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CSW 2023 - Celebrating Our Community

A community is a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Let us take a look at our history, our present-day and our future.




Infant Jesus of Prague Parish (now St. Veronica Parish) was established in 1954 by a group of families who wanted a Catholic church in their own community of Flossmoor. Within a couple of years, the school was established by Dominican nuns with students in grades 4-8. By the following year, all grades were represented.


In 2023, Infant Jesus of Prague School now engages approximately 240 students in grades Pre-K through 8 from 35 individual communities across the city of Chicago, the suburbs and Northwest Indiana who seek an education rooted in Catholic values. Through this vital ministry of St. Veronica Parish, students and families from diverse backgrounds work together as a community of respect, spirituality and academic achievement. Together as a faith community our students flourish academically in a loving, secure and compassionate environment. We focus on excellence in education with a commitment to the total formation of all students as they journey through life.


Our students’ journeys may not be identical; nevertheless, our goals are in fact the design and deliver a curriculum that challenges students to reach their full potential while recognizing that each student is unique and created with dignity and special gifts while learning in different ways. Our educational program aims to make each child a lifelong learner and a contributing member of society and the Catholic Church.

Core Values/Giving Back

Two pillars of our foundation are our Kingsmen Code and giving back to our community. Students are expected to uphold our Kingsmen Code by being responsible, being respectful, being kind and being safe. Likewise, as Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from conception to its natural end. Our students embody these actions by giving back to those in need.

One such school initiative is our house system in which students are able to communicate, collaborate and carry out their mission of charitable giving. Kindergarten through eighth grade students are “sorted” into four different houses (think Harry Potter). Each house is identified by a color (blue, purple, green and orange) as well as an attribute of the Kingsmen Code (be responsible, be respectful, be kind and be safe). House meetings are held every Thursday morning where students meet with their groups to build a sense of community and develop twenty-first century skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, social skills and global awareness.

During the school year, students have the opportunity to listen, learn and reflect to various special guest speakers from local organizations. Following the presentation, students would regroup with their respective houses to plan and implement service projects benefiting these organizations. Student representatives from each house would then present their projects to fellow classmates.

Through their house communities, students exemplify their respect for life and gratitude by paying their blessings forward to those in need - and collecting over one-thousand items as well as several hundred dollars for local charitable organizations. They also learned a valuable lesson that children can make a monumental difference in their community and their world.



Infant Jesus of Prague School promotes Catholic education and traditions with Christian values in a loving, secure and compassionate environment centered on Jesus’ teachings. We value and are grateful for our mutual Dominican roots and our 65 year bond with Marian Catholic High School to support our students’ educational endeavors while upholding Christian traditions and values. Not only are eligible IJP School junior high students able to take advanced math and science classes at Marian Catholic - but we are fortunate and blessed to have Marian Catholic High School students work with grade school students through a Theology class known as Discovery in Service. This class gives high school students the opportunity to take their Christian call to service outside the walls of Marian Catholic into the community and receive credit towards graduation in the process. Hundreds of Discovery in Service alumni continue to put into practice the skills and ideas they gained in the class in the communities in which they now live.

Infant Jesus of Prague School believes that parents are the primary educators of their children. Working with parents, we develop a partnership that encourages academic excellence, faith formation, character development, evangelization and Christian discipleship. The Village of Flossmoor has always been known for its commitment to and the resulting quality of its school system - and we cherish our continued partnership. In conjunction with the village, Residents of Flossmoor and surrounding communities take advantage of 1st-class educational resources for children. Knowledgeable, caring teachers, active school boards, and involved parents work together to provide a challenging and rewarding academic environment. Students are encouraged to work to their highest potential so they are fully prepared for college or the workforce, have a sense of academic responsibility and develop a lifetime love of learning.

Infant Jesus of Prague School Alumni Colleen Peabody and Bridget Wachtel expand on these community bonds and share their experiences both personally and professionally.

Meet Colleen Peabody, Vice President for Advancement, Marian Catholic High School

1. What do you think makes the IJP/Marian community ties strong?

Community is at the heart of everything IJP--and Marian Catholic, where I work--does. A Catholic community does not function without countless volunteers, the involvement of parents and grandparents, and dedicated staff, all of whom give of themselves in service to each other and the young people in our community.

2. How do you think our Catholic faith impacts an educational experience? How do you think faith keeps an education community strong?

Catholic education allows students to discuss and explore their whole personhood, including their faith. It also teaches students that their success is not just about them but they are part of something bigger. For those reasons, I believe graduates of Catholic education enter adulthood better prepared to navigate its challenges and live purposeful lives.

3. How have you personally benefited from being part of the IJP community?

IJP will always be home. We moved to the Chicagoland area when I was 7 years old. The families at IJP welcomed and embraced my family. We may have come from 1,000 miles away but our shared values made it easy to develop relationships. Some of my closest, lifelong friends are people I met at IJP.

4. How has your education at IJP and Marian Catholic prepared you for this role?

My education at IJP and later Marian Catholic prepared me for my current role in two ways. First, I was given a superior academic foundation and critical thinking skills which I didn't fully appreciate until I was in college and the professional world. Second, Catholic education instilled in me a sense of service and a desire to give back.


Meet Bridget Wachtel, Village Manager, Village of Flossmoor

1. What do you think makes IJP School a strong asset to the community of Flossmoor?

The school community is a strong asset in Flossmoor, and IJP School has been a fabric of the community for 65 years. IJP has traditionally built a school community rooted in learning, faith and service. The school’s service values align with the greater community of Flossmoor in which we also value service. As a strong learning institution, IJP attracts students from the region and provides a strong faith-based education system for Flossmoor and south suburban families. Flossmoor is proud to share that IJP School is one of the educational options in our community.

2. How do you measure success regarding community engagement?

The Village measures success in community engagement in several ways including attendance at events and volunteer opportunities, service to the community, engaging with our website and social media and subscribing and reading our e-news and other communications. IJP has been a strong community partner over the years, participating in Flossmoor Fest, supporting local events like the Hidden Gem Half Marathon, serving as a PADS location, participating in the Thanksgiving service, and supporting local social service agencies like PADS and Respond Now. We can rely on IJP School to participate in and provide opportunities for community engagement.

3. How have you personally benefited from being part of our school/parish community?

I attended IJP school and my children currently attend religious education at IJP. We are part of a larger community that values faith, service and one another. The parish community creates opportunities for togetherness, service and growing in faith.

4. What is the reputation of the school as an educational institution here in the Village of Flossmoor?

As a strong learning institution, IJP attracts students from the region and provides a strong faith-based education system for Flossmoor and south suburban families. Flossmoor is proud to share that IJP School is one of the educational options in our community.

5. How has your education at IJP School prepared you for this role?

IJP School provided me a valuable education and taught me the importance of service, kindness and hard work. These values provided a foundation for success as I furthered my education and chose a career in public service.

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