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Join us Friday, May 31 – Saturday, June 1! Events are open to all alumni and celebrating milestone anniversaries for classes ending in 4 & 9.

Saint Ignatius High School

Pursuing a Holy Mission

"If there were ever a Mount Rushmore of Saint Ignatius High School, no doubt Fr. Robert J. Welsh, S.J. ’54 would be on it." So writes Saint Ignatius Principal Dr. Anthony Fior '02 in his letter from the Spring 2022 issue of Saint Ignatius Magazine. Here he celebrates the work of the academy school on campus that bears Fr. Welsh's name.

Letter from the Principal (Spring 2022)

If there were ever a Mount Rushmore of Saint Ignatius High School, no doubt Fr. Robert J. Welsh, S.J. ’54 would be on it. His visionary leadership and unwavering emphasis on keeping the person of Jesus Christ central to all that we do at Saint Ignatius High School changed the course of our shared history. He was simply a remarkable man, and like so many, I admire him so much for who he was and what and whom he gave his life for: Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.

As a trained theologian and a practicing Catholic, I’ve exhausted more than a few hours wondering and contemplating what “the Kingdom of God” means and looks like. Scripture tells us that the kingdom is already here–but also not yet. What does that mean? Origen of Alexandria (184-254), the Greek Church Father, says in commentary on Matthew 18 and other parables that the Kingdom of God is Jesus himself. For Origen, Jesus is the kingdom in person where humanity and divinity are knitted together. Jesus came (the kingdom is here) and will come again (not yet).

For me, there is no exaggeration in stating that I see the Kingdom of God in The Welsh Academy. I see Jesus Christ in the work, in the faculty, the staff, in the students, and in the mission of the Academy. It represents a magnificent comingling of humanity and divinity: the work of human hands pursuing a holy mission. I especially encountered this grace recently when I participated in the Academy’s interview process for admission. I met a young boy named Jamel, his mother, and his little sister who are refugees from Western Africa and arrived just before the pandemic in 2019. During our time together, I was profoundly moved by Jamel’s maturity, his honesty, and desire to “succeed in life for my family”– an incredible statement for a 10-year-old. As his mother’s tears rolled down her cheeks, I knew that this was exactly the type of boy and family that Fr. Welsh dreamed of supporting on his journey. I imagined the twinkle in Fr. Welsh’s eyes as Jamel expressed his dream, a dream he shared with Fr. Welsh.

My admiration continues today, not only for Fr. Welsh, but also for his dream and for the reality of The Welsh Academy and for those who make it come alive. My heart is full of a deep sense of abiding joy and consolation that his vision of a Catholic, Jesuit middle school for boys in the City of Cleveland nears the end of its third full year of existence. I applaud and praise the work that Dr. Mary Ann Vogel, Principal of The Welsh Academy, and her entire team do on a day-to-day basis. They are remarkable educators and professionals, and I feel honored that we co-labor in the Lord’s vineyard together, learning from one another and accompanying each other to help build the Kingdom of God. I can’t wait to welcome the first graduating boys of the Academy into the hallowed halls of Saint Ignatius High School.

All of this we do to praise, to honor, and to serve God our Lord.

Peace of Christ,

Anthony Fior '02, Ed.D.