St. John’s Catholic graduates six
On Mother's Day Sunday, May 12, six St. John's graduates honored their mothers as they were presented diplomas at St. John's the Baptist Catholic Church. The church of grandeur, a home to Beloit since the 1900's, has also been home to most of these student's since birth. As guest speaker Andrew Niewald expressed, "Trust the church in all it's teachings. It is God's voice on earth."
Senior Kail Dubbert was presented with the highest ranking honors of Valedictorian and Kara Eilert was announced as Salutatorian. Four seniors including Dubbert, Elle Eilert, Kara Eilert and Laura Meyer received gold cord honors for various academic accomplishments. Among the six seniors, $200,000 worth of academic scholarships were obtained for $33,000 per student. These students have also provided 2,200 service hours in the community since sixth grade in a total of 91 days.
Fr. Damian Richards spoke to the graduating seniors about the Feast Day of St. Isidore which occurs on Wednesday, May 15.
Isidore was Spanish and was born in Madrid around 1080. He was a hired hand that never owned his own land and worked for the same man all of his life.
Isidore had three great loves including God, his family and the land. He attended Mass everyday praying and would help those in need, so therefore was late to the fields, but he always completed his work. One day his boss went to check to see how he accomplished getting his work finished and found that Isidore was not alone in the fields, yet had two angels helping him.
Isidore and his family always helped feed others, animals as well as humans. One day he felt bad for the birds and emptied a bag of seed for them to eat. That was the next years crop, but the sack was always filled for the next spring planting.
"Trust in God, take care of others and you will in return, be taken care of," said Fr. Damian. "It isn't about worldly success. Isidore was known as a hired hand. He lived for others. There is the example, there is the model."
"We at St. John's work very hard to prepare our students for success," said Damian. "Not just academic or athletic success, but spiritual success. To you graduates, I say, find courage. Realize that what God ask of you, may not be what the world thinks. We now send the class of 2019 out to imitate that of Isidore and to find courage to do great things."
Speaker Niewald extended those thoughts as he talked about being in college at Nebraska, a Kansas kid that didn't know anyone.
Niewald was born and raised in Beloit from a family of nine siblings and graduated from St. John's in 1998. When his dad passed away, he and his wife returned to Beloit. He now teaches at St. John's as the Theology Teacher and has six children of his own.
"I remember being asked to attend a dance on the Catholic Campus," said Niewald. "I didn't know how to dance but attended anyway. It was an awkward time and I sat on the sidelines for three quarters of the dance until a senior girl came up and asked me dance. I told her I didn't know how and she said she would teach me."
Read more of this story in the May 13 edition of the Beloit Call...