This morning during a special Mass to celebrate Catholic Schools Week at its high school Saint John Paul II Academy in Boca Raton, the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach and the Brothers of the Christian Schools signed a Covenant which strengthens the school’s affiliation with Lasallian education and allows the school to become an official member of the Lasallian education network. The Covenant allows the high school to become a Lasallian-sponsored school, elevating Saint John Paul II Academy to become a member of one of the largest educational networks in the world.
Saint John Paul II Academy already follows the educational tradition of Saint John Baptist De La Salle and the Brothers of the Christian Schools community. Under the Covenant, Saint John Paul II Academy will remain a school governed by and within the Diocese of Palm Beach while students and staff will benefit from the Academy’s inclusion in the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Religious Order founded by Saint John Baptiste De La Salle. The purpose of the Covenant will be to sustain, foster and enhance the mutually beneficial relationship between the Lasallian network and the school.
Among the benefits for students at the Boca Raton school is that the Lasallian educational logo and name will appear on their school transcripts which should enhance their college applications and review by college admission offices. Additionally, school staff will have an opportunity to further their learning with access to numerous education and formation training opportunities provided through the Lasallian educational network.
“By becoming a Lasallian sponsored school, Saint John Paul II Academy joins a network of schools and ministries throughout the United States and Canada that live out the charism of Saint John Baptiste de La Salle based on five core principles: Concern for the poor and Social Justice; faith in the presence of God; quality education; respect for all persons; and the presence of an inclusive community. The Brothers of the Christian Schools along with the lay colleagues have been transforming lives of their students since 1680 and we can now proudly say that we belong to this extended Lasallian network,” said Brother Daniel Aubin, FSC, President, Saint John Paul II Academy.
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, describes the inclusion of the Diocese of Palm Beach’s school into the Lasallian education network as a beneficial relationship for all involved, especially the students.
“All schools in the Diocese of Palm Beach have a strong academic and well-rounded curriculum which allows our students to receive an excellent education and instills in them the faith and values which assist them in future success. The goals of excellence in spirit, intellect and zeal demonstrated by Saint John Baptist De La Salle and Lasallian schools, as highlighted in the Covenant, will further assist the students at Saint John Paul II Academy as they go into the world to become successful in their communities, business and families and in service to others,” said Bishop Barbarito.
Lasallian schools have been founded in over 80 countries around the world and presently educate more than one million students. In the United States and Canada, Lasallian Education can be found in 109 schools and ministries. Saint John Paul II Academy now becomes the only Lasallian-sponsored school in the U.S. in the southern part of the Lasallian province that spans from as far north as Toronto, west to Detroit and as far south as Jamaica, presently known as the District of Eastern North America.
Saint John Paul II Academy opened as a Catholic school in 1980 and at the time was named Pope John Paul II High School. Through the years, more than 5,600 young men and women have graduated from the school and most have continued their studies at the collegiate level and beyond. After Pope John Paul II was canonized and elevated to saint, the school appropriately changed its name to Saint John Paul II Academy, and adopted “Academy” in its title to honor the tradition given to a place of learning and to celebrate its relationship with the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
During today’s Covenant signing, the Diocese of Palm Beach and the Brothers of the Christian Schools community thanked the previous religious order communities who ministered at the school during its nearly 37 year history. The Carmelite Fathers took direction of the school from its opening until 2007 and the Adrian Dominican sisters arrived in 1982 at the school and ministered there until 2013.
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 225,749 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its elementary, middle and high schools.