Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Letters to Haiti

In addition to other efforts to send relief and support to those affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, students in several Catholic Memorial English classes have been writing open letters of support to the people of Haiti.

More results of this project, which began in Mrs. Eberly's eighth grade Language Arts classes and spread to include high school classes as well, will be published here in the coming days. Here are a few of the first "Letters to Haiti."

Dear people of Haiti, 

I heard about your devastating earthquake on the news. It made me feel sad because it was a huge earthquake that broke everything. It even broke jails so criminals could get out. Then what really shocked me was another earthquake with a magnitude of 6. It wasn’t as bad as the first but it still did a lot of damage. 

Some information did shock me when the week went on because I saw this lady who lost her leg, but she didn’t care about that, she cared about her survival. Some images inspired me, I saw people getting saved under a lot of buildings and I saw worried photos of little boys and girls who could not survive this devastating earthquake. 

My hopes for Haiti are a lot of things in the near future. I hope that the USA will be able to rebuild this destruction and that Haiti will rebuild…and that the survivors will get shelter, food and care. I hope Haiti will get stronger soon. 


Jonathan Blouin '14


Dear People of Haiti,

I remember the day that I first saw the horrifying videos and pictures of the aftermath of the earthquake. It was the morning after the quake and I was curious as to why my mom was paying such close attention to the TV. It was at this time that I realized the magnitude of the quake and how serious it really is.

When I looked at the newspaper, the front page had a picture of the damage. It was later this same day that I saw a short video of the people in Haiti. It consisted of pictures of the damage, all of the people left homeless, and a young man trapped in a pile of rubble with his arm hanging out of the side signaling for help. This made me feel as though we take for granted how safe and grateful we should be here in America.

I hope that everyone in the world can do as much as possible to help the people of Haiti. Every single contribution, no matter how big or small will help them. The people of Haiti will be especially grateful because they have lost everything, and they did not have much to begin with...


Zack Stueve '14


Dear People of Haiti,

When I first heard of the earthquake and how bad it was, I thought the people who told me were exaggerating. But then I saw pictures of the country. I saw children crying, wounded trapped under buildings, and thousands of dead. When I saw this, I was at home watching TV. I felt selfish and snotty because of the things I had. But the pictures also inspired me to want to help.

Each night I pray for the people of Haiti. I hope that the world will immediately respond and help. You did not deserve what was done to you and your country.


Angelo Conti '15


Dear People of Haiti, 

I was very sad to hear of the terrible earthquake which struck your country last week...I want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying that you will be able to carry on day by day. It is so sad that you have lost so much.

The worldwide community knows you are suffering and hears your pleas for help. Millions of dollars have been raised and countries throughout the world are coming to your aid. Your life will never be the same but I believe with the help of the world you will be able to first have your basic needs met: food, water, shelter and medical care...

You will not be forgotten. Here in West Roxbury, we are praying for you and hope you find strength knowing you are not alone – the world will help you begin again. 


Michael Keane '14


Dear People of Haiti,

I first heard of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake a few weeks ago while I was eating my breakfast at 6:00 in the morning. When I came into school that day everyone was talking about this tragic event.

Over the week I heard many awe-inspiring stories of people being able to survive for days under the rubble of the destroyed buildings. On the news channels on the television every day there was a new shocking story of lives being saved.

In my school we are raising money to help rebuild the tragedy struck city of Port-Au-Prince. Everyone in America is surely praying for you, people of Haiti, that you will be able to rebuild from this disaster.

Sincerely yours,

Kevin O'Toole '15


To the People of Haiti,

My heart goes out to you and your suffering. Your country has had suffering and troubles that we here in America can only face in our worst nightmares. Though we too have had disasters, we have had nothing as unexpected as what happened to you.

When I heard about the earthquake and the amount of people that had lost their lives, I was filled with shock at the result…I am quite glad to hear that all these countries, even from far away, are sending aid to this one country.

This event may be filled with suffering, but it is an example of how the human spirit, and its will, continues. In my perspective, this one event will unite the world for one purpose.


Kyle MacNeil ‘10


Dear People of Haiti,

The first time I heard about the earthquake was when I came home from school. When I heard about the damage and people I realized how many people were either killed or trapped. I saw pictures of the earthquake and I saw all of the people that were affected by the earthquake. I also saw how many people persevered to help others. Then I saw how strong your country is, even when you have lost people. My hope for your country is that other nations like the U.S. help rebuild and supply you with water, food, shelter and medicine. Every day at school, we are praying for you, your country, and those who have lost loved ones.


Bryan Sweeney '15


Dear Haiti,

It is a terrible thing that has happened to you. 

It is strange to think that such a thing could happen so close to my home. My apologies, though, do not do much for your people. I intend to do my part to support the problems there. I hear what is going on down there and I wish there was more I could do. I wish I could supply the natural resources that you're lacking. I wish I could supply the leadership that you are lacking. To put it simply, I wish there was more I could do.

I do plan on joining my school in their efforts for relief. We are doing our best and giving what we can to help support your people. We hope for the best in the future for the people of Haiti that their nation may turn in the right direction.


Brad Jones '10


To the People of Haiti,

The earthquake that has struck your nation has caught every single country's attention in sending aid and resources for reconstruction. However, the earthquake has done more than to show how each nation is gives a glimpse into a world of poverty and disease that went unnoticed for too long.

CNN has depicted scenes that will stay fresh in my mind for a lifetime. People rising out of the rubble badly injured, holding their children in their hands and crying out loud, haunts me. Images where people hurt each other for food, water and thousands of corpses left on the streets raises more problems.

Haiti is ravaged by illnesses and poor economic development...the question that should be in everyone's mind is why didn't we send aid years before this incident took place? By beginning with Haiti, new steps to end world poverty and disease can be increased. Haiti can present us with a single solution for a world problem.


Ben Alves '10


Dear People of Haiti,

When I first heard about the earthquake, I felt worried for all of you. Also, I thought of the worst thing that happened to me, and it doesn't seem to be anywhere near as bad as what you are going through. When I saw the news, I thought of all the people who lost somebody and prayed for them. The images scared me and made me worry more about you and the rest of the people in Haiti. I really hope that Haiti gets through all this. We are sending money and supplies to help you. We will continue to try as hard as we can to help you recover from this terrible disaster.

Sincerely yours,

Patrick Wall '15

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chamber Ensemble, eighth grade perform at Faneuil Hall

"O beautiful for spacious skies." As the eighth grade class sang those words on Thursday afternoon, and they echoed against the halls of the most historic hall in the country, they became the first words that two hundred and fifty immigrants to the United States heard as newly naturalized U.S. citizens.

Above: the Chamber Ensemble performs, while the eighth grade prepares to sing.

As part of the Catholic Memorial Middle School Program's interdisciplinary unit on immigration and citizenship, the eighth grade class and its teachers spent their second day this term outside of the classroom on January 21, visiting two historic sites important to U.S. immigration and citizenship throughout the city. In December, the Middle School Program visited the Museum of Science for an Omni Theater presentation of "Great Journey West" and to the Prudential Center's top-floor exhibition of immigration history in Boston.

On Thursday morning, students visits the famous "Golden Steps" in East Boston, arrival site of thousands of Italian, Irish and Jewish immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s. Second only to Ellis Island in terms of the number of entering immigrants, the Golden Steps are an important landmark in the history of new Americans seeking the dream.

From seeing one of the points of entry for America's first major wave of immigration, students then traveled to Faneuil Hall, where they witnessed the oath of allegiance of two hundred and fifty of America's newest citizens.

Along with the CM Chamber Ensemble which played the Star Spangled Banner, the eighth grade sang "God Bless America," as representatives of the U.S. District Court, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Immigration and Naturalization Services looked on. Mr. Denis Riordan P'14, the District Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, arranged for the students to come on Thursday. Judge Rya Zobel, who swore in the newest citizens, praised the students' efforts and musical talents.

Middle School Program theology and geography teacher Mark Smith '85 testified that the students got a lot out of the day. "Watching these people who are looking for new opportunities to come intro our country and experience freedom and's an exciting day," said Smith.

Jacob Graham '14 agreed. "It was good to see everybody so happy after they came into this country."

"My favorite part was seeing so many different countries [represented] and everyone becoming a U.S. citizen," added Andrew Kang '14.

Plans are underway for a seventh grade field trip to the March naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall as well.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Speech and Debate Team wins New York City tournament

CM's Speech and Debate team took home the 2010 Team Championship trophy from the Fr. Gerald Rippon Memorial Tournament held at Regis High School in New York City on January 16.

Individual winners that contributed to the team championship were:

Marcus Jackson - 1st Place (Declamation)
Laroy Streat - 2nd Place (Oral Interpretation)
Ethan Madden & Patrick Simas - 2nd Place (Duo Interpretation)
Kevin Donnelly - 2nd Place (Declamation)
Jhovani Vonleh - 3rd Place (Declamation)
Chris Masterson - 4th Place (Original Oratory)
Kevin Verity - 5th Place (Original Oratory)
Joe Botsch - 5th Place (Congress)
Andrew Fanikos - 5th Place (Extemp)
George Evangjeli - Finalist
Joseph Sweeney - Finalist (Congress)
Andrew Rogantino - Finalist (Declamation)
Mark Woodall - Honorable Mention (JV Oral Interp)

"All of our competitors represented CM well this weekend," said head coach Rob Croteau. "Their hard work and dedication to this program was evident as we captured our second championship there in three years. From skating at Rockefeller Center to enjoying each other's company to getting up early to prepare for this event--everything contributed to our ability to shine this weekend."

The Forensics team captured its first team championship of the year at the Lincoln Sudbury Showdown on December 5. Two weeks prior, the team had come in 6th place out of over 60 teams in the prestigious Villiger tournament at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish visits CM

Last month, nearly a hundred poets, storytellers and essayists vied for $500 in cash and prizes and for the pride of being celebrated as CM’s best writers in the annual Catholic Memorial “Picturing America” Writing Contest.

On January 20, the judges—bestselling novelist William Martin ‘67, former Boston Globe columnist Charles Kenney ’68 and Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish—revealed the winners at a ceremony in the CM Board Room.

Above: Poet Laureate Sam Cornish addresses the winners.
Click here to watch a video of the winners reading their work.

The winners: Eric Butts ’10 (1st place, poetry), Conor Leahy ’12 (2nd place, poetry), Ian Reeb ’10 (honorable mention, poetry), Ryan Hubbard ’12 (honorable mention, poetry); Dan Haley ’10 (1st place, non-fiction), Seungjae Lee ’12 (2nd place, non-fiction), Brendan MacNabb ’10 (honorable mention, non-fiction); Jon Lott ’10 (1st place, fiction), Ethan Madden ’11 (2nd place, fiction), and Sean Sweeney ’11 (honorable mention, fiction).

The winners read from their works, which were all inspired by one of two pieces of art installed at the school as part of the “Picturing America” series of art prints, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish emceed the awards ceremony. “You read so much, and sometimes your eyes can’t take anymore,” he said of judging poetry. “But then I opened up this pack, and there you were—it was a joy. It was a pleasure to read them. It was more difficult, however, to decide.”

“Sometimes, something just jumps right out and grabs you,” Cornish told the students, parents and faculty assembled, “as if the heart and the truth of the moment has found its way to the pen, to the keyboard and is on the page. And that’s what I experienced here.”

According to librarian Mrs. Magyar, who founded the contest last year, this year’s winners had some things in common. “Two characteristics—empathy and honest—came through in all these winning entries,” said Ms. Magyar. “These are qualities that all good writers share.”

City Councilor John Tobin ’87 addressed and congratulated the students as well. Tobin’s recalled to everyone the difficulties in installing the post of Poet Laureate and getting Mr. Cornish’s appointment passed. “Everyone thought it was crazy at the time,” said Tobin, “but I’ve had so many parents in the city thank me, because that is one of the ways many of their children express themselves.”

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Sports Updates

Varsity wrestling defeated Walpole (36-33) but fell to Central Catholic in the Commonwealth Cup on 1/2. Varsity basketball opens Catholic Conference play this Friday (1/8) at Xaverian at 7pm. Varsity swimming visits East Boston Tuesday at 4pm.


Varsity Track: 1/2/10
Donovan Henry '12 broke a meet record in the 300-meter dash at the Auerbach Inivtational Meet, earning first place by 1/100th of a second. Henry, who also came in 2nd place in the long jump event, earned the Outstanding Overall Performer of the Meet award.

JV Hockey:
1/2/10 Coyle Cassidy High School Away W 4-1
Goalie Marty Josephs '11 had an outstanding night in the net stopping 14 shots. Brian Picarello '11 lit the green light twice and Kevin McCarthy '11 scored once and earned an assist. The highlight of the game was an unselfish pass by Ryan Curley '11 as he froze the CC goalie and laid a pass to Picarello for the goal.

JV Hockey:
1/1/10 Needham High School (West Roxbury) Home W 7-1
Goalies Marty Josephs '11 and Jake Uminski '11 shut down Needham. Defensman Christian Durham '11 assisted on two goals. John Mildner '11 led the offense with two goals and an assist. Kevin McCarthy '11 also netted a goal and an assist. Joe Barton '12 posted his second goal of the season.

Freshman Hockey: 12/31/09 *Malden Catholic High School (at Boston University) Home W 7-1

The Knights scored on their first two shots and never looked back. Tom Barrett and Jack O'Hear each had two goals and two assists. Michael Cusato and Connor Meagher each had a goal and an assist. Dylan Ryan scored his first of the season with an assist to Billy Campbell (his first point of the season). Sean Donovan played the first two periods and only gave up one goal. Justin Devieux made his season debut and played a clean third period.

JV Hockey: 12/31/09 *B.C. High (West Roxbury) Home T 2-2
A strong CM defense lead by Goalie Jake Uminski '11 (18 saves) and defensmen Pat Carney '11, Christian Durham '11, Leo Stapleton '11 and John Delano '12 were able to hold off BC High by blocking 7 out of 28 shots on net. Scoring for CM: Tom Stanton '12 and Ryan Curley '11.

Freshman Hockey: 12/30/09 *Xaverian Brothers High School Away L 2-1
The Hawks were up 1-0 going into the 3rd period when Jack O'Hear tied the score from Tom Barrett and Justin Ryder. Xaverian won the game with about 1:30 left on a breakaway goal. Sean Donovan was in the CM net.

JV Hockey: 12/28/09 Hingham High School Away W 6-5
Trailing 4-1 after 20 minutes of play, the Knights never quit and fought back to win. Goals by John Harrison '12, Sean Vitello '11, Brian Picarello '11, Tom Stanton '12, Nick Barker '12 and the second game-winner of the season for Ryan Curley '12. Goalie Marty Josephs '11 stopped 22 shots.

Freshman Hockey:
12/28/09 *St. John's Prep School (at West Roxbury) Home L 3-1
St. John's held a 1-0 lead after 1 period of play. The Knights tied it up on a goal by Michael Cusato from J.J. Barrett early in the second frame. However, the Prep put two past Sean Donovan, who played well in his second game in the CM net, before the period was over. A scoreless third then followed to leave the final score 3-1.

JV Hockey
: 12/26/09 *Xaverian Brothers High School Away L 2-1
CM battled for three full periods taking 33 shots on the Hawks but came up short with only one goal by John Mildner '11 assisted by Tom Stanton '12 and Nick Barker '11. CM netminder Shane Starrett '13 stopped 23 shots.

Freshman Hockey 12/23/09 *B.C. High (at West Roxbury) Home T 3-3
The Knights were up 3-1 after 2 periods on goals by Tom Barrett (2) and Jack O'Hear, But the Eagles got two early in the third frame to even the score. Sean Donovan started his first game of the year in the CM net and played a strong game.

Varsity Hockey: 12/23/09 Saint Sebastians Country Day Sch (Kevin Mutch Cup) Away L 4-2
T.J. O'Brien '10 and Troy Starrett '10 scored for CM, with an assist by Derek Colucci '10 on both goals. Tommy Knox '11 had 21 saves.

Read more on the Winter Sports Feed.

Click here for the Athletics Calendar.