August 2018

CJ Principal Travels to the Holy Land

While many administrators take time off during the summer months, CJ principal John Marshall ‘86 chose to deepen his faith with an inspirational pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“The Archbishop of Cincinnati allocated professional development funds from the recent campaign for principals to attend pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” Marshall explained. “Staff from the Archdiocese office of Evangelization and Discipleship invited me to attend. I said yes with a, ‘concerned blessing from my wife and children’ and the support of CJ president Dan Meixner ‘84, with the goal of deepening my own faith life as well as educating myself on the Judeo Christian foundation of our Catholic faith.”

The eleven day journey took Marshall and 50 others from the Cincinnati and Dayton area to dozens of locations across the Holy Land.

“We arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel and journeyed to Jerusalem,” Marshall said. “Over the next several days we visited, celebrated Mass, and prayed together as a group. 

“We experienced the Gospel stories from Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem, His ministry in Nazareth and Cana, and His death at Calvary,” Marshall continued. “We walked the journey of Mary, when pregnant with Jesus, meeting Elizabeth, when pregnant with John the Baptist. We toured the Church of the Visitation, Jordan River (Baptism of Jesus) and a Monastery on the mountain where Jesus was tempted by Satan after fasting for 40 days in the desert. We visited Jacob’s Well, where Jesus met the, ‘woman at the well’ and even drank a cup of water from it, and took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

“I prayed at the Western Wall, holy place for our Jewish friends, and reflected in the Upper Room and the Garden and Cave of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before his arrest. I walked The Way of the Cross and Celebrated Mass at the Tomb of Jesus.”

When reflecting on the most powerful experiences during the pilgrimage, Marshall shared, “Before Jesus was turned over to Pilate he was sent to Caiaphas’ house where He was questioned and was alone, while His friends fled and Peter, outside in the courtyard, denied Jesus three times. I was there and my heart broke, as I imagined the loneliness Jesus must have felt.

“I believe the Primacy of Peter, the first Pope, was significant, and seeing how now Pope Francis is the continuation of this apostolic faith is incredibly awesome to be part of. I also have renewed appreciation of the need for people to seek out and accept experiences that can refresh their spirit and enhance their faith. My family and I hesitated a bit about my going on this trip, but it has been a life changing experience for which I am very grateful. Everyone has the responsibility to cultivate their own spiritual journey; no one can do it for you.” 

Marshall added, “I look forward to the next part of the pilgrimage by participating in a series of Bible study and group discussions with a cohort of principals as we deepen our understanding of this wonderful Catholic Church tradition.”

Posted August 2, 2018

Eagles Return to Steubenville Youth Conference

More than 20 students spent a weekend this summer diving deeper into their faith at the Steubenville Youth Conference.

“Steubenville is a weekend long youth conference with world class Catholic speakers, live music, daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration,” explained religion teacher and chaperone Tim O’Loughlin. “This was CJ's second year going to Steubenville and, both years, the most powerful moment was when they processed Jesus (the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance) up and down every aisle throughout the entire arena.”

Students who attended the conference for the first time, and those who returned for a second year, shared some of their most powerful moments from the event.

“At Steubenville, we listened to talks from inspiring and passionate speakers,” shared Ella Waldspurger ‘20. “They talked to us about our relationships, working towards a better life and a better familiarity with God. We praised with songs sung by a band and we prayed and had adoration. That was extremely powerful and really put the talks into action so we actually could feel our relationship with God growing. I soaked in all of the talks and information that was shared at the conference and it opened my eyes to new ideas and better ways to live my life as one of God’s children.”

“While at the conference you experience so many different emotions and feelings and the people around you are your support system for the weekend,” Mikayla Jette ‘21 added. “They comfort you and carry you through everything that is going on. Nothing can prepare you for how amazing of an experience you will have and how blown away you will be by the faith and by God. My mind is still blown anytime I think about it and a smile spreads across my face. What a wonderful God we have!?” 

Elaine Bonner, annual giving coordinator, and who also chaperoned noted, “Watching thousands of youth fully come alive through praise and worship to God was quite a sight and has inspired me to reach deeper in my faith life.”

Many of the Eagles shared that the Adoration on Saturday evening was their most memorable experience from the conference.

“Adoration on Saturday is always my favorite part because of the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit that you feel especially when the priest walks around with the monstrance,” said Matt Reuter ‘19.

“We were all in the moment,” added Madeline Frasure ‘21. “We were praising and glorifying God and we didn't care who was around watching us because Jesus was right in front of our eyes — it was so beautiful.”

Matthew Eifert ‘21 agreed, “My favorite part of the conferences was Adoration, because it was a very
enjoyable religious event with live music and a powerful atmosphere that left me breathless at the end.”
All who attended shared that the conference was life-changing for them.

“Steubenville was just such an amazing experience which opened my eyes to a new way of life and made me deeper understand who God is and why he is so AMAZING!,” Riley Ferdelman ‘21 said.

“Steubenville is an amazing and life-changing conference because God is so present in the hearts of everyone there,” agreed Kate Schinaman ‘20. “He will move in and work through anyone who is willing, and I experienced gifts from God at Steubenville that I didn't even know existed beforehand. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to go to Steubenville and grow in my faith.”

Posted August 1, 2018

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