St. Charles Catholic tower highlights service, 9/11 victim

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

LAPLACE — St. Charles Catholic High School’s newly constructed Knights of Columbus tower promotes service on local and national scales.

As part of SCC’s capital improvement plans, the memorial tower honors Lt. Col. Robert J. Hymel, a 1964 alumnus who died in service during the 9/11 attacks, according to Dr. Courtney P. Millet, director of admissions, instruction and institutional achievement.

It was discovered Hymel was an active member of Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization dedicated to serving the community through charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.

The meaning and purpose of the tower was then expanded to honor the Knights of Columbus, Millet said.

KOC Msgr. Dennis Bergeron Council No. 5935 of LaPlace presented a $12,000 check to produce and mount plaques stating each principle. An official dedication will be held Jan. 30.

A memorial tower sits in front of SCC as part of the school’s capital improvement plan.

The donation was funded by money collected from Tuesday bingo nights at the KC Hall on Fir Street near St. Joan of Arc Church in LaPlace, according to Grand Knight Eddie Jouty.

Louis Authemont, father of several SCC Comets, said the tower’s four pillars recognize the Knights of Columbus’s four principles, and he hopes students will be reminded of the value of community service as they walk into the school each day.

He’d like to see young people bring vibrant ideas to the organization.

“We hope it will plant seeds in the minds of young men at St. Charles that there’s an organization they can join and be part of for the rest of their lives that does a lot of good for the community,” Authemont said.

The tower also honors the service Hymel provided to his country during and prior to Sept. 11.

Authemont said he was inspired to implement a dedication to the fallen Air Force member after learning his story.

“I learned of his passing from his twin sister,” Authemont said. “It really knocked me back. It was such a moving story. As far as we’re aware, there’s no other alumnus of the school that encountered the circumstances he did during his service, and we wanted to recognize that.”

SCC Principal Andrew Cupit said the outside of the school finally reflects how it has functioned on the inside for decades, promoting and prioritizing service to others.