A monument to our identity

John Lambert, Editor-in-Chief

Jesuit High School is constantly growing. Last year’s iPad initiative and this year’s schedule alteration illustrate how the school is constantly trying to tether its curriculum and Jesuit influence to help its students expand their knowledge and their interests.  Now, JHS introduces its new Chapel of the North American Martyrs with a grand opening held Sept. 18.  The structure shows that Jesuit and the Jesuit Community are constantly striving to mold spiritually empowered young men.

The chapel is a huge step for Jesuit High School.  Students will see great benefits thanks to the chapel and the services that it will provide.  “I believe that the chapel is exactly what Jesuit’s students deserve,” said Fr. David Suwalsky S.J., President of Jesuit High School.

Hodgetts + Fung Design & Architecture created a building of great beauty and complexity.  This ornate sanctuary for students and administration alike was created to pair an understandable blueprint with an intricately designed structure that now sits just off of Fair Oaks Drive.  A fusion between complexity and simplicity, the Chapel of the North American Martyrs stands as the new symbol for JHS.

Wednesday, Sept. 17th marked the first mass held in the chapel, an event ten years in the making.  Patrons of the project were able to celebrate their success as Jesuit’s President, Fr. Suwalsky, presided over the mass that revealed one of the school’s proudest achievements.

With guests from around the country, the first mass held in the chapel celebrated the culmination of JHS’s work to provide the community with a place of worship marked with the JHS seal.  The mass included a homily from The Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, and a few remarks from Fr. Suwalsky.  What is sure to be the first of many, Wednesday’s mass highlighted key features of the chapel and helped illustrate its purpose.

“Our new chapel is both an assertion of faith in God but also our assertion that Jesuit’s students may discover and deepen their relationship with God,” said Fr. Suwalsky.  Reiterating the “Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard” mentality that JHS has followed since its founding, the chapel provides students with a beautiful building that can help them expand their faith.

Not only a place of worship, the structure symbolizes the idea that any task can be undertaken, as long as passion and desire are prevalent.  “A holy place where we are welcome to discover God’s desires for us,” said Fr. Suwalsky, describing the building he along with countless others has worked so hard to complete.

Thursday marked the chapel’s official opening, a day a decade in the waiting.  For over 50 years, JHS has been a premier example of growth in the community, and the Chapel of the North American Martyrs serves to show that the school is eager to grow in all facets of the catholic educational experience.