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Chivalry, history bond St. Edmond’s students


Dialog reporter


WILMINGTON — Twenty-four fifth-graders at St. Edmond’s Academy in Brandywine Hundred have completed their work and are eagerly awaiting being knighted on Nov. 17. The ceremony is the culmination of a rigorous academic exercise and is a rite of passage at the all-boys school.

“They get officially knighted with a real sword in a huge ceremony once they’ve completed all the work,” principal Tricia Scott said. “It’s so popular. The boys so look forward to it.” Read more »

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Student news




Ocean Pines students visit developmental center

MBS choir.WEBOCEAN PINES, Md. — Middle school choir and dance students from Most Blessed Sacrament School in Ocean Pines, Md., recently visited the Worcester County Developmental Center in Newark, Md. There, they received a tour of the facilities, presented a Christmas program with music and dancing, and sang carols with the clients.





Fundraiser benefits Make-A-Wish

BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — Before the Christmas break, St. Edmond’s Academy held a week of fundraising for Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Northern Delaware and Susquehanna Valley. The students raised $4,384 for the foundation, well above the goal of $650.

Organized by the student council, the boys at St. Edmond’s bought Make-A-Wish bracelets and pretzels, and they held an ugly Christmas sweater contest. The school administration had promised to take a pie in the face from the contest winners if the $650 goal was reached.

“The school implemented a weeklong fundraiser that had amazing results and will help support our mission to fulfill wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Dennis J. Heron, president and CEO of the local Make-A-Wish foundation.


Ten players selected for Blue-Gold football

Ten players from the four Catholic football-playing high schools have been named to the roster for the 2017 DFRC Blue-Gold Football Game. They are all members of the Blue team, which is most of the high schools above the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. All of the players are seniors who have been nominated by their coaches.

The game will be played June 17 at Delaware Stadium. Opening ceremonies begin at 5 p.m.

Archmere: Patrick Udovich

St. Elizabeth: David Hazelton, Mickey Henry

St. Mark’s: David Balint, A.J. McGonigle, Billy Sullivan

Salesianum: Josh Patrick, Randy Sinnott, Bill Stradley, Zeb Wright.


Salesianum grad going to Delaware basketball hall

NEWARK — Bruce Kelleher, a two-time state basketball player of the year while at Salesianum School, will be inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame on Jan. 28 in Newark.

Kelleher was named the state’s best high school player in 1956 and ’57. He went on to play at the University of Maryland. He played in 68 games for the Terps over three seasons (1959-60 to 1961-62), averaging 12.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Six others will be inducted as well. They are Davinela Payne (Caravel Academy, La Salle University); Leon Wilson (De La Warr High School, Cheyney University); Kelly Wickes (William Penn, Temple); Tail Davis (William Penn, Virginia Union); former Glasgow coach Don Haman; and former official Mike Wynn.

The induction will take place over lunch, with ceremonies to begin at 11 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 654 S. College Ave., Newark. Tickets are available at debbhof.ticketleap.com/hof/.


Drive benefits Catholic Charities

Students at Academy of Dover Charter School recently held a pajama drive to benefit Catholic Charities. The kindergarten through fifth-grade students collected nearly 90 pairs of brand-new pajamas to help children in need. The Academy of Dover partners with an organization called Pajama Drive that works to provide new pajamas and books to help needy children have a nurturing bedtime. (Photo courtesy of the Academy of Dover Charter School)

Students at Academy of Dover Charter School recently held a pajama drive to benefit Catholic Charities. The kindergarten through fifth-grade students collected nearly 90 pairs of brand-new pajamas to help children in need. The Academy of Dover partners with an organization called Pajama Drive that works to provide new pajamas and books to help needy children have a nurturing bedtime. (Photo courtesy of the Academy of Dover Charter School)

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A reunion 35 years in the making


Dialog reporter

When Stan Arasim decided to return to Catholic education, he called a former student now leading St. Edmond’s Academy


BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — Stan Arasim was on the verge of finishing 30 years as a teacher in the Brandywine School District last year, ready to step away from the district but not the classroom. So he contacted Tricia Scott, the principal at St. Edmond’s Academy, to see if she had any interest in bringing him aboard.

It was not a random call. The two first met in the fall of 1981, when Arasim was a rookie eighth-grade teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Wilmington, and Tricia Gioffre was one of his students. The pair forged a strong bond that year, and Arasim had kept tabs on Scott over the years through his barber and her cousin, Jim Gioffre. At St. Edmond’s, he would be able to continue his passion while collecting his full public-school pension. Read more »

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Fallen heroes in Wilmington


Dialog reporter


Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes killed, five others injured answering a call


The tragic deaths of two city of Wilmington firefighters and injuries to five others on Sept. 24 touched the Catholic community in a profound way. Two of the firefighters, including one of the deceased, Lt. Christopher Leach, were graduates of Catholic schools, and Leach and a colleague have children in schools in the city.

Leach, 41, and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes, 51, perished while responding to a fire near Canby Park. After rushing into a burning row house, the floor gave way, sending Leach and others into the basement, where they were trapped. Fickes died while trying to rescue Leach. Three firefighters were treated and released, while two others were transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in critical condition. One of those was Ardythe Hope, whose two daughters attend St. Elizabeth High School. Read more »

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St. Edmond’s Academy brothers say good-bye


Dialog reporter


Congregation of the Holy Cross brothers ending a more than 50-year presence at the boys’ school


WILMINGTON — St. Edmond’s Academy has been educating boys since 1959, and for all but a few of those years, brothers from the Congregation of the Holy Cross have been part of the school. That era came to an end with the Class of 2016, as the three remaining brothers will be leaving Wilmington on July 27. Read more »

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Student and school news



Holy Cross holding shoe drive

DOVER – Holy Cross School has a home for those shoes in your closet that are no longer wanted. The school recently launched a shoe drive to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at several locations on the Dover campus.

The shoes will be delivered to Soles4Shoes, an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts. Founded in 2006, Soles4Shoes has distributed more than 26 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. Read more »

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Saint Edmond’s Academy announces next headmaster


WILMINGTON — Brian J. Ray will succeed Brother Michael A. Smith, C.S.C., as headmaster of Saint Edmond’s Academy here effective July 1, the school announced April 20.

Ray, 44, has been the chief business officer of Washington Jesuit Academy in Washington, D.C., for the last nine years.

Brian J. Ray has been named headmaster of St. Edomnd's Academy in Wilmington. (Courtesy St. Edmond's Academy)

Brian J. Ray has been named headmaster of Saint Edomnd’s Academy in Wilmington. (Courtesy St. Edmond’s Academy)

Prior to that he was at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md., where he was dean of residential programs and director of alumni relations.

“The Saint Edmond’s Academy Board of Directors, with support from the corporate members, believe that Brian’s fund-raising, community outreach, and recruiting experience will be invaluable in helping the academy enhance its recognition in the community, along with increasing enrollment and funds raised”, said Saint Edmond’s Academy Board Chairman Ernie Dianastasis.

Ray will be moving from Ashburn, Va., to the Wilmington area with his wife Michelle and their four children.

Saint Edmond’s Academy is an independent Catholic school that educates boys in the Congregation of the Holy Cross tradition from junior kindergarten (preK) through eighth grade. This year’s enrollment is 250 students.

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Vocations Awareness Week: Students learn about holy orders, religious life from priests, brothers and sisters


Dialog reporter


ELSMERE – God has a calling for everyone. All we need to do is listen, a group of priests and religious sisters told sixth-grade students from several Catholic schools during Vocations Awareness Week.

They were at All Saints Catholic School in Elsmere on Nov. 3 for the first of several vocations awareness events being held at various schools in the diocese.

The meetings, coordinated by the diocesan Office for Vocations and the Catholic Schools Office, matched priests and brothers with groups of boys, and sisters from several religious congregations with the classrooms of girls. The students heard stories of how priests and sisters found their vocation and what their lives are like, and they had the opportunity to ask questions. Read more »

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St. Edmond’s, Holy Cross brothers, Capuchins settle abuse suits


Dialog Editor

Father Nick Mormando, the provincial of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of Union City, N.J., said Monday he hopes the Dec. 1 settlement that was reached with child abuse victims of former Capuchin priest Paul L. Daleo helps the survivors and their families reach a deeper level of healing and peace.

“I want to apologize on behalf of all the friars of our province for the pain and suffering they’ve experienced because of what happened to them,” Father Mormando said. “We pray, all of us, that this will never happen again.”

Daleo’s victims were nine men of 14 who reached a $7 million settlement in a child sexual abuse case against the Capuchin friars, St. Edmond’s Academy in Wilmington, where Daleo taught from 1978 through 1982, and the Brothers of Holy Cross, who run the academy.

Five of the claims in the settlement pertained to a former St. Edmond’s teacher, John J. Fleming, who was also a coach at the school from 1981 to January 1984.

“My main concern is that the victims and their families are given a level of peace and healing by the settlement, especially peace,” Father Mormando said.

The provincial said Daleo was officially laicized on October 2009 and the Capuchins have put “proper safeguards’ in place against future sex abuse cases occurring.

“We’ve just been re-accredited by Praesidium,” he said. Praesidium is a national abuse risk management group that provides background checks and creates safe environment procedures for children and vulnerable adults.

Mark Reardon, a Wilmington attorney who represented the Capuchin Franciscans in the settlement, said, “the religious orders and St. Edmond’s worked together to negotiate and fund the settlement.”

Reardon added, “Fortunately, the largest percentage of this settlement was paid by insurance companies. Unfortunately, one of the insurers for the Capuchins became insolvent in 2003, so some portion of the settlement had to be paid from the modest reserves of the Capuchins,”

Daleo had also taught at St. John the Beloved School but the suits against that school and the diocese were resolved in the bankruptcy settlement plan, Reardon said.

Wilmington attorney Jim Green, who represented St. Edmond’s Academy and the Brothers of the Holy Cross in the settled cases, said St. Edmond’s and the brothers “have great sympathy for the survivors” of sex abuse and hope the settlement “helps them in their healing process.”

Green noted that were “never complaints of any nature” against Daleo while he taught at the school or after his time there until a suit was filed in 2008.

In the case of Fleming, who had taught at St. Edmond’s, he was “terminated” in 1984, said Green.

Two of the cases filed against the academy were by men who had never attended St. Edmond’s, Green said.

Both the settlement and defense costs to St. Edmond’s and the Holy Cross brothers were covered by applicable insurance policies, he added.

Settlement amounts to survivors of sex abuse were calculated in a similar manner to the Diocese of Wilmington’s $77.4 million bankruptcy settlement, Green said.


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All Saints wins first CYM sports championship


The girls cross country team at All Saints Catholic School won the 2011 Catholic Youth Ministry championship, which was held Oct. 30 on a 2.25-mile course at Bellevue State Park in north Wilmington. It was the first title for the new regional school, which opened this year from the merged Corpus Christi, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Matthew’s schools.

The Crusaders finished with 28 points, followed by St. Mary Magdalen with 45. The other teams, in order of finish, were St. Elizabeth, St. John the Beloved, Ursuline, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculate Conception and St. Anthony of Padua.

St. Edmond’s Academy was the boys’ winner, defeating All Saints on a tiebreaker. Both teams finished with 36 points, so the winner was determined by the placement of each squad’s sixth finisher. St. Edmond’s sixth runner placed 16th, while All Saints’ came across in 18th. The other teams, in order of finish, were IHM, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Elizabeth, Christ the Teacher, Immaculate Conception and St. John the Beloved.

All Saints produced both individual champions. Caroline Foley topped the girls with 13:06.36, while Michael Flanagan crossed the line in 12:05.34.

Complete results are available at the CYM website.


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