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Holy Week Message from Fr. Jonathan Licari, OSB

Holy Week Message

April  2017


As we prepare to celebrate the most sacred week on the Christian calendar, a week we mark the life, death and resurrection of Christ, I find myself reflecting on how the life of the Prep School reflects this narrative.

Jesus’ life, while short in years, was filled with many experiences and challenges along the way. However, he always persevered because he remained committed to his mission here on earth. This school year marks the 160th anniversary of the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey beginning their ministry of education. Over those years, we have celebrated successes and have been humbled by our shortcomings. Yet, through the highs and lows, the good times and the bad, we have strived to maintain the original mission of the Benedictines who found their way to Collegeville with the desire to educate young people in a Christ-centered environment. This will forever guide our work at the Prep School.

While Jesus suffered the ultimate price, death on the cross, his resurrection brought forth great hope and excitement for what was to come. While the Prep School has not “died” in the literal sense, many things over the course of the Prep School’s 160-year history have been laid to rest, providing new opportunities and excitement for what is to come. Education continues to evolve, so while our commitment to the holistic development of the student will never die, the methods and means by which we educate students will need to advance as well in an effort to provide our students with the best college preparatory education available.

As Jesus rose on the third day, uncertainty was overpowered by hope. I believe Saint John’s Prep is preparing to experience its resurrection. This year the Prep School has engaged in a number of planning processes that I am confident will result in great things in the coming years. It began with a review of our athletic programming in an effort to understand what is desired by our families. The results of that review have been rolled into our strategic planning process. A strategic planning committee has diligently reviewed input from our various constituent groups. In doing so, the group is working to develop an exciting vision and plan for Saint John’s Prep.
The strategic plan will be presented to the Saint John’s Preparatory School Board of Regents at their May meeting. Upon Board approval, I look forward to sharing more with you. In addition, we are beginning the accreditation process with our accrediting body – Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). I invite you to participate when your input is requested. The fact that this is all happening at once is a bit daunting, but in the end, I believe it will help us see more clearly where we are and where we need to head.

I have great hope for the future of the Prep School. Like those first disciples, we will come together as a community, have faith and trust in one another, and ultimately achieve great things. Unlike the disciples, who had to build a new foundation, we are building upon a tradition that for 160 years has prepared young women and men to be leaders in an ever-changing world. Our foundation is strong, so now the invitation is to take something of quality and make it even better.

Wishing you a Blessed Holy Week,

Fr. Jonathan Licari, OSB