House System - St. Joseph School Seattle

Founded in 2022, the St. Joseph School House System provides an intentional structure for every student to belong to an ‘immediate family’ within the greater St. Joseph School community. This structure — characterized by the five pillars of the Jesuit grad at grad: growing, reverent, loving, just, and learning — helps to deepen relationships among our students while amplifying our mission.

Each student belongs to one of five Houses with peers from all grade levels. The House System offers a structure for students to flourish in a smaller community setting, providing them with additional opportunities to belong, have fun, and grow.

The Houses are named for Catholics whose lives exemplify our school pillars, and in turn provide students with role models to emulate throughout their St. Joseph career: St. Ignatius of Loyola, Venerable Augustus Tolton, Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, St. Oscar Romero, and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.

Houses meet regularly and consist of students from each grade level, and and are led by representatives from the 8th-grade leadership team supported by faculty and staff. The House System will allow for broader community building, longitudinal pastoral care, authentic discussions, enhanced character building, and lasting connections with students that they may not normally encounter. Students will stay in their Houses for the duration of their time at St. Joseph School, which will allow for natural maturation into leadership roles.

Each of the five houses has the same leadership structure led by Deans, Mentors, and 8th-grade student leaders.

  • Deans are faculty and staff members that lead whole-house activities and work directly with 8th-grade leadership to plan events.
  • Mentors are faculty and staff that partner with 8th-grade leadership to lead mentor group activities.
  • 8th-grade student leaders are selected by their peers at the end of their 7th-grade year. They function as student leadership for the school and the House System.

Named for St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, or Mother Cabrini. She was born in 1850 in the Lombard Province of modern-day Italy and displayed an early enthusiasm for missionary work. Due to poor health, she was unable to take her religious vows until the age of 27. Then, at 30, Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. Her missionary work took her to America to serve the impoverished immigrant communities of many cities across the nation, including Seattle. Mother Cabrini’s loving spirit animated a life dedicated to the founding of orphanages, schools, and hospitals for the vulnerable.

At St. Joseph School we believe that We are Called to be Christ-Like, so we form our students to Care and Respect, to be Loving.

Named for Blessed Marie Rose Durocher. Durocher was born into a successful farming family in Quebec, Canada in 1811. Intending to follow several of her siblings into religious life, she joined the novitiate at the age of 16 but was unable to complete her studies after falling ill. Later in life, while working as a housekeeper and secretary, Durocher became aware of Quebec's severe lack of educational opportunities. Recognizing the importance of education in forming Intellectually Competent children, in 1844 she founded the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to combat the problem. Durocher House honors the Sisters of the Holy Names as co-founders of St. Joseph School in 1907.

At St. Joseph School we believe that We are Always Learning, so we form our students to Strive and Examine, to always be Learning.

Named for St. Ignatius of Loyola. Born in 1491 into a family of minor Spanish nobility, Ignatius spent his early years engaging in worldly pursuits. During the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, a cannonball shattered his right leg, ending his military career. During his convalescence, Ignatius experienced a profound spiritual conversion and dedicated himself to religious life. In 1539 he founded the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. St. Ignatius’ life and legacy live on at St. Joseph. He exemplified a life lived Open to Growth and his Jesuit order co-founded St. Joseph School in 1907.

At St. Joseph School we believe that Challenges are Opportunities, so we form our students to Listen and Persevere, in order to continue Growing.

Named for St. Oscar Romero. Romero was born in the El Salvadoran town of Ciudad Barrios in 1917. After an apprenticeship in carpentry, he joined the seminary at 13 and was ordained a priest in 1942 in Rome. Returning to his native country, he served as a parish priest for over 20 years and was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. Romero was Committed to Doing Justice for his people and spoke out against the human rights abuses the people of El Salvador endured during the Salvadoran Civil War. He was martyred in 1980. St. Joseph School and Parish remain in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and maintain a sister parish relationship with San Bartolome in Arcatao, El Salvador.

At St. Joseph School we believe that We are People for Others, so we form our students to Serve and Advocate, to become Just.

Named for Venerable Augustus Tolton. Born a slave in 1854, he and his family escaped to freedom during the Civil War and settled in Quincy, Illinois. Tolton’s early interest in the Catholic faith and commitment to prayer caught the attention of a local priest who encouraged and supported his education. His instructors, “saw in his eyes the bright spark of the love of God, a tender devotion to the Church and a determination to serve people whether black or white.” Seeking the priesthood, he studied in Rome after no American seminary would accept him, and was ordained in 1886. Upon his assignment to the city of Quincy, he became the first acknowledged black priest in United States history. Tolton’s life and work form an exemplar of Religious fulfillment.

At St. Joseph School we believe that God is in All Things, so we form our students to Pray and Love, in order to become Reverent.