Juvenes Translatores 2022 – Here We Come!

The DCG Students before A Juvenes Translatores Contest in 2017

This year The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium is one of the randomly selected schools for Juvenes Translatores 2022, an online translation contest for secondary schools in the European Union.

The purpose of this event is to bring together language students and to put new life into the EU’s own motto to be ‘united in diversity’. In order to materialise it, we need to be able to understand languages other than our own. In the long run, learning languages will bring us closer and help us understand each other’s cultures, which will enable the young today — tomorrow’s adults — to study and work around Europe.

It all started in 2007 with the first translation contest ever. So far The DCG has participated in this contest for four times with much success. This year the contest will take place on 24th November 2022 and we have 5 represetatives from The DCG. Liza Knez, Iris Ambrož, Brina Gubanc, Elizabeta Tomac and Ana Leskovar are to translate from different modern languages, namely English, French and German. We shall keep our fingers crossed! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/


46 DCG Students in Eager Anticipation

The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium will take part in a English language competition Best in English. This year 46 students will have a unique opportunity to challenge their English language skills in an online international competition, which will take place on 30th November, 2022.

The Best in English contest is a unique worldwide English language competition for high school students aged between 15 and 19. The level of the test is B1 – C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

So far 17 223 students from almost 595 schools from 32 countries have taken part.

St. Stanislav’s Day 2022 – Let Us Do Good To All People (Gal 6,10)

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 formal celebration on Tuesday 15th November 2022. 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 formal celebration will take place at 5 p. m. in the sports hall of the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School. Prof Ddr Klemen Jaklič, a Judge of the Slovene Constitutional Court and a full professor of constitutional law, will hold the official speech. The performance will be given by the students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution.

We look forward to celebrating with you.

Anton Česen, M. A., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution

Outstanding success of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir at the 53rd International Choral Contest in Spain

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir Proudly Representing Slovenia

The contest took place in Tolosa from 28th October­–1st November 2022 and brought together the best choirs in the world manily to enjoy choral music. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir under the conductorship of Helena Fojkar Zupančič went into competition with eleven excellent adult choirs from Europe, USA and Mexico and won second place in both categories, polyphony and folklore. This is by all means an unprecedented success, considering St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is a high school choir.

This is how the headmaster of The Diocesan classical Gymnasium Rihard Režek, M. Sc. reflected upon this extraordinary achievement: »First I wish to congratulate to you, dear Helena for your energy, heartiness and professionalism which you share with St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir and St. Stanislav’s Institution. Immediately after this I pay tribute to the girls – to all together as well as to each and every one of you. Nourish the beauty and the good in yourselves, keep up the good work, but never forget to enjoy it. This will allow you to continue to delight and embrace with your voices all those who walk by your side. « He also thanked gratefully to Marjetka Kozmus for her full and professional backing as well as Tina Tandler for her wholehearted support in this project.

The girls’ perspective of the D-day, Sunday, 30th October 2022 runs as follows: “Sunday was the most important day. The morning mental preparation is as important as the voice preparation, since any contest is among other a test of being able to keep inner peace and concentration. Having tested the acoustics of the hall, we got ready for the evening by putting on the concert dresses and applying some make up. As the third choir to sing in the contest we stepped on the stage in an energetic manner and already with the first accord we sounded jovially and determined. Our singing was fantastic and the public applauded loudly and cheered enthusiastically.”

One of the impressions of the winning singers speaks for itself: “I have to say that it has not been easy for the last few weeks in school, as the exam season started. But it was worth scarifying some hours of sleep and better grades, as the contest has been unforgettable. I feel grateful for all sea views, rehearsals and in particular for the fellow singers. However, I am most thankful for the moments, when we assumed we would not make it, but providing mutual support enabled just about anything we could wish for.” / Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Some clips from the contest can be seen at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTYc7Zoy6Mc

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir to participate at the choral contest in Tolosa, Spain

St. Stanislav Girls’ Chior -the pure joy of singing

We are proud to announce that 40 girls, students of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution under the conductorship of Helena Fojkar Zupančič, are taking part in the International Choral Contest of Tolosa. The choral contest will take part from 28th October to 1st November 2022 and brings together the best choirs in the world, in order to exchange their knowledge of styles, interpretation, vocal know-how and customs of each participating country. The contest has been held annually since 1969 and the event has developed into one of the most prominent choral happening in the world.

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir will have a rather extensive and versatile repertoire. On the tour they are accompanied by conductor Marjetka Kozmus and Tina Tandler, the indispensable organizer. We wish the girls the best of luck. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

FUTUR€NVIRONMENT meeting at Institut Saint Dominique in Mortefotaine, France

The French Hospitality Was Much Appreciated

The meeting of partner schools participating in Erasmus+ KA2 project Futur€nvironment took place from 25th – 29th September 2022 in Mortefontaine, France. The hosting school was Institut Saint Dominique, with the following schools enjoying the hospitality of the French: Mallinckrodt-Gymnasium from Dortmund, Germany, which is the school coordinator of this project; Sint-Jozefscollege from Torhout, Belgium; SUGS Georgi Dimitrov from Skopje (Northern Macedonia), Wellington School, Ayr (Scotland) in St. Stanislav’s Institution with eight students and two teacher representatives, namely Alenka Battelino, Teacher of English and project coordinator, and Martin Čokl, teacher of physics.

This is how the Slovene students report on the event:

Monday, 26th October 2022

The morning after our first night abroad, we awoke in the pleasant safety of the homes of our hospitable French families. Then we ate an authentic French breakfast, which woke us up and gave us strength to start a new day. When we gathered in the dining room of the Institute of St. Dominic, we enthusiastically told each other about the first evening experiences. The program began with a speech by the headmaster of the Institute, while he greeted us in French, we were able to follow his words with a help of a translator. A pleasant coffee break and snacks followed, after which we started with the workshops. The activities were environmentaly themed. After those, the mayor of Mortefonataine addressed and welcomed us into the village community. This was followed by a delicious snack. After finishing we parted again and spent a pleasant evening with our friendly host families. /Rok Lekse, Filip Jeseničnik/

Tuesday, 27th October 2022

The day began at Institut St. Dominic where the bus took us to a very special self-sufficient farm. There, we saw many different animals – pigs, a cow, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, and two donkeys … Firstly they told us about the history of the farm, how they grow their vegetables, and take care of the animals. They also offered us their homemade fully natural apple juice and different fruit jams. Then the tour of their orchard and vegetable gardens followed. It was very interesting to learn that their farming techniques and products were completely natural – meaning they don’t use pesticides or chemical sprays. After the tour of the farm, we had some lunch and then went to the famous Paris.

Paris welcomed us with traffic jams, beautiful architecture, people from all around the world, and a very complicated language for us. From the bus, we could see Montmartre, The Eiffel Tower, L’Arc de Triomphe, L’Obélisque de Louxor, Place de la Concorde, La Défense, and Notre Dame de Paris. We also rode down the beautiful Champs Elysées, where we could slightly feel the city’s atmosphere. Then followed the guided tour of the Orsay museum where we admired the world-famous paintings and sculptures. After the museum, we strolled down the Parisian streets, took many photographs, and even crossed the Saine. This diverse day finished with some more traffic jam and a beautiful evening with our hosting families. /Lucija Kremžar, Klara Lesnik/

Wednesday, 28th October

On Wednesday morning at half past eight, we gathered in the school dining room. We walked to the school hall, where Mr. Claude Lambre had a presentation about food additives contained in European foods and their dangers. After that there was a short coffee break and some snacks. We continued with workshops and attended the one called Life is still beautiful, where we met the art teacher Kathleen Ryan, who stuck precious stones over the moldy parts of the fruit. We glued glitter depicting mold onto preprepared styrofoam shapes. After the workshops, there was lunch, during which we chatted with students from other countries and had a little break. Before the start of the second part of the workshops, we took pictures with students from Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia and Germany. In the second part of the workshops, we baked a cake – Charlotte. Charlotte is a type of cake that can be served both cold or hot. Ours was made from apples. It was special because we actually used the whole apple, since we made syrup from the peels. After finishing the second part of the workshops, we took photos again, this time our hosts, the French pupils, joined us. Then, we all planted an olive tree together, to which everyone contributed a shovelful of soil. This was followed by a ceremonial presentation of awards for participation in the project. Then the celebratory dinner with a dance took place in the dining hall. At dinner, we were most impressed with the desserts. Among others, we were also served the cake we made at workshops. After dinner, we moved the tables and chairs aside and continued our evening of dancing. At about ten o’clock, after a beautiful and full day, we headed for the homes of our hosts. /Veronika Marc, Jerca Brolih, Lily Schweiger Kotar/



Natalie Kauter, Germain Ambassador to Slovenia, visits St. Stanislav’s Institution

At the Panel Discussion in the School Library

Mrs Kauter paid visit to St. Stanislav’s Institution and The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium on Wednesday, 12th October 2022. During her two-hour visit she was greeted by the director of the Institution Anton Česen, the Headmaster of The DCG Rihard Režek, two Germain teachers Irena Bolta and Peter Prašnikar and the Headmaster of Matija Tomc Music School Daniel Eyer.

Since this was Mrs Kauter’s first visit to St. Stanislav’s Institution, the director walked her through its history and organization. Teachers of Germain spoke of the position of German language learning in Slovenia and the fact that more than half of DCG students take Germain, which is perfectly sensible, considering Slovenia’s geographic position and intensive economic collaboration between both countries. Mrs Kauter was impressed by the programme specifics of the DCG, especially the pastoral care and charity activities students take part in.

The most exciting part of the visit was definitely the meeting with about 30 students in the school library. The event was moderated and prepared by students and the subject of their interest were various topics from the duties of an ambassador to comparing life in Germany and Slovenia. They learned that the position of the ambassador to Slovenia is shared between Mrs Kauther and her husband Mrs Pollmann. They alternate the position, which is a rather unique incident in the history of Germain diplomacy. The ambassador admired the high command of foreign languages in Slovenia and is grateful to the Slovenes for their friendly disposition towards the Germains, which is not self- understood, regarding the history related to the atrocities of WWII.

Above the ambassador expressed her enthusiasm about the school, its programme and neatness with the following words: “What a school! My heartfelt thanks to all those who made the visit possible. I appreciate you showing me this particular and special world, full of warmth, knowledge and good energy. Upon the visit I had only one wish: be a kid again, who is very lucky to be able to attend this school again!”  The visit of German ambassador to Slovenia was organized by Irena Bolta, a teacher of German at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. /Irena Bolta/

Student Erasmus mobility in Wellington School, Ayr in Scotland

Happy Participants – the Slovene gorup with Scottish Teachers

We are happy to report that a project meeting of Small Countries Strong Cultures took place in Scotland from 21st-25th August 2022. It was a happy and fruitful reunion of about 40 Scottish (Wellington School, Ayr), Belgian (Sint-Jozefsinstituut College, Torhout) and Slovene (St. Stanislav’s Institution) students after a two-year break due to Covid restrictions. Nothing compares to in-person interaction – be it learning, creating, dancing or visiting actual places. This is how one of the Slovene participants experienced the exchange:

“This Erasmus exchange was one of my best experiences ever. Not only did I learn something new about the Scottish culture and its people’s lifestyles, but I also gained precious knowledge of travelling on my own and socializing. It was only my second time going on an exchange so I still had some fears to overcome. But we had a lot of organized activities and it was a shorter exchange, so this made it easier. Almost all of our activities were done in groups with members from all three participating countries, so we got to know each other a little bit and make some new friendships. It was really easy to communicate with some, while others took more effort and because we only had 3 whole days I didn’t get the chance to meet everyone. Nonetheless, I made a few new friends and tested my social skills as I tried to talk to as many people as possible. Each day was interesting but I remember the most Tuesday when we visited the Sky academy and the city of Edinburg. At the academy we filmed our very own news report which was really exciting. I had the role of a producer in my team so I had to make sure everything went smoothly and had to shout out the words ACTION and CUT during filming. I forgot to say cut almost every time so members of my team were not particularly happy with my job. But it worked out fine and watching the whole report together was really fun. Later we went to Edinburgh and visited the Scottish Parliament, which I liked very much. There was a lot of trash on the streets but we knew that it was because of the bin strike. Otherwise it was really nice and I enjoyed all the historical buildings. One of my absolute favourite activities were also the Scottish dances, ceilidh . They were energetic and really relaxing once you’ve learned them. This was a perfect end to the exchange. I think everybody really enjoyed this short stay in Scotland. From its rich culture to funny-sounding but difficult-to-play bag pipes to its friendly people and beautiful countryside. I hope I will be able to visit it again.” /Rubin Bervar, Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Leadership Change in The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium

Rihard Režek

At the beginning of August 2022, a change in leadership took place in the community of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. Simon Feštanj, B.A., ceased the employment of The Head Master of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and the position was trusted to Rihard Režek, M.Sc.

After nine years of being the Head, Mr Feštanj sees his job as “very satisfying”, feeling grateful for all the opportunities of cooperation and challenges that were brought about. He welcomed the new Head by saying: “I believe he will perform his duties with a lot of vigour, all by fulfilling the Institution’s mission.” Mr. Feštanj will remain a teacher and collaborator in St. Stanislav’s Institution.

Mr Režek is an economist by profession. At the University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business he earned his master’s degree. He taught at High School of Administration in Ljubljana for 15 years, during which he assumed various leading and teaching related tasks. In 2018 he was appointed the Head Master of Jeglič Student Home and a year later the Head of The Janez F. Gnidovec Residence Hall. He is a husband and a father of two daughters, who loves family life, reading and dancing.

He believes that for the student of The DCG the most fundamental element in the process of education is being a part of the school community. The three pillars of the DCG are the classical, spiritual and creative aspect of teachers’ and students’ common endeavours. They ensure quality and well-rounded education in which everybody feels valued. Tradition still shapes some of the guiding principles here, but we seek to be looking to the future. A happy and responsible young person who is ready to make a positive contribution to the world is at the heart of school’s interest.

We wish Mr Režek all the best on his new mission and trust God’s peace with watch over him and his work. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Marija S. Benedičič wins bronze at The 33rd International Biology Olympiad in Yerevan, Armenia

The Great Four from Slovenia, Marija is second from the left

Marija Snežna Benedičič, The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium graduate, with three other representatives from Slovenia, achieved an outstanding success at the Biology Olympiad, which was scheduled from 10-18 July 2022 at Yerevan State University in Armenia. St. Stanislav’s Institution is extremely proud of the Slovene team and especially Marija for winning the third place and being such an enthusiastic, all-round knowledge ambassador. International Biology Olympiad (IBO) brings together gifted students from all over the world, thus promoting their future careers as scientists.

This is how Marija herself has risen to the above challenge: “Competing at the IBO was truly an incredible experience and it was so much more than just a competition. It was a setting where CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology was an excellent conversation starter and a place where I was able to share my passion for science and biology with other students. I loved spending time with my peers from all around the world, learning about their paths to the IBO, their interests and future aspirations. Their knowledge and determination were so inspiring and motivating, encouraging me to keep learning and bettering myself.

We were also taken on many excursions around Yerevan to learn about Armenian history, culture, language and manuscripts, and of course about their biodiversity. The Armenians are really proud of their country and culture, always willing to share some of their knowledge with the tourists. After an intense week of exams, excursions, sightseeing and interesting conversations, winning a bronze medal was truly the cherry on top of the cake and I am incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to participate at an event like this.”

With empathetic and knowledgeable future scientists like Marija and the Slovene team, there is not much mankind should worry about! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/