December 2, 2015 - Cardinal, Mayor and Campaign for Catholic Schools Lead Re-Dedication of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy Lower Mills Campus*
FOLLOWS $10 MILLION RENOVATION CAMPAIGN
Volunteer committee business leaders Lauded;
Contributors both Catholic and non-Catholic
December 2, 2015
Contact: Harry Pierre
Braintree, MA (December 2, 2015) – Earlier today, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS) Chair Jack Connors, Superintendent Kathy Mears, and several prominent Greater Boston business leaders participated in the re-dedication of the Dorchester Lower Mills campus of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. A volunteer fundraising committee, co-chaired by business leaders Robert G. Atchinson (Managing Director, Adage Capital Management, LP) and Jack Sebastian (Managing Director, Goldman Sachs) raised $10M to complete the renovations. This is the third of four campuses of SJPIICA to be renovated by the Campaign for Catholic Schools in Dorchester, and the sixth building the Campaign has renovated as part of an effort to reinvigorate urban Catholic education. The Campaign raises funds for new academics, improve teacher salaries, scholarship support and building renovations. Since 2007, $78M has been given. For more information, please visit www.campaignforcatholicschools.org.
The Lower Mills campus renovation is the most recent project of CCS. The 100 year-old school building has been completely renovated including significant building upgrades, updated classrooms, and new music, art and science labs for the school’s 326 students. The Campaign invested in new technology and full handicap accessibility including a new elevator. Every new classroom has been named by a business leader and family invested in Catholic schools; many donors are not Catholic.
“Catholic education provides students the foundation for a lifetime of success and service,” said Cardinal Seán. “Catholic schools provide a faith based environment with a strong focus on academic achievement and sound personal formation. Our students see the world in terms of what is possible and through a shared commitment to the common good. Many of the generous benefactors who made this renovation possible were themselves educated in Catholic schools. We are blessed by the enduring commitment to open doors of opportunity to our students.”
"The City of Boston is very excited about the state-of-the art renovation of the Lower Mills campus of Saint John Paul Catholic Academy, which builds upon a 100-year old legacy of teaching and supporting our children through an emphasis on service and personal growth," said Mayor Walsh. "I know this new building was a tremendous undertaking and I want to congratulate the entire Academy, along with the Campaign for Catholic Schools, and the generous business leaders and donors for their hard work and dedication to making this building a reality.The Saint John Paul II Academy is an important part of our City's fabric, and we are looking forward to seeing the Academy and its many campuses continue to grow and succeed in years to come."
Campaign for Catholic Schools Chair Jack Connors said, “When the Cardinal invited us to assist Catholic education nearly a decade ago, we realized right away that we had many wonderful people who saw the value and need to bolster Catholic education because they themselves were the product of Catholic education. As important for many others, was the great value proposition. Catholic schools graduate 99% of their students with 97% of those students going on to post-secondary education. And these schools do this with no tax payer money and at half the cost of public schools. By the way, about half the students are not Catholic. This re-dedication is a testament to an energetic commitment to insure our schools maintain their unique presence in our neighborhoods and in the lives of families. We are grateful to the volunteer committee lead by Bob Atchinson and Jack Sebastian and their colleagues for making possible the dreams of so many, most notably our students.”
Kathy Mears, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston, said, “We are so proud of the generations of students educated in our Catholic schools who have shaped the legacy of our communities and institutions. Guided by the light of Christ, our students are proud to share in their faith and our faculty is committed to opening students’ imagination in vigorous, academically rich environments. Many wonderful benefactors make it possible to ensure Catholic education for so many, and their generosity helps Catholic schools develop saints and scholars.”
Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy---Lower Mills Campus
Located at the site of the former St. Gregory School, it became the Lower Mills campus of SJPIICA in 2008, when the Academy was created bringing seven parish schools together to become one regional academy with four campuses. The 39,000 square foot school was built in 1915 with a 1960s addition.
Technology investment: $220,000. New technology is same as Hingham/Concord-Carlisle public schools. The school now is fully accessible with new elevator, new entrance and side door entrance. Every room in the renovated school is named after loved one or given by a family who cares about Catholic education. For example, to name the first floor, a $1M anonymous gift was made in memory of a Dominican sister, Sr. Cecelia Leonor Navas, OP who spent her life working in schools and hospitals serving the poor. Many rooms are named after contributors parents, living and deceased.
About St. John Paul II Catholic Academy
SJPIICA is a 1,252 student elementary school, the largest elementary school in Boston and the largest Catholic elementary school in the Northeast. Half the students are age 7 and younger. Half of the children speak a language other than English at home. 49% receive financial aid. SJPIICA is known for its Fine Arts program—half of the students (610) take music lessons during the day. Violin instruction is mandatory for all fifth graders.
For more information, please visit www.popejp2catholicacademy.org.
Campaign for Lower Mills Committee Members
Robert G. Atchinson
Adage Capital Management, LP
John A. “Jack” Sebastian
John F. Brennan, Jr.
Sirios Capital Management, L.P.
Mark E. Donovan
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Kevin F. Driscoll
Kelly A. Flynn
Robert E. Joyce
Michael D. Harney
Senior Vice President
FBR Capital Markets & Co.
Robert M. Harrington
William F. Power
Citi Markets & Banking
The Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS), founded in 2007, is implementing a new model of Catholic Education, based on research by McKinsey Consulting. Beginning in areas of highest need, urban Catholic elementary schools, CCS focuses on systematic reform including lay governance and school consolidation, where appropriate, and raising private philanthropic funds for new academics and technology, improved teacher salaries, and renovated facilities. Three regional academies have been established to date, educating 2,000 students annually. Chaired by Boston business leader Jack Connors, Jr., the Campaign has raised $78M as of December 2015. For more information, please visit www.campaignforcatholicschools.org.
About Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston: Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston educate 38,000 students in 116 schools. The schools offer a high-quality, rigorous education that is rooted in Catholic faith and values for students age 2.9 through grade 12. In the Archdiocese of Boston, Catholic schools develop saints and scholars. www.catholicschoolsboston.org.
About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 289 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 38,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit www.BostonCatholic.org.