Gaudete: celebrating welcoming parishes, schools and communities

Xaverian Brothers High School

Westwood, Mass.

David Palmieri / April 30, 2022

Xaverian Brothers High School was incorporated in 1963 as an all-boys Catholic high school in Westwood, MA. Sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers, the school currently serves approximately 1000 students in grades 7-12. As part of the Xaverian heritage, XBHS specializes in delivering quality education and formation for young men, grounded in the charisms of humility, trust, zeal, compassion, and simplicity. Today, there is a firmly held belief that every member of the community is “created by the God of love in God’s image and according to God’s likeness, to be a unique expression of that love.” With this conviction, the school continues to celebrate the dignity and worth of every student in responding to the call for peace and justice.

Started in 2016, the LGBTQ+ support group at Xaverian is named Without X-ception. One group moderator told Outreach, “The group provides an opportunity for students to find solidarity in shared experiences. They meet others, sometimes for the first time in their lives, who see and experience the world in a similar way. In the process, they find fellowship, community, and support.” One point of pride is having a direct community connection to the creation of the You Can Play Project. Without X-ception meets weekly in the faculty/staff dining room with 10-15 students who engage in topics that invite self-reflection and group sharing. The meetings allow for social time and meeting time, but also include occasional guest speakers and movie screenings. The group also attends community events together. Says another moderator, “Without X-ception has provided our LGBTQ students with a safe place to share their experiences and struggles. The group played a very important role during COVID-19 by helping to alleviate the sense of isolation experienced by so many. Without X-ception also provides a social outlet where students feel comfortable being themselves.”

David Palmieri

David Palmieri, a contributing writer for Outreach, teaches theology at a Catholic high school. He is a D.Min. candidate at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

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