VASJ students participate in leadership luncheon and commissioning ceremony

Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School held its third annual Student Leadership Luncheon, Liturgy and Commissioning Service on August 16 for student leaders who are members of Ambassadors, LIFE, National Honor Society, Peer Ministry and Student Council.

“It is important for us to acknowledge and thank those students who have stepped forward to provide servant leadership to our student body and school,” says VASJ Campus Minister Jill Latkovich. “It is a way in which we can demonstrate to them and to the community that we value and appreciate who they are and the many ways in which they contribute to the school community.”

This year’s theme was “Vine and Branches: Gifts of Holy Spirit,” based on John: 15. The theme was reflected in the readings during the Liturgy.

“We are the branches and Jesus is the vine,” says Latkovich. “This year, the special challenge for all of us is grafting the 150 new students onto our branch. We believe and trust that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the vine will grow even stronger.”

The student leaders were charged with incorporating the Holy Spirit into their daily lives at VASJ.

“Every school talks about its school spirit,” said VASJ President Richard Osborne ’69 in his address to the students. “But I think the theme of today’s program sets us apart. Because at VASJ, our school spirit is, in a very real sense, the Holy Spirit.

“We recognize that along with the blessings of attending school here comes a responsibility to one another that members of a family feel. And you, as the leaders of the school, have a special blessing and a special responsibility to keep that spirit alive.”

After lunch, the student leaders celebrated Mass with VASJ Chaplain Fr. Jim Bartlett, SM. The day concluded with a commissioning ceremony where students received pins in recognition of their service. The students were commended for taking on the honor and responsibility that comes with being a leader at VASJ.

“Anyone can choose to be a student leader,” says Latkovich. “But the question is, are they willing? The students who were at the event have demonstrated a willingness and commitment to lead.”

VASJ is fortunate to have such a wonderful group of students with a strong understanding of what it takes to be leaders in the school. This was evident during the student ambassadors’ assistance with the freshman and transfer student orientation held just days before.

Senior Kortni Spates was one of the ambassadors who helped facilitate orientation and positively demonstrated to the new students what it means to walk and talk like a Viking.

“As seniors, we have to be the best role models and Vikings to the underclassmen that we can be,” says Spates, who is also a member of the National Honor Society and a scholar athlete.

The new school year is off to a great start and with such an outstanding group of student leaders steering the Viking ship. The positive momentum is sure to continue throughout the year.

President Richard Osborne ’69 addresses the leadership students during the commissioning ceremony.

Anthony Turk ’16 is pinned during the commissioning ceremony at the luncheon by religion teacher Bill Raddell ’68.