Diocesan News

Bishop Neumann graduate speaks to St. John Bosco Society about faith, formation

WAHOO (SNR) - Clinton Whiteley, a 2001 graduate of Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo and former member of the St. John Bosco Society at Neumann, recently met with current members to share his experiences and advice with the group. 

Clinton received a B.S. from Benedictine College and a M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Kansas State University. He currently works for Dow Corning in Midland, MI as a research scientist and  is an active member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Midland. He even started his own men’s fellowship group called Theology and Prayer (TAP). 

“While you are at Neumann you have a great Catholic environment with family, friends and teachers that share your beliefs,” Clinton told the students. “This is a safe place to practice being Catholic among your peers, but we are called to be out in the world seeking the lost.” 

He went on to talk about the importance of fellowship groups that help people ‘be Catholic in public.’

He said there are many people who need a good role model, a faithful friend, or someone to help them grow closer to God.  Whether you are called to the priesthood, religious life or some other vocation, he told the students, “you have to become the light of faith for others.”

“Clinton made some great points for me to think about on how my faith will continue to need to grow throughout college and after,” said Reid Jurgensmeier, a junior at Neumann. “These situations aren’t things that you always think about in high school, so it’s good to start now and be ready for them in the future.”

Senior Ben Simons said he “appreciated the depth of faith Clinton had.

“He seemed to speak from his heart,” he continued. “He made me realize that we can’t be uncomfortable talking about our faith, there are a lot of people who want to talk about faith, and moreover, need to!  Fathers that have a strong faith life have led their sons and daughters to have a deeper appreciation for their Catholic faith and have helped them to become spiritual leaders themselves. It’s up to us to be strong in our faith in the future.”

The St. John Bosco Society at Neumann High School has been led by Father Charles Townsend for more than 20 years. Father Townsend, former  superintendent and principal, is currently the pastor and chief administrative officer at St. Wenceslaus Church and School.  The purpose of the St. John Bosco Society is to encourage young men in their spiritual lives as well as to foster the possibility of a priestly vocation as an option in their discernment of God’s will for them. 

The Society encourages full participation in the sacraments and life of the Church, as well as being a good role model. The members also pray for religious vocations and possess a willingness to remain open to a priestly vocation.

Bishop Neumann has a tradition of providing an excellent academic environment with a Christ-centered foundation. Graduates from Neumann are successful in the classroom, in performing arts, on the athletic field and in their vocations. Alumni include Bishop Robert Vasa, eight priests, five religious sisters, three seminarians, three missionaries and many committed families and community members who value the importance of living, sharing and defending the Catholic faith with others. 

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