Catholic community rallies around hospitalized Calvert Hall student


By Matt Palmer


An estimated 175 people gathered July 2 at St. Margaret Parish in Bel Air for a prayer service for Jack Levee, who just completed his junior year at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson.

Levee was taken to the University of Maryland Pediatric Intensive Care Unit June 25 due to a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. He has been in critical condition since.

The communities of St. Margaret, Calvert Hall and John Carroll School in Bel Air, where his sister Abigail attends, were represented at the prayer service.

“It was just amazing,” said Father C. Douglas Kenney, associate pastor of St. Margaret and the presider of the prayer service. “We talked about hope and prayer and how God hears our prayers, how he might not work as fast as want or give us the same outcome that we want. But, he hears our prayers.”

In a letter to faculty members, Calvert Hall assistant principal Chuck Stembler wrote: “We visited Jack yesterday. His condition is very critical as he had two heart attacks during the time his breathing was in distress. Additionally, due to lack of oxygen at the time of the reaction, he is in a coma. His mom shared that while they are hopeful Jack will wake up from the coma, they are not sure when or if this will happen. Please keep him and his family in your prayers at this difficult time.”

The prayer service was streamed online through video and Levee’s family watched from the hospital, Father Kenney said.

Father Kenney has visited the family several times during the last week. He said Levee’s mother, Joyce, and father, Sylvester, plus three sisters, are drawing strength from one another and prayer. The family is maintaining a blog at during his treatment.

The Levee children attended St. Margaret’s parish school growing up.

During one of his visits this week, Father Kenney confirmed Levee and Abigail together in an emotional moment. The brother and sister were scheduled to go through their confirmation journey together this year.

Father Kenney said Abigail was “elated” to be confirmed with her brother.

“She looks up to her brother as a hero,” Father Kenney said.

Abigail, Father Kenney said, will continue with her confirmation preparation courses.

While Jack Levee remains in a hospital, Father Kenney said he learns more and more about him from his family and friends.

“He is somebody that everybody likes,” Father Kenney said. “He has the ability to bring people together and be endearing to others. He’s always wanting to do things for others.”

Copyright (c) July 3, 2012 


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.