A Word from Mr. Nunan
Friends—And Alumni—for Life
Recently, I had the chance to catch up with one of our amazing seniors. I learned that she and a few of her closest friends from the Class of 2017 have been with each other since kindergarten; they all went to the same grammar school… and then all came here. When our conversation turned to graduation, she said with more than a little melancholy in her voice, “Yea… it will be strange not to see them… not to be with them… every day.”
This edition of the Phoenix Update is going out to the alumni from all of our schools—to the graduates of Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Trinity Catholic High School, Newton Catholic, Our Lady’s, and Saint Joseph Prep. Our recently created Alumni Network, which welcomes and includes all alumni, is deeply reflective of the charism of our founders and sponsors, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston—that all may be one.
As the soon-to-be-graduate mentioned above will soon discover, she and her fellow seniors will be connected forever; they will be friends—and alumni—for life.
Graduates from all of our schools may ask, “Why stay connected? Why get engaged? Why bother about my alma mater? Why care about its current iteration, Saint Joseph Prep?” These are good questions.
Here is my answer. For you.
For you… so that you may remember: If you take but a moment to reflect on your high school experience, you know well what happens. It starts with an old photo or a familiar song; maybe it is something that comes to you in a dream (like St. Joseph), or maybe it is coming across a name or a face, out of the blue. Then, quite suddenly, it all comes back. The memories and experiences, etched in your mind and heart, are revealed and restored, as if someone has wiped the windshield or cleared away the dust. It is some moment at the dance, in detention, or in the dining hall; at the front of the classroom, in the middle of the court, or at the back of the chapel; it is with that treasured, somewhat notorious group of your classmates or with that best friend who became like a second sibling. The faces of your closest friends and the voices of your beloved teachers; the taste of your favorite lunch and the feel of your old uniform; the locker combination and the morning announcements; the rhythm of the school year, going through the seasons; the awkward moments of freshmen year and the bittersweet emotions of graduation; it all comes back. Let it come back. Remember. As a wise Jesuit reminded me often, “Remember, be grateful, and be glad.”
For you… so that you may be happy: There is perhaps no other time in our lives like the time we have in high school. So much change, so much growth; it is all so new… and we were all so young. Everything touched us, moved us, shaped us, formed us; life “sunk in” to us in ways that are difficult to explain… but easy to feel. The relationships we formed in high school, the friendships we made in high school, are different than any other. We went through it together. You know this well, because every time you see one of your friends from high school—no matter how many years, even decades, have passed—you are friends again… just as you were… just as if the years had melted away. You look to each other just as you looked when you were 17… it all comes back. Stay connected. And if you have lost touch, get reconnected. You owe it to yourself… and to your classmates. These are sacred relationships; they have stood the test of time; they are truly life-giving; they are sources of comfort and consolation, of hope and joy.
For you… so that you may be inspired: Your legacy, whether from Newton or Brighton, whether from the 50’s or the 80’s, is alive and well at Saint Joseph Prep. Your legacy lives on in the next generation of students; they stand on your shoulders. They need you. And, I would argue, you need them. Meet them, see them, relate to them, connect with them, and most importantly, see yourselves in them. Trust me, you will be moved. Hear their stories of family and friendship. Share their struggles—from learning Chemistry to navigating adolescence, from giving a public speech to getting a summer job. Celebrate their victories, from earning academic honors to landing lead roles, from going to the state tournament to getting a coveted college acceptance. You’ll recognize something of you in our scholars; they come from the same towns; they deal with the same commutes; they have many of the same questions, the same fears, the same hopes, and the same dreams. They want the best educational experience, and they are relying on you to help provide it. More than that, by supporting those who follow in your footsteps, you will know that you are making a difference—for these young women and men, for their families, for the school that embodies your legacy, and for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. Relish in that feeling of satisfaction, of connection. The Sisters remind us that relationship is at the heart of everything. Enter into relationship with this next generation of your alumni sisters and brothers… and be renewed.
We are your school and you are our alumni. We are in this together—that all may be one.