November 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 2020 from Chaminade Julienne!

Friends of Chaminade Julienne -- Happy Thanksgiving! To show thanks and appreciation to the CJ community, CJ has prepared a message from Fr. Robert Jones, SM, chaplain, followed by a song from our student liturgical choir. As you listen to it, CJ hopes you are reminded of God’s blessings in your own lives. You can access the message and song by clicking the play button below, or by clicking here.

CJ also encourages families to refer to the Family Prayer Resource, found here, for advice on gathering, opening and meal prayers, an interactive activity and more.

The faculty and staff of Chaminade Julienne wishes you a blessed and restful holiday!

 

-- This story was published on November 26, 2020. 

#becauseofCJ: Samantha Evans '18

Young alumni are sharing how they are succeeding after high school in our #becauseofCJ series. Through your gift to the CJ Annual Fund, you make this happen for all students. As Samantha Evans '18 shares her thoughts and reflections on how the CJ community helped deepen her faith and encouraged her to participate in faith-based groups, please consider joining others today in supporting the mission of CJ — thank you!

"Dear CJ Community,

Thank you! It is after spending time away from CJ, even if only a couple minutes down the street at the University of Dayton, that I have acquired a deeper appreciation for this community. After two years of college, I have realized that there are no classrooms quite like those at CJ, no teachers are the same and no set of classmates. During my time here I was given the opportunity to deepen my faith and participate in smaller faith communities. This was a key experience that helped me to decide to live in an intentional faith community this school year.

Each year during religion class I was put into a sodality. During my sophomore year, I was grouped with several classmates that I came particularly close with. We shared in deep conversation, but also provided comfort to others when needed. My four companions in class pushed me to think about things from a different perspective, which then pushed me to decide what I believed in and how I would live out my faith.

Participating in Marianist LIFE after school was another opportunity that introduced me to others and talk about my faith. I formed strong bonds with the other people from CJ that went on LIFE week the same year that I did. This was one of my first intentional faith communities, because we chose to live our faith together outside of meetings. These people became some of my best friends as we continued to grow closer and share more. I found a support system here that was established upon faith, and I learned that this was something I would continuously need to foster.

Here I am, several years later, in an intentional faith community at UD with six other girls. Throughout this year we will host events for the entire university community to invite others to deepen their faith. We have also set aside time each week to share in prayer, conversation, and food as a community. This is something that I find great value in after my experience of faith communities at CJ. My time at CJ taught me the importance of who to surround myself with and how to find these people.

Another way that CJ has helped me to find my faith and comfort in it was from prayer at the beginning at most, if not all, of my classes during high school. Teachers would take time to pray with us before class. I did not realize how special this way until college when it was missing. Now during my junior year, I have my first class in college in which we have structured prayer every day, something which gives me a sense of comfort in such a chaotic and unfamiliar time.

CJ instilled a deeper appreciation for prayer and structured faith communities in me. Without the CJ community and wholesome experience this year would be very different for me. Even in this unpredictable and ever-changing time I know that I can turn to my faith, something I learned at CJ. Thank you to the faculty and staff and my classmates for helping me to value my faith more and grow in it."

Samantha Evans, Class of 2018
 

 

-- This story was published on November 20, 2020. 

Thanksgiving Day Prayer Resource for the CJ Community

In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, it may be difficult at times to recognize and show thanks for the abundant blessings God has placed in each of our lives. But, after some reflection, they are still as present as ever. For the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the CJ ministry & service staff has created a resource for community members to turn to for prayer, reflection, scripture and an activity to help show thanks to God. 

In this resource, found here, you will find: 

  • advice on gathering and how you can emphasize the presence of God around you
  • an opening prayer
  • a reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
  • some reflection points
  • details for an interactive activity with those you have gathered with
  • a closing prayer and final blessing
  • a meal prayer

Community members are encouraged to modify this resource to suit their needs and wishes, whether they would like to pick and choose certain pieces or utilize the entire resource. Be present, center yourself, and give thanks.

 

--This story was published on November 19, 2020. 

Sodality Groups Provide a Safe, Welcoming Space for CJ Faculty and Staff

Mission-based activities entrenched in the beliefs of CJ’s namesakes, Blessed Rev. William Joseph Chaminade and St. Julie Billiart, are what help unite the CJ community year in and year out. One of these activities encourages faculty and staff to come together in faith-based groups called sodalities to open up about their faith and their love for CJ, along with their struggles and some things they need guidance from peers with.

“Sodalities are among the core components of what makes working in a Catholic school so special,” said Jama Badinghaus, school counselor, City Connects Coordinator, and organizer of faculty and staff sodalities. “There is not only value but priority in stopping the routine to remind ourselves of how we are interconnected, to help us share our joys and struggles, and to deepen our personal faith.”

Sodalities trace back to the late 1700s and early 1800s when Blessed Chaminade fled France for Spain and began preaching to small groups to help reinvigorate the faith after the effects of the French Revolution, eventually establishing the Marianist Order, born from these small group sodalities.

These faith-based, conversation driven groups have centuries old roots and remain incredibly valuable today, especially in times of great turmoil and uncertainty.

“At a time when little seems certain and many challenges can't be solved easily, sodalities have provided a comforting space for faculty and staff to be reminded of the gift of community,” said Badinghaus. “Perhaps not always to fix anything, but to provide a space where listening can offer support, strength, and hope. There is grace in a reminder that while much is different in the ways we interact this year, none of us have to be alone in our efforts to stay focused on our ultimate mission of serving students.”

Serving students is not possible if faculty and staff are not connected and compelled to support each other. With COVID-19 measures in place on top of the typical hustle and bustle of a school year, time for connection with peers can be difficult to come by. CJ leadership made sure to carve out time during the typical workday to allow these sodality groups to gather, discuss, and connect with each other.

“This year, the process of gathering in our sodalities is even more important,” said Kelly Muhl, administrative assistant to the principal. “Allowing us to connect to community members that we do not see face to face within the confines of COVID-19 and our safety measures was of such great comfort to me. I love our community and miss the sharing of day to day with my co-workers.”

Spread out across Roger Glass Stadium, home of the CJ Eagles, and surrounding areas, each sodality enjoyed the fall weather and shared joys, victories, struggles, and takeaways from the school year so far, concluding with prayer.

“Just being able to hear that you are not alone in your struggles day to day, or in finding faith in the process or journey, hearing what has worked and what hasn't was so very helpful to me, personally,” said Muhl. “The time to reflect and pray together was of great comfort!”

 

 

--This story was published on November 17, 2020. 

A Story of Sacrifice and Remembrance - John McKeon '63, U.S. Army

While young people today plan their life after college — an exciting career, an advanced degree, or maybe travel, John McKeon ‘63, like many young adults at the time, received his fate in the mailbox.

“Kathy and I graduated from the University of Dayton, married two weeks later on August 17, 1968. When we returned from our honeymoon, I received notice to report for a physical. Translated, this pretty much meant ‘get ready to go’ — you will be serving.” John and Kathy started their married life apart as John soon entered the military.

John was employed at Data Corporation working on priority contracts for the government. His company pushed hard to keep him. His job deferment was denied and in January 1969, he became part of a new family — the U.S. Army.

“I had a great job, a wife, a great life. It was heaven on earth. That all changed when I joined the Army. My dad served in WWII and I was almost a year old before my father saw me. I knew the sacrifices an entire family endures when someone leaves to serve in the military.”

John began his basic training in Ft. Jackson, SC, taking one day at a time until getting his permanent assignment. He vividly recalls the words of his senior Drill Sergeant Nine, “Gentleman, Private McKeon is going to Vietnam.”

“I traveled from Ft. Lewis to McChord AFB to Anchorage, to Yakota AFB Japan, to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam to my final destination, Long Binh, Vietnam. Oh my God, what a different world, what a different place. And everything that went with it. My tour lasted a year.”

“I was a lot safer than a lot of the guys over there, but there were times when there were rounds going over the top — our rounds going out, their rounds coming in. You could hear them whistle and we were praying that one wouldn’t come straight at us. When things were going on, I’d hunker down in a bunker. I wanted to live.”

John made it through his tour of duty, but there were no parades or celebrations when he came home. “We were told, when you get to wherever you are going, get out of those uniforms — it is not safe on the streets.” 

His family planned a small welcome home event, and that was enough for him. He knows that he was one of the fortunate ones. “I made it home, but Bill didn’t.”

John is still visibly shaken when he speaks of his good buddy, William Kerry Taylor ‘64. They became good friends at UD. After school, they went their separate ways. Bill got his Master’s degree and then put in his active duty.

“Bill went through advanced ROTC and may have graduated first in his class. He had everything going for him — he was so smart, he was the best husband, the best dad,” said McKeon.

On June 5, 1971. Bill was on patrol when he was killed by a sniper in the Thua Thein province of South Vietnam, and was awarded the Purple Heart.

John has a poster hanging in his garage that he looks at every day.

“It reminds me of the many great guys we lost. We cannot forget the sacrifices made by so many people,” he said. “I made it home, to cherish each day, hug my wife and count my blessings.”

 

-- This story was published on Nov. 12, 2020.

A Speech Born on September 11, 2001 — and Still Being Written

By Captain Eric Etter ‘03, U.S. Army as presented on Veterans Day 2016 at a Town Hall in Longmeadow, MA. Etter is in his tenth year of active duty and is currently assigned as an assistant professor of Military Science at the University of Massachusetts for the ROTC Program.

In many ways the story of my service is still being written. Written by the everyday classes I teach, the time I take to train the next generation of soldiers and leaders, and in the sharing of my experiences with them. When I think of my service over the years, I think simply of my uniform.

My service officially began ten years ago, but perhaps I was always meant to be in the military. I have worn a uniform my entire life: grade school, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, private high school, and College ROTC. I’m pretty sure my first day out of the service, I won’t know how to dress myself. I grew up in a Midwestern town in Ohio, my dad a police officer and my mom a nurse. One grandfather at Pearl Harbor and the Battle for the Pacific and the other at Normandy and Bastogne. I had never thought to enter the service, but it seems fate intervened on the first day of my adult life when I attended freshmen orientation in college — because you see events started at 0830, 11 September 2001.

No less than 25 minutes into what I thought would be just another event in my life, school was canceled for the day and I returned to my room in time to see the second plane hit and the towers fall. Whether it was naiveté or youth, my mind didn’t fully comprehend what was happening at the time. Only that a landmark I had visited on a family vacation less than four years prior had gone and a lot of people had died. I didn’t know that two of my three roommates were already enrolled in ROTC, we never got to the icebreakers.

Over the next two years, I watched as shock and fear turned to sadness and anger, and sadness and anger turn into national fervor and steely resolve. To this day, I don’t know if I was compelled to the service or bored with my engineering classes, but I spent the summer of 2004 with eight drill sergeants and 200 of my closest friends, in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

There is a difference in putting on this uniform and all of the others that I have worn throughout my life. It feels like I become something more. Not more of what I am, but rather more than myself. We veterans here today are a testament to this, as we few represent the countless that have served or are serving; known not by our deeds, but rather by the single article of clothing put on every morning.

I put my uniform on every day. And I smile at my family as I leave, on the rare occasion they are up by then, because I know that the time I sacrifice being without them is for them. In Iraq, I put my armor on every day. And I laughed with my brothers and sisters because I knew that every step into danger I took was one they wouldn’t have to take for me. I put my uniform on this morning so that every word I speak, though just one man’s story, my story, can somehow share part of the collective narrative that is service.

But not everybody can serve, for one reason or another. Perhaps, not everybody should serve. Again, for various reasons. If everybody served, for whom would we be serving? I serve for those who cannot as well as those who will not.

I appreciate that there are those out there that will never fully understand the fullness and depth of what we do. Just as I could not possibly fully appreciate the many aspects that enrich their lives. It is a small hope that they will never come face to face with the horror that man can cause, just as it is a prayer that man one day comes face to face with the wonders life has to offer.

It is somewhat unfortunate today, as is evident by the generations represented speaking alongside myself, that war and armed conflict continue. They have given their service. It is a shroud, or maybe a veil of safety they provided, that allows innocence to last, just a little longer. So, “I must study war so that my sons may study philosophy.” (-John Adams). So, we put on our uniforms and render our service.

For a list of CJ military veterans, click here

 

--This story was published on November 11, 2020.

CJ Performing Arts Presents: A Night of (Virtual) One Acts - Saturday, Nov. 7

Streaming the CJ stage to your living room! Make sure to tune in on Saturday, Nov. 7, as the CJ performing arts department showcases the work of about 50 in-person and distance learning students. All eight one acts, directed by students and staff, were filmed across CJ's campus, both on stage and outside, featuring a blend of in-person and virtual actors. 

For an inside look at the production and planning that went into these virtual one acts, read the full story here. Help CJ spread the word by posting our promotional graphic here on your social media channels!

A Night of (Virtual) One Acts will be available to stream for free via Broadway on Demand for a 24-hour period beginning Saturday, Nov. 7, at 12:00 a.m. midnight until 11:59 p.m. that evening. The innovative performance will not be widely available after that 24-hour period, so mark your calendars and don't miss your chance to watch CJ's incredible students and staff in action! You can access the stream during the alotted timeframe here