Members of the Class of 1970 from Saint Viator and Sacred Heart of Mary high schools gathered over the weekend for their long-awaited 50th reunion. Postponed twice by the pandemic, its new timing offered them a rare treat: celebrating their milestone reunion and their 70th birthdays.

Fr. Patrick Render presided at the reunion Mass.

“The numbers just worked out in our favor,” said Kate Schafer Costello, a member of Sacred Heart of Mary’s class of 1970, who was on the organizing committee. “It’s a double whammy.”

In fact, their celebration started Thursday night and built toward their big event on Saturday, that opened with a tour of Saint Viator High School and led to a Mass in the Alumni Memorial Chapel and dinner in Querbes Hall.

Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, was the main celebrant at the Mass, while Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, and a 1973 graduate, concelebrated. Fr. Render served as dean of men during the four years of the ’70 class, and he knew them well.

In his homily, Fr. Render urged classmates to reflect on what role their high school years had played in shaping their adult lives.

Fr. Patrick Render (left) and Pat Mahoney, circa 1969-70

“I don’t just mean specific classes, or special events,” he said, “but in terms of your personal formation and the introduction it may have provided you to pursue curiosities, explore interests, learn lessons about risk and failure, and ground you in values that have remained important to you.”

Ultimately, Fr. Render described this momentous reunion as a moment of truth and grace.

“Life is wonderful – and it is sacred. We remember – and we give thanks,” he said. “That is what Eucharist is all about – and that is what Jesus asked us to do whenever we gather: take bread, take wine, bless it, share it  –  remember and give thanks.”