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Fall Show Tells Origin Story Of Peter Pan

Fall show tells origin story of Peter Pan

The Providence Players are ready to entertain audiences with the fall show Peter and the Starcatcher, which debuts this weekend. The play is a prequel to the story of Peter Pan and is a playful coming-of-age tale that explores a variety of themes, from friendship and duty to greed and despair. The lead actors are particularly looking forward to entertaining audiences with the storybook theatre-style drama and its larger-than-life characters.

Senior Eli Lucas plays Black Stache (later known as Captain Hook). After playing several dramatic roles, he is happy to be back playing a comedic one, he said.

“It has rejuvenated me for the season, and I love that about this character,” he said.

His character is somewhat complex, and Eli has had to work to find the balance “between his soft side, his harder side, and his flamboyant side – all in two hours,” he said. “It’s been a phenomenal challenge. I love it.”

Black Stache points to the sky as Smee tries to follow his gaze.

Senior Andrew Bittenbender plays Black Stache’s sidekick, Smee, another comedic role. Andrew said one of his favorite things about the role was acting alongside Eli again. He also enjoys how his character may not be very smart, but he still does his best to support Black Stache.

“Smee is silly,” he said. “He gives it his all even though he’s not the brightest guy, and that leads to a lot funny moments.”

Senior Brady Gentry plays Peter and enjoys portraying such a dynamic character, he said. He is a bit like Peter in that he is a child at heart, but the role is still challenging.

Peter and Black Stache battle in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

“The transition from a lonely, hardened orphan boy to a hero is such a beautiful process,” he said. “The most challenging part of bringing Peter to life is the loneliness aspect of Peter. Peter is homeless, friendless, and nameless at the beginning. I have been blessed with an amazing family, directors, and castmates who will support me and help me become the best performer I can be, which makes the loneliness aspect the most challenging part.”

Senior Mary Claire Natalie plays the part of Molly Aster (who becomes Mrs. Darling). She said she likes her character because she is different from other female leads she has portrayed, who is both sweet and feminine while also being strong and fearless.

Black Stache lets his captive, Molly, go to Peter.

“[She is] a young girl who is independent, ambitious, and brave,” she said. “Throughout the show Molly falls in love and learns to be a leader.”

Senior Austin Bowles plays Lord Aster, Molly’s father. Lord Aster is a much different character than any Austin has played, he said, and it required watching a lot of British television to get his British accent down. But he is happy for one long-term benefit from playing an English gentleman because it has helped him improve his posture since he must stand still with a straight back.

“I have to be prim and proper and hold a stiff face,” he said. “But even though he’s polite, he doesn’t take any insults.”

Eli said that audiences will enjoy how the show covers many emotions, from laughter to tears, in a touching coming-of-age story that “invites audiences to enjoy a night of magic and wonder. After all, to have faith is to have wings – and you may just see a bit of flying in this show.”

Mary Claire said the talent of the tech crew allows the audience to feel the magical quality of the show. And audiences will enjoy being able to “use their imaginations and really feel a part of the show. The show is very heartwarming yet also very funny, which audiences rarely see.”

Coach Purichia Gets 500th Career Win

Coach Purichia gets 500th career win

It was just three years ago that Coach Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90 earned the milestone of 400 career wins. Late last month, she brought that total up to 500 with the team’s win over 4A Hamilton Southeastern in the Lawrence North Invitational. For Coach Purichia, the number snuck up on her – like her players did with the water bottle bath they gave her in the locker room after the victory. For her, coaching isn’t so much about counting the wins as enjoying the time with her players.

“I just love the players,” she said. “I got into it for the kids, not the wins, not state championships. It’s the kids. That still drives the bus.”

Winning may not be her goal, but her love of the game, of coaching and of her players has continued the winning tradition started by her own coach, Dottie (Galligan) Zipp ’69. In Purichia’s first year as PHS head coach, she took her team to the state finals. She returned seven times, winning the state title three times – in both two 2A and 3A – plus two state runner up titles. She also has won 11 sectional, nine regional, and five semi-state championships. Now in her 19th season at Providence, her career-record stands at 511-180. During her 18 previous seasons, her teams have accumulated 15 seasons of 20 or more wins, seven seasons of 30 or more wins, and four seasons of 35 or more wins, including a school record 37 wins in 2015.

Coach Purichia gives the credit to the players for the recent string of winning seasons, state finals appearances and No. 1 rankings throughout the season whether the team has been aligned in 2A, 3A, or 4A.

“We’ve had the perfect mix of very good talent, great dedication, and really good team chemistry the last six to eight years,” she said. “It takes a lot of commitment from the players to see that turn into the success that we’re having.”

Providence’s success has also aligned with an emergence of volleyball powers in the southern half of the state, a change of the guard from when Muncie area and other northern teams held reign since girls’ volleyball began in the early 1970s. Part of the credit for the rise in the success of programs in the southern half of the state lies in the realignment that moved teams like Avon and Center Grove to the south.

But having a southern team win a state title also freed the mindset for other southern teams to win, she said, just like the PHS Girls Soccer 2011 1A state title did for girls’ sports at Providence. Providence was one of the teams to break that barrier for volleyball. In 2012, Providence was state runner up. In 2013, Providence claimed its first state title, and Barr-Reeve in Montgomery (southwest of Bloomington) won the 1A title. Christian Academy of Indiana was 1A runner up the next year and state champ the year after.

Coach Purichia peps up the team before a recent game.

As Coach Purichia looks at the competition this year for a 4A state title, she sees a tough road, with most of the competition in the south. The Lady Pioneers likely will face a top five team at every level of the postseason.

“The southern half is getting really good volleyball teams,” she said.

Coach Purichia’s players seem to think her success is due to her being “a volleyball addict,” a title they gave her after that water bottle bath. She laughs off that title but admits she is involved with local volleyball on all levels, from Deanery games to coaching club volleyball in the off season. She stays involved because she enjoys it.

“I’ll just keep going as long as I enjoy it,” she said. “I still really like to coach. Maybe I’ll make it as long as Dottie (Zipp, who coached at PHS 21 years and for many more years for club volleyball teams).”

Coach Purichia then realized she’s not too far from that number with 18 years behind her, 18 years she never imagined when then-Athletic Director Don Zipp (Hon. ’13) asked her to take the role on an interim basis.

“When Don hired me, he said, ‘Just take it for a year until I find a coach,’” she said. “I was young, just married, and had been an assistant coach at Noblesville,” so she agreed even though she was intimidated. “I got in here and thought, ‘This is pretty fun.’ I keep wondering if he ever found that coach!”

Football, Faith Inspire Alumni’s Book

Football, faith inspire alumni’s book

Justin Campbell ’01 learned a lot from playing football as a running back at Providence and at Butler University, and later as a coach of the Southern Indiana Catholic junior high team. He also has learned a lot by trusting in God and being open to where He leads. He has put both elements into a book, The New, Complete You: Life Between The Lines, a book on faith that uses football as a metaphor.

Campbell will be on campus to share the message of his book on two upcoming occasions. Next Friday, he will sign copies of his book under the tent next to the Pioneer Athletic Center during Alumni Night, when the host Pioneers take on Holy Cross. On Sept. 29, he will be the guest speaker in the morning before the Guerin Day competition.

He said he is thrilled to have two opportunities to be back on campus, especially to share his faith with the students, faculty and staff.

“I’m hoping to give them encouragement, a little bit of something to get to the next level,” he said. “Sometimes people just skate through. I want to give a message to help the student body and the staff to live life and live it to the fullest, as God would want.”

Campbell didn’t start out wanting to be an author or public speaker, but he is seeing God lead him in that direction, he said. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business marketing with an emphasis on sports marketing in 2005. His first job was as a director of youth programs at Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville. After four years, he moved into restaurant management.

Then a chance encounter with Charlie Elder ’74 set Campbell on a new path. Campbell knew Elder since going to school with his children, Jake ’00 and Jessica ’01. Last Campbell heard, Elder was Jeffersonville police chief. But by the time of this meeting, Elder was a middle school counselor. Elder’s new role surprised Campbell, he said, and he wondered how a person could go from police chief to school counselor.

“After that conversation, God was like, ‘That’s for you, buddy,’” Campbell said.

Campbell took God’s prompting to heart and contacted Indiana University Southeast to learn what it would take for him to switch careers. He learned that his four years working at the Fieldhouse met the requirements for working with youth. He spent time taking the necessary prerequisites, and by 2012 he had his master’s degree in school counseling.

Since 2014, he has been a school counselor as well as sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at New Albany High School. He enjoys working with students and is grateful his role with FCA allows him to express his faith.

“Every student who passes my office knows I’m a Christian,” he said, describing the posters with various faith messages on his walls, messages unlikely to be posted elsewhere in a public school. “God is first before the job. I’m not preaching in the halls, but I stick with the Word. I’m not ashamed of my faith.”

His book is another way he expresses his faith. He worked on the book for about seven years, although at first it merely started as a faith journal. Over time, the concept for the book solidified, and he spent two years working diligently to finish it. His pastor at Canaan Christian Church, Dr. Walter Malone Jr., D.Min., is an author and provided guidance. And a former professor edited the book for free. The Church Online published the book, with Campbell retaining all rights to it.

“I know it’s a God thing,” he said. “He has really opened doors to make this happen.”

While Campbell was working on the book, he also started his own company, MIGHT LLC, with the goal of becoming a faith-based motivational speaker for youth and other groups as well as a Christian counselor, after he obtains a master’s in counseling. He hopes to write more books and is also working on a program focusing on perseverance and virtue for youth.

Campbell’s book is available in Kindle format on Amazon and in print from Campbell. He lives in Jeffersonville with his wife, Tinika, and their daughters, Jada, 9, and Mariah, 6. He also has a stepdaughter, Ashlee. For more information, visit @thenewcompleteyou on Facebook or the website

Total Solar Eclipse In Tennessee Worth The Trip

Total solar eclipse in Tennessee worth the trip

Last week, millions of Americans turned to the sky to view the first transcontinental total solar eclipse in 1918 years. Science teacher Laura Swessel knew the total eclipse would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so last year she planned a field trip to Gallatin, Tenn., for prime viewing of the celestial event.

More than 40 students and several chaperones traveled by bus to see the eclipse, and their experience, well, eclipsed what everyone outside of the totality zone saw. Junior Adriel Nacpil was one of those students. He went on the trip, he said because he knew it was something he didn’t want to miss and he looked forward to seeing it with his friends. The group’s experience was much like that of Providence students on campus (except for the food trucks and musical artists performing) until the moment when the moon completely blocked the sun.

Juniors Alec Burns, Ross Reyes, Adriel Nacpil, and Griffin Rogers watch the progression of the eclipse during a field trip to The Gallatin TN Eclipse Encounter in Gallatin, Tenn.

“The most memorable part was when totality hit, and I was able to take my [solar] glasses off,” he said. “It was just a great atmosphere with the darkness, the cool air, and the crickets chirping that made the moment very special.”

The opportunity to see the sun’s corona around the moon without pain was surreal, he said. “And all I could think was ‘Wow.’ The eclipse just looked so beautiful, something that cannot be captured in a picture.”

Senior Emma Dayvault agrees.

“I was in awe for several moments before, during, and after totality,” she said. “I chose to leave my phone on the bus during totality to focus on my surroundings instead of being distracted by my phone, and I’m so glad I did. After totality ended — which was the most interesting thing I’ve ever watched — I contacted several friends and family members who watched the eclipse from Southern Indiana. By doing so, my choice in going to Gallatin was completely affirmed. I think that there is something so uniquely spectacular about the eclipse when viewing from a totality zone.”

Mrs. Amelia Goffinet, study hall monitor, was one of the chaperones on the trip and was just as amazed as the students.

“I now understand what people mean when they say, ‘Words just can’t describe it,'” Mrs. Goffinet said. “For almost an hour we watched the moon encompass the sun. At first it was anticlimactic with no noticeable changes in the air or the brightness. … As the light began to change to a yellowish hue and the temperature started to drop, … the students were on their feet and donning their nifty solar glasses, looking to the sky.

“Just when the moon made its move to totally cover the sun, the cheers rang out over the park and someone set off fireworks,” she said. “Our kids were in total awe of why we made the trip to Gallatin, Tennessee. Watching them watch this moment of the eclipse was worth the trip for me.”

Mrs. Swessel also enjoyed seeing the eclipse through her students’ and their parents’ eyes. She had seen a partial solar eclipse in 1994 and had seen many presentations on a total eclipse, but experiencing it in person was beyond her expectations.

“[Last] Monday was one of the most amazing events in my life,” Mrs. Swessel said. “Pictures do not do the experience justice. Besides the ability to see the corona without eye protection, … it was wonderful being part of a collective worldwide event.”

A map full of push pins allowed the group to see the places from around the world from which people had traveled to be there: Germany, India, Austria, China, Ireland, and more. She also appreciated the natural phenomena that occurred – “the shadow of the moon as it approached from the west and then as it receded after totality; it was like having the sun rise in the west,” she said.

The temperature dropped noticeably, and the wind picked up before and after totality.

“The trees acted as diffraction grates — a physics term for a device that changes the patterns of light waves,” she said. “The light shining through the openings in the leaves left behind shadows on the ground shaped like miniature partial eclipses. It was really cool.”

As totality approached, the light had a strange cast, then “just before totality, everything looked as if the colors were dampened, and right after totality, everything seemed so bright because our pupils were completely dilated from the near darkness,” Mrs. Swessel said. They also noticed that the crickets and frogs started chirping and croaking “as if it was dusk, then darkness, then dawn.”

Experiencing all the phenomena in person and seeing her students also awed by them was delightful.
“I’m so glad I was able to share this experience with some of my students and their parents,” Mrs. Swessel said. “This is something they will never forget.”

Returning from the trip took more than double the time of the bus ride there, with the group stuck in traffic for more than six hours. But the long ride could not dampen their enthusiasm.

“It ultimately changed my perspective about the way our earth is so amazingly incredible, and I can honestly say that I would wait on a bus again for 8 hours — or longer — if I could view it again some time soon,” Emma said.

Different experience for students viewing partial eclipse

Students lie back on the football field to watch the progression of the eclipse.

Students, faculty and staff who witnessed the partial eclipse at school realized the enormous difference between 96 percent coverage and totality. Reactions were mixed regarding the partial eclipse. Some students, like juniors Emma Rauck and Kaden Williams, were disappointed the sky didn’t actually darken.

“I thought it was going to be completely dark out,” Emma said.

“I wanted it to be dark,” Kaden agreed.

Others were impressed with the greyness, observing that it looked like dusk, even though it was the middle of the afternoon. Several exclaimed, “Oh cool, look how dark it is,” as they experienced the odd greyness around them. It was almost shady but still oddly bright, “like looking through a dark lens,” one student said. Some students used their cellphones and solar eclipse glasses to take photos of the eclipse using the selfie feature.

Mr. Jeff Purichia, science teacher, enjoys the eclipse with his wife, substitute teacher and coach Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90, and their daughter sophomore Maggie Purichia.

Science teacher Jeff Purichia commented on how much cooler it felt outside than the actual temperature reading. The heat index was still reading 100, “but it does not feel like 100 out here,” he said. “It’s amazing how much cooler it feels with just that amount of sun gone.”

Others, like juniors Vincent Benningfield and Zach Zelli, were impressed with the momentousness and singularity of the event.

“I’m glad I can see it,” Zach said. “It’s cool because I won’t be able to see it again for a long time.”

Vincent appreciated the scientific phenomena.

“It’s pretty impressive how all this happened in such a short time,” Vincent said, noting how the crescent of the sun moved as the moon approached the sun and then to the other side as it moved away – and how that affected the greying of the sky and lowering temperature. “It’s pretty crazy how such a small thing can affect so much.”

Young Alumni Among Deanery SIC Football Coaches

Young alumni among Deanery SIC Football coaches

Volunteer coaches are essential to our Deanery sports. They give freely of their time and talent to teach young players the fine points of a particular sport. The Southern Indiana Catholic Football team has one such group of coaches, and all of them are Providence alumni, including two who are recent graduates. Austin Richards ’12 and Ian Schlosser ’14 sought out the opportunity to coach the team because they love the sport and wanted a way to stay involved.

Austin Richards ’12, on right, helps a lineman with his stance.

Richards, SIC offensive and defensive line coach, was previously a volunteer assistant coach for the Providence Football team while a college student. He offered to help coach because, he said, he was still as passionate about the game after high school and valued the life lesson of “discipline, team work, passion, commitment, drive, and how to take losses and grow from them and get better.” And he wanted to pass that on to others.

“I wanted to give back to a program that meant the world to me and to a school that I will always value and love,” Richards said.

He helped Coach Larry Denison ’86 for three years until he began working full time and his schedule didn’t fit the after school practice schedule. After missing coaching for a season, he reached out to SIC head coach Tom Mooney ’79 about helping with his team.

The satisfaction he gains from coaching is more than enough payment for the time he puts in, he said.
“I just want to coach athletes and get them passionate about the sport,” Richards said. “There is no better feeling than going out with your brothers in combat and hammering out a win — pure joy. And so is coaching. I also love seeing the kids get better each day and reaching goals they may have set for themselves, large or small. First and foremost, I want them to be exceptional members of faith, community, and of course, football.”

Ian Schlosser ’14 talks to an SIC junior high football player before a game.

Schlosser also values the experience of coaching. He said he fell in love with coaching while still at Providence, when he helped the Sacred Heart track team as a junior. His love for coaching also inspired him to pursue a career in teaching, switching from a finance major to secondary education even though it pushed his graduation date back two years.

“If it wasn’t for coaching here at Providence (the home field for SIC junior high football), I don’t think I would have ever found my love of teaching, and I look forward to having my own classroom in the near future,” Schlosser said. “I’m truly thankful for not only finding my calling in life through coaching but also the opportunities given to me by the guys that coached me as a player.”

Like Richards, he values seeing his players improve and develop.

“What I like about coaching is being able to see kids grow into themselves as players both on the field and off,” he said. “But being able to share the knowledge I have of the game and provide it to the program that taught me so much and see the players use it is the most rewarding.”

A sophomore at Indiana University Southeast, Schlosser balances coaching with school and a part-time job with coaching. He also plays. For the last two years, he has spent the spring and summer playing as a safety for the Kentuckiana Bucks, a Major Indoor Football League team. A recent injury shortened his season this year, and he said he is contemplating whether he’ll return next season.

“I haven’t fully decided if I want to keep playing or just settle into a coaching position, but I believe that coaching is where I will stay for now,” he said. “What I can do as a player isn’t nearly as valuable as what I can do as a coach.”

Coach Tom Mooney ’79 leads the junior high SIC football team in prayer before practice.

Richards and Schlosser join other alumni Terry Schuler ’91, Parrish Drury ’86, Joe McDaniel ’91, and Ron Webber ’72 on the SIC coaching staff. Many of them have been coaching for decades, including Coach Mooney. Mooney coached the Deanery fifth and sixth grade team for 15 years and took over the head coaching position of the junior high team two years ago. At one time, some of the coaches, including Mooney and Schuler, had sons on the team, but now none of them do. They simply coach for the love of the game, Mooney said.

“All eight coaches (including Sacred Heart alumnus John Taylor) are trying to make the product better,” Mooney said. “We get a lot of joy seeing the players as juniors and seniors (at Providence) and how far they’ve come.”

The coaches all share a love of the game and Catholic schools, he said. And seeing that same love in such young coaches gives energy to the staff and the team.

“It’s nice to get some younger guys involved,” Mooney said. “This is the next generation. So in five to six years, they’re there to take over.”

Alumna Hosparus Nurse To Take The Stage To Support Agency

Alumna Hosparus nurse to take the stage to support agency

Over the last 10 years, several alumni have competed in the annual Hosparus Dancing with the Stars fundraising event, and a number of them have won. This year, there is yet another alumna competing but with a unique perspective on the organization. Julie (Klein) Hammond ’88 is a hospice admissions nurse for Hosparus Health of Southern Indiana, which provides hospice care and counseling. On Sept. 12, she will be the first Hosparus employee to compete in the fundraiser.

Hammond said she thought it was fitting that she was asked to take part in the fundraiser since she is celebrating 20 years as a hospice nurse and 17 with Hosparus. She was happy to take part because the money raised fund the nonprofit agency’s bereavement and pediatric services. And she sees first hand every day how its services help patients and their families.

As an admissions nurse, she sees patients and families in deep distress – anxious, fearful, and unable to cope with pain, illness, or the prospect of dying.

“I see the ‘before,’” she said. “Then we come in, and I see the difference.”

To be part of an agency that provides comfort, guidance, and relief is life affirming as the patients face their death with dignity, she said.

“I get to see families able to have some of the weight of their grief taken off of their shoulders and a blanket of peace and understanding put there in its place,” Hammond posted on Facebook about why she is taking part in the fundraiser. “I get to see fears relieved and ultimately deaths that, believe it or not, can actually be a beautiful time for all. I have been privileged to have been invited in to one of the most intimate times of someone’s life and have gained so much from these experiences.”

Hammond said she has had many people tell her how special she is to be able to work with people in such depressing circumstances. But she shrugs off the label of ‘special’ and acknowledges God as the source.

“On the spiritual level, I’ve always been drawn to this part of a person’s life,” she said. “But I’m no more special than anyone else is. It’s just the gift God gave me.”

She also shakes off the label of ‘courageous’ for learning to dance — and dancing on stage in front of a crowd of people. The prospect is daunting, even for an outgoing person like herself. She has taken weekly dance lessons to learn her routine and appeared on Great Day Live to promote the event. But she doesn’t consider herself brave, not in the way her patients are.

“I look at the courage of the patients to face their death and their family to face it; they’re the courageous ones,” Hammond said. “It’s worth all the effort and hard work.”

And it has been effort and hard work. Hammond lives in Pekin, and it’s an hour’s drive into Louisville for her 8 p.m. lesson. Her husband, Chuck, works evenings, so she has to make arrangements for their son, Grayson, a sixth grader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and a proud Future Pioneer in the Class of 2024. (Her stepson Brad Hammond graduated in 2006.)

The competition is actually to see who can raise the most donations. Each competitor is challenged to raise $10,000, and last week, Hammond had already passed $12,000. What amazes her, she said, is that in previous years, that would have been a winning amount, but the other competitors have already surpassed that amount with one raising $30,000.

“I’m very excited to see my total [in the end],” she said. “It’s all going to Hosparus. It’s just a win-win-win.”

But when it’s all over, Hammond doesn’t expect to be gracing any more dance floors or stages.
“It’s been very fun, but that’s going to be it for me,” she said. “I think I will go back to dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld!”

Tammy (Balmer) Stuart ‘89 is a member of Southern Indiana Hosparus Health Community Board and is event co-chair for the Dancing with the Stars fundraiser. She said Hammond is a great ambassador for Hosparus, especially as she embraces the task of the Dancing with the Stars fundraiser.

“Julie has dedicated her career to helping provide compassionate hospice and palliative care, but she is willing to go above and beyond, spending her free time to raise money for Hosparus Health,” Stuart said. “Her love for patients and families extends beyond her job, and that’s true for so many other employees. Julie’s enthusiasm and presence on the dance floor this year will exemplify that burning passion.”

Over the past 10 years Dancing with the Stars has raised more than $1.2 million for Hosparus Health. Tickets to the event are $100 each and can be purchased at Alumni who have won the fundraising competition in the past include Mike Naville ’69 (dec.), Marlin Andres ’76, Megan (Batliner) Cahill ’03, and Kristin (Pullen) Ward ’06. Additionally, Huber Orchard & Winery, owned by Greg Huber ’81 and Ted Huber ’84, have hosted the event since its inception.

Grant To Help PHS Partner With New Latino Outreach

Grant to help PHS partner with new Latino outreach

The WHAS Crusade for Children has awarded Providence $14,000 to support our Learning Lab and participation in a new Latino Outreach Initiative sponsored by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The Learning Lab will receive $10,000, and the remaining $4,000 will go to the outreach program. The grant is $4,000 more than what Providence received from the Crusade in 2016.

President Steve Williamson and Mrs. Karen (Popp) Schueler ’83 and Ms. Darlene Valvano from the Learning Lab worked together to write the grant application, which this time added the Latino Outreach Initiative. Being awarded the additional funding shows that Providence demonstrated its support of the Crusade through its annual Penny War during Catholic Schools Week. Last February, the students set a donation record of more than $3,000 to the Crusade.

Mr. Williamson said he is pleased the grant will help Providence take part in the outreach program.
“Because of our geographical location, Southern Indiana is a pivotal part of the archdiocese,” Mr. Williamson said. “We can be a rallying point for Latino students, so this program will show us how to prepare to serve these students.”

The Latino Outreach Program is a new program developed by the archdiocese and the Office of Catholic Schools, and Mr. Phil Gonzalez has been hired as the program’s first coordinator. Mr. Gonzalez will work with Providence and four other schools throughout the archdiocese to advance the enrollment and participation of Latino students and families in Catholic schools. He will work with school administrators to successfully serve Latino students, including, among other goals, to develop and train school recruitment teams.

Mr. Gonzalez is a native of Lakeland, Fla., and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history. He then took part in the Notre Dame Alliance for Education’s Teaching Fellows program, serving as a social studies teacher at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Texas, while earning his master’s of education degree. He then moved to New Orleans, where he taught at Brother Martin High School and married his wife, Elizabeth. He later served as the principal of Our Lady of Sorrows elementary school in Memphis, Tenn.

Mr. Gonzalez said he is eager to get to know the Providence community and serve the members of the Latino community in Southern Indiana.

Foremost, I am excited to be playing an important role in furthering the evangelical mission of the Catholic Church and its schools,” he said. “I have met with Mr. Williamson and Dr. (Mindy) Ernstberger, who have shown a deep pride in the school and a strong commitment to its continued success. I know they will be excellent partners in the Latino Outreach Initiative, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.”

After just one visit to Providence, he said he has already witnessed its sense of community, which will go far in helping him meet the goals of the outreach program.

“One thing that immediately struck me about Providence is the warm environment and the great service the administration, faculty, and staff are doing to ensure the academic growth and spiritual formation of their students,” he said. “I see Providence’s role as maintaining this welcoming environment and commitment to academic and moral formation for its current and future students.”

Some Students Choose Alternative Transportation

Some students choose alternative transportation

While most of our students arrive to school in a motorized vehicle, a few students are enjoying the option of biking or walking to school. Freshman Wilson Stemm rides his bike while sophomore Olivia McCurdy and junior Cameron Tyler walk to school. For Olivia and Cameron, walking makes more sense than driving because they each live adjacent to school. For Wilson, riding his bike the 2 miles to school is good exercise and a chance to save money toward the truck he will get from his older brother after Wilson turns 16 in the spring.

Wilson rode to school with a family member while a junior high student here, but as he started school as a freshman, his mother suggested he ride his bicycle, a 27-speed trail bike. He added safety lights to the spokes for cycling before daylight, and chooses to wait for the initial traffic to clear after school as a precaution. His trip takes about 20 minutes, and he said he likes that he can choose to leave home or school when it suits him rather than waiting on someone else to drive him on his/her schedule.

“It’s a smaller advancement to the freedom that a car would provide,” he said.

Wilson said he expects to continue riding his bike even in winter, although he would get a ride when the roads are icy or snowy. For now, he’s enjoying the favorable weather and the experience of bike riding.

“I like the feeling of riding my bike, especially downhill and feeling the wind and giving my bike that speed,” he said.

Olivia and Cameron both said they appreciate being able to sleep longer in the morning because their walk takes each of them just a few minutes. Olivia’s home has a gate that opens onto the driveway beside the auditorium, and Cameron uses that gate when she walks form her home two doors down.

“It gives me more time in the morning to sleep or do things, and if I forget something, I can run home before school to get it,” Olivia said.

“I can just roll out of bed and come here” within minutes,” Cameron said. “Some people who live in the Knobs have to drive 20 minutes or more.”

Olivia and Cameron also said that living close by is convenient for their friends too. Olivia said her friends will come over after school if they are waiting on a ride, and Cameron’s friends used to before they got their licenses. Both girls’ homes are gathering places on home Football game nights, allowing friends a place to meet and walk over together to the game.

Although other students who live nearby have stopped walking to school when they got their driver’s license, Olivia and Cameron said they plan to continue walking – except when it’s raining.

“It’s just efficient that we live so close,” Olivia said.

Fr. Adam, 2 Alumni Join Pilgrimage In Spain

Fr. Adam, 2 alumni join pilgrimage in Spain

Ben Popson ’16, Jessica Julius ’06 and Fr. Adam Ahern took part in a pilgrimage on the Way of St. James.

Fr. Adam Ahern, school chaplain, had high hopes for a recent pilgrimage to Spain to walk part of the trail known as the Way of St. James, or Camino de Santiago. He asked a few people to join him. Jessica Julius ’06, the youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help where Fr. Adam was previously the associate pastor, and Ben Popson ’16, a sophomore studying industrial engineering at Purdue University who was in the OLPH youth ministry program during high school, chose to make the trip.

The three were part of a group of 35 young adults making the pilgrimage coordinated by the youth ministry programs of the Diocese of Gary, Ind., and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisc., and led by Bishop Donald Hying of Gary and a priest friend from Milwaukee. The goal was to walk the final 75 or so miles of the trail to the Cathedral of St. James in the town of Santiago de Compostela. Fr. Adam’s journey, however, was cut short after a foot injury.

Fr. Adam hurt his foot on the first day of the journey, about 3 miles from their destination. He tried resting it that night to see if it would improve, but it was too painful to walk. He took a taxi to the next hotel hoping a day of rest would resolve the problem. When it didn’t, he took a taxi to the final destination and waited for the rest of the pilgrims to arrive.

Although he was upset he didn’t get to complete the walk, Fr. Adam was grateful he could visit the Cathedral, believed to be the resting place of St. James the Apostle, making it the fourth site of an apostle’s remains he has visited.

“Just to be in the presence of an apostle – that was pretty cool,” he said.
Julius and Popson continued on the trail and are grateful for the experience, even though Fr. Adam missed out on some of the pilgrimage.

Julius said she accepted Fr. Adam’s invitation to join the group because “it was a great opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. I actually laughed when Father first invited me and told him good luck because the outdoors and hiking are not at all my strength. The more I thought about it I realized what a great opportunity to challenge myself not only on a personal level but in my faith as well.”

She did some training before she left, walking about 3 to 5 miles a day in her neighborhood and a nearby park. Still, the walk itself was challenging – as was not knowing Spanish.

“The biggest challenge was getting out of my own way,” Julius said. “I had to be willing to let go and let myself be uncomfortable and embarrassed in figuring out how to communicate or pushing myself that next mile up a hill.”

She did enjoy meeting people from all over the world who were also making the journey, including a man from Scotland and a family with four children. And there was the herd of cows that blocked the path.

“The most interesting and transformative part of the experience was to just see the amount of people from all over the world and all ages walking the path with us as well as the idea of all the people who came before us and specifically walking the same path as St. James to spread the gospel and share the faith,” she said.

For Popson, the opportunity to take a pilgrimage was something he could not pass up, so he cleared his work schedule. It is an experience for which he is “incredibly thankful,” he said.

Like Julius, Popson said he enjoyed meeting and walking with people from all over the world, who may not have spoken the same language but did share the same Catholic “vernacular at Mass.” He also liked the chance to try his Spanish on the locals – and eating the food they gave him, including chorizo (pork) and pulpo (octopus).

“I also thought that by traveling to a different country that I’d escape the constant display of cows and corn, but the Spanish countryside proved no further from home in that regard,” he said.

“All in all, my life did not take a 180 degree turn after walking the Camino (as some pilgrims have experienced), but the physical separation from home did provide some invaluable time to reflect,” he said. “In addition, I found the journey to Santiago to be an accurate physical representation of each of our faith journeys towards Christ; sometimes prayer may seem like an 18-mile hike dragging on, but the Camino reminded me that if I don’t hike the 18 miles, I won’t have a warm bed to sleep in that night. Rightfully so, each time we do pray and receive the sacraments even when we don’t want to, we work towards our universal call to sainthood.”

Other alumni have made the Camino pilgrimage, including Jerry Jacobi ’73 and his brothers. Early next month, he will be joined with brothers Paul ’81 and Joe ’68 as they walk their final 200-mile leg of the 600-mile journey from St. Jean Pied du Port, France, to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. Their story will appear in a future eVision.

Summer Offers Taste Of College For Two Seniors

Summer offers taste of college for two seniors

Summer break has been shorter for our students over the last few years as local schools have adopted the balanced calendar. For two seniors, the break seemed even shorter as they took advantage of special courses at out-of-state colleges. Kaleb Dunn took two college classes via the Pre-college: Rising Star program at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, and Emma Delaney spent three weeks at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee at the Berklee College of Music studying ballet.

An example of Kaleb Dunn’s work with CAD.

For Kaleb, the SCAD opportunity seemed to come about by chance, possibly due to his SAT scores and interest in engineering. He received a letter about the program and an opportunity for a scholarship to the five-week summer program last spring and applied. He was accepted and even received a scholarship, so Kaleb changed his plans for the summer.

He originally was cast in one of the New Albany RiverStage Productions but gave up that opportunity to attend the Rising Star program. He was still able to attend the week-long Hoosier Boys State program in early June, and the next week he headed to Savannah and SCAD.

The Rising Star program includes two course for college credit, and Kaleb took photography and

One of the photos Kaleb took during his summer program.

computer-aided product design. He said he enjoyed the classes, especially learning how to take interesting shots in photography and seeing how other people compose their shots. The design class gave him experience using the design program CAD, and he is now considering pursuing industrial design over mechanical engineering in college.

He also got a taste of living on a college campus – but with more structure and a curfew. Like many college students, he shared a suite in a dorm with several students and ate in the college cafeteria. He said he enjoyed the chance to see what living away during college will be like. But his favorite part was meeting so many new people.

“I enjoyed the people a lot,” Kaleb said. “It was interesting to be in a different community of people.”

Kaleb is involved in theatre but had never immersed himself in a community of visual artists as he was at SCAD. Having missed the chance to perform this summer, he said he is ready to start rehearsing for the fall show and learning his role of Alf, a sailor in Peter and the Starcatcher.

As much as he enjoyed the experience, Kaleb said he does not plan to apply for admission to SCAD for college. Instead, he plans to apply to the University of Pennsylvania and Transylvania University.

Summer program offers senior new styles of dance
Emma spent three weeks in the Summer Dance Intensive program at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee studying and performing different types of modern dance. She was accepted into the program after auditioning during a dance conference she attended in Phoenix in May. She also was accepted into a 2018 Summer Dance Intensive at the Charlotte (N.C.) Ballet as well as entrance into college dance programs at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga., Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kent State in Ohio.

She said she chose the program at Boston because she had never been there and it gave her the opportunity to explore modern dance – something different than her lifelong study of ballet. She has taken ballet classes as long as she can remember, and performs with her dance troupe, The Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, as well as for special Louisville Ballet performances on occasion.

Emma was one of 40 dancers in the program, but there were also high school students taking part in summer programs in voice, musical theatre and composition. She said in a dorm and was able to meet students from all over the country, which was one of her favorite parts of the experience.
“I really liked just getting to meet all these new, different people and experiment with different styles of dance,” she said. “I liked getting to meet different young people with the same aspirations and goals that I do. It was very empowering.”

She said she also enjoyed learning from so many different professional dancers and hearing their stories about their experiences as dancers. And she now has a better understanding of how conservatories work and the classes and schedules they offer.

As much as she enjoyed trying out other styles of dance, ballet remains her favorite, she said.

“It’s just the technical aspect and the discipline required for it and the movement of it,” she said.
She plans to study ballet in college and right now is leaning toward the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, but she does plan to tour the school’s where she was accepted into the dance program – and apply for acceptance into the college itself.

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