Catholic Memorial High School (CMH) is a co-ed Catholic high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Established in 1949, CMH opened as a parochial school for St. Joseph’s parish, named for the 23 men of St. Joseph’s who died in World War II. Later, the dedication of the school was extended to include all graduates and former students of CMH who have died in service to their country. With 80 faculty and an enrollment in 2016-2017 of 660, Catholic Memorial is a college preparatory school and a participant in the International Baccalaureate Program.
The school’s motto is “Caritas in Omnibus”, Latin for “charity in all things”.
True to their school’s motto, when Catholic Memorial students learned that a homeless U.S. Army veteran, known only as John, had died on the streets with neither family nor friends, the students decided to give John a final send-off that he deserves.
Bill Shields reports for CBS Boston that on Nov. 15, 2017, John was buried with full military honors.
But before an Army hearse took his flag-covered casket away, there was a memorial Mass in Catholic Memorial’s chapel, presided by Rev. Chris Palladino, who volunteered his services and the eulogy.
After the memorial Mass, a contingent of Catholic Memorial High School seniors carried John’s flag-draped coffin to the waiting hearse, accompanied by the playing of taps.
CMH President Peter Folan explained:
“For us paying homage to a veteran, to bring him to our campus, to provide the burial rights he deserves, and to honor his legacy and to help our boys realize we have to stand with those who are marginalized.”
CMH senior class president Will Padden said:
“We have a lot of veterans in my own family so I know the sacrifice he made for the country and I know the service he committed in the years he committed to serving our country. John in this case needed a family and we were there to be John’s family.”
In life, John didn’t have any family. But in death he found a huge family at Catholic Memorial High.