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Everything listed under: Joe Therber

  • Advent is a time to shine your light on the world

    Advent greetings!

     As Catholic Christians, we consider this liturgical season of Advent as a “waiting period.” We’re not yet observing Christmas. That will come soon enough. For now, we’re anticipating and preparing for the birth of our Savior. 

    In his homily at our first school Mass of Advent, Father Chris Wadelton reminded us that waiting for Christ doesn’t mean doing nothing. Speaking about the Advent wreath candles, he challenged us to use the season to bring the light of Christ into the bruised world, to shed light on the darkness that may exist in some of our relationships.

    Scecina is blessed with the varied voices of the priests of the East Deanery of the Archdiocese, including Father Chris, pastor at St. Philip Neri and a member of our Board of Directors. Each week, our students and staff hear from these messengers of faith, who bring their perspectives to bear. I’m sure students leave our weekly school Mass with interesting viewpoints to ponder. 

    Principal Brettnacher last week wrote about our plan to have East Deanery priests help us integrate our faith into all subject areas. This is part of our Catholic Identity initiative in the School Improvement Plan. We’re grateful for the guidance and wisdom our deanery priests offer the Scecina Community in so many ways. We pray for all priests as they lead their flocks at all times, including during this important season in the Church year. 

    On Thursday, 51 students and staff shed some light on our community by sharing the gift of life through giving blood -- a total of 34 units to the Indiana Blood Center!. Thank you to everyone who donated. 

    On Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m., Scecina Music Director Chris Ritchie will lead our choirs and band in a holiday concert, “The Sounds of Christmas.” This concert is free and open to all. Please join us. 

    This Advent, I hope you are able to shine your light in your part of the world. It gets to be such a harried month that we often lose sight of our own spiritual lives, yet that’s the reason for the season! 


    Joe Therber

  • A Thanksgiving message: Scecina exists because of you!

    With Thanksgiving upon us, I want to convey a word of thanks and appreciation from everyone at Scecina, for you and what you do to help and support our school.

    The fact is often impressed upon me that certain things in society are mandated or required. For example, the United States government is required to have three branches — executive, legislative, and judicial. Businesses have constitutions and by-laws that govern their operating procedures. States and towns across our land have laws and rules to regulate commerce, communications, and traffic. Earners of wages and salaries must pay taxes to support the common good. 

    Scecina Memorial High School, however, is different. No law requires that we exist, which is one of the extraordinary aspects of our school. While we do not have to exist, we DO exist. We exist thanks to the voluntary choices that donors, volunteers, students, families, teachers and staff members, archdiocesan officials, and other friends make every day. We exist because so many have felt a special calling from God to support our mission to educate young people in spirit, mind and body.

    While I was on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis staff, an important volunteer leader often described the strength of Catholic parishes and schools by saying, “We have something far greater than the power to tax. We have the power to ask.” And ask we do because ask we must!

    For responding to our ongoing requests for prayers, volunteerism, advice and counsel, advocacy, enrollment, engagement of many kinds, and financial support, thank you very much!

    We’re blessed by the gratitude that resides continually in hearts and minds throughout the Scecina Community. It is visible through the work of countless hands and feet now and throughout the year.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Joe Therber

  • Veterans' spirit of service and sacrifice is sacred

    Greetings! Veterans Day, a federal holiday, occurs this Sunday, November 11. Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, we observe it on Monday, November 12.

    What is Veterans Day? It is a special day to honor and thank those who are serving or have served in the military. Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day, which is a day to remember members of the military who lost their lives in service to their country. Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the agreement that ended World War I on November 11, 1918, this holiday became known as Veterans Day in 1954.

    Given that our school namesake, Father Thomas Scecina, was a humble and valiant chaplain in the U.S. Army during World War II, it is fitting that we extend a special thank you on Veterans Day to all living men and women in our military services. I especially thank those among our friends, alumni, and staff who are veterans, including Spanish teacher Nancy Greathouse, who served in the U.S. Army, and social studies teacher Jeff Getty, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Your spirit of service and sacrifice is sacred. 

    What can you and I do to celebrate Veterans Day? Here are some ideas: Genuinely say “Thank you for your service” to a member of the military. E-mail it or text it, if you must. Saying it in person or over the phone may be even better. Pray for the safety and safe return of a military member. Ask a veteran about her or his service and really listen. Display the American flag. Write a note or letter to convey your appreciation. Visit a VA (Veterans Administration) hospital. Attend a Veterans Day parade.

    As Veterans Day gives way to Thanksgiving and the rest of the year, what can we do to live the spirit of Veterans Day? Along with almost any of the preceding ideas, we can imitate our military members’ virtues of duty, integrity, service, and sacrifice in our daily routines and relationships. We can allow their service and sacrifice to inspire our lives of appreciation.

    Members of the military services, we thank you!

    Joe Therber

  • Did you see these Scecina stories?

    Greetings, Scecina Community,

    The teachers, students and coaches are back in the classrooms and athletic arenas, and we have given a warm welcome to the Class of 2022.

    We also accomplished a tremendous amount of important work on many fronts this summer.

    This year, we are implementing 1:1 student technology. Each student and teacher will have the benefit of a new school-issued computer to support the learning process. That’s new and exciting.

    David Dellacca

    “Our faculty are beginning a wonderful journey with our students – leveraging technology in new ways to push, grow, and elevate our students,” Vice President of Technology David Dellacca (right) said. 

    Our faculty, administration, and support staff have worked tirelessly this summer and even earlier to prepare for the implementation of the 1:1 initiative. We now have a team of students dubbed the “Crusader Tech Squad.”

    We also are looking ahead. Believe it or not, we have started the enrollment process for the Class of 2023. Yes, we are building next year’s freshman class! We are reaching out to East Deanery Catholic grade schools and other partner schools. We want them to know about the wonderful opportunities at Scecina for students to grow in spirit, mind and body. And Scecina is providing those opportunities, as these stories show:

    We hope you are sharing Scecina success stories like these with friends and family and your parishes. You help us with our enrollment efforts when you tell others about Scecina. Thank you for representing Scecina!

    Peace in Christ,

    Joe Therber

  • We can count on the Scecina Community to help

    Dear Friends, 

    Safety is our top priority at Scecina. Once again, the Scecina Community has come through for the school! This time, many friends responded to make Scecina a safer place for students, staff, and visitors. 

    We’re grateful for each and every donation from alumni and friends who helped us raise our goal of $190,000 for safety and security updates. 

    The support came from these sources: 

    • A $35,000 grant from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis 
    • A $35,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security 
    • $120,000 in donations from alumni, parents and friends of the school, like you!

     We’re grateful for the $20,000 matching gift from an anonymous couple. Their investment was motivational and multiplied the impact of other donors’ gifts. 

    Now we can get to work on making several improvements. Here’s what we are planning:  

    • New metal entrance doors that meet today’s safety standards 
    • New security cameras mounted outside of the school building 
    • New security features for the blockhouse and St. Francis Hall 
    • Eight new defibrillators in the school building, blockhouse, and St. Francis Hall 
    • Technology upgrades to provide 24/7 visibility of all school building entrances 
    • New parking lot lighting 
    • Software to document 360-degree views of each interior room and office.

    The Scecina Community is known for supporting and attaining educational goals that impact our students’ lives through the annual Scecina Fund. These goals include transforming our academic technology environment; awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and tuition assistance; renovating the library, cafeteria, and classrooms; and making other improvements. Your generous spirit has really made a difference! 

    If you would like to see the recent improvements to the school, I invite you to tour the school. Please contact Rose Branson, donor and alumni relations coordinator, at if you’d like to visit. 

    Thank you for serving and supporting our young people in their life journeys. 

    Joe Therber