The SEPTEMBER Prep Pulse
A month ago, I took vows to be a Jesuit for the rest of my life: to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience in service to God’s people and for His greater glory. Looking back at the two years of novitiate, I am in awe of its wisdom. For it was geared toward one thing: letting go.
From the beginning, I had to let go of returning to Omaha. Having to leave for novitiate in St. Paul, Minnesota was the beginning of a lifetime of letting go of control over where I live. Then there was pilgrimage, in which I had to let go of the comfort and security of knowing where my next meal was going to come from and where I would sleep that night. Even tougher was having to leave the next day after being cared for by one generous person after another. Over and over, my heart poured out and received such love, only to have it broken when leaving so soon.
I experienced these external separations as an invitation to a much deeper kind of division: the letting go not of other people or places or jobs I all loved but the letting go of myself. Particularly through the “Long Retreat,” that is, the 30-day silent retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, I experienced the core of what it means to be a Jesuit. Which is, simply, to walk with Jesus and to let Him define who I am.
I discovered things I believed to be true about myself: that I just wasn’t the sort of person who did “x,” that I would always struggle with “y.” Looking into the mirror of my true self that is Jesus, my beliefs were upturned and revealed to be the lies that they were. Jesus showed me how to let go of all those self-conceptions I clung to so as to live life with hands and heart open to new ways of being.
As I begin my journey of transitioning from “nSJ” to “SJ,” I am so grateful for how the Lord has led me gently, teaching me how to keep giving and to keep letting go. For in this He has given me the freedom from limits on what I can be and do with and for Him. Looking ahead, Jesus could bring me to any new paths: to be a spiritual director, a retreat leader, a teacher, or to live in places and take on roles I can’t even think of. And all I can say are the words of Ignatius’ powerful prayer:
You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is yours, dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is enough for me.
Patrick Fisher, SJ ‘13
Update from Head of School Jim Bopp
Dear Alumni, Parents, Past Parents and Friends,
As mentioned in the August Prep Pulse, we started the school year in a 50/50 hybrid learning model, where half the students are in the building on any given day as part of a rotating schedule. Today, that is still the learning model, and we have the flexibility to quickly go either to in-person learning for all or to fully-online learning based on guidance from the Douglas County Health Department and the medical professionals who have been consulting with us since we started preparing for the new school year.
Our faculty, staff and students have adjusted to this reality in an impressive manner. The teachers are working extremely hard to make learning compelling for the students in class and the ones attending from home via Zoom. The young men are also adapting to a daily routine that includes a self-screening process for their health before they come to school and the masks, hand hygiene and social distance required of everyone when they’re here. Parents, your feedback and support continue to be outstanding and are greatly appreciated.
Athletics, clubs and other key activities and programs of the Prep experience are going ahead where possible and often in modified formats. For example, sporting events are happening but, with attendance restricted to four tickets per student-athlete family, football game watch parties are being held at Prep for games that are on local TV or streamed. In addition, our annual Mass of the Holy Spirit was broadcast virtually on 9/4, and retreats are being planned, just in some cases for different venues or without overnight stays.
Other recent changes we’ve made to keep everyone healthy, safe and engaged include:
- Technology upgrades to classrooms.
- Plexiglass dividers for dining and study areas.
- The hiring of a full-time nurse to coordinate care.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures.
- Contactless thermometers
- Drop-in and group therapy sessions for students.
- Childcare services for faculty and staff.
While the number of our positive COVID-19 cases remains quite low, we of course follow the data closely so that, should changes need to be made, we can make them fast and effectively.
Thank you very much for your ongoing prayers and support of our mission. I am especially grateful to you at this time when our budgets are stretched beyond their normal limits and the need to respond to the pandemic’s changing impacts can seem almost constant.
Mr. Jim Bopp
Head of School
Men for Others Golf Classic a Success
On Monday, September 14, 102 Prep supporters hit the links at Omaha Country Club on a beautiful day to raise money for financial aid at Prep through the annual Men for Others Golf Classic.
Tee off times started at 12 p.m. and participants enjoyed boxed lunches and beverages. After the round, light appetizers followed on the OCC patio. The tournament and flag prize winners were:
Tournament – Tom Walker and Colin Walker ‘08
Longest Drive in the Fairway – Kyle Kellner and Mary Chase
Longest Putt Made – Leo Knowles '69 and Jim Huerter '07
Closest Tee Shot – Matt Dannehl
Closest Second Shot – Jim O'Brien '65
“We’re grateful to everyone who helped us make it an outstanding day,” said Vice President of Advancement Rick Berger ‘76. “Our families need more help than ever to make a Prep education a reality for their sons, and our golfers and 23 sponsors really stepped up.”
Eight Selected as National Merit Semifinalists
Congratulations to the following eight seniors on being named National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists: Maximus Lauritsen, Michael Lukaszewicz, Benjamin Lyons, Colin Mahoney, Dominic Mendlik, Jackson Morris, Kevin Prososki and Patrick Rogers.
According to the program website, approximately 1 percent of the 1.6 million students involved in the competition are named Semifinalists. Finalists will be named in February then a smaller group of those will be announced in the spring as scholarship recipients.
Thirty Auditioning for Nebraska All-State Band
Director of Instrumental Music David May reports that 30 Prep musicians are auditioning for the 2020 Nebraska All-State Band. “Students have been working on audition material since January,” noted David, who also mentioned that the auditions are recorded then submitted to judges as part of a blind selection process.
Selections will be announced later in October, and those selected will get to participate in a virtual All-State ensemble. Good luck, guys!
Summer Magazine Now Online
Click HERE to see the online version of the summer 2020 Creighton Prep magazine. It includes a feature on our July 31 graduation ceremony for the senior class, a look back on the amazing legacy of former Prep president Fr. Tom Neitzke, SJ, what Prep community members are doing to respond to COVID-19 and much more. If you have story ideas for a future issue, please contact Communications Specialist Pat Neary ‘78.
Mother-Son Mass – Sunday, October 11
The Mother-Son Mass and Breakfast was originally scheduled to be held on this date at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are currently working out details to host a Mother-Son Mass event at Creighton Prep.
While no breakfast will be served, the morning will include a Mass planned by the Campus Ministry Advisory Board, music by the Creighton Prep Men's Choir, a student speaker and a mother speaker. Hosting this event at Prep in a safe, COVID-19-friendly environment (masks and social distancing required) will allow us to keep with the tradition of providing a special morning for our Prep students and mothers.
Alumni Memorial Mass – Sunday, November 8
Due to COVID-19, this Mass will be offered virtually from our Skinner Chapel. Everyone is welcome to attend and a link to the broadcast will be made available closer to the date.
The purpose of this event is to honor alumni who have died within the last year (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020). We also encourage alumni, family and friends to join us to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.
A prayer request form will be mailed to the Prep community. Also, a special invitation to the virtual Mass will be sent to immediate family members of alums who have died within the past year.
BASH 2021 – Saturday, April 24
Save the date of April 24, 2021 for BASH 2021! At this time, we are in the very early planning stages of what we hope will be an in-person event. Regardless, there will be a live streaming component. A decision will be made in January 2021 as to whether we can gather in person that day or support Prep through VB2 (Virtual BASH, Take 2). Stay tuned for more details!
BASH plays a very important role in Prep’s ongoing commitment to deliver educational excellence to over 1,000 young men. The monies raised during BASH are a key component in our ability to keep tuition affordable for everyone, as well as to provide $2.5 million in financial assistance annually to approximately 52 percent of our students.
Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction – October 2021
The Loyola Dinner of Honor and Distinction originally scheduled for this fall has been moved to October 2021, so the 2020 honorees will now be honored at that time. Congratulations once again to the honorees:
Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ to be awarded the Sword of St. Ignatius, given to honor a person who has striven to demonstrate exemplary service for the Greater Glory of God (AMDG). This sword symbolizes the unique spiritual virtues associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola - courage, loyalty, and service to the Catholic Church.
Gerry Lauritzen to be recognized with the Ancilla Domini award, given to a woman characterized by her caring, nurturing and unselfish dedication to her faith, family and community. The celebrated life is an example of how to use to the fullest, the gifts given to her by God.
Tom Belford '71 to be presented the Hall of Fame award, given to individuals who have displayed distinguished service to Prep as teachers, staff, coaches, board members, alumni, parents or friends. The primary consideration is to honor individuals who have provided direct service to Prep and who are good examples of living personal lives of faith and service.
Dave Hefflinger ‘65 to receive the Alumnus of the Year award, given to an individual who embodies the values Prep aspires to instill in its graduates through a commitment to living a life devoted to serving others.
Please Remember - Obituaries for the Month of August
Please remember the recently deceased members of the Creighton Prep community noted HERE. If we have missed a notice or you wish to receive more obituary information, please contact Terri Haller.
Help Prep by Ordering Through AmazonSmile
If you use Amazon to order products online, did you know that you can order through their AmazonSmile website and get .5% of your purchase price on eligible products donated to Prep? Yes!
Here’s what you can do the next time you want to order from Amazon:
- Go to smile.amazon.com.
- Log in to your Amazon account.
- Select “Creighton Preparatory School” as your charity for donations.
- Find products you want to buy that also have “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” marked on their product pages.
- Add them to your shopping cart.
- Check out when ready.
You can also use AmazonSmile through the Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android smartphone! To learn how and to read about the benefits of AmazonSmile, click HERE.
Join in Daily Prayer with FaithCP
Start your day in prayer with the FaithCP website or app, a collaboration between Creighton Prep and the Midwest Jesuits. There, you will find a daily scripture passage, an Ignatian reflection and an Ignatian prayer. You can also submit a prayer request and experience a Daily Examen guided by an audio recording from a current student or alumnus.
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