On behalf of the student body, Alex Coutcher ’21 reflects on Mr. G’s impact
Originally presented by Alex ’21 at the Prayer Service in memory of Mr. G on March 9, 2021
I think without a doubt, as we sit here today, we can say Mr. G was a man of faith and service.
Through his 19 years here at Bishop Hendricken, he revitalized our Campus Ministry program and helped too many people to think of. He had a hand in almost every aspect of Hendricken life. Students remember him for his bright energy, quick wit, compassion, and charm, but among those things should be his faith and service to others. I believe that every Hendricken man should strive to embody how Mr. G lived his life.
Among many influential standards he set at Hendricken was his love for his wife. I’m not sure I can speak for everyone, but I certainly know I recognized and respected the way he treated Mrs. G. Whether it was him stopping into her class to say “hello,” or to bring her some lunch (or on days when he forgot, she would bring him his). Or, if it was his high praise of her to students of Hendricken. It was easy to see his love for her, and I believe it is something that every Hendricken man should emulate in their lives going forward.
Mr. G was the open door to Hendricken students — coming in, leaving, or returning. From fun memories on Freshman retreat, to handing us our lapel pin during Freshman Mass, being a mentor to seniors, especially the peer ministers, he was a man for the entire Hendricken community. He was present throughout the day at Hendricken, from setting up masses, having a bowl of candy available to all, patrolling the lunch room (maybe stealing a fry here or there), helping after school by being a technical director of the theater, or leading Faculty retreats. Students looked to him as a mentor, and he never shied away from helping anyone. He inspired people through his faith, even to the point of people choosing to partake in the sacrament of Confirmation, from his guiding wisdom.
Some would say that God was present in Mr. G, whether on retreats or mission trips, and that is not hard to see, as his wisdom and knowledge helped others, just as Christ did. His presence on the mission trips not only left a huge impact on students, but the numerous people in Peru who smiled every time he visited. The impact he left on the community is shown by the outpouring of support we have seen from past and present students, faculty, parents, and alumni. Mr. G respected everyone, whether you were the star football player, or the backup dancer in a play. The first in the class, or the last, he loved and respected all in the Hendricken community.
In times of mourning, it is sometimes difficult to remember the good that comes out of death. In death, we find peace with Christ. Our faith saves us. It is safe to say that by living a life of service, and being a faithful man, Mr. G’s faith will save him. Also important to remember is how he would want us to carry on with our lives. The best way we can remember his presence in our community is helping others as he did, and living a life dedicated to faith, strong love for peers and family, and strength in Christ.
I would like to end with a quote from Matthew 23 that reminds us why Mr. G’s service was so important: “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Mr. G was devoted to everyone, faithful in prayer, and I think we all understand that he was God’s servant to the Hendricken community. That is what made him great.