A Message from the Presiden’t Den

Grades are overrated, or at least culturally overemphasized and often misused as a measure of goodness and worth.

Exodus Chapter 20 tells us the First Commandment was given as such, “Then God spoke all these words:  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall not have other gods beside me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

This is the modern day parental equivalent of our Heavenly Father saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”  You shall have no other gods beside me, “because I said so.”  Likely, we have all invoked the ‘I said so’ cliché for one reason, we really mean it.

GPA is an objective measure of achievement usually correlated to effort.  Effort and achievement are important but not as important as character, goodness or holiness.

Teaching students how to work to succeed is important.  Working hard is a skill that can be applied in our efforts to do God’s work of leading and changing the world.  A change that may last a thousand generations.

To be truly successful JSerra must provide a good education but more importantly, we must provide an education on how to be good.  I am fairly certain that in a thousand generations people will not be contemplating the impact of GPA on college acceptance rates and median incomes.

However, they will be contemplating God, good and evil.  Grades may be overrated but certainly Goodness and God are underrated.  Take this time at JSerra to learn about what really matters in life and after life.

JSerra Hosts First Sports Broadcasting Camp

Join JSerra’s first sports broadcasting camp held by Paul Higgins, founder of Atheltes In Motion Television (AIM Sports).

Since inception in 1986, Higgins has produced and hosted thousands of hours of sports television programming content for networks like ESPN, ABC, FOX, and The Outdoor Channel. Higgins Pioneered local sports coverage in Orange County and is known for producing positive, safe, and quality sports television for the whole family.

This summer JSerra is offering a sports broadcasting camp, where students will have the opportunity to learn how to do play-by-play announcing, color analyst, field and sideline reporting, studio interviews, and more.

The camp runs from July 9-13, with the option of a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon or an afternoon session from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with each session for $250.

To register or for more information please contact Karen Testa at ktesta@jserra.org.

Campus Ministry Releases Live Album

Now you can take home the songs you enjoy during JSerra’s weekly Mass in the car or on the go.

Campus Ministry has recorded a live worship album from JSerra’s chapel with 25  students and is now available for  $10.

It’s a great gift anyone that enjoys the songs  at Mass, retreats and worship services.

You may purchase a CD from Campus Ministry. Get one for yourself and for a friend.

For more info and events visit Campus Ministry on Facebook.

CIF Championship Swimmers Vie for a Spot on the 2012 Olympic Team

pictured: Kaitlyn Albertoli

Three JSerra Catholic aquatics athletes vie for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team, at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, this month.

“Any school would be blessed to have just one athlete qualify for an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials, but to have three is overwhelmingly exciting,” said Mary McLaughlin, JSerra head swim coach.

Among the swimmers attending the Olympic Trials are JSerra alumnus Casey Mims (Cal Berkeley), Katie McLaughlin and Kaitlyn Albertoli, both freshman at JSerra and 2012 CIF Champions. All three swimmers have been named Scholar Athletes at JSerra.

“There are a lot of kids that swim in the country but only .03 percent make the trials. Having three JSerra swimmers part of a very small majority is truly amazing,” said Coach McLaughlin.

“I am very excited to have even qualified. I’ve trained so hard to make it and I always strive to have a healthy disregard for the impossible,” said Albertoli, a JSerra Online student.

Katie McLaughlin, a standout freshman at JSerra, was named the 2012 OC Varsity Fan Female Athlete of the Year.

“I am excited to compete in the Olympic trials, and I want to go and have a great experience,” said Katie McLaughlin.

Recently appointed Interim President Rob Dolan said “Mary runs a great 
program and this is a tremendous accomplishment for her girls Kaitlyn,
Katie and Casey all of whom are incredibly humble and grateful.  I’m
proud and I know the JSerra community is proud of the hard work and
dedication that produced these achievements.”

Also attending the 2012 Olympic games is JSerra Aquatics Director and two-time Olympian Julie Swail-Ertel. Swail-Ertel will be commentating on the water polo and triathlon events for NBC this July.

“JSerra is so proud, and we are all rooting for the girls going to the Olympic trials,” said Swail-Ertel, who has attended the Olympics twice as an athlete and twice as an NBC commentator.


JSerra Hosts Swim Clinic to Benefit the NEGU Foundation

Join JSerra Aquatics and the NEGU Foundation to help raise awareness and funds to empower children fighting cancer.

NEGU is a pediatric cancer foundation inspired by 12-year-old Jessie Rees. Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate girl who fought two brain tumors. On January 5, 2012 Jessie passed away, but her legacy lives on in the NEGU Foundation, which adopted her motto of “Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU).

Beginning Monday, June 18 the JSerra Aquatics program will host a week long swim clinic for ages five and up. The program will feature training to improve skills, stroke and strength and all the proceeds will go to benefit the NEGU Foundation.

The camp will run Monday, June 18 to Friday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the JSerra pool deck. A $50 donation is asked of each participant to benefit the NEGU Foundation.

For more information please contact Coach Mary McLaughlin at mmclaughlin@jserra.org.

For more on the NEGU Foundation click here.

A Message from Interim President Rob Dolan

If you read the press release then you already know that I attended a Catholic elementary school, a Catholic high school, a Catholic university and a Catholic graduate school.  It seems obvious that Catholic education and my Catholic identity are important to me.

That identity was forged in the pews of St. Peter and St. Paul parish where Fr. Pat O’Keefe delivered soaring sermons seemingly always directed at me.  In middle school Sister Mary Olga spent as much time trying to perfect my soul as she did my grammar and in high school it was Fr. Patrick Travers who made sure that Damien High School left its mark on my heart.

Having JSerra Catholic High School offer the experience of having priests and nuns on campus was integral to our decision to send our children here. We wanted them to have the same opportunity I did to develop their Catholic identity and with weekly mass, retreats and an active Campus Ministry department we knew they would.

Catholic identity is the 
integration of the ideals of Catholicism into all that we do; spiritually, academically, administratively and athletically.

The Catholic tradition of reconciling faith and reason reaches back to St. Thomas Aquinas and informs our academic strategy today. A strong Catholic identity is not a burden on our non-Catholic parent and student population.

In fact, I think most find it inspiring and assuring that we will be reinforcing the values they teach in their Christian homes.  When I encounter a knowledgeable and devout Jewish person, I feel challenged to learn as much about my religion.  When a Christian friend quotes chapter and verse to illustrate a point, I am motivated to further my study of scripture.

Pope John Paul II wrote “The Catholic Church embraces with hope the commitment to ecumenism as a duty of the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love, Jesus himself, at the hour of his passion, prayed ‘that they may all be one,’ (John 17:21).

Therefore, join me in embracing and celebrating JSerra’s commitment to a strong Catholic identity.