Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Cristina Cruz - Christopher Columbus HS
MIAMI | Christopher Columbus High School held a blessing ceremony Sept. 8, 2022, for "Coach DQ Courtyard," a campus spot dedicated to Daniel Quesada, a student who passed away of cystic fibrosis in 2019, during his senior year at the school.
Daniel was an excellent student and a runner and coach on the school's cross-country team. Throughout his battle with the disease, Daniel maintained a zest for life, a strong spirit of perseverance, hard work and a “push through anything” attitude.
"This beautiful gathering place was created in memory of a very special Explorer who is no longer with us physically but who will always be with us in spirit," said Thomas Kruczek, Columbus president.
Daniel’s parents, Mike and Mari Queseda, along with dozens of family members and friends, attended the ceremony. It was held in front of the courtyard on the third floor of the new Marcus Lemonis and Mario Sueiras Center for Science and the Arts.
Marist Brother Kevin Handibode, currently in his 51st year at Columbus, said the opening prayer and Deacon James Dugard presided, blessing the entire courtyard. It includes a plaque with Daniel's image and a statue of Mary our Good Mother which was imported from Italy with the help of Father Alejandro Rodriguez Artola, a Columbus alum who is now pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami.
Also in attendance was Jorge Rico, a Columbus alumni parent and former board member, whose generous donation allowed the school to construct the courtyard and purchase the statue and the plaque with Daniel's image.
"Today, September 8th, we celebrate the nativity of the Virgin Mary and it is also the feast day of Our Lady of Charity; how appropriate that today we bless our beautiful courtyard with Mary our Good Mother at its center, reminding us that Mary is always there to watch over us," said President Kruczek. "May Coach DQ Courtyard serve to always keep Danny's memory alive at Christopher Columbus High School."