On a picture-perfect fall day, with a beautiful blue sky and radiant sunshine, Bishop Robert Brennan celebrated the Feast of St. Charles on Wednesday (November 4th) in the school’s Robert C. Walter Student Commons. Deacon Marion Smithberger ’72 assisted with three con alumni concelebrants: Diocesan Vice Chancellor, Fr. Michael Hartge ’03 (St. Charles Advisory Board member), Holy Spirit Church pastor, Fr. Bill Arnold ’70 (St. Charles Advisory Board Emeritus member) and Sugar Grove St. Joseph’s pastor, Fr. Jim Walter ’54. Also on hand, following COVID-19 safety measures of physical distancing, wearing masks and limiting attendees, were faculty, staff and members of the senior and junior classes. Sophomores and freshmen watched the live-streamed (YouTube) event on their laptop devices in their learning spaces.
To view a post and more than 50 photos on our Facebook page, please click HERE.
Also invited to attend, though not all could be there, were members of the Cardinal Community who have been very supportive of the school’s current 5-year capital campaign. Following the liturgy, St. Charles Principal James Lower announced a milestone in “The Vision for the Future, Building Leaders for the Next 100 Years” campaign. Thanks to the commitment of 1954 alumnus Frank E. Murphy and his foundation, in addition to the support of many other generous benefactors, the school is officially moving forward with plans add to another impressive and multi-use facility to the campus: the Frank E. Murphy Convocation Center. Plans are for it to be located in the corner area in front of the Natatorium and Gym Lobby entryway.
This octagonal structure will feature a flexible arena that will accommodate numerous athletic events including basketball, volleyball and wrestling. Its upper level will be crowned by a 360-degree indoor running track. In other configurations, the space will be used by the St. Charles and Central Ohio communities, much like the Walter Student Commons has been, to host concerts and other public presentations and events.
Principal Lower also proudly announced the school will also be undertaking another transformative project, the beautification and enhancement of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. This campus landmark was completed in 1931 and stands as a lasting devotion to Mary, whose help along with our patron. St. Charles Borromeo, we call and depend on. The campaign, which was publicly announced in November, 2018, addresses three critical areas: the continued growth of the St. Charles Endowment, building new facilities/spaces hat support students’ life, and improvements and growth to areas on or near the St. Charles campus. To date St. Charles has received more than $15 million in pledges and gifts toward the campaign’s $20 million initial goal.
Following the liturgy, the seniors, juniors and special guests gathered outside together with members of the freshman and junior classes who had come from their learning spaces in the Robotics and Mentoring Center, West Campus’ indoor weight training and fitness facility and learning spaces in the Gymnasium and Campus Theater. The Bishop, standing at the podium in front of the entire student body, offered his blessing, well-wishes and decreed that they would have the rest of the day off after the group sang the St. Charles “Alma Mater.”
But before anyone left, guests gathered in the Campus Theater’s Cavello Center to receive the thanks of Principal Lower once again as well as a served lunch catered by the Susi family and Berwick Manor. The students were not left holding an empty bag…they received a boxed lunch from Berwick (a large Italian sub, a cookie, a bag of chips and bottle of water) from under large tents set up near the Grotto. They then walked over to Walt Plank Field, spilling over into every part of the athletic complex to eat and relax in perfect weather conditions.
We extend our sincere appreciation again to Bishop Brennan, our concelebrants and special guests for sharing their time with us. The school and all its students, faculty and administrators are so grateful for all that they — and so many others — do on our behalf.