May 17, 2022
New Parish, New Name
Pope St. John XXIII
- Pope John XXIII convoked Vatican II and his writings emphasized the dignity of all people.
- Collaboration will enhance any changes to branding, uniform, name, and mission statement.
- We will remain STEM, our families and staff will stay the same, and our school will grow as a result of our shared sense of purpose and our dedication.
Beginning July 1, 2022, Visitation Parish and the current Visitation Catholic STEM Academy will change its namesake to Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963). One of Pope St. John’s most noteworthy contributions was to convoke Vatican II, an ecumencial Church council which invited representatives from other world religions to participate as observers. Before serving as pope, he was a cardinal patriarch of Venice (1953), a permanent observer for the Holy See with UNESCO (1951), nuncio in Paris (1944), apostolic delegate in Turkey and Greece (1964), and titular archbishop of Areopolis and apostolic visitator to Bulgaria (1925), (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2008).
The legacy of Pope St. John XXIII energizes the ministry of our school as an institution of welcoming, faith, and academic excellence. John XXIII wrote Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris, both which emphasize dignity and work. Our school and parish community are strong examples of dignity for all people. My love for our school is very much drawn to the manner in which we support each other. Experiencing the authenticity and dedication of our families affirms our belief in the dignity of all people. Our school operates as an institution which supports the dignity of its employees and, even more importantly, we share an inspired belief about lifting up each of the young people we serve. We accompany each other as we become their best selves as instruments of God and our students grow and develop a deeper awareness of the ways they can transform our world.
As additional resources, here are two videos that provide further reflection about the impact and importance of Pope St. John XXIII:
Our STEM emphasis is not changing; our leadership, staff, and school families will remain the same; but our path toward being part of a new, vibrant Catholic community is continuing to take shape. Adopting a new school name that is reflective of Pope St. John XXIII will begin this July 1, 2022. Plans for branding, uniforms, name, and the mission statement will be developed by committees and might possibly take a year to unpack. Except for being aligned to the name of our parish, there is not a specific change that needs to happen. I want a spirit of collaboration to enhance our process, with two guiding objectives: 1. alignment to our beliefs and mission and 2. what will move our school forward and help our school grow. Requests and communication regarding these committees will start within the next two months.
In conclusion, I cannot help but feel a connection between the legacy of Pope St. John XXIII and the shared beliefs of our school family. In conversations I have had with people who personally experienced Vatican II, they speak about him with such emotion and appreciation. My takeaway is that he inspired people to listen to each other, to be humble, hopeful, and to engage in the world as people of faith. One person said, “He wanted to open the windows and let in the fresh air of the Holy Spirit.” May that same Holy Spirit inspire us to continue to serve others, be affirming and hope filled, and to look forward to this new opportunity for our faith community.
With gratitude and partnership,
Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (2008, April 9). Biography of pope John XXIII. Biography of Pope John XXIII. Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://www.vatican.va/
Pope St. John XXIII. (1961, May 14). Mater et magistra. Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961) | John XXIII. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.vatican.va/
Pope St. John XXIII. (1963, April 10). Pacem in Terris. Pacem in Terris (April, 11 1963) | John XXIII. Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.vatican.va/