Ds Scholarship

Pope donates watch to benefit US foundation’s scholarship program

The dream that Doug Laviolite had for over a year came true – which some of his friends said was “crazy”.

The Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation has received a watch from Pope Francis for its Once Upon a Time Collection, a watch collection that will be auctioned online in 2022 to celebrate the foundation’s 30th anniversary.

According to the foundation, all watches will “be owned and worn by an individual who has made a difference in the world.” Auction details will be revealed on February 2, or, as the Foundation states, “2.22.22.”

The foundation was established to honor the life of Brian Laviolite, a student at De Pere High School in De Pere, Wisconsin, who died on August 8, 1992, at the age of 15, in a drowning accident. On the day of his funeral, his family promised to achieve “great things” in his name and memory.

Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships to students locally, nationally, and internationally.

“75 percent of all Brian scholarships honor someone else,” said Laviolette, president of the foundation. compass, Green Bay Parish Newspaper.

Pope Francis confirms Brian’s soul in his prayers and conveys to you, the LaViolette family and members of the Foundation his apostolic blessings

The foundation is also known for its support of the military. Reason? On the day Brian died, La Violet said, a letter arrived inviting him to visit the US Military Academy in New York.

The donation also came with a photo of Pope Francis wearing the watch. It was accompanied by a letter signed by Father Fabio Salerno, the Pope’s personal secretary.

It read, “On behalf of the Holy Father, I am pleased to send to you, attached here, a watch of his own for the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation.

“Pope Francis underscores the memory of Brian’s spirit in his prayers and conveys to you, the LaViolette family and members of the institution, his apostolic blessings, a pledge of peace in the Lord.”

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The casual Swatch was first introduced in Switzerland in the 1980s. The brand name is the “second o’clock” contraction.

“We talk about the importance of time,” said Laviolette, “but for Pope Francis many material things are not important to him, from what we can tell, and his wristwatch reflects that.”

Laviolette and his wife, Renee, are members of the First United Methodist Church in Green Bay.

Michael and Rocky Callauerts, members of the dioceses of St. John the Evangelist and St. Agnes in Green Bay, are the co-chairs of the foundation’s $1.5 million capital drive.

“A year ago I called the bishop (Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay) about ordering his watch, and I know it was Thanksgiving,” Kallauerts said after a news conference to announce the pope’s gift.

Kallauerts said he and his wife were drawn to the D.C. campaign presidency because it was August 8, 1992, when they learned the “amazing news” of the adoption of their first child, Lucas, on the same day the La Violet family lost their son. “We have a connection,” he said.

Archbishop Rieken sent an official request to Pope Francis for a donation of the watch.

The process that led to the order began with an episcopal priest in Rome. That priest, Reverend Austin Rios, dean of St. Paul’s Church Within the Walls in Rome, was Brian’s best friend and was with him and two other friends on the day Brian died.

I shared a really meaningful conversation with him, not knowing that it would be his last conversation on earth

The two first met when Reverend Rios as a boy moved with his family from Texas to De Beer.

“We basically did everything,” he said, speaking remotely from Rome during the foundation’s press conference on November 23 about the Pope’s donation of the watch. “I’ve always had a resonance with Brian, because he wasn’t afraid of deeper questions, and I (and I wasn’t) either. We communicated on that level.”

On August 8, 1992, he said, “I shared a really meaningful conversation with him, not knowing that it would be his last conversation on earth…Our conversation was about what we wanted to be when we grew up.”

During the press conference, Laviolette said that Pastor Rios – who was the third recipient of a scholarship from the institution and lived in Rome for 10 years – was “very important in opening the doors of the Vatican in the first place”.

Reverend Rios said he met Pope Francis several times. “This is a project that resonates with anyone with a heart,” he said, and that’s what Pope Francis does. “Thank God for that.”

In a statement provided for the press conference, Archbishop Riken described the Pope as a “man of great generosity.”

“I think when he heard the story of this unique collection of watches being put together to continue the legacy of providing annual scholarships, it really touched his heart,” said the bishop.

He added, “Knowing that the foundation had been established by the La Violette family after the tragic loss of their beloved son, Brian, made the request all the more urgent.” “I am fortunate to have played a small role in facilitating this donation and I pray that the outcome of the auction will be a successful one.”

In addition to the Pope’s watch, the foundation acquired watches worn by kicker Green Bay Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jan Steenrod (who began his career with the Kansas City Chiefs); Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta; comedian and philanthropist Jerry Lewis; Korean War Silver Star actor and recipient James McKechen; Actress Priscilla Presley. George Patton Waters, grandson of General George Patton. The Bronze Star and the Purple Heart Sgt. Donald Jackaway, who parachuted into Normandy, France, on D-Day June 6, 1944.

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