Archive for September, 2009


Memorial Mass: A Mass for All

September 17, 2009

DSCF0595The beginning of the Memorial Mass dates back to the construction of the present Silver Lake College building and the first celebration of Mass on campus. When Mass was able to be celebrated on a daily basis in the chapel, a monthly memorial Mass was promised to all the donors who contributed to the construction of the building.  When the first Development Office began raising money in the early 1980s, this established, yet non-publicized, prayer offering was expanded to include current donors. At that time, a pressing need was to build up the college’s library so a second option for contributions was added, donation toward the purchase of library books.

At the time of the new venture, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were the faculty, staff, administration, and students. The promise of daily prayer for the donors was the obligation of the Community. However, the Silver Lake College Community has expanded greatly. In the offering envelop for potential donors, a promise for the continuation of daily prayer is given which states that the “friends, relatives and professional/personal associates will be included in the daily prayers of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and the Silver Lake College Community”. That’s all of us!

We ask God’s blessing upon these people who have made it possible for us to work and/or study at Silver Lake College. Prayer can take any form. A simple and sincere “God bless our benefactors” centers our focus on God and the donors. Another way, of course, is the celebration of the Eucharist at the monthly “Memorial Mass.”

May the single heartedness of St. Francis open your spirit to God’s glories.

The Lord grant you peace,

Sister Mardelle Meinholz
Director of Mission


Spotlight: Father Mike Shay

September 14, 2009

Father MikeOnly girls attended Silver Lake College until 1969 when the school officially became co-educational.  Well, that’s almost true.  There was one male who attended Silver Lake before 1969, and that man was Brother Michael Shay, who matriculated in 1965.

“I didn’t find out until many years later what a tremendous uproar I caused by sauntering in the door and asking for an application at Holy Family College,” says Father Mike Shay.  And since then, he says, “It’s been quite a ride, I’ll tell you!”

Michael Shay was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas.  After high school, he became a candidate for the Salvadorian brothers, and after he was professed, he was sent to California to learn bookkeeping.  “I hadn’t had a lick of bookkeeping,” Father Mike says, but bookkeeping is what brought him to Newton, WI, where he was the bookkeeper of the farm/monastery/summer camp of the Salvadorian brothers for about 3 years, until the provincial asked him to go to school to become a teacher.

That’s when (then-) Brother Mike walked into the doors of Silver Lake College and asked to be admitted.  In the end, he was accepted, and decided to study History and Social Studies with a minor in Library Science.  Father Mike remembers, “Sister Anne Patrick turned me on to math.  I flunked in high school, but when I took basic math in college, I got straight A’s.”  After surviving through a demanding biology class from Julia Marie, where he “identified and counted water creatures like every Biology 101 student for generations”,  he graduated Cum Laude and on the Dean’s List.  Father Mike remembers that during his experience at Silver Lake College, the college was in the process of becoming NCATE Accredited for the first time.  “Boy, those nuns worked hard on that!” he remembers gratefully.  Because of that accreditation, his teaching credentials were accepted in 33 states automatically.

Brother Mike continued teaching after graduation at JFK Prep- the Salvadorian Seminary.  At the closure of that school, he decided to go to the Washington Theological Coalition to become a priest.  He was ordained in 1973 and “cannot tell you where the 36 years went”.  He became involved in parish ministry while he was a deacon and was “grabbed” by parish life.  He worked at a number of churches, from Nevada to Alabama to Arizona to one of the largest parishes in Milwaukee.

In 2000, he asked his provincial if he could get back to Arizona where he had been stolen from.  He got a letter from a priest in Green Valley requesting help with a little mission church, which in 2002 became a real parish: San Martin de Porres in Sahuarita, Arizona.  He’s been there for there for nine years now, and loves his work.  His favorite part of being a priest is, “just being allowed into people’s lives to have an effect upon them and their relationships and spiritual lives.”

Father Mike still makes it back to Manitowoc every once in a while.  Just this spring, he came back for a little trip to visit Sister Laura Wolf, who was a friend of his while he studied at Silver Lake.  Back in college, they took their entrance exams together and took many of the same classes.  He says, “She became a lawyer and I got ordained.  She told me she always kept my ordination card in her prayer book and prayed for me regularly.”  He truly values his experience at Silver Lake and the friendships he has formed along the way, and we’re certainly proud of him: our very first alumnus!

Father Mike welcomes any comments or questions about where his life has brought him since graduating Holy Family (Silver Lake) College.

You may reach him at:

San Martín de Porres Parish

P.O. Box 65

Sahuarita, AZ  85629

520-625-3232 (home)


Understanding Differences: An Overview of the Hmong Culture

September 14, 2009

Jay XiongSilver Lake College invites the community to attend “Understanding Differences: An Overview of the Hmong Culture” presented by Jay Xiong on Thursday, September 24, 2009 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm in the Generose Enrichment Center, Room 203 on the Silver Lake College campus.

Sponsored by the Silver Lake College President’s Commission on Diversity, Jay Xiong, the Board President of the Hmong Community Center and Author of a Hmong-English Dictionary, will share insights of the Hmong Culture along with his story of migrating to the United States in the late 1970’s.

For additional questions or information, please call 920-686-6118.


Spotlight: Patrick Gagnon

September 14, 2009

Pat Gagnon holds the record of current non-religious faculty member who has worked at SLC the longest.  He started working here in 1977 after earning a Master’s degree in Library Science and in History.  Pat started out in the library science program.  He worked in the library for about 10 years, and watched as the library science program was discontinued.  Pat then became the director of secondary education for a number of years.

When the teacher of history was transferred in the 1990s, Pat switched to the faculty position in history that he has held since then.  “Since then,” he says, “my job has been much more consistent.”  He then had a full time teaching schedule doing what he loved: working with students!  His favorite part about teaching history is that you get to study history at the same time.  “Every time you teach a course, you re-study that part of history,” says Pat.

Having been employed at Silver Lake for 32 years, Pat has seen a lot of things change and a lot of things stay the same.  Back when he started, the faculty was larger and there were a lot more religious faculty.  The student body was about the same size, but we didn’t have any off-campus accelerated adult programs.  Back then as to today, teacher education was the most popular major.

Most recently, Pat is interested in the positive change that will occur because of the on-campus housing.  He says, “On-campus housing is something we’ve been talking about since I started work here.  There were various efforts that never came to fruition.  One developer in the 1980s developed a plan to build housing across the street, but it never happened.”  He is excited about the end of this very long process, and thinks that it will change the whole atmosphere of the college.  One of the struggles at Silver Lake was always trying to build up campus life.  So many people had their primary focus of their lives elsewhere, but on-campus housing “should be a real shot in the arm” toward building a college community.

Since 2007, Pat has also been a part of the Liberal Arts Task Force, which is now coming to an end.  The Task Force has been working on a new liberal arts curriculum, which will be booting up in Fall 2010.  Pat says that it has been a most interesting process, and has “given us an opportunity to get in touch with the Franciscan dimensions of our culture and to make it more apparent in the new curriculum.”  Pat has also been in charge of redesigning the history program while working here, and has clearly made a huge impact on the school.


Spotlight: April Jaure

September 14, 2009

April Jaure

From potential Franciscan sister to stay-at-home mother of two, April Jaure has experienced quite the breadth of life since matriculating at Silver Lake in the spring semester of 2001.  April transferred to Silver Lake after 3 years of studying Biology at the University of Wyoming, where she grew up.

The reason she decided to move to Manitowoc was because her concept of the word “freedom” flipped upside down.  She says, “There are a lot of ideas about what freedom is.  Some think that it means, ‘do whatever you want’.  I tried that, and it left me empty.  When I wasn’t fulfilled in my thirst for true freedom, I had to look for something different.”

When April saw a poster about vocations on her parish bulletin board, she thought that she might be called to become a sister.  She filled out a postcard, and soon she started receiving about six letters a week from different orders of sisters.  One of the first ones she received was a handwritten letter from our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

April decided she would visit Manitowoc, and she fell in love with the order.  They joked around with one another, and outwardly revealed a deep joy.  They were also very solid—completely loyal to the Holy See.  She had also visited other convents, including a Carmelite order in LA, which was much too austere for April’s tastes.

So April moved to Manitowoc and became a postulant, then a novice with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.  In her second year as a novice, she took on a full-time schedule at Silver Lake, with a major in English and Secondary Education and minors in Biology, Spanish, and Theology.  It was around this time that April discerned that she was not called to the religious life.  She says that she will always be thankful for her religious formation, through which she learned a lot about herself and about the importance of a prayer life, but she ultimately decided that she was called to a different kind of life.

After she left the convent, April moved home to Wyoming for six months.  Since she was only one semester away from graduating, she returned to Silver Lake in the fall of 2005 to get her degree.

While April was studying at Silver Lake, she was active in the English Club.  This is where she met Chris Keuler, who would become her husband shortly after graduation.  Because Chris was a year behind her, and still a full time student, April was the breadwinner for their family, which was about to become bigger with a child on the way.  “We were absolutely dirt poor,” April said.  She and Chris would struggle to make ends meet for the next couple years.  April worked at Clarity Care with adults who had disabilities, edit creative writing, work as a lab tech at Milk Specialties, as a receptionist at FlexStaff, a waitress, and finally as a staffing clerk for home care at Holy Family Memorial.  Through all of these jobs, it was April’s dream to some day be able to be a stay at home mom.

This dream was realized just this summer, when Chris landed his dream job in DePere as a web developer at SparkNET.  Now April is able to stay home with her two children, Felicia (3) and Eva (9 months).  She enjoys it very much, but she isn’t satisfied standing still just yet.  She is a lifelong learner, who has learned study habits at Silver Lake which push her to continue researching on her own.  She loves to learn about child development, positive discipline, and theology.  She also hopes one day to go to graduate school so that she can become an English professor.  But for now she is happy.  She says, “I take it one day at a time.  I know I am where I’m supposed to be right now.”

Read April’s blog at, her intellectual escape from her days of three-year-old and baby land.


Library Services for Alumni

September 11, 2009

DSCF0617The Zigmunt Library at the Silver Lake College campus is open for use by Silver Lake College alumni (anyone who has taken at least 24 Silver Lake College credits).

If you’d like to borrow a book, you can come into the library and receive a courtesy card.  You may also use the computers and the online databases (such as EbscoHOST).

Library Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday    8:00 am – 8:30 pm
  • Friday                               8:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Saturday                          12:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Sunday                             6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

If you live out of town, we can still help you by mailing you the books you need!  Simply contact Lisa Kliment at, 920-686-6212, or visit our website at


Silver Lake College in the Year 2000

September 11, 2009

Silver Lake in the Year 2000

By Phil Perrino and Dean Peterson

[As printed in 1972 in student publication Perspective.]

I had my doubts about being accepted into such a large school, but here I was registering with the rest of the ten thousand new freshmen.  I had some difficulty in finding my dorm on Kennedy Avenue, but after an hour of being misguided by upper class men I stood starting in disbelief.  Massart Hall is a twelve story high rise and my room was on the tenth floor east wing.  My roommate I discovered was a 250 pound defensive tackle on a full scholarship to play for coach Neiletz’s Big Ten powerhouse Silver Lake Chiefs.  Our window overlooked the newly constructed St. Josephs Religious Center.  We can see the top of Pierce Memorial Stadium, whose seating capacity is eighty-thousand.  My chances of getting tickets are slim with nearly all of the forty thousand resident students after them.  I began to think of attending a smaller college where student activities are a rarity just so that I could rest from the hectic day.

Being a music major, I decided to go and see the huge Martin Flavin Performing Arts Center.  On my way I walked past the Martina Science and Math Center.  Four of my classes are in this building holding seven thousand classrooms.  My music courses are in the Lorna Zemke Conservatory, about a half a mile from my dorm.  Right next to the arts center is the old Holy Family Fieldhouse seating fifteen-thousand.  On my way back to my dorm, I stopped at the Thomas More Commons and had a few beers at the student union there.  After quenching my thirst and resting my tired feet I went over to the Anne Liegl Business Administration Building and wrote out a tuition check for $4000.00.  A tear from my eye dropped as I handed over the check.  The office lady smiled and said come again.

I then returned to my dorm exhausted, my head was filled with so many numbers and names that I felt a migraine coming on so I bummed some aspirins off of my roommate and tried to get some shut-eye.  However once asleep I had a nightmare that I had a heart attack at the football stadium and died in the crowd, and my dead body milled around in the crowd for several days thereafter.

I woke in a cold sweat and went down to the school commons to have some beer and listen to “The Crucified” a local acid rock band perform for the students and faculty alike so I could calm my nerves.

I like Silver Lake, but I knew it just wasn’t right for a small country boy like me, so sadly I packed my bags and penned out a letter announcing to my parents I was returning home.  Maybe I would attend one of the small universities like Notre Dame back home.

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