel, Collin Nawrocki, Riley Palattao, Megan Roth, and  Emily Sokolis

Science:

Medals
This award given by the science department is meant to encourage, recognize, and honor those students who have taken the initiative to explore science beyond the minimum requirements of a Holy Family Student.Claire Bradley, Connor Chalmers, Ben Charpenteier, Colin Dosedel, Sarah Gonsalves, Mitchell Hausback, Jacob Konz, Thomas Lisko, Calista Lorenz, Elizabeth Marschall, Julia Olson, Riley Palattao, Abby Saylor, Andrew Waltz

Science Club “Primary Investigator”  AwardThis was the first year for science club at Holy Family Catholic High School.  Three students demonstrated creativity, initiative, enthusiasm for science, and consistent attendance throughout the year as they established the science club.  Since the term “ primary investigator”  refers to a scientist who creates a research plan and leads the study, the “primary investigator”  award is given toAndrew Bresnan, David Frahm, Tommy Lisko

Social Studies:

Mr. Maus
AP Government: Lauren Taylor and Gavin Lund
World History :Emma Schuele and Edward Diminnie

Mrs. Halvorson
American Government – Julia Olson Haley Nahlovsky
American History – Adam Beer Jaden Anderson
Economics and Personal Finance- Leigh Steiner and Danny Schweiters
American Legal Studies-John Vogel

Mrs. Pottebaum
Mock Trial: Derry Donnelly, Pearl Phillips, (captain) Kelly Ryan, Thomas Lisko, Emily Zhou, Colin Dosedel, Maggie Berg, Logan Rasmussen, (captain) Shannon Hickey, Luke Terris, Ellen Reis, Chelsea Diohan, Madeline Ricke, Luke Geadelman, Holly Trembley, Jeremy Schumacher, Graham Miller, Allison Agerland, Anna Taylor, Sarah Gonsalves, Lauren Taylor, Salome Greene

Model Assembly Letter: Natalie Larson, Katie Anseth, Zach Bornhoft, Rory Johnson, Luke Terris, Ava Kunze
AP US History: Mitchell Prosser, Lauren Hickey
AP Human Geography: Ava Kunze
AP Government: Sawyer SchugelPsychology: Carly Hilgers
American Spirit Award and Flag: Kelly Ryan

Theology:

9th Grade: Ruby Moya and Hailey Pavelka

10th Grade: Marie Fahey, Cassie Jones and Graham Miller

11th Grade: Nick Hendler, Abby Smith, Luke Terris, Holly Trembley

12th Grade: Christopher Carlton, Allie Phillips, Kelly Ryan, Abby Saylor, Emily Sokolis

World Language:

AP Italian: Anna Galioto
Latin: John Vogel
Spanish: Claire Bradley
Spanish: AP Spanish- Eve Breimhorst; Shannon Hickey

Watch a video of the ceremony HERE

Holy Family Honor Society

Holy Family Honor Society held their banquet on Sunday, April 14. Alumna Shruti Iyer ’10 was the guest speaker and Emily Sokolis ’19 was the selected student speaker.

Thirty-five students were inducted into the Honor Society.
Allison Agerland, Jaden Anderson, Samuel Bradley, Andrew Bresnan, Melissa Dwyer, Ewan Farrell, Etienne Foudray, Andrew Frommelt, Olivia Hesse, Nicholas Huson, Cassidy Jones, Benjamin Karst, Jacob Kirsch, Haley Klahsen, Jakob Lenzmeier, Charles Lindberg, Gavin Lund, Samuel McNulty, Haley Nahlovsky, Aidan O’Donnell, Brendan Quinn, Benjamin Reddan, Joseph Richelsen, Margaret Rothstein, Abby Saylor, Reyana Schaffer, Bishop Schugel, Jeremy Schumacher, Brendan Sieve, Gregory Stoffel, Lauren Taylor, Jakob Teeter, Jacob Warmka, Katherine Wise, and William Zay

Twenty-six students were honored for one-year membership.
Ashley Anseth, Ryan Burke, Kalie Dahl, Grace Elander, Annabelle Elsner, Abbey Fink, Shannon Furlong, Julia Geurs, Ella Haley, Morgan Hausback, Kathryn Jans, Allison Jansen, Brenna Jones, Celia Kreykes, Lucas Lembke, Carson Liebeg, Nicholas Lynch, McKenna Mechtel, Kaili Palattao, Madeline Ricke, Erin Schneider, Abigail Smith, Nathan Tinucci, Lucy Treat, John Vogel, and Andrew Waltz

Thirty-six were honored for two year membership.Mary Margaret Anderson, Margaret Berg, Brielle Bornhorst, Claire Bradley, Brandon Bueltel, Christopher Carlton, Nikolai Charchenko, Matthew Deavan, Colin Dosedel, John Enck, Anna Galioto, Sarah Gonsalves, Salomé Greene, Mitchell Hausback, Shannon Hickey, Carly Hilgers, Jacob Konz, Ava Kunze, Claire Melander, Anna Mohling, Grace Murphy, Haley Notermann, Brendan O’Connor, Riley Palattao, Ashley Pass, Megan Perry, Anita Phillips, Daniel Reddan, Emily Sokolis, Reid Stark, Leigh Steiner, Katelyn Stohlmeyer, Anna Taylor, Anna Vakulskas, Evelyn Willenbring, Jacob Zay

Learn more about Honor Society Requirements at this LINK

Relic Visits Holy Family

,,Holy Family Catholic High School Receives Saint Relic

In recognition of the 300th anniversary of the April 7 Good Friday passing of St. John Baptist de La Salle, a relic of the saint is traveling for display and veneration throughout the Christian Brothers Midwest District. St. John Baptist de La Salle is a patron saint of teachers and all those who work in education. 

The reliquary will be on display through Friday, April 26.

Holy Family Catholic High School is the first high school in Minnesota to receive the transfer of the relic for display.  Holy Family President Mike Brennan, Principal Kathie Brown, Lasallian animator Doug Bosch, and Brendan O’Connor received the relic from Brother Dennis Galvin before the start of the Founder’s Week MassIt will remain on display from the April 23 Mass through Friday, April 26, before transferring to Totino-Grace High School in Fridley. 

According to Catholic teachings, relics of saints may be displayed for veneration but are not worshipped. They are holy objects with association to  saints who now live in God’s presence. 

The Holy Family community is welcome to view or venerate the relic during school hours (7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) The relic will be displayed a cabinet in the school foyer and in the school chapel for the Friday, April 26, Day of Giving 24-hour Prayer Vigil.

Click HERE to watch the transfer ceremony.

Dr. McInerny comments on relics and their veneration:

Holy Family theology instructor, Dr. Brendan McInerny, prepared the following information on relics and the Catholic Church:

The veneration of relics appears to coincide with the broader veneration of the saints. Already in the first ‘post-apostolic’ (after the deaths of the apostles) generation of Christians, we find accounts of Christians collecting the relics of the martyrs. There appears to be some scriptural support for this in miracles occurring by touching the garments of, e.g., Peter or Jesus, and the reverence being given to the remains of prophets and patriarchs within the book of Genesis (all the more striking since the authors of Genesis did not appear to have a belief in the idea of the resurrection of the dead). Between roughly 200 and 1500, relics were a constant, universal, and central feature of Christianity.

Only where Protestant Christianity became dominant do we see a disappearance of relics. As those who have been in historically Catholic or Orthodox countries (France, Italy, Spain, Greece) might attest, relics are still very much in existence and sometimes very much on display. It is widely reported that a relic of the Crown of Thorns was saved from the 2019 fire at Notre-Dame. Up to the 1960s, virtually all Catholic churches had a relic in the altar. They are still around us, though we often don’t notice or know what to do with them.

What are we to make of all of this?

First, we can understand relics as a special instance of what is commonly referred to as “the sacramental imagination” or “sacramental worldview.” “The sacramental imagination” refers to the Catholics belief that God’s grace or presence works through tangible, physical things. Encompassing the seven ‘chief” sacraments (baptism, chrismation/confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony) as well as the innumerable ‘lesser’ “sacramentals” (the altar, incense, candles, images/icons, song, funerals, etc), the sacramental imagination in fact stretches to embrace all of creation. Everything can potentially be an avenue of God’s presence and grace because God is creator of everything, and called all of it good. Furthermore, God “assumed” this tangible, physical, created order “directly” (though mysteriously) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Word became flesh and through his flesh Jesus is connected to the whole web of relationships that make up the material universe.

One crucial purpose of this sacramental economy of grace is to transform men and women in holiness. God does not simply work through created things as passive instruments. God also works together with free human beings, who, in ordinary and extraordinary ways, become witnesses of God’s love. These men and women imitators of Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit, or simple “saints,” become vessels of grace themselves. Sometimes this grace is shown in miracles during a saint’s life, sometimes not.

Second, just as the immaterial and material are bound up together in the sacramental imagination, so too does Catholic theology maintain that the body and soul of human beings are distinct but not truly separate. This lack of separation is what undergirds the practices of fasting and abstinence. What happens in the body affects the soul. Therefore, from a Catholic point of view, a ‘complete’ human being is an embodied soul or an ensouled body and even after death the two realities remain, somehow linked. In our lives we might see something of this in the care with which we treat the bodies of the dead or the way in which we treasure mementos or heirlooms.

Somehow, we intuitively sense that a corpse is still our loved on in some manner or that a treasured object is still theirs. From a theological viewpoint, this common intuition reflects the truth in reference to the resurrection of the dead or the resurrection of the body. Being body/souls, we are incomplete in death and await a re-union of body and soul. Just as Christ rises bodily from the dead, so too will we. What exactly that resurrection body is or how it might relate to the assemblage of molecules that make up our bodies on this side of death and which pass into other bodies as a result of decomposition remains a mystery, but Catholics hold the conviction that the body, fully united with the spirit, will have a share in paradise.

In the instances of holy men and women – those beatified and canonized – we imagine the ‘link’ between body and soul in this life and after death as somehow ‘stronger’.  To put it in a spatial metaphor: because the saint is ‘closer’ to Christ, he or she is ‘closer’ to the state of paradise in which there is no discontinuity between body and soul. As a result, the saint is both present and (potentially) active in and through his or her relics. Perhaps, it is better to say through the relic, the believer is made present to the saint. It is for that reason that people went to such lengths to go on pilgrimage to Paris, Canterbury, Rome, Constantinople, and Jerusalem: to be in the company of saints in the presence of God.

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Coffee House

Coffee House: Holy Family’s Unique Stage Delivers Unforgettable Performances

Prince unleashed his one-of-a-kind talent in 1981 to a sold-out show at Sam’s, now known as First Avenue, in Minneapolis. That single performance revealed the unlimited boundaries of Prince’s musical gifts. For him, it was a place of comfort where he could be himself.

Holy Family Catholic High School also has a stage that has been the launchpad for unforgettable performances. It’s called “Coffee House” and gives students a comfortable venue to reveal their inner talents, on their terms.

“Kids are different after a Coffee House performance,” says vocals teacher Annelise Brown, who co-organizes the event with instrumental teacher Laura Boillat. “It’s a chance for students to finally show themselves for the rest of us to see. They have a chance to be genuine—it is something that is unique to our school.”

Can’t-Miss Event

Held twice each year (fall and spring) in the school’s Performance Center, Coffee House is a hot ticket. Yes, it’s free to everyone, but for a seat on the comfy couches that encircle the stage, students show up 45 minutes early. It has become the can’t-miss event at Holy Family. The packed house provides energy, fueling performers to step into the spotlight, confront their stage fear and show their true personality.

Held twice each year (fall and spring) in the school’s Performance Center, Coffee House is a hot ticket. Yes, it’s free to everyone, but for a seat on the comfy couches that encircle the stage, students show up 45 minutes early.

“Unless you go, you can’t understand Coffee House,” Boillat adds. “It’s really special. It’s an experience. Other schools may have talent shows, but this is way more than that. This isn’t karaoke. And we literally have coffee!”

“Kids get to express themselves in a nonjudgmental area,” adds Brown. “Even if they have mistakes, those are the performances that get thunderous applause and encouragement. It helps get kids through it. It’s where we see the best of our kids.”

A renewed year-end event—Alumni Coffee House—has been added on Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. The Alumni Coffee House features Holy Family teachers, alumni and 2019 grads, who get to leave on a drop-the-mic moment.

“It’s such a rewarding, ongoing tradition,” Brown says. “It wouldn’t happen if no one showed up or signed up. Now, we’re adding more because Coffee House is so loved. There is nothing else like it out there.”

Celebrating Individual Moments

This past fall, junior Jackie Uhas performed at her first Coffee House. She brought her backup band, friends she met several years ago at the former Minnetonka Music in Excelsior.

Uhas’ gutsy performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” brought the crowd to its feet. So did the vocals of sophomore Marie Fahey, who sang  “She Used to be Mine” from the Waitress, with junior Logan Radick providing piano accompaniment. Senior Shannon Hickey, a regular at Coffee House, breezed her performance solo. Each performance left one impression. Wow!

“I think Coffee House is all about fun,” says junior Carson Liebeg, who plays drums and guitar for several performers. He and sophomore bass player Anthony Olson back up several students who need musicians to deliver their best performances.

“We may play for 60 or 70 percent of the acts,” Liebeg estimates. “The way I look at it, if I wanted to do a song and someone wouldn’t help me, I wouldn’t like that. So I try to play for as many people as I can.”

That’s the coming together and support that makes Coffee House unique.

“There isn’t a winner or loser. Coffee House is just for fun,” says senior Eve Breimhorst. “Sure it’s hard work. But the payoff is you get to do this cool performance for whoever wants to come. And most of the school is there.”

Liebeg describes it this way: “It’s like game day for arts. It’s a chance to show off your talents like others do on the field or court.

“I think more people should come out and do magic, card tricks or maybe a standup act. If you have an idea, talk to Ms. Brown or Ms. Boillat. It would be great to see even more creative freedom.”

Rooted in the Music Department

Between individual student performances, Holy Family’s Jazz Band and Voices of Fire make regular Coffee House appearances. It’s their chance to take the stage and share some favorites in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Jazz Band performs between individual performances.
Between individual student performances, Holy Family’s Jazz Band and Voices of Fire make regular Coffee House appearances. It’s their chance to take the stage and share some favorites in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Without Voices of Fire experience, Breimhorst admits she may have never found the courage to take the stage to perform at Coffee House.

“I definitely was shy and didn’t want to do solos or participate in Voices,” Eve admits. “Then I tried out (for Voices of Fire) and had my first solo. I loved it and wanted to keep performing!

“I like Coffee House because I get to pick my own songs and music that reflects who I am. I think it is interesting to see and hear music other people pick and how it reflects their personalities.”

Brown has her own experiences that have shaped what Coffee House is today. A 2004 graduate from Holy Family, Brown remembers the early years, before there was a Performance Center with proper acoustics.

“I was in the first Voices of Fire that started Coffee House,” she recalls. “We held it in the ‘cafertorium’ and it was very jazz-focused. We learned music has to be fun. So we stopped being fancy. Now, it’s a chance to enjoy, sit on couches with your friends and have fun.”

Your Chance to Be a Star

About a month before each scheduled Coffee House, Boillat and Brown post a sign-up sheet and conduct auditions. Students perform a small sample of their act. You’ll be slotted into the program if your performance is ready for prime time. The rest is up to you. Practice and polish come on your own time.

One week before Coffee House, students can take to the stage, perform a sound check and discuss lighting with the student-led stage crew. Before you know it, it’s GO TIME!

Each Coffee House starts at 6 p.m. That way, most students can attend after sports practices or other after-school events and still get home early enough to finish homework.

“We pack the house every time. Kids will stop in after basketball games and other activities,” Brown says. “That’s the way it should be. It’s put on for everyone to enjoy. It’s our gift to you.”

Boillat adds this final thought: “It takes personal strength to get up in front of peers and perform. High school is not the easiest time to express yourself. We love how loving and caring other students are here to let you do that.”

Join us for our next coffee house on Friday, April 26, at 6 p.m. in the Performance Center.

 

The Lasting Power of Holy Family’s Campus Ministry

Behind the Scenes: The Lasting Power of Holy Family’s Campus Ministry

The squishy black couches were the same. The motivational posters stuck to the white cinder-block walls were the same, as was the whiteboard covered with colorful scrawls. Mrs. Bosch was there, of course, with her trusty clipboard and pencil, the only tools she needs to command her cohort of Holy Family’s campus ministers.

But as soon as I entered the room, my eyes were drawn to the back wall. A few inches above some orange flames framing the word “FIRE” was a signature—my own, from 2014, the year I graduated from Holy Family. My black Sharpie autograph was surrounded by my classmates’ black Sharpie autographs, which were surrounded by those of our predecessors and successors. Almost a decade of campus ministers are represented on that wall.

I walked over to one of the squishy black couches and handed my sister a coffee. Anna is a senior at Holy Family now, and I am a nice older sister. Also I needed some caffeine in my veins to stay awake for a B Period class.

I perched near another squishy black couch and opened my little reporting notebook. I’m working as a journalist nowadays, which I’m guessing is the reason my alma mater asked me to write about its Campus Ministry program.

In some ways, it is hard to describe what exactly Campus Ministry is. The program is something so special, so unique to Holy Family. But I will try my best.

Shaping the Spiritual Foundation

The goal of Campus Ministry, as Assistant Principal John Dols describes it, is to train Holy Family students to minister to other students.

The school first offered Campus Ministry as a class in 2007, an option for students’ senior-year theology requirement. That inaugural group of campus ministers took charge of planning and leading daily convocations, class retreats and community service projects—work previously handled, for the most part, by faculty.

In the years since, Campus Ministry transformed into an institution at Holy Family, a privilege for those in their final year at the school. Seniors who choose to sign up for the class are tasked with providing opportunities for the school community to grow in faith, service and community.

Campus Ministry is responsible for the Lenten spiritual programming including the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

“It certainly is the vehicle where we have students who shape the spiritual formation of Holy Family,” Campus Ministry instructor Lynnae Bosch said. She and Dols have provided guidance to campus ministers over the years, but the bulk of the decisions are made by students.

“As a school, we have said we are so proud of our kids and we are so confident that we have, for three years, trained them so that we’re comfortable with them going out, giving messages, teaching kids,” Dols said.

Campus ministers are in charge of some of the school’s biggest events, like the highly anticipated Thanksgiving and Christmas Convos debuted each year before holiday breaks. They’re also in charge of the small behind-the-scenes details—the type of work, Bosch said, that can be overlooked.

The 17- and 18-year-old campus ministers coordinate all-school Masses, and they design reconciliation services during Advent and Lent. They organize spiritual retreats at local elementary schools, just as they do for their Holy Family peers—students have an all-class retreat each of their four years at the school.

Campus Ministry students prepared rocks for the 6th grade retreat at St. Hubert Catholic School in Chanhassen.

The campus ministers are the ones who set up the giant projection screen for assemblies and run to Costco to pick up enough snacks to feed more than 100 hungry high-school students. Each day, they stand before the entire school community and lead them in prayer.

“For the younger students, to see someone your age do that every day, I think there’s power in that,” Bosch said.

The Cornerstone of Community

The bell rang, announcing an end to B Period, and I join the herds of students parading to the gym—a walk down memory lane.

As some 500 students clamber to their spots on the bleachers, I watch the group of campus ministers leading the day’s convocation. They scramble to check in on all the last-minute details, exchanging whispers and a few nods, before one grabs the mic and says the magic words.

“Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God.”

I’ve never tried it, but I wonder if you said those words someplace—a bar, perhaps, or a crowded restaurant—full of Holy Family alumni, would a hush fall over the room? Would we remember the days we spent in those bleachers, when those words were uttered and all the chatter—the gossip, the gabbing, the giggles—ceased?

The convocation on the day of my visit was Holy Family Feud, a knockoff of the popular game show created by surveys campus ministers collected. On the gym floor, senior Ryan Bowlin quizzed competing students and faculty on the preferences of Holy Family students — their favorite uniform tops, their favorite sporting events, their favorite cafeteria foods.

It was clever. It was funny. The team of teachers crushed the team of students, though, to be fair, they had years of institutional knowledge on their side.

Then we prayed. A campus minister grabbed the microphone and thanked God for creating our family with a purpose. “We know that you have plans for us individually and for our family as a whole,” she prayed. “Help us to have an appreciation for each other’s personalities, gifts and even our weaknesses.”

We clasped hands and said the Our Father. We turned to the American flag and said the Pledge of Allegiance. After announcements, the chatter resumed as students and teachers began to make their way to the next class. I stayed for a moment at the top of the bleachers.

It is impressive, I thought, that a group of 17- and 18-year-olds is in charge of everything that just happened. A straggling group of campus ministers was still taking down the giant projection screen.

Leaving her signature on the wall, just like the alumni before her did.

In preparation for my visit, Mrs. Bosch asked the current campus ministers to write down what they learned from the class and why they valued it. Many said it gave them great public

speaking experience or helped them practice organizational skills while planning large events. Some spoke of creativity, of cooperation, of faith, of leadership.

I thought back to my own time as a campus minister. Certainly, I learned those skills—skills that would prove to help me immensely in future leadership roles I took on in my college dorm and campus newspaper. But like I said, it’s hard to articulate exactly why I think Campus Ministry is so valuable to the Holy Family community. Because it does so much more.

“It is a cornerstone of Holy Family culture,” one student wrote.

“I personally think,” another wrote, “it’s the center of the community aspect that makes HF so great.”

I went back to the Campus Ministry classroom to grab my bag and looked at the back wall, the wall my sister and her classmates will sign before they head off to college. This year’s campus ministers will soon pass on the torch to the next group. And the Holy Family tradition of faith, service and community will live on.

 

Katie Galioto (’14) graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2018. Since then, she has reported for the Star Tribune and the Chicago Tribune as an intern on both papers’ metro desks. She currently works as a breaking news intern for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. You can follow her work on twitter @katiegalioto.

Feed the Fire Within: Shruti Iyer’s Story

Alumna Shruti Iyer ’10 reflects on the continuing impact of a Holy Family education

“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new” -Albert Einstein

Einstein emphasizes that if we want to immerse ourselves in new experiences then we should never be afraid of failure. It took me several challenging and rewarding years to finally appreciate his words. Chasing my career ambitions at Medtronic, struggling as an underdog in grad school, and sculpting my identity in undergrad have often pushed me to my limits. Throughout these challenges, I have persisted thanks to the strong values of faith, scholarship, integrity, and leadership that I learned at Holy Family. Retrospectively, my experiences at Holy Family have undoubtedly given me the courage to make mistakes and the resilience to keep trying new experiences.
—Shruti Iyer ’10

Faith
In high school, I remember my dream career changing weekly. One week it was biology because of Mrs. McAvoy’s passion for protein synthesis; a week later, it was computer science because of Mr. Kannel’s programming assignments; just a week after, it was writing because of Mr. Unverzagt’s challenging writing prompts. Having numerous interests and being unable to pick just one was extremely stressful. This was heightened when my peers would easily choose one passion as their career paths. At that point, I learned to have faith. My parents and teachers reminded me to have faith in my natural instincts. They encouraged me to grow all of my diversified interests. Little did I know that a career existed out there which would merge all of my passions together.

Scholarship
In undergrad, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Computer Science, at the University of Minnesota. At the time, I chose this major because it fused my interests in Biology and Computer Science. My engineering classes were extremely challenging and some days I would question if I chose the right path. I began to understand that learning and scholarship do not imply merely hitting the books.  I developed a thirst to constantly learn both inside and outside of the classroom. I even served as the President of the Indian Student Association and engaged in celebrating my cultural roots. By graduation, college had opened my eyes to the value of learning.

Integrity
After undergrad, I joined Medtronic Neuromodulation as a Software Engineer in Research and Development (R&D). In my first project, I helped develop a cutting-edge Android application to provide patients with Spinal Cord Stimulation therapy. This app helped clinicians serve patients suffering from chronic pain. For the first time, my assignments were no longer from a textbook and my work directly improved the lives of real-world patients. This was extremely intimidating and I often suffered from imposter syndrome. This entails feeling out of place and feeling as though you do not deserve the opportunities you receive. I had to remember the importance of integrity. I had to trust in my abilities and relentlessly seek out new opportunities to contribute. Over time, I flourished into a budding medical device engineer.

Leadership
Within a year, my aspiration to serve patients in a greater capacity pushed me to pursue a Master of Science in Medical Device Innovation (MDI) at the University of Minnesota. My masters fed directly into my career and gave me a taste of entrepreneurship in the Medical Device space. Working at Medtronic full-time and studying simultaneously was immensely challenging. Gradually, I began doing my part to lead both grad school projects and work deliverables. At this point, I understood that it’s never too early to take on leadership. Being a leader is not defined by a title. I learned that everyone in a team has the ability and responsibility to lead by example.

After graduating from MDI, I received two new opportunities at Medtronic: I became a Systems Engineer in the Restorative Therapies Group, and was chosen to co-chair Asian Impact at Medtronic – an employee resource group known as AIM-TC. As a Systems Engineer in R&D, I currently drive the design of a Therapy Drug Delivery system. In AIM-TC, I develop strategy to provide affordable medical devices in Emerging Markets across Asia. It is immensely fulfilling to know that I am doing my small part in making a huge difference in the lives of patients all around the world.

My life has been an extraordinary journey thus far. My parents are a source of inspiration for everything that I have pursued. They arrived as immigrants from Pune, India, in 1994 and persisted against all odds to achieve their American Dream. It is their undying faith, unwavering integrity, fearless leadership, and passion for learning and scholarship that continues to push me to bravely chase my dreams. They bestowed upon me a life changing education at Holy Family.

I still meet up with friends from Holy Family; Sarah Singsank ’10 can vouch that we still recite lines from our 2010 Math Rap. My friends inspire me to jump into new endeavors. I recently started doing Stand Up Comedy and am the drummer of a band called Tomorrow’s Leftovers.

I try to live out Einstein’s ideology about never letting failure hinder me from trying new experiences. It doesn’t take an Einstein to realize that mistakes are a part of life. Never be afraid of trying something new. Feed the FIRE within.