The following is a final project for Catholic School Leadership at USF last semester (Fall 2013). The idea: write a brief speech based on the idea I am a newly hired President of a Jesuit High School somewhere in the U.S. The circumstances: my first time in front of the faculty, staff, and administration of the school one week before school starts in the Fall.
Let me begin by telling you all how excited I am to be here as your new President and have the opportunity – the blessing – to serve and be a champion for the students, alumni, parents, teachers, and staff of this school.
As some of you know I grew up in Southern California, the Los Angeles area. I attended Catholic school from kindergarten on. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, I continued on to Loyola University Chicago where I earned my BA in English and Theology and MA in Theology, and I am currently completing my Doctorate in Catholic Educational Leadership at USF. I’ve spent 11 years in the classroom as a theology teacher first at Loyola High in LA, then at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, and finally at Saint Ignatius in San Francisco. During my time in Chicago I was also an adjunct professor at DePaul University and University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary.
I’ve spent 20 years in Jesuit schools as a student and teacher – I’ve truly grown up in an Ignatian environment and feel a profound sense of gratitude for the Society. Other than their friendship, the most important thing Jesuits have given me over the years is the gift of discernment – as I hope they have given you. Under the promptings of the two most important women in my life – my wife and my mother – I began a discernment process during my 7th year at St. Ignatius in Chicago.