Catholic Chinese Bishop Pays a Visit

Catholic Bishop Francis Lu Xinping of Nanjing, China visited with students, teachers and staff the morning of September 11 to learn about CJ's innovative support programs designed to meet the needs of all students.

The international visit was sponsored by the University of Dayton Office of the President. Ascension Catholic School, St. Albert the Great Catholic School and Fairmont High School also hosted visits throughout the day.

“These schools were chosen for a visit as we believe Bishop Lu will see a variety of environments where quality programming intended to promote students' growth and achievement will be witnessed,” said Susan M. Ferguson, executive director of the UD Center for Catholic Education.

School officials presented the City Connects model, a student support program first introduced at CJ in 2010. CJ is one of just six area schools and colleges in Ohio to offer City Connects, which was created at Boston College in 2001.

In addition, the Bishop also heard from Judi MacLeod '88, chair of the Cuvilly program. CJ is the only high school in Montgomery County with a special needs program that offers both the John Peterson Scholarship and Autism Scholarship to families through the Ohio Department of Education.

“We are excited to be able to host Bishop Lu and his guests for a visit,” said Dan Meixner '84, president. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to demonstrate our City Connects and Cuvilly programs as models for other schools, not just those here in America, but throughout our world.”

Bishop Lu was accompanied by a group of nine dignitaries and officials from the University of Dayton including Ms. Ferguson; Dr. Weiping Wang, executive director of UD’s China Institute; Mr. Ted Bucaro, government and regional relations director; Dr. Kevin Kelly, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences; and Rhonda Mercs, director of the Urban Child Development Resource Center.

After hearing presentations, guests visited classrooms, toured the CJ STEMM Center, took photos in the Marianist Hall chapel, and exchanged keepsakes before departing. Bishop Lu gifted the school with a Bible printed in Mandarin.

Bishop Francis Lu Xinping entered the Shanghai Sheshan Seminary in October 1982 and graduated in July 1988. He was ordained on October 24, 1989 and became an assistant bishop in 2000. The 51-year-old has served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nanjing since 2005.