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Saint Francis High School Leaders Embark On Pilgrimage to Support Students

From left, Holly Elkins ‘93, Greg Calcagno ‘83, Katie Teekell’ 00, Father Tony Mancuso, Helen Benedetti and Mike Speckman.

Carrying not just the essentials on their backs but also the prayers and well-wishes of a school community, leaders of Saint Francis High School embarked on a pilgrimage that took them from the school campus to the steps of Mission Dolores in San Francisco.

This trek, called “Hike for Hope,” was a three-day 42-mile journey along El Camino Real. At the end of the walk, bodies were sore, but spirits were high. The group raised funds in support of the school’s mission of shaping the future by educating the hearts and minds of students to serve the world.

“I hope this experience demonstrates just how much we believe in our Holy Cross mission,” said Father Tony Mancuso, chaplain and acting president. “We felt the limitations of our bodies, but it was worth it to ensure that our students will have the foundational tools and values in order to rise up as future leaders in their communities.”

Students, parents, alumni, employees and friends of the school partnered in the endeavor by making a gift to invest in students or by sharing a prayer petition. Father Tony Mancuso led the group of hikers that included Katie Teekell ’00, principal; Helen Benedetti, board member; Greg Calcagno ’83, alumni director and head football coach; Holly Elkins ’93, executive director of institutional advancement; Father Steve Kim, director of Campus Ministry; and Mike Speckman, director of endowment and tuition assistance. 

The pilgrimage was bookended by prayer, starting with a send-off at a Mass of Thanksgiving. When the group returned to campus, their accomplishment was celebrated at the school’s interfaith prayer service.