Fred Goltz Remarks

Good evening, everyone. And thank you to Jerry, Lynn & Ellen for organising such a wonderful evening.

Tonight is a night about looking back but also looking forward. Looking back, we are here to honour one of the great ambassadors for this institution, Mrs. Ursula Pawlowski, who is sadly no longer with us. It is great to see her family here with us tonight and I hope they are at least half as proud as I am grateful for having had the pleasure to have known her. Looking forward, it is important that we will use this event and the ongoing capital campaign to rededicate ourselves to making sure that institutions such as Bishop Carroll have the resources necessary to fulfil their important mission for years to come. That is what Mrs. Pawlowski would have wanted.

Now, I don’t consider myself an old man, but I can’t help but observe that the last time I stood in this room, I had never heard of the internet. I had never made a call on a cell phone or received an email. I had never googled anything or downloaded an app. In fact, there was a pay phone in the lobby of the cafeteria (if you are under 30, you can ask your parents what that is later) and after a dance or basketball practice, I could call my mom collect, Mom could refuse the charges, but then know that it was time to pick me up. I must say that texting is a lot easier!

Along these lines, instead of dedicating a “library,” we are dedicating a “media center.” The wealth of information at the fingertips of our children is astonishing and gets more so every day. So much has changed since the days of encyclopaedias and microfiche…and we should embrace that change and teach our children how to use this vast information to their advantage before their brains are numbed by Instagram and Facebook. So much change…

But in my mind, what is most important is what hasn’t changed. The values that I learned at Bishop Carroll; the values that Mrs. Pawlowski drilled into us each day and by which she lived her life are not whimsical; they are not subject to fashion and technology has no bearing on their merit. After thirty years of reflection, my interpretation of these values can be summarised in these three simple statements:

First: Demonstrate integrity in everything you do. We have been put on this earth to make it a better place when we leave. Treating others with honesty and fairness is the only way to build trust and create a greater good. Having the manners and self-respect to make others comfortable and open in our presence is how we make ourselves better, because you are never too old or too smart to learn from someone else.

Second: Have compassion and thoughtfulness for others at all times. The world is full of selfish people. Being selfish is easy. It is also pathetic. Nobody succeeds in life alone. We all need help along the way and we are called to return that help for others whenever and wherever we can.

Third: Be curious; embrace difference; challenge yourself. This one is hard because it calls us to leave our comfort zone. But this is also the one Mrs. Pawlowski lived and taught the loudest. The world is an interesting place filled with people who in many cases think about things entirely differently than we do. That should not frighten us, that should intrigue us. It should make us ask “why”? And, we should have the self confidence to understand and accept the answers; about things both profound as well as mundane.

When Mrs. Pawlowski made crepes on Mardi Gras for French class in 1987, she probably didn’t think that something so simple could help inspire one of her students to decide to go to France for business school, there meet his Irish wife, and today live in the UK with three amazing children all of whom are as comfortable in Ethiopia as they are in Ebensburg…but thankfully it did.

Now is the point in these brief remarks where I’m going to make you all uncomfortable. And no, not by asking for money…that comes later and not from me. But I do think we need to face into the reality that 30 years ago, 20 years ago, hell, even 5 years ago, the values I have just discussed and the importance of those values to a Catholic institution of learning would have been taken for granted. We may not have lived by the Beatitudes every day, but we knew them and didn’t question their universal truth.

Today, we live in a world where “fake news” and “alternative facts” are things. For some of the role models our children see every day, it seems integrity is a relative concept and lying is OK as long as it’s a means to an end. Those with compassion, especially for people who look different to us, are somehow perceived as being played as fools. Bullying is celebrated and selfishness is admired. This is not the way to a glorious future and it is certainly not how we are going to make our planet a better place for our kids. We need institutions like Bishop Carroll to preach real values, every day and with the volume turned up to 11. And we need to make sure that the resources and infrastructure are in place to allow this to happen. This is why my family has contributed as it has to this effort. We hope and pray that together we can make sure that 30 years from now there are many others who have been as inspired by this place as I have been.

Thank you.

Bishop Carroll Blessed by Generous Matching Gift and Visit from Donor Family to Honor the Late Ursula Pawlowski

Christina Canning, Emma Goltz, Blair Pawlowski, Heidi Carey, Fred Goltz and Mimi Choksi

At last year’s Carrollian Gala, CEO Lynn Weber shared exciting news with the crowd—an anonymous donor made a generous matching challenge pledge of $250,000 toward Bishop Carroll’s capital improvement campaign, in honor of longtime teacher the late Ursula Pawlowski. This year, Mrs. Weber, the Pawlowski family and members of the BC community welcomed this generous donor, Fred Goltz, class of 1989 and his wife Emma, to a small reception the evening before this year’s gala.

The Goltzes, along with their son William, traveled from their home in London to celebrate their commitment, which will upgrade the current library and name it the Ursula Pawlowski  Media Center.

In his heartfelt remarks about his family’s commitment, Mr. Goltz said, “We need institutions like Bishop Carroll to preach real values, every day and with the volume turned up to 11.  And we need to make sure that the resources and infrastructure are in place to allow this to happen.  This is why my family has contributed as it has to this effort.  We hope and pray that together we can make sure that 30 years from now there are many others who have been as inspired by this place as I have been.”

To read his complete remarks, click here.

So far, an additional $131,501.00 has been pledged by generous supporters toward the Goltzes matching challenge, bringing the current campaign total to $631,851.00. Volunteers are currently working to secure pledges from alumni and friends to help bring the project closer to its phase 1A goal of $1,000,000.

While alumni, friends and families know the facility is overdue for some TLC, BC has never asked for the amount of support that makes up the current campaign. The building needs energy efficiency, security enhancements, ADA compliance upgrades, modern labs, a library that meets today’s educational standards, plus curb appeal and behind-the-scenes improvements, like plumbing, electrical and HVAC, that go with all these items.

Despite these physical needs, Mr. Goltz and his family, along with all donors to Bishop Carroll and the campaign, know that giving has a deeper meaning.

At the heart, your support for Bishop Carroll is rooted in giving all students a chance to receive the unique benefits of a Catholic high school education. It is about giving today’s students and future generations of students the opportunity to become leaders who exhibit the values we cherish: faith, integrity, service, discipline.

Your support today and every day makes this possible. Learn more about how you can support the campaign by emailing weber.lynn@bishopcarroll.org.

 

 

Forensics Team Builds Lifelong Skills

This past school year was the second year that BC offered a “revamped” Forensics Team. Forensics was offered at the school since the early ’60s, but went into haitus in 2010. In 2017, organizer Samantha Brisini ’07 restarted the team with five students, and this year saw the team grow to eight. “In just this short period of time, the team has enjoyed great success,” Brisini says. “Last year, one of the girls was a district champion in commentary, and this year, several students qualified for states and one qualified for nationals.”

Forensics team differs from debate clubs in that it encompasses both competitive speech and debate. The word “Forensics” comes from the latin word “forensis,” meaning to speak in the open or in public. The BC team competes in the National Catholic Forensics League in nine speech and three debate categories.

The speech categories are prose, poetry, informative, persuasive, humorous drama, serious drama, duo drama, commentary and extemporaneous speaking. The debate categories are public forum, Lincoln/Douglas and policy debate. At the state and national level, Student Congress is offered, where students engage in parliamentary debate as they would in an actual congressional house or senate. Some of the categories, like poetry, offers students a chance to interpret a published piece of literature, while others, like Lincoln/Douglas squares off two individuals to debate a hot button philosophical issue.

The team starts work in the fall. Students start thinking about what piece they would like to choose and what category they would like to enter. In November, they practice weekly to block out pieces, discuss ideas and practice the fundamentals of public speaking. The first competition is usually held during the second week of December. Competition continues on through January, culminating in regional and state competitions in March. Winners continue on to nationals held over Memorial Day Weekend.

This year, the team boasted two regional finalists, Molly Krumenacker and Courtney Hilyer, and semifinalists Alayna Przybys and Alexis Ditosti.

“I am very lucky that these talented ladies are all sophomores and freshmen this year!” Brisini says. “Molly excelled both this year and last year in the category of persuasive and is one of the best competitors in the area. Courtney qualified for national competition in Lincoln Douglas debate in her first year of Forensics Club.  Alayna and Alexis are a terrifically talented duo drama team. I’m so incredibly proud of them and all of my Forensics students.”

Brisini is always looking for more students to join the Forensics Team, and she says the effects of joining will build skills that the students will use for the rest of their lives. “First and foremost, it teaches students how to be a good public speaker. It teaches them to speak loudly, clearly and articulately. They learn not to fear public speaking, and embrace talking to others. Those skills stick with a person for life and are extremely beneficial, no matter what profession one chooses,” she says.

Beyond public speaking, Forensics teaches good sportsmanship and fosters self confidence, both skills that will prove invaluable in their professional lives after graduation.

Brisini says that her favorite part of leading Forensics is the opportunity to see students succeed and gain confidence in themselves and their piece. “I am blessed to have wonderful students who are so receptive to suggestions and constructive criticism in order to make their piece better. I enjoy seeing the students grow from the start of competition in the fall to the tough competition vying for a spot at nationals and how far they’ve come. I always enjoy going to the competitions as well, especially the state championship held at Bloomsburg, which in my opinion is the best competition of the year.”

Grade Schools Connect with BC on Lenten Retreats

The Becquet family sees the benefits of Catholic education for their five children.

Director of Admissions Jonathan Nagy serves as advisor to the Bishop Carroll Student Ambassadors. He connects the grade schools more closely with Bishop Carroll. “Bishop Carroll does many things to connect with the schools,” he says. He’s heavily invested in the effort because he knows the vast benefits of Catholic education: close family setting, small classes, personal attention to each student, and most importantly, having Jesus Christ as the central focus of the learning. One of the ways they connect with students is through religious retreats.

“We reach elementary students through academic visit days, religious retreats, field days, monthly Junior Husky Newsletters, Junior High Sports, free passes for the grade school children to all Bishop Carroll events, the Halloween party, dances, movie nights, involvement in the drama club, Read Across America Day, and several more groups, clubs, sports and events,” Nagy says.

The five grade schools that partner with BC are Saint Benedict School, Carrolltown; Northern Cambria Catholic School, Nicktown; Saint Michael School, Loretto; All Saints Catholic School, Cresson; Holy Name School, Ebensburg. The ways Bishop Carroll connects with the grade schools in the area is extensive.

One of these connection points is the yearly Lenten retreat for grades 6-8. The retreat gives students the opportunity to come together to help develop their devotion to Christ. The day consists of communal prayer, individual prayer time, activities, games and reflection time. Another key aspect of the retreat: it is run by the Bishop Carroll Student Ambassadors and Student Evangelizers.

“It is great for the younger students to look up to the older students and see how strong they are in their faith and their willingness to share and lead,” Nagy says.

The connections aren’t made in vain, as an average of 75% of students from the partnering grade schools end up at Bishop Carroll. Of the remaining who go on to public schools, a majority of the parents cite financial reasons. Nagy agrees that Catholic high school costs more than Catholic grade school, but points to the abundance of financial aid opportunities that help families make it affordable.

Scott and Erin (Bodenschatz ’96) Becquet concur with Nagy regarding the multitude of benefits to Catholic education, and once they started they knew it was worth it – no matter what the cost. Their experiences make them something of an expert in Catholic education for the duration of a child’s education.

“Our oldest child started in public school, and for two years we saw him struggle. There came a moment when prayer led us to send him to the Catholic grade school near us (Holy Name) and he was almost immediately transformed both as a student and as a child,” Erin says. “When it came time for high school, the choice was very simple. No matter the cost, it would be worth it. And it has been so worth it. After experiencing the four years of high school with our first, the decision to allow our other four children to continue Catholic education into high school was very simple.”

The Becquet family will see five children through Catholic education: Evan, 17, a senior at Bishop Carroll; Emma, 15, a freshman at Bishop Carroll; Tobey, 13, 7th grade at Holy Name; Sophie 11, 5th grade at Holy Name; and Noah, 6, kindergarten at Holy Name.

While the benefits are extensive, the most noticeable one the Becquets recognize is seeing how their children are learning to live their faith. In grade school, there is a necessary emphasis on religion, and come high school, students are beginning to make life choices. The progression builds nicely to see them through their tenure in Catholic education. High school students are faced with difficult decisions and they have to learn to make many of them without their parents. The Becquets recognizes the huge benefit of their children being surrounded by other like-minded individuals.

“Having good friends and a good community of teachers, faculty and other parents that are all equally invested in raising good young adults helps the development of our children in so many ways,” Erin says.

That community is a staple in the lives of those who are a part of Bishop Carroll. The relationships forged in the four years there are strong and lasting, and that is the Becquet’s favorite part about the Bishop Carroll High School. The education is fantastic, and the family they become through the school is irreplaceable.

“Our children attend funerals for friends’ loved ones, they have learned what it’s like to grieve with friends, be supportive of those in need and that there’s always someone there for you no matter what the need. The family of friends we have all become will last forever. There are prior Bishop Carroll graduates already lined up to help our oldest as he heads off to college that are ready to help him find himself and become the best version of himself. It’s overwhelmingly humbling and comforting. It’s been my experience as a Bishop Carroll graduate and we’re so blessed that our children are the next generation of the Bishop Carroll family,” Erin says.

Annual Class Retreats Promote Growth, Reflection

Karen Blaisdell, newly appointed Bishop Carroll Director of Campus Ministry, describes her experiences in the position as “very rewarding.” Blaisdell has been on staff at Bishop Carroll for seven years, but only recently stepped into the Director of Campus Ministry role. One of the tasks of this new position is the coordinating of the annual class retreats. While coordinating them is new to Blaisdell, they have been an ongoing part of the Bishop Carroll required curriculum that continues to prove successful.

The purpose of the retreats is to give students an opportunity to slow down, stop, and reflect on their relationship with Jesus. It gives students an understanding of why they are in a Catholic school and recognize the importance of their faith. Blaisdell emphasizes that sometimes high schoolers need to be reminded of the things they have. Students in a religion class may compartmentalize it into a book class, but when you’re on retreat it’s more your one-on-one relationship with Jesus.

“It’s important that we do that at Bishop Carroll, because the most important thing I want for our students is for them to know Jesus and to have a relationship with him. I think these retreats help them do that,” Blaisdell says.

Beyond those goals, each class has its own theme to further emphasize the focus of the week. The freshman class retreat focuses on helping students understand the school motto: Spirit, Heart, Mind and Body. The retreat highlights the role of the school motto in their life at Bishop Carroll. Freshman come into the retreats not fully knowing what to expect – as was the case for Faith McMullen her freshman year. McMullen is now a junior, but remembers the uncertainty of going into the retreat her first year.

“I was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised,” McMullen says. “I did not think I would honestly feel closer to God, but between the praise and worship, speeches by a few Sisters, and the testimonies by students in my own school, I developed a greater appreciation for the faith.”

Sophomore year themes can vary under the umbrella theme of strengthening the students’ relationship with Christ. Depending on where the students are sent, which also changes, the leaders of the retreat have some freedom with how to form the days. This year the sophomore student went to Mount Aloysius, and the campus ministry office planned and facilitated the retreat.

“My favorite retreat so far was my sophomore retreat,” McMullen says. “I already had high expectations from the wonderful retreat the previous year, but this retreat exceeded my expectations. There was never a boring moment since there were many faith based activities planned for the day. I found myself truly feeling closer to God and stronger in faith by the end of the day.”

The focus of the junior year retreat is discernment. Students are in the process making big choices in regards to their future and life after Bishop Carroll. They talk about seeking out what God is calling them to do, and to rely on the Holy Spirit to help them when they’re planning what their next step is.

Lauren Bender, a junior, enjoys the retreats each year because they are “low stress” and the speakers typically provide life-changing stories and advice. She especially enjoyed her freshman year trip where she learned that God is all around her in the subtle and simple things. Bender learned more about her faith in her sophomore and junior year retreats.

“I learned that it is easier than we think to be active in your faith,” Bender says. “[The retreats are] a way to really be open and honest about the faith with your friends around to remind you that you’re all going through the same struggles and beliefs in Catholicism together.”

The seniors are encouraged to focus on their personal relationship with Jesus and what it will mean to them outside the walls of Bishop Carroll. The senior year retreat is put on by Bob Sutton at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona, Pa. He usually has students from his evangelizing group, and it’s often very impactful for the students. Sutton shares personal experiences the students can relate to so they can connect with someone and share their thoughts with other students.

Megan Freidhof, a senior, was able to experience that this year.

“My favorite retreat was my senior retreat this year, because it was very laid back and fun and I learned a lot about my relationship with God,” Freidhof says. “Everyone was a lot more comfortable sharing our faith senior year than freshman year. The senior retreat was a lot more enjoyable, because everyone participated and we were not too shy to speak our opinion.”

The retreat takes place on school days during typical school hours. Students are bussed from the school to their location after homeroom, and typically the day unfolds to include some socializing, an ice breaker, sessions featuring dynamic speakers, small groups, and sometimes Mass and reconciliation.

Blaisdell points out that what a student takes from the retreat depends on the student, but according to students like McMullen, Bender, and Freidhof, the students take the retreats seriously as well, and often look forward to them. They also find them to be beneficial for the students, which makes it a win-win for the students and the administration.

“I absolutely know that these retreats are beneficial for the students,” McMullen says. “We get to experience a day based on growing in our faith and getting to understand the values of having a bond with God that you cannot get anywhere else.”

12th Annual Carrollian Gala Celebrates Alumni, Supporters and Catholic Education

Members present who are descendants of Rube and Malinda Fresh. The Fresh Family was honored for their commitment to Catholic education, in particular, Bishop Carroll. The Fresh family has had nearly 50 members graduate from BC with several more on the way!

Thank you to all who attended the 12th Annual Carrollian Gala! Once again, alumni and friends have blessed Bishop Carroll with their generosity! Close to $50,000 was raised for Catholic education! It was a beautiful evening celebrating our Distinguished Alumni and Cornerstone Award winners, along with their families and friends. Again, we extend our congratulations and gratitude for their dedication to BC and Catholic education. This year, the event included a new element to help support items on the school’s Wish List.

Donations made through the Wish List auction helped to fully or partially fund:

  • Cost of transportation for religious retreats
  • Chemistry lab supplies
  • Colored printer for the computer lab
  • Weight room equipment
  • Snowblower
  • Family and Consumer Sciences dishes and supplies

Thank you to all the volunteers, attendees and supporters who made this year’s gala a tremendous success!

If you missed this year’s gala, stay tuned for the next Bishop Carroll News where we’ll publish the remarks from our awardees. You can also contribute to the Wish List auction by making an online gift or mailing your contribution to the school office.

Save the date for next year’s Carrollian Gala on Saturday, April 25!

Left to right, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Lt. Col. Martin Kuhar, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Deacon Sam Albarano, Cornerstone Award Winner Mrs. Barbara Condor, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Mrs. Leah (Shrift) Brooks, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Attorney Gregory Neugebauer