Jenny Bruns: Xavier Day 2017 and Ut Omnes Unum Sint

November 30, 2017

Jenny Bruns is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati and Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

When one drives up the road leading to Xavier High School, one comes across a sign that beckons “Ut Omnes Unum Sint.”  This phrase is ubiquitous on campus, and most commonly heard in the Xavier Welcome Song.  Taken from John 17:21, this Latin phrase meaning “that all may be one” was chosen as the school’s motto since the doors opened on Mabuchi Hill in 1952.  Xavier High School is home to students from all over the Pacific, and transforms them into competent, conscientious, and compassionate leaders.  Each student brings to Xavier his or her own language, dances, and cultural norms.  This, in turn, transforms Xavier into a diverse learning environment and collective family.  Ut onmes unum sint could not be a more perfect phrase to represent the life and mission of St. Francis Xavier, whose feast we celebrate at school this Friday (two days early due to his feast falling on a Sunday this year).

St. Francis Xavier embodied the notion of unity in diversity in his missionary work.  St. Ignatius asked him to embark on a journey that led him to India, Japan, and the doorsteps of China.  He baptized thousands into the faith.  He was successful because of his ability to become one with those he served.  He allowed their differences to unite rather than divide.  He is known for his skill of inculturation and his passion for learning the cultures he encountered and integrating himself into them.  It is only fitting that this diverse school carries his namesake.

Throughout the world, one can find many other schools named after Saint Francis Xavier.  Some of these include Xavier University—Ateneo de Cagayan in the Philippines, Colegio Javier in Ecuador, and my alma mater, Xavier University in Cincinnati, where I first learned of the life of St. Francis Xavier.  It was there that I began to truly discover the value of the uniqueness of others, the importance of celebrating diversity and the beauty of finding unity in our differences and commonalities.  I see the same spirit of St. Francis Xavier alive and present here at Xavier High School Micronesia—miles away from the Xavier in Cincinnati, yet united in the footsteps of the patron saint of the missions.

December 3rd is a day to celebrate and commemorate the mission work and life of Saint Francis Xavier.  We will join many schools throughout the world in solidarity through prayer, reflection, and, in our case, friendly competition.  Island games, including long jumping, human pyramids, coconut husking, basket weaving, and relay races are among crowd favorites. The freshmen pair up with the seniors to try to claim victory over the juniors and sophomores, with each team challenging the other to cheer battles and dance offs. It is a day filled with laughter, companionship, and school spirit.  This is the essence of kinship, and one that is truly enriched through our diversity.

Just like we begin every school day, Xavier Day will begin with the raising of seven flags, each representing the respective districts from where we draw our students.  This not only represents pride is our home isles, but represents unity—standing tall and firm—together.  Xavier Day serves as a reminder and a celebration that we on Mabuchi Hill live out our pride, and that all may be one.

Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.

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