With Sports Through Life

Sport boosts life satisfaction

Each year the entire school community of St. Stanislav’s Institution celebrates St. Stanislaus’ Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. This year the holy mass and the solemn celebration took place on 14th November 2017, in particular to celebrate the many talents and successes of the pupils of Alojzij Šuštar Primary School and the students of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. It is also to express gratitude to the keen supporters of the Institution and Heavenly Father for all the abundant blessings. This year’s celebration was in hands of PA teachers, whose programme was a brilliant feast of mind, soul and body. The performance was given by children and students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution, proving that the Institution’s mission is being admirably fulfilled.

St. Stanislaus – Reaching Your Goals With Perseverance

The Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore, who celebrated the mass with other bishops, many school and parish priests, spoke of the importance of finding motives to carry on in life despite failures, which are a part of it all. He offered a few remarkable examples from everyday life and from the life of Institution’s patron saint St. Stanislaus Kostka. The latter persisted in fulfilling the goal set, proving that no matter what, nobody can take away experience that fulfil our lives. St. Stanislav Youth Choir under the conductorship of Damijan Močnik and St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir under the baton of Helena Fojkar Zupančič sang at the mass. The latter performed Missa brevis for choir and percussion by Swedish composer Per Gunnar Petterson.

Changing Physical Exertion into Something Positive

The event’s guiding thread was With sports through life, which was neatly demonstrated through the acts of kindergarten children doing some folk dances and breath taking performances by rhythmic gymnasts, jugglers, basketball players, dance groups and finally the acrobats. Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution Roman Globokar, Ph. D., accentuated in his address that healthy physical development goes hand in hand with intellectual and moral growth of any individual. The official speech was held by Stanislav Pinter, assistant professor, Ph. D. of PA at the Faculty of Sports, University of Ljubljana, who encouraged the audience, in particular the young, to do sports at any point in life as it invigorates and offers an uplifting learning and competitive environment. All this helps you to embrace the positive perspective of life.

The first year alumni of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their maturity exams this year, pleasantly surprised the school community with presenting resources for the Needy Family Fund of St. Stanislav’s Institution. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

St. Stanislav’s Day – Mens Sana in Corpore Sano

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body


Each year the entire school community celebrates St. Stanislav’s Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. We have the pleasure of inviting you to this year’s celebration which will be marked with holy mass and a solemn celebration on Tuesday 14th November 2017. Holy mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. in the parish church of St. Vitus in Ljubljana Šentvid by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore. The solemn celebration will take place at 5 p. m. in the new sports hall of the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School. Mr.  Stanislav Pinter, assistant professor, Ph. D. of PA, will hold the official speech. This year the celebration will focus on the art of sports, which apart from Grammata and Music, was also at the heart of the curriculum of ancient schools. The course of physical education was when children practiced wrestling, jumping, running and throwing of discus and javelin. They also played team games such as early forms of field hockey and soccer. This was to make their body strong and their mind courageous. The performance will be given by children and students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution.

We look forward to meeting you.

Roman Globokar, Ph. D., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution

Launch of the New Erasmus+ Project Eurostronomia


St. Stanislav’s Insittution is glad to announce that another Erasmus+ project was granted funds for the next three years, from September 2017 –  August 2020.

Eurostronomia is an Erasmus+ project connecting eight schools in eight countries, Bulgaria (SOU Emilyan Stanev, Veliko Tarnovo), France (OGEC Saint Dominique, Mortefontaine), Germany (Mallinckrodt Gymnasium, Dortmund), Macedonia (SUGS Georgi Dimitrov, Skopje), Portugal (Escola Secundaria Henrique Medina, Esposende), Romania (Colegiul national “Constantin Cantacuzino”, Targoviste),  Slovenia (Zavod Sv. Stanislava, Ljubljana) and the UK,  Scotland (Wellington School, Ayr).

Our main theme is Astronomy and through our collaboration we will strengthen STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills, communication skills and European citizenship. /Alenka Battelino, project coordinator/

Sharing My True Self – Concert at the 20th Anniversary of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir


pevke - filharmonija
Singing in the choir is about sharing just about everything.

Visiting a Friend

The concert was held on 26th October 2017 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir. It felt like visiting a friend – the audience enjoyed the homely atmosphere, honesty was in the air and the choir greeted the listeners with the song on its lips: “God grant us a good evening!” In this way, the host shares with the guest his greatest treasure – a sonorous gift, which the audience treasures for rainy days – everybody his own song in his own way. Songs become virtually alive under the experienced hands of the conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič.

Choir’s Mission is to Share

The choir prides itself on clear sound, sharp focus and valid interpretation of the conductor’s determined, yet soft moves. When something beautiful is created it needs to be shared with others, which is why sharing is the key word in choir’s mission statement: »Singing in the choir is about sharing just about everything: discipline, hard work, fellowship, focus, trust, vigour and a love for singing. The moment a beautiful sonority is created, it is time to pass it on through concert performance. When sharing their true selves in front of the audience, the girls become an inspiration for others and the mission is accomplished. Thus, music is changing the world we live in«. It is a bold statement that the choir changes the world, but this is exactly what the girls do. On the stages in Slovenia and abroad, they perform with ease and self-confidence, easily deal with big concert halls and convincingly interpret various musical genres in front of the world’s greatest choral authorities.

 Freedom and Hard Work

 From a distance the choir makes a great impression, but from close up it is simply inspiring. Girls are humble, grateful and ready to talk. Obviously, they are willing to sacrifice a lot of time for choir singing. Endless gestures and repeated tones offer an impression of stunning synchronisation. They trust the conductor’s personal charisma and her leadership, as Helena Fojkar Zupančič leaves them freedom for creativity, but she also demands hard work, which brings about singing at such a high level and satisfaction with good work at concerts or rehearsals. With her clear vision, this balance is not difficult to keep. Teachers in the classroom learn from the young singers as well – they are joy-bearers and optimists; they are a living proof of what is possible if you have a motive and love.

A New CD Jerusalem

On the 20th anniversary of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium a new CD was released. It features also the songs sang at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona this summer. Three novelties need to be mention as they were composed specifically for this occasion for St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir. These are Jerusalem by Damijan Močnik, My First Agel by Ambrož Čopi and God of the Open Air by Bob Chilcott. The composers reflect upon their works in the CD sleeve notes. The songs from the CD are timeless, however, with every concert they gain on quality interpretation. With the new CD, the choir is coming to our homes; girls’ singing places you in an entire new space and time, if you only want it. Open paths invite us to follow the girls in the future as well – this is not difficult, providing you love music. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir gives a formative influence on the audience and hopefully the choir will continue to surprise with unique singing, its presence and other musical gifts they share generously with us. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Those Who Cannot Learn from History are Doomed to Repeat it

auschwitz 2017
Sonja Vrščaj, Auschwitz survivor:”The Slovenes in Auschwitz suffered so that the young today would have a homeland and be proud Slovenes.”

The above meaningful quote was a guiding thought for ten students of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and some others from different Slovene high schools (from Maribor, Celje and Brežice), who joined the excursion to Krakow and Auschwitz on 25th and 26th October 2017. They were accompanied by the Auschwitz survivor Sonja Vrščaj along with a history teacher and director of The Maribor Synagogue Boris Hajdinjak, who both authentically presented the WWII atrocities committed in the concentration camp Auschwitz. Out of 63.000 Slovene prisoners in Auschwitz, 1.350 never made it back home. A television crew from Radio-Television Slovenia made a programme to mark the occasion, for which students showed a strong interest.

Here are a few impressions by our students, which speak louder than any reports. Luka was disturbed by the discrepancy between the atmosphere in lively Krakow and then deadly Auschwitz and extremely thankful that he can live in peace. Marjeta was touched by Ms Vrščaj’s testimony, which shed an entirely different light on the Auschwitz experience. “For me it is totally incomprehensible what the motive of chief executors was? What role did conscious manipulation play? These questions leave me feeling empty; however, what is of top priority today is that such a mistake will never be repeated again.” Nika appreciated the fact that the students had the opportunity to listen to striking testimonies given by Ms Vrščaj and Hitler’s stolen children already on the way to Poland. The stories vivdly depicted the time of cruel reality. “Although we were prepared to what we were going to see, I could not get rid of the shocking feeling, when entering gas chambers or seeing a pile of cut hair… This is one of the things everyone should see in their lifetime.” Nina was affected in particular by Ms Vrščaj words that the Slovenes in Auschwitz suffered also so that the young today would have a homeland and be proud Slovenes. “This is one of the visits every young Slovene should make in order to understand the price that was paid for freedom we enjoy.” Tjaž had hard times understanding human evil on one hand and on the other human drive to survive. Kristjan found it unimaginable that he was standing on the very same place where some many prisoners died. He was shocked at ghastly circumstances prisoners had to face, the sight of prisoners’ personal items, crematorium and the starvation cell. “When I returned home I realised that the world was not the same any more. At least not for me:”

All the students were also critical of the impact words may have on triggering such monstrosities through improper use of social network services. An echoing snowball effect may be created, and heavy casualties are inflicted on both sides – the aggressor’s and victims’. War has never solved any problem.

The person in charge of the Auschwitz excursion at The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium is Daša Oberč Deželak, teacher of French and Spanish. She has organized it impeccably and with much committment for the second time in a row. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

20 years of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of St. Stanislav Gilrs’ Choir of the diocesan Classical Gymnasium we have the pleasure of inviting you to the concert given on 26 October 2017 at 7.30 pm in Slovenian Philcharmonic, Ljubljana.

This will be a lovely occassion to celebrate the utmost artistic year, when the choir performed at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona – as the first Slovene Choir ever to participate in such an event. This is also the occasion of the choir’s release of their new CD entitled Jerusalem, which contains Slovene folk songs, commissioned novelties written on the occasion of the above mentioned world symposium and some other pieces. We will be honoured by your presence. It will be all about sharing our true selves, so you need to be there.

Tickets are available at St. Stanislav’s Institution call ++386 1 58 22 245.

Visit to Wellington School in Ayr, Scotland

Mr. Simon Johnson and Mr. Simon Feštanj with Mrs. Lily Schweiger Kotar at Wellington School

The headmaster of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium Simon Feštanj paid his first visit with Alenka Battelino and Lily Schweiger Kotar to Wellington School in Ayr. We were very kindly taken care of by all the staff, especially Wellington headmaster Mr Simon Johnson and international coordinator Mrs Susan Coontz. A two-day visit (5th and 6th October 2017) was fruitful in terms of getting to know the Scottish education system better and learning a lot about what Wellington school is all about. Wellington is the only independent school in Ayrshire that provides an excellent all-round education for the young aged 3 to 18. It consists of the Nurseries, The Junior and The Senior School, which include about 600 students all together. We were happy to witness at every step what excellent and supportive environment for learning the school offers. Small classes, motivated students and teachers, a wide range of academic subjects and opportunities for extracurricular activities all contribute to fruitful results in academic field and life in general. One of the most interesting aspects of the visit was definitely lesson observation of which outdoor experiments in physics were absolutely demonstrative and informative. The unarguable highlight of the visit was a school show Les Miserables, which was performed by students from S1 – S6 (aged 12-17) and was absolutely stunning in terms of singing, acting and general stage presence. What a wonderful theatrical evening and a great display of talents! Well done Wellington school!

It’s ten years since the exchanges between both schools started and we trust the fruitful cooperation will continue in the future. The first opportunity is the student Erasmus + mobility Eurostronomia in April 2018.  About 40 students from eight countries will join us at St. Stanislav’s Institution to break the ice.

The report cannot be concluded without mentioning the weather in Scotland –well, no dreich* weather this time. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

*Scottish – dreary; bleak

Finally Finland!

The Finns kindly opened their homes for us

Finally we are in Finland! Our hosts are members of Luritus Choir and they kindly accepted us in their homes.

On Monday 25th September 2017 we had a concert at Nurmo High School where we first had a voice opening and rehearsal. Our programme consisted of three parts – firstly we sang some Slovene folk songs like Planinska, Vipavska, Dajte, dajte, Škrjanček poje, the second part was consecrated to sacral music for example Gloria tibi Domine, Down in the river to pray… And in the last one we sang popular English songs such as the Beatles’  Michelle. Although the acoustics wasn’t the best we did a great job. Later on we sang at Seinäjoki Lyseo with the same repertoire. We were also awarded with some free time in the city centre where we went and grabbed something to eat and headed our way to Squash & Bowling Center. We spent an hour bowling with our Finnish friends who took us back to their homes where we tried sauna and jacuzzi. We found it quite fascinating that every family has its own sauna. Some of them even two!

We had an early start on Tuesday, 26th September and met up with other choir singers. Finnish students prepared a quiz, which checked our knowledge of Finnish music. Did you know that the famous song Hollywood Hills was written by a Finnish group Sunrise Avenue? We also listened to many other catchy songs. We were kindly offered some Finnish sweets – Fazer’s milk chocolate, samijakki etc. The majority of us did not like the taste of sweets, but the chocolate was delicious!
At school we also had a concert for highschool students and later on we performed in a modern called Lakeuden Risti, designed by a famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Because of the acoustics it was the best performance so far, having sung mostly spiritual music. The concert was meant for older people, whose reaction really moved us, we even got standing ovations. We were very content because we brightened up their day. The organiser of the exchange Hanne Orrenmaa is a conductor, who travels around the world and teaches children to sing and love music. Her goal is a peaceful world and this is why she loves so much Imagine by John Lennon. The song speaks about equality, harmony, unity of all nations. She wanted to record us singing this song which she will use in her YouTube video. In the video there will be also records of children of other nations. Having successfully recorded the song, we headed to the forest with our hosts, where we ate traditional sausages and had a fun competition in pronouncing sentences in Finnish and Slovene. A day packed with activities passed quickly and eventually we felt exhausted, so after a short walk to the parking lot we went straight to our Finnish homes. We fell asleep immediately. /Barbara Kobal, Klara Pogačar, Marta Novak/


Estonia – here we come!

Relaxed sightseeing is always a part of a tour

We arrived to Tallinn, on Saturday afternoon on 23rd September and went to the city centre straight away. We saw the main square with the town hall and an Eastern Ortodox church. After having lunch, we decided to sing in the streets of Tallinn. Many people stopped and ask  where we come from and who our conductor is. Been given a lot of motivation, we felt very proud. We were pleasantly surprised by people’s reaction to our singing. In the evening we arrived to our hotel and had a typical Estonian meal. They gave us fish soup and rice with chicken. A short practice in the hotel hall followed for the next day singing at mass in the city centre.

Sunday, 24th September, started with a 10 o’clock mass in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. While standing on the choir loft we saw that the mass was attended mostly by old people. That confirmed the fact we read on the internet that the percentage of young people in Estonia is decreasing. The ceremony was followed by a short concert where we presented most of our songs. Polish community invited us for a cup of coffee and biscuits. At the time we were already thinking about Finland which we reached 3 hours later when we disembarked in Helsinki. The ferry was very big and had a lot of shops, restaurants and even a sundeck with 360° view. Although the journey was quite long (two hours by ferry and five hours by bus), we had a great time by singing while mixed with the crowd of ferry’s passengers. We FINnISHed our journey in Seinäjoki and accommodated in our host families’ houses. The long anticipated adventure in Finland is here! /Barbara Kobal, Klara Pogačar, Marta Novak/


St. Stanislav Youth Choir sets off on a tour in Poland, Finland and Estonia

St. Stanislav Youth Choir of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium

It all started on Wednesday, 20th October 2017 when we had our last rehearsal before the departure. After going through the programme, we left for a small town Zgierz in Poland. The ride was very long, but the musical chosen by Mr Močnik was so great we did not even want to go to sleep. Some of us read books, listened to music or practiced songs for our first concert next day.
The concert took place at Zgierz Secondary School, but first we took a stroll down the streets which still give an impression of socialist regime.
At 11 o’clock we started with our performance and amazed the whole school. Even the singers themselves were pleasantly surprised by performing skills after a tiring ride of 1002 km! After the concert, we took the tram to Lodz and went sightseeing. In the evening we arrived to Warsaw where we had a short practice and got a really late delicious dinner.
The next day we started discovering the highlights of Warsaw and saw the palace on the water and a huge Polish “Tivoli Park”. We had some time off and spent it mostly wandering around the shops and eating traditional food.
Free time was followed by the concert in the Warsaw Cathedral. The concert was opened by a local men’s choir from Warsaw. Right after the concert we continued our trip to the next destination – Tallinn, Estonia. /Marta Novak, Klara Pogačar, Barbara Kobal, year 4/