Frank McLeskey ~ Let me say a little about my SAHS experience; it comes from the heart, from looking back, not only on the Catholic education and character formation arena, but also on my Christian formation.
The Franciscan priests, Richard Rohr, says that all men need the "discipline" experience of rules, regulations and rigidity because of what these boundaries reveal to us. They need formation like that in the early stages of their lives because it gives than a "box" of boundaries wherein they can operate. This is good/OK; that is bad/not OK. From that perspective our SAHS experience was excellent in one way and somewhat abusive in another. We all knew the rules -- in the classroom, in the yard, on the field, on the BB court. So if we broke the rules, they applied the discipline and punishment.
I was a rule follower and since I was reasonably smart, I did not incur the "discipline" heaped upon some of our less studious classmates.
Our preparation for college was excellent. The Brothers were skilled in the courses they taught. As men they were for the most part good role models. Several times at SAHS I thought that this could be a life I could dedicate my life to. That thinking would not have happened if the Brothers were not good role models.
Regarding religious formation, the Brothers taught us as they taught Algebra or English. We did what was required. The Brothers gave us the box of religion rules and regulations and it was called faith formation. The whole church was like that until Vatican II.
What was lacking was the focus on Jesus as Savior and Lord. We kept Good Friday without understanding the atonement and freedom and release that it gives to one who has encountered Jesus at the cross and as the risen Lord. I came to know that freedom of living as a true disciple of Jesus only when I was 45 years old. When Jesus sets you free, you are really free in relationship, in prayer, in worship, in discipleship and in evangelizing. I hope all my fellow brothers and sisters at SAHS/SFXA have experienced that same transformation. (Courtesy of Michael J. Hosemann)