A Lasting Impact
Patti Lovering Fogarty is the first to tell you that she was once a student at Xaverian Brothers High School. Usually, her comments warrant some gasps and looks of confusion on the faces of those to whom she is talking. How can this be? When was Xaverian co-educational?
The questions immediately come flooding in to Patti. She then offers up an explanation. During her time at Ursuline Academy in Dedham, senior students with a high enough grade in Chemistry and Algebra II as juniors were allowed to take a Physics or Biology class with the male students at Xaverian. “Ursuline didn’t have a physics teacher, so the school struck a deal with Xaverian,” says Patti. “One of Ursuline’s Modern Language teachers taught Spanish at Xaverian and, in exchange, some of the students from Ursuline had the opportunity to take a Physics class at Xaverian.”
Long before Patti ever got to Xaverian for Physics, her parents and brothers had decided that Xaverian was the high school for them. Catholic values as well as exemplary academic programs and sports made the package complete. The Fogartys sent all four of their boys (Stephen ’75, Richard ’77 [deceased], Robert ’80, and James ’82 [deceased]) there. “In so many ways, Xaverian became so important to my parents because we were so important to them.”
For this Dedham, MA Irish Catholic family, Xaverian became more than a school, it became an extension of family life. “My parents saw in Xaverian a school with great academics that was also dedicated to developing the whole person. So when it came time to send my brothers there, there were no questions.” Patti’s dad, a World War II Navy veteran and a graduate of Northeastern University, worked in sales and marketing for Boston Gas. Her mother was a homemaker, who for years, made crafts and ornaments to sell at Xaverian’s annual Christmas Bazaar. Even years after Patti’s brothers graduated Xaverian, her parents still remained loyal and active fans of the school. “They never forgot Xaverian. Instead of moving on and going to something else, they remembered what a great education my brothers received. They were so appreciative of these things.”
“My dad kept up with the Xaverian magazine. I remember visiting him and he would be sitting there reading it. He loved to keep up with what was happening at the school and he continued to attend basketball and football games. If my dad were here today, he would be blown away by all the changes to the campus. The overall development of the school would have stunned him.”
Though Patti’s parents (Marjorie and Richard) never had the opportunity to witness firsthand the recent enhancements to the school, they knew that the quality of a Xaverian education would only get better. “When they wrote their will years ago, they still had strong feelings for the school,” explains Patti. So much so, in fact, that Marjorie and Rich included Xaverian in their will, making them members (posthumously) of Xaverian’s planned giving society, The Brother Marcellus Society.
“There’s always someone working hard behind you. Those were my parents,” says Patti. “The sacrifices they made are the reason my brothers and I are who we are today.”