Grade: Session 4 Recap & Mentoring


Dear Grade Participants and Parents,

Yesterday's Grade Session was a great success! The sophomores and juniors completed their interviews thanks to the help of some generous volunteers, and the freshmen and senior sessions proved to be timely given our current cultural and global situation. Please read more about the sessions below.

Thank you to all who took time out of your busy schedules to help us with the professional interviews. It is an invaluable experience for the boys which we would not be able to provide without your help.


Bill Granberry

Fernando Maldonado

Anthony Ethridge

Mike Horak

Aaron D'Souza

Mark Pelletier

Joey Marchetti

Ricardo Vilalta

Carlos Castiella

Pablo Antonio Melendez

Jose Vera

As always, mentoring for the November Grade session begins next Saturday, Nov. 21st at Swift from 3 - 6 p.m. We'll have mentoring at Western Academy on Nov. 28th from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.



Alex Hoff

Director, The Grade

Sign up for the High School Retreat Now!

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No Grade Session Next Month - Study Day for Midterms! RSVP Below

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10 to 10 Study Day

Saturday, Dec. 12th, 10am-10pm

2301 Swift Boulevard

Houston, TX

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Study Night

Study night at Swift is still happening every Tuesday night. It is a quiet environment where serious study takes place, as well as a time to socialize with friends during dinner.

The schedule is as follows:

5:30 pm - Doors open

6 - 7:30pm - Quiet Study

7:30 - 8pm - Dinner (pizza, Chinese, Whataburger, etc. - $5)

8 - 8:30pm - Confessions available

8 - 9pm - Quiet Study

The Big Picture: Freshman Seminar

The freshmen had a tag team of teachers for the seminar this month. Both Grover Green and Tony Janeiro spoke on Morality in our Society: Achieving the Common Good. Given the recent events in Paris, striving for the common good and a moral society is of the utmost importance. As responsible citizens, we have a duty to uphold the moral structures of our society. We need to be well versed in the current ethical issues, not for argument’s sake but to achieve the good by bringing a truthful point of view to the table. Many of society’s ills stem from ignorance of the issues or apathy.

The freshmen also participated in a breakout session in which they analyzed another case study. This time the central virtue of the case study was temperance. The subject of the study was Nero, a boy who is a natural athlete, but lazy and misguided. He begins giving into temptations while blaming others for his plummeting grades and lack of playing time due to missed practices. The freshmen were able to key in on Nero's shortcomings and offer suggestions as to how he could get his life back on track.

Professional Sophomore & Junior Seminar

The Sophomore/Junior Professional Seminar this month was the culminating activity of a three-month series. In September, the students learned to create a resume, and in the mentoring session they created their own resume with the help of their mentor. In October, they learned the basics of how to conduct oneself in an interview. Finally, in November, 11 professional men generously gave their time to conduct mock interviews with the students and gave them feedback on their performance. Frank Agraz gave the keynote address on a career in journalism, and Kyle Kinneberg gave a virtue talk on justice. It was a busy day for the sophomores and juniors!

Professional Interviews

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Frank Agraz gives his address on "Journalism: Is that really true?"

Filling the Gaps: Senior Seminar

Marriage: What it is and why it matters for the law

In the November session of the Grade, in view of the recent strong push for legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriages, the Seniors explored two related questions. The first half of the class addressed the question: what is a marriage? It was argued that marriage is, and can only be, (a) the union of man and woman, (b) with a special link to children, (c) governed by norms of permanence and exclusivity. The argument presented was a natural law argument--one accessible to and potentially convincing for all men and women of good will, regardless of their religious views.

The second half of the class addressed why the reality of what marriage is--and not something else--should be reflected in the law. In brief, failing to recognize the reality of marriage would (a) obscure the value of same-sex parenting as an ideal--an ideal which is recognized by a growing body of social science evidence; (b) make it less clear why romantic relationships should be permanent and exclusive; and (c) would threaten the moral and religious freedom of those who did not agree with same-sex relationships and marriages.

Finally, given the nature of this topic, the Seniors looked in some detail at the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. The Church urges compassion and understanding for those who experience homosexual desires, while recognizing that acting on those desires is never for one's true good and will never make one truly happy. In the end--and this is true not only for those who experience homosexual desires, but for all--it is chastity according to one's state in life, genuine friendships, generous self-giving, and union with Christ that will make one truly happy.

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The seniors discuss marriage with Victor Saenz

Seminar Coordinators

If you have general questions about The Grade, feel free to email or call me at any time.

Alex Hoff

CELL: 713.836.8705 |

If you have questions about a specific seminar, these are the seminar coordinators:

Big Picture Seminar (Freshmen)

Joe Kolf

CELL: 314.402.3491 |

Professional Seminar (Sophomores and Juniors)

Dan Murphy

CELL: 917.224.7851 |

Filling the Gaps (Seniors)

Victor Saenz

CELL: 574.904.3258 |

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Creigh Klenke enjoys a pizza snack after The Grade