St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Unites with Marianist Ministries

Oct 17, 2017

AKRON, OHIO - St. Vincent-St. Mary High School of Akron (STVM) has entered into a Sponsorship and Services Agreement with the Marianist Province of the United States, a Roman Catholic congregation of brothers and priests. In honor of the sponsorship, the Marianists and STVM held a mass on October 10, 2017 celebrated by Fr. Martin Solma, SM, Provincial of the Mariniast and Fr. Donald Petkash S.J., of Walsh Jesuit High School. The official document signing by Fr. Martin Solma; Dan Donnelly, Director of the Marianist Office of Sponsorship; STVM President Thomas Carone and STVM Chairman of the Board Joe Weber followed mass.  

Frank O’Linn, associate superintendent for secondary schools in the Office of Catechetical Formation and Education for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, in attendance, tweeted, “Congratulations as @STVMHS officially join The @Marianists today.”

The celebration continued with an afternoon social for STVM students and an evening reception hosted by The STVM Executive Board, President Thomas Carone and Principal Robert Brownfield. Over 300 other guests attended, greeted by 35 STVM Student Ambassadors and entertained by the STVM Jazz Ensemble. 

STVM Senior Rebecca Cabe shared the students’ feelings about the union, “Our (STVM) deep sense of mission can be defined each year through our annual school theme. This year’s theme is to Be the Body of Christ. This is our gospel call: to serve as Christ’s body here on earth and we as a school are committed to this mission. Our school has been blessed with the opportunity to strengthen our faith community through our affiliation with the Marianist Province of the United States. On behalf of the student body and the Student Ambassador Program, I would like to thank the members of the Marianist family and the St. Vincent-St. Mary administration for their dedication to the Marianist Society and to our school.” 

The new partnership offers STVM a fresh approach to bolstering its Catholic identity, as well as the advantages of being part of a thriving network of Marianist-sponsored schools across the country. Principal Robert Brownfield said, “The Marianist charism focusing on family, hospitality, welcome, and outreach perfectly aligns with our school’s identity. I truly believe that this is the charism we have always had-but we just didn’t know it yet.”

The sponsorship is the result of nearly four years of discussions between the entities. STVM’s leadership and faculty will begin an ongoing process of Marianist formation and integration in the coming months. “The St. Vincent-St. Mary High School community is excited to join the Marianist Family,” said STVM President Thomas Carone. “Becoming a Marianist-sponsored high school provides us a faith-based collaboration that complements our ongoing mission.”

The Society of Mary (Marianists) is a 200 year-old religious family that is recognized globally for excellence in education and “is distinguished by certain charisms, or gifts given by God for the benefit of the Christian community.” The Marianists occupy 34 countries and sponsor or co-sponsor 19 high schools, including four others in Ohio. The Marianist Ministries in the U.S. also include four retreat centers, six parishes and three universities. The University of Dayton is the order’s largest ministry and a testament of the positive impact and influence a union with the Marianists can achieve.

“We’re delighted to welcome St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to our network of educational ministries,” said Father Martin Solma, SM, Marianist Provincial. “The spirit of the school is well matched to the Marianist tradition, and this collaboration will enable us to broaden our mission of Catholic education as we are called to do.”