From-the-EditorHow do they do it? Year after year, I’d hear news reports that the rugby team at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School had captured the national girls championship – six consecutive times, in fact, from 2004 to 2009. The team is the perennial state champion, won the Midwest Championship in 2012 and finished third in the coveted race to the national championship the last three years.

I often wondered how a team could be this consistently successful. When Chiana, our 15-year-old daughter – much to our surprise – joined the team last year as a DSHA freshman, I gained an inside view of what makes this team click.

Sure the dedicated coaches know rugby inside and out and they pass those techniques onto a group of talented athletes, but at the helm of the team is Coach John Klein who instills in the girls the belief that there is no challenge that cannot be overcome and that family is at the heart of all success.

They’re lessons he most certainly learned at home, growing up on Milwaukee’s north side in a family with cognitively disabled parents and sister, where challenges and obstacles were evident, but love was also seemingly endless.

Rudy and Gerry Klein never learned to read or write, but they married, maintained a household on their own, raised two children, most certainly exceeding expectations in every aspect of their life.

As a rugby coach and special education teacher at Oak Creek High School, John Klein pushes his players and students to exceed expectations.

“I demand you accept the challenge (of exceeding expectations) and make the commitment,” he wrote in an email to his rugby team last year. “If this happens we will achieve our potential as a team which will bring fulfillment to all of you for the rest of your lives.”

John Klein was honored by Life Navigators on Sept. 24 as a nationally recognized coach, special education teacher, and most importantly, a dedicated family member to his loved ones with disabilities.

What better family to feature in this, our inaugural issue of Catholic Herald Family? Read about this inspirational family and how their love has touched the lives of hundreds of young people through the work John does at DSHA and Oak Creek high schools.

This issue marks the debut of our new publication. In many ways, it’s much like its predecessor, “Catholic Herald Parenting,” with columnists and features for families. We’ve given the publication an updated look and have added a columnist: Jacob Scobey-Polacheck, the 17-year-old son of longtime columnist, Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck whose observations of and insights into family life will run alongside his mother’s.

You’ll also want to check out the newest addition to the Pirillo family, daughter Abigail born Sept. 5 – Her photo is in her dad’s column.

Jennifer Christ, author and religious educator, is also back with her insights into faith and family life. This month she looks at some of the moral, ethical questions surrounding Facebook and its role in the lives of young people. Questions for Jennifer are most welcome! Send questions or feedback regarding our publication by email to: or by mail to: Catholic Herald Family, PO Box 070913, Milwaukee WI 53207-0913.

Thanks for being part of our Catholic Herald family!MaryangelaSignature