2020 Vir Fidelis Ball

In Honor of Bishop Edmund Whalen '76

The inaugural Vir Fidelis Ball was a tremendous success on many levels.

First, the evening allowed us the opportunity to formally thank and honor our former principal and dear friend to the Farrell family, Bishop Whalen. The outpouring of love and affection from students, families, his former colleagues and alumni was touching beyond words.  

Second, the event highlighted the enthusiastic support for Farrell as we take-off into an exciting future.  Alumni traveled from multiple states, and families of current students and recent graduates all gathered to show their support for Monsignor Farrell High School.

Last but not least, financially, the Vir Fidelis Ball was our largest alumni-sponsored income generating event, earning over $78,000 in net profit. For the first time holding an event, that is an incredible gift to go towards supporting our students!

Thank you to all who supported the event by attending, sponsoring, donating raffle and auction items, or taking a journal ad.

John P. Cusick '88
Director of Institutional Advancement & Development
Vir Fidelis Ball Co-chairman 

View the Vir Fidelis Ball Photos


History made at Monsignor Farrell: Bishop Whalen receives Vir Fidelis Award; 'Strengthen the Legacy' Campaign announced


Monsignor Farrell High School made history Saturday evening when more than 300 alumni, administrators, faculty, staff, coaches, students, family, and friends gathered at The Vanderbilt on the South Beach Boardwalk for the first-ever Vir Fidelis Ball.

Bishop Edmund J. Whalen, Class of 1976, the school’s beloved former principal, was awarded the inaugural Vir Fidelis Award for his extraordinary service to the Monsignor Farrell community. Going forward, the award will be known as "The Bishop Edmund J. Whalen Vir Fidelis Award."

Director of Institutional Advancement & Development and Vir Fidelis Ball Co-chairman John Cusick '88 and Chairman of the Monsignor Farrell High School Board of Trustees Monsignor Thomas J. Bergin present Bishop Edmund J. Whalen '76 with the inaugural Vir Fidelis Award


The epitome of the “Faithful Man,” possessing selflessness and humility, Bishop Whalen truly embodies the living spirit of the revered institution.

“Bishop Whalen has challenged us to take Farrell to the next level, and boosted by his own success — we are doing so." - Monsignor Farrell President and CEO Lou Tobacco

A number of “Faithful Men” had a hand in making the evening extra special.

Junior Evan Harden got things started by belting out the national anthem, followed by the Monsignor Farrell Marching Band’s rendition of Glenn Miller’s "In the Mood."

The Farrell Players led by Junior Thomas Curty, performed  "A Comedy Tonight," the show-stopping ensemble number from Farrell’s upcoming spring musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

The Farrell Players perform a number from their spring musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."


Sophomore Christopher Jefairjian unveiled his awe-inspiring portrait of Bishop Whalen that he painstakingly etched by hand with graphite. The image will hang in a place of prominence on the campus of the Oakwood school.

Annapolis bound senior Frank Scafuri, Student Government president, addressed the assemblage and spoke of his love for Farrell and the way in which the school prepared him for the United States Naval Academy.

Freshman Sean Nieprzecki, a new Staten Islander who hails from Virginia, delivered heartfelt words about how comfortable and at home he’s been with his new Farrell brothers since day one, and of his desire to head to an Ivy League college and eventually realize his dream of becoming an infectious disease doctor.

Tobacco officially announced that Monsignor Farrell will embark on a five-year, $12,000,000 comprehensive capital campaign and strategic initiative titled "Strengthen the Legacy."

Sophomore Christopher Jefairjian presents Bishop Whalen with his portrait 


Much more than brick and mortar fixes, the endeavor is a bold and visionary plan to ensure Farrell’s strength and viability for the next generation.

The plan includes major investments in technology, facility modernization, and endowment building to grow scholarships and eventually financial support to students in need.

​​“Our blueprint and road map is the culmination of much hard work with the guidance, advice, and counsel of many experts who have vetted it, such as: Jim Quinn, 1970, former President and CEO of Tiffany & Co., Larry Unrein, 1974, global managing director of Private Equity for JP Morgan Chase, Peter Krause, 1966, president of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association, retired investment banker Michael Caridi, proud alumni dad and former Executive Vice President of Kozy Shack Food and the current Chairman of VG Enterprises, and John Demoleas, executive director of the Staten Island University Hospital Foundation and associate executive director for Development at SIUH - Northwell Health." - Lou Tobacco

Adding to the excitement, Tobacco also announced that they’ve already received 3.8 million dollars in committed pledges to the "Strengthen the Legacy” campaign from three anonymous donors.

So it was only fitting the crowd enjoy a celebratory live fireworks display over the Raritan Bay and dance the night away to an awesome 10-piece band.

Director of Institutional Advancement & Development and Vir Fidelis Ball Co-chairman John Cusick '88 with his wife Ashley and Jarad Franzreb '88


“I am grateful to John Cusick 1988, director of Institutional Advancement and Development, Greg Guastavino, 1994, director of communications, recent Hall of Famer, Joseph Saraceno, 1989, and the entire Vir Fidelis Ball committee for their tremendous efforts in making the evening a huge success,” - Lou Tobacco

FYI: The Vir Fidelis Fund, incorporated in 2014, is an independent charitable institution whose mandate is to support Monsignor Farrell, and more broadly, Catholic education.

​In 2017, an independent board was formed to oversee the  Vir Fidelis Fund. The Board of Directors is comprised of Monsignor Farrell alumni who have reached the highest levels of accomplishment in the areas of finance, law, and education.​