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My Extended Family

left- my mother, top right- my grandmother, Shirley Hills, bottom right- My youngest sister, Elizabeth
Left- my grandmother, Donna Werner, right- my younger sister, Christina
My uncle, Doug, one of the happiest people I knew
Douglas Hills (My Grandfather)
My grandmother, Janet Werner
Bottom left- my uncle, Mathew Werner, top left- my dad, center- my grandfather, Gilbert Werner, right- my aunt, Katherine Werner

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The Introduction

My Early Connection, Formation, and Development with My Family

My Parents     

          Family means everything to me, and for good reason. My father and mother, Thomas and Sheryll Werner, both converted to Roman Catholicism as young adults. My parents would leave their respective careers, relocate, and decide to have a big family because of their immense faith. They gave up everything for their children.

           My parents have done more than teach us the virtues and principles found in Catholic Doctrine. They have done more than shed sweat and blood to make sure we could have the best education available. They have done more than love us. Their greatest gift, to me, is the way they live by example.  Despite their faults, they constantly strive to improve in mind, body and spirit. Discussing how to be a good person is one thing, but showing someone how to be a good person through one's own actions is another. I have met people from far and wide who can talk a good talk. To find someone who speaks honorably and acts accordingly is a difficult task. I am fortunate my development and formation was guided by two people who practice what they preach. My parents and the way they raised me have continued to profoundly affect me. I am eternally grateful and blessed to have them in my life. The bond I share with my parents is irreplaceable.

My Siblings

          My siblings and I love each other very much. They have the ability to bring me joy when no one else can. When I think about my childhood, my mind overflows with joyful memories with my siblings. Our numbers allowed us to play any sport or activity with great success and joy. I am the third child in a line of nine. My youngest brother, Joe, died only a few days after his birth, in 2001. Despite our short time together, I love him as much as I do the rest of my family. I would do anything for my brothers and sisters. I know our love for each other will never fade, no matter how many miles separate us. My brothers and sisters taught me valuable lessons such as: how to share, how to put someone else before myself, how to be a good brother, and how to love someone even if you do not like them at that moment. When I think of the future, it is my siblings' children that I think of. My greatest desire for this world is to create a better community for the future generations of my family to grow up in. My connection to my siblings is as solid as a rock- except nothing can break it.

My Extended Family

          My family is not limited to my parents and siblings. The theme for my Capstone (a capstone is a unique presentation of expressing one's experiences while attending Holy Cross College) is "The Power of Human Connection." I chose this theme in remembrance of those who have helped me in one way or another throughout my life. Since I will not be able to speak about all these amazing people in my Capstone, I would like to take the time to thank them in the document in the right column, named "Thank You." Each of them helped me to develop into the person I am today. These people, alive and dead, give me the strength to persevere even through the toughest times.

Picture of my immediate family gathered together

My role as a member of a strong family unit greatly influences who I am today. I am truly blessed for having such a loving and supportive family.

          Now that my childhood has been explained briefly, one can better understand why the rest of my experiences at Holy Cross College had the effect on me they did. From my courses within my majors of business and English- to each of the pillars, my experiences at Holy Cross have altered my perspective completely.

Continue to the next chapter...

My Mom and Dad

Dancing with joy
Enjoying a well-deserved night out

Memory Lane

My older brother, Tom (left) and me
Bottom left- me, top left- older brother, Tom, center- older sister Mary, top right- Dad, bottom right- Christina
Older brother- Tom (far left), older sister- Mary (top right), younger sister- Christina (bottom right), and I (middle)
(Name, sibling's rank in order of birth, from left to right) top- Christina, 4, bottom- Theresa, 7, top- Tom Jr., 2, bottom- Gregory, 6, Robert, 5, Elizabeth, 8, Mary, 1, Me, 3
Big family gathering at my grandpa's, Gilbert Werner, in the center
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