October 2014

Rwandan Genocide Survivor Shares Story

Immaculée Ilibagiza shared her inspirational life story with all students in the auditorium Thursday morning.

Immaculée is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, an atrocity which took the lives of approximately 800,000 people. Overcoming tragedy, Immaculée spent 91 days huddled silently together with seven other women in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house in order to avoid certain death at the hands of their fellow compatriots.

Her presentation began with a screening of part of a documentary about her life and the social and political climate of Rwanda that boiled over into a modern-day holocaust. Immaculée was a college student at the time. “I hid in this tiny bathroom for 91 days and they never found me, but I found myself,” she said in the film.

On the CJ stage, Immaculée described the lessons she learned while the eight women literally lived on top of one another in a 3 ft.by 4 ft. square space. In hiding, she spoke to God, prayed the rosary 27 times a day, and was able to teach herself to speak English.

“You are never alone. God is real,” Immaculée told students while she held a rosary. She advocated for the power of love and forgiveness, which she described as, “the freedom, peace and grace of God that is available to anyone who sincerely and genuinely wishes for it.

“If we want peace in the world, we have to act with love and it is us who can make those decisions.”

The Catholic motivational speaker and published author travels the world spreading her message of peace, faith, hope and forgiveness. While she has spoken to world dignitaries, multinational corporations, churches, and elsewhere, Immaculée told the audience at CJ that she truly appreciates speaking with students and young people.

“The future of our world depends on you,” she told them. “We have hope in you.”

Immaculée’s story has been the subject of books and news reports. It will soon be made into a major motion picture.

After the assembly, Immaculée gifted her rosary to a student in the crowd, autographed and sold copies of four of her books, and posed for pictures.

Before her morning talk, she met with school officials and members of a Senior Capstone group who are studying the large Rwandan refugee population in the Miami Valley. Dayton is widely considered to have welcomed more immigrants from Rwanda than any other American city.


For more information, visit www.immaculee.com

Students Go Backstage at Dayton Venues

About 30 students got a special backstage look at Dayton’s historic Victoria Theatre and the stunning Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in early October thanks to a field trip organized by Caitlin Bennett, drama teacher.

Hear more about this unique performing arts experience from freshman Angelo Moore-Knight ‘18:

Before the trip, I was excited to go see both the Victoria Theatre and the Schuster Center. I have been there multiple times for shows, but I have never been on stage or backstage. The reason I could go on this trip is because I am in the Fall Play.

On the field trip, we learned details about the lobby part of the Schuster Center called the Wintergarden, but my favorite part was going backstage. We took a tour backstage of the Schuster Center and we also went under the stage at the Victoria Theatre to see most of the dressing rooms.

I thought it was pretty cool to find out the Victoria Theatre was burned to the ground two times. The wall from the very first Victoria Theatre is still in the basement. Throughout the backstage hallways of both the Victoria and the Schuster, they have signed posters from previous shows.

From this experience, I took away so much information about both the Schuster and the Victoria. If I would not have gone on this trip, I would have never known that the Victoria burned down once, let alone twice, and that the theatre has a ghost. (Yes, the great Victoria Theatre has a ghost!).

I would encourage others to join performing arts at CJ. Not only is it fun, there are fun trips and events that go with it, and everyone can make a friend.

This article is authored by Angelo Moore-Knight ‘18, who plays “The Man” in the Fall Play, You Can’t Take it With You. Photos were taken by Liam Gavin ‘18, a member of the crew. The play runs Nov. 14-16 in the auditorium.

Free Concert, Live Music, Downtown

Join us TONIGHT at 7 p.m. in the CJ auditorium for Autumn Overtures, a free evening of music presented by the members of the CJ Performing Arts department.

We will kick off the 2014-15 season with performances by our Concert Choir, Concert Band, String Ensemble, Hands in Harmony, Age V, Vega, and a performance by our Eagle Pride musicians along with members of the flag team.

Following the concert, guests are welcomed to join families, friends and students in the cafeteria for punch and cupcakes at a reception hosted by the Parents of Performing Arts Students(PoPS).

Parents are invited to attend monthly CJ PoPS meetings, generally held the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in room 100, to learn how to become more involved with performing arts opportunities at CJ. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6. If you have questions, please contact Kathleen Shanahan-Aughe, PoPS president, at pops@cjeagles.org.

Eagles Eyeing State Championships

Congratulations to the women's golf team on making a sixth consecutive state championship appearance Oct. 10-11 at Ohio State University's Gray Course. The Eagles finished fourth, shooting 692 as a team over the two-day tournament.

CJ entered its final match with a near-perfect record, having collecting championships in the GCL Coed, sectional and district tournaments. This year's top players included co-captain Sarah Downing '15, co-captain Ellie Cronin '16, Lizzi Yeazel '16, Colleen Wagoner '16 and Sara Sue Bowman '17

The Eagles were led all season by the GCL Player of the Year in Cronin (41.9 avg) and one of the winningest players in school history in Downing (43.0 avg). The senior recorded more than 100 victories over her four-year varsity career. She was a member of the state championship team in 2011, the state runner-up team in 2012, and the third place team in 2013.

The program, in existence since 2007, has enjoyed tremendous success under head coach George Menker '55. Perhaps more impressive is the team's composition. Student athletes joined the team with varying levels of experience and truly reflect the makeup of the school's entire student body. The nine players on the roster hail from eight different grade schools: St. Albert, Bishop Leibold, St. Chris, Holy Angels, Incarnation, Mary Queen of Peace, Oakwood and St. Peter.

Coach Menker, a graduate of Chaminade, is a four-time recipient of GCL/GGCL Coach of the Year honors. He brings unmatched passion and pride while teaching all student athletes, no matter their skill level or experience, the game of golf. Numerous players under his tutelage have gone on to earn scholarships and compete at the college level while pursuing their education.


Q&A with CJ National Merit Achievers

Congratulations to six seniors who have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Matthew Boudinot ’15, Erin Carmody ‘15, Emily Meyer ‘15, Monica Rains ‘15, and Grace Saunders ‘15 were named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. In addition, classmate Aaron Talib ’15 was recognized as an Outstanding Participant in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

These six students provided us with answers to the following six questions:

1. Who is your biggest influence?

Monica Rains: My biggest influence has been my parents. They have always pushed me to do my best and encouraged me to pursue what I am interested in.

Matthew Boudinot: My biggest influence is probably my grandfather on my mom's side. He has taught me all about golf and pushes me to succeed in school and in everything I do. He is a great role model and a great influence on my faith as a Catholic. 

Grace Saunders: My mother is my biggest influence. She is a major role model in my life and I strive to be like her. She has taught me to always put forth my best effort, stay positive, and never give up.

Emily Meyer: My biggest influences are my parents, because they support me in everything I do.

Aaron Talib: My father is probably my biggest influence. He has been the proverbial rock that has kept me grounded. He's my best friend and has been vital to my growth. I try to emulate him as much as I can.

Erin Carmody: My parents are my biggest influence. They push me through everything.

2. What is your favorite school subject and why?

Monica: My favorite school subject is biology. I enjoy learning about the intricate details of life.

Matthew: My favorite school subject is math just because it is fun. I like working with numbers and it keeps my brain stimulated.

Grace: My favorite subject in school is AP Spanish because I love learning about another culture and the language has always interested me.

Emily: My favorite school subject is math because I have loved it my whole life.

Aaron: My favorite school subject in history. I look at history as a story that gets told generation after generation. We learn from history and what others have done in the past as a means to dictate the present and future.

Erin: I like biology a lot. I really like science and knowing how the body works through biology interests me. 

3. What extracurricular activities are you a part of at CJ? 

Monica: I was a part of the women's crew team in the past. Currently, I am an Eagle Ambassador, a member of Eagles for Life, a member of the Environmental Club, and I might join the Mock Trial team. 

Matthew: At CJ, I just finished my last year of varsity golf and I also do Science Olympiad. I was also part of the Magnified Giving philanthropy club.

Grace: I am president of Key Club. I am an Eagle Ambassador and Student Development Chair. I am also a member of Eagles for Life, varsity soccer, and FLIGHT.

Emily: I am involved in soccer, lacrosse, Key Club, JCOWA, Eagle Ambassadors, National Honor Society, and Liturgical Choir.

Aaron: I participate in marching band, tech crew for CJ theater productions, and play on tennis. I also participate in CJ's first rock band group, The Monday Night Project.

Erin: I am a rower and an Eagle Ambassador. I am in JCOWA as well.

4. If you could give advice to a new CJ student, what would it be? 

Monica: My advice to a new CJ student would be to take advantage of some of the many opportunities available at CJ. Also, there are so many great classes offered at CJ so don't be afraid to try a new class even if you think that it might be a challenging one.

Matthew: My advice to a new CJ student would be to keep up with your homework, but also to keep up with your sleep. If you stay on top of homework, and get good sleep, you are bound for success.

Grace: My advice to any incoming CJ students would be to get involved! CJ has an amazing and unique community and there is a place for everyone. There are so many opportunities to find something you love. Try everything!

Meyer: If I could give advice to a new CJ student, I would tell them to get involved in as much as possible, but don't let it overwhelm you.

Aaron: Don't be afraid of success and don't let failure dictate your future.

Erin: My advice would be to do all of your homework and study for tests. 

5. If you could invite any famous person to graduation, who would it be? Why?

Monica: I would invite Pope Francis to our graduation because I would love to meet him and hear what he has to say.

Matthew: I would invite Phil Mickelson, a professional golfer, because he is very generous with his time and money, and he could explain what it takes to be successful and what it means to live your dream in life.

Grace: I would invite Beyoncé. A performance by Beyoncé at graduation would make our graduation unforgettable.

Emily: I would invite the cast of the Harry Potter movies and J. K. Rowling because Harry Potter is my favorite.

Aaron: I would invite Mahatma Gandhi. He is probably the person I most idolize from a historic standpoint. He was a groundbreaking leader and his methods not only invoked the usage of compromise, but it brought together an entire nation.

Erin: I would invite Pope Francis. He is a very humble pope and very inspiring.

6. Where will you be in 10 years and what will you be doing? 

Monica: In 10 years I want to be back in Dayton, or near Dayton, and be completing my first couple years of residency. 

Matthew: In 10 years, I plan to be on the PGA Tour, hopefully with a wife and kids. I will still be strong in my faith and I will be a gentleman to all. I want to be a role model that everyone can look up to, and that my family can be proud of.

Grace: In 10 years, I hope to have a career as an educator or oncologist. I plan to be traveling the world and experiencing as many cultures as possible.

Emily: I will be doing some sort of research in a lab, maybe finding the cure for cancer.

Aaron: In 10 years, I hope to be working at ESPN, having a good career as a producer and director for ESPN's new online YouTube show, which I spearheaded. I hope to have a family, but most of all, I hope in 10 years to be simply content with life.

Erin: In 10 years, I will be just out of medical school so hopefully in an internship.