Blaze is based in the main principles of Ignatian Spirituality and Jesuit teachings. First and foremost, all meetings, events, etc. will be done in the spirit of AMDG, or for the Greater Glory of God – that is, everything done in the name of Blaze will be done to praise and glorify God. Blaze is also founded on the principle that God can be found in every thing, event, and aspect of our lives; therefore, the students of Blaze will learn how to find God in their everyday lives. Blaze will also never forget that according to Ignatian principles, spirituality is not just prayer, Sacraments, and serious contemplation – spirituality also encompasses joy, friendship, and laughter. In addition, one of the biggest tenants of Ignatian principles is “Men and women for others,” which is both a statement of the importance of service for others as well as the concept of Cura Personalis, which is the idea that the person in front of you is the most important person in the world in that moment – that every person is important and must be cared for fully in body, mind, and soul, and that every person must be respected as a Child of God. Therefore, Blaze will be heavily involved in community service and relationship building within our Greater Cleveland community. St. Ignatius of Loyola also signed his letters with a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Go forth and set the world on fire,” which is an encouragement to his followers to evangelize, to share the Good News, and to share God’s love with each and every person they encounter. Students of Blaze will be encouraged to also do this – to radically change the world through sharing God’s love in their actions and encounters with others.
The teaching philosophy behind Blaze is one of student-led discussion,
critical thinking, asking questions, and relationship-forward community service.
Blaze will include both large-group events that include service projects and
community building, and small groups that encourage learning, asking the big
questions of our faith, and examining our faith – what we believe, why we
believe it, and what our beliefs call us to do as Catholics and responsible citizens.
Students in small groups will be encouraged to ask questions and think
critically in order to explore and deepen their faith.
Blaze will be divided into two divisions – Spark, for grades 6-8, and Ignite, for grades 8-9-12. Each division will also have a leadership team of their senior members – 8th graders for Spark, and 10th grade
and above for Ignite. The leadership teams will assist in planning topics and events
as well as act as student leaders at large group events.
There will also be small groups, called Fire groups, of 4-5 students and one adult. The Fire groups will be used for discussion and learning. The Spark Fire groups will focus on the basic questions of our faith – what we believe and why we believe it. Spark Fire groups will use YouCat as a guide for understanding and discussion. The Ignite Fire groups will cover why we believe things and how to live as responsible Catholic citizens in society.
Spark will meet the first week of the month, with the Spark
Fire groups meeting the following week. Ignite will meet the third week of the
month, with the Ignite Fire groups meeting the following week.
Blaze, which is the combination of both the Spark and Ignite
divisions, will meet 2-4 times per year for things like a yearly kickoff prayer
service and party and large service events, such as Souper Bowl of Caring.
Leadership teams will meet at the beginning and middle of each semester to plan and discuss how everything is working.
may only miss two or fewer Fire groups per semester
cell phones during meetings or events
must volunteer once per semester
team must attend meetings
issues will be dealt with in the following manner:
a. First Offence -- Given a warning, asked to stay after on cleanup duty
b. Second Offence -- Pulled aside, talked to about behavior, asking them to change the behavior, warned that parents will be called if the behavior doesn't change
c. Third Offence – Asked to sit out of the rest of the event, parents called and behavior discussed. If behavior gets to this point in more than one event, a discussion will be had with the family if Blaze is a good fit for the student.
no bullying, racism, anti-semitism, hate speech, anti-LGBQ speech, etc. will be
tolerated. Any behavior to the contrary of this rule will be an immediate Third
7. COVID guidelines will be followed:
a. Any in-person events will be held outside as weather allows
b. Masks are required for in-person events
c. Large-group events will be primarily virtual
d. Any in-person events will be held to strict social distancing standards -- everyone must be a minimum of 6ft apart (places will be marked/labeled)