The archway leads into the courtyard, inside of which are statues, picnic tables and trees planted in honor of each Xaverian Brother who has been principal/headmaster of the school. The archway also has served as backdrop for photos and an area in which a team might gather for prayer before a game.
Brendan Bell ’05 started the “Black Hole” cheering section at Xavier athletic events. “We’re like the Cameron Crazies [the Duke student cheering section] – only better looking,” Bell said in the 2005 yearbook. Bell is now the Assistant Director of Admissions.
At the Opening of School Mass, to a large cheer, the Bishop grants what is known as the Bishop’s Holiday. At the discretion of the administration, the students get a day off.
Big Falcon-Little Falcon & Falcon Blast
The Big Falcon-Little Falcon program, in which a senior is paired with one or more freshmen, is one of those Xavier traditions that builds a sense of community. The program was started in 1993 when Bro. Lawrence Harvey, C.F.X., was principal. One of benefits is that it preserves the culture of Xavier as seniors help guide and support freshmen. The Falcon Blast, largely a day of fun and games in late summer to acclimate freshmen before their first day of school, is an offshoot of the Big Falcon-Little Falcon program. It was started in 2006 by then-Headmaster Brother William Ciganek and then-Principal Bill Garrity.
Educating Spirit, Mind And Body
Between its many course levels, sports, clubs and activities, spiritual and service opportunities, Xavier endeavors to educate the whole person, a key component to a Xaverian Catholic education.
Junior Ring Mass
The Junior Ring Mass in March is a rite of passage, and has been celebrated at Xavier for years. The Founders Hymn is sung as part of the Mass, its opening reminding everyone of our Xaverian history: Lord, you blessed our humble founder, with a love of serving you. Through the prayers of Francis Xavier, to your call may we be true! Ryken sought to spread your Gospel, helping souls Your light to see. May we live his dream and vision, small things grow in harmony. There also is an explanation of the symbols on the ring and their importance, then the blessing of the rings followed by the distribution of the rings.
The school prayer, said each day at the end of school, was written by Chris Danko ’11 and Francis Rowland ’11. There is prayer to open and close the day as well as prayer before each class, and before lunch in the dining hall.
There are mandatory service hours for all Xavier students, with one benefit being that this might just develop a lifetime habit of serving others in various ways. Xavier also has international and U.S.-based service trips.
Sign Of The Cross
The chapel is at the end of a long hallway that leads out into the courtyard. Many times a day students, faculty and staff pass by the chapel on their way to another part of the building. It is not uncommon to see someone step into the chapel. It also is common for those who pass by to offer the Sign Of The Cross.
Xavier Leadership Institute (XLI)
XLI started in the summer of 1972 when Brother John Kerr, C.F.X., was principal. Rising seniors attend the weeklong leadership session. At that first one nearly 50 years ago, Brother Kerr said that he hoped it would “change the face of Xavier in the coming year and eventually the face of the earth.” It is safe to say that many of our XLI alumni have made their mark on the world.
The Xavier High School Prayer