The Huck Family Mission

A Marianist Education is Valuable!

Part of the reason Robb & I chose Gross Catholic for our children was to experience a Marianist education. We knew from our own experience that Gross Catholic would provide a superior education, but we also wanted our children to grow in their faith throughout their high school years. Robb & I were both at Gross Catholic when our school experienced a tragic car accident that took the lives of two sisters and injured the surviving sister. We both remember the entire school coming together in prayer and truly feeling like we were all part of the Cougar family. That happened over 30 years ago but the memory is still vivid.

We are especially grateful for the LIFE program that is part of Gross Catholic and other Marianist high schools. LIFE stands for Living In Faith Experience. Our son, Grant, was very active in the LIFE program. He eventually became a member of the LIFE Core team. Our daughter, Delaney also attends the monthly meetings. I love how the meetings bring students from every class together. I think the small break-out groups are especially powerful for students to interact with students they probably don’t talk to on a daily basis. I remember when Grant came home from a meeting and said the next month’s meeting was focusing on, “The Pursuit of Happiness.” He went on to say, he volunteered Robb & I to be guest speakers, because he thought we were the happiest people he knew. I have to admit we were both flattered and nervous!

All five Charisms of the Marianist Education are important: People of Faith, Mary as our Model, People of Community, Discipleship of Equals, and Leaders in Mission. The Charism most important to our family are People of Faith and Leaders in Mission. From the time our children were young it was very important to pray together. We had a nightly routine in which we recited our homemade family prayer. It probably started when my oldest was 3, and we still use the same words to this day. Although, it doesn’t happen as often, since we aren’t all in the same house, it was important to instill in our children that a strong faith could get you through anything. Robb & I both have fond memories of our retreats at Gross Catholic. Although the retreats were a very long time ago, the one common memory we both have is that you always walked away from a retreat feeling like you were friends with everyone and life had a clean slate. Our daughter, Delaney, will soon be experiencing her Junior retreat and we pray it is the same powerful experience.

The Leaders in Mission Charism is important to our family because we have always taught our children to be aware of, and to appreciate our blessings. We have especially tried to teach them the importance of giving back. Gross Catholic does a wonderful job teaching this important pillar of the Marianist education. I love how service hours are an important part of Gross Catholic. I’ve witnessed all three of our children volunteering at food pantries, canned food drives, a free medical clinic and at local hospitals. I’m grateful to Gross Catholic for teaching our kids the importance of being Leaders in Mission. Robb & I also try to lead by example through our volunteer time at Gross Catholic and our parish St. Matthew in Bellevue.

We are very grateful that Gross Catholic offered our family a Marianist Education. Hopefully, if one day we are blessed to be Grandparents our grandchildren will get the same wonderful experience at Gross Catholic.

Amy Mickells Huck ‘90

Breathing Life into the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

By Cadence Sweetmon, class of 2022

In a time when we have to physically distance, it is important to remember to come together as the human family. My classmates and I have embraced this idea and accepted the challenge to complete service projects relating to the fourteen Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy by the end of the first semester. There is no better time to kickstart a long term service goal then during Homecoming Week, especially when alumni, Dave VanKat and Fr. Mike Eckley, requested help for Catholic Charities. Gross Catholic’s House System came together to help Catholic Charities by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, and visiting the sick.

As a Captain for Middleton House, I helped organize my housemates in projects that allowed us to “visit” the sick by providing Catholic Charities with memory care items for local senior citizens. We collected items such as crossword puzzles, adult coloring books, colored pencils, and jigsaw puzzles. In addition, we sent cards to two nursing homes to let the residents know we are thinking and praying for them.

When my housemates and I reflected on this Corporal Work of Mercy, we realized how much we owe our senior citizens.  So many of us have special memories of times we spent with grandparents, aunts and uncles.  A special time I enjoy with my great-grandma is visiting her in her retirement village and playing cards with her. Due to the COVID pandemic, it is important to have many puzzles and games to reduce the number of items shared between families. Many nursing homes are also not allowing visitors. It is important to remind the residents they are not alone and there are people out there praying for them; I know my great-grandma would love to receive one of these letters, and I’m sure the residents we sent letters to feel the same way.

The experience of learning more about the Works of Mercy and seeing the acts in our local community has taught all of us at Gross Catholic the importance of the human family. My classmates in Barrett House “visited” the imprisoned by collecting food items for those feeling trapped by the COVID virus; those in McMenamy gave drink to the thirsty by collecting cases of water; students in Willett House “sheltered” the homeless by creating hygiene kits for distribution through Catholic Charities. Another advantage of kicking this off during Homecoming is that we also asked our alumni and parents to feed the hungry through a can drive.

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, my classmates and I hope to be the face of Christ to our community as we continue to serve through the Works of Mercy. After all, as Saint John Paul the Great told the youth, “Christ is calling you and the world awaits!  Remember the Kingdom of God needs your generous and complete dedication.”