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Demolition of Saint Joseph's College
Final Thoughts from Pinnacles Ranch
By Rev. John H. Olivier
(When asked to pen a few words, Fr. Olivier responded "Murph, your invitation to tap out a few remarks is welcome; there's much in my heart that surfaces when I recall those years at SJC and all the folks I lived and worked with there, and sometimes the eyes get wet with remembering.")
On my last visit to the SJC property – in company with Fr. Gene Strain, who had suggested that we shed a last tear over the place where we had spent many pleasurable years – we were greeted by two fierce German Shepherds who had been 'hired' to guard the ruins, but whose efforts seem to have had meager success in preventing the sad vandalism that met the eye. The original wing had long since fallen and was lying as rubble in some nameless landfill; the "New Wing", by now some forty years old, stood silent, waiting for the wrecker's ball soon to come. Memories crowded in on me and, had I been alone, would likely have set me awash with sentiment as names and faces and events of former years flashed in review before my mind's eye. Being with Strain, of much sterner stuff, I dared not reveal my true feelings. (Nor dared he, his, I'll bet!)
Often since then, visiting friends at the neighboring low–cost housing project known as the FORUM, I've looked from their balcony down on what remained of the College, especially the chapel, not without pain and much regret that the institution, like so many other former certainties, was no longer needed or useful. While not being a laudator temporis acti, I can identify with Virgil's foresight which rings truer with the passing of the years: Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit. (How comforting not to be obliged to translate these old chestnuts for the ALUMS!)
The old College, the faculty, the great numbers of wonderful students whom I meet now as fathers, Fathers, grandfathers, monsignors, clerics, laymen who have enriched my life – these are the reminiscences that continue to delight and make golden my present years and those yet to come.
(From the Alumni Newsletter, December 1998)