The Mission

THE MISSION OF ST. JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL IS TO PROVIDE AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT THAT PROMOTES A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS CHRIST THROUGH PRAYER, STUDY, COMMUNITY, AND SERVICE AS DISCIPLES.

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Rooted in Christ, we learn and hand on what is Good, True, and One. At St. John Paul II Catholic High School, we have a distinctive purpose: to foster the gospel spirit of freedom and charity. We seek to relate all human culture to the news of salvation.

Who we are going to be:

· believers seeking daily encounters with Christ

· a family community through houses within the school

· staff and students formed in philosophy in the Ethics & Culture program

· teachers offering excellence in academics, meeting students’ needs and challenging them to grow

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Our graduates carry with them a clear understanding of their own identity. They are immortal beings, of incomparable worth. Their intellects seek and value objective truth and they make decisions based on truth, not merely on opinion. They think logically and speak clearly on the bioethical issues of the day. Their emotions resonate with love for whatever is good, true, and beautiful; they reject evil, deceit, and disorder. They exercise self-discipline learned through their studies, sports, and performances. Their hearts are compassionate because they have known the Options students and the members of their Houses. They understand their mission to be “good Christian and upright citizens with a joyful vision and hope of a better world,” as St. John Bosco said. They serve the needy, vote, and act for the common good. They defend the dignity of every human being in the fields of art, politics, science, and medicine. Above all, they practice and grow in their faith throughout their adult lives. In this way, they are agents of change, building up a culture of life.

House of the Month!

Congratulations to the House of Maximilian who won the first ever House of the Month award and is currently in first place in our house competitions.

They have persevered through our first house games, the dodge ball competition and quiz bowl.

House of Gianna and House of Kateri are tied for second with House of Lorenzo and House of Dominic trailing close behind.

House of Jose is on the rise as they tied for first place in the quiz bowl last week. We will see how the semester ends and prepare for the spring!

For now Go House of Max!

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Litany of Humility

by Cardinal Merry del Val

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.  

From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.

From the desire of being esteemed,

From the desire of being loved,

From the desire of being extolled,

From the desire of being honored,

From the desire of being praised,

From the desire of being preferred to others,

From the desire of being consulted,

From the desire of being understood,

From the desire to be visited,

From the desire of being approved,

From the fear of being humiliated,

From the fear of being despised,

From the fear of suffering rebukes,

From the fear of being calumniated,

From the fear of being forgotten,

From the fear of being ridiculed,

From the fear of being suspected,

From the fear of being wronged,

From the fear of being abandoned,

From the fear of being refused,

That others may be loved more than I, Lord grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I,

That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,

That others may be chosen and I set aside,

That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,

That others may be preferred to me in everything,

That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,

At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.

At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,

When people do not think of me,

When they assign to me the meanest tasks,

When they do not even deign to make use of me,

When they never ask my opinion,

When they leave me at the lowest place,

When they never compliment me,

When they blame me in season and out of season,

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Advent Preparation

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Advent is a time for preparation and for longing for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Preparing for the opening of St. John Paul II Catholic High School gave us a great longing for meeting our students and their families.

Waiting for the arrival of the chapel furnishings gave us a great longing for the day when the tabernacle will hold the Lord Jesus so that each of us can meet Him in the chapel whenever we wish. When the furnishings arrived, we swiftly brought them to the chapel and unwrapped them. Then we put them in place, dusted them, and dreamed of their use. Isn't that the point of Advent?

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We take the furnishings of our souls--prayer, works of mercy, and acts of charity--and bring them to the Lord, cleaning and arranging, and putting God first.

As the chapel began to look more and more beautiful, our joy overflowed in song. As our Advent makes our souls more and more beautiful, the joy of our salvation will come out in songs, hymns, family meetings, and praise. 

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Come, Lord Jesus; come and make us one family for the praise of Your glory this Advent.

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Are we supposed to be happy?

Most people I know want to be happy.  

Yesterday I began conversations with individual students by asking, “What makes you happy?” The answered varied but there were common themes.

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“My lunch” and “My mom’s cooking” landed in the hungry stomach category.  Both of these responses came during lunch. The lunchtime crowd offered a variety of food related happiness thoughts, sometimes speaking to me while chewing on a sandwich.  One boy conversed while flipping M&Ms up into the air and catching them in his mouth.

“My friends” and “Being able to come to the school” were two answers that told me that some teens have a hunger for relationships that matter.   

How would parents and adults answer the same question?  

Later in the evening Father Camou, Mr. Walker and I met with more than fifty volunteers who had come to St. John Paul II to learn about our service program and opportunities for volunteering.

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I want to make a difference in the community.

I can tutor in Math.  

I’m available to help with clerical tasks.

I’d like to help organize an event.

I can help with clean-up or set-up.  

Anything I can do to help will make me happy.

Happiness comes from giving or contributing.  When we contribute to our community or to others, we experience Christ.  We taste happiness that is better than lunch.

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Hungry for something more satisfying than the contents of your brown-bag lunch, consider volunteering at St. John Paul II Catholic High School.  

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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