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Everything listed under: Joe Therber

  • What does being a Scecina graduate mean?

    President Therber's remarks at Scecina's 61st Commencement on May 26:

    Good evening. Again congratulations to our graduates and their families!

    Because we have been charged by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to serve since 1953, I first want to thank Mrs. Lentz. Mickey has been a faithful and energetic teacher and leader in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for many years, starting as an elementary school teacher and then becoming one of the most nationally recognized superintendents of Catholic schools.

    Thank you, East Deanery priests and principals, for your support of Scecina and your spiritual guidance. Thank you, Scecina board members, chaired by George Newhart of the Class of 1960, for the time and talent you give to help guide our school.

    Finally, thank you to all our educators, parents, families, and friends for all you have invested in these young people and for the doors you have opened for them.

    Class of 2017: Opportunities

    One of the themes at the Baccalaureate Mass last night was, “What does it mean?” A similar question is, “What does being a Scecina graduate mean?” 5 things come to my mind.

    One, it means you have attended Mass at least weekly during high school. If you retain nothing from the last 4 years for the rest of your life but that habit, your education will have been a good investment. Praying, giving thanks, and worshipping can determine your eternal happiness more than any scholarship, profession, or amount of money can.

    Two, it means you have arrived from many neighborhoods and communities and have grown in compassion by learning a thing or two about different people’s gifts, challenges, goals, and needs.

    Three, it means that you have experienced what Father Rick said last night, which is that “Life and the Gospel can be pain.” You have felt this pain through setbacks, confusion, even loss of life on earth. Yet you have continued and strived to go on, thanks to your friends, teachers, and community members.

    Four, it means that you have set goals and achieved them. And that you have set goals and had the fortune to NOT achieve them, for, in not achieving, you have learned to ask for guidance, to reach out for help, to overcome. Your future goals are great. We need you. You want to save lives. You want to solve 3rd-world problems. You want to make money and do good with it. You want to defend our country. You want to marry and have families.

    Interestingly, just yesterday, I learned that two of you have had a can of chocolate milk in your locker since freshmen year, moving it from yearly locker to yearly locker looking forward to the day this week when you would crack that can and drink the milk. We need attention to detail and practical goal setting like this. You remind me of a retired Navy SEAL officer, whose book on leadership says, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed, for if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”<

    Five, it means that you have Discovered Great Opportunities . . . Opportunities to find your passions and to connect with people who share them.

    That might be playing in a band or choir or traveling out of the country for the first time. Maybe you discovered speaking skills through Student Ambassadors. You’ve been able to stretch yourself academically in Advanced Placement classes or Study Skills classes. You have been part of athletic successes and championships. You felt your faith deepen through service, retreats, and our weekly school liturgies. You have discovered that you care about the Eastside having a vibrant Catholic high school for years to come.

    These opportunities have given you more than you expected, or maybe everything you hoped. In your essays for the Scecina Women’s Circle scholarship recently, I read several profound insights. 2 examples:

    “My time in Mass at Scecina allowed me to recognize that my family and I had not been going to Mass very often. Ever since then, we have been going to Mass almost every weekend. Not only did Scecina present me with a new family, it also helped me grow stronger in faith.”

    “I have learned that the team goal is greater than my own goal. I am but one player among many. Therefore, I play for the team first and myself second. Selflessness is just as important as confidence.”

    Class of 2017, congratulations, and thank you for the contributions you have made to Scecina. In the history of the world, you are one of only 61 graduating classes from this school named for a dedicated Christian, patriot, and friend.

    The Challenge Coin that we will present to you with your diploma is your tangible reminder from Scecina and our Veterans Committee that you are part of a powerful group, that you have met the challenge, and to live as Jesus did in good times and when life is painful.

    I am very grateful for you. Please remain connected and involved. Thank you very much.

  • Catholic schools sustain our society and our communities

    Greetings! 

    I hope you experienced a joyous Easter and are basking in the glory of our Risen Lord! 

    Spring is here, a season that often reawakens our sense of community as we get out more and interact with our neighbors. 

    “Community” is the word that stood out to me at the recent annual Spring Benefit for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, where we celebrated the school and were entertained by the schoolchildren.

    Our Lady of Lourdes, like all of Scecina’s East Deanery partner parishes and schools, is an important anchor in its community. Lourdes has been part of Irvington for more than 100 years. The church established the first school in the neighborhood, the Lourdes website says. Generations of students have passed through the school, with many then moving on to high school at Scecina, and many repeating the cycle with their own children. Who could imagine Irvington without Lourdes?

    The school’s annual Spring Benefit is a chance to honor its history and its faithful. Lourdes paid tribute to Jack and Ann Hutt with the 2017 Philip J. Wilhelm Our Living Legacy Award. Fittingly, Mr. and Mrs. Hutt were close long-time friends of Mr. Wilhelm, a generous and energetic supporter of Lourdes and Scecina, before his passing. 

    If anyone deserves the honor of his legacy award, it’s Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hutt. 

    All eight Hutt children attended Lourdes and Scecina. The Hutts passed on to their children the importance of giving back to community. Jack and Ann spent countless hours helping with Lourdes athletics and mentoring youth. As parents of Scecina students and alumni, their loyal generosity through the years has been a blessing to our school. 

    Lourdes also recognized Father Jim Farrell at last week’s benefit. Father Jim, now pastor at St. Pius X Parish, is an Eastsider who attended Little Flower Catholic Church and School. He was pastor of Lourdes from 1997 through 2002. He spoke with affection and conviction about the strong community that Lourdes has built over the years and its endurance as a beacon of hope on the Eastside of Indianapolis. I know that Father Jim feels the same way about Scecina. His brother, Steve, was a very popular member of our Class of 1961. Another brother, Kevin, is an active alumnus from the Class of 1965.

    Father Tim Scully, C. S. C., of the University of Notre Dame, spoke at an Archdiocese of Indianapolis event last fall. Catholic schools are indispensable to their communities, he said. “What would be different in America today, in our Church, in our communities, if Catholic schools never existed?” he asked. 

    I share that question with you to ponder. Thank you for ensuring that Scecina remains a vital part of our Church and society. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Peace,

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Keeping the week holy at Scecina as we prepare for Christ's resurrection


     

    "It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.” Mark 15:25

    Today, like every Good Friday at Scecina, our students and staff gathered for a prayerful, solemn service and then left the school in a quiet, reflective mood.

    It’s a beautiful testament to what we represent as a Catholic school that we mark these most important Catholic-Christian days by gathering together as a community. Together, we commemorate those dramatic last moments of Jesus’ life and his death on the cross, the death that ultimately brings us to everlasting life.

    We make every effort to ensure that our annual Spring Break is not scheduled for Holy Week. Why? Because these days are of such significance for our faith.

    Following Palm Sunday, the “Easter Triduum” begins with Holy Thursday. It marks the end of the 40 days of Lent and the beginning of the three-day commemoration of the death and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

    It’s important for our Catholic schools to share this experience as a community and to help our students experience Christ’s suffering for us, God’s forgiveness, and his fulfillment of his promise of new life in Christ.

    This Easter, I hope you will visit your church on Saturday evening for the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday to commemorate and celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. 

    Easter Blessings, 

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Building strong neighborhoods around Scecina

    Greetings!

    With spring starting this past week, and the weather turning warmer, it’s invigorating to look forward to the season’s special events, such as Easter, Spring Break and Commencement.

    An exciting new endeavor for Scecina this spring is our collaboration with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) that aims to benefit our Eastside neighborhood and to help Scecina attract, affirm and retain great employees. This program will give a limited number of Scecina employees financial assistance in the form of forgivable loans 1) to make a downpayment on a home in the Eastside area around Scecina, or 2) to make exterior home improvements if their residence is within those same Eastside/Scecina boundaries.

    Studies show that employees who invest in their homes near their work become invested in their communities. Also, employees living closer to work have decreased transportation costs, which leads to more disposable income. Scecina is participating because we believe this innovative new program will create stronger neighborhoods on the Eastside and will be an added benefit for employees.

    Scecina is among a select group of Indianapolis anchor institutions that are participating. Other Eastside Indianapolis institutions are Community Hospital East, Jane Pauley Community Health Center, and Lutherwood Child and Family Services. Throughout other areas of Indianapolis, other anchor institutions such as IUPUI, UIndy, Butler and Marian universities, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Christian Theological Seminary, and Eskenazi Health also are joining the pilot program.

    The Indy Chamber and INHP will publicly launch the pilot program soon. You likely will be hearing about this initiative in the Indy news media later this spring. During the next couple weeks, we will begin educating our employees about the INHP initiative so they have the opportunity to explore this great new benefit and potentially additional housing services that INHP offers.

    Another spring event, Scecina’s musical, is this weekend. The students have been rehearsing long hours to create a special performance of the beloved musical “Mary Poppins.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus there’s Breakfast with the Characters for young ones and their families from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Click here for more information. This is a show the young and old alike will enjoy. 

    Have a great weekend,

    Sincerely, 

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Principal Search Committee begins its important work

    Greetings, 

    In November we announced that we would be searching for a new principal for the 2017-18 school year. I’m pleased to tell you that the Principal Search Committee has been formed and I’d like to update you on the purpose of the committee and the search process. 

    First, I want to thank the 13 members of the Search Committee. They are women and men of racial and ethnic diversity and include an East Deanery pastor and principal, parents and past parents, alumni, Board members, East Deanery parishioners, an archdiocesan high school principal, a young Scecina alumna, leaders with experience in education, a retired Scecina teacher, two assistant superintendents from the Archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Schools, and me. 

    The committee’s essential purpose is to recommend the most qualified person to serve and enhance the Scecina community by:

    • Carrying out its work faithfully to the mission of Scecina as well as best practices in Catholic high school education
    • Recommending candidates to be interviewed
    • Participating in telephone and in-person interviews
    • Recommending finalists to the Scecina president, who will ultimately make a hiring decision in concert with the Office of Catholic Schools and Scecina Board of Directors. The process may include an opportunity for the finalist(s) to meet and interact with a group of Scecina staff members before a hiring decision is made.

     The Search Committee has held its organization and orientation meeting. Our time together included reflection and discussion of the Scecina mission, vision, and core values; the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (www.catholicschoolstandards.com); the Scecina principal role description, and a summary of 500 survey responses regarding Scecina’s strengths, areas for growth, and the attributes that stakeholders value in the role of principal.

    We are scheduling telephone interviews and the first round of in-person interviews will be held in March. We hope to reach a hiring decision during May.

     Thank you for your interest in this process, and please pray for the committee to have the blessings of wisdom, collaboration, and insight. Please feel free to contact me at jtherber@scecina.org if you have any questions about the process.

    Sincerely, 

    Joe Therber
    President