Philosophy of XHS
Founded in 1952, Xavier High School is a Catholic, Jesuit, four-year, co-ed secondary school serving primarily, but not exclusively, the three island nations of Micronesia: the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
As a Catholic Institution, Xavier is rooted in the teachings and person of Jesus Christ. Xavier affirms its commitment to the educational mission of the Roman Catholic Church. This mission is to lead men and women to a deeper appreciation of the presence of God in the world and to an awareness of the social responsibility which comes from this appreciation. Xavier encourages dialogue between Christian faith and contemporary thought.
As a Jesuit school, Xavier inherits the 450 year-old tradition of Jesuit education begun in 1548. As such, we believe that Xavier High School has a unique contribution to make to the young island nations it serves. Jesuit education is a system based on the principles of discipline, order, the necessity of clear goals and objectives, the importance of self-direction, and concern for the affective in learning. At the core of the Ignatian vision is Sat. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, which affirm the ultimate goodness of the world as created, loved, and redeemed by God. From the founding of the first Jesuit school at Messina, Italy, the Society of Jesus has focused the goal of education on developing the whole person. The purpose of a Jesuit education, in contemporary language, is to develop leaders who are competent, conscientious, and compassionate. This includes a religious dimension which is understood to mean that the student has a basic knowledge of the major doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church and has also examined his or her own religious feelings and beliefs. It also includes a justice dimension, recognizing that we belong to communities, both local and global, and therefore we have a responsibility to work for the common good – both locally, and globally.
Inspired by the Ignatian vision, we believe that God is active in all creation and in all human history. Therefore, Xavier High School’s educational program seeks to promote a dialogue between faith and culture. We encourage our students to experience and come to know a variety of cultures and peoples, both inside and outside of Micronesia, using a creatively critical eye to look at and examine the contributions and deficiencies of each in order to develop a genuine appreciation of God’s presence and action within the entire human family.
The Xavier community seeks to produce young men and women of action and to instill in them the wisdom, which discerns between freedom of individual rights and privileges and the obligation to the common good. It strives to create an informed conscience and an informed intellect which can discern and speak with an opinion based on fact and experience. Xavier is committed to develop men and women who will put their beliefs and attitudes into practice throughout their entire lives. As first articulated by Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the former Jesuit Superior General, in a speech to alumni of Jesuit Schools in 1974, Xavier intends to educate “men and women for others” who will take their place as leaders and agents of positive change in the local, national, and international civic and ecclesial communities. The Xavier community expects these young men and women to apply these lessons in ways that guide them as individuals, help them to contribute to the development of their communities, and encourages them to provide the leadership necessary for their home islands to navigate the shoals of change that challenge all Pacific nations. In St. Ignatius’ words, we expect our students to “Go forth, and set the world on fire.”
Finally, at its absolute core, Xavier High School will engage its students in asking – and answering the question – “What does it mean to be human?” Pope Benedict XVI sums up well the goal and philosophy of Xavier High School when he says: “What is the human being? This question is posed to every generation and to each human being, for in contrast to the animals our life is not simply laid out for us in advance. What it means for us to be human beings is for each and every one of us a task and an appeal to our freedom. We must each search into our human-being-ness afresh, and decide who or what we want to be as humans. In our own lives each of us must answer, whether he or she wants to or not, the question about being human.”1 As a Catholic and Christian School, Xavier High School believes that the human person is God’s project ultimately. And it is Xavier’s task to help our students answer the question “What does it mean to be human?” in a new and creative way that God expects from each of us.
1 From the Book ‘In the Beginning…’ A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall. Pope Benedict XVI. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Grand Rapids, Michigan. p. 42.