21 Feb 2018
New Orleans: Wanderings Through Events at Archbishop Shaw High School
by Bro. Jerry Meegan, SDB
The first two months of 2018 have been very exciting and active days for the Archbishop Shaw school community.
COR 24, January 12-14
On January 12 at 7:00 p.m. the 48 participants of the 24th COR retreat arrived at Archbishop Shaw High School to begin the weekend-long experience. The retreat is based on a family structure led by a mom and dad. On this retreat the mom and dad were Janet and Lonnie Taix, who were instrumental in resurrecting the COR retreats after a 16-year hiatus. They were assisted by other adults who were co-moms and co-dads, and aunts. Former COR participants were invited back as young team, and they became the big brothers and sisters on the retreat. The big brothers and sisters were also involved in giving the witness talks over the weekend. It should be noted that the majority of the adults participating on the COR retreat on the up-front team or the back-up team were almost all COR alumni from their high school days.
The library was transformed into the “family room,” where the main COR talks and discussions took place. After each major talk, the group divided into smaller discussion groups according to the coded letter found on their name tag. Large-group discussions followed.
An essential component of the COR retreat was the backup team. Invisible to the participants, they reset the family room, provided snacks, and prepared the cafeteria meals without the participants’ knowing who they were until the last evening of the retreat. A member of the backup team kept a vigil in the school chapel during the entire retreat.
On Saturday morning the group was surprised with a “good morning” greeting by Skype from Bro. John Langan and Bro. Lenny Carlino from Jerusalem. On Sunday morning there was a “good morning” by Skype from Fr. Michael Eguino from Tampa. Bro. Lenny and Fr. Michael were very instrumental in working with Mr. and Mrs. Taix in restarting the COR retreat last school year.
On Saturday morning each participant received a COR cross as a reminder of this special weekend.
New Athletic Facility
After some delays in getting complete permits from the Jefferson Parish Building Commission, work on Shaw’s new 2,000-seat stadium has been moving forward. The ground was been dug up, and in the words of one Shaw alumnus, “It’s the prettiest mound of dirt I‘ve seen.” This comment comes after years of talk about building a stadium on the school’s campus.
The New Orleans Archdiocese gave final approval for the building of the stadium on three conditions: (1) the archdiocese would be putting no money into the project; (2) ASHS would be putting no money into the project; and (3) the new facility would be open as a venue to all of the Catholic schools on the West Bank. The project is being developed over eight stages through an L3C committee of investors of alumni and prominent friends of ASHS. The contract for the organization, composition, and structure of the L3C committee was approved by the archdiocesan lawyers. The first stage of the project, stadium seating, is supposed to be completed the beginning of March. Concurrently, the second stage is the reseeding of grass on playing field and redoing the track around the field. The third stage is placement of lights for night games in time for the opening of football season in early August.
Catholic Schools Week and Eaglemania Week: January 29-February 2
This special week started on Monday, January 29, with an anticipated solemnity of St. John Bosco celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. This is our annual bi-school Mass with students of the Academy of Our Lady joining the ASHS community. Concelebrants with the archbishop were Fr. Louis Molinelli, Fr. Larry Urban, Fr. George Hanna, Fr. Tom McGahee, and Fr. Frank Carabello. Deacon Kevin
Steele, ’81, ministered as deacon and MC for the archbishop. The choir was the combined choirs of ASHS and AOL. Special guests were the archdiocesan superintendent of schools, Dr. ReaNell Nelson, and the assistant superintendent for high schools, Martha Mundine, Salesian Cooperators from the Salesian parishes of St. John Bosco and St. Rosalie, and parent association members.
In his homily the archbishop stressed the work and motivation of St. John Bosco in encouraging all youths to work hard under the guidance of the Salesian Family to reach their best potential as members of the young Church and as good citizens and excellent students. The Mass was followed by a reception for the archbishop and the invited guests in the Salesian residence.
The students of both schools changed into their casual clothes, had lunch, and gathered in the Shaw gym for the opening activities of the annual Battle of the Birds (Shaw Eagles vs. AOL Penguins). The events moved to outdoor game challenges and concluded back in the gym for some final events while the judges tallied the various event scores. ASHS won four of the individual class trophies and the large school trophy for the second consecutive year.
For ASHS the spirit week continued with various competitions every day during the lunch break for spirit points. On Friday the school gathered in the gym for the class challenges. Each class had its own theme and dressed in costumes according to that theme. At the end of the rally, the senior class had the most points and won the Spirit Stick for the year.
The archdiocese’s annual Catholic Schools Week Mass was celebrated on Friday, February 2, by Archbishop Aymond. This year the celebration was held at Divine Mercy Church in Kenner. ASHS was represented by five students: Seniors Cade Abercrombie, Jacob LaBove, and Davin Ortego and Juniors Patrick Leonard III and Danny Nguyen. Leonard and Nguyen were chosen to be in the offertory procession during the Mass. The students were chaperoned by Bro. Jerry Meegan and Matthew Ducote.