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Reflecting on 7th Grade Chapel Speeches

Reflecting on 7th Grade Chapel Speeches

On Wednesday morning, May 3, 2023, our 7th graders wrapped up their first year of Chapel Speeches with Mr. Nerbonne offering a recap of each student’s speech to highlight the impact that they made on one another. Thank you to Mr. Nerbonne for leading our 7th Grade Chapels each Wednesday and spotlighting each student’s personal speech. We want to give a special thank you to Mr. John McNamara, as well, for leading our 7th Grade Chapel Speaking program, guiding our 7th graders through their first Chapel Speeches, and empowering them to have a successful start to their Chapel Speaking careers here at St. Sebastian's.

Below is a recap of each 7th grade Chapel Speech in the order they were delivered:

Liam Reed: his amazing experience at a competitive, challenging, summertime golf tournament where he learned life lessons of staying mentally tough, focusing on the task at hand and taking things one step at a time.

Joseph Ryan: a beautiful speech about his older brother Johnny, an Arrow who is now studying for the priesthood and a reflection on all of the lessons he has learned from his brother’s determination, commitment, brilliance and balance.

Peter Lipscomb: his incredible grandparents who not only live very full and active lives in retirement but who have taught him the importance of learning and spending time together, keeping a positive attitude and savoring the moments.

Nolan Boyle: a speech about his friend Sam whom he met and camp and how all of the significant challenges which Sam has faced in his young life have helped him to become a role model to others, reinforcing the importance of surrounding yourself with good people.

Patrick Dunn: his decision to face his fear of heights by joining a rock-climbing club and how a legally blind assistant edified and inspired him to gather his strength and courage, attempt a daunting task and overcome his fear.

Decker Bannish: his loving and supporting parents, specifically his mother’s unconditional love and devotion to him and his brothers, and how his father’s example has helped him learn valuable lessons about keeping his composure and a positive mindset.

Oisin Asaad: the life and times of one of his favorite professional soccer players from Brazil, who rose to greatness, struggled with addiction but persevered through adversity to come to a place of gratitude to God and his family.

Reid Bolton: his preparation for a big speech in elementary school which because of a mix-up became an extemporaneous speech and how his initial trepidation was transformed into euphoria and gratitude for the opportunity to stand and deliver.

Connor Carroll: an inspired speech about his beloved grandmother whose generosity to others, devotion to family and support for education have motivated him to serve others and commit himself with energy and passion to his academic pursuits.

Thomas Ashe: celebration of his two role models, both of his grandfathers with an emphasis on what he has learned from how they have lived their lives in service to their families, their community and our nation with compassion, dignity, and respect for others.

Brooks Carter: a speech celebrating both of his parents, how his mother’s service and devotion to family motivates him to be a better person, and how his dad’s mentoring, role modeling and power of example have taught him never to give up.

Ja Bennett: his experience in a game in which his nerves made it hard for him to focus and be his best, and the ways in which his coach and his mother supported, encouraged, and reassured him that his effort mattered more than the outcome of the game.

Felix Cressotti: a speech honoring and celebrating the life of his neighbor Chuck whose kindness and generosity have been evident in many ways, best expressed in the anecdote about Chuck leaving some snow behind for the sledders, and the many ways Felix hopes to be like him.

Jack Connolly: his grandmother, especially all of the ways in which she never misses an opportunity to show love, devotion and dedication to her family, and all that he has learned from her seemingly small acts of kindness and generosity to others.

Rex Condron: a celebration of his brother and fellow Arrow Chris of the class of 2023, with reflections on all that his brother has meant to him, mentoring him in lacrosse, hockey, and life, with gratitude for all of the ways that Chris has helped him.

Brayden Cruz: a speech about his wonderful mother whose devotion to her family and also to her students as a school principal has exhibited itself in the myriad ways in which she puts others before herself, is always there for everyone, and makes people better by her selflessness.

Killian Cunjak: his emulation of his great grandfather, John Francis, born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1908, who left his homeland for America at the age of 20, and whose hard work, determination and devotion to his family made him a successful man in so many ways.

Charlie Daley: his love, respect and gratitude for his brother Will, and how they first bonded watching soccer together, and all of the lessons which he has learned from him about life and sports with the very powerful realization of how lucky and blessed he has been.

Bobby Ferguson: a speech about his gratitude and pride for his beloved Nana, who seems to have been created to serve others, evidenced by all of the ways in which she makes sacrifices for her friends and family, always placing their health and well-being first in her life.

Ben Deschenes: his indescribable joy over learning of his acceptance to St. Sebastian’s when the large yellow envelope arrived and how is initial concerns about starting a new school were allayed by the new friendships, energy, and exhilaration he experienced in the summer camps.

Finn Govender: his search for a chapel speech topic which led him to choose what matters most to him: family, friends, and health, with some reflections on their interconnectedness, how they make us who we are, and his gratitude for all three in his life.

Rohan Ghatge: his somewhat difficult transition to St. Sebastian’s because of the challenge of saying goodbye to his former school, along with all of the ways that he is growing as a scholar, athlete and musician in this new rigorous but supportive environment.

Reece Feyler: all of the things which he loves about his favorite season of the year, winter: the challenge and sense of freedom which he gets from skiing, the bigger and better outdoor rink which his family builds each year, holidays with extended family, and, of course, snow days.

Will Hulbig: the life and times of his great-grandfather, who bought his first home on the eve of the Great Depression, served in the Navy in World War II, built his own construction company, raised his family, and serves as a role model for others on how to persevere in adversity.

Richie Joyce: his early fascination with aviation which led him to learn to fly a plane, and all of the ways in which flying now serves for him as a metaphor for life: goalsetting through turbulence, going with the flow when facing an obstacle, not panicking, and enjoying the trip.

JB Leto: his almost inexplicable and indescribable gratitude for his parents: how his dad coaches him in sports and in life and really enjoys it, and how his mom supports him with exam preparation, rides everywhere, homemade dinners and a shared love of history.

Liam Eastwood: a speech about his cousin Alex whose response to the challenges of a brain tumor has provided lessons for Liam about facing fears, being a great role model, caring for others, and encouraging and inspiring those around him to be their best every day.

Eamon Keefe: the amazing experiences he has enjoyed in the summer at Camp Sebago: competing in teams, arts and crafts, fishing, sports including tomahawk throwing, talent shows, attending Mass and talks, and most of all growing in his relationship to God and others.

Jeremiah Johnson: his experience thus far at St. Sebastian’s which includes all of the following in just a short time: gratitude, appreciation, opportunities, blessings, great resources and teachers, having fun, working with an upperclassman mentor, and always building a stronger community.

Bo Kennedy: his mom, who is always there for him and others, motivating him, helping him study, telling him that she loves him, making amazing meals, planning vacations, and above all else his gratitude for her and all that she does for him and his family.

James Kilmartin: the wonderful life and influence of his grandmother, who lost her own mother at a young age and had to step up and help her father and family, the stories which she has shared of her life growing up, her perseverance, and how much he has enjoyed spending time with her.

Liam Long: his grandfather, who grew up in South Boston, became a professional boxer at the age of 19, and then a Boston Police officer for 30 years, and all of the ways in which he is always there for Liam, taking him on mystery rides and mostly helping him stay in a good mood.

Will Madden: the amazing life and times of his great-grandmother, who was born in Ireland in 1897, and left her family behind when she was 15 to immigrate to the United States, where she began a new life, endured through many hardships, and set her family up for future success.

Jack Matyska: a speech about his mom, who supports him with her enthusiastic cheering and motivating, but is also honest with him, providing constructive feedback and holding him accountable, while also serving as an incomparable role model as a parent and a physician.

Conor McDonald: a celebration of both of his parents, the fact that his dad is always there for him, helps him improve and makes sacrifices for him and gratitude for how helpful, kind, and generous with her time his mom is, with a reminder not to take anything or anyone for granted.

Nick Morelli: how his initial trepidation over leaving his friends behind and repeating a grade at St. Sebastian’s became the best decision he ever made when he discovered small classes, new friends in his classmates, great teachers, and the hardest work he has ever done.

Cade Noonan: a speech about the three things which matter to him the most: his family, who are always there for him and support him, his friends in the entire grade who cheer him up and his school, a place for brotherhood, which is filled with great, kind, and helpful teachers.

Jack Queally: the life, times, and influence of his beloved grandmother, who has been a great study partner because she taught math for 40 years, has always helped and supported him, watching and commenting on his games, and mostly the fact that she has always believed in him.

Brendan Palm: the very stressful and challenging experience he endured when his two sisters were hospitalized, along with his struggle to keep life normal despite how scared, stressed and worried he was and his message to love and appreciate those around us.

Jack Sherman: a celebration of his teachers, who have been welcoming, full of energy, funny, inviting, and lighthearted, and his friends who do honorable things, cheer him up, make suggestions, have a positive impact, and build each other up with their comments.

Matt Spalla: his love for baseball, which he described as not just a game but life itself, more specifically his Needham baseball team and all of their struggles and successes which culminated in the incredible bonds he made with all of his teammates after an amazing season together.

Christian Simmons: his beloved Dorchester Eagles football team and their march through the regular season, the playoffs, to becoming state and New England Champions, and all of the ways in which he and his teammates bonded and grew physically and mentally.

Emmett Sullivan: all of the ways in which he followed his heart to ultimately arrive at St. Sebastian’s, which has provided him with a sense of belonging and given him opportunities to develop strong relationships with God, his classmates and his teachers.

Liam Sullivan: building a treehouse with his grandfather during the pandemic, with all of the many details required in planning and bringing the project to fruition, and how this helped him bond with family members while working together on a meaningful and enduring endeavor.

Will Thurmond: his summer adventures in Dennis with his cousins and his grandfather, “Grumpy”, whose boating and fishing lessons have given him powerful and meaningful memories and make him want to look forward to many adventures still to come.

Ray Usechek: trips to his ancestral homeland in the mountains of Greece, where ancient monasteries, cultural relics and various sites remind him of his family’s courageous history and all that they endured to build good lives for themselves both there and in America.

Noah Wagner: his family’s spring break trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where his initial fear and hesitation in the face of the imposing mountain, challenging weather and rough conditions melted away because of his brother’s determination, example, and encouragement.

Brady Williams: a very frightening and unsettling collision between his dad’s car and an MBTA bus on the way to hockey in a slippery snowstorm, and how this experience has caused him to be more alert and vigilant, but also even more appreciative of his parents’ love and support.

Connor Young: the flooding and ruin of a long-standing, beloved family beach house, and his family’s response to the calamity by deciding to rebuild it, so that the finished product was bigger and better, providing a new, but familiar home for family activities and new memories.