By Asleigh Hughes
For The Ryan Review
Nearly three years ago the Class of 2014 lost one of their students. Timothy Connors was struck by a car outside of Archbishop Ryan High School on May 17, 2011. Now as the seniors finish up their last year here at Archbishop Ryan, they had organized a memorial to give to the school and to his family.
The chapel in the center of the school has many stained glass windows honoring those who the school has lost and this year it shall be given a new one. Last year the student body was informed of this memorial and the goal of, $4,000. This year fundraisers had been held to collect money for the window along with the pledges that the senior students filled out last year.
The project itself was mainly run by the seniors. Seniors were given many opportunities to help with the memorial window and to give it as a surprise to Timothy’s family on Wednesday January 29, 2014.
Sister Francis Antoinette tells the story of how the idea came along. “Around March of last year, Tyler Kradzinski came up to me with the idea of dedicating a stained glass window for Timothy. We went up to Mr. McArdle and he thought the idea was excellent.”
Tyler Kradzinski tells how the idea came to him. “During mass in chapel, I noticed a potential stained glass spot and I mentioned it to Sister shortly after. She said ‘You know what, I noticed that too.’ So we talked and began to plan and gather help from selective students known as ‘The Timothy Connors Committee”.
Fundraising for the stained glass window started last year with t-shirt sales, a bake sale, and the, now senior, class making pledges to give in money during the week of September 9 2013 to September 13 2013. “The amount we needed to raise for the window was $4,000. The money we received last year from the t-shirts and bake sale help contribute to the fund,” Said Sister Francis Antoinette.
This year’s fundraiser for the stained glass window included a table at the Marching Band Fundraiser and a Krispy Kreme doughnut sale. The money raised from that and the money received last year was enough to pay for the stained glass window.
For those who knew Tim, this window is a symbol of respect and remembrance. “I feel like not only I, but also the students of the class of 2014, owe it to him. We all noticed him, yet never knew him the way we should have,” Said Tyler Kradzinski, who knew Tim since preschool. The picture for the window was chosen and it was left in the hands of the man who createdthe window.
The picture was chosen from a Catholic Youth Bible by the students of ‘The Timothy Connors Committee.’
Although the students knew about the stained glass window, Timothy’s parents were in the dark about the whole thing.
On January 29, 2014 there was a memorial service in the chapel and his parents, who were invited to the service, looked up at the stained glass window in awe along with the students who filled the chapel for the service.
The service took place after school on January 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm. Students and teachers gathered in the chapel to pay respect to Timothy. As his parents and siblings walked into the chapel, the whole room went silent in respect.
Father Donia, School Minister of Archbishop Ryan, lead the service in prayer. The whole room watched and listened as Father told the story behind the picture. The picture is of St. Timothy with hands blessing his forehead. As Father Donia blessed the window, the afternoon light shined through. I was as though Tim was looking down from wherever he is and gave the people his blessing on the window. The light will shine through the window for years to come and remind future generations of Archbishop Ryan students of his story, like all the other stain glass windows. The Class of 2014 leaves their last goodbye to Tim before they go on to whatever path they have chosen to walk down.
“I believe his family will be happy that the senior class came together to make a memorial that will last forever in our school chapel along with our hearts,” Said Tyler Kradzinski. The senior class is going to have many changes this year.
This will be their last year of high school as they will be going off to college next year. This stained glass window will be the final farewell to Tim before we go on to our own lives. -
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