Excitement is building among the community as, brick by brick, the St. John Paul II Catholic High School campus begins to take shape. Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, OP, principal of the new high school, said that after spending 10 weeks in a Spanish-immersion program in Guatemala, she is eager to resume the work of establishing the school, as the walls of the gym and academic buildings are going up and steel rebar glints in the summer sun.
When Sophia Falter started at Grand Canyon University three years ago, there was no Catholic Church within walking distance of her dorm room. She started watching Mass on television for a few Sundays, and eventually found a ride with another student to the local parish. Her life changed when a GCU Newman Center opened just one street over from student housing about a year ago. Falter is now able to attend daily Mass, regular Bible studies and fellowship events, and is also a student leader.
Catholic schools play an important role in the New Evangelization, wrote Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in his new apostolic letter, Evangelizing through Catholic Schools, promulgated on March 3 of this year. In his letter, the bishop identified five ways in which a Catholic school assists the Church in the mission of evangelization: by being a place of encounter; being a Spirit-filled community; imparting a Catholic worldview through its curriculum; helping students in becoming free; and sending them out as “missionary disciples to transform the culture.”