Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Sister Catherine Cesnik was found dead decades ago. But her murder still haunts those alive and those who knew her or were taught by her.. She was a cutting edge nun of the time, she wanted to work in public schools and also had thoughts about leaving her vows to marry a priest who was equally thinking about leaving the priesthood.
During her tensure at an all-girls school Archbishop Keough High School, there were allegations that Father Joseph Maskell and another priest may have been molesting girls. And even more than molesting, but also raping..bringing in outsiders to do that deed as well, including potentially police officers with the Baltimore police department, and subsequently attempting to cover up records by burying them in a cemetery.. Along with those explosive allegations: The theme of THE KEEPERS is that Sister Catherine was aware and was about to do something... and was murdered brutally with her body left to be maggot infested and rotting in a wooded area.
The documentary stokes ill-will in some. The 1990s and 2000s were a period of dramatic revelations for anyone who was a member of the Catholic Church in the United States. Not only were churches and schools consolidated and closed because of dioceses being forced to pay out high numbers of dollars in abuse settlements, but also a general malaise of church officials and mistrust of the heirarchy of the Roman Catholic institution developed. People stopped fearing and respecting the priestly authority.. instead, perhaps sadly for moral men who pick this as their life profession, a white collar has become a punchline.
The Church inflicted wounds on themselves. Their denials in the face of facts--including in this newly released documentary THE KEEPERS--is what brings a pox on their houses.. It is what creates the 'laugh line'.. and it is what fuels constant conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories, by the way, that has proven to be accurate and unsettling.
And .....for those who reside in Eastern Pennsylvania or surrounding areas in Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, you may be scratching your head like I did after viewing THE KEEPERS. I recall, quite a few times, where my own Catholic school priests seemingly had a strange connection to Baltimore.. where parties and weekend getaways happened with certain chosen boys from schools around me called retreats...
What the KEEPERS. And begin asking questions in your own mind and out loud. The answers may be startling.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Godspeed Nate. You are in every students fond memories of Cardinal Brennan and made each day better, brighter, and more interesting ...
Including my memories and days.
Rest In Peace.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
At this time, there has been no affirmative decision as to what the North Schuylkill School District will do with the former Cardinal Brennan high school. Earlier in 2016, NS purchased and auctioned off contents of the CB grounds. There were rumors churning that the school would have to be demolished due to years of neglect.. at this time the building, though in constant worsening condition, still stands tall through the late summer trees...
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Cardinal Brennan has been closed now for years.. Changes. Lots of graduating classes would have come and gone. And gone.. and gone. The beat went on.
The area has too..
The Bell Tower Blog captured a moment in time, when a school was shuddered and lives were forever changed. And scarred. But the area has received its share of devilish grins, too..
Heroin blankets most streets across the coal region now. And so does depression, joblessness, sadness and grief. The mall, the Schuylkill Mall, appears to be entering its final days. With more stores closing by the moment, the seconds are ticking and time is winding down.
There seems to be an overall feeling of malaise that has swept the land. It seems down lately.. It seemed changed.
Perhaps one can soon look back at recent and soon to be distant history and pinpoint a certain time when the area died away and withered? Maybe it has to do a bit with the loss of church life--priest lawsuits and cases of pedophilia have hurt deep and caused everlasting wounds. Schools closing did not help. They took a sense of security from some. Parents who attended Catholic schools now have a tough choice: Risk spending most of what little extra cash they have on school.. or pick the other school.
Times have changed. The bell has tolled over and over again. And with each new phase of life, the standard and quality of life has been compromised.
Thanks for reading.
I am honored many of you still seem to be checking back...
Sunday, November 15, 2015
The piano gone too.
Before it did, the Alma Mater's sound reverberated through hallways for one last time.. vacant, sad, lonely hallways..
We sing our praise to alma mater the school we all love.
We raise heart and voice in joyous acclaim.
We cherish you and all you teach us.
Blue and gold your colors our fame.
We will be true to the ideals that are strong heritage.
From on high you reign our true beacon light;
Now let’s sing out in happy chorus.
Praise to our dear school,
Cardinal Brennan High!