This week, the St. Rita family had the pleasure of welcoming John Kinsloe and his family to the all-school Mass.
John was a student at St. Rita in 1949 when times were financially tough for many families. John was very involved at St. Rita, playing football and boxing. However, just shy of graduation, he left St. Rita to go to work fulltime. John went on to live a successful and fulfilling life, marrying his high school sweetheart and raising seven children in the St. Catherine of Alexandria parish. John was very involved in the lives of his children, including coaching them in football, basketball and baseball and serving on the athletic board at St. Catherine’s.
Recently, John’s son, Bob, decided to create a video biography of John’s life. As Bob tells the story, “In the course of interviewing him, I asked him, ‘Where did you graduate from high school?’ He told me he did not want to talk about it. The next day I asked him why he did not want to talk about his high school graduation. He reluctantly disclosed that he had quit school just before he graduated in 1949 to go to work. This is something he has kept from his seven kids until now. I know that he withheld this information all these years out of embarrassment, disappointment, and not wanting to be a bad example to his kids. However, he is anything but a bad example.”
Bob added, “He’s a true family man who put his family and others first. He has lived a seemingly ordinary life to an outsider but it’s really been an extraordinary life to the people who have had the good fortune of knowing him.” As part of his biography summary, Bob asked his dad what was his biggest disappointment in life. John responded that it was not graduating from St. Rita.
Bob then contacted St. Rita asking if the school would consider a request to award John a diploma based on his post-high school education – a four year apprenticeship to become a pipefitter and welder (Local 597) – and his life’s work. He added that his dad more than lived up to St. Rita’s core values of truth, unity and love.
So, on Wednesday, May 11, 2017, in front of the St. Rita community and John’s family - including all seven of his children - Head of School, Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A. and President, Mr. Mike Zunica, presented John Kinsloe with his official St. Rita of Cascia High School diploma. The presentation was met with a thunderous standing ovation by the St. Rita student body. Mike Zunica summed it by saying, “These are the moments that make St. Rita the special place that it is. The faculty, staff and student body were moved by today’s presentation and what it means to be a graduate of St. Rita!”