GC News

Yesterday, OLGCHS came together to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Father Steve Katsouros '77 returned to lead Mass and was honored as GC's 2017 Distinguished Alumnus. Below is the introduction to Father Katsouros as read by GC senior Lindsey Burke.

A graduate of the Class of 1977, Father Steve Katsouros didn't know where life would lead him when he left Good Counsel. He remembers his father's words, "You already speak English. Why would you need to major in it?"

Now some 40 years later, Fr. Steve still remembers the influence that the Xaverian Brothers and his lay teachers at Good Counsel had on his career choice and his dedication to education and service.

Following college, Fr. Steve was recruited by the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Washington, DC to work as a childcare supervisor at Covenant House in New York City. He went on to be a teacher and administrator for Nativity Mission School, a school focused on educating poor and underserved middle school boys on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Fr. Steve was a co-founder, teacher, and administrator for the Gonzaga Program at St. Aloysius School, a school in Harlem for inner-city youth. Fr. Steve has served in several other schools, including nine years as President of Loyola School in New York City.

In 2011, Father Steve took over as Director of the Institute of Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco and quickly built a national reputation for its programs.

Fr. Steve is a Jesuit priest, ordained in 1998, 21 years after he left Good Counsel. He studied theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, now a part of Boston College School. Like all Jesuits, Fr. Steve is seriously educated. He holds a bachelor's degree from Maryland, a master's in reading education from Fordham University, a master's in philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago, a master's in education from Harvard University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Columbia University.

Fr. Steve's visionary educational leadership makes him sought after as a board member and consultant. He has served on the Good Counsel Board of Directors. He currently serves on the boards of Regis University and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He is an invited participant on the Board of Loyola University Chicago. He is a consultant to Saint Meinrad Seminary, Edmund Rice Christian Brothers Schools, Saint Catharine College, Carondelet High School, Provincial Assistants for Education, and St. Vincent DePaul School.

Over the past three years, Fr. Steve's lifetime of dedication to education and service to the poor and marginalized have found their ideal setting. He is the founding Dean and Executive Director of Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago.

Named after the Jesuits' 28th superior general, Father Pedro Arrupe, who challenged society to think of new ways to educate young people, Arrupe College offers a unique, two-year program to motivated students with limited financial resources and an interest in transferring to a four-year institution after graduation. The university not only seeks to develop students educationally but also provides the financial, social, and community support to ensure that students graduate with little or no debt. Arrupe College is making a crucial impact in Chicago under Fr. Steve's leadership.

Our mission at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School is: "We inspire our students to excel, serve, and love." It is hard to imagine a more mission-appropriate recipient for the 2017 Our Lady of Good Counsel High School Distinguished Alumnus Award. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Fr. Stephen Katsouros, Class of 1977.

Congratulations to Father Katsouros. He is an inspiration to all Falcons.

Please join us for Good Counsel's first Women in STEM Night, sponsored by the Empowerment Club! We have invited several accomplished women in STEM careers to speak about their experiences in traditionally male-dominated professions and to offer advice to students who are considering pursuing careers in STEM fields. This will be a panel discussion featuring distinguished guests such as Dr. Eileen Haase, Director of the Biomedical Engineering program at Johns Hopkins University. All members of the community are invited to the event, which will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, April 25, in the Good Counsel Dining Hall.

For some, Easter break is a chance to relax and unwind, but for many GC students, it is an opportunity to serve their community. Over the break, nine Falcons headed to Haiti to learn more about the country's history and the difficulties it has faced. They also worked with the children of our sister school, St. Gabriel's, in Fontaine, Haiti, on English and computer skills.

On the mainland, a cohort of GC seniors headed to Exmore, Virginia, where they put in some manual labor with Habitat for Humanity. They put up a fence, mixed and poured concrete, and installed a roof. It is always inspiring to see Falcons taking the precious free time they have and using it to serve others.

Dr. Paul Barker | Good Counsel President
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's a small world.

Who hasn't heard that expression? We are surprised when we find an unexpected link with someone or discover a shared acquaintance or location. Acknowledging the smallness of our world expresses some level of shared identity. It feels good. And it's not new. The world was small long before the Facebook, LinkedIn and the like were around as constant reminders of how few levels of separation there are with people across the globe.

I write less than 48 hours after returning from a trip to see my parents in New Zealand. I attended Easter Sunday Mass at the parish church I grew up in, Sts. Peter and Paul in Lower Hutt. The church structure has been modified in recent years, strengthened in response to earthquake activity (three tremors during my visit), but in most respects it is the same church where I was an altar server almost 50 years ago.

I had an "it's a small world" moment. In 1968, the parish population was relatively homogenous, white families of European descent – the Irish, Poles, Dutch, Italians, and so on. Almost half a century on, as I looked around I could have imagined myself 10,000 miles away back in Maryland with my fellow parishioners at St. John the Baptist on New Hampshire Avenue. The Church has changed in Lower Hutt, just as it has in Silver Spring. In both settings, today's community looks like the world, with families descended from Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Africa and Europe.

The powerful sense of the catholicity of today's Catholic Church was further emphasized by a celebrant from India assisted by a deacon from the Philippines, elements of Samoan culture in the vestments, and Maori culture in the sacred vessels. The priest used the long Eucharistic Prayer, the one that includes a litany of saints and martyrs. Easter 2017 offered a deeply satisfying sense of belonging to a community of believers, having a shared faith heritage, and coming together on the biggest feast day of the Church year to celebrate the mystery and triumph of the Resurrection.

This Easter season my wish is that we might all have more "moments" that lead to a deeper appreciation of the threads we each contribute to form the beautiful tapestry of the community of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.

It's a small world. It's a universal Church. Hallelujah!

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