Yesterday was a long day, and the second part of the day involved attending the All Prep Reunion at Saint Vincent Archabbey for the Saint Vincent Preparatory School which I attended from 1961 - 1965. This was our 48th year. Saint Vincent Prep had been in existence from about 1847 through 1971, and lives on in the memory of the very loyal alumni.
There were activities on campus Friday evening which I could not attend, and throughout the day on Saturday. I made it for the Reunion Eucharist in the Basilica Crypt at 4:30 celebrated by the Archabbot. I concelebrated along with three Benedictines and two deacons, one of whom is also from my class of 1965 - Deacon Bill Hisker of our Diocese. Bill is a long time member of the College faculty as well.
Following Mass were refreshments and a social time before a sit down dinner and presentation of awards. We had quite a few of the class of '65 in attendance (we were the first class of all priesthood students - for the Benedictine Scholasticate and the Diocesan Seminary program). Prior to that the Prep was a prep school for regular students. Seated at our table beside myself was Deacon Bill Hisker and his wife, Matt Kristofik and his wife who have attended many of these gatherings, Rick Pedzwater from York, PA, who I saw a few years back and who has become a reader of this blog (thanks Rick), and John Grundy, with his wife Barb, whom I just met. I have not seen John in 48 years. They live in Minnesota (I think - somewhere cold and snowy). We talked, remembered, shared stories and had a great time. It is great how easily friendships rekindle, and it was especially great to see John and Rick. The only depressing thing that I brought from this wonderful evening was the fact that, except for Bill who still teaches, everyone else is retired. It does not seem fair! We are going to make a concerted effort to get more guys committed to our 50th in two years.
In case you went to a "normal sized" high school ... we had thirty three in our graduating class. Talk about intimate class size. A number of the men have gone home to the Lord. Even though we were seminary students of high school age, there are two Benedictines (Fathers Rene and Thaddeus) and myself ordained as priests, and Dr. Bill Hisker ordained as a deacon. The others went on to families and careers which brought them happiness and great accomplishments.
I acknowledge the great job that the Benedictine monks and our lay faculty did to provide us with an outstanding groundwork for our future endeavors. And I also thank the Saint Vincent Community for their loyalty and support of the alumni of Prep, College and Seminary.