The Christian Action Team recognized 19 members of the Class of 2018 for their leadership and commitment to Christian service at the C.A.T. Senior Recognition Meeting on Thursday, May 10. Oscar Barillas, Jack Gurney, Mike Nickerson and Gavin Hearns each received this year's Fr. Pedro Arrupe Service Award, the highest honor given by C.A.T.
Additionally, 15 seniors were presented with the St. Peter Claver, S.J. Service Award for outstanding contributions to C.A.T. initiatives. This year's recipients were: Justin Adler, Kevin Albertino, Brad Anderson, Keno Benjamin, Anthony Delsanter, Sam Evans, Ian Flynn, Michael Fox, Apurva Gandhi, Max Gruber, Liam Nigro, Joey O'Donnell, Jeff Outcalt, Christian Seybert and Gino Valletta.
In addition to a simple plaque, each of the 19 award recipients received a copy of the book "God's Voice Within: The Ignatian Way to Discover God's Will" by Fr. Mark Thibodeaux, S.J.
At the meeting, Theology teacher and C.A.T. Chaplain Mr. Dan Galla gave the keynote address, talking about the impact and legacy of Jim Skerl, with whom the Class of 2018 was the last to be on campus. Mr. Galla spoke about the privilege of service, of getting to encounter Christ through people on the margins.
Each of the four senior recipients of the Arrupe Award was honored with some short remarks from the C.A.T moderators about the student's dedication to various service initiatives, as well as for serving as a witness to their own formation through the relationships they formed through C.A.T.
Mr. Pat Valletta '05 spoke about Oscar Barillas' leadership in committing to Homework Club, especially early in the school year when he was often the only student volunteer present.
Mr. John Gill '97 commented on Jack Gurney's tremendous dedication to the Saint Joseph of Arimathea Pallbearer Ministry, with Jack having served dozens of funerals during his two years as a participant.
Mr. Dan Galla remarked about Mike Nickerson's companionship to those with developmental disabilities through Friends with L'Arche, and his inviting weekly commentary to his peers.
Mr. Connor Walters '09 talked about Gavin Hearns' eagerness to encounter the stranger through a variety of programs, but most notably the Saint Bernard Movers, in which Gavin was a four-year mainstay.
For the summer months, two C.A.T. initiatives will continue unabated: the pallbearer ministry and Labre. Student pallbearers are asked to please answer the call during the summer months, when able.
Labre sign-ups over the summer will take place via email. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a spot. Sign-ups reset each week on Monday mornings, so there are no bookings available far in advance.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 for their terrific dedication to Christian service. We hope to welcome some of you back in four years as Alumni Volunteers!