Friday, September 03, 2010

The Legendary Clem Caraboolad

My high school, Walsh Jesuit, has placed a huge banner above the home bleachers at Conway Memorial Stadium (where the Walsh Warriors battle on the gridiron). The banner honors four "Legends of Walsh Jesuit." One of the honorees is Clemens J. Caraboolad, who was a faculty member at Walsh from 1965 to 1982 - serving as a Math and Theology teacher and football coach.

I had blogged about my own personal reminiscences of Mr. C. here, along with forwarding a YouTube of one of his classic speeches.

The P.R. director of Walsh Jesuit contacted me and asked if she could quote me on the school's website. Not only did she quote me, but posted a lightly-edited version of my blog post here. Thanks, Claudia!

To the left is a picture of Mr. C. as I remember him at the helm of Room 110. Hopefully, other Walsh men will likewise share their memories of what it was like to study under Clem Caraboolad.

It was a great privilege to attend Walsh Jesuit High School from 1979 to 1981. And being a teacher myself, both in my ministry and as a classroom teacher, I appreciate the qualities and traits that made Clem Caraboolad a great educator. Though I am nowhere near the caliber of a Clem Caraboolad, teachers of such quality and devotion continue to set the bar very high and provide those who come along after them with examples of how to make an impact on the lives of our students - whether in the classroom, on the football field, in chapel, or in simple conversation.

Pastors are required to be teachers, and I thank God that I was blessed to have so many outstanding teachers from a multiplicity of backgrounds and from a diversity of styles and approaches. I'm grateful to have been a student of Clemens J. Caraboolad, as well as for my three years at Walsh.

Interestingly, at least one other LCMS pastor is an alumnus of Walsh Jesuit: the Rev. Steve Cholak of Houston, Texas. Steve and I were classmates at seminary, and though we are separated by some 13 years in age, we shared some of the same teachers.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!


Past Elder said...

Great Judas the Jebbie, what in all spiritual exercises were you doing at a Jeb high school, or Jeb anything?

OTOH, maybe that explains some of our differences.

In my RC parish growing up, a retired Jeb history prof -- well retired as in kicked out in the pogroms following Vatican II -- helped out on Sundays and I often served Mass for him.

He tried like hell to get me to do to St Louis U and was not happy when I went to the Benedictines instead. They only pray and work, they can't think, he used to say, as we went through Exercitia spiritualia, in Latin.

Even after I was there, he tried to get me to leave, sending Rousseau and Romanticism, by a bleeding Dominican (like friars known a damn thing) named Sertillange or something like that, and some piece of neurotic ascetic solipsism by a Carthusian (like somebody merely monked over, instead of a real monking monk, knows a damn thing either).

Even now, Creighton Prep is but a few blocks away, the bleeders are everywhere. But I have the last laugh. My house sits on land that was once a farm owned by Edward By God Creighton, bought by fellow U Iowa alumnus Erastus Benson and turned into a now an Omaha neighbourhood named after him.

Ed warn't so bad though. His brother John was given a county, literally, made a titular count, on papal land outside Napoli and used to run around Omaha, maybe in my backyard, in his sash and sword. Ed though he was a fool. But they did build Lutheran churches as well as Catholic ones to encourage German immigration, and old Ed was the first president of First National Bank of Omaha, founded by the Lutheran Kountze brothers, who also organised the first Lutheran service in Nebraska.

Dollars, the original ecumenism. Hell, I bank there myself. But I digress. (FH says, you ALWAYS digress.)

Thought you were a Baptist boy growing up. Jebbies. Now I understand. Oy.

Rev. David M. Juhl said...

Nearly everyone has at least one teacher that could be called legendary. Thanks for writing about yours. Soon, I will write about mine.

Past Elder said...

What? You ain't biting? Well then I'll see your AMDG and raise you one IOGD.

Just to throw that in the milieu (thus making indirect reference to the one Jeb I really like).

Father Hollywood said...

Dear PE:

AMDG is engraved on Kramer Chapel at Concordia Theological Seminary - Fort Wayne. :-)

The Jesuits (as well as the lay teachers who taught at my Jesuit-run high school) taught me how to be a student, how to write, how to study, as well as church history and the importance of prayer, brotherly love, and sacraments - all formative values for me in the path of becoming a Lutheran and a Lutheran pastor.

I graduated high school at 17, and was baptized in a Lutheran church at age 18.


Past Elder said...

Yeah well IOGD still sits on what was the bell tower to what was the abbey church and is now (at least as of 1972) the "Great Hall" reception area back at die Abtei.

My high school probably had something about Our Lady of Lourdes over the door, since the joint was named after her. Run by Frannie sisters, which, as Sister Bibiana, my physics teacher, insisted is not nuns but sisters.

I got a lot or romanitas, up to the Revolution, er, Vatican II, but didn't learn jack about the stuff you mentioned from them.

However I will be forever grateful for math with Sister Hilarion and Latin with Sister Colleen, which in their different disciplines taught me how to think precisely.

Ain't nuttin like Latin or a proof for that.

jcarneyjr said...

Thanks much for posting this. Clem Caraboolad was a wonderful man who taught us all not only Geometry but life. He is a man who I will always remember very fondly.

Jack Carney
Walsh Jesuit '77'

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Jack:

I hear ya. I feel the same way. Thanks for writing! AMDG.

Anonymous said...

This could easily be a screen play...? And a Block Buster Movie...Look what happened with Blind Side. And this is a phenominal story....

Dan Krane, '81 said...

Clem Caraboolad's class room with its couches, dart boards and sound system was like an oasis. I still marvel at how much he was able to accomplish each class period even though he set aside ten to fifteen minutes at the start of each class for music. If a screen play did get made about him it would have a great sound track -- lots of Led Zeppelin!

Rev. Larry Beane said...

Indeed, Dan. That would be one stellar soundtrack!