Happy Thanksgiving

     It is Thanksgiving week, and we are all getting ready to eat too much and to feel guilty about it afterward. We say that we will start a diet soon to lose the pounds that we put on during the holidays, and we tell ourselves that we will begin an exercise program as well. We are grateful for the friends and family we have, for the good times we have shared, and we are a little embarrassed that at times we have messed up. We are also grateful for the possibility of new beginnings. Such is the spirit of the times.

     As it turns out, in this liturgical year, Thanksgiving falls between the Feast of Christ the King and the First Sunday of Advent. In the liturgy for Christ the King we think about our lives – both the good and the bad parts of them. Even more, we recognize God’s unconditional love of each of us. After Thanksgiving on the First Sunday of Advent, we realize that with God there is always the possibility of starting again with a clearer focus and a better future.

     This liturgical period is a fine metaphor for what we desire for ourselves and for our students at Verbum Dei. We are all grateful for the lives that we lead and for the goodness that we experience all around us. We all realize that sometimes we fall short in our appreciation of the gifts that we have been given. Yet students especially come to realize that the “Verb” is a place where there is always the possibility of finding the help they need to begin again and to meet the challenge to succeed and to have a bright future.

     To the family of Verbum Dei: students, faculty, staff, donors, corporate partners and friends, Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings for the future.

Loving the Mission!

     The Mission Advancement Office was established in 2001. If you had asked me then if I thought we would be where we are today – I never in my wildest dreams would have dreamt it.
     I have seen some incredible changes at Verbum Dei in my 13 years here. Most recently we were able to complete a Capital Campaign project that included renovation of two of our classroom wings. This project was a very high priority as the 1962 vintage buildings have been minimally refurbished since 1962. And with our student population growth projections (from 330 to 400 students), we simply had to do it. Phase two of this project included the renovation of the athletic facilities. The upgrades included new flooring, doors, electrical and plumbing, lighting, monitor mounts with new monitors. The renovation is indescribable. You have to see this firsthand so come down and visit our fine campus; meet our outstanding faculty and staff; and, most importantly, talk with our eager college-bound young gentlemen. You’ll quickly remember why you volunteer, donate, and support Verbum Dei High School. And you’ll see there is no organization out there doing quite the incredible work we are doing in Watts. To schedule a visit, call me at 323-564-6651 Ext. 5110 or email me at sandrade@verbumdei.us. You’ll grow to respect our mission even more!
     There is never a dull day in our department. Our Mission Advancement Team consists of: Paul W. Hosch, Vice President of Mission Advancement, Stephanie Andrade, Advancement Associate, Michelle Cordova, Advancement Assistant, and our two remarkable student workers, Michael Pineda and Darius Bailey.


P.S. Don’t forget our Mardi Gras Awards Dinner and Auction on March 5, 2015 at the Biltmore Hotel beginning at 5:30PM.  Don’t miss this fun event:


Grad at Grad Week

     The Verb Spirit is alive and thrives. In the midst of academic pursuits, students showcased their talent and enthusiasm during Spirit Week and Grad at Grad Week. In seamless transitions, the students and faculty went from classroom engagement to speaker events and riotous gamesmanship. Though a myriad of moments have left impression during this year, this last week resonated more than most. A tangible energy courses through the student body in the classroom and in extracurricular activities, all the more impressive considering the rigorous schedules each student undertakes. One of the most memorable moments occurred when the keynote speaker, Ernie G, from the Grad at Grad week asked the students to raise their hands if it would make their parents or guardians proud beyond measure to see them go to college and find success in and beyond the school. The hands shot up without hesitation in a beautiful understanding of the individuality and solidarity in the dreams carried by the students and their families.
     In a week during which so many members of the Verb family reached out and gave extra time and presence, it is easy to see what makes this a special community. Thanks to the leadership partaken by ASB, invested parents, faculty and staff, and especially Mr. Jovel for his dedication and organization. During the week, we had small groups meet after school and discuss and express various aspects from the Verbum Dei Grad at Grad Philosophy. Students from different years met and shared in confidence their experiences in and out of the classroom in relation to the Grad at Grad pillars. Upper classmen took a nurturing leadership role that led to candid dialogues voicing concerns and personal triumphs.
     One of the more encouraging characteristics I continue to witness in the English 4A course and Writing courses I teach is the ability for the students to see different perspectives. As writers, the ability to see the world from different views, as a witness and as someone engaged with their world, opens the mind to ideas beyond those solely from experience. These young men continue to impress with their resolve and willingness to question what the world has for them and what they have for their community.