This page has been set up by La Salle College High School has created a webpage as a repository for information and expectations regarding the continuity of teaching and learning in the event of school closure. We will continue to post updates on this page as information becomes available from the school administration.
The Spring 2020 issue of the Explorer (titled Agents Of Change), will only be available online. No issues will be printed or mailed to homes.
A monthly Alumni eNewsletter along with a number of other alumni communications will only be available in a digital format and will be sent via email. It is critical for the Office of Institutional
Advancement to have and maintain your current email address, so please make certain that your
information is current and encourage your fellow alums to do the same. Please send any changes to
Mrs. Cathy Winning at email@example.com so your alumni record can be updated accordingly.
As most of you will have seen, Governor Wolf has issued orders extending the closing of schools. The tentative earliest date schools may reopen is now set for Monday, April 6, 2020. As all of us have come to appreciate, this date is a guarantee written in water. Depending on the progress of the disease and the success of containment and suppression activities, this date will be subject to further extension if need be.
Dining Services: Due to recent public health concerns, some of the self-serve foods will be either moved behind the service counter or into grad and go containers. Thank you for your understanding.
Classes of 1930 to 1969
Golden Explorers Mass and Luncheon
Reunions for the Classes of 1934, 1939,
1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, and 1969
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Mass 10:30 am in the Marian Chapel
Followed by Brunch in the Auditorium
$40 per person
For more information, please contact Jill D'Angelo at
(215) 402-4808 or DAngeloJ@lschs.org
Former NBA Referee Steve Javie '72 Goes From The Hardwood To Homilies Becoming A Catholic Deacon
Article by Frank Fitzpatrick
Reprinted from The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 20, 2019
The stirring anthem ended and those in the large Saturday night crowd, some clutching programs, took their seats. Steve Javie, a member of the Class of 1972 and a top-tier NBA referee for 25 seasons, moved into position and got ready once again to interpret the rules.
But this was Mass at Saint Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Newtown (Bucks County), not a basketball arena. Javie was wearing a green chasuble and white cassock, not the NBA's two-tone officiating uniform. And the rules he was about to address in one of his first homilies as a permanent deacon in the Catholic church were eternal, not subject to collective bargaining.
"People ask me if there are similarities between being a deacon and a referee," Javie said before that recent 5 p.m. Mass. "It's funny because people used to think they could tell me how to do my old job. That hasn't changed, except now people are telling me how to preach."
A Montgomery County native who pitched at Temple and briefly in the Baltimore Orioles organization, Javie was destined to be a sports official. His father, Stan, was a field and back judge in the NFL, and his godfather, John Stevens, a longtime American League umpire.
Javie, 64, consistently was rated as one of the NBA's top referees. He worked more than 1,500 games, including 200-plus in the playoffs and 20 in the Finals.
"Steve was the best referee I ever worked with, and I reffed with everybody," said Joe Crawford, a friend and former NBA colleague. "He knew the rules. He got plays right. And he had [guts]. He was very aggressive but always under control."
Bad knees finally forced Javie to limp away after the 2011 season, his last assignment being the decisive sixth game of that year's NBA Finals.
By then, he was on a spiritual quest. Thanks to his wife of 28 years, Mary Ellen, he'd rediscovered a faith he'd virtually abandoned as a young man. The couple had started a charity benefiting underprivileged children in Montgomery County and Philadelphia. But he needed more.
"I thought, 'I've got to be doing something more with my life than blowing whistles against basketball players,' " he said.
At a Saint Andrew's event, a visiting speaker mentioned the Catholic diaconate. The possibility of becoming a deacon hung constantly around his neck like the whistles he wore as a referee.
"It's a calling," he said. "It's nothing I aspired to. I knew I was getting near the end of my career because my knees were failing. That realization makes you think about what you're going to do afterwards."
The journey Javie started in 2012 ended this June 8, 2019 when he and six others were formally ordained as deacons during an ornate ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The grueling process that got him there took seven years and yielded a master's in theology, a new title, and the right to deliver homilies, wear a collar, and perform such traditional priestly duties as baptisms and marriages.
"I was at the ordination," Crawford said. "Watching him do all the little things around the altar, you could see how prepared and calm he was. That's how he was as a referee. Anything he gets into, he gets into all the way. He's so devout now. As a matter of fact, he's so devout that sometimes I have to tell him, `Steve, shut up.' "
Assigned to Saint Andrew's, his home parish and the largest in the Philadelphia archdiocese, Javie delivered his second homily last Saturday.
"I'm not afraid to get up and talk in front of people because I've been doing that my whole life," he said. "But talking about something really personal like faith, that's stressful."
Actually, Javie, who usually speaks in rapid and intense bursts, seemed more poised and conversational while addressing the parishioners, which he did not from the pulpit but from in front of the altar.
"He's very at ease, which probably comes from what he did all those years," said Monsignor Michael Picard, Saint Andrew's pastor. "His preaching, even though he's just starting, is really superb."
The story of how Javie switched from the arena to the altar is one that combines love found and spirituality sought.
It began in the late 1980s when the NBA's travel demands made him a regular at Philadelphia International Airport's US Airways counter. That's where he met Mary Ellen.
"I was someone who except for Christmas and Easter didn't go to Mass. But I could see she was a devout Catholic," Javie said. "So on our second date, I thought I'd impress her and I said, `How about if we go to Mass, then get lunch afterward?'
"We're sitting there in church, and this priest is droning on. I'm looking at my watch thinking I'll sit here an hour then be with her the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't paying attention, wasn't getting anything out of it. Afterward, she asked me what I thought. I told her I didn't get anything out of it. She looked at me and said, `What did you put into it?' That stopped me in my tracks. She said, `Did you maybe say a prayer for somebody in your family who needed it? Did you pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment?' She really got me thinking."
The experience led Javie to re-examine his Catholicism. He took Communion daily, read more about faith and marriage and, on the road, attended Mass whenever possible.
The renewed devotion helped in 1999 when Javie was one of 15 referees implicated in a tax-evasion case that involved misuse of frequent-flyer miles. He was the only one acquitted on all charges.
Noticing their colleague's newfound focus, the referees Javie worked with began to ask questions. Some even accompanied him to church.
"A lot of guys I traveled with, they struggled with all the temptations that come with being on the road," Javie said. "I would try to talk to them about it. My thinking was we're all sinful, but if we can talk about these things with each other, it might make our marriages and families a little more solid.
"When I was a crew chief, the second guy would sometimes grab the new guy and say, 'OK, Steve, tell him what you talked to me about.' I'd try to mentor them, not just in basketball but in life."
After retirement and the deacon decision, Javie ramped up his religiosity. From August through May, he took three-hour classes at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in philosophy, theology, spirituality, and homiletics. Then there were workshops, psychological examinations and, before ordination, written, practical and oral examinations.
"We've never been blessed with children, but we've got nine nephews and nieces and I tell them I never studied that hard in my life," Javie said. "Those professors were brilliant. It was a really intense, extensive process."
His new schedule is sometimes as hectic as his old one. A day after ordination, Javie had to deliver his first homily at Saint Andrew's. There are Masses, ceremonies, home and hospital visits, counseling sessions, and speaking engagements.
"I made a living in sports," he said. "They paid me to referee, and it was a good job. But this is something else, a really incredible journey. I worked in the Finals for 15 years. I worked Game 7s. But that doesn't compare with this. It's a feeling I can't describe."
Those who know Javie well, such as his fellow Whitemarsh Valley Country Club members, now feel free to move conversations beyond typical locker-room talk.
"Now that they know what I've been through, they feel like they have permission to talk about their faith, even to complain about it," Javie said. "They realize that I've changed in one way, but not socially or personality-wise. I'm just Steve Javie. I always have been. It just so happens I'm not a referee anymore. I'm serving the Lord now."
Before the leaves are brown and the sky turns gray,
come and surf into the new school year with La Salle's
Mamas and Papas who will be California Dreamin'.
Party On The Patio
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Glaser Center and "The Pit"
$50 per person
The event is sponsored by the Mothers' Club and Men of La Salle and
all proceeds will support the Auction and benefit students in need.
Price includes appetizers, beer and wine, and live music.
All attendees must be age 21 or older.
"All work and no play," so the saying goes. No doubt esteeming me a dull boy indeed, numerous friends and acquaintances have advised me over the years, "you need to get a hobby—something that complements your working life." Well, golf only brings out a slight inclination towards explosive impatience, and anything you collect, you also need to dust. So that's out too.
But falconry? That could be the ticket. So, while on vacation, I dabbled a bit, as they used to say on Seinfeld. I spent some time with Rocky here back in July (I named him not for Philadelphia's ubiquitous and eternal boxer, but for the cartoon gangster occasionally appearing in episodes of Bugs Bunny, whose disposition "da boid" shares). This experience allowed me to reflect upon four unexpected similarities between the sport of sheiks and the experience of Lasallian education. These observations ring true whether we can draw on many years' experience with this school or are arriving with our first son, a member of the Class of 2023 whom La Salle welcomed this week.
1. An investment of time and effort are required. Despite the impression of preternaturally easy command I exude while working with Rocky, falconry takes time. In the western world, there's a two-year long apprenticeship with a sponsor, and it takes seven years to achieve real mastery. Hunting with a raptor also requires a lot more effort than using an inanimate weapon you can put back on the shelf after an outing. The bird requires appropriate housing and daily care: feeding, grooming and training. Likewise, in the Lasallian high school, no one who "does enough to get by" will thrive. Parents commit not only to a serious financial obligation but to an ongoing involvement: with their son's studies to the extent necessary; in support of his chosen activities; through volunteer service; and via an extensive social calendar of school activities which build and sustain the community. Students have a lot more homework than they may be used to and must manage it while exploring many athletic, co-curricular, and service opportunities before ultimately committing to a few. They generally juggle these responsibilities while navigating a more challenging commuting routine than their peers may experience. Teachers too need to be all in. You can't skate by on an undergraduate education and scant preparation. Students will ask probing questions, expect you to demonstrate not just competence but mastery, displaying an ability to reteach creatively when comprehension eludes an individual or the class. Such classroom routines take place within the context of a school that invites your involvement with these students for long hours after dismissal purportedly occurs at 2:35 pm and with your own professional growth on an on-going basis.
2. You remain who you are but are guided and supported as you grow into the best version of that self. Falcons are never tamed. The hunt demands they not lose their wild identity. They need to be comfortable and docile with humans while growing unimpeded into their predatory nature. A similar logic explains why you'll never hear a graduate of this school referred to as a "La Salle Product." Factories put out products, uniform and predictable. In that world "exceptional" is not a compliment. Lasallian schools nurture and shape unique individuals, coaxing their best out of them while allowing them ever expanding spheres of autonomy and responsibility. We believe that wisdom is discovered not through unrelenting obligation and a constraining pressure to "fit in," but through freedom, a true freedom that invites commitment but does not impose conformity.
3. A growing trust is required to sustain the relationship. Let's face it. Most of the dogs and cats we consider part of our families wouldn't survive ten minutes without us. They're completely domesticated and dependent, comfortably tethered in our yards awaiting their next meal. The raptor, on the other hand, is trained to do for the falconer what he would need to do to survive on his own: hunt in the wild. Each time a falcon is unhooded and departs from his keeper's glove, he need never return. Some mixture of habituation, loyalty, and a calculus proving that he is reliably better off in human care encourages the falcon's return to that person who released him, regardless of the hunt's success. So, it is here at La Salle. Almost none of us—faculty, students, parents, even administrators—must be here. Only the few Brothers are in some fashion "assigned" here under their vow of obedience. Every other member of the school community chooses to be and remain here. And it is exactly that dynamic, the fact that this path has been voluntarily chosen by so many dynamic, creative, and expansive personalities, that makes the journey so interesting.
4. The culmination of the journey is being set free, but that freedom is sustained by repeated spiritual return. Western falconers defend themselves against accusations that this sport requires enslavement of an otherwise free creature by noting that, compared to their wild counterparts, far more captive falcons survive their first year out of the nest. Protected from predators and disease, their chances of reaching maturity are greater. It is at that point, though, that master falconers will set a bird free and begin training a fresh fledgling. While the experience of faculty and parents of several sons is longer, the modal amount of time a person spends at La Salle is four years. But typically that's enough: enough to ground him in the experience of faith, in the reality of a loving God revealed through the people and events of our lives; enough to ground him in the disciplines and habits of mind that will make a professional out of him; enough to ground him in the ideals of fairness, respect, and generosity that will make him admired and exemplary in that chosen profession; enough to ground him in a brotherhood which will call him back to people and memories periodically throughout his life, call him to his best self in every major decision he makes, however far from this mews he may have flown.
Welcome or welcome back to a new year at La Salle. I look forward to discovering how your son(s) will take flight this year, particularly those young men who will cross the stage at graduation on the last Saturday in May.
Brother James Butler, FSC
PS: I'd be remiss if I didn't try to get across a fifth point, one that's very important to Rocky. Don't ever call him a hawk.
Back To School Nights
The Student Handbook and Family Directory for 2019-2020 will be distributed at Back To School Night.
Parents of Freshmen (Class of 2023)
Thursday, September 5, 2019
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Presentation Begins Promptly at 6:30 pm
College Counseling Update – September 2019
The college search and application process can be a challenging experience for students and their families. Our goal in the College Counseling Department at La Salle College High School is to educate your sons regarding the process, to support them in their efforts, and to assist students in identifying colleges and universities that match their academic abilities and will offer success in a suitable environment for continuing intellectual development. Finding the right college or university is about "fit", therefore, we expect each student to play an active role in his college search and admission process.
Please join us at the school's annual auction, which will feature California Dreamin', on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are available and items are needed for the silent, luxury, and live auctions.
35th Annual Auction
Saturday, November 2, 2019
For information of to make a donation, please contact the Auction Office at (215) 402-4915.
All fathers are welcome to a barbecue sponsored by the Men of La Salle. The night is a great way for new fathers to meet other fathers and learn about the La Salle community. Returning fathers can catch up with friends and learn about all of the exciting things happening this year.
Men of La Salle
Welcome (Back) Barbecue
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Glaser Center and "The Pit"
Admission is Free
In the event that you have any questions, please contact Scott Porreca at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mothers' Club invites freshman mothers and mothers of new students for a traditional welcome. Invitations have been mailed. Please RSVP by September 13, 2019 using the response card that was included with the invitation.