WASC Review 2016
March 17, 2016
The Feast of St. Patrick
Dear Fr. Dober, Parents of St. John of God School, and Parishioners,
It was my good pleasure to spend the day at St. John of God School yesterday as chair of the WCEA/WASC accreditation revisit team. It was in February 2013 that I served as chair of the Visiting Committee to your school, and it was certainly a joy to return. I am sorry that I did not get a chance to meet with all of you yesterday, thus this letter.
I wish to sincerely thank the entire community of St. John of God Parish for the hospitality that was extended to me and Mr. Ralph Valente during our visit. We both were warmly welcomed and kindly received. For that we are most grateful.
The new principal, Mrs. Elizabeth Mendez, is certainly to be commended for the work that she has done to revitalize the school in such a short time. I was so impressed by her genuine dedication to the school community and her concern for the children entrusted to her care. It is obvious that she is committed to creating a Christ-centered school that is true to its mission and faithful to the charism of the Sisters of the Holy Faith who founded the school long ago.
A testament to the work that the school continues to do to further the mission of Jesus Christ was in evidence throughout the day. The faculty and staff are to be greatly commended and praised for their genuine love for their students and the professional demeanor that they displayed. Their keen desire to continue to build the Kingdom of God in the parish where they teach is more than admirable. It was an honor to be in their presence.
More telling, perhaps, was how confident, well spoken, and candid the students of your school presented themselves. In the interview with a number of them, they not only spoke highly of the academic preparation they have received, but more importantly how the school has helped them grow spiritually, socially, and emotionally. They clearly have been recipients of a truly Catholic education and can articulate how the mission of the school has translated into their lived experience. I must say, I was more than impressed, and at times moved to tears by their sincerity and enthusiasm. Their love for their school is heartfelt. They know that it has made a difference in their lives.
It was also a privilege to have a chance to meet again with a small group of parents who choose to send their children to St. John of God School. Their love, admiration, and concern for the school were clearly apparent. Their desire to strengthen the overall programs available to their children, to advance the mission of the school, and to ensure the school’s viability long into the future gave me great hope that despite the many challenges that so many of our Catholic schools face today, St. John of God will continue to flourish as an integral part of both the parish and civic communities.
Your school is a critically important catechetical entity in our Church today. For ten months a year, five days a week, seven hours a day, it welcomes children into the heart of the gospel and gives them so many opportunities to know and love God in a faith-filled community, to live the great commandment of love that Jesus taught, and to become the people that God is calling them to be. Ever-confident in the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in each of you, I encourage you all to renew your commitment to the life of St. John of God School and to work tirelessly together, side-by-side and hand-in-hand, so that it may continue to thrive and grow stronger in the years ahead. The Lord Jesus, who suffered, died, and rose again for us, is counting on all of you, and so are we, the Members of His Body, the Church.
Know that you will be in my prayers as you continue the good work that God began in you so long ago.
An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!
Peace and blessings,
Mr. David Kristoff