Last year, Cameron Caldwell hurt his shoulder on the day he was to speak at Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Gala, the major fundraiser for the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.
But the senior from Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School came to the event anyway, delaying his emergency room visit until after he had spoken eloquently about what Catholic education has meant to him, how TTEF's generous supporters and scholarships have enabled him to get quality education and open up opportunities for the future.
Allison Thomas contemplated the question for a moment:
What would it have been like to be a student in the first year of St. Joseph's Academy, then known affectionately as Madame Celestine's School, way back in 1840?
"It'd definitely be different," the St. Joseph's junior said, noting that the original log-cabin school doubled as home for the founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. "It'd be a lot smaller. There'd be more intimate classes; it'd be more personal (between) the teachers and students."
With a $1.25-million custom tour bus at their disposal, the three Ursuline Academy seniors seized the opportunity, doing what others might do in a similar circumstance.
Each took a turn behind the wheel, sliding into the driver's seat, posing for pictures and acting as though they were touring the countryside.
"These are probably the first girls who have done that in a while," driver Terence Bilal said, with a laugh. "Usually, I don't allow that because they start pushing buttons. But they're winners; I'll let them do it."
At one time, religious sisters formed the backbone of Catholic education in America, serving as teachers or administrators in Catholic schools.
But as sisters have dwindled in number over the past 30 to 40 years, spreading their communities thin, laity has assumed the mission of educating Catholic school students, some of whom might have never even seen a religious sister, let alone interacted with one on a daily basis.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett, who served on the cabinets of two presidents, will be the featured speaker at the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Gala benefiting the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.
The gala will be Tuesday, April 19, at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, starting at 7 p.m. (cocktails at 6 p.m.) The event raises funds for TTEF scholarships, including Help For Today, Hope For Tomorrow scholarships.
The 20th century dawned with the United States on the cusp of a technological revolution that put men on the moon and led to a land-speed record topping 763 miles per hour. The Wright Brothers took flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C., and Henry Ford incorporated the Ford Motor Company, both in 1903, with Henry himself setting the land-speed record of 91.37 mph in 1904.