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Gross Catholic High School, Bellevue, NE, sets goals for Year 1 of the Encounters Project

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Michele Sweetmon, Ministry Lead for the Encounter Project at Gross Catholic High School, Bellevue, NE, shares the following formal statement on the school's focus during year 1 of the Encounter Project.



Blessed are the Peacemakers: Introduction to Global Compact on Education

This year’s theme is Blessed are the Peacemakers, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi (Barrett House patron saint). As a school, we will focus on conflict resolution, finding inner peace, and seeking reconciliation with the Lord. We will work to memorize the Peace Prayer, which is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Students and faculty will also learn the history of St. Francis’s conversion and the San Damiano cross, as well as the role of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help here at Gross Catholic.


Monthly lessons will be designed to develop critical thinking, awareness, and empathy, with the goal of setting the foundations to greater universal solidarity and action in upcoming years.


Action projects will be focused on causes of conflict in our local area - this will scaffold thinking about global conflicts and make us sensitive to the “cries of the poor” so as to hear the “cries of the earth.”


Year 1 Goals


Goal 1: Create “mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism” (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019).

  • 1.1: Construct Homeroom curriculum that encourages “patient listening, constructive dialogue, and better mutual understanding” (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019). (CME 2 and 3)

  • 1.2: Design activities for Mission Day (both Fall and Spring) that “place the human person at the center” (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019).

    • Fall Mission Day occurs on the International Day of Peace. (CME 1, 2, 3, and 5)

    • Spring Mission Day will include an introduction to Year 2 ecological initiatives as created by the advisory team (Canticle of Creation). (CME 1 and 4)

Goal 2: Establish or “restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity” (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019).

  • 2.1: Create an educational village “in which all people, according to their respective roles, share the task of forming” and implementing a Laudato Si plan to be carried out beginning in the Fall of 2023 (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019).

    • This committee would ideally include constituents from administration, faculty, staff, MIT, athletics, Student Council, LIFE, National Honor Society, and SALT. (CME 2 and 5)

      • This goal addresses one of the seven commitments of the Global Compact, “To listen to the voices of children and young people,” by ensuring the participation of student representatives in the advisory and decision-making process.

  • 2.2: Align our Marianist Mission Program with new Marianist initiatives, namely Global Compact on Education and Laudato Si.

    • “To train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service to the community” (Message of his holiness Pope Francis for the launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 Sept 2019).

      • Restructure the current service program. (CME 3)

      • Research new service locations to include care for all of creation. (CME 4)

    • Re-establish our relationship with the Heart Ministry Center.

      • Create intensive education around the causes of poverty and division in the Omaha area. (CME 4)

      • Serve on-site, in solidarity with vulnerable persons. (CME 3)

        • This goal addresses one of the seven commitments of the Global Compact: “To find new ways of understanding economy and politics” by creating a culture of encounter.

Characteristics of Marianist Education as coded above:

  1. Educate for formation in faith.

  2. Provide an integral, quality education.

  3. Educate in the family spirit.

  4. Educate for service, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

  5. Educate for adaptation and change.

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