From the Executive Director's corner
I think most of you know that the DASS Executive Office is now located at St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans.
Although I have, as you would imagine, faced a few challenges in these transitional months, I feel most comfortable in my new surroundings. Cynthia Thomas, President of St. Mary's Dominican, and her faculty/staff have gone out of their way to make me feel "at home, and indeed I do. I also have access to people who can assist me as needed. I am especially grateful that S. Denise Bourgeios, OP who has been the Treasurer of the former St. Mary's Dominican Sisters for several years (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace) has volunteered to assist with the DASS finances. Sr. Denise, now retired, will keep our account ledger in order, and will also advise us about our financial investments.
School here at Dominican (as they refer to it locally) is moving along on schedule. I haven't been part of a school community for several years, and I'm once again enjoying all the life and energy that exudes from the young living bodies in this school building. I was invited to the Opening School Liturgy at the end of August, and the Senior Ring Day liturgy which was held last week. On both occasions, I was deeply impressed with the very heartfelt l ownership these young people have for this school. There's no pretense here; they love this place. The legacy and tradition of 150 years of dedicated educational effort has paid off in rich dividends. If I were one of the proud parents participating in the Ring Day Service, I would readily admit that it's worth every hard earned cent we've paid in tuition.
I know school beginnings are not the easiest days of the year, but when you reflect on what we're about and what an impact an excellent Catholic, Dominican education can provide, it makes "my aching bones jump for joy." (Psalm 51)
Looking forward to our time together in Memphis!
DASS Executive Office
7701 Walmsley Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70002
Welcome To Our New School Leaders
Richard Borsch, Principal of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, IL has been at Fenwick since 1968. During that time span, he has served the school community in many capacities which include: English Instructor, Director of Counseling Services, Director of Development, and Director of Student Services. Mr. Borsch replaces Jim Quaid who served as Principal of Fenwick High School for sixteen years. Mr. Quaid now works in the Secondary Schools dept. for the Archdiocese of Chicago. (picture)
Sr. Mary Virginia Leach,OP, is the first President of Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco CA which is now a member of the Christo Rey Network of schools. An alumna of ICA, Sr. Mary Virginia brings 35 years of experience in California Catholic schools, serving as administrator in these schools for 26 years. Sr. Mary Virginia's love for ICA, along with a strong commitment to the traditions of her Alma Mater and her experience in educational leadership, is a desired combination for her new position as President. "I'm grateful and happy to come home to a place that was so formative and special in my youth. ICA provided a strong academic and spiritual foundation, lifelong friendships, and so many good times packed into four brief years! I'm eager to be back," Sr. Mary Virginia expressed."
Lisa Graham is the new Principal at Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco, CA. Lisa was born in Michigan and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, later doing graduate work at San Francisco State University after moving to the City in 1973. She has been a high school teacher for more than 20 years and most recently was executive director of San Francisco's Stone School. "I am particularly interested in student populations typically underserved, and this has been the focus of my career in education," I believe that inspiring students to see their role in a larger world is the obligation of every good educator I certainly believe that Catholic schools provide young people with a chance to explore meaning and purpose in ways that other programs cannot." She and her husband, Walter, are parents of Mia, a college sophomore.
Sr. Mary Virginia, Lisa Graham, the Christo Rey Founder and President
Sr. Barbara Kane,OP, is the new Principal of Dominican Academy in New York, NY. Sr. Barbara earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame this summer. Prior to becoming principal, she taught at Dominican Academy and Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, OH. Sr. Barbara also has earned a Master's degree inn Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans, and an MBA from Butler University. Ten years ago, Barbara felt called to explore religious life and subsequently joined the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She made her Perpetual Profession in 2008. Sr. Barbara has come to appreciate the benefits of a single sex school and enjoys working with faculty, staff and students at Dominican Academy.
Sr. Patricia Connick is the new Assistant Principal. She comes to Dominican Academy after 20 years of teaching chemistry, physics and mathematics at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH. She also has administrative experience as the university's Chair of the Mathematics, Computer, and Natural Sciences Division. Many of the workshop and seminars she has given during her college career have been directed to high school teachers and students. Sr. Pat strongly believes in the mission statement of Dominican Academy which embraces the holistic development of the human person as the best means to educate all students.
Barb Kane, OP and Patricia Connick
Sr. Maria Cierillo,OP, is currently the Chair of the Founded Ministries Board for the Dominican Sisters of Peace. In that position she interacts with colleges, secondary schools and literacy centers sponsored and supported by the Congregation. Sr. Maria has spent 50 years working in education. She received her Master degree in educational administration from the University of Dayton and her Ph.D from the Catholic University of America. She was a middle school teacher and an administrator of both an elementary and a high school before joining the faculty of Catholic University where she was head of the education studies and administration programs. In 1996 she moved to a Holy Cross institution, The University of Portland in Oregon as Dean of the School of Education.
Congratulations are in order
Dr. Deborah Egan, Principal of St. Dominic Academy in Jersey City, NJ who received her Ed.D from Seton Hall University in April, 2009. Deborah has spent all of her career as an educator in urban, Catholic education, in the Bronx, Manhattan, and in Jersey City. For the past 20 years Debbie as ministered at St. Dominic Academy; first as a member of the Religious Studies Department, then as Principal of Academics. Currently, she is beginning her fourth year as Principal of St. Dominic's Academy. The title of Deborah's dissertation is: "Dominican High Schools: Personal, Professional, and Institutional Transitions and Fidelity to the Dominican Charism."
|Dr. Cynthia Thomas, President of St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans, LA who received her Ed.D from Spalding University in Louisville, KY in June, 2009. Cynthia is beginning her thirteenth year as President of St. Mary's Dominican. Cynthia has also served for seven years as the first lay Principal of the school. She was also selected as the first President of the DASS organization. The title of her dissertation is: "Sustainability through Governance Structures and Educational Systems: The Legacy of Religious Institutes in the Ministry of Catholic Education."
Commendations also to ...
Mt. St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ who was received the Veritas award this past summer at the Dominican High School Preaching Conference. This award is given in recognition of the school's outstanding dedication to the goals and mission of the Conference. Mt. St Dominic has been involved with the Conference since 1999.
Sister Fran Sullivan, head of school and Linda Arndt, academic dean joined Jacqueline Dorrity,
Jennifer Fuksman, Megan Duffy, Nora Kinslow, and faculty member, Lauren Smith
who represented the Mount at this gathering.
Dominican Schools News: Preaching in Action
Students, including preaching team members from St. Agnes Academy and St. Pius X High School in Houston, TX gathered at the Dominican Sisters of Houston Motherhouse to lead and participate in the noontime prayer on September 21st, the United Nations International Prayer for Peace Day.
Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, IL also celebrated the International Day of Peace on September 21st. "The theme of peace was expressed throughout the school day in prayer, writing, discussions, film, art, drama, music, mathematics and athletics. The symbols of peace displayed throughout the school served as reminders that we must constantly strive for peace in our hearts, in our school, in our homes and in our world." (S. Mary Margaret Pachucki, President) Visit Regina Dominican's website for further information: www.rdhs.org
Sr. Michelle Germanson,OP
(Trinity H.S.) and Donna Carroll
(President of Dominican University)
||Dominican University and Trinity High School in River Forest, IL announced a series of educational programs that will offer the high school's students the opportunity to study at and meet academic and service requirements at both campuses. These programs were developed by a joint task force of Dominican and Trinity administration, faculty, and community advisors. See Trinity High School's website for further information: www.trinityhs.org |
The entire Edgewood High School community in Madison, WI put down the books for one full day each year to volunteer 4,000 hours serving community needs. "Edgewood High School in the Community service day is a manifestation of the school's mission to educate its students not only academically but also in service and personal responsibility, with an emphasis on Dominican Catholic values which include justice, compassion and community." This program always begins the annual Homecoming week. See Edgewood High School's website for further information: www.edgewoodhs.org
The student preachers at St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans, LA have taken an active role in bringing the Dominican charism to the student body. Based on what they learned at the Dominican Preaching Conference, the student preachers will speak after each school liturgy reflecting on the gospel message. At the opening Mass dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Caroline Reuter shared these thoughts with the assembly: "When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts, we become closer to Christ. If we can open our lives to the Holy Spirit now, early on in the year, we will become blessed with his gifts, which can inspire and encourage us in our day to day lives. It is important to find out how the Holy Spirit reveals himself to us. The Holy Spirit is with us all the time, and we can easily recognize his presence if only we take time to look for him."
: Dominique White, Claire Fitzgerald,
St. Mary Dominians' Preachers
Rosalie Stoner, Ellen Yokum, Caroline Reuter, Nicole Simoneaux
Daily prayer provides a rhythm to the school day at Rosary High School in Aurora, IL. At the start of 2nd hour the entire school community stands and prays in one voice. All classes begin with prayer and teachers are attentive to sharing a variety of prayer forms with students. Students at every grade level have the opportunity to plan and lead classroom prayer experiences as well as take leadership roles in all-school services. The daily prayer is posted on their website and is included with the daily announcements. www.rosaryhs.com
On Tuesday, September 29th, the school community of St. Pius X High School in Houston, TX celebrated and commemorated the arrival of the Houston Dominican Sisters to Texas. Dominican Foundation Day will begin with a celebration of sung morning prayer. "On this day, 127 years ago, twenty Dominican Sisters and one lay woman of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart in Somerset, Ohio, stepped off the Southern Pacific Railroad train onto the platform at Galveston Island, Texas. They had arrived to serve the people of God, establish institutions of learning and to preach the Good News. They would be the foundation of the Dominican Sisters of Houston." (Dominican Women in Texas by Sheila Hackett,O.P)
Events to Remember and Calendar
DASS Annual Meeting - The DASS Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at St. Agnes Academy/St. Dominic School in Memphis, TN. The meeting will begin at 9:30a.m. and conclude at 3:30p.m.
As an agenda piece for this meeting, participants will have the opportunity explore long distance learning at school's new Veritas Research Center. DASS will also sponsor an special in-service experience prior to the Meeting on Wednesday, October 21st. Fr. John Pitzer,OP will facilitate the day focused on: " Addressing Racial, Cultural, and Religious Diversity in our Schools." Registration materials were mailed to all member schools at the end of June. If you have any questions, please contact Sr. Pat Brady at the DASS Executive office: 504-865-9401, Ext. 142
An in-service day for campus ministers and theology teachers in the Midwest region will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at Rosary High School in Aurora, IL. The title for the day's program is: "At the Heart of Ministry is Relationship." Sr. Ann Willits, OP will be the presenter/facilitator for the day. Registration materials have been mailed out to all schools in the Midwest area.
DASS will hold a workshop for new and prospective leaders in our school. The program will be held at Weber Center in Adrian MI beginning the evening of June 28th and concluding the morning of July 1, 2010. Detailed information will be mailed to all schools in February, 2010.
The Dominican High School Preaching Conference will be held once again at Siena Heights University in Adrian Michigan beginning the evening of June 26th and concluding July 1, 2010.
The next DASS Convocation will be held at the Hilton Post Oak hotel in Houston, TX beginning the evening of October 21st, 2010 and concluding by noon on October 23rd. The theme of the Convocation will be "Sustainability of our Dominican Schools." Keynoters for the gathering will be Sr. Ann Willits O.P. and Dr. Carolyn Woo who is Dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. Registration materials will be mailed to all member school in the spring of 2010.
The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality by Paul Murray,OP (preface by Timothy Radcliffe,OP)
This book "names and celebrates aspects of Dominican tradition which are at the very core of its spirituality. This tradition has often been described in the past, and for good reason, as scholarly and intellectual. But the lives of Dominicans whose voices we hear in this book were also and to an extraordinary degree, apostolic, exuberant, evangelical, risk-taking, mystical, and robust." (Burns and Oates Publishers: New York, NY, 2006)
Speaking With Authority-Catherine of Siena and the Voices of Women Today by Mary Catherine Hilker,OP (Paulist Prest, New York/Mahwah, NJ 2008)
"This book challenges today's women and men to continue exploring the rights and the role of women in the Christian community to speak the truth with love, with wisdom and with compassion. " (Carol Trutter,OP, Review for DomLife.org)
Darfur: Raging Genocide Continues
Armando Ibanez,OP offers a chilling film of the continuing death in Darfur and looks for answers to the destruction and that not end. Check Domlife.org for further information.
Torch 3M.org Website hosted by the Western Dominican Province of men
Check out this website for further information on: experimental films, and Dominican music:
www.MudPuddleFilms.com, music, www.blackandwhiteop.org