Wow, this is a lot of hard work!

How should we approach our high school studies?

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  • First, we have to do what's important, even if that's not what's urgent. 
  • Next, we have to face our challenges and begin some plan for tackling them.
  • Then, we turn to the things that we may enjoy more or that are urgent but not as important.
  • Finally, we have the time to enjoy the fun things.

Wisdom lies in knowing which is which.

When athletes take the field or court, they have done a lot of hard work to be ready to play. In the same way, students have to build up their mental muscles to be able to play in the game of academic excellence. The prize is knowledge, skills, competence, and compassion. But the only road to success, either in athletics or in academics, is the road of hard work.

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No one is proud of easy accomplishments. We are proud of going through great difficulties in achieving our goal.

Saint Paul gives the analogy of the runner, “All the runners in the stadium compete. But only one wins the crown of victory. In that case, run so as to win. Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown that withers, but we a crown that endures forever.”

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Anyone can succeed in academics, with a lot of hard work. When something is hard to understand, then we just work harder to understand it. With mastery comes increased understanding, and the satisfaction of enduring to the end.

Enjoy the summer, but take advantage of the summer assignments and invitations to improve your skills. Mental strength is its own satisfaction.

The Saints are in the House!

Why We Chose these House Saints

The House System groups all the members of the school under six spectacular saints. We chose these saints because each of them, living in very different circumstances, shows how the Holy Spirit makes saints of everyone who receives the grace of Baptism and lives it fruitfully. Looking at their lives, we can learn from them creative ways to love God and our neighbor. Inspired by them, we hope to become saints ourselves.

The Six Patron Saints of the Houses

Six different nationalities, speaking more than six languages.

Five were not yet saints when John Paul II became Pope.

Four were virgins.

Three were martyrs.

Two were married.

One was already a saint when John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla.

  St. Dominic de Guzman    Feast Day:  August 8   Nation:  Spanish, lived in France and Italy   Dates:  1170 – 1221   Age at Death:  51   Vocation:  Priest   Work:  Preacher of Rosary, Founder of Order of Preachers   “First”:  Dominican   Course Patron:  History   Quote:  “Fortiter, fratres! More boldly, my brothers!”   Lesson for Life:  Living always in God’s presence makes a person very joyful.

St. Dominic de Guzman

Feast Day: August 8

Nation: Spanish, lived in France and Italy

Dates: 1170 – 1221

Age at Death: 51

Vocation: Priest

Work: Preacher of Rosary, Founder of Order of Preachers

“First”: Dominican

Course Patron: History

Quote: “Fortiter, fratres! More boldly, my brothers!”

Lesson for Life: Living always in God’s presence makes a person very joyful.

  St. Lorenzo Ruiz    Feast Day:  Sept 28   Nation:  Filipino, Oceania      Dates:  ca. 1600-1639   Age at death:  39            Vocation:  Husband   Work:  Calligrapher, Mariner, Catechist        “First”:  Filipino martyr             Course Patron:  Calligraphy; Physics   Quote:  “If I had a thousand lives, I would give them all for Jesus Christ.”       Lesson for Life:  He embraced death heroically because he had lived faithfully.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz

Feast Day: Sept 28

Nation: Filipino, Oceania   

Dates: ca. 1600-1639

Age at death: 39      

Vocation: Husband

Work: Calligrapher, Mariner, Catechist     

“First”: Filipino martyr       

Course Patron: Calligraphy; Physics

Quote: “If I had a thousand lives, I would give them all for Jesus Christ.”  

Lesson for Life: He embraced death heroically because he had lived faithfully.

  St. Kateri Tekakwitha      Feast Day:  April 17 (Canada); July 14 (USA)   Nation:  Mohawk, North America      Dates:  1656-1680       Age at Death:  21           Vocation:  Virgin   Work:  Catechist   “First”:  Native American          Course Patron:  Environmental Science; American History       Quote:  “Who will tell me God’s will, so that I may do it?”     Lesson for Life:  Christ never disappoints. Christ satisfies every human longing.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha  

Feast Day: April 17 (Canada); July 14 (USA)

Nation: Mohawk, North America   

Dates: 1656-1680    

Age at Death: 21     

Vocation: Virgin

Work: Catechist

“First”: Native American    

Course Patron: Environmental Science; American History    

Quote: “Who will tell me God’s will, so that I may do it?”  

Lesson for Life: Christ never disappoints. Christ satisfies every human longing.

  St. Jose Sanchez del Rio    Feast Day:  February 10   Nation:  Mexican; Central America   Dates:  1913-1928       Age at Death:  14           Vocation:  Christian teen   Work:  Altar server, Cristero   Course Patron:  Spanish             Quote:  “I will never give in. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!”          Lesson for Life:  Love of God is preferred over any other love: family, country, etc.

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio

Feast Day: February 10

Nation: Mexican; Central America

Dates: 1913-1928    

Age at Death: 14     

Vocation: Christian teen

Work: Altar server, Cristero

Course Patron: Spanish       

Quote: “I will never give in. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!”    

Lesson for Life: Love of God is preferred over any other love: family, country, etc.

  St. Maximilian Kolbe     Feast Day:  August 14   Nation:  Polish; Eastern Europe   Dates:  1894-1941       Age at Death:  47           Vocation:  Priest   Work:  Founder of Militia of the Immaculata; Publisher   “First”:  Martyr of charity   Course Patron:  Ethics and Culture Seminar; Journalism; Digital Media      Quote:  “I am a Catholic priest. Let me take his place.”   Lesson for Life:  True manly strength came from his devotion to Mary Immaculate. Faith showed his enemies the dignity of the prisoners.

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Feast Day: August 14

Nation: Polish; Eastern Europe

Dates: 1894-1941    

Age at Death: 47     

Vocation: Priest

Work: Founder of Militia of the Immaculata; Publisher

“First”: Martyr of charity

Course Patron: Ethics and Culture Seminar; Journalism; Digital Media   

Quote: “I am a Catholic priest. Let me take his place.”

Lesson for Life: True manly strength came from his devotion to Mary Immaculate. Faith showed his enemies the dignity of the prisoners.

  St. Gianna Beretta Molla            Feast Day:  April 28   Nation:  Italian; Western Europe           Dates:  1922-1962       Age at Death:  39           Vocation:  Wife; Mother of 4   Work:  Physician   Course Patron:  Science; Vocations; Bioethics             Quote:  “Whatever God wills.”              Lesson for Life:  Love conquers death.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla       

Feast Day: April 28

Nation: Italian; Western Europe     

Dates: 1922-1962    

Age at Death: 39     

Vocation: Wife; Mother of 4

Work: Physician

Course Patron: Science; Vocations; Bioethics       

Quote: “Whatever God wills.”        

Lesson for Life: Love conquers death.

One student asked, “How do we get put in Houses? I want to be in Joselito’s.” Of course he does. Why would he not? Every 14-year-old Mexican boy’s heart swells with holy pride hearing Jose’s defiant shout of faith and praise, “¡Que viva Cristo Rey!” But we don’t choose the saints; they choose us! As students, teachers and families spend time in their own Houses, they will discover many new connections with that saint.

Jesus said, “I came to ignite a fire; how I long to see it blazing!” The House Saints give us six ways to encounter Christ, the blazing Splendor of Truth.

“There’s a uniform?”

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“There’s a uniform?”

“Yes. That’s typical for Catholic schools.”

 “Why do Catholic schools have uniforms, anyway?”

A simple reason for a uniform is the savings in money and time. No large wardrobe expected and no deciding what to wear every morning! That’s efficient. Students know they look good in the uniform, so they are free to think about their “job,” being great students.

But another reason for a uniform is in the word: uni-form. There is one shape or design to promote unity, a sense of belonging to a school community (there’s the word unity again).

The JPII uniform has a classic look, expressing the classic education JPII offers. It is a modest uniform. It shows that we value Christian modesty and serious intellectual effort. We take our uniform seriously because we take our studies seriously. The order and precision of our clothes sharpens the order and precision in our thinking. Students who wear the uniform well project professionalism and dress for success.

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Uniforms communicate roles. People easily turn to a uniformed policeman for help, or ask a Priest in his clerical garb for a blessing, or request a prayer from a Sister in her habit. Wouldn’t it be great for someone from Avondale to ask a JPII student in his teal, black and white when the upcoming play or tournament is, or even what time the Catholic Masses are?

“Do we ever wear other clothes?”

“Sure. Athletes wear sports uniforms, House celebrations and competitions require House attire, actors and dancers dress for their performances, and service projects might need clothes that allow easy movement. But for general academic pursuits, we wear our uniforms, and wear them well.”

“Do people know that we are the JPII Lions?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because it’s time to wear our Pride!”

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The Four Pillars of Dominican Education at St. John Paul II Catholic High School

 Opening August 13, 2018

Opening August 13, 2018

“So, you’re the seventh Diocesan Catholic High School.”

“Yes, but specifically we’re a Dominican Diocesan Catholic High School.”

“Well, what’s the difference?”

“It’s not a difference. It’s a philosophy of education based on the four pillars of Dominican spirituality, prayer, study, community, and service.”

Prayer Fostering Faith

Liturgical prayer of the Church instructs us how to pray, as Jesus taught His disciples. The liturgical rites give us prayer words, often drawn directly from Sacred Scripture. The Liturgy of Church also teaches us to live well: to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit well, to nourish our souls well, to repent well, to be married well, to mourn well.

Sacramental rites confer and explain what they confer: we receive the life of God and learn about the life of God in us. As Catholic Christians we personally encounter Christ every time we come with our souls prepared to receive His life through the sacraments.

Personal prayer, such as meditation, is needed for every Christian, every person. Meditation prepares the ground for an ever-deepening friendship with God. When we meditate on an aspect of Christ’s life, we learn to value what is eternally important. As just one example, meditating on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ helps us face our own suffering and death with hope of our own resurrection. Death loses its sting.

Study of Truth

Education prepares the student for a goal. Some schools want to prepare their students to be college and career ready. Our educational goal is to prepare the student for eternal happiness. Of course, they will learn English, Math, History, Science, and Languages and they will be ready to contribute to the culture of life in their workplaces and communities. But they will have the opportunity to study the deep truths of God, the deepest Truth that is God.

Ethics and Culture is the unique strand of our curriculum which instructs the students in a four-year course of philosophy. Using reason to understand the dignity of the human person, the students can think clearly about what will make them truly happy. This is the study of ethics. Reason and faith work together as two wings by which the mind rises to Truth.

Virtuous Community

Members of a Dominican school value community, and the family as the most necessary community of society. All students and staff are members of smaller houses within the larger school, practicing the virtues of kindness, magnanimity, and generosity. Sports teams are another place of community at JPII. All athletic success requires the virtues of discipline, perseverance, fortitude, and justice. Drama plays and music concerts unite students in creating and sharing performances that lift up the spirit.

Service as Disciples

Finally, students in a Dominican school have entered on the road of discipleship, and they are sent forth on a mission. What is the mission? To build up the culture of life, in this world and for the next world. The joy of being a disciple is that we get to use all our God-given talents and interests to attract others to the Gospel. The Good News that Jesus Christ has saved us through the power of His death is what we share when we serve. When we serve, we help human persons because of their inherent dignity.

“So, a Dominican school is not just rigorous academics?”

“Well, that too.”

Director of Technology

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We are excited to announce another member of the JPII staff, Mr. Salvador Franco-Carbajal, who will be the Director of Technology. Mr. Franco comes to JPII from Catholic Charities Community Services where he was the Helpdesk Technician III. Salvador is currently enrolled in the Masters in Education Technology at Northern Arizona University and currently holds a B.S. in IT Networking & Communications from the University of Phoenix.

Welcome Mr. Franco!

 

Dean of Students and Athletics

 

We are delighted to announce the newest member of the JPII staff, Mr. Arthur Walker, Jr., who will be the Dean of Students and Athletics. Mr. Walker has more than ten years of experience in Catholic school administration and athletics. He is currently serving as the Assistant Principal at Arts Academy at Estrella Mountain. 

Mr. Walker holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University and a M. Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Liberty University. One of Mr. Walker’s top priorities is establishing the athletic programs, especially for Fall sports.

Mr. Walker would like to invite you to join us for the JP2 Athletics meeting to learn about the athletic programs that will be offered the first year at St. John Paul II Catholic High School. If you are considering playing a sport in the coming year, it is recommended that you attend the meeting. Parents and students are welcomed.

The JP2 Athletics meeting will be Thursday May 3rd at 6:00 PM in St. Clare Hall of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Welcome, Mr. Walker!
 

JPII Athletics

“What is that big building?”

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“That’s the academic building for five hundred students.”

“So, what’s that other big building?” 

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“That’s the gym.”

“Oh, so we are going to have sports!”

Yes, we are going to have sports, and Arthur J. Walker, Jr., is leading the charge. Mr. Walker has called a JPII Athletics Meeting on Thursday, May 3 at 6:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Clare Hall.

Sports are key to building virtues in student athletes. For 800 years, Dominicans have praised their founder, St. Dominic, with Dante’s title for him, “Athlete of Christ” (Paradiso XII, 56). Our patron, Pope John Paul II, was called by Cardinal Sarah the “athletic ascetic.” He was a goalie for soccer, known in Europe as football. As a parish priest, he took his young adults on kayaking trips in Poland, and skiied as cardinal and as pope. He even installed a swimming pool at Castel Gondolfo.

Some kids love the competition. Others need the exercise to put their extra energy to good use. Many love the teamwork and fellowship. John Paul told two national soccer teams that “athletic activity, in fact, when practiced in the right way, tends to develop strength, proficiency, resistance, and harmony, while favoring at the same time interior growth, becoming a school of loyalty, courage, endurance, tenacity, and brotherhood.”

By participating in sports, our athletes can grow in all these virtues. Freshmen and sophomores can be varsity athletes for three and four years. No upper classman can fill their spots on the team. With talent and perseverance, they can learn new sports and be on teams each season.

John Paul II Lions will compete in Canyon Athletic Association for the first two years as our student population is growing. Then Mr. Walker will apply to AIA to enter at the level determined by our numbers. Mr. Walker told an athlete, “You and I both know: if you’re good, they’ll find you.”

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Oh, yes. We are going to have sports.

Job Fair at JPII

January 25, 2018 A. D.

Job Fair at JPII

A successful new Catholic high school needs great staff and teachers. Earlier this month, more than ninety people registered for the inaugural Job Fair for St. John Paul II Catholic High School.  The Job Fair had three components:  vision and mission of the school, diocesan process for applying, and time for individual meetings.

The event began with a description of the plan and mission of St. John Paul II Catholic High School.  Sister Mary Jordan Hoover, O. P., Principal of St. John Paul II Catholic High School, described the Dominican charism, which is preaching the truth of the human person with joy.  She also tied the vision of this seventh diocesan high school to Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s letter, Evangelizing through the Catholic Schools. This school will be staffed by faithful men and women who can witness to the truth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, forming the students to be joyful witnesses of Truth to the world.

Sister Mary Brigid Burnham, O. P., Director of Curriculum Development, explained the opportunities for future teachers. In two words, teachers foment “loving knowledge.” By educating the whole person in what is good, true and beautiful, teachers lead students from facts to knowledge, and with grace, to wisdom. Opening a school means wearing many hats, and much hard work, a great environment for a teacher to develop and grow in exciting ways!

Domonic Salce, Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools, outlined the steps for becoming an employee of the Diocese of Phoenix. In particular, he referred applicants to the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools jobs website. Catholic Schools Job Postings  Since all applicants must apply for desired positions through the online portal, Domonic Salce gave a clear explanation of the process. Positions for St. John Paul II Catholic High School will be posted on the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools website, beginning in February or March and continuing through the summer months.

Just as the Diocese exhorts us, “Together, let us go forth,” may all those who will be Founding members of St. John Paul II go forth courageously in this great opportunity in education.

Excavation of the Basement at John Paul II High School

Earth is Moving! Excitement Heightens as the Pit Deepens

The excitement generated at the groundbreaking builds as earth moves at the construction site of St. John Paul II Catholic High School.

The construction trailer and water tank marked the real beginning. Two weeks of watering the ground were followed by the placement of a silt fence, then a construction fence. Each morning the Mass goers hear the earth movers tearing around, even though they can see less and less of them, as the pit for the school’s basement grows deeper.

The new high school building will accommodate 500 students, with a full basement level and two levels above ground. The seventh Catholic diocesan high school is the first Catholic high school built west of 35th Ave.

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation from Nashville, Tennessee bring to JPII their charism of teaching with 156 years of experience in education. Every child in the United States deserves a Catholic education, and St. John Paul II brings this opportunity to the growing population in the West Valley. Drive by and see your new Diocesan high school, as the earth is moving to prepare the way!

Community rejoices in seeing dirt fly at St. John Paul II High School groundbreaking

From The Catholic Sun:

AVONDALE — Families and community leaders were among those gathered on a windswept dirt lot Jan. 27 to witness the groundbreaking for the newest Catholic high school in the Diocese of Phoenix.

St. John Paul II Catholic High School, slated to open for the 2018 academic year, will be built beside St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. The far-west Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the state and while it boasts Catholic elementary schools, there hasn’t been a Catholic high school nearby. Until now.

Dan De Battista, who substitute teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, where two of his grandchildren attend, was excited. He’s hoping they will one day attend the new Catholic high school. He said he’s taught in public schools and the difference in settings was huge.

“It’s a gift for this area — it’s a gift from God to be able to have this,” De Battista said.

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Church breaks ground on new Catholic school in West Valley

From KTAR.com:

Ground was broken on a new Catholic high school in the West Valley during a ceremony on Friday.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was joined by parents and future students of the St. John Paul II Catholic High School in the groundbreaking ceremony that took place near the intersection of Thomas and Litchfield roads in Avondale.

The school is located next to the St. Thomas Aquinas Church and is expected to open in 2018. The decision was made to build the school because of the rising population in the area.

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$23M Catholic high school breaks ground in West Valley

From the Phoenix Business Journal:

Scottsdale-based Double AA Builders Ltd. is breaking ground today on a Catholic high school to serve the growing number of Catholic students and families in the West Valley.

Gilbert-based HDA Architects designed the new school, which will be open for the 2018 academic year at 13720 W. Thomas Road, which is next to the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale.

The closest Catholic high school to the 25-acre site is Bourgade Catholic High School at 4602 N. 31st Ave. in Phoenix, which is 20 miles away.

The Diocese of Phoenix’s newest high school will be named after St. John Paul II, who served as the Pope for 27 years and who visited Phoenix in 1987.

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Catholic High School Ground Breaking Scheduled For Friday

From 91.5 KJZZ:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix plans to break ground on a new high school Friday in Avondale.

St. John Paul II High School will be the first Catholic high school in the far West Valley, when it opens in 2018.

Enrollment has jumped at a pair of nearby parochial schools, and the region’s booming growth spurred their decision to build a new high school, according to the Diocese.

Officials previously said St. John Paul II will have 600 students, but could expand to 1,000.

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia will run the school, which is expected to cost $23 million.

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Excitement builds as new Catholic high school prepares to break ground

From The Catholic Sun:

The first Catholic high school to serve the growing number of Catholic students and families in the far West Valley is about to mark a major milestone.

Hundreds of future students, their families and community leaders will be on site as the groundbreaking begins for the construction of St. John Paul II Catholic High School. The special event is scheduled for 10 a.m., Jan. 27, and is open to the public.

Opening in time for the 2018 academic year, the Diocese of Phoenix’s newest high school is named after St. John Paul II, whose leadership and call to holiness during his 27-year papacy resonates to this day. Arizona residents still treasure the memory of the Holy Father’s visit to Phoenix in 1987, where he touched the lives of hundreds of thousands.

“Building a new Catholic high school in the West Valley is a clear statement about the importance of young Catholics in the Church’s life and mission today,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said. “St. John Paul II Catholic High School demonstrates our commitment to the wonderful communities that make up the West Valley, and our steadfast desire to assist parents in preparing their children for their unique and vital mission in society, as friends and witnesses of Jesus Christ.”

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St. John Paul II High School Groundbreaking Ceremony Set for Friday, Jan. 27

New Catholic High School in Avondale to Open in 2018

PHOENIX (Jan. 17, 2017) — The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, invites the community to a special groundbreaking event at 10 a.m., Jan. 27, to celebrate the next step in establishing St. John Paul II Catholic High School, the first Catholic high school to serve the growing number of Catholic students and families in the far West Valley.

Hundreds of future students, their families and community leaders will participate in a short program, which will include a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Catholic high school at 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85392, adjacent to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

Opening in time for the 2018 academic year, the Diocese of Phoenix’s newest high school is named after St. John Paul II, whose leadership and call to holiness during his 27-year papacy resonates to this day. Arizona residents still treasures the memory of the Holy Father’s visit to Phoenix in 1987, where he touched the lives of hundreds of thousands.

“Building a new Catholic high school in the West Valley is a clear statement about the importance of young Catholics in the Church’s life and mission today,” Bishop Olmsted said. “St. John Paul II Catholic High School demonstrates our commitment to the wonderful communities that make up the West Valley, and our steadfast desire to assist parents in preparing their children for their unique and vital mission in society, as friends and witnesses of Jesus Christ.”

A yearlong feasibility study and community support confirmed the need for a new Catholic high school in the region. The West Valley has experienced high growth in recent years and is projected to continue for the next decade. Two nearby Catholic schools, St. John Vianney and St. Thomas Aquinas, continue to experience growth in enrollment. Religious education and youth programs at both parishes are at record-high numbers.

“At the heart of our Catholic schools are communities that support faith, knowledge and service. By focusing on these three aspects, Catholic schools prepare students to use their God-given talents to the fullest.” MaryBeth Mueller, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Phoenix, said. “We are blessed as a Diocese to be building a new Catholic high school that will form students in their faith and academics and outreach to the community.

St. John Paul II Catholic High School is led by a community of religious sisters, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who are new to the Diocese of Phoenix. The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly referred to as the “Nashville Dominicans” due to their historical roots in the city dating back to 1860, are acclaimed for their expertise in Catholic education and for their academic and spiritual leadership.

Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P., is the principal of St. John Paul II Catholic High School, and is one of the three sisters that are providing leadership for the new school. She began working with the planning team for the new school in April.

“It is a joy to be part of the life of the Church in Phoenix and to work together with so many faithful Church and lay leaders toward the opening of this new high school,” Sr. Mary Jordan said. “The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the construction phase and I hope it will increase the desire for Catholic education among families who will one day be part of the St. John Paul II school community.”

Fundraising for the $23 million school will begin in the near future as part of a comprehensive Diocesan-wide campaign that will unfold over the next five years.

More than 14,000 students currently attend one of the Diocese of Phoenix’s 28 Catholic elementary schools, six high schools and 28 preschools. Students receive a rigorous, faith-filled education that prepares them for the challenges of higher education, a competitive world and for being faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. An estimated 99 percent of students graduate from high school; 97 percent go on to attend college.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Director of Communications
rdefrancesco@diocesephoenix.org
(602) 354-2130

St John Paul II Catholic High School Ground Blessing and Sign Unveiling [VIDEO]

Students, families and community leaders joined Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted on April 5, 2016, as he blessed the grounds and unveiled the sign marking the new St. John Paul II Catholic High School. The high school will serve the far West Valley and will open in 2018.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Community Invited to Attend Special Event Celebrating New Catholic High School in Far West Valley

Students, Families and Community Leaders to Join Bishop Olmsted as he Blesses New Campus Grounds, Unveils Sign Marking St. John Paul II Catholic High School

PHOENIX (March 29, 2016) — The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, invites the community to a special event at 10 a.m., April 5, to celebrate the next step in establishing St. John Paul II Catholic High School, the first Catholic high school to serve the growing number of Catholic students and families in the far West Valley.

Hundreds of future students, their families and community leaders will participate in a short program, which will include a blessing of the campus grounds by Bishop Olmsted and an unveiling of a sign marking the site of the new Catholic high school at 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85392, adjacent to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

Dignitaries and community leaders who will be present at the celebration include Kenn Weise, Mayor, City of Avondale; Georgia Lord, Mayor of Goodyear; Skip Hall, Vice Mayor, City of Surprise; Tom Schoaf, Mayor, City of Litchfield Park; John Safin, President & CEO, Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Glosser, Director of Academic Alliances, Grand Canyon University; and more.

“To build a Catholic high school in the far West Valley, the most rapidly growing area of our state, is a clear statement about the importance of young Catholics in the Church’s life and mission today,” said Bishop Olmsted. “I am delighted that our people know this and are ready to make the sacrifices required to prepare our youth for their unique and vital mission in society, as friends and witnesses of Jesus Christ.”

The target startup date for St. John Paul II Catholic High School will be the fall of 2018. Fundraising for the school will begin in the near future and be part of comprehensive Diocesan-wide campaign that will unfold over the next five years. Costs associated with establishing the new Catholic high school will be released at that time.

A yearlong feasibility study and community support confirmed the need for a new Catholic high school in the region. The West Valley has experienced high growth in recent years and is projected to continue for the next decade. Two nearby Catholic schools, St. John Vianney and St. Thomas Aquinas, continue to experience growth in enrollment. Religious education and youth programs at both parishes are at record-high numbers.

“Our schools provide a rich Catholic culture and environment which fosters students learning in their faith and academics, as well as offering students a wide variety of service activities,” said MaryBeth Mueller, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Phoenix. “We are excited to offer this new high school that will assist in the formation of students who will be disciples in this world and enrich society with the leaven of the Gospel.”

St. John Paul II Catholic High School will be led by a community of religious sisters, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who are new to the Diocese of Phoenix. Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P., will be the first principal of St. John Paul II Catholic High School.

“I am grateful to God for the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and their commitment to establishing a new presence here in the Diocese of Phoenix,” Bishop Olmsted said. “Their community has been committed to Catholic education and evangelizing children and their parents since their founding more than 155 years ago. We are blessed to have their contributions to the mission of the Church at St. John Paul II Catholic High School and the surrounding communities.”

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly referred to as the “Nashville Dominicans” due to their historical roots in the city dating back to 1860, are acclaimed for their expertise in Catholic education and for their academic and spiritual leadership.

“Our community is excited about being part of the life of the Church in the Diocese of Phoenix,” Sr. Mary Jordan said. “We look forward to meeting the people, especially the families who will one day be part of St. John Paul II Catholic High School.”

More than 14,000 students currently attend one of the Diocese of Phoenix’s 28 Catholic elementary schools, six high schools and 28 preschools throughout the Diocese of Phoenix. Students receive a rigorous, faith-filled education that prepares them for the challenges of higher education, a competitive world and for being faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. An estimated 99 percent of students graduate from high school; 97 percent go on to attend college.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Director of Communications
rdefrancesco@diocesephoenix.org
(602) 354-2130

‘Nashville Dominicans’ to Lead St. John Paul II Catholic High School

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Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia to Establish Presence in the Diocese of Phoenix

PHOENIX (March 22, 2016) — The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, announced today that the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia will establish a community here in the Diocese of Phoenix and will lead St. John Paul II Catholic High School, which will serve the community in the far West Valley beginning in Fall 2018.

Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P., will be the first principal of St. John Paul II Catholic High School. She currently is principal of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. Additionally, Sr. Mary Brigid Burnham, O.P., currently the Religious Department Chair at Mount de Sales Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sr. Mary Gertrude Blankenhagen, O.P., currently serving as principal of Overbrook School in Nashville, Tennessee, will establish the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia’s presence in the Diocese of Phoenix.

“I am grateful to God for the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and their commitment to establishing a new presence here in the Diocese of Phoenix,” Bishop Olmsted said. “Their community has been committed to Catholic education and evangelizing children and their parents since their founding more than 155 years ago. We are blessed to have their contributions to the mission of the Church at St. John Paul II Catholic High School and the surrounding communities.”

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly referred to as the “Nashville Dominicans” due to their historical roots in the city dating back to 1860, are acclaimed for their expertise in Catholic education and for their academic and spiritual leadership.

In 1860, four Dominican Sisters from Ohio established a school in the Diocese of Nashville. In 1913, the Congregation of Saint Cecilia was formally affiliated with the Dominicans. Since then, the Nashville Dominicans have continued to expand, establishing schools and ministries throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, Scotland and the Netherlands. They presently serve in 43 schools, teaching more than 15,000 students.

“Our community is excited about being part of the life of the Church in the Diocese of Phoenix,” Sr. Mary Jordan said. “We look forward to meeting the people, especially the families who will one day be part of St. John Paul II Catholic High School.”

The community is invited to meet Sr. Mary Jordan at an upcoming event in celebration of St. John Paul II Catholic High School at 10 a.m., April 5. A short program featuring future high school students will include a blessing of the campus grounds by Bishop Olmsted and an unveiling of a sign marking the site of the new Catholic high school, 13720 W. Thomas Road, Avondale, AZ 85392, adjacent to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

“We are delighted and blessed to be welcoming the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia,” MaryBeth Mueller, superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Phoenix, said. “Students and families who are contemplating St. John Paul II Catholic High School can look forward to an environment that enriches the hearts and minds of our future leaders.”

More than 14,000 students currently attend one of the Diocese of Phoenix’s 28 Catholic elementary schools, six high schools and 28 preschools throughout the Diocese of Phoenix. Students receive a rigorous, faith-filled education that prepares them for the challenges of higher education, a competitive world and for being faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. An estimated 99 percent of students graduate from high school; 97 percent go on to attend college.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Director of Communications
rdefrancesco@diocesephoenix.org
(602) 354-2130