Each year the entire school community of St. Stanislav’s Institution celebrates St. Stanislaus’ Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. It took place on 13th November 2020, in particular to celebrate the many talents and successes of the pupils of Alojzij Šuštar Primary School and the students of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. The headmasters addressed the students and offered a flashback of the academic year that was so abruptly brought to an end by the pandemic. This year’s festivities were held under the title of Fulfilling God’s Will, which was the motto of Alojzij Šuštar (1920-2007), the Archbishop of Ljubljana between 1980-97. The centenary of his birth is being celebrated this academic year. Unlike previous years, all celebrations have been restricted to virtual mediums and consequently, for the first time in the history of the re-establishment of St. Stanislav’s Institution the event has been prepared digitally by Studio Siposh and followed online. This year’s programme was in hands of Mojca Lavrič of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and turned out to be a happy feast of mind and soul.
Considering new doorways
Holy mass was celebrated in the school chapel by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore and school chaplains. He spoke of the obstacles in our lives, which should never prevent us from going on, offering a remarkable example of the life of Institution’s patron saint St. Stanislaus Kostka. He never let the obstacles stop him on his way to reach his goals and the Archbishop encouraged the students to seek for new routes, new possibilities and new doorways.
“The magic of music lies in pauses … We all need them desperately.”
With these words Karel Gržan, Ph.D. reflected upon the challenges of today’s world, considering above all the outstanding message of Šuštar’s life and work. The director of St. Stanislav’s Institution Anton Česen, M.A. pointed out at Šuštar’s decisive role in legislatively re-establishing St. Stanislav’s Institution for education. He also expressed gratitude to the keen supporters of the Institution. The performance was given by the students of all schools, fusing teachers and students, actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists into a meaningful entity.
“Archbishop Šuštar was a very kind and prudent person.”
The entire school community was greeted also by the President of the Republic of Slovenia BorutPahor. He congratulated the Institution on the school’s day and shared some happy memories of Archbishop Šuštar with the audience. He said he felt eternally thankful for what he had done for the Slovenes and Slovenia and urged the young to follow Šuštar’s inspiration.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of The Rt Rev Mgr Jim Cassin from Killkeny, Ireland, who died peacefully on Friday, 5 June 2020. He was a faithful friend of St. Stanislav’s Institution and collaborated successfully for decades with the last three directors of the Institution – Bishop Jamnik, Roman Globokar and Anton Česen. Mgr Cassin devoted his life to Catholic education and the well-being of everybody connected to Catholic schools, which is the point where he influenced decidedly certain aspects of work and life in St. Stanislav’s Institution. He had always considered schools as places of faith and learning. He was a very valuable, learned and knowledgeable advisor, in particular as a member of the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools in Europe, the European Committee for Catholic Education (CEEC) and The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He participated actively as a speaker in many conferences and symposiums organized by St. Stanislav’ Institution, the last one being in 2009 when the religious education in Slovene schools was evaluated and offered some future perspectives. Jim delivered a speech on the teaching of religion being a source for Europe.
For me, he was the most powerful figure, when in the classroom with students. I had the honour of having him occasionally in my classes, when he visited Slovenia and the Institution on several occasions. He had the gift to encourage and connect the young, was a powerful witness of Christ’s gospel and a committed priest. This is why the students so gladly listened to him. But above all I remember him with great fondness as someone who was gentle, considerate, kind and funny. Jim was such a warm person and had a kind word for everyone.
Jim Cassin will be sorely missed. In his last message with New Year’s greetings he wrote: “I am hoping to spend a good New Year 2020 and hope to see you in Ljubjana again soon.” Little did we know he would spend “a good New Year 2020” in Father’s kingdom. May he rest in peace. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
The Archbishop Emeritus of Ljubljana Alojz Uran died on 11th April 2020. It was Holy Saturday. His funeral was held on 15th April in family circle in Ljubljana Cathedral.
Uran was born in Ljubljana and ordained to the priesthood in June 1970. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana in 1992, and served as the Archbishop of Ljubljana from 2004 to 2009. Since 2015 he took part in many pastoral activities, but his health deteriorated in recent years and his activities were limited. Having undergone several surgeries in the last three months, the Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore noted that the late archbishop had spent his last days in solitude. “He accepted this as part of his offerings” in the line of Uran’s bishop motto ‘Yes, Father!’ .
In St. Stanislav’s Institution we feel extremely grateful that Alojz Uran stayed with us under the same roof for ten years and for the impact he left on the school and priest community. He takes the credit for the establishment of The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School, the first Catholic primary school in the country. He will always be remembered for is favourable attitude to people, fervent prayers, enthusiastic singing and simple joy he expressed everywhere he went.
The priests who work in St. Stanislav’s Institution celebrated the mass to his honour during which the director Anton Česen outlined Uran’s life and work in a form of a letter to a dear friend. He summarized his fruitful life in seven most typical aspects: finding true enjoyment in life, living pastoral eagerness in order to be an announcer of the Gospel, cherishing his love of singing and attachment to the homeland, comprehending the holy mass as a source of any priest’s life, developing brotherhood among the priests and, last but not least, the entire school community points at his kind attention to every individual.
All these and many more other features indicate that he lived his life to the full. A thought by one of the alumna of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium summarises it meaningfully: “This man radiated benevolence. Our meetings in the school corridors were truly inspiring.” May your soul rest in peace, dear Archbishop. /adapted and written by Lily Schweiger Kotar/
Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time … finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.
(Pope Francis, March 27th, 2020)
Wising you God’s closeness and hope! Happy Easter!
Anton Česen, M. A., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution
In line with the directive from the Slovene Government over Covid-19, St Stanislav’s Institution closed its doors on Friday, 16th March 2020.
However, students and teachers remain in contact. All schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution have prepared for this event and are committed to providing a good standard of academic and pastoral care for all their children, pupils and students. Although they may no longer physically be in situ, the schools deliver lessons via on-line to ensure the continuous provision of good education to everybody. Assistance and support are provided for anxious student and families in need.
We try to keep the entire school community informed and motivated. We remain committed to support the ongoing education and care of our students. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
As a part of an Erasmus+ exchange, which took place from 9th- 13th February 2020, twelve students from Belgium and eight from Scotland visited St. Stanislav´s Institution together with seven teachers from both countries. The title of the exchange was Small countries strong cultures, suggesting that the aim of the project was to strengthen national identity with the young people.
Monday, 10th February – Finding Our Common Ground and Roots
Our guests had already come to Ljubljana the previous day. On Monday, we started the day with a tour of the school and an exhibition of our photographs made as a part of a project Bittersweet memories. For the project we had to photograph items that would remind us of our counties and our roots in case we were forced to flee the homeland. We proceeded with lessons of Slovene and Latin and a presentation of the principle features of a Roman city. After lunch we drove to the city centre to visit the City Museum of Ljubljana and the exhibition of the history of Ljubljana. We ended the day with a trip to the city centre.
Tuesday, 11th February 2020 – Having Fun in the Old Days
On Tuesday morning there was a presentation of Saint George, the patron saint of Ljubljana. Then we proceeded with workshops of drawing, dancing, singing and storytelling. Saint George was the topic of all the workshops. In the evening we met around the fire, which was used for cooking our dinner, and we presented what we had done in the workshops. This evening was also the time for playing games and talking with our new friends. Some of the parents joined us as well.
Wednesday, 12. 2. 2020 – Boosting Family Values Through Cuisine
After a concert of a choir and some ensembles from Saint Stanislav´s Institution, we drove to Bled. We walked almost around the entire lake and then visited the town of Radovljica. There we learned how gingerbread is made and we even tried to decorate our own gingerbread hearts. After that we had a lunch. Some traditional Slovenian dishes were served and the owner of the restaurant entertained us with traditional Slovene music. After speeches given by our teachers, we returned home and spent the last evening with our guests, who left the next morning.
Some Students’ Impressions about the Exchange
During the exchange I learned a lot about Belgian and Scottish history.
I was introduced to their culture and I greatly improved my knowledge of English language.
I got some new friends with whom I still have connections on social media.
I am very happy that I was able to be a part of this exchange.
The new banner representing the endeavors of the new Erasmus project Small Countries Strong Cultures radiates the vibrant colours of small, yet strong countries, namely Scotland, Bengium and Slovenia. Each country is represented by either its most typical sight, dish or a figure related to Roman times. Thus Belgium shines there through Ambiorix’ statue and unmistakably the best Belgium pralines; Scotland is represented by the Athens of North, Edinburgh, and the slope from Antonine Wall; last but not least Slovenia boasts with the idylic island of Bled and the statue of Emonian Patrician. The project logo naturally assumes the central position and designed by a Beglian student, got a twist with a strong shining orange sun in the middle. The banner was designed by Matic Kotar, the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium alumnus. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
For the third time in a row The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium has taken part in this online competition. 30 students from the DCG had an opportunity to challenge their English on 29th November, 2019. This year 16,472 students from 624 schools from 25 countries have participated, of who 508 from Slovenia. We are very happy to announce that Mark Loborec (year 4) was awarded first place in Slovenia and 13th place all together and Gašper Ljubič (year 3) was awarded third place in Slovenia.
The Best In English contest is a unique online English language competition within the EU and beyond. It is opened to all high schools and their students aged 14-19. The level of the test is B1 – C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The best students win a 2-week trip to Canada. Students come mostly from European countries; however this year there were also participants from Switzerland, Turkey, Israel and Indonesia.
We are proud of Mark’s and Gašper’s success and congratulate them upon this fantastic achievement! Their mentor is Katja Gorjup, teacher of English at The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium.
We are happy to launch the logo for the new Erasmus+ project Small Countries, Strong Cultures. This is a collaborative project binding together three smaller European countries, namely Slovenia, Scotland (the UK) and Flanders (Belgium) in order to make room for the exploration of our common roots as well as for the endeavours to build our common future.
There were 7 logos on the shortlist, created in all three participating countries. The winning logo comes from Flanders and was unanimously chosen, considering students’ and teachers’ preferences. In Slovenia we reached the conclusion via Instagram and it was great fun to observe the online voting. On behalf of the Slovenian team we congratulate the Belgian artist for a most suggestive and distinctive logo, representing certain characteristics of all three participating countries. Well done indeed! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/