The word is defined as "great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective."
Rev. Michael Casey of St. Francis Assisi in New Britain, celebrating the Mass for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier on Thursday, certainly possessed all of that and more. He needed no microphone. His booming voice carried near and far as he spoke of St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary of the Church, saying "he gave his entire life to God, he gave everything he had ... and let nothing stop him."
The word represents part of the spiritual values of the Xaverian Brothers, traditionally used to mean the devotion, enthusiasm and drive to fulfill the Church's ministry of education.
It also is one of the many outstanding qualities of teacher and wrestling coach Mike Cunningham. Cunningham was honored after the Mass with the Theodore James Ryken Award, given to an adult member of an XBSS school who by his or her commitment and dedication lives the mission of the Xaverian charism of education.
As one peer who nominated Cunningham said, "His success as a coach is remarkable, not only in championship banners, but more importantly in the Xavier men he has helped develop."
The word applies to the six juniors who will represent Xavier in the multi-day XBSS Junior Retreat next March. Their applications were filled with the enthusiasm to attend such an event, learn from it, and then spread the word when they get back to school.
During the Mass, Dominick Delaney, Finn Dowler, Wes Harris, Liam Houchin, Daniel Lyons and Vinnie Pagliuca were commissioned. Michael Bevilacqua was chosen as the senior leader for the retreat, and was part of the commissioning. Father Casey said a prayer.
The word applies to the annual Christmas Drive, sponsored by the National Honor Society and announced after the Mass. The goal is to raise $3,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Last year's goal was surpassed as the Xavier community once again showed its zeal for service in helping others.
For a video of the Mass: https://tinyurl.com/ucebkhe
Xavier High School is a private, Catholic all-boys school in Middletown, CT. It is a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School (XBSS).