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Saint Ignatius High School

Times and Seasons

Life is filled with turn-turn-turns, comings and goings, most so mundane that they seldom merit notice, yet some are profoundly life-changing. Drawing inspiration from The Byrds, Mr. Healey talks about the times and seasons of our lives--and how they continue to turn.

I remember the first time that I saw the connection between my love of music and my love of the Catholic worldview.  I don’t remember the year, but it could not have been 1965 – the year that The Byrds released “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – because, I can’t imagine being so in touch with the Logos at age 5 that I would have been hip to the joining of lyrics from the Book of Ecclesiastes with the hypnotic beauty of an electric 12-string guitar.  My theo-musical awakening most probably took place sometime in the early 1970s, but it engendered the belief that all of life, especially art, and in this case music, is a Theological enterprise.
 
That wonderful song, with the distinction of having the most ancient lyrics of any Number One hit, was running through my head this weekend at Public Hall during the graduation exercises of the Class of 2018.  It began as I stood back stage, behind the risers where the soon-to-be-graduates were seated.  With my back to them, I looked out on the empty seats of Music Hall, the smaller theater that shares a stage with Public Hall.  Music Hall – the place where I moved from student to alumnus – was dark, but that only helped me to drift back to the graduation exercises of the Class of 1977, forty-one years ago.
 
As if bubbling up from my unconscious, the opening lines of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” began to play in my head:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

Life is filled with turn-turn-turns, comings and goings, most so mundane that they seldom merit notice, yet some are profoundly life-changing.  As I moved toward the front of the Public Hall stage and stood next to the risers upon which the senior sat I noticed one graduate in particular, Joey Lamatrice ’18.  I had the pleasure this semester of finally teaching the son of my wife’s sister Suzi, and it was a real gift to be able to see my nephew every day during 4th period.  I walked over to shake his hand, to congratulate him on a successful four years, and to wish him well at Loyola University Chicago in the fall.  Sadly, but not shockingly, Joey’s first words to me were, “Did you hear that Uncle Bill died?”
 
Paul William Geiger, M.D. was a proud member of the Class of 1959, the youngest of four brothers to have gone through Saint Ignatius.  After attending Xavier University and St. Louis University Medical School he never again lived in Cleveland, but when he came to town for family events he would always make time to chat with me about his beloved Alma Mater.  Each time we spoke over the past four decades Uncle Bill always treated me as one of his own, even though I was only the husband of his oldest niece, and I am certain that he is the most soft-spoken, gentle, kind, and gracious man I’ve ever known.
 
This weekend our family lost a most beloved alumnus of this famed Alma Mater, but in Joey’s graduation we were fortunate enough to gain another, our last Ignatian until, God willing, the next generation arrives.
 
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

 
The seriousness and profundity of this weekend’s events help to give perspective to the other, more run-of-the-mill, moments in life, and help bring to light the fact that those everyday matters are not as mundane as they appear. 
 
As I return to Saint Ignatius after graduation weekend I am reminded that in one sense, nothing could be more run-of-the-mill or mundane than the crossing of Lorain Avenue every morning in order to get to the main campus.  And yet, day-in and day-out, through every season, in sun or rain or snow,  my good friend John Nypaver turns the ordinary into something special as he greets me with a joke, a highlight from last night’s Indians or Cavs game, or some silly thing that he saw or heard from one of the students. 
 
After 15 years of service John is the senior member of our fantastic security team, but his big-kid sense of humor and enthusiasm for his work make it appear that John’s age is closer to 16 than 60.  Every morning I try to time my walk so that I don’t make the light because I want to have that extra minute to stand with John and start my day off with a smile.  Things are not the same when John is not at the corner of West 30th and Lorain.  Crossing the street becomes just crossing the street rather than a time to laugh with a friend.
 
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

 
There is indeed a season and a time for all things, and one of those things is being thankful to God for each of those seasons and times – times when we were with fellow graduates, nephews, uncles, and friends. Through His grace we are able to share our seasons and times with those we care for and those who care for us – and nothing is more essential to our purpose under, and eventually in, heaven.

A.M.D.G.