Plan Boldly. Dream Big. Lean into the Magis.
Dear Verbum Dei Jesuit High School Families:
On behalf of our Administrative Team, welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! I am so honored and excited to serve alongside each of you and our incredible faculty and staff in accompanying your son on their educational journey.
The theme for our school year is "Planning Boldly, Dreaming Big: Leaning into the Magis." It invites us to expand our imagination as parents, students, teachers, staff, coaches and explore our personal and spiritual growth. Our aim is to create supportive environments and offer the resources, strategies, and community necessary for the personal and professional flourishing of everyone.
Magis is a term commonly used and observed in Jesuit school environments. Fr. James Martin, SJ, refers to it as the "elusive" Jesuit concept in his book, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything. According to Ignatius, desire plays a crucial role in motivating individuals to pursue their dreams. This is where magis comes into play; it originates from the Latin word meaning "for the more" or "the greater." Martin explains that the Ignatian approach encompasses the desire for magis, as it inspires people to dream big and strive for the greater glory of God (ad majorem Dei gloriam). Jesuit scholar David Fleming defines magis as seeking "the more, not the most; the greater, not the greatest." Thus, the call is to undertake extraordinary endeavors for the sake of God, rather than for personal gain or even the Jesuit community.
So, the concept of trying to be the best for the world (not just in the world) is condensed into the phrase used by Ignatius, which becomes an unofficial motto for Jesuits: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Our "magis" goes beyond mere accomplishments; it often involves quiet deeds. Each of us is a caretaker of our mission, not the sole proprietor. As educators following the Ignatian tradition, we are united in our commitment to do more, to strive for greatness, and to serve God and His people.
I invite you to join us on this journey to plan boldly and dream big. The little changes we have made to the school (the sign in the front, new vending machines, new athletic uniforms, emerging curriculum in STEM) are all centered on providing each young man with the tools they need to thrive.
Thank you for entrusting our community with the treasure that is your son. Let’s plan boldly and dream big together.
Dr. Jesse Rodriguez, Principal