Mar 25, 2016
Developing student leadership is a core aspect of the JPII & SFXP program. We do this by providing multiple and frequent opportunities for students to act and lead and therefore grow in confidence and leadership.
This means spiritual leadership, too. Two recent prayer services show the growth and spiritual maturity that our student are developing. SFXP’s Shadow Stations of the Cross is a beautiful look at our Lord’s journey where students enter into the Passion with their bodies and words. JPII’s Stations of the Cross prayer service featured student-created art (above), music, and prayer which led the school in prayer this Holy Week.
This Lent our students showed the special form of leading others through following Christ.
Wishing you a blessed Triduum!
Jan 14, 2013
Man (or Woman) the Stations
In the short history of the Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, three sets of ‘Stations of the Cross’ have adorned the walls.
In our first year, a set rescued from another Diocesan entity was installed, then, nearly as quickly, taken away. Second, a generous donor and JPII family purchased stations which have held us in good stead since 2009. Now, a second JPII family has secured and repaired full-sized stations, which were installed over the weekend. Arrangements are being made for the previous stations to make their way to Ecuador.
Next time you’re in the building, check ’em out. JPII families are good!
Several people have asked after Dr. Francesco Cesareo’s excellent remarks at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony last Thursday. Read Dr. Cesareo’s Address here.
Feb 18, 2010
Good things happen, even during the (relatively) slow period of winter recess.
Thanks to the generosity of the All Cape Piano Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation, JPII received a beautiful 1986 Weber upright piano donation. It's handsome, high-gloss, ebony finish and good sound will look and sound great in Our Lady of Fatima Chapel. I am most grateful to the piano's private donor, Ms. Jennifer Avalon of Centerville, and the Cape Cod Foundation for making this gift possible.
On a similar note (pun intended), Ash Wednesday ushers in the penitential season of Lent. To assist the school community's focus on the Lenten season, JPII parent Mr. John Hufnagle fashioned an handsome, rugged cross which will be displayed in the auditorium lobby for the duration of the season. All of us need a visual reminder once and a while!
More evidence that, brick by brick, we are building the finest high school on Cape Cod.
Apr 1, 2009
Matthew Kelly, in Twenty-Five Words or Less
Still glowing after an awesome Matthew Kelly presentation last night. Five Hundred(!) people packed the JPII auditorium and enjoyed words with genuine wisdom that left much to ponder.
It's funny how each of us can hear something a little different, yet converge on truth. In Chapel today, I asked students a simple question:
In one sentence, What did Matthew Kelly say last night?
Taken together from the wealth of Matthew's presentation,I got a great look at what is important to our students.
Care to comment?
Go ahead and post your favorite Matthew Kelly line, thought, sentence or mantra from a great night!
Apr 4, 2008
Our Saint Is Dead!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 marked the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. We observed this occasion with remembrance and an all-school liturgy celebrated by our friend, Fr. George O’Brien. I told our students that we’re lucky; JPII’s a great guy and a great namesake. I am grateful to have the such an life and example for our school to emulate.
May we always be worthy to be known as Pope John Paul II’s high school.
Read Fr. O’Brien’s homily: Download 20080404144210745.pdf
Mar 20, 2008
The Wonderful Cross
The paradox of the cross — a tough idea to ‘get’ both intellectually and emotionally — is at the heart of our faith and central to how we can approach Holy Week. The paradox of the cross, the idea that it is in giving that we receive and that it is through dying we are born to eternal life, helps us accept the inevitable sufferings of life in a way that unites us with the life of God.
I was thinking about this idea as our school prayed the Stations of the Cross (as re-formulated and prayed by Pope John Paul II in 1991) today. I watched our students struggle with mystery of Holy Week as they move from a childhood sense of Christianity into a more personal, adult, appropriated faith. Not an easy journey at all but one that is the core of our mission as a Catholic school.
Watching this struggle also makes me wonder what struggles Holy Week has for me. We’re all freshmen in high school, at least in God’s eyes.
Wishing all the joy of the Resurrection this Easter season!
Feb 21, 2008
Guest Blogger — Hannah Dulmaine, ’11 on the Washington D.C. March For Life [02-13-08]
In mid-January, 14 freshmen — nearly 40% of our student body —
participated in the Washington, D.C. March for Life led by Bishop
Coleman. Hannah Dulmaine, ’11, a participant on the March, offers the
"On January 20-22, the 35th anniversary of Roe v.Wade, I joined
thirteen of my classmates on a journey to Washington, D.C. where I
participated in a momentous event, the March for Life.
The pilgrimage began early in the morning when I boarded a bus and
began the eight-hour drive to Washington, D.C. The bus stopped at
Bishop Connolly High School, where we joined many other students from
Fall River Diocesan schools for a Mass. The Mass unified the group as
one body in Christ, got us excited about our faith, and encouraged us
to stand up for what we believe in.
Once we arrived in D.C., everyone was quickly grabbing their
sleeping bags, crash pads, pillows, and bags. Along with the other
girls from the Fall River Diocesan schools, I piled in the gymnasium of
Bishop O’Connell High School where we slept for two nights. That
evening, in the auditorium of Bishop O’Connell HS, nearly 450 high
schools students from Cape Cod to Boston spent an hour of prayer,
praise, and adoration with Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of
Boston. Cardinal O’Malley talked to us and encouraged us to live our
faith and stand up for our beliefs. That is exactly what we did.
The next day, we toured Washington, and that night, we joined
bishops, priests, deacons, seminarians, and thousands of religious and
lay people for a Vigil Mass celebrated at the Basilica Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception. The basilica was breath-taking but the number of
people that overflowed the basilica meant even more.
Early that final morning, we joined over 20,000 people in the
Verizon Center Sports Arena for a Rally and Mass. We celebrated Mass,
sang along with songs of praise and adoration, listened to motivational
speakers, and became ready to prove that we are Pro-Life Catholics.
This event lifted my spirits and made me eager for the March. When the
March came, I was shocked at the number of people who made the journey.
Over 200,000 people marched and I was honored to be among them.
It was an emotional journey and truly made me closer with God. It
helped me realize the importance of standing up for your faith and
making a difference in the world. We are not too young to make a
difference and our participation on the March for Life proved just
Feb 21, 2008
Experience: The Best Teacher [1-22-08]
It’s obvious (I hope!) that, along with college preparation, helping young people know God is our core mission.
But how do we help people know God? Many might imagine daily
religious instruction in the classroom to be the central component.
Maybe. But in my experience, not really.
Don’t get me wrong: The work of the classroom is needed and forms an
important foundation for knowing God. But for the most part, it doesn’t
get you there. To use the terms of classical logic, daily religious
instruction is a necessary, but not sufficient, cause.
The gift of Catholic education, in my experience, is the gift of experience
— namely, that Catholic schools provide opportunities where
experiences of God has the power to transform. Retreats, prayer
rituals, acts of service and the like provide opportunities for God to
break through our barriers. One such opportunity took place these last
three days as fourteen of our students joined hundreds from our Diocese and many thousands from across the nation attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C. They were remembered in prayer at school this morning.
Was theirs a transformative experience? Did our pilgrims know God
in a special way these past three days? God knows…(God does know!).
We’ll find out. Our pilgrims return late tonight.
Feb 21, 2008
A Young Family [01-08-08]
Part of my "stump speech" in the year leading up to our opening was
to point out that Pope John Paul II High School is the seventh Catholic
school I have been involved with as student, teacher, or administrator.
Most recent and formative was my experience in Cleveland, Ohio. As a
rust-belt urban area, greater Cleveland features numerous Catholic
schools, some with histories approaching a century. When Principal of
Padua Franciscan High School, I occasionally felt our school was a "new
kid" for having only forty years of existence.
One by-product of numerous schools with long histories is that years
of Catholic school graduates embedded in the community creates an
oft-reinforced sense of unity — ("Ohh, you’re at Padua? My wife went
to Nazareth and I went to St. Ignatius…"). More than simply
experience of shared locations, this fellow-feeling taps a deeper set
of shared values and Catholic identity. In an unexpected way, these
different schools reinforce our unity as one Church. School loyalty
becomes Catholic unity.
With the opening of JPII, there are now five Catholic schools on
Cape Cod. None of these schools existed even fifteen years ago. I
believe that, with this young family of schools, we have the real
opportunity to revitalize the Church on Cape Cod. Catholic Schools Week
is celebrated annually at the end of January. This year, a special Mass of unity will take place bringing together students and staff from all five Cape Catholic schools.
On January 29, nearly one thousand students and staff from St.
Margaret’s (Buzzards Bay), St. Francis Xavier (Hyannis), Holy Trinity
(Harwich), St. Pius X (Yarmouth), and JPII will join Bishop Coleman in
a celebration of Catholic education on Cape Cod. Why wait for unity?
Blog readers are welcome to attend this special event. Go to www.pjp2hs.org for more information.
Feb 21, 2008
Advent and a Little Grace [12-21-07]
A funny thing happens as Christmas recess approaches: Whatever
stresses ordinary life provides tend to melt away into good feelings
amongst staff and students alike. Sure, a ten-day vacation from school
will do that. But I choose to believe that, in addition to the gift of
time, a little of God’s grace relieves us of the useless anxieties of
At Pope John Paul II High School, we end our calendar year with
Advent liturgy. This liturgy helps sharpen awareness in all of us of
God’s role in helping us let go of our burdens. It sure did today.
Below is an excerpt of my remarks given to families and students at our Advent Liturgy:
is our Advent Liturgy and the close of the first 74 days of our
school’s life. Advent is about watching and waiting, and also working.
Watching and waiting for the Messiah, for the Incarnation, for God in
his majesty to become human for our sake. But it’s not just about
waiting passively for God to do something. It’s about working to make
ready and make room for Him.
With this school we know about waiting and watching and working.
Getting the doors of our school open involved plenty of waiting,
watching, and working. As we now build our school culture with real
students and real families, we realize still that good things require
waiting, watching and working.
Jesus was born as a baby. Our school begins this way too. My prayer
this Advent is than now and always we make room for Him at Pope John
Paul II High School."
Blessings of Peace and All Good this Advent and Christmas season!