Mother Teresa once said that, “Love begins at home” and she would be proud to know that Bishop Canevin High School students and faculty are following her direction with their new Ignatian “House” System which provides increased school spirit and student rapport across grades. Founded last year, the primary purpose of the school’s House System is to further its mission by providing cura personalis (greater pastoral care to all students) while strengthening its sense of community. The school’s Ignatian Spiritual mission and House system also enables it to proactively develop each student’s ethical, moral and Christian leadership skills.
Bishop Canevin, teachers, staff and administrators serve as more than academic guides. Involved in the lives of the students, they each take personal interest in the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of every student. It is their mission to help each student develop a sense of self-worth and become a responsible individual giving back to the greater community.
Through this direct contact, a young individual’s personal growth and interpersonal relationships are enhanced. In these and others ways, the adult members of the educational community guide students as they develop values leading to life decisions that reach beyond “self interest” and include a concern for the needs of others.
As mentors, faculty “try to live in a way that offers an example to students, and they are willing to share their own life experiences. ‘Cura Personalis’ (care and concern for the individual) remains a basic characteristic of Jesuit education.”
There are four Houses in the Bishop Canevin House System. Each House is named after the following celebrated Jesuits – St. Peter Faber, St. Stanislaus Kostka, Karl Rahner and Matteo Ricci – and is comprised of approximately 100 students from freshman to senior. Students remain in the same House during their entire time at the school. Through all the interaction and House activities during the school year, they develop a special identity with that House and the students within it.
Each House is supervised by a collection of six teacher mentors who are responsible for the overall formation of the House. House mentors report to the House directors as to the health of the House and work to create a strong community within each one.
Friendly competition between the four Houses throughout the year culminates with the winning House being awarded “The Crusader Cup.” This highly desired award is given to the House that accumulates the most points in various events and competitions that are academic, athletic, community service, leadership, and school spirit oriented (e.g. attending specific school events, completing various leadership and service activities, and participating in the quarterly day away Crusader Games). In addition to the Crusader Cup Trophy, the winning House earns a House Dress Down Day and Breakfast/Pizza Party. The goal of the Crusader Cup is to promote healthy competition that encourages academic success, boosts school spirit and enhances school pride.
As the only Ignatian/Jesuit based high school education in western Pennsylvania, Bishop Canevin’s teaching philosophy is grounded in Ignatian Spirituality which asserts that God is present in our world and active in our lives. It is a moral and ethical compass that leads to deeper prayer, good decisions guided by careful thought, and service to others. And, through the high school’s Ignatian Spirituality charism and new House system, Bishop Canevin is living its faith and school motto – “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps. 126 – NAB) – out loud and welcome area grade school children, their parents and the greater community to join their crusade!