*The Aquinas Institute varsity cheerleaders recently were named National Champs at the Cheer Ltd. Canam Nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C. They competed in the Super Large Varsity division against nine other teams.
After the first day of competition, Aquinas was in second place, down by two points to Oak Creek High School of Oak Creek, Wis. The school ended up clinching the division by eight points, finishing with a score of 525.5.
More than 55 parents, family and friends traveled to Myrtle Beach with the squad of 37 for the weekend.
The team is coached by Aquinas alumnae Melissa Masters and Erin Morgan.
Team members are Kelly Baker, Marisa Baker, Amanda Barcelo, Brandy Brown, Brittany Brown, Sarah Byrne, Ashley Cannan, Laura Casper, Ashlie Clement, Taylor Cook, Martina Corbelli, Lyndsay DeFeo, Marlee Deuel, Tori Deuel, Maria Fleming, Kerrie Florack, Marissa Gionta, Milan Grosser, Nicole Helfrich, Jennifer Hickey, Erin Kenny, Keelin Kenny, Amaryllis Labue, Megan Lavorato, Danielle Mastrella, Gina Mattioli, Kiera Muratore, Katie Mutter, Lea Natalello, Olivia Piccirillo, Joelle Popham, Cassandra Rzepka, Alyssa Sable, Miranda Salvaggio, Jenna Seavy, Ashley Stewart and Emily Zambito.
* Students, faculty, parents and parishioners honored more than a century of history and pride during a celebration of Holy Cross School March 1. Current students and alumni participated by performing music and proclaiming Scripture readings. More than 350 people gathered after Mass for a Blue-and-Gold Celebration that featured food, a DJ and fun. Most attendees wore Holy Cross apparel or the school’s colors, blue and gold.
The school is one of 13 in Monroe County that is slated to close in June. School officials noted that 70 percent of Holy Cross students have reregistered in diocesan schools.
* Irondequoit’s Bishop Kearney High School welcomed more than three dozen business professionals on March 4 for the school’s annual Career Day. The day, which was sponsored by the school’s alumni association, gave students a chance to talk with professionals about careers they may be interested in pursuing. Keynote speakers were Dave Mammano, founder/CEO of Next Step Magazine, and Jim Malone, a career-guidance-development and education-placement counselor.
* Catholic Family Center’s Woman’s Place Homeless Shelter was the beneficiary of the March 2 Rochester Rocks for the Homeless event at Rochester’s Water Street Music Hall. National band Drive performed with local bands including 50/50, 6 Degrees and Household Pest. The emcee for the event was radio personality Brother Wease.
Woman’s Place provides emergency shelter for more than 950 women and children in the Rochester area. Proceeds from the event go to improving the lives of women and their children as they move to self-sufficiency.
* St. John of Rochester School in Fairport welcomed children’s entertainer Glenn Colton for an assembly Feb. 29. Colton performed “The Character Education Show” in the school gym to an audience of students, teachers and families.
* The Family First Federal Credit Union and Bishop Kearney High School have partnered to open a new student branch inside the school bookstore. The credit union will be open for several hours on Mondays and Thursdays, and will be accessible to students, faculty and parents.
Students have been hired and trained to work with Family First staff in branch operations, as part of a new business and personal-finance curriculum being developed by Kearney faculty and credit-union professionals. The curriculum was provided as part of ongoing educational efforts of the state Credit Union Foundation, in cooperation with the National Endowment for Financial Education.
* Thirteen members will be inducted into McQuaid Jesuit High School’s new Athletic Hall of Fame during a dinner and ceremony June 19 in the school’s new Deborah and John DiMarco ’60 Field House. The keynote speaker will be former Chicago Bears kicker Bob Thomas, ’70, an inaugural-class inductee. Thomas is chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and lives in Chicago.
Other inductees include cross-country/track coach Bob Bradley, who coached two teams to state titles; hockey player Mark Doyle, ’85, the school’s all-time leading scorer who led the school to two Section 5 titles; Eugene Goodlow, ’77, a football tailback who played professionally for the New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; Eric Kendrick, ’66, who set numerous Section 5, University of Rochester and Syracuse Manley Field House cross-country, indoor- and outdoor-track records; Joe Miller, ’64, a football, basketball and baseball player who received a pro contract from the Kansas City Royals in 1968; George Monagan, the school’s first athletic director, soccer and basketball coach; and John Roselli, ’60, a wrestling coach from 1964 to 1987 who was the 1979 Section 5 coach of the year.
The induction ceremony also will honor Rick Salamone, ’76, a three-time U.S. Olympic wrestling-team alternate and a seven-time U.S. freestyle champion; football coach Tom Seymour, who had a 98-63-4 record and who led the school to a 24-game winning streak, among other accomplishments; Tom Sheehey, ’83, a basketball player who was drafted in the fourth round by the Boston Celtics and who played 12 years of professional basketball in Europe and South America; Brad Sumner, ’89, who anchored relay teams that won two national indoor-track titles and who competed in Olympic trials; Thomas, a football and soccer player who kicked the game-winning field goal in the 1973 Sugar Bowl to give Notre Dame the national championship, and who played 12 years in the NFL, including 10 years with Chicago; and Greg Woodard, ’88, who led the school to a state basketball title and who played professionally in Europe for four years.
Selections were made from 120 nominations from about 170 people. Nominations will remain eligible for selection for a five-year period. There is a 10-year waiting period from graduation before an athlete is eligible for induction.
Tickets to the dinner are available at Wegmans’ That’s the Ticket counters, at the school and online at www.mcquaid.org.
* St. Ann Community’s pastoral-care coordinator, Sister of Mercy Livia Ruocco, received a Women of Faith Award from Transfiguration Lutheran Church on Feb. 24. The award celebrates women and the ways in which they act on their faith in the community.
Sister Ruocco spent 28 years teaching in 12 diocesan Catholic schools and also has had experience as a pastoral associate and director of the school of religion at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Rochester. She also has had experience with area hospice programs, summer youth projects, Christmas basket and toy distributions, working at Alpha and Omega religious book store, and living for a year with a Mexican family in Albuquerque. In May 2004, she began her position at St. Ann’s, where she serves the fragile and elderly.
* Three Our Lady of Mercy High School students were named finalists in the 2008 competition for National Merit Scholarships. Mercy seniors Claire Conley, Margaret Connolly and Katarina Gelke ranked among the top 1 percent in the nation and will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2008.
* Fairport Church of the Assumption confirmation candidates Anna Loughran, Charlie Raycraft and Valerie Francis organized, collected and delivered 661 winter-outerwear items to Rochester city schools. The items were delivered to the Volunteers of America and distributed to students in need in March.
* Paul T. Pickering, executive director of Catholic Charities Community Services, received the Vincenza DeFazio Award from the state Council of Catholic Charities Directors. The award is named for the late Vincenza DeFazio, a longtime attorney for Catholic Charities in New York City.
Pickering began working at Catholic Charities Community Services in 1982. Under his leadership, the agency has grown from one residential facility with 10 consumers and a budget of less than $200,000, to an agency with a budget of $8.2 million that serves 550 people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury or HIV/AIDS.
Pickering also has represented the diocese on several state Council of Catholic Charities subcommittees, including committees for people with developmental disabilities. He has more than 38 years of human-services experience.
* Our Lady of Mercy High School’s girls’ basketball team traveled to Rochester’s sister city Rennes, France, to participate in an international basketball tournament during the Easter holiday. Mercy’s team beat all other teams but the Czech Republic in what was the team’s first year participating in the tournament.
The team of eight eighth- and ninth-grade students traveled to France with coaches, Mercy faculty and family members to play teams from Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Poland. The trip was part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Sister Cities program between Rochester and Rennes. The Franchise Ballers, a Rochester boy’s basketball team, also was part of the delegation and brought home a championship trophy.
Each student stayed with a host family for four days while in Rennes to experience French food, culture, lifestyle and language. They also toured Parish, Rennes, St. Malo, Mont St. Michel, the Normandy beaches and the American Cemetery.
The students also participated in a digital-photography project by the SNAP Foundation of Rochester. They explored the history of France, took photos and will write about the sites that reflect the contributions of men and women from today and yesterday.
In May, Rennes will send a delegation to Rochester to take part in the Lilac Festival and they will march in the parade with members of Mercy’s team.
Team members are Lexi Eyerman, Taylor Eyerman, Gina Giangreco, Hayley Giangreco, Sara Quinn, Amanda Rigoni, Caitlyn Schiano and Victoria Tucci. Coaches were Marc Binsack and Tom Vasey.
* Aquinas Institute theology teacher Patrick Connelly contributed a chapter in a new anthology, The Call of Memory; Learning about the Holocaust through Narrative. The anthology includes short stories by several Holocaust survivors and contemporary writers.
Connelly’s chapter is included in the companion teacher’s guide, in which he shares his experience in using Sara Nomberg-Przytyk’s short story “The Camp Blanket” in his global studies, English and theology courses at Aquinas.
Barbara Applebaum, former director of the Jewish Community Federation’s Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information in Rochester, also contributed a chapter in the guide. She chronicles the reactions of an Aquinas senior theology class based on assignments and discussions related to Isle Aichinger’s short story “Fear of Fear.”
The books, published by Ben Yehuda Press, are available through Amazon.com.
* Our Mother of Sorrows School in Greece celebrated St. Joseph’s Day March 18 with the annual St. Joseph’s Table presented by Principal Samuel Zalacca, his wife, and parents of students at the school.
The event was attended by members of the diocesan Catholic Schools Office, including Sister of St. Joseph Janice Morgan, interim superintendent of diocesan Catholic schools; Sister Elaine Englert, director of human resources for diocesan schools; Sister Margaret Mancuso, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction; Patricia Jones, assistant superintendent of the Wegman Inner City program; and parish staff including Father Alex Bradshaw, who was celebrating his birthday.
* Bishop Matthew H. Clark celebrated the annual 100 Days Mass at Aquinas Institute March 26 in the Wegman-Napier gymnasium. The Mass marks 100 days until Aquinas seniors graduate, and it includes a special blessing of the junior-class rings.
* Bishop Kearney welcomed Buffalo Sabres General Manager Larry Quinn to the school March 28 to launch the 21st Century Leaders Series, which invites CEOs and high-profile community leaders to talk to Kearney students about what it takes to be successful. Richard Kaplan, CEO of Pictometry International, was to visit the school campus April 24.
* St. John Fisher College students spent a day of service at Abelard Reynolds School No. 42 on Lake Avenue in Rochester April 9.
Dr. Nicholas Blanchard of the college’s Wegmans School of Pharmacy and his students read to students, supported instruction, assisted in classrooms and the school library, and cleaned up the school grounds. St. John Fisher students also have raised money to buy school supplies for School No. 42 and donated them at the end of the day of service.