Chaminade Celebrates Annual Grandparents’ Mass


Andrew Salmo

SKIP VIRAGH AUDITORIUM–On Sunday, September 15, Chaminade College Prep welcomed the grandparents of many of its students during the annual Grandparents’ Mass in the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts. The mass consisted of Chaminade students and faculty in the various reading and serving roles of the liturgy.

The mass opened with Gray House junior and religious commissioner Sean Cavanagh giving an introductory speech with an anecdote about his grandfather teaching him to play golf. He explained the close relationship they shared as he introduced the mass’s celebrant, Mr. Ralph Siefert.

Singing and music were performed by Matt Dailey and Orin Johnson respectably. “It was nice to go to a mass and not have to play it,” Francine Hobein, a pianist from St. Sabina in Florissant and grandmother to one of the Chaminade seniors in attendance, joked, “The piano playing was lovely and I enjoyed hearing everyone sing all the different songs.”

The Gospel from this mass was from Luke and was the well-known parable of the Prodigal Son. During the homily, Fr. Ralph used the film Into the Wild ̧ a movie about Christopher McCandless’s hike across North America and into the Alaskan wilderness, to draw parallels between the story of the Prodigal Son and the relationship between parents and their children. In particular, he showed the part of the movie where McCandless meets Ron Franz in California and forms a father-son bond with him over a short time.

Charlie Hobein, another one of the grandparents in attendance, remarked on the unique setup of the homily, saying, “I’d never seen a priest use a movie during his homily. It was great, especially since I’d never seen the movie before.”

Following the mass, picture opportunities were offered in the lobby where grandparents could take pictures with their grandsons and receive a picture for free. A copy of the picture was then given to each person in the picture for free.

Valet parking was an option for many of the grandparents who had parked in front of Chaminade Hall or the Weber lot. “I appreciated the golf carts driving back and forth to the fine arts building,” Francine Hobein commented, “I’m not really one for walking long distances, so it was highly appreciated.”

The mass was enjoyed by an almost completely packed theater of people, including the balcony. Various volunteer ushers were in attendance to help people find seats and guide them during communion. Following the mass, many students took their grandparents on tours of the various buildings of Chaminade, including the Skip and Chaminade Hall. “I don’t understand how these kids go up all those flights of stairs,” Hobein remarked after her grandson brought her to Chaminade Hall, “I’d need probably 20 minutes to get to the 4th floor from the basement.”

For more information about upcoming family events at Chaminade, go to and search for the calendar. This will lead to a page with all the events coming up in the Chaminade school year, both in and out of the school day.