Dominican Collaboration Spanning the Decades

For 88 years now, nearly 200 friars have rolled up their sleeves to help make Fenwick a beacon of light and hope.

By Father Jim Marchionda, O.P.

Dominican friar Father James Dominic Kavanaugh “worked all day long with the housecleaning brigade, putting his hand to any task that presented itself with a good will and cheerfulness that were an inspiration in themselves.” – from the Rosary Convent Annals of October 5, 1922

Saint Dominic meets Saint Francis: Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.)

Years before Fenwick High School first opened its doors nearly 88 years ago, Dominican friars flourished in a multitude of ways throughout the developing western suburbs of Chicago. Dominicans have made major contributions and significant differences in the lives of countless high school and college students, parents of students, members of their own Dominican Family, and thousands upon thousands of parishioners in the villages of Oak Park, River Forest and beyond, for close to 100 years.

The opening quote above, referring to the dirty, dusty and dramatic opening days of Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois, established by our beloved Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, demonstrates the meaning, joy and power of collaboration that has existed between Dominican women and men for centuries. Fr. Kavanaugh, then chaplain at the Sinsinawa Mound (located near Dubuque, Iowa), came to Chicago with the sisters, rolled up his sleeves, got down on his hands and knees and did whatever work was necessary in preparation for the opening of Rosary College in 1922. For eight full days, he helped wherever and however he could. All those many years ago, Fr. Kavanaugh already resembled the brave, bold words that our own Pope Francis has used to describe and define anew how priests, bishops and all ecclesial leaders can best serve the church of today. “Roll up your sleeves and get to work!” (Pope Francis interview: “A Big Heart Open to God”)

Advancing the spirit of Dominican collaboration on the West side of Chicago, friars served as chaplains at both Rosary College and Trinity High School for many years. Residing at the Dominican House of Studies on the corner of Harlem Avenue and Division Street in River Forest, friars provided great spiritual formation to both men and women. It was in the early 1920s that Cardinal Mundelein gave the Dominican Friars permission to build the House of Studies on the condition that they also found a high school in the archdiocese. We are well-aware of the great grandeur that followed. On September 9, 1929, 11 Dominican priests opened wide Fenwick’s doors to 200 students, leading to the first graduating class of 1932. By 1936, a mere seven years later, Fenwick won its First Catholic League football championship. It did not take long for the Fenwick Friars to flex their cumulative muscles, demonstrating their great aptitude for sports, while at the same time raising the bar for the decades that followed!

Build and Rebuild

Even before Fenwick’s doors opened, other dynamic Dominicans such as Fr. Kavanaugh were making their own marks on the West side. Continue reading “Dominican Collaboration Spanning the Decades”

Garrett Mulcahy ’17 receives Beering Scholarship

The Fenwick senior is one of eight students nationally to earn Purdue’s prestigious scholarship, which is valued at more than $200,000!

Fenwick High School senior student Garrett Mulcahy is the proud recipient of a Beering Scholarship from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. The 18-year-old, who resides in Elmhurst and attended Bryan Middle School, plans to study mathematics in the fall of 2017. Garrett’s father, Patrick, is head of the Theology Department at Fenwick.

The generous Beering Scholarship will pay for all of Mulcahy’s educational expenses, including undergraduate tuition, room and board, and extends beyond his bachelor’s degree to cover graduate-school expenses: either a master’s degree or MBA as well as one doctoral degree or medical school degree (the latter through Indiana University). Is this opportunity too good to be true? No, but it is highly selective: Each year, only eight students from around the country are chosen to receive the honor, based on their high school credentials and leadership skills, explains Catharine Patrone, student services director in Purdue’s Honors College. Even young-but-savvy Mulcahy admits, “When I first received the email encouraging me to apply [for the scholarship], I thought it was a scam.”

Continue reading “Garrett Mulcahy ’17 receives Beering Scholarship”

Faculty Focus: April 2017

Meet Fenwick English Teacher Mary Marcotte.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?

MM: This is my 43rd year of teaching and my 22nd year at Fenwick. My past teaching experience before Fenwick was both public and private. People often ask me to explain the difference between the catholic and public school environments. In a word, the answer is “atmosphere.” But to explain atmosphere, I would point to the Dominican philosophy. The aura surrounding a Friar is one of developing leadership, seeking discourse in scholarship all the while united in Prayer. As a teacher here at Fenwick, I am constantly in awe of our students’ potential and am privileged to help them realize that potential.

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?

MM: I am an avid gardener, and my garden was featured on a garden walk in 2002. When I am not outside, I love growing orchids, particularly miniature varieties. Also, I love and frequently attend Shakespeare plays at Navy Pier and at the Stratford Festival in Canada.

Which clubs/Sports/Activities do you run at Fenwick?

MM: My past sponsorships/advisories have included: Speech and Debate, Touchstone Magazine, Yearbook (8 Gallery of excellence awards) and Write Place Advisor. I was also English Department Chair for seven years. Currently, I am Director for Student Publications.
Continue reading “Faculty Focus: April 2017”

Faculty Focus: Mary Logas

What is your educational background?

Educational background: I graduated from public schools in Oak Park, Including OPRF, then got my bachelor’s degree from U of I in Champaign in 3 years (which I did not think was all that great, but my parents did when they saved a year of tuition), and then attended University of Chicago in graduate school in political science for 4 years. I took college courses for fun at times before getting my certification and MA in Teaching from Dominican, and once figured out that I have about 200 hours of college credit.

Continue reading “Faculty Focus: Mary Logas”

Faculty Focus: February 2017

 

Meet Fenwick Science Teacher David Kleinhans.

Educational background:
BS Computer Science Engineering
JD Intellectual Property Law

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?
DK: I love work. Prior to university, I was an ice cream scooper, bus boy, and owned a window washing business. After university, I worked in the software industry for 20 years. Ultimately, I founded a company with a close friend and we grew that business until we were acquired by Cognos, IBM’s software divisions. I worked at Cognos for 5 years post acquisition running an international business unit focused on financial performance and analytic software.

What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
DK: I just joined a men’s book club with some friends that are also in my fantasy football league. We are reading The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. Interesting already!

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
DK: I like anything outside and that involves new travel. I love to run, bike, hike, ski, and board in new and old locales. I am also a bit of a greenie and a handyman. This past summer I installed a new deck and solar panels. Fun!

To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
DK: When I was young, I was on the soccer, wrestling and math teams. Our math team was 12 people. Quite a difference from the numbers Fenwick sees on the math team and on the WYSE and JETS teams. I love how engaged our students are in STEM. Continue reading “Faculty Focus: February 2017”