Four Trinity Class of 2020 Senior Reflections

Maximum Effort of the Soul – Trinity High School senior Gus Boyer 

Class of 2020 Gus Boyer

Clang….Clang….. An old church bell, hoisted up by worn-out rope into the towering heights of the second story chapel — a great monument above the tattered sheet metal and concrete houses that surrounded it — rang out. This was not the start of a Mass, or even a small communion.

As the bell’s echo floated off into the crowded neighborhood, children began to run out of their houses and gather at the iron gate of the chapel. All five trickled into our courtyard, their faces smudged with dirt and opal eyes shining brilliantly. One of them held a soccer ball; they were here to play.

The teams were set: all five of them against me, a window-faced American and a girl from the Argentine high school I was attending. But before I could protest the injustice, the ball was in the back of the net, or rather, the ball was past the two metal lawn chairs set up as goal posts. Five goals later, and completely out of breath, I wondered how much better I had fared from last week.

“A slight improvement,” I thought to myself.

For the rest of the month, I would be in San Miguel, Argentina, on an exchange program Trinity High School offered. And every week I would be here, amid the decrepit, decaying plaster walls of the courtyard, playing with the neighborhood kids. To them, a reprieve from their daily lives, and for me, “pastoral” service.

“Idle thought is thinking, in order to do nothing; thinking too much about what has been done, and not about what should be done. What’s done is done, and there is nothing worse than feeling remorse without a cure.” Although Miguel de Unamuno fought an internal struggle over his faith, his words in the nivola “San Manuel Bueno, Mártir” are profoundly Catholic.

To live without doing, without serving, is hardly living at all. Predominantly, a Catholic education at Trinity has imparted the importance of service. From the textbooks in our theology classes, to school gatherings, to soup kitchen volunteering, to mission trips, the greatest message I have learned is one not only Catholic, but essentially human. We are born to do — to make, to help our neighbors and even our enemies.

As I prepare to graduate and leave the world at Trinity behind me, memories, lessons, friends and teachers will not be forgotten. When I walked into Trinity’s cafeteria as a freshman and looked up at our school’s green banner adorned with the Latin phrase “Maximo Animi Adore,” I did not have the slightest idea what those words truly meant.

Now, after hearing it repeated at school Masses and team prayers, and before difficult biology tests, I can finally grasp its significance. The point of a Catholic education isn’t what can be done in four years of high school but what can be carried on the remainder of one’s life.

Maximo Animi Adore  — with maximum effort of the soul!

Finding God’s Truth – Trinity High School senior Jeff Palmquist

Class of 2020 Jeff Palmquist

Picture a room full of more than 1,000 people locking their arms behind each other’s backs.

A sudden, simple sway overtakes the crowd, and like a wave, the lyrics of the Rocks’ Alma Mater move steadily through the silence.  This moment between Trinity brothers will forever and always be my most cherished memory. Singing the Alma Mater is not a one-time thing. It is tradition. Whether it be after Mass, after a victorious game or even a loss, the Alma Mater still rings out from Trinity’s brothers.

It’s hard to put onto paper, but there’s an unexplainable feeling when those lyrics ring out.

“In her halls we find God’s truth.”

At school we see “the good” that God intended for us in the beginning. But we don’t see God in bricks, paint and mortar. We see Him in each other. We see Him in our teachers’ caring smiles and jokes — even the occasional “Sup?” in the hallways from a friend. Point is, God’s goodness is in each other, especially in Trinity’s halls.

“His wisdom echoes clear, ‘neath the roof of Trinity, our Alma Mater dear.”

God’s wisdom is not shared; it’s not even understood. But the wisdom that we do understand comes from our teachers, our coaches, our families. Students arrive at campus routinely at eight o’clock with the desire to learn. From classroom to classroom, you hear deep knowledge of forensics, classic movies, biology, English and so many more subjects. Not only is the knowledge shared with students, but it’s shared in a way that students can understand.

“Loyal to the green and white, we stand united here, faithful to dear Trinity through each succeeding year.”

If you know about Trinity, then you know about the generous alumni. There are countless alumni who come back to Trinity weekly. There is an abundance of people who donate. Even seniors now have been anxious to volunteer for a Senior Retreat, all due to their loyalty to Trinity.

“Raise your voice and shout her name, wherever you may be; may our love be known to all, our love for Trinity.”

The chorus depicts the unconditional spirit of Trinity, the spirit that is so well represented by the lively spirit captains, famous Trinity chants, and overflowing student sections.

When it comes to Trinity, “friendship” is an understatement, and “brotherhood” is everything.

A Family for Life – Trinity High School senior Andrew Hamill  

Class of 2020 Andrew Hamill

Imagine walking through the halls your first day of high school — just a tiny freshman unsure what you’re doing. I finally found my locker, and I know all I have to do is open it, and the rest of the day will run smoothly. But no, it has to be jammed.

I struggled for a couple of minutes as the halls cleared and kids scurried to their classes. Finally, the bell rang, and I was late my first-ever high school class. What a great start to such a huge chapter in my life!

As I got up to head to the office for help, a huge senior rugby player turned the corner; he was also running late but not nearly as worried about it as I was. Before I could say a word, he asked, “Is there anything I can help you with?”

Nervously I responded, “I can’t open my locker; I think it’s jammed.” In a matter of seconds, he pushed the locker a couple of times, and it popped right open. When I told him thanks, he said don’t worry about it and to have a good first day.

This may not seem like a huge event to an outsider’s perspective. To me, this was the first action that showed me that at Trinity you truly make brothers for life. We were complete strangers, and while that would be our only interaction before he graduated, I never forgot the assistance.

That is what is so special about what Trinity has created. He owed me nothing, but without even thinking about it, he decided to help. Trinity builds a community of people who are willing to help others in need, no matter the circumstances.

Throughout my four years I have noticed countless situations similar to my experience, whether it is one teammate supporting another after a mistake or one student helping another grasp a lesson they don’t quite understand. If you spend one hour at Trinity, you will recognize that it is special.

To put it simply, no matter how old, how athletic, how strong, or how smart you are, when you choose to attend Trinity, you are choosing to join a family that you will have the rest of your life.

Men of Faith and Men of Character – Trinity High School senior Preston Romanov

Class of 2020 Preston Romanov

It’s been three and a half years of morning routines. Once again, I dress for school, putting on my regular school khaki pants, a buttoned-down dress shirt and a tie. As I grab some breakfast and my books, I reflect on the days at a special place called Trinity High School.

On the drive I think about this place that has shaped me in so many ways, all for the better. Trinity has offered experiences found few other places. I remember Rockin’ as a freshman, a day of fun where there were no classes, but we competed in games and activities within our 10 Houses. This was the day I met some of my best friends.

I thought about sophomore year, when I realized I really wasn’t involved in a sport, club or activity. It was then I vowed to really get involved. I joined the speech and debate team, and my life began to change.

At my first debate competition when I went up to the podium to give my speech, my hands were shaking, my body was trembling, and sweat was pouring. The fear of what the audience would think haunted me. But after that first speech, I realized talking in front of people wasn’t so bad; judges wrote positive comments, and I received a compliment from one competitor in my room. I knew this was just the beginning.

Junior year I took the next step by joining the National Beta Club and the National Honor Society, later serving as NHS president. I decided to study journalism and joined the school’s newspaper. Since then I have interviewed many people and taken photos in front of literally thousands. I joined the Future Business Leaders of America, competing at regionals and qualifying for state.

I recall wanting to hold more leadership positions my senior year and am proud I was elected to Student Government, where I serve as a House Captain, and accepted the position of editor in chief of Trinity’s student newspaper and yearbook.

As I arrive in the parking lot, I look back and am just amazed at everything Trinity has given me — the challenging and rigorous education, the activity opportunities, the lessons in leadership – all in a community of brotherhood.

Throughout this year when we sing the Alma Mater, I realize that being a man of faith and character is more than just a slogan. It means gratitude, dignity, service.  I love my Trinity brothers and truly can’t wait to see what we will achieve in the future.

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