The "journey", though not completely over, has been filled with all sorts of emotions both high and low. We agreed to disagree about some things but ultimately, the Servite experience for both our sons and our family has been everything we hoped it would be.
- In the process, my sons have discovered what kind of young men they are and what kind of men God wants them to become. They thank God everyday for their blessings and they give the glory to God in all they receive and in all they give.
- In the process, my husband became a Catholic.
- In the process, we have learned that God gives us all gifts and talents; it is what we choose to do with those gifts that makes the difference not only in our lives but in the lives of all we come in contact with.
- In the process, our family has learned that the the gifts given to us, both individually and combined, make us a better family, a better parent, a better son, a better brother and a better friend.
Though the process started long ago, Servite has cast it in concrete, solidified it and made it strong. It has been formed. Our prayers have been answered.
We thank you and your wonderful brotherhood of teachers, staff, students and all who make it possible for these very frightened children entering Servite to become strong men of God with conviction through service in the name of our very dear Blessed Mother.
A recent conversation with my son, Michael, sums it all up: He came home for Christmas and was relaying to his dad how some of his colleagues were not looking forward to going home as their only friends were those they had just met at college; they had no real "friends" at home. Michael said, "Not me, Papa. I'm from Servite."
May God continue to bless and keep the family of Servite and may the Blessed Mother forever keep them safe within Her mantle.
With our deepest gratitude and love,
Rose and Brian Swartz
-- Update --
In one week from today, we will officially be an Alumni Servite family. Michael graduated in 2012 and Paul will graduate next week.
My husband, Brian and I, want to express a debt of gratitude to you, the Servite administration, teachers, staff, and volunteers. The five years have flown by (which we knew they would) and, as you promised on that first open-house back in 2008, my sons have grown from gentle children to gentlemen.
They have experienced what it means to be "weird" and that it is okay; they have experienced what it means to be Servant leaders; but mostly they have experienced what it means to respect and treat each individual you meet with Christ's love and compassion.
The road has had bumps along the way; if it didn't, it wouldn't be a learning, growing and maturing experience it is supposed to be. But THIS journey, THIS road has been one that we have traveled as a family; a family together and a family of Servite. For this we are forever grateful. Without the love, dedication, and desire of all the Servite administration, faculty, staff and volunteers our goal for our impressionable young sons upon entering Servite would not have been as easily achieved; the young men of integrity, honor, love, service, responsibility and faith that they are today.
I know, unequivocally, that my sons are made of the fabric that will make them leaders of tomorrow. Leaders that lead with their actions and not just their words. Leaders that will not compromise their integrity. Leaders that will remain diligent despite the outside pressures. Leaders that lead faith filled lives and through whom other people will know the greatness of God and the love of our Blessed Mother.
The Servite promise has been kept and it will live on in this generation of young men.
Words are inadequate to express our thanks and love for Servite and all the people of Servite that have made it such a great experience for all our young men.
Perhaps it was best said by our older son this past Spring break when he came home from college. He said that even though he loves the college he chose and the friends he has made, he will always know he is part of a bigger family called Servite to come home to and, that most of all, he continues to wish he had "just one more day at Servite".
May God continue to bless all the men and women of Servite and may the Blessed Mother continue to safely enfold them all in her mantle.
With our deepest love, respect and gratitude,
Rose and Brian Swartz
Thank you for a wonderful Grandparents Day program. It was wonderful spending the day with out grandson Jason Heil in the Servite enviornment.
We were very much appreciated meeting his teachers and learning more abou the "Formation" program. We truly believe that someday it's possible that a Servite alumni will make it ur highest political, scientific, engineering and literary positions in our country because Servite is teaching our young men "leadership". We want to thank the staff for their great and hard work.
We look forward to being a part of the Servite community for many, many years to come as we have three additional youg grandsons.
Ricardo and Jessie Duran
I saw your posting on Facebook of the participation of Servite's best at the Faley Memorial Games. I just wanted to share with you my experience and my pictures. Sorry if this is a bit long-winded.
Later in the morning I began going around emptying out the trash cans as the athletes and their partners were eating their lunches. Whenever I needed help, I waited until I saw one of the young men from Servite. Thanks to their overwhelming numbers, the wait was never more than a few seconds. To say they were extremely helpful is an understatement. Not once did they do the minimum and move on. Each time I asked for help, I was greeted with a "Yes sir" followed with a "Is there anything else I can help with?". Taking out the trash can be a bit messy especially when a bag breaks spilling its contents on the field. Not once did a hear a groan or complaint. They helped, they offered further assistance and they went on their way. Thank you to Servite for turning young boys into these fine gentlemen.
Bill Jason '84
It’s always a pleasure to see you each year at the Faley games and I enjoy working with your energetic students and faculty to support the special athletes. This year I would especially like to recognize the efforts of three young adults who assisted me at the obstacle course. Tyler Farley, Dylan McCarthy, and Andrew Smith really stood out because they took their jobs very serious, they weren’t looking for recognition and they were focused on the needs and happiness of the challenged attendees. These are the type of young men that Servite and society can be very proud of. Please pass my comments onto their teachers and their parents because I want them to know that whatever they are doing, or have done, to raise these great human being, they have done a great job.
Dear Mr. Weir,
Thank you for your wonderful compliments. I’m glad to hear that Lucas was sincere and honest during his interview, as that is exactly how we would expect him to be, at all times. Yes, it is also a testament to how wonderful our Catholic Schools really are, with our children, and how, together, we can all help our students to bloom, as God certainly inspires us to do. You guys really do a great job of pulling “the good” out of them, as I could not be certain what I would have said, at that age, to answer that tricky question. Of course, to us, Lucas and Oliver are both very special and it brightens our day when we hear that either of them have also put a smile on someone else’s face, as well. Hopefully, nobody asked Lucas about how he feels about the Anaheim Angels’ performance this season because his response probably would not have been as upbeat, Ha, Ha. We can hardly even watch their games any more; but, that’s another discussion altogether.
With all the “real world” problems out there, it is indeed, VERY COMFORTING and VERY INSPIRING to know that our Catholic Faith, our Catholic Institutions and you folks, as a part of Servite, know what is right, how to teach it, how to live it and how to clearly pass it on, to our most precious children. Yes, we can change this world for the better, one child at a time and that is what you folks at Servite do all the time. Together, without a doubt, IT IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT and CHALLENGING WORK, even though it rarely gets the emphasis and recognition that it should. Thank God that He continually gives us all the strength, the smarts, the motivation, the courage, the health, the opportunity, the tools, the cash, the environment, the skills, the understanding; and, most importantly, JESUS, MARY and THE HOLY SPIRIT to keep us doing it. Is that “Divine Intervention?” You bet it is, as I’m sure the 7 Holy Founders knew, as well.
When you see what is happening today, all over this crazy world, to our fellow Christians; how they are abused, tortured, kidnapped and even killed, for simply being a Christian, it really opens our eyes to how lucky we all are to have been born away from that oppression. It is all the more reason why we all have to continually be vigilant against this evil; and, there is no better way than to be strong in all the ways that we can, and keep it alive and up-lifting in the lives of our children.
I spoke to you after the Graduation ceremony on Friday night. It was a night that the emotions for the last four years all accumulated into that one night. I walked up to you to thank you for the last four years, but more importantly, I wanted you to know that four years ago you gave a speech that made me realize that my wife and I had made the right choice by sending our only son to Servite.
I wanted to send our son to Saint John Bosco. I wanted him to go someplace where his friends were not going. I thought that all three Catholic schools that we could have sent him to were the same. All three would have given him a “Catholic Education”. I figured there was little difference between them other than the cost of tuition. I gave into my son’s wish of becoming a Friar that summer and got ready for an un-eventful four years. My wife pulled me to the campus meeting that summer afternoon. I was a little irritated that he had to go through a weekend event called, “Freshman Formation.” The other schools did not require this and Tommy was right in the middle of his regional Pony All-Star playoffs. I thought there were better things to do to get ready for the upcoming tournament than to spend an entire weekend in a “want-to-be” boot camp. My son would be too tired and weak to perform in his upcoming games. I reluctantly sat down with a theater full of other freshman parents to listen to the speakers and Coach Toner. Then it was your turn to speak. After your speech it was at this moment in time that my wife and I had made the right choice and I was glad my wife had made me come to the meeting. This was no so called “want to be” Boot Camp. I could not have been more wrong.
You spoke of many things that day and I remember them all. I wish someone had recorded it though. It would have been good for all of us to listen too throughout the past four years. The main ideas that you told us about was that while at Servite, the boys needed to respect women. It was always important to show this respect and the school and faculty would need the parents help in doing this. You told us that there needs to be a partnership between what the boys are learning and living at school and we need to support those same values at home. You said this was due to our devotion to Mary, because Mary is the “Ultimate disciple.” You asked that certain magazines not be brought into the homes and certain movies shouldn’t be watched. You also explained that texting, which was just starting to take off, needs to be monitored as well as what our boys are doing on the computer and internet. You reiterated that the next four years would be a partnership between Servite and the Parents. I was captivated by your words and I walked out of the theater knowing that we as a family had made the right choice by sending Tommy to Servite.
Many times the following four years I had wanted to tell you what that speech meant to me and how it impacted me. I witnessed everything that you had said was coming to fruition. My son was someone I could be very proud of. My wife and I loved the friendships and relationships that we as a family had formed with other Servite families. We did however, also stay in contact with our friends that we had prior to joining the Servite family. It was always strange to walk away from an Athletic function, birthday party or gathering and to notice and see the different between “our” Servite boys and others, who went to high school somewhere else. I do not mean to say that with arrogance, but the other boys would not show anyone around them respect. The other boys would wear their pants and clothes a certain way. They would not open a door for a lady nor would they look you in the eye when talking to you or come out and introduce themselves to you. There were no “Thank you”, “Yes, Sir”, “No, Sir” or “You’re Welcome”. They did not talk about their school projects, homework or study time. All of these things we had grown accustomed to being around our Servite boys. We probably would not have noticed had we never had been around the Servite boys. There was a bond or an “Espirt de Corps” with the Servite boys that I did not see from all of the other boys we knew.
As I sat in my seat at the commencement ceremony with the same parents that I sat with four year prior in the formation meeting, the memories and emotions all came flooding back. I listened to how much the boys cared about each other and how the faculty cared about each of them. I listened to how important Mary the Virgin Mother was to them. I was told again that they set out to “Be like Christ” and I remembered your speech again. It made me smile through the tears. You were right and everything you had said was absolutely correct. It was a partnership and because of that partnership I feel Tommy is a better man. A man who once was a boy who can now go out into the world with all of the tools necessary to change a world that is in great need of change. Servite has prepared him to meet that challenge head on. May God Bless you and all of the Men of Servite!
Yours in Christ,
"Servite provided me with an unparalleded education composed of rigorous academics and instilled in me the desire to pursue excellence. It was here that I was formed into a man of ambition, intellect and value- a man leading a life with Christ."
"Athletics at Servite has not only kept me in great shape through hard work and demanding physical activities, it instilled a strong core of moral values and discipline. Athletics has also given me the opportunity to build strong friendships with my brohters that will last a lifetime."
"Servite is a school that teaches boys how to become good men. Life has many tests that are difficult and cause stress. Dealing with pressure starts with preparation that Servite instills in each student."
"Through campus ministry, I became closer to Christ and have grown through Him. I will never be the same person I was my freshman year thanks to my involvement in Servite's unique Campus Ministry Program."
"Servite helped me in all aspects of life. It insisted that I be a man of character and integrity. The formation themes helped me become an honorable man by keeping faith at my center. Action with honor and integrity in all things is something I expect from myself and strive for in all things."
"Servite shaped my faith more than words can describe. My faith has not only improved my relationship with God, but also with my family, friends and everyone I encounter. Christ is clearly represented in everybody on campus. It is no coincidence that we are centered around God. Being servants of Mary, we are humble leaders. We are formed to be faith-filled leaders and to be a light in the world."
"Servite is not just a place for the student. It is a family experience. This expreience has brought my family closer together, developed our faith and has taught us strong family values. Servite has become a second home to my family and me."
"Leadership at Servite is a unique experience. Being Prior General has been a lot of hard work. It provided me with valuable experiencces I would not have received if I had not gone to Servite. The leadership leassons of envisioning, planning, motivating and finishing made me understand the complexities of leadership and prepared me to address any challenge."
"My time at Servite provided me with a diverse skill set. The many opportunities available to me through organizations such as Priory, Trinity Corporation and Her Servants' Kitchen helped develop my time management, work ethic, leadership and people skills."
"Trinity Corporation and other leadership programs at Servite have given me practical leadership experience. Through these experiences, I discovered my passion for business and was afforeded the opportunity to sharpen my business acumen. I could have not asked for a better environment in which I grew as a man of vision."