The Florida Catholic School joins the Lasallian Education network headed by the largest order of Lay Religious dedicated to education in the Church
Boca Raton, FL – The Brothers of the Christian Schools – District of Eastern North America (DENA), is proud to welcome St. John Paul II Academy of Boca Raton, Florida, to the Lasallian family. The Catholic coeducational college preparatory high school in the Diocese of Palm Beach joins the more than thirty Lasallian ministries of DENA, and is now associated with an Institute spanning seventy-seven countries, and providing a human and Christian education to more than one million students.
“We are thrilled to have St. John Paul II Academy officially join our District’s Lasallian educational family,” said Brother Dennis Lee, FSC, the Provincial/Visitor for DENA. “With its long standing tradition of rigorous academics, coupled with fostering a community committed to Gospel values and concern for the poor, St. John Paul II Academy is a strong fit for our Lasallian charism and pedagogy.”
Br. Dennis, along with Br. Daniel Aubin, the Academy’s President, Most Reverend Gerald Barbarito, Bishop of the Palm Beach Diocese, and Mr. Alan Weyland, Executive Director of DENA’s Office for Mission and Ministry, signed the Lasallian Covenant Agreement during a Mass and celebration today, capping a six year discernment period.
“Today celebrates the official beginning of an incredible partnership between the Diocese of Palm Beach, St. John Paul II Academy, and the global Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools,” said Weyland. “What began as an invitation and conversation, has grown into a comprehensive process to provide young people with a Lasallian Catholic education, rooted in the Gospel, calling each of us, together and by association, to teach minds and touch hearts.
As part of the discernment process for the Academy to join the District, and the larger Christian Brothers’ mission, DENA’s leadership and the school’s administration have agreed on a plan to imbue the school community with the Five Goals of Lasallian Education:
- Instill Gospel values
- Be animated by and foster a spirit of faith and zeal
- Develop and maintain diverse programs meeting recognized standards of excellence
- Create and sustain respectful human relationships in community
- Exercise a preferential option for the poor.
“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 Baptist de La Salle,” said Brother Daniel. “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.”
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, describes the inclusion of the Diocese of Palm Beach’s school into the Lasallian Family 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 allow 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 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.
As a ministry of the District, the educational community of St. John Paul II Academy is not only called to focus on academics and service, but also to be dedicated to social justice, and to help break the cycle of poverty through education as the Institute’s Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, envisioned more than 300 years ago. The District Office, headed by Br. Dennis Lee, the Christian Brothers and their Partners-in-Mission, will provide support to the Academy through information, spiritual formation, and access to the Lasallian network, so that each member of the St. John Paul II Academy community: Administration, Faculty, Staff, Students, Families, Board of Trustees, Donors, and more; can be part of the Lasallian Mission.
St. John Paul II Academy is the newest school to join DENA since St. Vincent Strambi Catholic High School, located in St. Elizabeth Parish, Bull Savannah, Jamaica, joined in 2014, and is now partnered with a District that spans from Warren, MI to Providence, RI, and from Jamaica to Washington, DC, and on to Toronto, Canada.