Father & Uncle I think of you always.
"Hail to thee from all creatures from every land, from the height of heaven, from the depth of the sea.
The spirits thou hast made extol thee, saying, welcome to thee, father of the fathers of the gods; we worship thy spirit which is in us."
A hymn to Amun-Ra inspired by his interests, one of which was Egyptian monotheism. Friends of St Charles, and others posting here, thank you for remembering.
As posted on Father's door...
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert Brooke, 1914
Alumnibus Sancti Caroli
Happy Birthday Father...we love you still and miss you greatly.
Additionally, I send my heartfelt gratitude to all of the St Charles alumni, faculty, and friends for adding so richly to his life.
Tomorrow will be a day of remembrance for me. He used to babysit me, his niece, prior to his ordination in the early 50s when I was very young. He was the embodiment of the kind father. He meant very much to me. He was the epitome of with and dry humor. I travel with his picture even now. He entertained different perspectives thoughtfully and dispassionately. He was calm and he was FUNNY! I love you Old Bean!
It is 3 am, and I find myself reading these entries months after Father's passing, still getting goosebumps. I entered "Father Bennett" in a random Google search, which led me here again, and found that he is properly documented online, especially on YouTube and Facebook. An impressive feat for a man of his age, yet in no way surprising. Father Bennett will live on in the hearts and minds of Carolians forever, and I am sure we all revel in the fact that there are many ways we can access the infamous stories and mannerisms of this true hero.
There are too many stories for me to tell, but I would like to share one observation: I have found that when two or more St. Charles students/alumni are gathered, the topic of St. Charles is discussed (no matter the time, the place, nor the number of non-SC people involved). And this leads to hilarious tales of the greatness of Father.
Father, it was a pleasure to be taught by you, to share dinner with you, and to throw "Butterscotch!" for you. I am proud to be an FBF and a fellow Pole.
As we make our resolutions for a new year without Father Bennett as part of our earthly journey -- let's recall his final words to many of us at the Baccalaureate Mass. "Gentlemen: Put God First."
Msgr. Bennett... what a hole his departure leaves in the heart of all men of St. Charles. Many of my most formative memories and experiences of my years there center around him and his classes. I'll always remember his "narcolepsy" fits during class, and how he pushed us to not accept anything than our personal best. One of the greatest lessons that I now realized that I learned from him was how as becoming young men we needed to be able to hold ourselves to account for our actions and decisions and that this lessons needed to be applied both inside and out outside the classroom. Msgr. Bennett, thank you for the wonderful life lessons. Thank you for your stern yet fair demeanor when we needed a swift kick (or a few push-ups). Thank you for your endearing and warm side, letting us know that it was okay to feel. Thank you for all the ghost stories. Thank you for the lessons and the memories. Thank you for helping me to know that Chester A. Arthur was our 21st President!
The St. Gregory class of "1949" send their deepest condolences. We were very proud of the work that Msgr. Bennett did. He truly loved his work.
I was extremely shocked and saddened to learn that Msgr. Bennett had been called to his heavenly abode. Our Cardinal Family has lost one of its greatest and endearing treasures. I always appreciated his caring, yet tempermental view of life. Many of us shared the best of times at St. Charles during US History and the ever-popular, Current Events course. Those of us who had the amazing opportunity to be 'yelled at' by Father were all affected in the most positive of ways!! I did get to see him briefly on a visit to the school last year, and he still remembered. It's always feels good to come home, yet it will never be the same place. That's the blessing he left for the St. Charles Family and now we have a powerful ally in heaven to pray for us. May God find favor with his loving servant and continue to pour out His grace to us. WE WILL MISS YOU OLD FRIEND!
What an excellent teacher, mentor and elder statesman of St. Charles. I am sure Father Bennett inspired many young men with his quick wit, unique personality and teaching style (a few push-ups never hurt anybody). While I am sure his passing will forever change the St. Charles experience, I trust that his legacy and impact on the school will endure.
What an excellent teacher, mentor and elder statesman of St. Charles. I am sure Father Bennett inspired many young men with his quick wit, unique personality and teaching style (a few push-ups never hurt anybody). While I am sure his passing will forever change the St. Charles experience, I trust that his legacy and impact on the school will endure.
I will always fondly remember Fr. Bennett and his positive influence on my life.
Father Bennett was an extraodinary teacher who made a deep impression on anyone who met him. Our sons Daniel (1999) and David (2002) were lucky to have him for History. We are thankful that our son Tommy (2011) had a chance to meet him. Father Bennett will always live in the hearts of everyone. Our thoughts and prayers to his family.
I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Fr. Bennett. He is one of the reasons I became a social studies teacher. I will forever enjoy sharing stories about how he conducted himself in and out of the classroom. To this day I cannot erase a board without hearing his voice call out, "Don't erase like a girl!"
I am deeply saddened to have heard from a close friend of mine of the passing of Father Bennett. I still remember the fear I felt when going to the Book store in the basement as a freshman and also all the pushups that entailed when I did something stupid. I also remember all the imaginary chin hairs that was plucked even before I knew what a razor was. Most of all I will remember the encouragement that was given me after graduation on my enlistment in the military and later on my involvement in Desert storm.
I will always hold a special place in my heart for you, Father B...
I am so sorry for the lost of your dear loved one. It's comforting
to know that God cares for all of us and losing a loved
one is something we cannot get use to. The Bible gives us hope
that one day we can see our dear loved one again. On behalf of all mankind Jesus surrender his soul for many. John 15:13 says “No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul on behalf of his friends.” Truly I am sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one and I hope these few words will bring you comfort and hope.
I was very fortunate to share a dinner this past year with Father and a few of my closest friends. Words cannot express how wonderful of an experience that was. His dry humor and concern for every single students well being is beyond compare to anyone else. I remember us bringing him a gift for dinner, stunna shades, and how he said they looked rediculous. I will cherish that evening for eternity. To be a part of his last year is something special to me and all my fellow classmates, but knowing how happy he is right now in heaven removes the sadness. The last thing Father would ever want was for people to be sad or upset, especially for him. Lets celebrate a life lived in service to the Lord. God Bless
The Man at the End of the Bench
"His grand entrance into the stadium begins. Riding shotgun on a John Deere. Driver, take care not to jostle the precious cargo. The young Carolians roar their approval as their legend passes by. Gentlemen: Front and center.
The chanting. The love. The tribute. FahhhThurr Bennn-ett...FahhhThurr Bennn-ett...FahhhThurr Bennn-ett. Bishops Square and the Meadow Parkers heard it all but they never had a clue.
They don't stop until he waves. Sheepish but it gets the job done.
He takes his place alone at the end of the bench in his priestly Blacks. A jaunty British driver's cap and wool jacket complete the picture of our favorite Anglophile.
His Roman collar fixed, he stares onto the field. Blurs of Red and White. Grunting. Bodies flying. Shouts and cursing. Teen spirit surrounds the field of play. He never flinches.
The moon rises and a chill settles over him. The game is well in hand --the lessons well taught. He motions to his driver. It's time to leave. The boys will be fine."
We will miss you terribly at Homecoming this year Father. Throw us down a blessing.
Their is waiting a work where only his hands can avail; And so, if he falters, a chord in the music will fail. He may laugh to the sky, he may lie for an hour in the sun; But he dare not go hence till the labor appointed is done.
Well done, Msgr. Bennett, a job well done. You inspired so many of us to ascend to the stars and never ever, never ever give up on our dreams. I thank you for all that you have given to me during my years at St. Charles. It is with tears of saddness and joy that you have moved from labor to reward. I thank you for your kindness, discipline, and care. You were a blessing from God to the entire St. Charles family. You will be missed!
Dwight Shanklin ('84)
The positive impact you had on our son's life cannot be measured. Thank you for being the kind, gentle, firm soul that you were.
For many years Father Bennett was in charge of running the student bookstore (yes there was actually such an animal at one point in SC history). The store was located in the school's basement level in what today is the janitorial supply room. There was a "dutch door" and Father set up operations there and processed orders like he was on the trading floor of a mercantile exchange. This commotion scared the bejeebers out of any freshmen who strayed near this den. There was always much shouting and commotion by his upper-classmen helpers who enoyed haranguing the rats and sophomores just as much as Father. That image of him is set in my mind forever.
Although I went to St. Charles for only 3 years I know MGSR. will be missed at was always liked by the students and faculty, especially when he made his way from campus to the stadium on Fridays Nights. RIP Father Bennett.
Monsignor Bennett was a man of great wisdom, faith, knowledge, and determination. Thirty years have passed, and it seems like only yesterday. I'm sure that the halls of St. Charles will echo for some time to come. Of all the teachers I have encountered in my schooling, I feel that very few had a true impact, Msgr Bennett was one of them. He was a true legacy and his memory will remain embedded in the minds of many. Deepest sympathy to his family and numerous friends in the loss of a great man.
I was fortunate enough to have Monsignor Bennett for several classes, and as a result, I performed hundreds of pushups and repeatedly learned the correct manner in which to button a shirt and tie a cravat.
However, it was during my graduating class’s Baccalaureate Mass that Monsignor Bennett delivered his final lesson as our teacher which seemed to sum up everything that we were supposed to learn as students at St. Charles – “Keep God first”.
Twenty years later, as a parent with children at St. Paul School in Westerville, I often run into many fellow St. Charles alumni at school or sporting events, and it’s great to see that we are doing well in life - both professionally and personally. However, it’s even better when we see each other at Mass on Sunday mornings as grown men with our families living the life lesson that we received as boys from Monsignor Bennett.
The lessons learned at St. Charles prepare young men for college, and grown men for life.
To all who have signed the guestbook...Monsignor Tom Bennett was my uncle, and I join one of my brothers and one of my sisters in writing into this forum to say thank you to all of you St. Charles students, parents, alumni and friends for your remembrances of this greatest of men.
When I was there for the viewing and funeral, I remembered how Uncle Father Tom would, without hesitation, do a favor. He married my wife and I in 1991, and in 1998, baptised my daughter Cristina. He mentioned how he loved my daughter's name since it was the same name as one of the Spanish princesses, the Infanta Cristina. Though he followed the Bourbons, I suspect from reading this, that he favored the Windsors.
Also, when I was there, I was awestruck by the simple, elegant act of the student body of St. Charles as they lined the drive when Uncle Father Tom was driven to his final resting place. I was so moved by this tribute.
Thank you Saint Charles for the sendoff you gave my uncle, and for the kindness you showed to me and my family.
Thank you Father Bennett for everything. One of the best people I have ever met.
As Freshman, we feared you.
As Sophomores, we were fascinated by you.
As Juniors, we understood you.
As Seniors, we appreciated you.
As Alumni, we adore you.
Only a great man as yourself could create adoration from fear. Thank you, and until we meet again, God bless.
My beloved co--worker and friend for many, many years. St. Charles will never be the same without you. Rest in peace. Take care of my son. See you soon!
I will miss not seeing you my favourite "curmudgeon", but I will talk to you every morning in our chapel.
Msgr. Bennet has left a lasting impact on the thousands of young men who have passed through the halls at St. Charles. Many times during my service in the Navy I have thought about how proud he would be of what I am doing. Much of what has made me the man I am today can be attributed to him.
Requiescat in pace
The world has lost a great person, a spiritual leader, and a dedicated teacher. Father was not only a positive influence on countless students that came through St. Charles, he also helped mold those students that entered his class as boys into the men they are today. Father embodied the St. Charles spirit and though he may be gone, he will always be remembered.
Thank you for everything Father.
The entire Saint Charles community will truly miss Monsignor Bennett. I feel bad for future Saint Charles men who will not have the opportunity to learn from Father. Apodictically speaking, one can
clearly state that nobody will be able to replace the lessons he taught.
I have two alumni sons, Josh '03 and Christopher '05. Josh is now serving in the Peace Corps in Zambia, Africa. I can't help but to think of all the stories he would tell us about Father Bennett. He has so much love and respect for Father. I have to believe that this man, who demanded so much of the boys, especially to be their brother's keeper, had an impact on who my two young men are today. A man who is serving in the Peace Corps in Africa and another, Christopher, who hopes to serve the world as a physician. My great regret is that my youngest, Brian '13, will not know this man, who will never be replicated at St. Charles. However, his stories at our dinner table will live on forever! Peace to you Father Bennett. God Bless you and all the wonderful people at St. Charles who love you.
As I experienced the funeral today, I was overcome by the realization that we have reached the end of an era.
Fr. Bennett's presence was so grand and intimidating to the young, and so gentle and wise to those of us fortunate enough now to be men.
I thank God that so many of us have had the opportunity to experience this man and also Msgr. Gallen, both of whom were such incredibly rare men whose spirits were strong enough to stick on young men when little else could.
It is the end of an era, and I am sad about that, sad that I will never see Fr. Bennett walking the halls or hear his shoes or how his jowls flapped when he said, "Nooooo."
But I will always remember him, especially those many mornings before school when I would get there very early and sit in his apartment right there in the middle of the second floor and just talk until it was time for homeroom or Mass.
Reading through these entries I am amazed at how many lives he touched, and so very happy to have been one of them, as well as my three sons (Adam, Joel '04, and Gabe '08), who spoke about him more than any other teacher and with so much fondness.
You're the best, Fr. Bennett!
Father, you will live on forever in the hearts of all your boys, and all their mothers who so appreciate your help in leading, guiding, teaching and loving them.
I am honored and grateful to have known you and worked along side you.
We miss you Father.
Rest in Peace
The world has lost a GREAT person that GOD had blessed us all with on this earth for all of Fr. Bennett’s 76 years. I know all of my memories of Father Bennett are some of my fondest and most cherished at St. Charles. He will continue to live within each and everyone he taught at St. Charles.
May his soul rest in peace in the palm of GODS hand!!!!!
Tom Caito, Class of 1975
I can’t recite the Presidents anymore. Most of the American History I learned is gone. I find myself ducking every time I cough, in fear of a cough drop being thrown at me. But, everyday, as I face new challenges, I think of the dedication, care, and support that you gave to us students at St. Charles.
It was an honor to learn from you as a student at St. Charles, and to help serve your Mass at IC.
When my Mother passed, you came with roses. I will never forget that.
Thank you for showing us young, foolhardy boys how to be men. Your presence will be sorely missed, but your life teachings never forgotten.
My prayers go to your family and friends.
Nick Tichich, '94
Even though I never had the chance to have you as a teacher, I have heard so many great things from my uncle and father about you. You have shown what it truly means to be a carolian. I was truly honored to be in the honor guard for your funeral. Thank you for your many years of dedication to St. Charles.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine,
Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Rest in Peace Fr Bennett knowing that you have touched my life in a positive way. I wish we had more teachers like you for it surely would be a better place to live.
Father Bennett was a great teacher and a great man who inspired his many students to grow into great men. He is a legend at St. Charles and will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Father.
Msgr. Bennett impacted every life that he touched. I have fond memories of the years that I spent in his classroom. His example and genuine care for his students have helped to mold me into the person that I am. May Father Bennett rest in peace.
May you rest in peace and may the angels above be prepared to do the pushups I encountered under your guidance that gives me the strength to carry on each day.
As students, alumni and families mourn the loss of Monsignor (“Father”) Bennett, let us never forget the profound impact he made on each of our lives. As freshman we were fascinated / afraid of the great man who mowed us down in the lower halls. We learned that the act of accepting M&Ms from Father was synonymous with robbing him of food and precious nutrients. As sophomores we lived among the bruised and bloody messes who needed to re-learn how to properly shave or how to secure their top buttons. As juniors we became physically fit via pushups and were encouraged think quickly with our responses in effort to keep up with Father’s questioning.
As a senior I had the opportunity to witness Father’s true excitement after being called into the book closet for some unruly behavior. Not knowing what to expect, Father started throwing books and whispered for me to start yelling as though I were being reprimanded. He loosened my tie, messed up my hair and told me to walk back into the classroom with a look of pain and sorrow. I wish that I could more accurately describe the look on the student’s faces that day.
As a little brother I have doubts that my older brother will always be smarter and more handsome. I have doubts that I should never reproduce. What I am certain of; we should be grateful for the role Father played in our lives. He was instrumental in preparing and turning us into the successful men we are today. Monsignor Bennett will certainly be missed.
Michael & Kathleen Novak
Father you will be greatly missed. Even though I never had you for a class the way that you presented yourself makes me want to be more like you.
Father Bennett often talked and joked about death...even his own. He once remarked to a mutual friend, "there's nothing deader than a dead priest". Well, I don't recall ever being in a position to say this, but, how wrong you were, Father. As evidenced by the pages of cherished recollections in this guest book, you have never been more vibrant and alive in our hearts and minds. Last night nearly 2000 people came to pay their respects and thank you for all you have meant to them, their sons, wives, mothers and the school that we all love. Today thousands more will join the celebration of your extraordinary life. They will crowd into the school's commons, having come from all corners of the country. Those who can't be here in person, will watch a live webcast that is available around the world. Family, friends, former and current students have spent days, and will spend many more, recounting cherished memories of you. Any of us could only hope to be as alive as you are today.
Father, I can assure you that your indelible legacy will live on through those whom you have taught so well. You have nurtured and trained thousands of fine young men and sent them out into the world ready to be good servants to their fellow man. You challenged us to use our God-given gifts to the fullest. That challenge, and our love for you live on.
Love from us all,
Bob, '79, my son Bobby '10, my brother Tim, '83 and the rest of my family
Father Bennett has touched and inspired many lives throughout his many years at Saint Charles. I knew him since I was a young toddler. The whole Saint Charles community will miss you and we hope that you are at peace with the Lord.
The entire Saint Charles community misses you and all that you stood for. I never had you for class, but you affected my life in many ways. Thank you for always caring about me and my classmates. You and your family are in my family's prayers. You will be deeply missed.
In 2003 I was working for the bank and Msgr. Bennett would come in all the time. Before I got to know him, I was given a list of customer names to call and set appointments. When I called "Thomas Bennett" I didn't realize he was a priest and I asked "Mr. Bennett" if he would like to meet with me and review his financial situation. He said that would be fine and we set a time to meet. When he came into the bank with his collar on and I realized he was a priest, I apologized profusely for not calling him Father. He said in a very direct and intimidating voice, "That's ok, what do you have that I need?" We talked and discovered some products that would be beneficial to him and he went with my recommendations. He told me, "I have complete trust in you!" I got to know him fairly well afterwards and eventually I started looking into the priesthood. I didn't tell him this and when he saw me serving at the Ordination Mass, he gave me this look that said, "what are you doing here?" I ended up entering the seminary in 2006 and recently left to work and save up some money. If I become a priest, get married or spend the rest of my life as a single man, I will do it to the best of my ability. He was a role model for all vocations. Msgr. Bennett had a bigger influence on me than he knows. He will be missed by all of us at the bank.
Father Bennett has impacted St. Charles and its students for over forty years and his presence will continue to be evident for years to come. The lives he touched and the care he demonstrated for his students is unmatched. The information Father taught his students will not be remembered for its academic value, rather the life lessons that helped each student develop as a man. Father will be missed by all. May he rest in peace.
Father's passion for life is something that will always inspire me. He is one of the most beloved figures in the history of St. Charles and he will never be forgotten by any of the men he tought. Always a gentlemen, scholar, and mentor I am truly privileged to have had Father as a teacher.
I, like all the St. Charles men before and after me, was greatly influenced by Father Bennett. He taught us how to be good and decent men, committed to serving our Lord. You will be greatly missed by us all.
Father Bennett, you will be greatly missed by the St. Charles community. Your presence was one that influenced the entire school, as well as the Diocese. You were such a blessing for so many people, and you truly impacted the lives of countless young men. May you rest peacefully in Heaven -- after all, that was the only place you ever wanted to be, other than St. Charles of course.
Father you will be missed greatly. You touched the lives of so many people. I am proud to have had you as a teacher. You have made me a strong individual. I know your giving all the saints trouble up there! Ill miss you and God Bless.
You have been an inspiration to all who knew you, and are one of the great men to walk this earth. May you find eternal peace in your new life in our Lord.
Father Bennett, where to start. He was more than a teacher of history, he was a teacher of life. He taught us how to be gentlemen and how to live our lives the right way. I will always be grateful for his advice and support in my decision to go to WP. This has already been said, but Father is and will forever be synonomous with Saint Charles as its icon. Thank you, Father, for everything.
If you were a freshman doing push ups, you learned quickly to properly address Fr. Bennett with "yes Father" and "no Father", to always be respectful, and to never bad-mouth the Queen of England!
Like everyone who knew him, every memory of Father Bennett I have are great memories. When he demanded respect from his students, he did it in a way that made every student want to be better, and he was liked by every student he ever had.
I've found myself telling stories to my family about Father Bennett. He will be sadly missed by all but and I have no doubt his legacy will live on in the halls of St. Charles.
I have never known a man that has touched so many souls in such a personal and positive way. He is sorely missed by all those that knew him. His influences will live on for generations through those that he guided and mentored while on this earth.
Nathan Myers '96
Father- Thank you for all of your years of service to the Saint Charles students. We will all be forever grateful. Father would always at mass before football games that we should turn to the man next to us and say that we will play our best. I can promise that this friday every football player will play his best and bring home a victory in honor of father.
The angels in heaven are all doing push ups - and smiling with each one because they know another man of love has come to join them!
Peace to Msg.'s family & friends.
Monsignor, our Patron with his last breath said "Ecce, venio." Our every prayer is that Saint Charles now is proclaiming, "Ecce, ille venit." For all the deeds you have done, small and great; for all the ways you have guided your "sons," we are forever grateful.
There are so many things that can be said about this great man: devoted, wise, faithful.
Sadly I have not been able to get know Father as well as some. Being a member of the class of '09 I will not have the privalege and the honor to learn from this wise and caring man. In light of this I do not have as many stories and fond memories of father as others, but what I do have are the memories of his family, friends, and students coming to show their respects to the man whom they all loved and respected.
I will never forget this my senior year, when people flocked from across the country to come and see Father, when I watched as they carried his casket past as we sang the Alma Mater, and when I knelt next to him in the chapel as people came to say goodbye.
The conclusion to our Alma Mater says: "...As ages pass away, Lift we our hearts to say; Saint Charles, hail!" Truly an age has passed with the death of this great, preist, teacher, ralative, friend, and human being. The golden age of St. Charles, of his forty six years, has comed to an end; and he will surly be missed.
However, Father would not want us to despair; he would want us to continue on learning, caring for one another, and showing the same wisdom and devotion as he did at St. Charles in all aspects of our lives. So it is with his passing, and the passing of an age, we say: "Lift we our hearts to say; Saint Charles hail!"
God bless you Father Bennet may you continue to look down upon us from your seat in heaven, and may you rest in peace.
What a grand reunion there must have been in Heaven September 7th!
My sympathy and prayers are with Msgr. Bennett's loved ones including his St. Charles family,
Thank you for serving St. Charles for so many years and for leaving us so many great memories. You will always be remembered.
Father Bennett was one of the most influential teachers I had in all my years of schooling. He was a big part in getting me through St. Charles and for that I am very thankful. I am sorry that future Carolians will not have the opportunity to meet him because he was an incredible asset to a great institution. May he always be remembered for what he was; a great mentor and an even better man.
I went to work for Father Bennett just over ten years ago, and it's difficult to imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't. As I'm writing from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by an apartment full of books and neckties, I feel nothing but gratitude for a wonderful man who changed my life. The fact that my story is only one out of thousands shows just how much of an impact Father had.
First, it is hard to sum up everything that Father means to a St. Charles senior in just a paragraph, but I will try my best. There was not a single day during my senior year where I did not look forward to walking into my third period class to see Father sitting in his chair at the front of the room waiting for me to walk in so he could yell at me for my hair being "disheveled" or my shirt being un-tucked. I looked forward to him telling the class about his trip to Germany, even though everyone had heard it the last 8 consecutive days.
Nothing was better than seeing the smile on his face after the entire class stood up to sing " God Save the Queen" followed by "O' Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
It is safe to say that St. Charles has truly lost an extraordinary man who will be missed by everyone.
-"Father one more butterscotch for ol' times sake"
I will forever consider it my blessing to have taught for six years with this giant of Catholic education in the Diocese of Columbus, two of which were spent in the room next door to his. The love he had from his students and the respect of his peers is something rarely seen in this world. I fear heaven may be less tranquil now, but it has gained a great soul and this world has lost a great man. Rest in Peace Fr. Bennett.
St. Charles has lost a great person but Msgr. Bennett will eternally be a part of St. Charles. I am so glad that my son Austin had the opportunity to have met him also while at St. Charles. Some of my fondest memories are of our visits in his apartment before school watching and discussing the issues/news that were on his television. May you rest in peace Msgr. Bennett
"Gentlemen...gentlemen...the Presidents ..are coming.." The words we all dreaded to hear. Of course we had heard about the infamous "Presidents Test" from our upper-classmen. The test that Father Bennett gave each year to unsuspecting students asking them to jot down the names and dates of all the U.S. Presidents from beginning to end. We all knew he would stand up..walk to the window and in a quiet steady tone, with a thousand yard stare ,utter that ominous phrase..True to form he did indeed enact the ritual one spring afternoon and we quickly scrabbled to get it down.I believe I got them all, due to weeks of study.Father Bennett was a force to be reckoned with. He demanded respect and he got it. He was funny, intelligent, thoughtful and eccentric. He told great stories and kept us engaged. We will miss you dearly. "Jolly goodie gumdrops"
You wisdom will forever live on in the hearts of those whose lives you have touched. Rest in peace.
I was visiting my aunt, Sr. Agnes Goode at Mohun Hall recently and happened to see Fr. Bennett being wheeled down the hallway, his room was at the end of the hall. I rushed down the hallway to say hello, introduced myself and told him my son, Joe attended St. Charles. Without hesitation, he said "Oh yes, he was a fine young student and a fine young man."
I told Father that it was good to see him and that I appreciated all he had done for the young men who attended St. Charles.
My son Joe just called me to tell me he was going to St. Charles as Fr. Bennett had passed away on Sunday.
As Fr. Bennett touched our lives, I'm sure he did that with each and every individual that attended St. Charles and had the fortune of knowing Fr. Bennett.
May the good Lord be prepared for a good and decent man. I was proud to call him a friend. My thoughts and prayers to Monsignor's family.
You are proof of how one simple man can have such a profound impact on so many lives. You've given me countless memories of push-ups for our stupidity, our resemblance to rowdys, FBF's, clean-shaven faces, the joys of history, ice blues and strawberry candies, and lunch menu recitals, just name a few of the many. You were and always will be a binding force to all who went to SC and had you for a teacher. Thanks for your service to the school, the teachers, the parents, and the students of Saint Charles.
A great man may have fallen silent but his memory will echo in the halls of St Charles. Thank you Msgr. Bennett for your nearly half century of devotion to the students of St Charles and your unselfish vocation to the Church. You will be missed. God's speed on your new journey.
I am truly sorry for all those who, during their freshman year, have not been yelled at by Father, or been forced to do push-ups incessantly for their stupidity. For behind all of this was true love and hope that we would exit St. Charles as true, intelligent gentlemen. He is the true example of what St. Charles Preparatory School is, and he will be missed forever.
Father Bennett will be missed, and I feel for the future students and families who will never know his wit, grace, and charm. It is our duty to continue sharing our stories and memories of him, so that his legacy can live on-- and also to live our lives in ways that would make him proud.
You will be sorely missed, Father Bennett. Enjoy meeting all the great men of history you taught us so much about. (Just don't give them too many push-ups...)
I'm sorry I can't be there to pay my respects. Instead, I'm sending a cravat along with a fellow Carolian as a token of my esteem and respect. Maybe someone up there needs one.
Requiescat in Pace, Pater
It was truly an honor to have known and been taught by Msgr. Bennett. His display of discipline and respect has got me where I am today. Every time I put on a tie, I always make sure my top button is secure. And everytime I do push-ups, I always think of him.
Thank you for making such a positive impact in my life Msgr. I will never forget you.
I will always remember the first telephone call I received from some one at St. Charles. It was Father Bennett. He informed me that my son, Dan, had turned in a homework assignment that was quite good but unfortunately, it wasn't his own work. After some discussion he said with a laugh, "Boys will be boys!" Tonight, I will get out the Father Bennett bobble head, put it back on the shelf and remember, with a laugh, "Boys will be boys!"
Dan Foley's Mom
As with all your other students, so many stories come to mind when your name is mentioned. Push ups for not improving scores on exams, noises from the woods outside your classroom (a signal to us that the presidents test was coming in the near future), and dragging helpless freshmen into class for walking by your room (I was one of them!). Aside from the many stories, you have had a profound impact on my life and the life of all your students and will be greatly missed. God bless you and your family.
What a gift Monsignor was to this world. We will never forget his inspiring Christmas homilies at Immaculate Conception. He would always "gently remind us" that Christmas is a Holy Day and not a holiday. He is the reason our son is now a student at St. Charles. As long ago as when our son was a toddler Monsignor would tell us that he "looked like a St. Charles man." Our son was also blessed to serve mass at IC with Monsignor. We are so grateful to have had his presence in our lives.
When I started volunteering at St Charles my older son was here (Ray, class of 04), I would see Father Bennett once a week. Every time I saw him, he would say "I don't know you. Who are you." This went on for three years. When I started working at St Charles, he said, "I know you. Who is your son....and do I know him." Both my sons have wonderful memories of Father Bennett. My younger son (Ryan, class of 06) as a freshman would collect the money for the freshman religion books and go to Father to buy the books - he was big as a freshman and Father Bennett didn't realize he was a freshman and didn't make him do pushups. Father Bennett will be sorely missed, but we will always hold a little part of him in our memories and in our hearts!
Fr. Bennett was the teacher every underclassman was fearful of having, but once you had him you knew why everyone liked him so much. He was truly a gift to all students that passed through those halls. Thank you Father for that you have done. You will be deeply missed by all.
Father Bennett taught me one of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned, and he did it in his patented, terrifying style. I got a 15% (!!) on my first exam in his freshman American History course and I was in shock, because I knew most of the answers. He would dictate the exam questions with exact details on how to write out the questions on our paper - where to write the number of the question, where to write the question itself, where to write the answer. Even though I got the answers right, I didn't write them out in the specified way and he took points off for it. No teacher had ever been so 'unfair' to me before. I went to his room to ask him about it and he told me "not to come crying to him" (or something equally pleasant) and told me that following directions is as important as knowing the answers.
20 years later, I keep that lesson in mind every day. Paying attention to the "simple" details in your daily life will take you as far, if not farther than any of the grand lessons you learn.
That lesson sums up Father Bennett, and it sums up the value of a St. Charles education. I'm trying to teach that same lesson to my young children now. I'm sad that they won't ever get to meet Father Bennett (or Monsignor Gallen) but I'm happy to know that their work on my behalf will have an impact on their lives.
John Vaughn, MD (Class of 89)
I would have loved to have seen St. Peter's face at the Pearly Gates as Father approached and said "Who are you?"
Father often complained that our boys had no manners, but he was wrong. Father, these young men that have known you are the best mannered gentlemen, and represent St. Charles with grace and class. Thank you Father for being the big teddy bear we ALL know you were. With much love
I did not attend St Charles and have never met Fr Bennett. However I do know Fr Bennett through the many St Charles graduates I have met and worked with over the years. Fr Bennett lives through them. We are all better off because of Fr Bennett may God bless him and continue to bless us.
You made a lasting impression on my son Charles. He is a better man for his time with you and at St. Charles. May God bless you and recieve you.
I can't help but think of "The Soldier" with Father's passing…
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
Father always got a look in his eye when he recited this to us in class. He loved England and the Queen, but I think this poem also reflects Father's feelings for SC. As much as he was a part of SC for all of us, Father only wished to give back to his students all the joy SC had given to him over the years. I was lucky enough to share his name and birthday, be his student and friend, serve Mass for him, and make it back for one last visit this June before I moved out after college. His open door and advice will be sorely missed. Where Father rests will forever be a piece of St. Charles, and his students will forever carry a piece of him and St. Charles within them.
A recent e-mail from a good friend of mine, Don Harrison(75), told me of Father Bennett's death. I was just reminiscing with Father Bede (74) at Benedicitine High School (Cleveland) last Thursday about our days at St Charles. We were recalling our favorite teachers, which of course included Father Bennett. I remember Father Bennett's history classes were always full of energy with his strong voice echoing all corners of the class room. His enthusiasim for history was infectious and that has continued with me today. However, my most enduring memory of Father Bennett was on a cold January day, Father Bennett would open all the windows to the class and say that "the cold is just in your mind" but I knew that it was not when I could see my breath. Father Bennett was an inspiration to all who were lucky enough to have him as a teacher and he will be missed.
We met Father Bennett 17 years ago when he came to Immaculate Conception as our weekend assistant. When they were old enough, our sons (Ben '02 and Tom '04) each served 8:00 AM Mass with him for six years. I know he had some influence on their choice of St. Charles: On St. Blaise Day, 1998, Father held up a long line of parishioners waiting to have their throats blessed when he asked Ben (an undeclared eighth-grader), "So, are you going to St. Charles?" Ben replied, "I don't know yet, Father." Father Bennett: "Are you a man?" Ben: "Yes, Father." Father Bennett: "Then you're going to St Charles!" Ben: "Yes, Father."
He would let the boys use the telephone in his office to call home, but only if they said "I love you" before hanging up. The first time I heard Father prompting in the background, but we have him to thank for the thousands of "I love yous" we've heard since.
He would ask about them each Sunday as we left church, always interested in their news. We at IC heard Father say his last Mass there early in June. We began missing him then, and will continue to miss him terribly. We were blessed to have him in our lives.
We miss you already, Father.
My favorite memory has to be Father Bennett driving around and exhorting everyone on from his car during the Cardinal Walk every year. I am deeply sad that my son will not be able to learn from a St. Charles legend. Thank you for everything you did for us, and for the school.
Darren Price '95 and Rowan Price '26
All who have written here, thank you for sharing your memories of my beloved uncle. When I was very young we were at my grandmother's house, his 'dear mother', and I made some remark to him. I will never forget my Uncle Father Tom replied,
"Child I dearly love you but I must tell you I don't engage in
conversation with children until they reach the age of sixteen. Now would you be so kind as to bring me my Lucifers?" I happily fetched his book of matches.
He was a thoroughly loving soul. When I was a teenager he took my side when my father was remonstrating with me about the shortness of my miniskirt. He was profound and absolutely genuine. I was thrilled when he expressed a great liking for one of my ink paintings because I knew it really did please him, or he would not have been so enthusiastic. I recognize him in all of the tales everyone has shared. Thank you all so much for doing so.
I will always remember Father making me sing God Save the Queen and O Canada in class. Saint Charles has lost a great teacher.
Thank you Father for making us all who we are today.
Alex Davis '08
Father your guidance and compassion over all your years at St. Charles helped shaped my life and all of the students you taught.
A true testament to one's life is not what they have owned but how they have lived. My, Father what a testament you have left. From all of us here signing this book of remembrance to all of us that will be there by your side for once last ring of the class bell. You will be greatly missed and cherished.
Although we are taught to rejoice at the welcoming of one of God's creatures into heaven I cant help but feel a little selfish. In some ways, Father it gives comfort that you were there mold and terrorizing ranks of freshmen with your teddy bear ways into men & leaders. I can only hope that in my own life I live up to your example in some significant way. You are truly the embodiment of the St Charles spirit.
You are in some way, part of the glue that ties us Carolians together. As we share memories of our past years warm stories of push ups, fearful office runners, stories of her majesty and above all else love for our mothers tie us together.
It is too bad that new generations of young men will not know your loving displeasure at being called "sir" or grammer mistakes.
Giants may fall and the their shadows fade but no matter what their legend lives on.
God Bless you father, I'll miss you and I hope that you can keep an eye out for us till we get there.
Coran Lorden class of 1996
Way too many stories to type for sure. Independent study day in Father's class, bringing treats to class in an attempt to further distract Father, extra meatballs for him at the spaghetti dinner, buying books from him, standing for "Mrs. Nurse" when she came to his classroom and preparing for an exam.
A few other paricularly funny memories is when Father would be doing our quarterly grades. If he found your grade had declined from one period to the next, he would say "Piccolantonio, 15 for being stupid" and up to the front to do 15 pushups while saying "study is the cure for stupidity" after each one.
If any student had a relative who previously attended St. Charles, father was quick to tell us how much more handsome he was than us.
Finally, as a freshman on my first day of school I got lost somehow and couldn't find the cafeteria(thank you Mrs. Nurse for saving me that day!). I wandered innocently past Fr. Bennett's room only to hear
"YOU! Come back here!" And there I was, a lowly freshman standing in front of a class full of juniors and Fr. Bennett. :
Are you a freshman?!"
"What are you doing in my hallway?!"
"I couldn't find the cafeteria"
"Well that's not my problem, and don't come down my hallway again".
I was too scared to eat at that point. I later found out what a wonderful man Fr. Bennett was. A truly gracious man. He will most certainly be missed.
My wife might have described him best, she said “that he seemed to have rather been feared than respected, but ultimately he was found respected by all who knew him”. Father Bennett you will forever have my respect, admiration and love. Few men have had the courage of his convictions, his sense of humor, and love for his institution. He was a true gentleman and scholar and a great example to all Carolians.
Paul (92), Christine and Max Vellani
I was profoundly saddened to hear of Msgr. Bennett's passing and I want to express my personal condolences to his family. He was a great teacher who challenged me throughout my years at St. Charles. I will always remember him as being fair but tough and that helped mold me into the person that I am today. Not more than 9 months ago, I wrote a short paper for a class that I was attending and, in that paper, I described a challenging assignment that Msgr. Bennett had given me and the impact that this assignment and his influence had on my life now that I would be in a teaching role as well. His inspiration and the motivation that he gave me will always be remembered and preserved in the great memories of life. I hope that I can give back to students what he gave to me. May he rest in peace and in the glory of God.
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Monsignor Bennett was a great, great man. I will remember the man who loaned lunch money, gave away his donuts each morning and made us do push-ups when we misspoke in class. As I started a family, we made 8:00 a.m. Sunday mass at Immaculate Conception each week so that my wife and boys would get to know him. I still remember his words to my four-year-old after mass one Sunday at I.C., "Are you going to shake my hand like a man today?" After my son complied sheepishly, he looked at me and said, "This man is definitely going to need St. Charles." I sure hope he knew how much St. Charles needed him.
Rest in Peace, Monsignor.
Paul Haggard, Class of '95
You always pushed us to become the men you knew we were. You were more than just a teacher,you were a dear friend to each and every student. SC will be left with a void without you there. Although your labor of love has ended down here im sure you are just getting started up there. I am truly blessed to have had shared four years of my life with you and to consider you one of my dearest friends.
All my teachers at St. Charles were a cut above the rest. I have a deep admiration and respect for their ability to bring the best out of all the students, but I had a particular bond with and a fondness for Father Bennett that is hard to put into words. He was truly a great teacher and a great man.
Let me add my story to the book. One day Father asked me to move something in his residence and I replied " Yes sir." He looked at me and said "Brannon, don't ever call me sir! Call me Father or call me Msgr., but not sir!" So a few years later, I was walking down the hall with Father and he saw a student with his shirt hanging out and he said " Young man, tuck in your shirt." And the boy replied "Yes sir!" Father turns to me and says " Please tell him not to call me sir!" Father Bennett will be missed by all who knew him including me and my family. I miss you dearly Father.
The Conlisk Family expresses our utmost condolences to the the bennett and St. Charles Family upon the death of a great gentleman. He taught our son Terry and we will always remember him going to football games on Friday nights. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for the role Monsignor Bennett played in our lives.
The Conlisk Family
Tery, Paulette, AT(SC 01) and Katie
Father, im so glad that i was able to know you as a my teacher, my priest, my friend and one of the people who has made me into the person i am today. i was upset when i heard the news, but i know i will see you again some day
I was deeply saddened to learn of Father Bennet's passing. I was a student of his at St. Charles, and will always remember his wit and ability. Please accept mine and my family's condolences for your loss.
When I went to college, I quickly met a fellow who had attended an all-male Catholic high school on Long Island, and we compared yearbooks. Some of our stories about teachers were similar. He could not match either Fr. Bennett or Monz.
I think of him when I straighten my tie before the mirror. I hear his voice when I correct my sons' homework or when I edit my own writing. I've never really wanted to be a teacher, but I know that if I did, I would make him my model. Without knowing it, I made him one of my heroes.
While I never had you personally as a teacher, and I only saw you my freshman year, I remember all your funny sayings and words of wisdom. (The fact that you taught my father and all his brothers also explains why I have so much repect for you, and why I always stopped into your office to say hello.) I will greatly miss you and all the things you had to say Father, and I Thank You for the experiences of St. Charles.
Thomas David Phillips IV
P.S. I have always wanted to write this-- "God Save The Queen!"
Father Bennett was by far the highlight of anyone's tenure at St. Charles. He was such an inspiration to my classmates and I and I wish that he could have been the same for future Carolians. He will be greatly missed and forever adored by his students and all who knew him.
Vintage Father Bennett stories need to be gathered and shared. Please forward them to Saint Charles so a special section can be published for all to enjoy. Here are a couple of mine. My wife and I were married by TMB in the school's Lower Chapel in November 1985. The first question he asked us in pre-Cana: "Are you two living in sin?" "No Father." He then pointed at me and warned my betrothed, "I taught him and I am warning you: never reproduce with him." She wasn't listening and I still maintain that he gave her fair warning. Second "question" at pre-Cana: "Tell me you are not going to sing that confounded Sunrise/Sunset!" "No Father." (And we didn't.) We did, however, hire a lovely vocalist who was all piped up and ready to sing The Lord's Prayer. In classic TMB style, he rambled right through it. After our vow exchange he forgot to have me kiss my bride so I got a nudge from you know who. He gave me his "Oh, bother" disgusted look and had us kiss. He came to our reception, ate his meal, and walked off happy with a large section of wedding cake. When my oldest son Geoffrey (inspired by TMB and his love of British Lit) graduated from SC this past year he and his classmates didn't know that their class was the very last at SC to be taught by this consummate educator. A Saint Charles "Mister Chips" for the ages. He always drew a crowd and we did our level best to give him the love he so richly deserved. Now and always. Ave atque vale!
You left an extraordinary impression on me and all of my classmates. I always looked forward to your classes because I knew that I would have fun while learning something along the way. Whether it was a story about St. Charles' past, or an eloquent argument for the Queen, or even watching a classmate do push-ups, we learned how to be men and even a little about world history. I cannot thank you enough for the lessons you taught me, and you will be missed dearly.
Brandon North '93
As I read these sentiments I can truly say your example is a model for us all.
Rest In Peace
So many of the wonderful memories I have from St. Charles involve Father Bennett. Everything from his pre-game speeches at the grotto on friday nights to doing push ups and putting gum on our nose. Father Bennett left his mark on all of us who had the honor to learn from him and the privilege to know him. Father Bennett, you will be greatly missed.
Father was certainly use by God in my life. A major item to note was his respect towards his own "Dear Mother". He would visit her often and tell us about how she was doing. We always knew we could distract him from teaching history for at least a little while if one of us would ask, "Father, how is your dear mother?".
If I were called to pick a Bible verse for Father Bennett, it would be the following, spoken loud and clear like a man!!!
"Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us."
Bobby Lee, class of '78
My favorite Father line-As Lord Nelson said at the Battle of Trafalgar, "England expects that every man will do his duty." I think of this almost every morning when I contemplate hitting the snooze. Father was a larger than life character with a knack for instilling wisdom, respect, and discipline in his students. His lessons will span generations and his memory will live forever in those of us lucky enough to have known him. Thank You Father.
I always enjoyed when he would use his booming voice to repremand a student over their facilal hair, and then smile to the other students. He was very caring and his bite wasn't as bad as his bark.
I always knew that he would help with any problem.
I've just finished reading the many heartfelt entries contained herein and they've filled my heart with joy and my eyes with tears.
Our son, Jim, graduated in '91 and my dear wife, Betsy, has served as St. Charles' School Nurse for the past 25 years. "Father" Bennett, as he prefered to be called, was a wonderful influence on our son and a dear, dear friend to Betsy and our entire family for decades. Father married our children and baptized most of our grandchildren.
I can only echo the many sentiments expressed by others and add that we too loved, and will miss Father very, very much.
Rest in peace, in the loving embrace of Our Father... forever.
Father Bennett has been a great inspiration for me and my family. Just a few weeks ago we were exchanging stories about Father; one I would like to share that always brings a smile to my mother's face. As I am sure many of you remember when your mom was working in the cafeteria for lunch you were expected, by Father, to go behind the counter and give your mom a huge and a kiss, well my mother looked very much forward to this part of the lunch hour and I know Father did as well. One occasion in particular that stands out for us was when my younger brother Mark was a freshman and my mother was working the lunch room. Father came into the lunch room and immediately asked my mom if Mark had given her a huge and a kiss. My mom responded that Mark had only given her a kiss, no huge. I remember seeing father yelling for Mark above the noisy lunch room to give his mother a huge and tell her that he loves her and of course that he was disappointed in Mark. Father was a wonderful memory of Saint Charles and will be dearly missed. In the words of Father “Keep God first and everything else will fall into place.”
Monsignor, you brought joy and honor to all of us. You taught us to be gentlemen - you taught us how to respect others. But most importantly, you taught us the importance of our faith. I wonder... as you are waiting to pass through the heavenly gates if St. Peter will have the nerve to utter the words "Approach me".
You have touched so many people's lives with the gift of yourself. I thank God that He gave me the chance to know you.
Brian Smith '76
It is indeed gratifying to read all of the heartfelt sentiments expressed in these guest book messages. Msgr. Bennett was my uncle (we all called him Uncle Father Tom) and he was a rare person.
I always looked forward to his visits with great anticipation, since he always called each of us, "old bean," as in, "How are you, old bean?" As kids, my brothers and sisters and I thought that was hilarious, and we basked in his praise and attention, as I am sure his students did.
Often, I asked him about Church teachings, and I am sure he was surprised and often frustrated to know I was more conservative than he was. He loved butter and sweets and my mom's cooking. On holidays, it was standard fare for my dad and him to drop off to sleep after dinner in side by side chairs. He was a gracious guest and a gracious man.
Part of his charm was that he was unflinching, and he reveled in being irascible, even when he truly wasn't.
He was thrilled when we named our daughter, Victoria, because he said she was his favorite queen. Who else would have a favorite queen?
Although our visits were infrequent in the last few years, we spoke on the telephone and it never seemed as if any time passed at all between our conversations. He was timeless and constant, and I loved him. I will miss him dearly.
Our family's association with Father Bennett was all too brief. We will all miss him, and our son Aaron regards his relationship with Father as one of the highlights of his tenure at the school. Whenever I saw him before practices I knew all was well.
I am deeply saddened by the news of Msgr. Bennett's passing. God blessed us Carolians with an outstanding example of a man and a truly dedicated servant of God. My condolences to his remaining family and the St. Charles community. He will be greatly missed and impossible to replace. My memory of Msgr.: one morning during the winter, as junior history class started, we heard " Gentlemen, please take out a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Today is the presidents test." I remember hearing young men wailing like banshees in the night! It soon quieted, then I composed my self and proceeded to ace the test! May you rest in peace and thank you for your love and instruction.
Joe Curran, class of '77
Father Bennett, Thank you for all that you have done for us at St. Charles. God bless you and your family.
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories of the great man forever. He has touched the lives of all from the St. Charles community and all who knew him. Rest in Peace Monsignor.
Alex Plank 06' FBF #1 2006
From the words of three graduates of St. Charles, "That man has touched so many lives it is unbelievable." he truly was a menor and friend to so many. He will never be forgotten and always remembered.
St. Charles has lost another of its giants, but the memories of Father Bennett in the hearts and minds of his students remain larger than life.
Deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved him. He will be sorely missed.
Many fond memories from my days at St. Charles were experienced in Msgr. Bennett's classroom. With a stern countenance but twinkle in his eye he led by example. Discipline, honor, respect, humor, faith in Christ, a love of history, appreciation of literature (British, of course), and exacting standards of writing are but some of the qualities and lessons I learned from him. Not one to feign affection, when I succeeded on a Father Bennett assignment I knew I had done well. He was undoubtedly one of the finest teachers I've ever had.
My respect for him was so deep that I named one of my sons "Bennett" in his honor. In typical humble fashion when told of this news he asked, "What on earth did you do THAT for?!" The name Bennett is derived from Benedict, which means "blessed." Although Father was indeed blessed, I know many who feel THEY were blessed by his presence in their lives.
When I first met Fr. Bennett many years ago my impression was of a man large in stature and larger in heart. He was so kind to me and continued to be that way throughout the years I worked with him at St. Charles. I respected and cared very much for him. The kindness he showed me will always be in my heart. I do smile when I think about Christmas at St. Charles when we would hear Christmas carols blasting from his residence as his room filled with cakes and cookies and all "the goodies" that students lavished upon him. The more icing the better, and the louder the music would play! I will always remember in the summer when he was living here at St Charles and the boys had gone for the year - Father was always a little sad - but then the first day of school would come and you could hear Father's voice and the excitement he felt to have the boys back again. His happiness had returned with 600+ men filling classrooms. Every year on the first day of school I know Father's heart will be here blessing the students he cared for so much.
Father Bennett will live in the halls of St. Charles just like the ghosts he would often thrill us with in down times (or whenever we goaded him into telling about them). His legend and great compassion for the students at St. Charles MUST be passed on by all who knew him.
It was an honor being your student and it was a great pleasure of mine to work with you these last eight years.
St. Charles is what it is today because of people like Monsignor Bennett. Our sincerest sympathy
I remember how terrified I was of Father as a freshman, but then having a complete change of heart after having him in class as a junior and senior. I will particularly remember my senior year with Father as a lot of great memories were made in that classroom. Father has touched countless lives and made many differences and will go down as the heart and soul of St. Charles in the modern era.
Father Bennett - thanks for making anyone who disrupted class do push-ups, and letting the rest of us count.
Thank you for your guidance, your patience, and for introducing structure and discipline into my life. You taught me some of the greatest life lessons, and while I may not have understood at the time, they truly helped to mold me into the man I am today. Your impact in my life still reverberates to this day, and I am forever grateful. I only hope that I have lived up to your expectations of what I could have been.
My son is a Junior at Saint Charles, and I was sad to know that he would not have Father Bennett for a class, but even as underclassmen they still all knew and loved him; I will remember how during my once a month cafeteria volunteer time he would come into the cafeteria and ask the volunteers, "who's your son? " Also, if you asked him how he was, he would reply "grumpy" and make us smile. I hope some day some of the alumni would put together a book of Father Bennett stories...it is sure to be a best seller....
I went to visit my dear friend last Thursday afternoon. Father blessed the rosaries and medals that I brought with me. It was at this time that he told me how useless he felt. I told him that everyone had asked about him and missed him! I expressed to him that he needed to get well so that he could come "home". He told me that he was so tired... and missed the boys so much. I kissed him on his forehead and told him that I loved him. He told me that he loved me, too. Our dear friend did go home. As you know, I dearly loved my "bad" friend! God bless him...and ALL of our St. Charles Family.
We all had to do a report on a former
president. I chose Warren G. Harding, and made up about half of it. Father Bennett took me out into the hallway,and asked me."Do you know who my favorite president is?" I said,"No Father." He replied,"It's Warren G. Harding." I flunked,and I love you for it.Miss you Father.
Monsignor Bennett, you had a unique way of disciplining students and making them feel special at the same time. Some of my fondest memories (and hardest belly laughs) were with and because of you. I aspire to raise my boys with the same level of integrity and compassion that you showed me.
Semper Fi, Fr. Bennett. So many graduates who entered the Corps benefitted from your encouragement and prayers. Thank you and Rest In Peace from your friend and colleague.
I remember Father when I was a Freshman in 1989 chastizing me for not playing football. I then informed him I indeed played football, to which his response was "ok, fine". There are so many great memries of Father fixing the top button of your shirt, his 30 minute masses, his forced memorization of all US presidents and Vice-Presidents, the list goes on.
Really sad news...Godspeed
I was lucky enough to first meet Msgr. Bennett when I was in fourth grade and became an alter boy at St. Catharine Church in the early 1970's. He was an inspiration to me then as well as a mentor and role model for many since. May you rest in peace and may God's blessing be with you.
sincere sympathy to all who cared for him.
I have always recollected that Mons Gallen was the heart of St Charles and Father, you were the soul. I cannot imagine St Charles now without either. I will miss you dearly.
Father Bennett was a great man. Anyone who passed through the halls of Saint Charles found this out right away. He was loved by all and cared for everyone one of his students. God rest his soul and my prayers go out for his family, friends, and fellow alumni and students of Saint Charles. My only regret is not being able to see him one last time. Thank you again Father for making me the man i am today
My two sons, Ben,1994, and Brian, 2006, Kaltenecker would explain how Fr Bennett could raise his voice when students were a little too unruly. Students would freeze in their seats and wait for the rath of Fr. He in turn would give the boys the dickens and in the next minute when all was well he'd tell his students to meet him in his office after class to give them candy. His office was like a candy shop; he always liked his sweets. Both boys have fond memories of the history buff and devoted soldier of Christ. My son, Colin, 2009, didn't have the fond memories of Fr. as he would have liked to have, but feels a void throughout the halls of St. Charles. He explains, the halls are so quiet and everyone senses a great loss to the St. Charles family. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
Father Bennett: Words can not begin to express what you have meant to me, from that first interview as an incoming freshman in 1983 until your untimely passing this past weekend; your deeds, thoughts, actions and words helped mold me and countless others from boys into the men that we are today. You will always be remebered in my thoughts and prayers. God save the Queen and Father Bennett too.
It was my 1st. day of freshmen football practice. I was walking up to the school and about a block away I encountered a gentleman who asked where I was going. I said to St. Charles to play football and go to high school. He asked why I was going to St. Charles. I responded with because my Dad wanted me to attend. He said very good and good luck. Unbeknownst to me he was my history teacher that year. I felt so drawn to him because of his overall concern and passion for the well being of young men. I believe this was his calling from God. Dear Father Bennett - the mentor, teacher, priest, and beloved friend "Rest in Peace".
Don Harrison (75)
Father Bennett, you were the soul of St. Charles. We will miss you tremendously, and the school will never be the same without you. Although my class is the first in 45 years to not have you for class, we were still touched and affected by your presence. God bless you, Father Bennett.
I will never forget the time I was late for a make up test in Fathers office at 7:30 AM. In my hurry to make the test, I was pulled over for speeding by the Bexley police. The officer asked me where I was going in such a hurry. I explained that I was late for a very important exam. He looked at me and said "is it for Father Bennett," I said yes it was...the officer just smiled and said "you had better get going."
I have never forgotten, nor will I ever forget you.
The memories and spirit of the man known to us as Father Bennett will live on in the individuals whose lives he touched.
Simply put...the greatest man I ever had the pleasure of knowing! I love you Father and look forward to seeing you on the other side!
You showed us everyday how SC men were supposed to act. It never occured to us at the time how lasting the lessons you gave us would be. We all worked so hard to be FBF #1 but you knew the secret all along; we were all FBF from Day 1 until the day we see you again. Rest in Peace Father; SC will never be the same without you there
Father Bennett embodied what it was to be a St. Charles man. He shaped so many lives and I know that he was a big part of making me into the man that I am. You will be missed, Father.
Your spirit lives on in the minds and hearts of many, many people. Thank you for your unrivaled humor, strong principles, and devotion to what was important to you.
St. Charles has lost a beloved teacher, priest, and a friend. Father Bennett truly inspired all those who had a chance to know him. Thank you for the memories in fifth period Father. You will truly be missed by many, but your memory will live on in our hearts.
Dan Scanlon Class of '08
Father left a lasting impression on myself and many others in which words can't describe. We were very blessed to have had a teacher and a friend as unique as him.
I'll always remember "Father" Bennett whenever I think of the Presidents. May he rest in peace.
November 18, 1931 - September 7, 2008 will be DTR's forever.
Rest in peace, Father.
Father Bennett has spent most of his life guiding young men. My uncle had Father in his first year and I had him in his last. Also, two of my cousins had the privilege of Father's tutelage. He has been a steady influence on my family for many years, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Class of 2008
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
There is far too much to say, far too many memories - push-ups, cravats, doughnuts and iced tea - as well as innumerable pleasant conversations. For the "Meanest Teacher", Father created the most enjoyable classroom atmosphere I have had the pleasure to experience. He instilled in me, and in many others, a true love of literature and the need for clarity and precision in writing and I am greatly indebted to him.
Out, out, brief candle!
He touched lives as a teacher, a spiritual leader, and forever wil be remembered as a legend at St. Charles and in the surrounding commmunities. He's one of those few people in our lives who makes an impression on you which can be passed on for generations.
When students of St. Charles think back to the people and events that helped define who they are, St. Charles and Monsignor Bennett come to the top of the list. It is extremely difficult for me to think of St. Charles without a thinking about Monsignor Bennett. He will truely be missed.
Class of '91
Teacher, mentor, historian, advisor, storyteller, conversationalist, reader, St. Charles devotee, man of Faith, priest, friend, example, and colleague. So much to so many.
Father, may the Lord hold you in His loving arms, and be sure to enjoy your conversations with Mr. Lincoln.
I had the pleasure of knowing Father through my husband. We were marired by Father in the Saint Charles Chapel. My husband would have it no other way. I have heard countless stories from my husband. I don't know Father as well as others, but I do know that he has influenced so many lives. He helped shape my husband into the man he is today...I am forever grateful! You will be sadly missed by all. Rest in Peace!
As members to I.C. he asked me at the baptism of my twin grandsons 6 years ago if they would being going to St Chalres, I told him I have no clue but their Father went to Wattreson. He gave me a smile and told me to look into it. We only know him as our Sunday Assistent. WE will never forget him. He is in Gods hands. And no Pain.
Msgr. Bennett had a huge impact on my life, in ways I'm still unable to fully describe. He showed me countless acts of favortism as an FBF during my years at SC, and I only hope I can foster that spirit to improve the lives of those around me. Long live the spirit of Msgr. Bennett, simply irreplaceable.
I found myself lucky to have had such a great mentor at Saint Charles. No teacher from the School on Karl Road nor the School on Cooke Road could have affected so many men like Father Bennett did.
"Good morning, gentlemen!" he would say as he walked to and from his classroom every day. With a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, Father was and forever will be the definition of St.Charles. Father always put on a gruff exterior, but inside he was as close to a living saint that I've ever known. The world has lost one of its finest, but his memory will live on forever in the halls of the school he loved. Rest in Peace, Father Bennett.
As a teacher now for several years, I have spent at least one class day every year dedicated to telling stories of Father Bennett. I have recounted our intimidating introduction to him as freshmen, the push-ups, presidents, and pranks. My students have loved hearing the stories and always ask for more (oftentimes pretending they had never been told them in the first place – I wonder where they got that inspiration?). It was with a heavy heart today that I brought the news to all of them of Father's passing. I know that I will continue the stories, taking his impact on my life and passing it on to my students.
His refreshing insights and wonderful gift a razor-sharp, dry wit will not soon be forgotten. Thank you for the inspiration of a fulfilling career and all of those wonderful stories.
On behalf of all of your FBF's, we will never forget the wonderful impact you had on our lives.
I will never forget what you said to me when I visited St. Charles last year after a long absence. "Michael Green, why have you returned to darken our doorsteps? Join me for lunch."
I knew I was home.
You will be missed by all that had the honor of knowing you.
Mike Green, Class of 1986
Rest in peace, Fr. Bennett. You have fought the good fight and run the race. Your legacy is all the boys whom you turned into men of St. Charles, Carolians.
Class of 1968
A great man has died. A symbol of Saint Charles with connections to thousands of fine young men. As a member of the last class he taught, I feel like every other class will be missing out on the great experiences father's class gave me. You will be sorely missed.
Class of 2008
St. Charles will never be the same without Father Bennett. He tought me not only the joys of history, but also many great life lessons. This loss comes very hard for me, mainly because I looked up to his values and the simple life he lived. He was without a doubt my favorite teacher, and I will never forget him as long as I live. Rest in peace, Father, and may God bless you.
Msgr. Bennett has provided so much for so many people. His years of teaching and love for what he did always would shine through. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and the extended family of St. Charles.
-the Ciancetta family
Victor A. Ciancetta '02
Jonathon A. Ciancetta '04
Words can not begin to express how much Father Bennett meant to me and how deeply saddened I am to hear of his passing. I am honored to have had him in my life.
A bold and noble man with a quick sense of humor. My sons were fortunate to have had you lead them in their high school years. I enjoyed your homilies at Immaculate Conception Church. God Bless You!
Father Bennett was, is and will forever be St. Charles Prep. I went to St. Charles today and driving into the parking lot and entering the school just did not feel the same knowing Father was not there. I was in his 8th period last year and can not believe that I was in the last class he ever taught, it does not feel real. Father was one in a billion. "God Save the Queen"
It is with a heavy heart that many of the St Charles community will start their week. Msgr Bennett was a great man, one who touched many of us each in a different way. I will never forget the push up's and the presidents test you know you would have to take your Junior year. A great and wonderful man will be missed by all and remembered forever.
I am blessed to have known Msgr. Bennett and to call him one of my greatest mentors. My St. Charles experience wouldn't have been the same without the almost-daily handful of M&Ms. Rest in peace, Father.
St. Charles and all of the men who attended it were changed for the better because of you, Father Bennett, and it will never be the same without you. You will be greatly missed.
Fr. Bennett was one of the greatest people that I ever had the pleasure to meet. Though I only had him for study hall and I used to serve for him on weekend masses at IC, I will always remember him. The last time I saw him was at his last mass, I was helping him up to the alter and he said nothing then. When the peace came he said peace. When I was helping helping him down the stairs during the ressessional him he patted my arm and said thank you in the kindest way i had ever seen. Thank you Fr. Bennett. You will always be remembered.
We are our brothers keeper!
Euntes ergo docete omnes gentes.
Going out therefore to teach all nations
Father Bennett: Is and was a true leader of men. His spirit will always be there guiding me through the decisions that I encounter daily. Father was the driving spirit of the tradition and expectations that a young man needs to develop through an education. I learned a lot about myself through the challenges of St. Charles. Father helped me succeed by being a wonderful motivator and dear friend that urged me to stick with it. Father taught me to think and understand that there is a purpose behind every decision you make. I am very thankful that I had an opportunity to know Father for a brief time. Hopefully, someday I will be able to balance two pencils.
St. Charles has lost a beloved friend and mentor. Never before have I met someone with such dedication and love for his students. It was truly an honor to be a part of your homeroom Father; I will cherish the memories forever.
Joey Hamrock, Class of '08
Father Bennett was a great man, we will all miss him, but he will forever live in the halls of his beloved St Charles home. I miss him and I loved him. While he never had any biological children we are all his sons forever. And I'm sure he wants us to mourn but more importantly to celebrate his life, I know I will always remember his smile and love he shared with all of us.
Father Bennett left a lasting impression on everyone in the St. Charles family. The man is a legend. He will be greatly missed, by FBF and non-FBF alike. Rest in peace, Father.
Msgr. Bennett's life and teachings had an enormous effect on the lives of so many. He led by example and instilled greatness where ever he was.
THe world has lost a great man.
Bill Hannigan (72, Powell, Oh.)
Father – you once said “The only real value of our talents is derived from how we employ them in the service of our fellow man”. Well Father, there are many men who have learned by your example and we will never forget as I will forever remember your kind declines to teach you to swim, as you always told me I would let you drown. Thank you,
Rest in peace Father.
You touched the lives of all who entered your classroom. The halls of SC will be very different now without you there. My only regret is that I didn't have the chance to visit one more time.
God must have needed someone to show the rookie saints a sense of order in heaven!
Your influence on the young men you taught and mentored will never be matched.
I always enjoyed the Father Bennett stories from brothers, nephews and friends. Father was a very important part of our family, clebrating weddings, baptisms and funerals. His devotion to St. Charles and most importantly his faith will long be remembered. He will be greatly missed by all the Smith's.
I can remember Father Bennett making everyone in his classroom say a Hail Mary every time we heard sirens on Broad Street. Since then whenever I hear sirens I say a prayer. While he surely does not need one, say a prayer for Father. I am sure he will appreciate it.
The world has lost one of its greatest. So many memories are shared with this man, and these memories will never be lost. We should all strive to be like this man. He will be missed deeply.
Sean Darvishi (Houston, TX)
Rest in peace Monsignor, you will be missed. I so enjoyed listening to your homilies at Immaculate Conception. God bless you....
I feel you measure a person's success by if they left this world a better place then when they arrived. In my opinion Father Bennett was one of the most successful people I have ever known. His tough love and passion for St. Charles made thousands of us better students and people. He will be missed.
Jeff Gugle Class of '93
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
You were the best! You will be greatly missed.
Requiescat in pace,
Benjamin Kaltenecker, Class of '94
Father Bennett was an inspiration to all of us who are part of the St. Charles family. He molded us from boys to men. Inspirational to me by encouraging me to be a history major at Dayton and then to be a lawyer. He, along with Msgr. Gallen, allowed me to study for the bar exam in the upper chapel choir loft. You were a hero to us all! May God bless!
Lord, please guide him home
We will miss you
A figure that towers over St. Charles lore is lost. Monsignor Bennett was a great man and made me and countless other St. Charles students better people for having had the opportunity to know and learn from him. I will be going home tonight to delve into my old keepsakes to find and recite "Father Bennett's Fifty Favorite Phrases," a collaborative effort by 1991 SC classmates. Requiescat
Father Bennett, you leave behind an immeasurable legacy that will neither be matched nor forgotten.
Thanks for the pushups and for the impact you had on my life!
God save the Queen!
Shawn Ellis '03
Rest in peace, Father. You shaped countless young men and taught parents how to expect the best of their sons. What a loving, compassionate, and stern example you were to all members of the St. Charles family.
You helped make the world a little smaller with all your memorabilia, and your kindness will be inherited for generations to come. I personally enjoyed visiting with you during cafeteria duty and the spaghetti dinner, and we enjoyed Father Bennett stories almost every night at dinner. "You are"...one of the special ones, and I hope you will continue to pray for all of us. God bless you always,
Beth Biechele De Witt
Mother of Peter, Nicholas and Annie
You will be missed dearly by the SC community. My favorite memory was Father always saying the number "threeeeeee" and number "niyen." He always knew how to enjoy his classroom. I will miss you Father
Now in our Thoughts and Prayers,
Forever in our Hearts.
You were an example of what it means to be a Christian Man. You will be remember as a Priest, Teacher and a kind heart.
God Bless, Douglas MacLachlan '94
Your legacy will live on forever not only in the halls of St. Charles, but in the men that were fortunate to have known you.
Class of '89
Forever in our thoughts and prayers
For the short time that I knew him, he was a great guy. Full of jokes and loves for St. Charles.
Rest in peace, Monsignor. You will be missed.
My favorite Fr. Bennett memory is the day we had our first test of my senior year. It was Septmeber 9th, and we were always required to put the date in the upper right hand corner.
Everyone was excited heading into class because we knew what was coming. About half the class asked him to repeat the date, and much to our delight, he answered every time: "Gentlemen, today is niyen, dash niyen, dash one, niyen, niyen, niyen."
Amazing, that was exactly niyen years ago tomorrow.
God bless you.
My memory of you will always be of you sleeping with one eye open while we took our tests and occasionally bellowing out, "Mr. Roehrenbeck, are you cheating!?", "No, well see that you don't." God Bless you, and thanks for everything.
Truly an icon at a much revered institution, I am forever grateful to Father Bennett for the profound affect he has had on my son's life. Slan agus beannacht leat.......
Father- You will be greatly missed. Thank you for teaching all of the St Charles men how to be men.
God save the Queen
Liam Shanahan '03
Rest in Peace Father. You educated and guided countless young men who today reflect on the positive impact you made on their lives.
Rest In Peace Father! You will be missed!
Saint Peter better know all the US presidents and their dates in office or there may be big trouble in heaven, long live the Queen, I'll truely miss this great man of God
Mike Gordon '76 Cleveland Ohio
To a priest and a man whose leadership, friendship, and life example helped make us all into the men we are today. We love you, will miss you and always remember you. May you always watch over us. For generations we stood as the sons of St. Charles - and today we also stand as the sons of our Father Bennett.
Father you will always be in my thoughts and prayers. You will definitely be missed but never forgotten.
Sean R. Bates, D.D.S. '94
You will be missed beyond measure. You have reached the lives of many young men from St. Charles, and you will forever live in our minds and souls.
Especially when we have to do push ups for misspelled words.
Nick Stofocik (Class of 2004)
In Loving Memory of Father Bennett: Washington 1789-97; Adams 1797-1801; Jefferson 1801-09; Madison 1809-17; Monroe 1817-25; Adams 1825-29; Jackson 1829-37; Van Buren 1837-41; Harrison 1841; Tyler 1841-45; Polk 1845-49; Taylor 1849-50; Fillmore 1850-53; Pierce 1853-57; Buchanan 1857-61; Lincoln 1861-65; Johnson 1865-69; Grant 1869-77; Hayes 1877-81; Garfield 1881; Arthur 1881-85; Cleveland 1885-89; Harrison 1889-93; Cleveland 1893-97; McKinley 1897-1901; Roosevelt 1901-09; Taft 1909-13; Wilson 1913-21; Harding 1921-23; Coolidge 1923-29; Hoover 1929-33; Roosevelt 1933-45; Truman 1945-53; Eisenhower 1953-61; Kennedy 1961-63; Johnson 1963-69; Nixon 1969-74; Ford 1974-77; Carter 1977-81; Reagan 1981-89; Bush 1989-93; Clinton 1993-2001; Bush 2001-
St. Charles Class of 1981
God bless you, Father. You have improved the lives of so many people throughout the years; you will not be forgotton.
Thank you for the memories and good times, Father. May your memory live on forever in the hearts of all Corolians past, present, and future.
Msgr. you are a scholar and a gentleman. You have taught me so much and molded me into the man I am today and I am eternally grateful. My wife and I will always cherish that it was you whom marry us in St Charles Chapel 28 year ago. Our thoughts and prays are always with you.
Father Bennet has taught multiple generations of St. Charles men how to be St. Charles men. His passion and fervor for St. Charles will be greatly missed. Thoughts and Prayers.
Tim (TJ) Davis '02
In our thoughts and prayers, and forever engrained in our spirit. To a teacher, mentor, and friend.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
St. Charles will never be the same. An Icon has passed but not forgotten. My prayers go out to friends and family of Msgr Bennett, but especially to the upcoming students who are not afforded the chance to have known this great man.
God save the Queen,
Steve Riley '00
You are deeply missed, yet you will forever live on in the memories of all of us who had the privilege to know you.
Scott McClure, Class of 2006