ValLimar Jansen joins the BSM community as a Catholic Schools Week speaker


Madi Mayer

Jansen pulled senior Saige Fehresti onstage with her during her inspiring and interactive speech.

The 2015 Catholic Schools Week for students, faculty, and staff ended with ValLimar Jansen, a Catholic inspirational speaker, coming to BSM. She sang at the school mass on Wednesday and led the assembly on Thursday. She will lead the faculty and staff retreat on Friday.

While Jansen has never spoken at BSM before, she is not the first to visit for this special week, as BSM continues the tradition of sharing wisdom with its students through other figures. “It gives us the opportunity to hear from someone who has experience and expertise in sharing faith in a way that is new and energizing,” said senior high principal Dr. Susan Skinner.

Jansen was not so easy to come by for the school, as she is in such high demand for the Catholic community that her visit had to be planned months in advance. “We had to book her almost a year ago, because she is in such popular demand,” said Skinner. “She is well known in the Catholic school community. We like to get really good speakers and she was at the top of our list.”

Being a catechetical speaker aimed at highlighting for others the work of God in them and leading worship and prayer, she reminded BSM students important concepts of their faith that also involves some fun as well. “I love the message that Jesus calls us to welcome the “other,” based on the gospel story of the woman at the well. I also appreciate that she made it fun for us to celebrate our faith,” Skinner said. “I felt a little funny doing all the dancing and such, but I was glad I did.”

Jansen is not done leading members of the BSM community. She will lead the faculty and staff retreat on Friday and try to connect to our school’s scripture theme for the year. “Our theme is to celebrate our “good work” (from our scripture theme) and to renew our commitment to our vocation and calling to serve in Catholic education,” Skinner said.

As for the students, Jansen had a very positive impact on them as a whole, and they appreciated her performance very much. “It was a nice twist from our usual masses that we have here at BSM or our usual speakers,” sophomore George Benning said. “It was much more engaging. I think she brought up very good points and connected with the theme of CSW very well.”