Marianists from Rome visit VASJ

It is a privilege any time VASJ has the presence of Marianists (members of The Society of Mary), one of the school’s sponsoring religious orders, in the school building. On October 23, VASJ was fortunate to have visitors from the World Council of the Marianists from Rome, Italy.

Fr. André Fétis, SM, assistant for religious life, and Bro. Mike McAward, SM, general assistant for temporalities, come to the school and talked with several of the students, teachers and members of the administration. They were joined by Bro. Paul Hoffman, SM, who is the parish life coordinator St. Aloysius Parish in Cleveland and a member of the VASJ Endowment Board.

“We were very pleased to show our Marianist visitors how we carry out the Marianist mission at our school,” said VASJ President Richard Osborne ’69. “It’s important that we underline the characteristics of Marianist education in everything we do. Marianist and Ursuline charisms are at the heart of everything we do.”

The Marianist visitors had lunch with members of the VASJ administration and religion department, followed by a tour of the school. It was a chance for the Marianist visitors to ask questions and hear about the way the Marianist charisms are infused into the education and environment at VASJ.

Two of the experts in this area are teachers Bill Raddell ’68 and Beverly Moore, who work hard to incorporate the characteristics of Marianist education into the religion courses at VASJ.

“The Marianists have always had a way of showing how much they value what we are doing at VASJ,” Raddell said. “We’ve been blessed by their support.”

The visitors also met with Dean of Academics Tim Neary ’03, who is the director of VASJ’s Marianist Urban Students Program (MUSP). VASJ is one of only three schools with a MUSP program. The program, which was founded in 1992 by The Society of Mary, is designed to offer high-potential students in urban Marianist elementary schools with the financial, academic and social support needed to succeed.

Bro. Mike spoke of the strong network of the Marianist schools and the ways in which they are unified through the core values.

“The partnerships that you have with the Ursulines and Marianists – you’re not alone,” said Bro. Mike. “It is great to learn from one school to the next. The core values you share with the other schools – and in many ways, the energy – is coming from the same place. The Marianist charisms unify them. Students have brothers and sisters throughout the world.”

The visit ended with a trip to the Viking Bookstore where Fr. Andre and Bro. Mike picked out some Viking apparel to take back to Rome.

Bro. Mike McAward, SM, general assistant for temporalities, and Fr. André Fétis, SM,
assistant for religious life, display their new Viking apparel after their visit to VASJ.