|Cardinal Adam Maida arrives to dedicate the two newest high schools in the archdiocese of Detroit.|
By Kelly Luttinen
Clarkston, MI. September 15, 2008. Overcast skies and
the threat of rain did not dampen the spirits of
the approximately 440 students at Everest Academy in Clarkston,
Michigan on Friday, September 5, 2008. They gathered along the
drive between the two elementary schools to bid farewell and
acknowledge their gratitude to Adam Cardinal Maida, the Archbishop of
the Detroit Archdiocese, for paying a visit to their campus
that day. The Cardinal had come to preside over the
ceremonial dedication of the two newest high schools in his
Archdiocese – Everest Catholic Girls’ High School and Everest Catholic
Boys’ High School.
“I am very excited to have had this
opportunity,” said Cardinal Maida. “In these times of economic uncertainty
in our area, this growth is truly good news for
Catholic education in Oakland County.”
Cardinal Maida celebrated an all-school Mass
and presided over the dedication ceremony for students, staff, parents
and local media representatives. Six pastors and priests from area
parishes concelebrated with the Cardinal, giving their best wishes to
the two new schools.
|On September 15, 2008, Cardinal Adam Maida and Fr Lorenzo Gomez, LC, cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new Everest Academy high school.|
After cutting the ceremonial ribbons, His
Eminence attended a private reception with students and their parents,
priests, religious and consecrated women, and Everest Academy friends and
The opening of the high schools has special meaning for
Father Lorenzo Gomez, LC, who has been involved with Everest
from its beginnings, even before the academy opened its doors
“This is a very special day,” he said.
“After so many years, and so many sacrifices…We are happy
because we are giving back to Christ. It’s a joy
to make Jesus happy.”
Father Gomez said the people present at
the event on the historic day were picked by God
to be involved.
“Congratulations to all the priests, consecrated, founders
and benefactors. It’s not one person who could do this.
|The first 9th grade class of Everest Academy’s high school for boys.|
It takes a group. We worked together. We are giving
into the hands of our Cardinal the gifts that Christ
gave to us.”
Making History with the Holy Spirit
Everest is the
only Catholic school campus in the Detroit-metro area to offer
gender-specific education and a seamless path from preschool through high
school on one campus. Everest will start with a 9th
grade class, and expand one grade each year, with the
first graduating class in 2012.
Mac McClelland, the 9th grader who
represented his classmates as official speaker during the dedication ceremony,
says he is honored to be a founding class member.
“I don’t think my classmates and I fully grasp the
concept that we are the first class. We will be
the first to set the traditions for many more students
Another honored speaker was Benefactor Beverly Thewes. Everest Executive
Director Mike Nalepa introduced Mrs. Thewes as a true example
of what it means to be self-giving. Students waved their
“Everest” pennants in agreement and the entire audience gave her
a standing ovation.
“The credit goes to the Holy Spirit,”
said Mrs. Thewes. “We followed His path without understanding it.”
Thewes expressed her confidence that her family´s support of Everest
|Cardinal Maida and Fr Daniel Pajerski, LC, drive past a line-up of cheering Everest students.|
Academy and the opening of the new high school was
well worth it. “Everest will help you develop your talents,”
she told the students. “You are going to be told
in life there is no such thing as truth. At
Everest, you will learn the truth, and learn to discuss
the truth. God gave you beautiful minds, and you will
develop your minds here.”
One of the parents of a founding
student at Everest Girls’ High School, Dr. Miguel Lis-Planells, gave
a “parent’s perspective” on the opening of the high school.
“Everest is the perfect environment to form a human being.
The vulnerable high school years demand a nurturing environment,” he
“We are not just concerned with where she will
go to college. We have in mind her entire life.
We want her to grow in her love for Jesus
Christ. That is a ‘scholarship’ that will pay off.”