Fr. Al DiUlio, S.J. reminisces...
Campion Always Holds a Special Place in Our Hearts and Minds
and all it stood for, will always hold a special place in my soul and
heart and mind....it was not only a place, a school, a community, but
so much more than that, in reality, Campion was and remains an ideal.
While we often joked about the motto, Give Campion a Boy and Get
Back a Man, in truth that is what Campion always tried to do...and
the success of the motto as well as the actuality, demonstrates
beautifully that Campion succeeded beyond what at the time could only
be seen as our wildest dreams. The men of Campion have shown over
and over again their commitment to the Church, to life and to
others....what better example of Men for Others could there be.
It is a tribute to not only the students, but the faculty and all
those associated with Campion to be able to say that and know
it is true.
For me, Campion was
not only a place to teach and learn, but a place to be with good
people, make lifelong friends and in the voice of a beer commercial,
be all that you can be, and then some. As the first, last and
only Jesuit to be ordained at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, the name
Campion sums up much more than simply a place on the Mississippi in a
small Wisconsin town but the opening of far wider vistas of life,
faith and prayer.
I first visited
Campion with a former student in 1965 and returned as a Jesuit
Scholastic in 1969. What I found was an exciting group of young men,
both students and Jesuits, who sought to make a difference in their
lives and in the world; being part of that journey was a pleasure, a
duty and a privilege. The men of Campion have made a difference in
many ways, to many people and at all times. I returned to Prairie du
Chien for several reunions and found the city little changed, but the
campus and the reality that was Campion had morphed through several
owners and many years into something quite different from what it
was. But Campion's essence remained and filled those there with
pride and joy.
Fr. Albert DiUlio, S.J.
Pat Mower '64 reunion reports...
This is your "cub" reporter reporting from "on the road"!
I am now ensconced in the Motel 6 in South Milwaukee, right across the road from the airport! Got here yesterday after a short trip.
I left home on 8 Sept at 6 in the morning, headed directly to Pat Kelly's house. Got there about 3pm or so in the afternoon.
Pat and I were in his "armory" looking at some old pics, so I got the old scanner out, and scanned in almost a hundred pictures of things like our commencement program, report cards and even a few letters his parents got in the mail.
Took off the next morning alone. Pat has serious back problems and underwent surgery on the 28th of September or so.
I stayed the next night in Tucumcari, New Mexico in the La Quinta there, the place Pat had some points on, so it was my favorite kind of room - Free!
Beautiful hotel, and I have never been to New Mexico except to drive through on the bottom part near El Paso (where I'll be once again at the end of my trip)!
Next morning, bright and early, with a long trip ahead of me, I left and headed for Des Moines, Iowa, the longest part of my trip.
I kept getting calls from Pat Kelly, but I don't answer the phone on the road. Finally in Newton Iowa, 10:30 at night, I answer the call. He told me about a leak I had in his garage and was fired up. Couldn't see anything, so I stayed in a microtel in Newton (another place I had never been). Next morning I checked, and oil was ok. No lights, so I headed out, and about noon I got to Prairie.
The hotel owner was waiting for me, and welcomed me graciously. He is an outsandingly wonderful guy, and we had a great time.
Our classmates started arriving one by one, or sometimes in couples - with their wives I mean! Then, in walks this short guy...smirking....Dick Farina had Arrived!
Dickie will NEVER change. He is SUCH a nice guy, and he tries to tell you how hard he is....don't you believe it.
Then O'Kane, my absolute fantastic "helper" (actually, I was his), and Terry Mied(however you spell it), and I think someone else went over the the "Angus" restaurant,right next to the hotel and had drinks and dinner. Lo and behold, Jerry, who is NOT to be outdone, shows up with Kathy Elliot!
Now, I remember Kathy as a beautiful (back then we used pretty I believe) gal. Well, she is still beautiful at our age, and those of you who know me, know that I am a lover of fine Asian ladies, and usually you can trust me around "round-eyes" (as we used to say in the military)! Not around Kathy. Ladies, close your ears.... Kathy is plainly put the in the terms of an old Military guy, a "Stone Cold Fox!"
Friday all day we sat around and talked and chatted and told lies about the stuff that happened at Campion...well, not lies, but I am sure some of the events were shrouded in the fog of old age....mine!
About 5:15 pm Friday, we all headed over to the "campus". We were welcomed, appropriately, I believe, by the Deputy Warden, Dan McCluskey. After a brief introduction and welcoming, we entered the guard shack. I can tell you, my Hemmorhoids survived the inspection in one piece....But I wasn't worried, our resident docs, Bernie and John were there.
We got a tour, and with Dan and one of the Captains (great guy), we strolled around Marquette, but could not enter because it is ready to fall down (remember, just like it was when we lived there!). Dan was a little taken aback that we WANTED to go into the chapel. Well, we got in. At the 40th, the chapel was completely empty. It is now used as a "storage" area, as are most of our "old" buildings, even Xavier hall, the last building built on the campus.
After our sojurn in "New Lawler" hall, we repaired to the basement, another one of those inner sanctums that we never saw. There Dan gave us a slide presentation of the prison, and his, view of Campion, MLPS and the prison from 1880 until that second. He then (and did throughout the presentation) asked us about some things, and we corrected some of his erroneous ideas. You know, we Knights never seem to run out of things to correct...think we got that from our "mentors"...those guys in "black robes".
The next day was a free day, and we continued visiting - all except Farina, who had a lot of work to do. Don't know how he was at Campion, but he was buried in work in his room most of the time. Dunn saw us at the Angus, and was carrying some things. He had stopped by and gotten some food, and a bottle, and took them up to Dick. Is Dickie EVER gonna relax? He kept telling me, "You want to fly my airplane? Here are my keys!".
Sunday was an easy day, and the last four of us there went over to the swimming pool, the "Natorium"! (I think that was Howie Kalbs' favorite word!). The Parks and recreation director for PDC, I think, walked us through the building. Eddie Lyons, Duck MacDonald, Mark Kisting and myself plus Mrs. Duck all wondered through out the building taking picture after picture.
The PDC Director also took some and told us (asked first) that he was going to put our visit in the newpaper.
All of us left, except for Eddie, who had his swim trunks and told me, "I'm just gonna do a lap or two, get wet, then I an leaving". That morning, before going on the tour, he hit the ball around the course. One of the things on his "bucket list" is to play in every state, and he only has a few more to go. He was going to Michigan, North and South Dakota...only one or two more left.
I left the next morning, the final remaining person to pull out. It definitely felt like I was "leaving home". Don't remember how I felt on May 28, 1964, but this time, it sure didn't feel good.
I have to give the people of Prairie du Chein a big bunch of Kudos, they were so warm it was unreal. Everyone that I talked too was very warm and grateful that we were "honoring" Campion by our visit.
On Monday, the short drive day, I headed for Milwaukee after finding out my brother was going to be in DC for the week. Good thing I called, it's five hours up and back from his place.
As soon as I was close, I found out where the Jebbies were in Wauwatosa. Got there, and first saw old Rock Teske. He isn't a Rock anymore physically, but I can't help but remember him as I saw him way back when.
Next I ambled up to "Cooler-King" Kalamaja's room, and we chatted. My 5 minute visit was 45 minutes long! Still as vibrant as ever, I had a great time with him. I reminded him that I believe it was Bob Cassidy who gave him his name.
Then, met with Ted Hottinger, our old Bro Hottinger's brother, and found out ours had passed on early, at about 40. I then went to Fr. Joe Eagan's quarters, and thinking I would be there for only another 5 or 10 minutes, we chatted - for an hour! He is just as awake and aware as I remember him from 61-62. He was looking at my camera and said he had gotten a new one and didn't know yet how to operate it. Would I help him.....Let's see. These Jesuits MADE us what we became, they helped us achieve most of the things that we are and have done....would I help him? OF COURSE! I spent 15 minutes instructing him on shooting, making pictures big and small, and a few other things. We hugged and I was off to my hotel....where I now am writing this, and started that a 4AM.
I'll see you guys sometime when you get in on Thursday.
This morning I am meeting with an old SJA (St. Joseph's Academy) alumni brother, Chris Casey. He called me at the hotel, so we will have a good time.
To be continued... Chicago reunion and Florida mini-reunion.