With PLANNED GIVING, you can provide long-lasting support for Christian Brothers College High School while enjoying financial benefits for yourself.
Following a humble life committed to helping others, Fr. Richard Weidert '50 leaves an incredible gift to support CBC's mission of serving young men.
Flipping through the 1950 edition of The Guidon (CBC's annual yearbook) offers a savory glimpse into the school's storied past. Student haircuts were slick and sharply parted. The posture carried by most every young man was straight-backed and stoic, if not stiff. And shirts and trousers were always neatly pressed.
It was a different time, but one lasting constant is the spirit of brotherhood and shared pride that is readily seen in the faces and interactions that grace the black and white pages.
Near the back of the book is a picture of graduating senior Richard J. Weidert, Sergeant First Class - Company F.
While many members of the class of 1950 are pictured multiple times throughout the book, Weidert took a more understated path. Respected by his classmates, he was voted Senior Class Politician. Evidently, he had a knack for debate and was often able to win the favor of those with dissenting opinions, a skill that would serve him well in his first career as a lawyer.
At CBC Weidert was also a member of the Auxiliary Club and announced the football games during his senior year. The Guidon notes that he also participated in a new club on campus, the Blessed Benildus Vocation Club, or BBVC for short. The club's namesake, Brother Benildus, entered the Novitiate of the Christian Brothers in 1820. His strong example and dedication to young people led to 245 of his students taking vows as Christian Brothers.
As members of the BBVC, nearly 60 Cadets pledged themselves to the following practices:
1. Weekly Holy Mass and Holy Communion for good vocations
2. Three Hail Marys each day for good vocations
3. A daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament to pray for the intentions of the club
The club's mission made a lasting impact on Weidert and many of his classmates.
Following high school Weidert went on to receive his undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He joined his father's firm and enjoyed a successful career.
The example set by Brother Benildus and the lessons taught by the Christian Brothers at CBC helped form Weidert's dedication to assisting young people, particularly those living in poverty. For instance, he formed and sponsored a basketball league for inner-city youth where he built strong, lasting relationships with several young men.
At the age of 63, more than thirty years into his law career, Weidert gave up his practice to again follow the example of Benildus and serve the Catholic Church.
He entered the seminary.
Mr. Bill McDowell was his long-time friend and attorney. Mr. McDowell offers some insight into Fr. Weidert's motivation.
"Father was very interested in helping people and had strong religious convictions…he said that he had an inclination to become a priest for many years. Finally, he decided at age 65, it was now or never."
Fr. Weidert was ordained in the Diocese of Belleville where he was a loving member of the community and worked passionately to inspire conversions to the Catholic faith.
He regularly attended CBC class reunions and his humble example left a lasting impression upon his classmates, including Mr. Bill Almon AFSC, '50, a member of CBC's Board of Directors.
"Richard was an outstanding member of our class," Mr. Almon explained. "I doubt you'll find his name on anything as he was never one to boast, and he was always the last to take credit. He felt actions were more important than fame."
Almon's words reflect the evidence found in The Guidon's rough pages. While Fr. Weidert never sought out praise or attention, his selfless nature made a powerful impact others.
Fr. Weidert passed away quietly last year. Several members of the youth basketball team he supported attended the service. Two served as pallbearers.
Following his passing, CBC President Michael Jordan was notified that the school had been included in Weidert's will. True to his character, Fr. Weidert's gift, which totaled more than $2 million, was offered without fan-fare or expectation.
"We are in awe of Fr. Weidert's generosity to his alma mater," Jordan said. "This is one of the largest gifts in our school's history. We accept it with great reverence to the example Father set throughout his life and we will carry forward his commitment to serving and inspiring young people."