Bernadette Lynch, Mother of Michael ’16 and Brendan ’18

Dear Families,

I share with you the sad news of the death of Bernadette Lynch, mother of Brendan, Class of 2018, and Michael, Class of 2016.  Bernadette had been battling cancer for the past year.

I expect even those who are new to the Siena community are aware of the suffering that the Lynch family has endured over the past few months since the widely reported death of Michael in a car accident this past spring.

Many of us will struggle with this news of a second tragedy to strike the Lynch family in the past few months.  Those of us who have known of Bernadette’s struggles have perhaps had time to find some solace in the remarkable fortitude she exhibited throughout her suffering.  But the question of God’s purpose will no doubt arise in your children’s minds, if not in your own.

How do we reconcile the idea of an all-powerful and benevolent God with suffering and evil, especially when it strikes good people? Why do bad things happen to good people? I offer a few reflections here for you to consider as you speak to your children about this – the theological idea of theodicy.

While suffering is a part of the human condition and the natural world, I would first distinguish between tragic natural events and evil.  I associate evil with the acts of men and women who make choices that are contrary to God’s will.  Whatever their motivation or level of ignorance, they are not pursuing goodness, beauty, and truth. Natural disasters and disease, though sometimes compounded by human decision-making, are not evil, though they do cause tremendous suffering. The natural world is a world of science, where physical laws, such a thermodynamics, cause storms and earthquakes and where living organisms struggle to survive, frequently at the expense of other living things.  I do not believe that God micromanages the events of the world. God does not generally intervene in the natural world, and God does not thwart our free will. For these reasons, I do not blame God for the suffering that we endure.  Quite to the contrary, I believe that the suffering we experience is made easier by the comforting words and promises God has given to us.  

On the few occasions I had to sit with Bernadette, she was able to convey through her words and her spirit, the faith, hope, and love that are central to the Christian message. In her dying days she cried, yes, but she smiled and laughed as well.  She looked to the next step of her journey and expected to see those who went before her.

All of us are given a limited amount of time on this earth. For some of us, that time is less painful than for others.  But the Christian should see with the eyes of eternity.  As C.S Lewis wrote: 

“…you cannot in your present state understand eternity…That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say “Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences”: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why…the Blessed will say ‘We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.”  

I cannot speak for Bernadette, but everything she said and did in my presence reflected blessedness and it is for this reason that I expect she has joined her beloved sons who went before her and that she is looking back on her remarkable earthly existence and saying, “I have never lived anywhere except in Heaven.”  

Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. 

In the Hope of the Resurrection, 

Martin Kilbridge


Posted in Featured, Uncategorized

Alumni Excel in High School

Siena alumni succeed at all the local Catholic high schools as measured by the percent of students represented in the National Honor Society and by the percent whose averages are at or above 85% in this year’s high school graduating classes.

At McQuaid, 81% averaged at or above 85% cumulatively, while 42% of our alumni of the Class of 2013 were in the National Honor Society (NHS).

At Mercy, 93% of our alumnae had averages at or above 85%.

At Bishop Kearney, 60% of our 2013 alumni were in the NHS.

In the Aquinas Class of 2017, 31% of Siena alumni were in the NHS.

Posted in Featured

Michael P. Lynch, ’16, Rest in Peace

We are saddened to report of the death of Michael P. Lynch, Class of 2016. Mr. Kilbridge announced his passing in a Letter to the Siena Community .  The school will be hosting a get-together from 9 until 11 am on Good Friday for the Siena Community to gather and remember Michael, who brought so much joy and happiness to the world.

Here is a slide show of Michael at Siena.

Posted in Featured

Bishop Matano to Celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass

Bishop Matano will celebrate Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Siena Catholic Academy community at 9:20 am.  All are invited to join us for this solemn beginning to the Lenten season. Mass will be held in St. Thomas More Church.

Photo by Mike Crupi/Catholic Courier

Posted in Uncategorized

Fall Open House for Prospective Families November 8, 2017 6 PM

Open House Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Come see the difference a school devoted entirely to middle school students can make!

Siena Catholic Academy, a coeducational middle school in Brighton on East Avenue, will be hosting its annual Open House for prospective students on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm. After a presentation for parents and guardians in St. Thomas More church and an explosive science demonstration for children at 6 pm, families will tour the school and speak with current students and alumni.

Siena has a proud history of preparing its students to lead local schools, especially Mercy, McQuaid, Bishop Kearney, and Aquinas.

Nurturing faith and intellect, Siena offers an exceptional education and a safe environment.

6:00 p.m. Principal’s Presentation  in St. Thomas More Church
6:30 Tours of the School led by Student Ambassadors. 


Posted in Featured

Student Council Officers Elected

Student Council officers

Congratulations to our Student Council Officers (L-R) Lilly Ansley-Purpura, President, Jessica Schiffhauer, Secretary, Lucia Lanahan, Vice President, and Elizabeth Deni, Treasurer. 

Posted in Featured

Congratulations Class of 2016

Class of 2016 1Congratulations to the Class of 2016! 


Posted in Events, Featured

Google Expeditions Pioneer Program Comes to Siena

Kennedy and Sheridan and Google ExpeditionsThe Google Expeditions Pioneer Program selected Siena Catholic Academy as the location for one of its visits.  The team arrived early Tuesday morning to set up the virtual 3-D devices for exploring various sites around the world and beyond.  Throughout the day students traveled to far off destinations and marveled at the scenery and the stories behind these locations.  They visited the Acropolis in Greece, Wembley Stadium, the London Underground, a coral reef, the Mars Spirit landing site, and Barcelona among other places that our teachers had pre-selected to fit with their curriculum. 

Posted in Events, Featured, Siena Notes

Siena Students Excel in High School

Siena continues to excel at preparing our students for high school success. Thirty-six Siena alumni graduated from McQuaid Jesuit this past year. They represented 24% of the graduating class (152 in total), but 30% of its National Honor Society members and 30% of the students who attained an average of 85% or higher over seven semesters. In fact, 81% of our alumni averaged above 85% at the school, while only 56% of the 116 non-Siena graduates did so. And while 31% of Siena graduates were NHS members at McQuaid, only 22% of non-Siena graduates achieved that distinction.

graphMcQuaid’s highest honor, the Bishop Kearney award, was given to a former Siena student, Brian Crowley, brother of eighth grader, Tom. Brian will be attending the University of Notre Dame next year.

Aquinas Institute: 50% of Siena graduates were named to NHS, while only 20% of non-Siena graduates were.

Bishop Kearney: 80% of Siena graduates were named to NHS, while only 22% on non-Siena graduates were.

Siena graduates receive the highest honors and recognition at our Catholic high schools:

Aquinas Institute: Bishop Clark Award

Bishop Kearney: Salutatorian and Founders Award

McQuaid Jesuit: Jesuit Secondary Education and Bishop Kearney Awards also The University Award

Our Lady of Mercy: Student Body President and Vice President


Posted in Featured, Siena Notes

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