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Everything listed under: east deanery

  • Father Tom's legacy of service lives on

    Coach Ryan Keen (left) received the Father Tom Service Award from Scecina President Joe Therber.

    Dear Scecina community, 

    As we recently celebrated Veterans Day, it is an honor to thank all United States military veterans in our circle of family and friends, and in the wider circle of veterans we do not know. 

    I often reflect on the fact that members of our military services share at least one common bond. They all have declared their willingness to place their lives in grave danger in order to serve and protect other members of the human family. The world may know of no greater example of generosity. 

    On Nov. 4, Father Thomas Scecina, our school namesake and a deceased U.S. Army chaplain, was inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame. I thank Scecina alumnus Tom Blandford ‘65 for successfully nominating Father Tom for this prestigious honor. 

    At the induction ceremony, I had the unique, undeserved, and memorable honor of representing our school and receiving Father Tom’s awards. The audience of 300-plus veterans, family members, and friends were on the edge of their seats as master of ceremonies Rafael Sanchez told the amazing story of Father Scecina’s military service and Christian compassion that culminated as his life on earth ended at sea on October 24, 1944. 

    On Nov. 9, our entire student body and staff celebrated Father Tom Day Mass. How fitting it was to thank our namesake during Vocations Week in the Catholic Church and two days before Veterans Day. We welcomed more than 150 East Deanery sixth- and eighth- grade students and their teachers as our guests. After Mass, we presented the Father Tom Service Award to long-time Scecina track and cross country coach Ryan Keen. Several members of our Scecina Veterans Committee were able to be with us and be recognized. The morning could not have been better. 

    On behalf of our Scecina community, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts to all military veterans, as well as their families and friends who support their patriotism, service, and willingness to sacrifice. May the spirit of Father Tom and the loyalty of our military veterans continue to inspire us. 

    Sincerely,

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Christian Service Program sets Scecina apart


    Greetings, Crusader Community,    

    Our Christian Service program is a special student and staff opportunity that sets Scecina apart from other schools. Christian Service gives our students a chance to act upon the Gospel lessons they’ve heard about loving our neighbors as ourselves and to reflect upon servant leadership.

    Together, we take one day each year to serve others in the community. Our annual Service Day this year takes place Sept. 19. All freshmen and sophomores, as well as our staff, will participate in serving our community on that day while the upperclassmen use the day for college visits. We’ll have a prayer service before everyone heads out on buses to sites such as East Deanery parishes, the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Service, and Holy Family Shelter, to name just a few. We’ll gather again at Scecina for Mass at the end of the school day.

     Christian Service is a central part of our mission of preparing our students for life and heaven. We want these experiences to lead our students to understand the joy of serving and to learn to build their lives around service.

     Another important event occurs tonight. It’s Homecoming. Our Crusaders football team faces Beech Grove at 7 p.m. at Arsenal Technical High School. Alumni will return to unite with classmates. Last night, several members of the 1966 Crusader football team, which posted an outstanding 8-2 season, joined our current team for fellowship and a team meal. At halftime tonight, we’ll honor the 1966 team on its 50th anniversary and the Class of 1992 during its 25th anniversary. I encourage you to take this fun opportunity to cheer on the Crusaders after first stopping by the tailgate that starts at 5:30 p.m. 

     Thank you for all you do to support our school and our students and staff, 

     Sincerely, 

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Grateful for a Strong Scecina Community


    Archbishop Tobin shaking hands with President Therber at Father Tom Mass on November 5th

    This month, we celebrated a splendid Father Tom Day Mass on campus. It was a lively and first-rate celebration of Father Tom and of our school community.

    We had a full house. To be a little more informal, the gym was packed! It was a beautiful and strong sight that reflected many profound messages and realities

    Why was it such a special day?

    To welcome everyone to Father Tom Day, I commented that we are a “Scecina Strong” community of more than 7,500 people from various walks of life. The full house on Father Tom Day was a profound testament of our community.

    Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C. Ss. R., was the primary Mass celebrant. Eight priests who currently serve in the East Deanery or who have served here at one time concelebrated.

    Our ongoing mission as a co-educational archdiocesan Catholic high school means many things. One is that we have a collaborative and positive relationship with the Archbishop of Indianapolis, who now is Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C. Ss. R. Were it not for the full endorsement of the Archbishop of Indianapolis, whoever he is at any given moment, we would not exist.

    Think about that! Archbishop Tobin, like his predecessors including Archbishop Daniel Buechlein most recently, is like a parent to us. Archbishops give us life, guidance, encouragement, and support. If we wander from the intended path, which we hope not to do, Archbishop Tobin can call us back.

    Who else celebrated Father Tom Day? Our liturgical choir was absolutely outstanding. All of our students’ attentiveness and engagement in the Mass were high. Our teachers and our students’ parents, the first and primary educators, deserve much credit for fostering reverence and respect during this Mass and all of our weekly all-school Masses.

    Joining in the day were many alumni and friends, including Board members, parents, grandparents, and members of our Veterans Committee. I enjoy saying that our alumni veterans and the Veterans Committee are special people whose deep respect for Father Tom and for the values of service and sacrifice inspire us.

    Nearly 200 East Deanery middle school students joined us with their teachers and principals. Each East Deanery school brought its 6th, 7th, or 8th grade class to learn about Father Tom and experience Mass on the Scecina campus. These young people and their adult leaders represented the schools of Saint Philip Neri, Holy Cross, Little Flower, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Spirit, and Saint Michael (Greenfield) in fine fashion.

    At the conclusion of Mass, we presented the Father Tom Service Award to Father Bob Gilday, Pastor of Little Flower Parish. We present this award annually to a person who has made Scecina Memorial High School an important part of his or her life and who often, in Father Tom’s words, “gives that little extra.”

    In his own words, Father Bob was shocked—a reflection of his humility. As Little Flower pastor and as a member of our Board of Directors, Father Bob often goes the extra mile and is a strong source of insight, support, and advocacy that have helped our school grow and improve during the last several years. The Little Flower students in attendance led the applause for their pastor.

    When Archbishop Tobin began his homily, his first word was, “Finally.” He said that he was glad to finally be at our school to celebrate Father Tom Day with our community after we had to postpone the event three times last year during the harsh winter that we all want to forget but are bracing ourselves for again.

    The second time that I met Archbishop Tobin after he came to Indianapolis, his words were, “Scecina. I want to visit Scecina.” I appreciated Archbishop Tobin’s unsolicited desire to be part of a school that is similar to high schools and communities where he has ministered previously. The archbishop’s opening word—“Finally”—attests to his desire to be in positive relationship with Scecina Memorial High School.

    As he continued, Archbishop Tobin told a story of a friend who was a priest who needed to give a special homily. The priest asked his cousin, a beautiful young girl to come forward and assist him with his homily. She stood by the priest as he spoke. He spoke about love. Eventually, he asked his cousin to imagine that someday a young man would look at her with starry eyes and say that he loved her with all his heart, mind, soul, and might. The priest turned to the girl and asked her what she should do when that occurred. The blushing young girl did not know what to say. The priest came to her rescue. He told her to “Run like h***!”

    The point of the story is that only God can love us completely and at all times, and that He created us to love Him from the deepest part of ourselves, as well. Even though we love one another as best we can, only God can love us infinitely, unconditionally, and at all times.

    Surely, for us as a Catholic high school, conveying this truth of our Christian faith is as valuable as every diploma that we present at Commencement. The vocation that we all share is to make and fulfill a commitment to know, love, and serve God every day. How, when, and where we know, love, and serve Him is unique to every person.

    Only 34 years of age when he died in service to God, freedoms, and his fellow man, Father Thomas Scecina lived his vocation to the fullest. While none of us is likely to endure a multi-mile torturous military death march or to die at sea on a Prisoner of War ship as he did, we all can serve and sacrifice today and tomorrow, just as he did.

    Archbishop Tobin pointed out a unique fact about our school. He noted that we are the only high school in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis established to remember and honor a Catholic priest who willingly gave his life for his friends. Please watch the video of his homily.

    May we live in such a way that our heavenly diplomas will be written with numerous examples of cheerfully living, in the words of our mission statement, “as servant leaders in the inspiring footsteps of Father Thomas Scecina.”

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy the time with your family and friends. Grateful to everyone who strengthens and spreads our “Scecina Strong” community, I am,

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President


                     

  • Father Paul Koetter Honored by NCEA

    Talk about an experience I will never forget! I was in Pittsburgh this week for the National Catholic Education Association Convention, a gathering of thousands of workers in the vineyard—bishops, priests, central office personnel, school administrators, teachers, catechists, and volunteers. On Tuesday night, I attended an awards program as “one of our own” received a Distinguished Pastor Award for his support of Catholic education at the local level.

    Monsignor Paul Koetter, or Father Paul, Pastor of Holy Spirit Church on the Eastside, deservedly and humbly received this national award. Father Paul is a tremendous servant of God. His pastoral heart, keen mind, and administrative abilities are wonderful gifts that strengthen Holy Spirit Parish and Scecina Memorial High School. As the masters of ceremonies were describing Father Paul, they testified to his collaborative style, vision, and commitment to Catholic education for children of a wide range of backgrounds and talents.

    I felt very grateful to have worked alongside Father in recent years. As Dean of the East Deanery, Father Paul’s role includes being an advisor to the President of this high school—and an important part of my annual goal-setting and performance appraisal process along with the members of our Board of Directors and the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education. If it is good to be in the midst of many smart and dedicated people, then I have no worries!

    The evening was a great reflection of family and community. Father Paul’s sisters, brother, and in-laws were present to support him. Principal Rita Parsons of Holy Spirit Parish (a 1976 Scecina graduate); archdiocesan education leaders Harry Plummer, Gina Fleming, and Rob Rash; and other friends attended the awards program, too.

    When you see Father Paul, give this Distinguished Pastor a pat on the back for being the true servant of God and supporter of Catholic education that he is!