First new Catholic school in 13 years
By Nissa LaPoint
Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield announced it will open a new Catholic grade school in August with the promise to provide the best education available to children in south Arapahoe County.
Msgr. Edward Buelt, parish pastor, announced March 1 that the parish’s long-term plans to start a school will be fulfilled Aug. 19 when its doors are opened to students.
“Since Archbishop (Charles) Chaput founded Our Lady of Loreto Parish in 1998, we have been hoping for, planning for and working for a school,” Msgr. Buelt told the Denver Catholic Register. “We did not believe that we could be fully faithful to our mission and ministry as a Catholic parish without a Catholic school. We are very blessed that God has given us the grace to open our school in this Year of Faith.”
Our Lady of Loreto School will be the first to open in the Denver Archdiocese since 2000 when St. Mary School opened in Greeley.
Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila gave his blessing for the parish to open a school for grades kindergarten through eighth on the parish grounds at 18000 E. Arapahoe Road in Foxfield.
Photo provided by Ron Faleide of Faleide Architects P.C.
“It is with high praise and great joy that I provide this permission,” the archbishop wrote in a letter to the pastor. “You and your parishioners are to be commended for the visionary leadership and generous investment of time, talent and treasure that have made this dream a reality.”
Enrollment is open for students through the fifth grade during the 2013-2014 school year; subsequent grades will be added each year. Hired teachers and three nuns from the Rome-based Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy order—one of whom will serve as principal—will run the school in the St. Joseph Ministry Center, a combined school and gathering space attached to the parish.
The school boasts of a fresh start, crisp uniforms and a firm foundation on Roman Catholic teaching.
“Parents will find no more able partner than Our Lady of Loreto to help them fulfill their God-given responsibility to form their children in Christ and to educate them in his truth,” Msgr. Buelt said.
He said the school is rooted in the mission and ministry in the Year of Faith, as proclaimed by pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and will act as the “porta fidei” (door of faith). The school will enlighten children about “believing that sees” rather than “seeing that believes,” he said.
“In other words, our school will be about reversing the equation,” the pastor said. “The world teaches one must see (proof) in order to believe. We will teach that one must believe (have faith) in order to know. And we will teach that, therefore, from faith comes the capacity to love. We will teach that love is the child of faith. We will teach that only one who believes in truth can truly love.”
Students will learn these truths in class sizes ranging from 15 to 25. Children with mild to moderate special needs can be accommodated.
Worship and prayer will be foundational at the school where Mass will be celebrated weekly. Msgr. Buelt said he wants the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy to instill in students their contemplative and apostolic charism, focused on being people of prayer who serve.
“That charism is something I very much want to teach and instill in our children and families, namely, to be men and women and families who pray and so to be disciples of Jesus who love and serve as he has loved and served us,” he said.
The newness of the school is a great grace, he said—one that will enable the parish to build a new culture.
“As a new school, we will be able to build the Catholic culture of the school from the ground up in partnership with the parents, children, and families who are its first students,” Msgr. Buelt said. “Because of this newness, we will not be constricted or constrained by the old ways of doing things. We will be able through the Church’s new evangelization to work to build a new civilization of love.”
Our Lady of Loreto School
Open to grades kindergarten-fifth for the 2013-2014 school year
Where: 18000 E. Arapahoe Road, Foxfield
Registration: parishioners March 9-22; non-parishioners March 23-29
Tuition: parishioners about $5,100; non-parishioners about $6,375
Forms: online at www.ourladyofloreto.org
Curriculum details: http://archden.org/index.cfm/ID/106/Curriculum-Guideline
School philosophy: summarized in “The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools” by Archbishop J. Michael Miller