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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Holy Cross Values


This week, the St. Edward community held an all-school Mass to celebrate the feast day of St. Edward the Confessor. St. Edward, whose early experiences of loss coupled with his earnest religious piety, empowered his devotion and dedication to the love of God. On October 13, 1949, the same day as the feast of St. Edward the Confessor, Clarence Elwell, Superintendent of Catholic Schools Msgr. announced that St. Edward High School would be named in honor of Archbishop Edward F. Hoban's patron saint. St. Edward was considered pious, gentle, and unselfish and was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III who gave him the title St. Edward the Confessor to commemorate his life of confession. "St. Edward the Confessor personified the concept of Servant Leadership and ruled England for the benefit of all," says Br. Dennis Bednarz, C.S.C.

This week's Mass celebrant, Fr. Michael McCandless, Director of Diocesan Vocation Office and graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, emphasized St. Edward the Confessor's leadership, character and integrity and how, at St. Edward High School, we are empowered to live out these qualities congruent with our Holy Cross values. During his homily, Fr. Mike touched upon St. Edward's leadership and how his love for others correlates to Iron Man participants who, after crossing the triathlon's finish line, turn around to run alongside other participants to support them in finishing strong in their achievement. Similarly, Fr. Mike called upon our senior Edsmen, challenging them to run alongside the underclassmen at St. Ed's and to show the same self-sacrifice and leadership as Iron Man triathlon participants and St. Edward the Confessor alike. "We are all a family at St. Ed's, and asking our oldest students to accompany the younger ones along their high school journey brings that sense of community, self- sacrifice and accountability to life and helps them understand the importance of being connected with their brothers," says Campus Minister Ms. Cari White. "Fr. Mike didn't mention how he also showed determination, grit and leadership when he was a high school student playing football at Hoban. Many of his teammates nicknamed him 'Rudy' after the Notre Dame football player who wouldn't give up until he achieved his goal," says Br. Dennis. Fr. Mike inspired our students with that same grit that he demonstrated in high school and to follow the same call to leadership that St. Edward the Confessor models.

To contribute to St. Edward's feast day celebration, IB HL Music students Kyle Sullivan '20, Sean Lavelle '20 and Liam Kenehan '20 composed, arranged and performed Psalm 19, "The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God." Wanting to specifically perform this psalm at this week's liturgy, students took text for the Church-specified psalm of the day and composed three different refrains using a chord progression from several options provided by their teacher and Performing Arts Department Director Mr. Bob Burns. After composing refrains that fit the chosen chords and text, the whole class voted on which refrain they liked most and then proceeded to write harmonies and verses to accompany the new refrain. "Students in the IB HL Music course learn music theory as well as study the historical and cultural development of musical expression," says Mr. Burns. Kyle, St. Ed's liturgical choir pianist, composed the piano accompaniment and verses while Sean, who composed the winning refrain, led the choir singing during Mass.

"I think Fr. Mike did a wonderful job articulating our Holy Cross call to Servant Leadership and the idea that leaders should be invested in their followers like St. Edward the Confessor," says VP of Mission Effectiveness Liam Haggerty '02. "The Mass celebration also highlighted Family, one of our Seven Standards of an Edsman. We are all in this together, enforcing that mentality that your success is my success, your trials are my trials. It's important to remind our students and community that we can accomplish more together than we ever could individually."

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