WELCOME TO OUR 109TH YEAR TOGETHER! ...Or Should I Say "Our 331st Year Together?"

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Old Saint Joseph Church, “the Heart of Saint Norbert College.” As administrators, faculty, staff, parishioners and students gather together this weekend, we embark upon our 109th year together as a college community. Yet, our church was established here long before the college – as far back as 1676 AD. As such, and in the name of the parishioners of Saint Norbert Parish, I extend to you a welcome that is “Ever Ancient, Ever New!”

I am pleased to report that, from my perspective, Saint Norbert College does an exceptional job at welcoming new students to our college community. For an entire week during the month of June and for two days during August, various departments on campus representing all divisions of the college, gathered to welcome incoming students and their families at Freshmen and New Student Orientation. Parents consistently tell me that other colleges and universities cannot even begin to compare with the information and ‘Norbertine’ hospitality that was extended to the newest members of our college community – a heartfelt welcome extended by our administration, faculty, staff and returning students. As our new students become better acclimated to our college community, I know that they will consider our Saint Norbert Parishioners to be another group of people who will see to it that all are welcome here, that Saint Norbert College and Old Saint Joseph Church will be for them a welcoming and spirited home away from home.

While I know we will do our best to let them know who we are and what we’re all about, I’d like to give you a little idea of who we are welcoming to our church. This week I came across two different studies that will help us understand the mindset of our new college freshmen and our returning students. The first is a top 50 list supplied by an annual survey conducted by our friends to the south at Beloit College. The study is named, THE BELOIT COLLEGE TENTH ANNUAL MINDSET LIST FOR THE ENTERING POST-COLD WAR CLASS OF 2011. Below you will find some fun facts that give us an idea of the culture and experiences that are unique to our incoming freshmen.

The second article was conducted by the Associated Press in partnership with MTV: “What is the Key to Youth Happiness?” The survey was extended to over 1200 people ages 13-24. Together these two articles give us a better understanding of the young women and men we will embrace here at Old Saint Joe’s. While we consider all the unique aspects of their lives, we consider our own call to sacred unity: may we be mutually blessed by the presence, gifts, talents and prayers of one another!

Welcome, friends!

In Ss. Norbert and Joseph,

Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.


What Berlin wall?

Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.

They never “rolled down” a car window.

They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group.

They have grown up with bottled water.

General Motors has always been working on an electric car.

Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.

Pete Rose has never played baseball.

Rap music has always been mainstream.

Religious leaders have always been telling politicians what to do, or else!

“Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.

Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.

They were born the year Harvard Law Review Editor Barack Obama announced he might run for office some day.

Classmates could include Michelle Wie, Jordin Sparks, and Bart Simpson.

No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and nice Chianti.”

Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM.

Being “lame” has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.

Wolf Blitzer has always been serving up the news on CNN.

Katie Couric has always had screen cred.

Al Gore has always been running for president or thinking about it.

They were too young to understand Judas Priest’s subliminal messages.

When all else fails, the Prozac defense has always been a possibility.

Multigrain chips have always provided healthful junk food.

They grew up in Wayne’s World.

U2 has always been more than a spy plane.

They were introduced to Jack Nicholson as “The Joker.”

Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names – with the exception of Lambeau Field, of course (JB’s commentary)!

American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.

Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV.

On Parents’ Day on campus, their folks could be mixing it up with Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz with daughter Zöe, or Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford with son Cody.

Fox has always been a major network.

They drove their parents crazy with the Beavis and Butt-Head laugh.

Women’s studies majors have always been offered on campus.

Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.

Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.

They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.

High definition television has always been available.

Virtual reality has always been available when the real thing failed.

Time has always worked with Warner.

Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.

The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters.

Jerry Springer has always been lowering the level of discourse on TV.

They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper.

They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom.

They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.

Chavez has nothing to do with iceberg lettuce and everything to do with oil.

Illinois has been trying to ban smoking since the year they were born.

The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.

Chronic fatigue syndrome has always been debilitating and controversial.

Food packaging has always included nutritional labeling.


So you’re between the ages of 13 and 24. What makes you happy? A worried, weary parent might imagine the answer to sound something like this: Sex, drugs, a little rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe some cash, or at least the car keys. Turns out the real answer is quite different.

Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to an extensive survey.The results are more disconcerting. While most young people are happy overall with the way their lives are going, there are racial differences: the poll shows whites to be happier, across economic categories, than blacks and Hispanics.

A lot of young people feel stress, particularly those from the middle class, and females more than males.You might think money would be clearly tied to a general sense of happiness. But almost no one said ‘money’ when asked what makes them happy, though people with the highest family incomes are generally happier with life. However, having highly educated parents is a stronger predictor of happiness than income.

And sex? Yes, we were getting to that. Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13-17 year olds, according to the survey. If you’re 18 to 24, sex might lead to more happiness in the moment, but not in general. From the body to the soul: Close to half say religion and spirituality are very important. And more than half say they believe there is a higher power that has an influence over things that make them happy. Beyond religion, simply belonging to an organized religious group makes people happier.And parents, here’s some more for you: Most young people in school say it makes them happy.

Overwhelmingly, young people think marriage would make them happy and want to be married some day. Most also want to have kids. Finally, when asked to name their heroes, nearly half of respondents mentioned one or both of their parents. The winner, by a nose: Mom.

We are family: When asked what one thing makes them most happy, 20 percent mentioned spending time with family — more than anything else. About three-quarters — 73 percent — said their relationship with their parents makes them happy. After family, it was relationships with friends that people mentioned most.Also confirming existing research, Twenge says, is the finding that children of divorced parents are somewhat less likely to be happy. Among 13-17 year olds, 64 percent of those with parents still together said they wake up happy, compared to 47 percent of those with divorced parents.

First comes love, then comes: Overall, romantic relationships are a source of happiness — but being in one doesn’t necessarily lead to greater happiness with life in general. Eventually, though, marriage is a goal for most young people, with 92 percent saying they either definitely or probably want to get married.

Money, money, money: Money may make the world go around, but when asked what one thing makes them happiest, almost nobody in the poll mentioned money or anything material. Still, money does play a role in happiness. ap


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