Representatives from the SCJ Schools in Collaboration project gathered at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, June 11-12. Participants affirmed their commitment to work jointly with students to establish bonds of community and strengthen the spiritual base of Dehonian education. Representatives from St. Joe’s sister school in Germany, Gymnasium Leonium, joined the group via SKYPE. The opening prayer service included a choir from Germany and prayer in both English and German. The theme of the meeting was friendship and hospitality. Presentations on social justice by Mark Peters, director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation for the US Province, and on Fr. Leo John Dehon as an educator by David Schimmel, US Province director of Dehonian Associates, gave base to the group’s discussions.
The educators developed a five-year plan that includes summer institutes for the students at our various campuses (rotating locations), feast-day celebrations of saints associated with our schools and/or the founder, book challenges, and the development of a website to share activities and projects. Representatives from the schools also agreed to be part of a common service project and to raise funds for it during Catholic Schools Week.
A booklet regarding the SCJ Schools in Collaboration program was reviewed and updated to reflect present history and the expansion of the program. The mission, goals and logo received similar review and revision, incorporating the global aspect of our work.
The group offered its work alongside SCJs during a celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart and “affirmed our charism statement noting that, ‘We, the SCJ Schools in Collaboration, commit to live out through witness, the core values of Leo John Dehon by nurturing a Heart of Hope, a Promise of Hope, and a Mission of Service.'” said Jeanne Johnson, principal of St. Martin of Tours School in Franklin, Wis.
Our thanks to Jeanne Johnson, principal of St. Martin of Tours School and Kathleen Whitebird, principal of St. Joseph’s Indian School, for sharing information from their meeting.