By Brendan Lane ’20
This is the moment for which the seniors have been waiting since their earliest Chaminade days. Each day for the last four years, they have watched the morning announcements and the constant bombardment of advertisements for clubs and events. But one ad has stood out in particular. The soft but upbeat tune plays, the mysterious man with an apron appears on screen, and students watch as a beautiful steak sizzles on a grill after being brushed in a marinade. Their stomachs start to growl, and they dream of that steak-filled October night.
Finally, that dream came true! On Thursday, October 17, seniors had the privilege of attending Hunger, the senior night of recollection. The evening started in the AAC with a dream-fulfilling dinner. Members of the culinary club prepared a seemingly endless amount of delicious steak along with curly fries and salad for the seniors to enjoy. After an hour of dinner, the seniors’ physical hunger was sufficiently satisfied, but a much more important hunger was yet to be fulfilled.
The event allowed seniors to satisfy their spiritual hunger and continue to pursue the faith as they begin to move on from Chaminade.
“As the seniors choose their avenue in life, we want to instill in them that spiritual hunger. Faith has been an important part of their daily life for the last four years, and we want them to continue that wherever they go,” said Mr. Michael Foley ’99.
As the seniors moved into Hearst Auditorium for an evening of prayer and recollection, they were greeted by Mr. Matthew Chicavich ’98. Commencing his talk about faith, he presented the audience with two guiding questions, which would dominate the presentation all night. He asked, “What is the Lord saying to me? How can I say ‘yes’ to the Lord?” The seniors were presented with stories of various faculty members concerning how they realized their spiritual hunger and how they sought to fulfill it.
The first speaker of the night was Mrs. Maria Agosti. “I wanted the students to be able to look at ‘hunger’ in a new and different way,” said Mrs. Agosti. “We usually focus on the feelings that hunger stirs in us and, therefore, consider hunger a negative thing. However, hunger is the way by which our bodies tell us that we need nourishment.”
Mrs. Agosti discussed her journey all the way from Argentina to Chaminade and how hunger drove her actions. She and her husband came to the United States because they had hunger—hunger to start a family. “It was hunger for a better life that made my husband and I immigrate to the United States. Social, political and economic factors in Argentina made it impossible for us to fulfill our dreams of creating a family.” Once her basic needs were met and her family was thriving, Mrs. Agosti sought to once again satisfy her spiritual hunger. She came to Chaminade knowing the abundant opportunities the school would give her to work on her faith, and she has not looked back since.
“I wanted the seniors to walk away ready to listen to that natural longing that we feel to get to know God intimately. To listen to that hunger, and to satisfy it with good ‘food,’ such as prayer, reflection, and Communion.”
The seniors then watched a short documentary about Mary’s Meals, a charity that feeds thousands of schoolchildren each day in 16 different countries. Through the stories of various schoolchildren and the mission of Mary’s Meals, the seniors realized how hunger can move people. They learned how powerful hunger can be for them as they move on in their spiritual lives.
After the seniors watched the documentary, Mr. Chicavich took the floor to discuss his journey with the faith as he entered adulthood and eventually ended up marrying his wife. Once he began working at Chaminade, Mr. Chicavich experienced the abundance of faith around him and realized he needed to change his lifestyle. After going to confession, he began his spiritual journey. Unfortunately, just after he started his wonderful journey, he encountered his first obstacle when his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Through his faith, he was able to stay calm amidst his mother’s illness. Mr. Chicavich was invited on a retreat by a woman he met, and after asking his family if he could leave for some time, he took the next step in his spiritual journey. On this retreat, he would meet his future wife with whom he would start a family. Mr. Chicavich taught the seniors how spiritual hunger can change your life for the better.
The night of recollection fittingly ended with adoration of the Eucharist. Fr. Peter Heiskell, S.M. ’86 exposed the Eucharist, and everyone knelt in silence reflecting on the evening.
As the seniors look ahead in their journey, they now understand the importance of keeping their faith by their sides. “I pray a lot, and I pray that I may never stop feeling spiritual hunger,” said Mrs. Agosti.
After being asked what he feels the seniors should take away from the event, Mr. Foley explained, “I want them to take away that God is the ultimate fulfillment in life.”