When the coronavirus swept through the country, causing schools to shut down for the remainder of the year, staff and administrators at St. Xavier, a private Catholic high school for young men, immediately started planning what they could do to show their seniors some love.

“One of the hallmarks of a St. X education is what we call ‘personalis’ — Latin for ‘care for the whole person,’” says Mike Dehring, assistant vice president of enrollment. “We take that very seriously, so in this instance, where we were doing distance learning, we wanted to make sure our seniors understood how much we appreciate them and how grateful we are that they shared four years of their lives with us.”

Therefore, in May, Dehring and his colleagues delivered care packages to their 360 seniors, consisting of a 2020 class t-shirt, a baccalaureate medal, a message from the school, a gift card to LaRosa’s Pizzeria, and a candle to remind them that they are the light of the world.

Founded in 1831, St. Xavier enrolls more than 1,400 students coming from all over Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana, all with unique personalities, interests and passions. The purpose of St. X is to expose them to a variety of academic and co-curricular opportunities, which is why the school offers 110 different clubs, including robotics, theatre, cross-country, student newspaper and mock trials, among others.

“We want to provide a broad enough experience so that our students can be open to growth and new experiences, so they can find their God-given gifts and passions,” says Dehring. One reason parents send their sons to St. Xavier is because they want them to be surrounded by other great guys.

“It’s life giving to find a brotherhood with like minded individuals that have incredible synergy,” says Dehring. “Our kids are relieved to be in a place where it’s cool to be smart and hard-working. In fact, that’s the expectation, and I think there is a brotherhood even in that.”

As for the care packages, the seniors expressed enormous gratitude for the gesture their teachers and administrators showed.

“They were surprised and enthusiastic that we drove to their houses and delivered these gifts, but honestly, whatever gifts we gave them we received back tenfold,” says Dehring.

St. Xavier High School is located at 600 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45224. For more information, call 513.761.7600 or visit www.stxavier.org.