Christmas Greetings 2020

Rok Pogačar, teacher in the Jeglič Student Home, Rejoice in the Lord, watercolour, 2018

“Christmas involves different aspects and contextual elements of celebrating – humanity, family, peace and friendship, new hope and great expectations to a rich Slovene cultural tradition as well as a general need and desire for a family celebration. /…/ We wish all who strive for peace, justice and freedom, prosperity and mutual aid in society and worldwide an abundance of God’s blessings and success. For everybody, Christmas is a celebration of fresh hope and new strength in friendship and love.”

/The first Christmas greetings in public media in Slovenia on Radio Ljubljana, was given by Alojzij Šuštar, Ph.D. on December 24th 1986./

This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Slovenia and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alojzij Šuštar, Ph. D., Archbishop Metropolitan of Ljubljana, who legislatively re-established St. Stanislav’s Institution for education by a decree on November 13th 1992.

In the spirit of both anniversaries, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year 2021.

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

Substituting Strange Days for a Huge Song!

230 singers changed entirely these strange days

What happens when 230 young singers and 5 conductors join forces to convey their feelings in these strange days? Yes, one could say that science fiction has become reality, but not for the singers at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution. The fact is that singing is a common sight at this school nevertheless, we are particularly proud to announce the release of Strange Days as devised by students under a careful supervision of their conductors. All five school choirs, namely The First-Year Girls’ Choir of DCG (conductor Marjetka Kozmus), The First-Year Boys’ Choir of DCG (conductor Tine Bec, who also prepared the song for polyphony singing), (Re)Mixed Choir of the DCG, St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the DCG (both under the baton of Helena Fojkar Zupančič) and St. Stanislav Youth Choir of the DCG (conductor Damijan Močnik) participated in the project. They made a cover of Strange Days by The Strunts featuring Robbie Williams.

In a month and a half students prepared their audio and video recordings, took part in individual vocal lessons to brush up their voices, uploaded the recordings in Teams, the conductors listened to each of them, the band prepared the instrumental accompaniment, video and audio editing followed and voilá – the cover is out.

Congrats to everybody who contributed to its making! Indeed every little thing that you do goes a long, long way. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/



Archbishop Zore: “Consider the obstacles, but never let them stop you.”

Archbishop Alojzij Šuštar

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 Borut Pahor. 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.

/Lily Schweiger Kotar/

St. Stanislav’s Day 2020 – Fulfilling God’s Will

Students looking forward

Each year the entire school community celebrates St. Stanislav’s Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. This year it is under the title of Fulfilling God’s Will which was the motto of Alojzij Šuštar (1920-2020), the Archbishop of Ljubljana between 1980-97. The centenary of his birth is being celebrated this academic year. Inspirational figure of Archbishop Šuštar serves as the guideline for these festive days, as well as the entire school year in terms of his endeavours in the development of the Church in Slovenia and his contribution to democratization and independence of Slovenia.

Unlike previous years, all celebrations have been restricted to virtual mediums this year. Nevertheless, we have the pleasure of inviting you to follow us online. The occasion will be marked with holy mass and a solemn celebration on Friday 13th November 2020. Holy mass will be celebrated at 3.30 p.m. by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore. The solemn celebration will take place at 5 p. m.. Karel Gržan, Ph.D.,  a Slovene priest, will unveil the outstanding message of Šuštar’s life and work and make them resonate with the larger message in the world we live in today. The performance will be given by the students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution, proving their versatility, talents and joy of sharing it all with us.

The entire event has been planned digitally so we are looking forward to meeting you online.

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

David Ošlaj, alumni of DCG, to participate in International Distributed Physics Olympiad 2020

David (first row, right) qualifying for Physics Olympiad in June 2020 ©

It is an honour to announce that last year graduate of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium David Ošlaj is to participate at the International Distributed Physics Olympiad ( The event is organized by the famous Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology for those students who qualified for the International Physics Olympiad 2020. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to pandemic, however, the online version is to take place between December 7-15, 2020. As an exception this year the Olympiad welcomes university students who were last year high school students.

The qualifictions took place at te end of academic year 2019/20 and David qualified to join the team of five young promising scientists (S. Bukovšek, J. Kocutar, M. Malovrh, and L. Podbregar) who will represent The Republic of Slovenia. The organizers promise that both theoretical and experimental exams are expected to be tough nuts to crack.

This year mentor of the DCG physics students is Martin Čokl, teacher of physics. The entire school community wishes an abundance of good luck and inspiration to David and the Slovene team with this competition! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/


In Memoriam + The Right Reverend Monsignor James Cassin

Mgr Jim Cassin with the priests from St. Stanislav’s Institution in Ireland (2017)

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/

In Memoriam Alojz Uran (1945–2020)

Archbishop Emeritus Alojz Uran

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/

Easter Greetings 2020 – The Strength of Faith

Janez Bernik, Bread 1976-1987

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

Coronavirus Update

The reason for the world to stop (by A. Jerina, student of DCG)

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/

The Week When Students From Three European Countries Met to Share Roots and Shape Future

Discovering the beauties of Ljubljana

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.

/Jernej Koman, year 3/