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Principal's Blog

In this blog, Principal Paul Hogan will regularly share with us his insights and observations during the school year. We hope you enjoy Paul's posts!

A Moment of Grace

As students and staff jumped from the lazy pace of summer in Oregon to the full-speed rush of the start of school, images swirl: confident upperclassmen greeting each other with bearhugs and laughter at Registration; excited but slightly-lost freshmen looking hopefully around corners for their next classroom, anxious to beat the bell; students gathering in class meetings to learn about their new iPads and the ancient traditions of Mass at Jesuit; raucous cheers shaking down the thunder from the Knight Gym at the Welcome Back Assembly on Friday, August 29.

Amidst the delirium of week 1 at Jesuit, a note of grace was introduced by Theology teacher Cindy White. At the campus ministry meetings and the Welcome Back assembly on Friday, Sept 29, students and staff took the opportunity to write a note to and say a prayer for the student body of Reynolds High School, thanks to Mrs. White’s thoughtful suggestion.

As Mrs. White explains, “Jesuit’s prayers will contribute to a campaign started by Susan Bowker, the grandmother of a Reynolds student. Susan would like to share ‘Happy Thought Post Cards’ with the students and staff at Reynolds on the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 4 These postcards provide words of encouragement for the year ahead after the shooting tragedy last June.”

This year we launched the good ship Jesuit with iPads and digital textbooks aboard. Regardless of the tools we use to deliver instruction, however, at our core we remain a Jesuit, Catholic school in the Ignatian tradition. That means we remember that the blessings we have been given are not for us alone, but to share. One of the greatest gifts we have is the gift of prayer.

Our sisters and brothers at Reynolds ended their school year with a nightmare no school wants to face. Now, it is a new morning in Troutdale, and we want Reynolds’ students and faculty to know that we are with them as they begin anew.

Yes, we have lots going on—classes, ballgames, tryouts, club meetings—but we always will take a moment to pray for our friends, for peace, for the world, for the right of students everywhere to go to school in safety and with grace amidst the turbulence that is high school in America.

Our theme for this year comes from Pope Francis’s first homily as Pontiff: “My wish is that all of us have the courage to walk in the presence of the Lord.” This week and next, we pray that our sisters and brothers at Reynolds know the peace that comes from walking with courage in God’s presence.

Peace to all of you as well. Thanks for your prayers for Reynolds, for Jesuit and for the young people of Portland and the world. 

Paul Hogan
Posted by etuenge on Friday August 29
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Sabbatical for a mensch

Mensch (מענטש): a Yiddish word that means "a person of integrity." A mensch is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong, and is the sort of person others look up to (judaism.about.com). John Gladstone is a mensch.

After 47 years as a teacher and administrator in Jesuit schools, our President is now on sabbatical. John, the erstwhile Latin teacher, could tell us that “sabbatical, ” like mensch, has Hebrew roots, via the Latin sabbaticus, deriving from shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a "ceasing." A sabbatical is a rest from work, or a break, based on God’s own break on the seventh day, after the long work of Creation.

John definitely deserves an extended Sabbath after almost five decades as an Ignatian educator. While he’s away, let’s celebrate this mensch (since he would never let me do that while he was here!):

As a 20-year-old college senior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, John started teaching Latin at Xavier Prep. He soon returned to Cleveland to teach at his alma mater, St. Ignatius in Cleveland. My brother-in-law Arnie had John as his Latin I teacher in 1970, and he still loves Latin, mostly because of the dynamic Mr. Gladstone. In addition to learning his declensions and pronouns (tui, tibi, te, te), Arnie remembers his magister cavorting about in a toga, inspiring the lads to love Roman culture as much as Mr. Gladstone.

Among his jobs over the past 47 years, John has served as Principal of Walsh Jesuit High in Toledo, Director of Development at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and Vice President for Enrollment and Financial Aid at John Carroll, a Jesuit university in Cleveland. On his sabbatical, John will travel, visit his children all over the country, watch baseball (especially his beloved Indians), and, we hope, rest from his decades of creative work.

As any JHS freshman could tell you, Mr. Gladstone is the coolest guy on campus. He can be seen at countless plays, ballgames, and other student events. Students see him most often in the hallways, slapping high fives, telling students to keep smiling, and especially encouraging them to “come to Mass on Friday!”

Yes, John is a “mensch.” He is also an Ignatian educator non pareil; a loving, laughing companion who has a heart for the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy alike—and especially for the students and teachers of Jesuit High School, which he calls “the best place I have ever worked.” How fortunate for us that he came to love this place, and that John Gladstone, mensch and magister, will return to us refreshed and ready for one more great crusade…

Paul Hogan

Posted by etuenge on Friday June 20 at 02:27PM
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