The concept of Cura Personalis is central to the philosophy of Jesuit education and it applies not just to students but equally to parents as they journey with their son during his time in Gonzaga. Three dimensions of this 'care of the whole person' are:
1. Deep appreciation and respect for each individual person.
2. Engagement in personal relationships.
3. Empowering development of the whole person.
4. An expression of this ideal is realised in the Parents’ Forum. This thinking was central to the establishment of the Parents’ Forum in 1990.
The Parents’ Forum is an integral part of the school life in Gonzaga. Originally it was conceived and structured to give parents an opportunity to share in and support the distinctive ethos of the College.
The Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to get involved with the school as their son progresses from first year to graduation in sixth year. It also gives all parents an opportunity to get to know each other, share their concerns and support each other in a very caring environment. Each development milestone their son encounters brings its own concerns, anxieties and opportunities. The Forum provides a structure where parents can become more informed and involved and address these concerns together.
Structure of the Forum
Each year group in the college has its own committee. This committee is usually formed in September of first year. The committee is formed with 10 to 12 parents, with a representation from each class group, this committee elect a Treasurer, Secretary and Chairperson. The Forum committee stays in office for three years i.e. the junior cycle years. For the senior cycle a new committee is elected and they continue to the end of sixth year. We would very much like to see equal representation of males and females on the Forum rather than a female only committee. Over the last 25+ years more than 1200 parents have volunteered for the various Forum committees and have made an invaluable contribution to the life and work of the college. Each Forum is named after the year their son will graduate i.e. the present sixth year is called Forum 2023, and the present first year Forum is known as Forum 2028. The Forum is self-financing; each family makes a small subscription at the beginning of the year. The committees of each Forum organise two or three events each year at which all the parents of that year group attend. With the new theatre and building we now have a wonderful opportunity to invite many more guest speakers and organise a greater variety of events. During the course of the year the junior cycle Parents’ Forum organise a family mass for their respective year group, in the College Chapel. This is a great occasion for all the members of the student’s family to come together to celebrate their uniqueness.
The success of the Parents’ Forum is acknowledged by all. This can be seen in the bond and friendship of some of the committees who meet regularly on a social basis many years after their son has graduated from Gonzaga.
For more information, contact:
Miss Philippa Morris firstname.lastname@example.org