For the last segment of my three part video, I am addressing the topic of what makes a Jesuit school, Jesuit when we don’t have Jesuits in the school (confused? read it slowly again). We all know numbers of religious are dropping and the question asked is can the Jesuits maintain a “presence” in 28 Universities and more than 48 high schools? Consolidate? Move on to another apostolate? The Jesuits are the largest teaching order of religious in the world, yet they cannot be everywhere. What if…just what if an institution can be Jesuit without the physical presence of the sina sapa (blackrobes)?
Well old buddy, it has already happened. The school is Xavier College Prep in Palm Desert and they have in 5 short years managed to create a truly fine school in the Jesuit tradition by themselves. When folks visit the school, which sits on nearly 100 acres of desert land, they are greeted by friendly kids and even friendlier staff and faculty. People who are dedicated to learning and to teaching. People who embody the virtue of cura personalis (care of the other) without knowing the word itself. People who live A.M.D.G. (ad majorem Dei gloriam – for the greater glory of God) in everything they do in and out of school.
What started with 48 freshmen in five borrowed rooms in a local university less than 5 years ago has grown into a 450 co-educational dynamo. The Spirit lives at Xavier. This story needs more time to tell and since I am knackered right now, I will leave the story for a later time.
and so it goes…