The Great Goodbye

Most people dread saying goodbye. Goodbye hurts, but it is necessary. Whether it’s closure or giving someone another chance, goodbyes are an important thing in life.

When it was announced that after the 2006-07 school year, Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary would be closing it doors after 102 years, there was a large outcry from the Quigley family. The Quigley family of over 2,500 ordained priests, one cardinal, over forty bishops, two Vatican II periti, a congressional medal of honor, a presidential medal of freedom, two NBA hall-of-famers, hundreds of lawyers, doctors, police & firemen, teachers, thousands of laymen and fathers, all good and faithful catholic men – a family where boys who entered Quigley, exited as real men. It was yesterday when the complete family was able to come together in reunion for the first time; not as the class of Q, QN, QS, or AQ, but as a family of Quigley men. The family came to say goodbye to his school, his home, his playground, his alma mater.

I was at Quigley for 11 hours where graduates dating back from just before 1950 roamed the halls and remembered the joys and beauty of Quigley for one last time. Classmates who have not seen each other for over 20 years cross paths again, as if they were still students passing each other during the change of class. Tears were shed, memories shared and retold, connections renewed, and the spirit of the high school seminary lived in its fullest.

Each person I took up to Memorial Hall were left amazed at the history that lives in the secret attic of Quigley. A history that is still being written as more and more alums sign their name and finalize their own personal journey at Quigley. Even Cardinal Egan had his name written upon the metal air duct, adding his final touch to a place he loves. Those who were able to sneak up into Memorial Hall back in the day returned to be surprised at their chalked names, though aged, still a part of a living history book.

Nothing beats hearing stories from “the Days of the Giants” and the crazy antics that the alumni did back in their day. Honestly, their stories top any that I could ever produce; the 90’s & 00’s are tame compared to the hay-days of the Great Q. Yet, as stories were being told, I remembered my stories that were shared with my classmates of AQ ’02, as over 40 guys who I roamed the halls with returned and we retold our stories. Just like a parent tell stories to their kids, today was when the kids came back and retold the stories (or in some cases, tell the stories for the first time) to his mother.

Honestly, I had a wonderful time. I dreaded saying goodbye, but yesterday was not a goodbye. It was a celebration of the great Quigley tradition. Yesterday was Archbishop Quigley’s vision of the high school seminary truly alive; where all the alumni came back, both priests and laymen, and practiced their Catholic faith together as one universal family. For one day, the Phoenix rose in glory with the Norsemen and the Spartans. We are one big happy Quigley family.

– Gallant, Q ’51, amazing.

– Walsh, QN ’72, your story was one of the best I have ever heard.

– MGM, QN ’69, you fathered us in many ways and taught us the ways of the Q.

– AQ ’00-’03, it’s been one hell of a ride…it’s not over yet!

– AQ ’07-’10, make the family proud.

This one is for the Q

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