This past November, I had the privilege of welcoming groups from two of our regional Holy Cross high schools to King’s College. Students and administrators for Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Connecticut, and Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, came to visit King’s to see the campus, meet some of the students, and imagine themselves as future Monarchs.
When the groups from Notre Dame and Holy Cross arrived at King’s, we had them start in a different spot than our other high school tour groups; we started in the sanctuary of our Chapel of Christ the King. The high school students were gracious and reverent starting in this spot and, when asked what they noticed, many pointed to the images of Fr. Moreau, Br. André, or the “O Crux Ave, Spes Unica,” inscribed on the apsidal arch. One student pointed to the cross and anchors carved into the Coal Altar and remarked that it was similar but different to the cross and anchors that he had become familiar with at his high school.
I could not have scripted a better response — “similar but different” — to open the visit. The student visiting King’s from a Holy Cross high school had pointed out a visual reminder of our family resemblance. For all students who come from our Holy Cross high schools and parishes and for those who experience our exchange programs between King’s and our other C.S.C. higher educational Institutions, we hope that they will be able to name the family resemblance among them. They are similar, we hope, in many and important ways, but also different.
As part of the visit, we had the high school visitors talk with a panel of some of their schools’ alumni who were current students at King’s and current King’s C.S.C.’s who had served at their respective high schools. Our King’s students, Br. John Paige, C.S.C., and Br. Stephen Lamendola, C.S.C., named several things that were the same between their high schools and their experience at King’s College. Chief among them was the strong sense of community and family. Students, faculty, and staff at both institutions were invested in the personal success of each and every member of the community. Whether through office hours, a chance occurrence, or personal investment in each other’s lives, the community was strong and hopeful.
Our students also emphasized the communal care for the “heart and soul” of the entire community. One of our panelists spoke about his experience in the theater program. Another mentioned their mentorship on the lacrosse team, and another spoke to the significance of the Knights of Columbus and residential life in his experience. Every student mentioned how these encounters encouraged and strengthened their experience in the classroom. As a Campus Minister and Holy Cross religious, I couldn’t have been more excited about what they shared.
Education of the heart and mind is the family business of Holy Cross. I hope that any person from our parishes, grade schools, or high schools who visits King’s College or any of our other higher educational institutions will be able to notice and name the family resemblance!
Published on December 13, 2023