Fr. John B. Huber CSB

The Holy Season of Advent has now begun. It’s somewhat ironic, yet perhaps intentionally so, that as followers of Christ, we are called to focus our attention on what His coming, the miracle of the Incarnation, means for us at a time when we are distracted by the mundane aspects of the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays, which seem to zap so much of our time and energy. Yet the very purpose of the season is to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate that the Divine has become human, in order to reconnect as humans back to the Divine, from which we have come. No matter how busy we are, our souls need to focus on this miraculous reality of unfathomable love. We were once lost, but God stretched out His hand, through His only Son, to bring us back to Him.

In my eight-and-a-half blessed years at Catholic Central, I have tried to remind our community - students, parents and alumni - that all we do must be done with the focus of believers in Jesus Christ and as faithful members of His Church. The best complaint I ever overheard from a student walking down the hallway one day was, “Pray, pray, pray… all we ever do around here is pray.” Yes, that’s right, we are a prayerful people. We pray to ask God to bless our day. We pray before any of a number of activities and athletic-based events. We pray when we are sad and in mourning. We pray when we are grateful and filled with joy. We pray for one another. We pray for those who suffer. Our prayer inspires us to do the right thing, to share our gifts, and to care for one another with love. People will rightfully point out when our actions do not reflect the Gospel to which we are committed. We pray because we need God’s grace to be true to our faith in every aspect of our lives.

As per usual, there is much to celebrate and be grateful for here at Catholic Central. It is sometimes hard to know where to begin, and I am never successful at pointing out to the community the totality of the good happening. Nonetheless, here we go!

On Saturday, December 1, the VEX Shambots (one of our two robotics teams) competed at Cranbrook in their final regular season competition of the year. The team finished their season strong, with all teams finishing qualifying with a winning record. In the playoffs, The C-team joined up with team 38X from Cranbrook in the third seeded alliance to advance to finals in dominating style, including a 30-1 upset of the #2 seed. In the finals, they went on to defeat the #1 seed and take the tournament championship. The C-team will join the A-team in competing at the Michigan State Championship in March. Thanks to all of our supporters for helping us through another fantastic regular season! When I began as principal of CC in 2010, we had a handful of students dedicated to robotics. Now, thanks to some overworked yet very dedicated teachers and coaches, dozens upon dozens of the Men of CC dedicate themselves to this growing activity.
Seven years ago, I received an e-mail from a very qualified teacher asking if Catholic Central would be interested in teaching Mandarin Chinese. I met with Mr. Lewis ’79 and said, “Let’s invite this lady in and chat with her about possibilities.” Now in 2018, we have a robust Chinese program in our curriculum that has literally changed the lives of many of our students. Some have gone on to various universities, placed into high-level classes, and continued their Mandarin studies. Some have traveled to China several times, winning scholarships and participating in various work-study programs. I am grateful to Mrs. Nina Fang for bringing this language into our curriculum, which complements our classes in Spanish, French and Latin. On Saturday, November 24, I humbly received the “Advocate of the Year” award from the Confucius Institute of Michigan at Wayne State University. Having been a language teacher (French and Spanish) before I entered administration, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for us Americans to not only learn at least one other world language, but to also learn to understand and appreciate different cultures. God’s creative hand can be found in all lands on our planet.  
Athletic Director Aaron Babicz '93 provides us with the following update:

WELCOME TO ANOTHER EDITION OF THE SHAMROCK ATHLETICS UPDATE
WINTER EDITION
Love the Process - - Invest in People - - Control Your Effort and Attitude.”

BASKETBALL: Detroit CC Basketball, currently ranked #1 in Oakland County, is looking forward to a highly competitive season under the leadership of first-year head coach, Brandon Sinawi. The team has a great mix of senior leadership and youthful experience. The Shamrocks are led by seniors Connor Ebben, Davis Lukomski, Jacob Woebkenberg, Justin Rukat, Mike Harding, and Keegan Koehler. Scott Menser and Donte Scott head up the JV and Frosh levels. You can follow the action on the team’s Twitter account @DetCCbasketball

BOWLING: Former 2010 State Champion Matt Nugent leads an experienced and deep squad into the 2018-19 season. We are very excited about the leadership and initiative the team took in the off-season to create team unity and get better on their own. Coach Nugent has stated that this is one of the hardest working teams he has had. The team can be followed on Twitter at @DCCbowling.

HOCKEY: Detroit Catholic Central Hockey, currently ranked #1 in the State, is off to a fast start with an explosive team. The Shamrocks, led by Coach Brandon Kaleniecki, are currently undefeated in the MIHL with wins over PH Northern, Brother Rice, and St. Mary’s. The team also traveled to National #6 Culver Academy taking the first game of two, narrowly dropping the rematch. The team can be followed throughout the season on Twitter at @DCChockey.

SKIING: Legendary and long-time Head Coach Tom Gable leads a strong team of returning skiers into the 2018-19 campaign. The off-season training program and leadership has the team believing that this season could be special. Our home course at Mt. Brighton will also be the host to the CHSL Championships later in the season. Follow the team on their Twitter account @CCMercySkiTeam

SWIMMING: Second year Head Coach Jessica Stoddard returns a strong core from last year’s team led by Notre Dame commit and 3x CHSL Diving Champion David DeBacker as well as Loyola-Maryland commit Bennett Loniewski. Assisted by coaches Josh Schacht and Martin Brinkman, the Shamrocks will look to their upperclassmen for leadership in hopes of defending their Catholic League and Oakland County Championships with their eyes on a State Title. Follow the action on Twitter at @CCswimDive.
 
WRESTLING: Coach Mitch Hancock leads the Shamrocks into the season with a #5 National ranking by FloWrestling and #1 in the State of Michigan. CC returns five Individual State Champions and four returning State placers. The team has one of the toughest schedules in the state, if not the country, and will wrestle nationally-ranked Cleveland St. Edward, Montini Catholic, Lowell and Davison this season as well as State Powers Hartland, Dundee, and Hudson. Follow our Shamrock grapplers at @DCCwrestling.

EVERY DAY IS A GREAT DAY TO BE A SHAMROCK!

Regards,
Aaron M. Babicz ‘93
Recently, two Basilians who dedicated much of their lives to Catholic Central have passed away from this life to the next. Fr. Marvin LaBute CSB and Fr. Ed Kline CSB contributed much to the Men of CC through their teaching, counseling, chaplaincy and celebration of the sacraments. May the Lord reward them richly for their selfless ministry.
I have mentioned many times over the years the invaluable contributions of our parents, especially through (but not limited to!) our Mothers’ Club and our Dads’ Club. This past weekend, I celebrated mass for the parents before attending their annual Christmas dinner and dance. A group of very dedicated moms have worked since August on preparing that grand event.

On Monday, December 3, Father Kauffman CSB, moderator of the Dads’ Club, hosted the executive board at our Basilian residence to thank them for their uncountable contributions. The Dads’ Club now has a plaque to recognize the annual recipients of the Fr. Menner Award. The Fr. Menner Award was established in 2006 to annually recognize a member of the CC Dads’ Club who best represents the ideals of a CC Dad.  Recipients have made outstanding contributions of time, talent, and energy on behalf of the club, students, staff and administration of Catholic Central. Below is a picture of the plaque, which is being put up in our main hallway.
The Student Council hosted its annual Canned Food Drive October 29-November 2.  Overall, the school collected more than 5,500 food items and $3,652.66. The food was donated to Loaves & Fishes of Southwest Detroit, a non-profit collaborative providing small pantries with the funding to assist residents in Detroit break the cycle of hunger in their lives. On November 6, several senior students were able to deliver the food and speak with volunteers about the importance of helping those in need.
This blog will be my last. Over the past eight and a half years, I have been richly blessed to serve and be a part of the Catholic Central community. So much has changed since I began in 2010. We lost my high school guidance counselor and vice principal, who served as CC’s longest serving principal (ten years) and second president, Fr. Richard Ranalletti CSB, who continues to inspire me. Students no longer carry a hundred pounds of books in their backpacks since we went to a 1:1 iPad program. As I mentioned above, our Robotics and Chinese programs have greatly expanded and inspired many Men of CC. Concerned about the number of freshmen students who were not surviving CC, we began the Learning Strategies Center to offer support to students at various different levels.  Many students we could have lost have remained, and have graduated.  We had a couple of difficult years when the CC community dealt with tragedies that hit some of our dear families. I remain very proud of how our students reacted, turning towards prayer and the Lord when tempted to be frustrated and angry. The Michigan Catholic wrote a feature article on these experiences: click here to read it. 

During these years, I have enjoyed getting to know alumni and their families, as well as current students and their families. A highly dedicated and underpaid faculty and staff give their hearts and souls to the education of our Men of CC. Of the many gifts I believe to have received here, there is one in particular for which I thank God: the Men of Catholic Central have shown me through their hearts, dedication, faith and goodness, the face of Jesus, thus bringing me closer to Him. There is no greater gift than that. Thank you! Please pray for me, and I promise to pray for you.

(The school is planning a reception for Father Noelke and me on Friday, May 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - we would love to see you there!) 
You can always follow some of your favorite Shamrock teams or clubs on Twitter:

 
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“Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge” is the motto of the Basilian Fathers and the sacred mission of Catholic Central High School. For ninety years, the graduates of Catholic Central have made a positive impact locally, nationally, and around the world.