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Everything listed under: Father Thomas Scecina

  • 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

  • Happy birthday, Father Thomas Scecina


    We love birthdays. Interestingly, tomorrow is Father Tom’s birthday. Yes, Father Thomas Scecina was born on September 16, 1910. In only 34 short years before his untimely death in October 1944 in service to God and country, he welcomed people and transformed the world (words in our school vision statement).

    As our Church teaches in its official documents, a truly Catholic school has certain hallmarks. One, it fosters true belief in its students and community that people have an eternal destiny—life with God forever. A truly Catholic school believes and teaches that Jesus is the model person. A truly Catholic school is marked by teamwork, cooperation, and respect. Finally, a truly Catholic school lives the Gospel on top of knowing its stories and lessons.

     How fortunate we are to have Father Thomas Scecina as our namesake and an inspiration. He lived as a truly Catholic school would inspire him to live—and to die.

    It is nearly unfathomable to me to envision dying a sure and certain death over a few hours while freely and consciously responding to the most intense needs and hopes of people in my midst. Yet that is what Father Tom did on the last day of his life. As a result, thousands of people worldwide and across many generations are inspired by him.

    This evening and Saturday, the first graduating class of Scecina, the Class of 1957, will celebrate their 60th year reunion. More than half the living class members will attend. Their reunion coinciding with Father Tom’s birthday is a beautiful combination, for they with him forged the trail that we are now walking.

    Today or this weekend, lending a helping hand or performing an act of kindness in our homes or communities would be a wonderful birthday present to Father Tom. Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Thank you, Father Tom, for being the great gift to us that you are every day of the year.

    Go Crusaders!

    Joe Therber

  • Special Scecina events for living the spirit of Christmas


    As we move through the season of Advent, it’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed with all of the shopping, baking, traveling, traffic, and everything that goes into planning for a 21st-century Christmas. Thank goodness Advent offers a chance to take some time to be peaceful and to reflect on the great joy to come, the birth of Jesus. 

    One way you can live the Christmas spirit is to attend Scecina’s annual Christmas Concert at 3 p.m. this Sunday in the gymnasium. Music director Donnie Glowinski and our student choirs, band and orchestra have been preparing a selection of songs that reflect “the true meaning of Christmas.” I hope you and your families can take this opportunity to stop, listen and enjoy the sounds of the season presented by our talented students. More than a third of our students are involved with the concert. And it’s free, which surely is a nice break for our wallets right now. A reception will follow the concert.  

    We are preparing for another special event this month. At 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Monsignor Paul Koetter will lead the dedication and blessing of the new library, the Father Thomas Scecina Display (below) and the Sisters of Saint Francis, Oldenburg, Wall. These newly transformed spaces have been, and will continue to be, inspiring to students, staff and the community. You are invited to join us for the dedication and the reception of appetizers and drinks. This will be a time to reflect on the blessings we’ve received at Scecina that have allowed us to make these improvements. It’s Christmas a gift for all of us. To RSVP, click here.

    Scecina’s students and staff also are busy preparing for semester exams and projects. Let’s remember them with prayers for serenity during what can be a stressful time. 

    As you make your own preparations for the coming of Jesus, I wish you peace and joy. 

    Joe Therber

  • Giving thanks always for our blessings

    Scecina's library was renovated over the summer and opened for students and others in October. 

    Happy Thanksgiving! 

    Thanksgiving has been an official American holiday since 1863. It was in the midst of a bitter civil war that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" and designated the last Thursday of November for this new national holiday. 

    Of course, faithful people of God always have been offering up thanks to Him. 

    “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love endures forever,” says Psalms 118:1. 

    German theologian Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” 

    I can’t add much more to these wise words. I would like, though, to name a few things for which I’m grateful: 

    • The youthful energy and spirit of Scecina’s students. 
    • The commitment and dedication of Scecina’s staff. 
    • The support of our community of parents, grandparents, alumni, friends and neighbors. 
    • The vision and hard work of everyone who made our new library a reality. 
    • The sacrifices of Father Thomas Scecina and all military veterans who protect our freedoms.

    I am looking forward to a day with my family and time to remember our many blessings. I hope this shared day of Thanksgiving brings a spirit of unity for our nation. I wish you a joyful day with your own families and friends. 

    Thank you, 

    Joe Therber

  • March for Life trip takes a detour


    This week we pray for a safe return home for our 24 students and the faculty chaperones who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life. Due to a forecasted snowstorm, the chaperones decided for the students’ safety that Scecina’s Crusaders for Life should leave Washington before the march. I want to thank our staff who organized the trip: Director of Campus Ministry Maria Siap, Catholic theology teacher Kara McCarthy, Principal John Hegarty and English teacher Rachel Shaffer.

    Thanks also to those of you who participated last month in Scecina’s successful Trivia Night, organized by Miss McCarthy. This fun event raised funds for the trip.

    Although the weather wreaked havoc, this year’s trip still was a great educational experience for our students. They left school Wednesday morning and on Thursday toured Philadelphia, a key city in the nation’s founding, where they visited Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the National Constitution Center. They visited the monuments in Washington, D.C., and Arlington Cemetery, where they saw the plaque bearing Father Thomas Scecina's name at Chaplains Hill.

    Scecina’s Crusaders for Life club also is active throughout the year with activities designed to introduce, engage and educate them about the issues about the sanctity of life within the context of Catholic Church teachings. In September, they attended the 33rd Celebrate Life dinner in Downtown Indianapolis as guests of John ’61 and Marilyn Schneider.

    The students will have good memories of this year’s March for Life trip, made even more memorable by the threat of a giant snowstorm! We look forward to having them back safe and sound.

    God bless,

    Joe Therber