OBy Tyler Stapleton ’17 and Christopher Convey ’18
Over 150 members from the Senior Class gathered in the AAC on Tuesday, October 18 to enjoy Hunger, an evening of recollection in which each student looked to satisfy both his physical and spiritual hunger. The night kicked off with a delicious dinner consisting of 200 pounds of steak prepared by the Culinary Club. After eating, the Flyers filed into Hearst Auditorium preparing for the more meaningful part of the night.
The seniors anticipated hearing Mr. Peter Accardi and Mr. Matthew Chicavich ’98 speak about how they looked to God during the most challenging moments of their lives. Mr. Accardi opened up his thoughts with his famous “my mind is like a jellyfish” quote, setting a very light-hearted ambience for his speech. He then moved on to speak about a more serious matter that regarded a time in which his faith had a tremendous impact on his life. He related his very personal story regarding a seizure that he suffered last spring, which impacted everyone around him, not just himself. He had been deeply touched when a majority of the doctors and nurses who helped him recover were somehow connected to Chaminade. This attests to how God truly interacts with each and every one of us in miraculous and intimate ways. Mr. Accardi also expressed extreme gratitude for the great compassion and love that was expressed to him and his family along the way, and he felt very blessed to be given a trip to Disney World from his students.
This anecdote was followed by a documentary called Child 31, which discussed the dilemma of hunger that afflicts many young children around the globe. The film began with the eye-opening fact that over 31 children had already passed away from malnutrition within the first few moments of the film, and then progressed to its focal point of how severe the impact of malnutrition was afflicting children worldwide, especially in Africa.
After watching the film, a very quiet atmosphere permeated throughout the auditorium. Mr. Chicavich spoke about how his faith had a profound impact on his life at a very challenging time. He lived his life without trying to make God a priority until one day he went to confession and became cognizant of himself not really prioritizing God in his life. Mr. Chicavich, faced with the challenge of his mother’s diagnosis with cancer, began going to religious events and retreats praying for her constantly. He actually met his eventual wife at one of these religious retreats, a wish that his mom had prayed for in her final days.
The powerful service then came to a close with Adoration, which provided some students with several minutes of silent prayer. Speaking on his experience, Cameron DeGuzman ’17 said, “The phenomenal steak set the stage for a fantastic evening of recollection. Mr. Accardi and Mr. Chicavich’s speeches reached deep into my heart and truly enlightened my faith. There was no better way of describing the evening; my hunger could not have been more satisfied physically and spiritually.”
Similarly, over 165 juniors came together for Get Colorized on Thursday, November 3 with the goal of being able to see the world in a new light.
The special evening of recollection began with a delicious barbecue dinner in the AAC. Hungry juniors could not resist the opportunity to build their own burgers; caramelized onions, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, curly fries, and bacon greeted the excited Flyers. After building their masterpieces, the juniors enjoyed a meal with friends and teachers. “I couldn’t decide which toppings to pick, so I chose them all,” said Mr. Peter Carriero ’96.
As dinner came to a close, the juniors proceeded to Hearst Auditorium. Each student was asked to take a green, red, blue, or gold candle along the way. Kicking off the spiritual portion of the event was an ESPN E:60 Special Presentation entitled “Perfect,” which portrayed how one man struggled with his self-image after his second daughter Paisley was born with Down’s Syndrome. While he was initially reluctant to go through with the pregnancy, he soon learned that he could not have asked for a better daughter; she was perfect in every way. The 13-minute video introduced the theme for the night: “When things don’t go the way we planned,” an idea which three speakers would address before the junior division.
Mr. Christopher Lynch ’82 was the first to share his personal experience with the Flyers. Mr. Lynch took the floor after a huge roar of cheers and applause. His story pertained to his ongoing battle with cancer. This fit perfectly into the theme of the night, as he explained that although he never considered being diagnosed with cancer a possibility, he fought through it. He told the juniors that sometimes people just have to deal with the negatives of life, and that staying positive is essential. He credited much of his recovery to the support and prayers of the students and drew parallels from his own experiences to the Bible. Just as Jesus did when carrying the cross, he fell three times in recovery from his surgery. After Mr. Lynch concluded his talk, all students with blue candles placed them on a wooden tower, praying for those with a sickness or health complication.
Mr. Michael Dolce ’99 was up next. His talk with the Flyers was centered on his spiritual life during college. He discussed how his relationship with God decreased rapidly after graduating from Chaminade and how God led him back to his faith. Mr. Dolce would eventually become a football coach and religion teacher at Chaminade. His story conveyed the idea that when we are lost, God will help us find our path. All students with red candles were asked to place them on the tower for those who struggle with their spiritual life.
Mr. Michael Foley ’99 then took the stage. He provided the juniors with three short anecdotes from his childhood and college life. Mr. Foley explained how he needed to be kept in the hospital for 10 days after his birth due to a condition called meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), how his mom helped him overcome his speech impediment, and how adding a theology minor in college changed his life. As evidenced in Mr. Foley’s stories, God purposefully places people in our lives to keep us on track. Students with green candles placed them on the tower to pray for those who are lost and need guidance. Gold candles were then added for any personal intentions that had not been mentioned during the course of the night.
Just as Hunger ended with Eucharistic Adoration, so too did the juniors spend time in the presence of our Lord. Fr. Garrett Long, S.M., ’62 placed the Body of Christ atop the tower of candles, initiating fifteen minutes of silent reflection.
Get Colorized was a memorable experience for all. As James Moran ’18 put it, “It was a great night. I had fun with my friends and teachers, and I found the presentations extremely moving.”
These evenings of recollection provided the upperclassmen with a window of opportunity in which to focus upon the faith and friendships that has been built by their years at Chaminade. By reenergizing their spiritual life, the students not only grew closer to God but also are more prepared to face the challenges of this school year as a strong, faithful, and united class.