Reflection to Perspective: Role Models Never Die, They Just Retire

Young men are relational, and the connections they make with faculty are critical. The best faculty members form lasting relationships with their students. They do this when they engage inside and outside the classroom. These cherished relationships direct learning and faith development because the student-teacher relationship rests at the core of Catholic Memorial inspiring the lives of our students.

Each alumni weekend, Knights return to campus and seek out their faculty role models. Graduates freely share stories about a certain teacher who helped them overcome personal setbacks and taught them to persevere. These, now, grown men are grateful for the caring attention, the important conversations that were had, and appreciate that they were held accountable in a moment when they needed to be.

Mr. Vin Catano is someone who truly embodies the best of the teacher-coach model. For the past 52-years, Mr. Catano has arrived at CM early each day, has sacrificed every school vacation to coach three seasons of varsity athletics and has given himself over to the school community and his young charges. The investment of his time, attention, wisdom, and care has positively impacted two generations of young men. It is staggering to think that he has taught over 6,500 students and coached over 4,500 athletes. His impact is significant.

A true renaissance man, Mr. Catano taught each day with the goal of passing on his love of literature. His classroom was always about the power of words, both written and spoken. He will forever be remembered for walking the halls with a stack of blue composition books under his arm. Running the track or across Franklin Park with a whistle around his neck and a clip board in hand, Mr. Catano always encouraged his runners to strive for their personal best. While he coached many individual and team championships, Coach Catano cared for all his runners and taught them that running was a place to commune with God and oneself, a place for personal and spiritual renewal.

Vin Catano announced his retirement in May and received an honorary degree at graduation. This is a well-earned distinction, for, in truth, Mr. Catano embodies everything that we hold dear in a CM Knight. I can think of no one who is more deserving or a better representative of Catholic Memorial, than Mr. Catano. We look forward to celebrating his contribution more fully in the 2023-24 academic year. We hope to gather reflections or memories of Mr. Catano, I ask that you please share them with the school by emailing ReflectingonCatano@

- Dr. Peter Folan, President