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 President Therber can be contacted by email at jtherber@scecina.org or by  telephone at 317.352.3282

  • 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 

  • Lent at Scecina offers several opportunities to deepen faith

    Greetings, 

    The upcoming season of Lent offers more opportunities for Scecina students and staff to experience and live our Catholic Christian identity than at any other time during the school year. 

    Lent is the period before Easter that we Christians devote to fasting, abstinence, and penitence. As Pope Francis has said, "Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy." The period commemorates Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. 

    Director of Campus Ministry Maria Siap again has produced a Lenten schedule that will deepen the spiritual experience for our school. We’ll be able to adore, to confess, and to reflect collectively and individually. 

    Our Ash Wednesday service next week at 9:35 a.m. will be led by Father Paul Koetter of Holy Spirit Parish. 

    On Friday March 3 we will mark the Stations of the Cross, or the Way of the Cross. You can learn more about this Catholic devotion that follows Jesus’ last day at www.catholic.org/prayers/station.php .

    We have set aside two days, March 9 and March 16, for adoration in our chapel in St. Francis Hall. Theology classes will rotate so that someone is continuously with the Blessed Sacrament. Students also can receive passes to pray in the chapel. 

    The gymnasium will become a solemn space for reflection and prayer on during students’ resource periods on March 31. Several priests from the East Deanery parishes will be with us. Students can use the space to examine their conscience and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Students who are not Catholic also may speak with one of the priests during this time, if they wish. 

    Our Lenten observance as a school will conclude on April 14 with our Good Friday service at 12:10 p.m. in the gym. You are welcome to join us. 

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Siap at msiap@scecina.org

    Again, our Lenten practices are an important facet of being a great Catholic high school. I wish you and your family peace this Lenten season. I also invite you to the baseball team’s Ash Wednesday Fish Fry from 4:30 to 8 p.m. March 1 in the cafeteria. This is a great tradition for breaking your fast on Ash Wednesday. 

    Peace,
    Joe Therber
    President 

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