President's Newsletter - September 2021



Ipsa duce non Fatigaris, With her leading, we shall not tire.

faux stain glass mary statue in the innovation center

From our very first year back in 1918, Cathedral adopted this phrase as our motto. This motto was taken from our founder, Bishop Chartrand’s shield. And the words of the motto have been true and strong for 103 years and counting. 

There is an above-average level of excitement on campus this fall, and it can be attributed to a number of factors; being back in school and face to face, another large incoming freshman class, and of course, our new Innovation Center/Dining Hall. There are so many features and highlights in the new building that I cannot include them all here, but among them, one feature is rightfully getting all the attention. True to our motto, Mary is indeed leading us in a new and breathtaking manner in the new building. Pictured here, you can see how Our Lady is looking over and guiding a new generation of Cathedral students. The most oft-used adjective to describe the space accompanying this beautiful artwork is “peaceful.” Students and adults have shared with me that this space brings them peace and a sense of calm. I hope you all get to come and see for yourself what a fantastic experience this building provides, and to experience the calm of the “Mary Area” for yourself. 

As we welcome September, it looks like the overwhelming heat is going to back off a bit, giving a break to our air conditioning units and our fall athletes, and their parents!. I can also assure you that the sweltering heat has not dampened our Irish Spirit one bit. Led by co-Leprechauns; Ethan Pac and Will Mayer, our student spirit is alive and well! The high level of enthusiasm on campus is tangible, and as we continue to roll out new features, as I mentioned, appreciation will continue to grow. Seeing the students together in our new dining hall, with its multiple zones and college food court atmosphere, makes me smile every day. While the labs and classrooms are nearing their grand opening, the work on the outdoors features is coming into shape. We will have some very noticeable landscaping improvements, most notably dozens of new trees, planted in the next two weeks. The wall-sized video wall is nearing its debut, as is the projection screen and other smaller video walls. Once fully operational, meetings and events will be held in up to three different zones in the dining hall area. The gathering areas will also feature special furniture designed for a variety of tastes and to give students flexibility in places to gather and study. If you have the opportunity, I ask you to visit and check it out for yourself. 

While the spectacular features I have shared are new and exciting, what has and always will define the Cathedral Experience is the high quality of our staff. Both in and out of the classroom, our educators are dedicated to educating the hearts and the minds of our students on a daily basis. I had a new parent tell me the other day that there is such a positive atmosphere around the school. This comes from our staff, and I thank them for their high level of expertise and energy as we begin this school year. As a group, they embrace our mission and it shows. I hope you get a chance soon to meet our new educators for this school year. They are really impressive in so many ways!

I also want to share with you that our metrics all look good. As you may know, I like to talk about our future in terms of next year as well as the next generation of Cathedral students (20 years down the road). Part of our goal is to ensure that our school will be here for the next generation of students, and the best way to do this is to have a solid program all the way around, from our branding (Greatness is Calling) to a terrific product with our programs, and all of this supported by a prudent and robust financial plan. In the past few years, our endowment has grown from $6 million to $22 million, helping to make this viability a reality. Our enrollment for this year exceeded our target by over 40 students, and stands at 1062 students today. I believe our proactive response to the covid pandemic and our truly great day to day work has helped to create this positive growth-centered environment. Also, our Advancement Team not only achieved their target last year, but also secured our largest-ever gift, which is going directly to our academic and learning support center. In all, there is so much to be grateful for, and yet we know our work is never done. The challenges of the new variant of the virus continues to hold our attention, and we are working every day to balance our plans to offer in-person learning and the safety of our students. Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to monitor and adjust to this ongoing issue. 

With her leading we shall not tire is the perfect motto for our school, and we will do all we can to honor our past and prepare our students for an unknown future. I am grateful today for Bishop Chartrand, who had the foresight all those years ago to select this motto, and for all who have followed him and kept this belief alive and well. Ipsa duce non Fatigaris! And…

Go Irish!

Rob Bridges