A Long Blue and Gray Line


Earlier this week, we learned of the passing of Mr. Philip Katz. Mr. Katz is the father of our teacher Caroline McGinn. Caroline and her five siblings are mourning the loss of their father, and at his wake one of her brothers recalled to me his legacy, including his connection to Saint John the Beloved Parish and school as well as Bishop O'Connell High School. The family calculated that Mr. Katz's children and grandchildren had attended Saint John Academy for a total of 174 years and there have been members of the Katz family enrolled as students at Bishop O'Connell for the past five decades.

Just a few days after learning of the passing of Mr. Katz, I learned that Mr. Everett Bergmann passed away. Mr. Bergmann was one of four sons of W.C. Bergmann who helped build the family dry cleaning business from its beginnings in the inter-war period over 90 years. It remains a well-known and still family run business to this day. All of Mr. Bergmann's nine children are graduates of Bishop O'Connell and some of his grandchildren have attended as well.

Stories like those of the Katz family and the Bergmann family are part of the fabric of our school's history. Today, as we write new chapters, we can also reflect on how we got where we are today and on the sacrifices of so many who have made the story of Bishop O'Connell High School.

At Mass today, we took time to honor our IHM Sisters as they renewed their vows on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Like our founding families, the IHM Sisters have been with O'Connell from the beginning. The community of Sisters with us at the school today represent a long line of commitment and sacrifice made by hundreds of IHM Sisters over the years. As today's community of Sisters prepares to move into their new convent down the street next week, we continue to thank God for their presence, their example, and their dedicated service to Catholic education.

We pray for the repose of the souls of Mr. Katz and Mr. Bergmann and we pray for our IHM Sisters and all of the Sisters of the IHM community.
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