On Sunday, March 12th, over 300 Firebird alumni and their parents, grandparents, and children returned to campus for the 1st Annual Alumni Communion Breakfast. This wonderful event was co-chaired by Dr. James McBrien ’89 and Mrs. Ann-Marie (Batule) Woodruff ’93. The day began with a Mass which was concelebrated by Father Albert Bertoni, S.M. and Father Philip Eichner, S.M., while the Gospel was proclaimed by Deacon Michael Plona ’07. Following Mass, attendees enjoyed a full breakfast in the cafeteria and listened to an address by Father Philip, who is celebrating his 50th Anniversary of school administration.
Father Philip reflected on his 60 years in the classroom, saying, “Our Gospel today talked about being on top of the mountain with Jesus, and I feel that way; I feel like Peter, James, and John, when I go into a classroom. It’s awesome…to be there standing before a group of students, young people, who are in the process of becoming adults. Sometimes it’s so awesome you’re almost paralyzed. These are all unique souls, minds, and hearts with fears and anxieties. The privilege that a teacher gets to deal with the human mind, with human personalities, is awesome.”
Father Philip went on to say, “Here at Kellenberg, we are blessed with our faculty. They are people who really love what they do… Teaching is like parenting – it’s very personal. The quality of the person is what catches the attention of the student. At Kellenberg we say that atmosphere educates. Many things are caught, not taught. They catch it in the atmosphere. And I’m grateful for the faculty that we have because they do create quite an atmosphere.”
Kelly (Agostinacchio) Forquignon ’99, a member of Kellenberg Memorial’s Alumni Board, enjoyed the event with her family, saying, “I was fortunate to attend the Alumni Communion Breakfast with my parents, four siblings, our spouses and children, and I was pleased to see so many other tables that also spanned multiple generations of Kellenberg families. What a great opportunity for alumni families to return to our school, reconnect with faculty and friends, and have the privilege of hearing Father Philip speak!”