Building a community that acts with love and justice toward all people

Dear Helias Catholic family,

This past week, in the midst of our school’s Homecoming celebration, I met with two faculty members, Mrs. Kathy Jarman and Mrs. Sarah Kempker, to hear about their recent trip to Poland to learn more about the Holocaust. On the surface, the mixture of Homecoming and reflecting on the Holocaust seems a million miles apart. However, I could not help but see a link between what Kathy and Sarah shared with me about their experience and our ongoing Homecoming celebration of the Helias Catholic community and its rich heritage.

At the heart of any Homecoming celebration is the mission of our school. Our Helias Catholic community is called together to form young people to grow into saints and scholars for Christ. Part of that call is to be aware of the larger world around us and to respond to opportunities to seek justice and promote the dignity of all people. We strive to form students with a heart that has been set on fire with the love of the gospel of Jesus. The atrocities of the Holocaust remain seared into our collective memories as a time of great heroism on the part of countless people who responded with a heart inspired by the gospel of Jesus. However, there were also countless times when an untold number of people, acting out of fear and ignorance, chose not to respond to the unfolding evil that was the Holocaust.

Our teachers’ experience in Poland was part of an International Summer Academy sponsored by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. The stories Kathy and Sarah shared deeply moved me and left me with a stronger desire to make sure we do not forget the Holocaust. These teachers have returned to our community changed in ways they cannot yet fully articulate. Their students have an opportunity in the coming weeks and months to listen and to learn about the Holocaust in a manner that hopefully will move them to never forget and to seek to be people who act with love, dignity and a spirit of justice toward all humankind.

Before closing I want to draw your attention to what looks to be a powerful documentary, titled “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” now airing on PBS. Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and a few other talented people have created a documentary that should awaken in all of us a call to learn from the past and seek to keep history from repeating itself. 

Thank you for continuing to support our mission at Helias Catholic! The prayers of our community remain with you and your loved ones.

Live, Jesus, in our hearts — forever!

John Knight
Helias Catholic High School President


In this blog, Helias Catholic President John Knight and guest writers share updates about ongoing work to advance Helias Catholic High School’s mission to provide excellence in Catholic education and vision to build a community of saints and scholars for Christ. Please send responses, ideas, questions and friendly greetings to Mr. Knight at jknight@heliascatholic.com.