From the Director: September, 2016

September 9, 2016

Fr. Dennis Baker, S.J. blesses senior Tina Ambuyoc to start the school year at the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, September 7th.

Fr. Dennis Baker, S.J. blesses senior Tina Ambuyoc to start the school year at the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, September 7th.

“Finally.”

That is the thought that crosses my mind so frequently these days.  It comes to me even now as I hear the voices of students after so many weeks punctuated by the hammering of nails and sawing of wood.  There was plenty of work done on the physical plant over the past month, and it continues:  further Typhoon Maysak repairs, a total refurbishing of the former JV house, improvements on the infirmary, and other needed rehabilitations.  Such work was and is imperative, of course, but we can never forget the purpose for all of this work.  The purpose of anything we do here is to continue to be the finest high school in the Pacific, and in so doing, help people grow closer to God.

Indeed, the sounds proper to a school finally have arrived, and those sounds have transformed a lonely campus construction site into a school teeming with life once again.

The sounds of prayer at daily Mass enliven the chapel.  Those prayers are followed by the unmistakable murmur of teenage voices and laughter that signal the wait for morning announcements in the Student Center.  The familiar gong of the school bell is known quite well to all of us, as it is rung repeatedly throughout the day.  The sound of basketballs bouncing in the gym and on the outdoor court, and bare feet gliding over the grass on the field remind us of the global appeal of athletics, especially in schools.  I wonder if people on the nearby islands of Tonoas and Fefen heard the boys practicing the music for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, as their powerful voices shook the louvers in the Student Center a few times on Monday and Tuesday night.

The most important sound around here, of course, is the sound of students learning.  Just today, Sir Rovan had his sophomores out of the classroom buildings and over to the rec shed to see the importance of observation in the study of science.  The sounds of students’ voices coming through the windows of the Director’s Office were truly a gift.  It’s hard to miss the booming voice of new teacher Mr. Will Clemens talking excitedly about the important insights of art in understanding the history of civilization.  The soft, dulcet tones of Mrs. Susan Whitelock’s voice (on loan to us from Eastern Oregon University) fill her classroom with constant encouragement for students to speak up for themselves–even using Beyoncé’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, as a helpful example.  The sound of Mr. Ean Tierney’s piece of chalk striking the chalkboard with force and passion is inspiring, as well.  The utter silence of the Study Hall during First Study in the evening is a reminder of the work and focus it takes to succeed at this school.

These are just a few examples, of course, for each part of this campus is now joyfully overrun with the sounds of a Jesuit secondary school in full swing, even after only a few days.  These are welcomed sounds for all of us, and the excitement here is truly something to celebrate.

We hope that the sounds of your September are as joyful and holy as the sounds here on Mabuchi Hill—no matter what line of work you may be in, or where you might find yourself on the globe.

Know of our prayers for you.

For Xavier,

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