VOLUME 16 • CHAPTER 3 • July 2016
We've been trying to get memoirs from retired and not-so-retired Campion jebbies for our newsletter for quite some time. We don't care if the memoirs are about when they went to Campion, taught at Campion, or just what they've done since leaving Campion. We just want to hear something from our mentors in the first person. Perhaps words of wisdom learned while IHS. Typically we only get 3rd person post mortem. Not to lay all the blame on the jebbies... why can't we get memoirs from more alumni. Where are all those other authors and editors of the old 'ette.
Golf Tournament Reunion
The 22nd All-Class PdC Golf Tournament was June 13. The 3rd All-Class Chicago Golf Tournament was August 1st.
From Edward Vacek, S.J...
Fellow Campionites, Peace
I was a young Jesuit scholastic when I taught at Campion 1967-69. Since my masters' degree was in Philosophy, the Society of Jesus thought I would do well teaching Geometry -- go figure! During my second year as a Jesuit "Regent", I taught French. At first, I was asked to teach Spanish. Fortunately, since I did not know a word of Spanish, the administration hired someone who did know it. Instead I taught French. I boned up on that by spending the summer in Montreal. I remember that summer well since it was 1968, the summer when the Church's document on birth control came out and the Montreal newspaper had a super-large headline: La Pilule. The Church changed that summer. The French in Canada, broadly speaking, gave up Catholicism after Vatican II. The riots in Paris occurred. The whole world changed. It was as if there was something in the air all over the world. All of us went through the radical 60's and 70's. Great fun in the challenge to rethink and re-create the structures of our world; but, too many casualties among lots of lost folk.
I've been happily a Jesuit ever since. I love being a priest. I taught moral theology or Christian Ethics for over 30 years in our Jesuit seminary in Boston, trying to change the mind of the Church on many matters. Tumultuous era to be a moral theologian. I worked to change minds both through my academic and popular writing, as well as through my teaching and my preaching at a school that became part of Boston College. The Vatican and I regularly had conversations.
Now I am in mission territory, teaching and priesting at Loyola University New Orleans. It is mission territory in at least three senses: 1] our whole world is becoming ever more secularized -- a too large part of our students here neither know much about Christianity nor care to know much. Rather they are interested in jobs and money and enjoying life. 2] A surprisingly large percentage (though still a minority) of young people presume that one should not have to work to be successful. 3] The students are good people, generally speaking; but our culture has made relativists out of them in their speech. The very terms "morality" or "ethics" are off-putting to many of them. The words suggest to them that someone wants to "impose" his (or her) morality on them. Still, I have a fancy endowed chair, and I am only 73 years old, so I have no intention of retiring. The maxim in the Society of Jesus is simple: you work until you die.
Since I am a Jesuit, being in missionary territory is right where I should be. Besides, New Orleans is home to Mardi Gras -- which I learned on coming here lasts for at least three weeks and includes 35 major official parades, not to mention lots of other goings-on. The city's theme is "Laissez les bons temps rouler." See, that French teaching did come in handy!
Keep the faith. Love your neighbor, especially the poor one in some distant land who is struggling to feed her children. Prayers for all.
Edward Vacek, S.J.
John Hyland '46 remembers...
Two of my best friends, both from Campion, and I, were responsible for baseball becoming a Letter sport at Campion. Russ Skall '46 and Jim Williamson '47, both from Appleton, a suburb of Menasha. (Just a joke you guys)! Russ was the quarterback on our undefeated football team in our senior year. Jim graduated the year after in '47. Both were great athletes. I was Jim's Best Man and he was mine. We double dated on many occasions. Those were great days. Russ's folks had a fantastic supper club in Appleton and we spent many days there in their apartment (home) upstairs in the club. Russ later became the owner. He was a Pall Bearer for my Mother's funeral and while carrying the casket to the hearse after mass, he slipped on ice and hit his head rather hard. A year or so later I heard he had done the same in Milwaukee where he had taken up residence and died shortly thereafter. I didn't know till after a couple months had passed. His brother Don, still lives here in Appleton and was a bar tender at the club. Jim became an Attorney and was in a practice in nearby Oshkosh. He had a photographic memory and could read a page in a book and recite it back word for word. He could sing and appeared on a national TV amateur show. TV had just started. More on that maybe later if I'm still kicking!
God Bless! JCH
From Richard Rawe '48
A Little Bit of Heaven
In 1944, when I first attended Campion Jesuit High School, the campus consisted of seven main buildings: Lawler Hall, Koska Hall, Campion Hall, the Gym, Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, Marquette Hall, the Infirmary, the Central Heating Plant, and Loyola Hall (the cafeteria). All but Loyola Hall were remnants of another age, having been built before 1922. Loyola Hall was a one-story building with modern heating and containing the Cafeteria (Dining Hall, Scullery, Dispensary, preparation rooms), and three small shops on the side facing Kostka Hall: Mail Room, Bookstore, and Cafe.
I worked the first semester of my freshman year in the Cafeteria where the three O'Brian brothers worked. The oldest brother was a senior and worked directly for the manager. The rest of us worked for O'Brian. Ray O'Brian '48, the youngest brother, was in my freshman class and was destined to become the boss in his senior year.
Working in the Dispensary was fun. The entire student body would line up, take a stainless steel tray and knife and fork and shuffle down the line to get their food. You and five or six other students served them scoops of mashed potatoes, green beans, roast beef, and whatever else was for dinner that night.
Working in the Dining Hall meant cleaning tables after meals, filling salt shakers, distributing pitchers of milk and cereal boxes, sweeping and mopping the floor, and working at the slop trucks. There were two slop trucks in the Dining Hall. Students would bring their trays to you at the slop truck proclaiming, "My compliments to the chef," and you would dump their garbage through a hole in the top of the slop truck; then you would stack the dirty trays and toss their dirty knives and forks in a basket for transfer to the scullery. Working at the slop truck was the second worst job in the Cafeteria.
Working in the Scullery was the worst. This was where all the dirty dishes were brought for cleaning in automatic steam washers. First you scrubbed off any remaining food then loaded the trays in carriers for washing. After passing though the heated dryers the trays were blistering hot but you still had to stack them for reuse in the Dispensary. Sweaty job.
The Mail Room was run by one of the Jesuit Brothers and it was open after meals. It was where you could pick up packages from home, dry cleaning, laundry, and on occasion - a rarity during WWII - chewing gum. Bro Stockley ran the Mail Room at that time.
Father Kelly ran the Bookstore. This is where you bought text books, paper, pencils and such.
Next to the Bookstore was a small shop we called the Cafe. It wasn't pronounced "Café" It was more like "Caf," short for cafeteria, I suppose. This was where a little bit of heaven fell from out the skies one day. You could buy candy bars, ice cream, milk shakes, cigarettes and Campion paraphernalia, such as megaphones, key chains, lighters, shirts and sweaters. It was only open for forty-five minutes in the afternoon after classes were over. The shop was operated by four or five students trying to satisfy a horde of shouting customers. The place was usually a madhouse, everyone trying to get the attention of one of the servers.
I liked to buy a pint of ice cream that came in a small paper box. I used a wooden spoon to stir the ice cream until it was soft. But then I noticed that, while I started with a full pint of ice cream, after stirring I finished with only half a pint. I wondered where my other half pint of ice cream went.
Later on one summer I worked in a food freezer plant next to an ice cream store called "Velvet." They made Velvet Ice Cream in a room at the rear. I used to go in and watch how ice cream was made. After the solution of eggs, milk and cream was prepared, they used a hose to blow air into it making the solution foam up larger than before into a mixture of ice cream and air bubbles. Then they pumped the foamy mixture into containers and froze them over at the food freezer plant. Half and half ice cream and air bubbles.
So my half pint of ice cream was lost in the atmosphere due to stirring. I felt cheated.
Now the prize product at the Cafe was the milk shake. There were two milk shake machines there, all going at once, but it took a while to make up a milk shake. What you got for your dime and your wait, if you were lucky enough to annoy sufficiently a server by shouting louder than anyone else, was a large paper cup full to the brim with a cold, sweet, creamy mixture of ice cream, milk and flavoring syrup - no air. It may take you thirty minutes to make it to that glorious moment, but it was so worth it.
The Cafe was a little bit of heaven, however noisy, however crowded, in a world of homesickness, study hall, and long hours of ROTC training.
From Jame Radde, S.J. '56
CAMPION: COMINGS AND GOINGS
Jim Radde, S.J. '56
I was attending St. John's Grade School in Wahpeton, North Dakota, in the 1940's when Fr. George Mehok became our pastor. He had two brothers, Charlie and Bill, both Jesuits. They would visit George each summer and play golf.
I got to know Charlie and Bill by serving mass for them. When I was in eighth grade Charlie introduced me to Campion via the "sucker book." He was the Assistant Principal at Campion at the time. Charlie gave me a copy and asked that I take it home.
I took the book home. Nothing came of it until the summer of 1954. I had just finished sophomore year at the Public School and was informed I would be attending Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin at summer's end. A boarding school. I acquiesced. I bought the required laundry bags and everything that would eventually wind up in them.
My dad drove me to PDC. We parked in front of Kostka Hall. As we were coming up the steps the front door opened and a smiling and bubbly Fr. Frank Carey appeared. Suddenly his smile disappeared. It was the only time I ever saw Frank embarrassed. Here he was, the great recruiter and he didn't know who we were. Frank relaxed once we introduced ourselves and said we knew Charlie Mehok.
LIFE AT CAMPION
Jack Zuercher (Mr. Zuercher) showed me my alcove in "The Barn." My alcove was a square, open-topped cubby hole with a bed and a wardrobe. A curtain formed one wall. Imagine fifty or more of us in our alcoves in this huge room with a twenty-foot ceiling.
The next day school started. Here I was in the midst of five-hundred boys I had never seen before. Many were big-city boys from Chicago. Some had cool DA haircuts. Everything began at once. Up before dawn, go to assigned seat for mass, powdered eggs and mystery meat in the dining hall, football leagues for everyone, ROTC formation early on Monday mornings, trick questions on every exam, town pers, jugs, Jeebies checking us in fourteen times a day.
My social skills were rather limited and I found it difficult to make friends. It didn't help that the only person I knew was the Assistant Principal. I finally met Felipe Salcedo from Mexico City. We hung out a lot together. That is how my interest in Latin America began.
Before I start sounding too positive I want to admit I never really adjusted to Campion in a good way. I was lonesome and missed my friends back home, my twenty-two, my carpentry bench, my bike, pheasant and duck season, etc. I felt all alone in the midst of hundreds of strangers. I was afraid.
Something helped me survive my two years at Campion and years later apply to become a Jesuit. Some of the young Jesuit scholastics knew my name: Jim Sunderland, Jack Zuercher, Benno Kornelly, and Clem Schneider. Just hearing one of them say, "Hi Jim. How's it going?", was like a cup of cold water for a man dying of thirst. These young Jesuits knew my name. I seemed to matter to them.
Its only been within the past ten or so years that I realized how important their recognition of me was. Their acknowledging my existence created a bond in me with the Society of Jesus. Their kindness to me is what most attracted me to becoming a Jesuit.
During Holy Week of 1955 I made my first silent retreat. There were three days of talks by a visiting Jesuit priest, plenty of time to read and no talking. I made my first general confession to Fr. Zachman. I felt such relief that I prayed the rosary during my entire train trip home for Easter.
Another experience from that retreat sticks in my mind. The retreat master gave us some astounding information about sex. He told us boys were five percent love and ninety-five percent sex. Girls, on the other hand, were ninety-five percent about love and only five percent about sex. Although he never cited his sources, at the time I trusted in his wisdom and years of experience. He finished his talk with a chilling story of a young couple found dead one January, frozen together in the missionary position in the back seat of a car. Somewhere in that talk there was a message.
Senior year arrived. Finally we were going to be allowed to read Modern Youth and Chastity. I say "allowed" because we had all heard there was some really hot stuff in it that only seniors were old enough to handle. What I remember about the book was it had a red and white cover and was stapled together.
Our class lived in Marquette Hall. Fr. Norbie Eberhart was the rector. Norbie had been a New York City cab driver before entering the Society. Now it was his job to censor all incoming and outgoing mail. One day he knocked on my door. He had a stamped and sealed envelope of mine in his hand. "What's this all about?" he asked. Only letters to immediate family could be sealed. Once I explained it was to my aunt he left.
The senior retreat master was Fr. Jerry Marchetti, SJ, from St. Louis. He invited us to come talk with him any time, day or night. Some of my classmates recruited volunteers to talk with him day and night. Whenever the fellow who signed up for 10 PM finished his chat he awakened the next person on the list who, when he finished, awakened the next on the list, etc. We took him at his word.
My mother and father had gone to college and everyone in my class was applying. It seemed obligatory so I applied for admission to three colleges and was accepted by all three. I chose Notre Dame because my cousin was a Holy Cross father who taught there. Besides that, in 1946 he had told my brother and me he had already signed us up.
LIFE AFTER CAMPION
After Campion the transition to Notre Dame was easy. I had a great roommate from Arlington Heights, IL. His mom and dad came for all the home football games and always brought us fried chicken and the finest cranberry sauce.
Freshman year I went out for varsity fencing. We fenced Air Force, many Big Ten teams and some others. I have an ND Monogram jacket to show for my efforts.
I spent the summer of 1958 in Mexico City. I reconnected with Felipe Salcedo and met his family. We attended dinner with the Campion Club of Mexico. Paul Pinsón, Class of 1951, hosted us in his home.
During junior hear I enrolled in the Marine Platoon Leader Class. It would lead to a commission at graduation. I spent the summer of 1959 at the Marine base at Quantico, VA. It was three months of physical and psychological harassment. The Drill Instructors' job was to wash out as many of us as possible.
Senior year I began meeting weekly with a Holy Cross priest about becoming a priest. He never pressed me. By May I had decided to apply to enter the Society of Jesus.
I wore my Marine dress whites to the Senior Ball and we danced to Tommy Dorsey's band. The next day I told my girl friend about my decision. The day after that I took the train to Campion where I went through a series of tests and interviews.
Then I waited. I went through a pre-commissioning physical for the Marine Corp. The next week I received notice to present myself on a specific date and time to sign for my commission. Two hours before I was to sign I received an air mail, special delivery letter from the Jesuits stating I had been accepted for the novitiate. I turned down the commission. Had I signed for it I would have found myself in Okinawa and probably in Viet Nam. On September 1, 1960, I was welcomed into the Jesuit Novitiate at St. Bonifacius, MN.
RETURNING TO CAMPION
I'm going to skip to 1966 when I was sent to Campion for regency. We were thirteen teaching scholastics. Having just received an MA in history I assumed I would be teaching that. However, they needed a Spanish teacher, so I taught Spanish.
As teachers go I was as green as they come. Early on in a sophomore Spanish class I was writing on the board and I heard someone talking. I spun around hoping to catch the culprit. I knew the general area the sound had come from but not the person. I made a guess and came down on a very nice, red-headed fellow named Peter Dorff. I gave him a written penalty due on Monday. That Sunday evening I was prefecting the movie. During the pause while they changed reels Peter approached me and protested his innocence. I felt bad but remained firm. Then he asked, "Sir, what will you do to me if I don't do this penalty?" "Nothing" I replied - and I meant it. As students arrived for Monday morning class Peter entered and put a sheaf of papers on my desk. We never talked about it again. I hope you get to read this Peter. I was wrong. I'm sorry.
As students we imagined that Jesuits were always sneaking around trying to catch miscreants. That wasn't my experience as a scholastic. Students frequently did and said questionable things in public and quite out loud.
The senior retreat was held at Wyalusing Park, high over the Mississippi. One afternoon, Dan, a student from Prairie and I took a walk down the bluff and along the edge of the river. After a while we decided to return via the train tracks. In order to reach the tracks we had to fight our way through a very dense thicket. As we emerged from the thicket, there, right in front of us, were five seniors walking single file towards us on the tracks. They were spread out and the last fellow was carrying something bulky wrapped in his jacket. He spotted us, stopped dead, staggered backwards into a shallow ditch, dropped several six-packs of beer and resumed walking behind the others - as though nothing had happened. "You dropped something," I said. I suggested that he pick up the beer, scale the bluff and turn over the beer to the first scholastic he met. We finished it off that night.
And suddenly it was May, 1968, and my last day of teaching at Campion. The night before I had heard that 4C would be coming to class without pencils. Sure enough, when I asked them to get out paper and pencils for a quiz they all began to fumble in their pockets and mumble to each other about needing a pencil. No one had a pencil. "This is absolutely astounding," I stated. "I've never heard of such a thing happening before. But don't worry. You all come back this afternoon after classes and we'll have the quiz then."
I left 4C and headed down the hallway for my last class with 4D. After I gave them a brief quiz I had an idea. I said "Clear off your desks." My grade book was in alphabetical order and they sat in that order. I opened my grade book. Starting with the fellow at the top of the page I proceeded to make positive comments about each student. Some would squirm a bit as their name was about to come up. I was squirming inside struggling to come up with something positive about a couple of those fellows. The Holy Spirit came through and everyone got some good feedback. Then I closed my book, wished them good luck and left the room.
The next day, Joe Gadzik, the leader of the 4C "no pencils" caper, approached me. "Sir," he said, "I heard what you did in the other class and I was wondering what you thought about me." If I'd only known when I began teaching how important affirmation was to these lads I would have done more of it.
A TRIBUTE TO BILL MANDIS '68
For some reason we had this rule at Campion that no student could wear pants with patch pockets for dinner in the dining hall. Therefore, no jeans. When a student showed up for dinner with patch pockets I had to send him back to his room to change. I did that often with many seniors, Bill Mandis among them. After graduation Bill and his classmates packed up and went home.
In Xavier Hall, the senior hall, students had left a huge pile of clothing. I heard much of it seemed new. I went over to take a look. I found this pair of baby blue Levis that fit me perfectly. Inside the waistband, in big letters, was the name "Bill Mandis." I'm sure Bill had been wearing those jeans to the dining hall at least once when I had to ask him to go change. And now they were mine.
Some months previous to this my Provincial had asked me to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to study theology and after that to work in our university in Salta in northern Argentina. I had from June until March to travel. The seasons are reversed there and Fall classes began in March.
As I packed my suitcase for Argentina I carefully included Bill Mandis' baby blue Levis. They were a key piece of my wardrobe. Traveling from town to town throughout Mexico, Central and South America I thought of Bill frequently - every time I put them on. If he only could have seen me.
I wore them the day in mid-December when I arrived at the door of the Colegio Máximo in Buenos Aires. Among the Jesuits who welcomed me that day was Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
© James. Radde, S.J.
From Jeff Paunicka '72
It is Earth Day
Let me tell you what is memorable about this day for me. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.
I was in a small town in Southwest Wisconsin called Prairie du Chien. Population, about 3,500. Prairie was an old French fur trading post located just north of where the Wisconsin River meets the mighty Mississippi River. I went to an all-male boarding school there called Campion Jesuit High School. Campion was right on the banks of the "Mighty Miss"; in fact about 200 yards give or take depending on the river level and season.
The campus of Campion was all a buzz, it was the sponsor site for schools all over Wisconsin to gather and share ideas, hear from prominent speakers, listen to music and watch movies all related to making our environment a more pleasant place.
The freshman gymnasium on campus was a triple-gym building designated to be the central place on for the event. A large stage was erected for the speakers, projection screen and other important charts and banners. It was a beautiful sunny day in Southwest Wisconsin with a mild breeze. A perfect day with tons of excitement.
I was really excited because classes were cancelled so all Campion students could take full advantage of all the doings that would be going on. Also, it delayed my getting chewed out by the Jebbies (aka Jesuits who ran the school) for not doing my homework again.
I remember the day after having breakfast in Loyola Hall and strolling across the campus quad to the frosh gym noticing all the buses pulling in and parking in front of our majestic Campion hall that was built in 1909.
I immediately gasped!.......Wow there were tons of girls getting off the buses!!! Girls were being bussed in by the hundreds with other males from other schools to make the celebration of the day very grand. Mind you, this was an all-male boarding school, so any presence of young females on campus was a divine special occasion for us. I am sure in the recess of my mind there were thoughts floating around of some sweet young lady anxious to meet me and fully experience Earth Day in a special way we would both remember forever. But then it was only a thought.
I remember the Earth Day flag being flown around the campus. In fact, I even acquired a small Earth Day flag patch to sew on to my international orange framed backpack. But it was never sewed on, and I am sure the patch is still around with my other precious Campion memorabilia somewhere.
I sat in the gym with my buddy Chuck Ritter, who also was originally from Indiana, watching the streams of people wander in looking for a good place to sit. Some music of the times was playing on the sound system. What it was, I have no idea, it was probably Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." I was not into music much at that time and do not remember. But what struck me and has stayed with me all these 40ish years was the image of the Earth Day flag as a backdrop. Green and white stripe field with an image of what looked like a golden Greek letter Theta in the corner. I must have look at it without moving for a good 15 minutes.
The speeches started with music in between to keep it entertaining. Oh I recall some references to "Silent Spring" a book written in 1962 by Rachael Carson. We were required to read it first, but then as with most other things, it escaped my sense of priority because I did not have the Cliff notes for it.
The environmental movement seemed very noble at that time. You know the era of peace, love, dope etc., etc. But I was disconnected with it. I was more concerned about potentially being drafted by the military and being shipped to Southeast Asia and into nature in a different way. I loved being outdoors stalking wild game and seeking that ideal spot to fish out a trophy
I loved Wisconsin, I loved the Campion campus, and I loved my friends who experienced our special life in Prairie du Chien. This was my home that brought it all together. After an hour I noticed something! There was no attempt to take attendance and if I wanted, I could split and do whatever my heart desires. So I waited and watched the end of a movie they were showing about a poor forest of pine trees and a group of remote, off the grid, commune type people hugging them. I headed for the side door so it would appear that this was a call of nature for the bathroom and slip out the exit.
I WAS FREE!
I headed to my dorm, Lucey Hall, on the southeast side of the quad and went to my room. Under my bed was the good stuff, my fishing rods and tackle. I left the dorm walked across Campions golf course and followed the Burlington railroad tracks south of town for several miles towards the Wisconsin River and a train trestle that was one of my favorite spots for casting a line.
It was a good day, todays haul was one northern pike and one walleye. Oh life was grand. My connection to nature was complete! On the walk back to campus in the late afternoon, I wished everyday could be like this.
From Paul McCullough '70
I remember Earth Day; no classes and multiple meetings. And as I recall, I played bass for the Soul Band that night for a mixer in the dining hall. I was graduating the next month and it was my last chance to play a dance gig at Campion. Glenn Abel very, very kindly let me play in his place. That's about all I can remember, was admitted to college a week or two before, with the traditional admonishment of keeping final grades at current level.
Ghost of Joe Campion...
including a little history, facts and figures.
John Duskey '63 Remembers...
Jesuit Brothers at Campion
We all remember the priests and scholastics at Campion, who were our classroom teachers, and our dorm, dining hall, and rec room prefects during our years at Campion. Upon careful recollection, many of us will also remember several Jesuit Brothers: Brother Daley at the Registrar's office, Brother Kempker at the Bursar's office, Brother Hottinger as sacristan, Brother Murphy at the Post office, Brothers Stockley and Greene at the student store. It was Brother Staber who, with his staff of carpenters, built the stage for plays, concerts, and graduation in the gymnasium.
While there was continual change among the personnel assigned to Campion as scholastics, and even among some priests, there was not a lot of 'coming and going' among the Jesuit brothers. They were a devoted group of men, who were attentive to their jobs and pleased to be of service to the school and to their religious superior. Their contributions to Campion are worth a closer examination.
The definition of a religious brother, has been written this way:
"member of a male religious order who undertakes work for the order without actually being in holy orders"
Jesuit brothers worked almost exclusively within Jesuit communities as cooks, tailors, farmers, secretaries, accountants, librarians and maintenance support - they assisted the professed priests by undertaking the more "worldly" jobs, freeing the professed to undertake the sacramental and spiritual missions of the Society.
Jesuit Brothers Today: They engage in ministries both inside and outside of their communities. Today, the formation of a Jesuit brother may take many forms, depending on his aptitude for ministry. He may pursue a highly academic formation which mirrors that of the scholastics (there are, for instance, some Jesuit brothers who serve as university professors), or he may pursue more practical training in areas such as pastoral counseling or spiritual direction (some assist in giving retreats, for instance), or he may continue in the traditional "supporting" roles in which so many Jesuit brothers have attained notable levels of holiness (as administrative aides, for example).
During our days at Campion, the role of a Jesuit Brother was somewhat different. Our list of faculty and staff shows nearly a hundred men who served the school as brothers.. Most prominent among their stated assignments were:
Cafeteria work (cook, baker, buyer)
And, while several of the brothers had one specific assignment for their work, the vast majority of them worked in several different areas. Some had positions of substantial responsibility at the school. Among these were Bro. Robert Daley, who was the school's Registrar for several years, Bro. Sylvester Staber who served as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, and Bro. Paul Kempker who served as treasurer. Brother Richard Hottinger served as sacristan, and as moderator of the Hobby Shop, 1963-70. Brother William Stritch served at Campion, 1949-66, as Assistant Treasurer and also did heraldry research. and Brother Thomas Murphy worked in the school store, post office and cafe, 1959-74.
This is a list of eight of the longest-serving Brothers.
Some of the assignments are interesting: In earlier years, brothers were assigned as cabinet makers. Notice that Brother Ganster was assigned to the care of lamps in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Some of these jobs were replaced by advanced technology, or by a purchase (rather than manufacture in-house).
Many of these jobs could have been (an in many cases were) filled by the lay people of Prairie du Chien. But by their contribution of their labor and of their life's work, these men gave Campion a special gift.
One of my key memories of the Jesuit Brothers was something I saw when I would arrive early for an assignment to serve at a 6:00 a.m. Mass, in the faculty chapel in New Lawler Hall. It was the brothers and the scholastics, deep in prayer at the community Mass, which was said at 5:30 a.m. The fact is that these brothers drew spiritual energy from the priests in the Jesuit Community. By doing that, they strengthened the priesthood of their fellow Jesuits. This was a necessity both for the brothers and for the scholastics, who relied on the priests for their religious life.
This is not something unique to the Jesuit order. I looked up a paragraph about brothers in another religious order. It read:
Brothers are to relieve the priests of material jobs (for example, handling finances, gardening, cooking, upkeep of buildings, secretarial work, etc.) as well as participate more directly in the apostolate by directing a choir, teaching catechism, working in the sacristy, teaching in schools, and other related tasks vital to the priestly ministry.
As you can imagine, the services of several brothers (usually about ten, through most of the years at Campion) saved the school a lot of money. It would be hard to imagine Campion without those brothers.
When Campion was in the process of closing, it was clear that there were fewer and fewer priests and scholastics who would be able to serve at the school. Yet, as we remember, most of the brothers we knew at Campion were older men, and there didn't seem to be many younger men who would follow in their footsteps. This, and the changing role of brothers in the post-1965 era [EDITOR: Post-Vatican II], had to be another factor.
But if anyone, or any religious order, wanted to operate a school like Campion, it would be necessary to consider how many brothers, as well as priests, could be allocated to the school. For us right here and now, as we recall our years at Campion, we simply owe a debt of thanks to all these Jesuit brothers.
From Pat Mower '64
One of the "good guys"....Campion Alumni, Paul J. Megan '54, SJ.
We all remember certain Jesuits at Campion.
One of my most memorable, and I have many, is "Mr." Megan. Eventually Paul J. Megan became a priest, and then left the order and priesthood. However, that was far away when I knew him.
Our first meeting was in the music hall in the fall of my sophmore year. I was "testing" for a position in the band, much to the surprize of Prof. SS deRanitz. I had learned to play the saxophone during the prior summer, and as I was playing whatever Prof put in front of me, Megan heard the noise and from behind me I heard, "Mr. Mower, make sure you go to be measured for your red jacket, you are in the pep band!"
It didn't end there, however, as Mr. Megan got involved in all sort of musical things, and in conjunction with Mr. O'Neill, Masquers. He also happened to be my Latin Teacher for Caeser's Gallic War. In tres partes divises Gaull - or something like that, starts the Gallic Wars. The year dragged on while I was in sophmore year, but yet, Megan's class never seemed to do that. Rather it sped by, so fast I don't remember much else about it.
For some reason, Fr. Broehm gave up the choral and glee club to Megan.
One thing I remember is the "art" studio in the basement of Koska Hall. Not only did he make the basement the art studio, we painted it! He got us to display our art at the Southwestern Art Show. My pastel artwork was the third place winner at the show. I got into oil painting and the pastels of course. He was a great "mentor" in many ways. My association would continure with him through the end of my senior year. My final year at Campion as well as his.
It seems sad to write about someone I admired and now know is dead. Megan was always so alive and alluring to those of us who were "radicals" in our own ways. Not radicals in the sense of going against the "grain" of "our" society, or the student body. But people who were into the new things, and willing to try the new. I can't say that the art studio was the first one at Campion, but it certainly was something different with Paul J. Megan at its head. Posters were also made and distributed, so there were many people involved in it.
He was also someone who made "audio-visual" a different thing. We now had various new ways of presenting information. I know because I had to move some of the items, a wollensach tape recorder, 16mm projector and many other things. Then of course, in senior year, there was the Fine Arts class. For college credit yet!
Paul also made sure during the Junior Year, when we put on the play Oliver Twist, I didn't play the sax with the pep band that he had play the music for the show. Instead, we moved my full sized Lowery Organ into the gym so I could use that! I even created what I call a little "ditty" for the funeral parlor scene. I had actually written a song! Something I barely remembered until the last (50th) reunion.
Senior year, Megan was the first floor prefect in Marquette Hall. I was right next to Fr. Wiggins the head of Marquette Hall in room 101 (maybe 102). There one time during free study, he invited me to his room to hear a record he had found, "Beyond the Fringe". He lent it to me later, and I played it over and over. I now have my own copy which has been put into mp3 format. I still love it, and it always reminds me of "Mr. Megan"!
Alumni who have passed in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.
Faculty who have passed:
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