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Principal's Message

Open Minds and Open Hearts

At one point during the year, students from the media classes were doing projects on the "Grad at Grad." As they spoke to individuals and groups, they discovered that many could not name the five characteristics, but there was the distinct impression that they nevertheless knew what they were. Cardinal Newman wrote a book called the "Grammar of Assent" in which he distinguishes between what he called "Notional Assent" and "Real Assent." The "notional" are those things that we know in our minds through the intellect and reason while the "real" are those things that we know through the experience of life, those things which have truly become a part of who we are.
Education very often focuses on the notional and that is fine as far as it goes. If the goal is to have information in our heads then it's all that is really necessary. But when education is seen more broadly than notions, when it is understood as formation then the notional alone just doesn't suffice. While it was a bit embarrassing that so many were not able to name - Academically competent, Open to growth, Religious, Loving, and Committed to a faith that does justice - as the characteristics of Grad at Grad, the slight embarrassment was completely overshadowed by the inspiration of seeing how many had really incorporated these things into their lives and their way of seeing the world.
I have been awestruck by our students, young men who truly want to be instruments of change in the world, who want to make a difference.


Paul Donovan,
Loyola High School

Christmas Message

Written by Paul Donovan

Mr. Shaugnessy asked if I would write something for Christmas that expressed what I found meaningful at this time of year.  Suggestions such as, “A Christmas Carol” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” were appealing topics to me as they certainly express some of the key values that we remember during the Christmas season.  While I dearly love these films, I somehow feel that the practical realities of life can make their messages a bit surreal.  So, I have decided that “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” would be my focus for this year.

Read more: Christmas Message


Making Honey

Written by Paul Donovan

I love teaching Philosophy!  It has been almost five years since I last taught in the senior school so when the opportunity to teach the second section of Philosophy arose, I jumped at it.  Part of my enjoyment is working with the seniors again, part of it is the particular group of students in the class and a big part of it is the subject matter itself.  I can’t express how wonderful it is to spend time with a great group of students stretching our minds as we consider all sorts of practical topics like whether physical things or ideas are more real. It strikes me that it is classes like this that are so needed in our educational system and discussions like this that are a distinguishing feature of a Loyola education.

Read more: Making Honey


It's A Wonderful Life

Written by Paul Donovan

As I grow older, I find it much more difficult to express my reflections on Christmas. Much has been written on the commercialization of Christmas and the need to return to a more family based ideal but even that message seems to have lost some meaning for me.   

Read more: It's A Wonderful Life


Tabor Vision

Written by Paul Donovan

Christmas is a time of family and a time of faith.  As I sit to write my reflections for this newsletter, those two things - family and faith – are strong in my mind.  We all have different experiences of what it means to be a family and celebrations, like Christmas, remind us of what it means to us.  I grew up in a very close family, a family whose members loved each other and cared about what was happening in each others lives.  When I think about Loyola, the word family comes to mind very quickly.  I see a place where people love and care about each other.  What a great place to be, what a great place to work.

Read more: Tabor Vision


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