Nico Posada '10 faced the crowd filling the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel recalling moments that changed his young life. He remembered watching his determined grandfather struggle to climb two stairs to defeat his disease one more time. He told a story about a destitute seven-year-old orphan he met in Columbia who took joy in his first car ride. And he described a gray Cincinnati morning when his father made him realize he should live in the moment.

Writing and delivering that speech for Chapel Talks crystallized Nico’s philosophy on life. “Through the whole process of writing it, I realized how much of an influence The Summit has on me and, specifically, on my values, my principles and how I looked at life,” says Nico,  Class of 2010 at the private Cincinnati Catholic high school. “It made me become very clear about my priorities in life, helped me establish a very clear sense of who I was, what was important to me -- my family, my friends, my relationship with God.”

Chapel Talks have become a rite of passage for many Summit students. About 25 seniors deliver a Chapel Talk each year, speaking a few minutes about their passions, commitment and world view. The program is the culmination of a rigorous oratory program called SOLEIL. The program is an attempt to deliberately sequence oratory practice starting in the freshmen year.

“The process, from beginning to end, is neither quick nor easy,” says Mary Vetter, the faculty advisor for Chapel Talks. “Students who accept the challenge discover the result is empowering. By the time the seniors deliver their Chapel Talks, they are ready to speak with confidence, authority, passion and grace about the things that matter to them most.”

At its core, the Chapel Talks program holds that:

  • Interpersonal and oral communication is vitally important in a digital age.
  • Growth cannot happen without inquiry and reflection.
  • The historic chapel is the best place at The Summit to gather in God’s presence and get to know each other more fully.