Catholic high schools unite to provide hurricane relief

Regis Jesuit and Mullen high schools host a drive at rivalry football game

Therese Bussen

After Hurricane Harvey left the city of Houston in disaster and Hurricane Irma threatened south Florida, two Denver Catholic high schools came together at their rivalry football game Sept. 8 to host a drive for hurricane relief efforts.

At what would have been an ordinary high-intensity rivalry game, the schools decided to come together for a relief initiative after Mullen cheer coach, Demi Zimmermann, organized a drive at the school during the week leading up to the Friday game.

“Mullen Cheer head coach, Demi Zimmerman, who recently relocated from the Texas area, initiated the drive by organizing the transportation of a semi-truck to the Houston area…students [rallied] together to donate essential items and fielded endless phone calls from the community who were all anxious to help. Saturday morning, a full semi-truck [left] the Mullen campus for Houston,” said respective presidents of Mullen and Regis, Carl Unrein and David Card, in a joint statement.

“This week, we collected donations for those affected by the hurricane. Seeing everything Mullen students brought to donate made me proud of what our community could accomplish,” said Mullen junior student, Mike Woodhouse, who is part of the student council.

Mullen High School gathered supplies from the community to send Houston following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. (Photo provided)

Zimmermann and her husband grew up just outside of Houston and said most of her family and friends still reside there. When she saw the devastation of Harvey, she was “heartbroken.”

“Many of our friends, family members, and co-workers lost everything. Some of them still have not been allowed to enter or get back to their homes due to stagnant and high levels of water that are present today,” Zimmermann said. “Rivalry or not, it’s important that our community recognizes that people should help people.”

Leading up to the football game, Regis also collected nearly $9,000 in support of displaced families from two Jesuit high schools in Houston and continue to collect funds.

“We are called to be brothers and sisters in Christ, and part of that is supporting each other when things are not going well,” said senior Regis student, Olivia Marie Ary. “These hurricanes have been devastating, and people in the southern part of our country are going to need lots of help and resources to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Regis Jesuit High School students pose at the football game against their rival, Mullen, where the schools hosted a drive for hurricane relief. (Photo provided)

“[Having a drive] not only creates a feeling of support for those directly affected by the hurricane, but it also aids in a feeling of community and brotherhood,” said Mullen senior student Marguerite Whiteside, a student council vice president of service. “By coming together as a school, and community, we were able to support those in distress. The fact that the drive occurred during a rivalry football game is powerful. It goes to show that, yes we are rivals, but we are all humans who have the basic understanding of common good.”

Presidents Unrein and Card echoed the sentiment that the generosity of both communities “will serve those who have been dislocated from their everyday routines”

“Our rivalry melts away when heeding the call of our shared Catholic faith and serving those in need,” they stated.

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Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

Denver’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to life Judaism at time of Jesus

Vladimir Mauricio-Perez

“Welcome to Israel, the Biblical land of milk and honey at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia… an archaeologist’s paradise”: These words mark the start of a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into ancient Israel that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science March 16 to Sep. 3.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver, not only displays the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls that have captivated millions of believers and non-believers around the world, but also a timeline back to Biblical times filled with ancient objects that date back to events written about in the Old Testament more than 3,000 years ago.

“We are convinced that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the Judean desert are the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century,” said Dr. Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities. “These scrolls, written in Hebrew, are the oldest copy of the Bible.”

In fact, some of these manuscripts are almost a thousand years older than the oldest copies of the Bible that had been discovered, providing a great wealth of knowledge about Judaism at the time of Jesus.

“So many things have changed [since this discovery],” said Dr. Michael Barber, professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver. “We now understand first-century Judaism in a way we didn’t in the past and see how the Biblical authors are breathing the same air as other ancient Jews.”

An exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be on display until Sept. 3. (Photos by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

The air of first-century Israel was filled with expectations for the coming of the Messiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been associated with a unique religious Jewish community that lived a structured life, are a witness to this reality, he explained.

“[These communities] were trying to live in such a way as to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. They looked forward to a new covenant and the restoration of the glory of Adam” Dr. Barber said. “We see so many overlaps of how the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Jewish expectations of the time.”

The exhibition immerses guests into the history of the chosen people of God, from artifacts impressed with seals belonging to Biblical kings, such as Hezekiah, to an authentic stone block that fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall in 70 AD.

“We preferred to select scientifically important items, some very small, some very large… but all of great significance,” Dr. Dahari said.

“Israel’s archaeological sites and artifacts have yielded extraordinary record of human achievement,” added Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, curator of the exhibit and professor at San Diego State University. “The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry and other artifacts on display in this exhibition constituted a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy. They teach us about the past, but they also teach us about ourselves.”