The mission of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools flows directly from the mission of the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers which is:
to serve the Church in its work of evangelization,
particularly through the Church's ministry of education.
Constitutions of the Brothers of Saint Francis Xavier
Today Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools are located in several countries and situated within very distinct cultures. This international dimension of Xaverian Sponsorship makes real the universality of the Church's mission of evangelization.
Enriched by cultural pluralism, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools are challenged to understand, respect, affirm and celebrate the diversity of cultural values and worldviews.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ forms the core belief that impels the educational ministry of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools. Within their distinct cultural contexts, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools strive to respond to the call of evangelization by focusing on three important dimensions:
- Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ for the purpose of understanding His message about life as found in the Gospels and the authentic tradition of the Church.
- Creating a community of faith in which all members of the school can encounter Christ and experience and celebrate the meaning of Christian living.
- Preparing students to understand life in light of the Gospel imperatives that call all believers to discipleship, using their talents and competencies to build the Kingdom of God with justice and love of neighbor.
Aware of the developments and ever-changing needs of the time, the Congregation, Corporate Members and representatives of the school communities periodically articulate the Vision, Values and Goals that give direction to the educational activities of Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools.Vision
The vision of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School has its origin in the charism of the Brothers of Saint Francis Xavier. This charism, the founding impulse of the Congregation, is a gift received by the Founder, handed on and developed throughout the history and lived experience of the Brothers, and further enriched and enlivened by the giftedness of those who collaborate in Xaverian Sponsored education. Together, the Xaverian Brothers and those who collaborate with them in their educational ministry serve as stewards for the Xaverian charism.
Faithful to the tradition of Xaverian education, a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School is a center of growth and learning marked by:
enduring personal relationships
stewardship for God's creation
the centrality of religious instruction, spiritual formation, worship and prayer
character and moral value development
a challenging educational program
a spirit of harmony
a passion for justice and peace
ENDURING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The Xaverian charism is, at its core, relational. Therefore, a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School strives to create an atmosphere in which relationships can grow and thrive. In such an atmosphere, all can experience respect and care for their dignity as children of God. Those who work in a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School are called to understand and live their role as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which they proclaim by their attitudes, actions and manner of relating to others, especially their students.
A SENSE OF CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP
A Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School community is called to recognize that all it has comes from God. It is challenged to grow in the conviction of its moral responsibility to care for all of God's gifts, whether it be the care of the human person and human relationships, the earth's environment and its natural resources, or the material resources entrusted to their use.
A Xaverian school community is called to put on the mind of Christ in order to bring about the New Creation. Therefore, all members of the Sponsored School community?governing directors, administrators, support staff, teachers, students and parents should feel that their giftedness and contributions are welcome and valued as important to the mission and work of the school.
In this way, those involved in Xaverian Sponsorship will understand the role they play as stewards responsible for the life and mission of the school.
CENTRALITY OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION, SPIRITUAL FORMATION, WORSHIP AND PRAYER
The teachings the Catholic faith permeate the entire educational program of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School. Religious instruction and spiritual formation enable students to integrate their personal faith with the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in Scripture and the authentic tradition of the Church. The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School gives priority to providing the time and space necessary for reflection, prayer, sharing of faith and sacramental celebrations as integral dimensions of the educational program. It is necessary, as well, for the Xaverian Sponsored School community to reflect on how it manifests the Gospel values which characterize the Christian's love of God and neighbor.
Faculty and staff are also supported in their growth as people of faith. In this way they model to their students and each other the ongoing ways in which God intervenes in life.
CHARACTER AND MORAL VALUE DEVELOPMENT
Emphasis on structure and consistent personal responsibility are hallmarks of the Xaverian educational tradition. Well-defined expectations for learning and a just and caring administration of discipline help to develop the character and moral values students need for a life of discipleship.
A DEMANDING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
An academically demanding educational program is another hallmark of the Xaverian charism. As a center of growth and learning, a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School creates an atmosphere in which all are committed to academic integrity and excellence. Such an atmosphere instills in students the desire to learn for the sake of learning and increases their personal confidence as they experience success.
The Xaverian charism recognizes the dignity and giftedness of each student as well as the differences that exist among students. In order to provide all students the opportunity to grow in their differing talents, a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School provides a variety of programs geared to the development of the whole person.
A Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School attempts to create programs that encourage active lifelong learning. Such programs allow for student and teacher interactions which develop skills necessary to retrieve, evaluate, synthesize and critique information.
A SPIRIT OF HARMONY
Harmony, rooted in Jesus Christ's example of humility, has nurtured the growth of the Xaverian charism throughout its history.
Christian humility creates harmony by affirming both the giftedness and limitations of all members of a Xaverian school community thus freeing them to learn from each other and to seek the truth together. Christian humility offsets the effects of unhealthy attitudes that can impede human relationships and paralyze the functioning of the school community. Moreover, Christian humility can create the harmony needed to allow members of the school community to agree to ideas and programs which best serve their students. Harmony, being of one heart and one mind, promotes the growth of the community.
A PASSION FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
A Xaverian Sponsored School is called to become a center of Christian concern for Gospel justice and peace. Those responsible for the governance and growth of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School are to assure that the policies and procedures dealing with the treatment of administrators, support staff, teachers, students and their parents reflect Gospel care and justice. Likewise, they should assure that financial provisions are made to enroll the poor and the marginalized, thus enabling real cultural, social and economic diversity to exist.
The Xaverian Sponsored School will continue to educate students in Gospel values and the social teaching of the Church so that they are capable of making informed judgments about social issues, most especially the need for peace and nonviolence. A Xaverian Sponsored School forms students in the attitudes, values and competencies that promote a life of Christian service and social consciousness. It develops programs that allow students to give concrete service to the poor and marginalized. All members of the Xaverian Sponsored School community are called to put on the mind of Christ and to be active in their pursuit of Gospel justice.
Recognized in the Xaverian charism are certain values that distinguish the spirituality of the Xaverian Brothers and are rooted deeply in the Brothers' history and traditions. These values are humility, trust, zeal, compassion and simplicity.
Theodore James Ryken encouraged his Brothers to have the humble attitude of Christ. The Xaverian Brothers are formed in the belief that each person is unique, gifted and loved by God; yet, sinful, incomplete and ordinary, sharing all things that are important with the rest of humanity.
Humility allows all members of the Xaverian Sponsored School community to accept and affirm their giftedness as well as to acknowledge the giftedness of others. Likewise, humility enables one to accept personal limitations in oneself and others. Humility inspires a sense of connectedness, not only within the community, but beyond. Humility is not a passive attitude, but an attitude leading to action, and that action is service.
Humility promotes harmonious relationships allowing members of the school community to affirm each other, to learn from each other and to work together. Humility is a powerful source of unity and is needed if the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School is to promote truly inclusive and collaborative relationships.
Trust is the meeting place of mind and heart, faith and courage. Trust in God forged the Xaverian charism as the Brothers learned to respond in faith and courage to the enormous difficulties encountered in establishing their first schools. This trust is characteristic of the Xaverian charism: Omnia cum Deo, nihil sine Deo. (All with God, nothing without God.)
It is the Spirit of the Lord who encourages, enlightens and inspires all believers especially those engaged in the demanding mission of evangelization and the ministry of educating and forming young people. A Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School is urged to provide the contemplative time and space needed for members of the school community to fix their gaze on the transcendent in order to grow in faith in spite of life's difficulties.
The word zeal is traditionally used among the Xaverian Brothers to mean the single-minded devotion to, the ardent enthusiasm for and the intense drive to fulfill the Church's ministry of education. The Founder's zeal for the Church's work of evangelization formed the spirit and charism that the Xaverian Brothers have transmitted to their Sponsored Schools. Furthermore, the renowned zeal for evangelization of St. Francis Xavier led Theodore James Ryken to the select this saint as the patron of the Congregation.
Single-minded devotion to the mission of the Xaverian Sponsorship unifies and strengthens the Xaverian educational ministry. Ardent enthusiasm for the Christian formation of young people increases a person's desire for personal growth and learning. Intense passion for the more abundant life proclaimed by Jesus Christ inspires and forms the Christian community.
Compassion, as exemplified in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, calls for the openness necessary to let oneself be touched by another's life and the courage to reach out in loving service to others. Compassion is the eyes, the ears and hands of Christian charity. It is the heart seeking action. Compassion impels those in a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School to look at life with the eyes of Christ, to suffer with those who suffer, to accompany them and to seek appropriate action to eliminate the sources of suffering. Compassion leads one to a lifestyle rooted in mercy and forgiveness.
Simplicity is another aspect of the Xaverian charism and is rooted in humility, trust of God, zeal for the Church's ministry of education and compassion. Simplicity frees the heart, the mind and the soul for the work of evangelization and education.
The Xaverian Sponsored School community makes simplicity a way of thinking, feeling and acting in order to offset the modern tendencies of materialism and consumerism, which can minimize the spiritual values of God's kingdom. A Sponsored School community applies the value of simplicity in all decisions related to the life and mission of the school so that inclusivity of all persons and outreach to the poor and marginalized is upheld.
Programs and activities of the Xaverian Sponsored School educate and form students in Gospel simplicity and responsibility for their neighbor. Calls, Goals and Criteria
In order to discern the Holy Spirit's call for the Congregation, the Xaverian Brothers periodically convene a General Chapter, the principal legislative and policy-making body of the Congregation. During this assembly, the Brothers prayerfully reflect on the developments and ever-changing needs of the Church and the world in order to decide how they, inspired by the Founder's charism, may best serve the Church's mission of evangelization. The Founder's charism is, thus, seen as a dynamic force in the life of the Brothers urging them to respond and adapt to the needs of the times.
In 1995, at the first session of the 24th General Chapter, the Xaverian Brothers were challenged to respond to the following calls:
With lives rooted in Gospel values, the example of St. Francis Xavier and the vision of Theodore James Ryken, the Xaverian Brothers are called personally and congregationally to a contemplative stance in the world and to mission among the poor and marginalized.
Likewise, in Chapter, the Xaverian Brothers adopted the following statement regarding their sponsorship of schools:
The Twenty-fourth General Chapter recognizes
a vision of Church that calls us to be collaborators
as a Congregation with lay men and women in ministries
that further the mission of the Church
and educate for justice.
We consequently affirm the work of education
and of Catholic schools as one of the collaborative ministries
in which we are engaged.
As an international missionary congregation,
we continue our commitment
to collaborating with lay colleagues
in the sponsorship of schools that respond to the
Calls of the Twenty-fourth General Chapter
for a contemplative stance in the world
and ministry among the poor and marginalized.
We look to strengthening the current network
of sponsored schools in the United States
through a sponsorship structure that furthers the vision
and unique Xaverian nature of each school.
We are open to discovering ways in which this structure
can be expanded in other areas of the Congregation.
The Xaverian Brothers, recognizing the unique value of the Catholic school as a means of evangelization, continue to commit themselves to the sponsorship of schools, while challenging the Sponsored Schools to respond to the ever-changing developments and needs of the Church and the world.
The Xaverian Brothers, therefore, expect their Sponsored Schools to respond to the following specific calls, goals and criteria:
THE FIRST CALL
The call to stewardship for the church's mission and ministry of education in the tradition and spirit of the Xaverian charism.
THE FIRST GOAL
Leaders of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School are selected, formed, and supported for governance and administration so that they have an understanding of the stewardship they share with the Xaverian Brothers for the mission of the school.
Members of the governing boards of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools are selected for their professional leadership and expertise, their familiarity with the operations of Catholic schools and their willingness to be responsible for the mission and institutional development of a given Sponsored School.
- Board Members receive in-service training in order to understand the spirit of the Xaverian charism, their role of leadership in the governance of a Xaverian Sponsored School, and the expectation of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School for mission effectiveness.
- The chief administrator of the Xaverian Sponsored School, selected by that school's governing board, has a demonstrated familiarity with and commitment to the expectations and demands of Catholic education, and proven experience in institutional development, finance, staff and curriculum development.
- Administrators of the Sponsored Schools participate in regular formational activities to help them understand the spirit of the Xaverian charism, their roles as spiritual leaders within their school community, and their responsibility for institutional development and mission effectiveness.
- The administrators of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School select and develop personnel on the basis of their educational and professional competencies, their effectiveness in working with youth, their understanding of the nature of Catholic education, and their willingness to participate actively in the Church's ministry of education.
- A Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School provides formational programs for their faculty and staff that help them to deepen their understanding of the spirit of the Xaverian charism, their role in the Church's ministry of education and the stewardship they share for the mission of the school. Such programs also support the educational personnel in dealing with their own growth, as well as in coping with the many issues related to educating and forming youth.
- Faculty and staff from all the Sponsored Schools come together periodically to participate in programs dealing with various spiritual and professional formational issues, such as, beginning ministry, theological updating, and student formation. Activities are also developed to promote collaboration, network resources and develop unity among the staff and students of the Sponsored Schools.
The call to become centers of faith that articulate, transmit and live the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the scripture and the authentic traditions of the Catholic church.
THE SECOND GOAL
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School will implement programs and activities for transmitting the Catholic faith. These will focus on the following:
- theological understanding of the human person, the world and the Church
- effective formal religious instruction and spiritual formation
- a school community that articulates and lives the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Scriptures and authentic tradition of the Church
- The governing board of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School evaluates the primacy and effectiveness of the school's religious instruction and spiritual formation programs.
- The administrators in a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School select, develop, evaluate and support competent and caring personnel needed to carry out the ministry of religious education and spiritual formation.
- The administrators, faculty and staff of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School articulate the Gospel vision of life and the teachings of Jesus Christ for the school community.
- The religious studies program provides students, on a level appropriate to their development, an intellectual understanding of faith, God, Church, Christology, Church doctrine, Scripture, sacraments, moral and social teachings and Church history. The spiritual formation program assists the students to integrate their life experiences with their knowledge of Christian faith through such events as retreats, service programs, shared prayer and sacramental celebrations.
- The Sponsorship Office assists the Sponsored School by providing necessary formational programs and in-service for theological updating.
THE CALL TO AFFIRM AND CELEBRATE LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY IN CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School will seek to form Christian community by deepening the understanding of Jesus Christ's teachings about life and by affirming and celebrating significant moments in the life of the school community. As a Christian community, the Xaverian Sponsored School will welcome and affirm the giftedness and dignity of each person, respect diversity and create a caring atmosphere in which human relationships can grow and thrive.
- The administration of the Xaverian Sponsored School provides the leadership as well as appropriate time and space for activities that create and express Christian community.
- The Xaverian Sponsored School regularly assesses how it manifests characteristics of Christian community.
- The Xaverian Sponsored School, as a community of believers, seeks ways to express Christian service both within and outside the school community.
- The Xaverian Sponsored School seeks ways of collaborating with parishes, dioceses, and other faith communities to help students participate in the larger Church.
- As a center of growth and learning for young people, the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School creates an atmosphere that makes young people feel welcome and secure, while respecting diversity and helping to develop the individual student's gifts and talents.
- The Xaverian Sponsored School implements procedures to promote authentic self-esteem, respect for others, appropriate self-control and caring approaches to dealing with conflict and disagreement.
THE CALL TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING ACADEMIC PROGRAM THAT PROMOTES THE FULL DEVELOPMENT OF EACH PERSON'S GIFTEDNESS.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School implements an educational program so that it responds to students' needs, challenges students to learn, to appreciate and develop personal talents, and prepares them to make their contribution to the betterment of humankind.
- The administration of the Xaverian Sponsored School communicates clearly to the teachers, students and parents the Xaverian educational philosophy and expectations for learning and behavior.
- The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School actively promotes and supports the partnership for Catholic education that needs to exist among parents, students, teachers, support staff and administrators.
- The administration of the Xaverian Sponsored School provides programs that allow for and encourage the development of the individual's gifts and talents, both academically and personally.
- The administration of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School regularly involves members of the school community in the ongoing evaluation of the educational and co-curricular programs.
- The governing board of a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School assures that the benefits of a Xaverian education are available to students desiring them regardless of financial means. The board assures that financial assistance is available to those who demonstrate the need.
THE CALL TO BE A CENTER OF CHRISTIAN CONCERN FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School will be a center of active Christian concern for Gospel justice by modeling just practices and by educating and forming their students in the attitudes, values and competencies needed for a life of Christian service and social consciousness.
- Those responsible for the governance and growth of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School assure that the policies and procedures dealing with personnel and students reflect Gospel care and justice.
- The educational program of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School provides special attention to the formation of social consciousness rooted in Gospel values and the social teaching of the Catholic Church.
- The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School encourages all members of the school community to be engaged in service programs that reach out to the poor and marginalized.
THE CALL TO VALUE AND SUPPORT THE DIGNITY AND SELF WORTH OF THOSE DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE CHURCH'S MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.
Recognizing that the ideals of a Xaverian education are realized through the dedication and talents of all school personnel, the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School will devote the attention and resources needed for the personal and professional development of teachers and support staff.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School selects teachers and support staff on the basis of their professional competencies; their ability to influence students in a positive way; and, their willingness to be involved actively in the Church's ministry of education.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School involves teachers and staff in decisions affecting the mission of the school and others areas that affect them.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School invites and enables teachers and staff to share the stewardship for the mission of the school by providing needed formational programs which assist them to understand its educational ministry and supports them in this important work.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School supports teachers in their mastery of teaching by means of a growth-oriented program of teacher supervision and assessment.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School institutes policies for the supervision and assessment of the non-teaching staff that acknowledges their contribution and promotes growth.
The Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School supports the personal and professional growth of the staff by means of a holistic program of staff development.