Hundreds of Students, Families and Members of the Community to Attend Celebration Commemorating St. John Paul II Catholic High School Inaugural Academic Year

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PHOENIX (Aug. 13, 2018) — St. John Paul II Catholic High School is hosting a grand opening celebration at 6 p.m., Aug. 21, to mark the inaugural year of the Valley’s newest Catholic high school. All are welcome to the event, which will include a blessing by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and a public tour of the newest Catholic high school to serve the growing number of students and families in the far West Valley.

“Opening this school marks significant progress toward completion of Phase I of a four-phase plan for our campus. This milestone is due to planning and hard-work of many,” said Principal Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, OP. “The Grand Opening will be the big event, the one that brings us together to say: thanks be to God that we have this new St. John Paul II Catholic High School.”

The new Catholic high school officially kicked off its first academic year on Aug. 13 with freshmen and sophomore classes of 150 students and 24 staff and faculty. Once the final phase is complete, it will accommodate about 1,000 students. St. John Paul II is located at 3120 N. 137th Ave. in Avondale.

“This is a full-service Catholic High School, with Christ as the center of all that we do and are,” Sr. Mary Jordan said. “We have our own academic curriculum, sports teams, music programs and plan for student life.”

Students will be exposed to the rich teachings of the Church and taught how to think through ethical and moral issues. One of the key components of the curriculum is the ethics and culture program, where students study philosophy, the dignity of the human person, the principles of ethics and bioethical issues. English, world languages, mathematics, science and digital technology are prominent components of the curriculum as well.

“The most loving thing a Catholic school can do is to share with each person the living Jesus Christ,” Bishop Olmsted said. “St. John Paul II Catholic High School will prepare our youth for their unique and vital mission in society, and to be inspired missionary disciples of His Kingdom.”

Construction began in early 2017. Prior to that, a yearlong feasibility study determined there was community support and a need for a new Catholic high school in the region. The West Valley has experienced high growth in recent years and is projected to continue for the next decade. Two nearby Catholic schools, St. John Vianney and St. Thomas Aquinas, continue to experience growth in enrollment. Religious education and youth programs at both parishes are at record-high numbers.

The first phase of the $23 million high school is funded largely by the “Together Let Us Go Forth – Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign that is currently underway throughout parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

St. John Paul II Catholic High School is led by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, commonly referred to as the “Nashville Dominicans” due to their historical roots in the city dating back to 1860. The religious order is acclaimed for their expertise in Catholic education and for their academic and spiritual leadership.

More than 15,000 students currently attend one of the Diocese of Phoenix’s 29 Catholic elementary schools, six high schools and 28 preschools. Students receive a rigorous, faith-filled education that prepares them for the challenges of higher education, a competitive world and for being faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Christ. An estimated 99 percent of students graduate from high school; 98 percent go on to attend college.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, nearly 1.2 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

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Robert DeFrancesco
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