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Seniors Raise Over $7,000 at Roma

Posted: 2/5/2015

Jump down to see clips from the student entertainment lineup. 

HSP's Class of 2015 raised over $7,000 the evening of Wednesday, February 4, when they hosted Roma!, a night of food, entertainment, and auctions to support the annual class trip to Rome. 

This class of seniors will be the 10th graduating class from Holy Spirit Prep, and, consequently, the 10th end-of-year trip to Rome since HSP's first graduating class traveled to Rome in 2006. The excursion functions as a capstone to their learning at HSP, an intense seven-day walking tour through Rome to sites that touch on the students' lessons in theology, history, literature, culture, and art. It is also a final bonding experience for the class before they graduate, a chance to experience something remarkable with peers, some of whom have attended HSP together since Preschool. It is one reason why Mike Verlander, who organizes the trip, schedules long lunches, and leaves time in the evenings for his students to enjoy the city.

The annual pilgrimage to the Holy City comes with its share of costs, and over the last several years, Roma! has emerged as a means to defray those costs. For this Wednesday evening, the class of 2015 gathered contributions of student art to be bid on in a silent art auction; they baked and bought pies and pastries to be auctioned in a baked good auction; they planned a spaghetti dinner. Most significantly, the class of 2015 recruited students from the Lower and Upper Schools - and employed their own talents - for a two-act lineup of singing and dancing to entertain guests while they ate and perused the auctions.

The most anticipated part of Roma! may be the Senior Servant auction, in which the seniors literally sell themselves off to the audience, mostly other students, to be their servant-for-a-day just before they depart for Rome in May. The seniors offer to buy students' meals, help them with their homework, and otherwise be at their disposal for a day. It is one of the most entertaining and lucrative aspects of the fundraiser. 

Mike Verlander, our long-time theology chair and varsity golf coach, has led each and every one of these trips. The Saturday prior to Roma!, Mike was honored at the Archbishop's Education Banquet, held by Archbishop Gregory as a cap to Catholic Schools Week. Mike was honored for his years of service to Catholic education and to his students at Holy Spirit Prep. “I lived in Rome, and what I experienced in a semester, I do my best to impart to our students in one week. It’s their enjoyment of it. I get to see them enjoying life, enjoying each other’s company.” 

To make a donation to the senior trip to Rome, please contact Mr. Verlander at

Sketches from Roma

Start at the end with the amazing finale from the senior class. There's choreography.
Andrew Agrippina and Hayley Scott, "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors
Jacob Wilhelm performs the cello (with style).
Dempsey McMahon, Savannah Tate, Maddie Van Oss, Margaux Godfrey, “Hard Knock Life” from Annie
Theresa Dominguez, "We Kiss in Shadow" from The King and I
Some of the senior boys kick it old school with "Ice, Ice Baby."