"Ever since I was born, Holy Child has felt like home to me -- it's how my dad has always treated it. He cares for the facilities and the community like it's his own, and it's given us so much in return."
- Michelle Guzman '08, Javier's daughter
"Javier is a true representative of Holy Child. He embodies the spirit of giving every day at school – a trait we hope to instill in the students here. He has been a great friend to me, and I value his friendship and everything he has done for this great school."
- Sister Connie Craig, friend and former colleague of Javier's
Staff Spotlight: Javier Guzman
If you are on Holy Child's campus early before school or well after the last bell rings, at a Best Buddies party on a Saturday evening, at Open House, graduation, or in the gym before and after an all-school Mass, the person you are sure to see is Javier Guzman. Mr. Guzman is always present, always working, always humble, and ready to offer a helping hand and a kind smile. He is currently the member of Holy Child’s faculty and staff with the longest number of years served, having worked for nearly 30 years in his role as Facilities Supervisor. The Holy Child charism of simplicity, humility, charity, and joy are present in him and in the generous way he serves this community.
Mr. Guzman and his team work to keep the campus running smoothly – to make sure that the sidewalks and parking lots are shoveled after snow, that the cafeteria is clean again after lunch, that lightbulbs are replaced, that chairs are put up before Mass and taken down again, that we don’t run out of essential supplies, and that everything looks fresh all the time. Even during breaks, he is here working. The best time to paint and attend to repairs is easier when the building is empty.
In nearly 30 years, he’s seen his share of change on campus, ranging from construction and new buildings to disasters like floods and a fire. In these periods of change, Mr. Guzman works extra hard to ensure that the school will operate smoothly, all with a sense of calm, responsibility, and purpose.
When I asked Mr. Guzman if he had the time to sit down and speak with me about his Holy Child experience and his work here over so many years, he was so willing, as always, to say “yes!” His usual reply to me when I’m asking him about a Mass setup, to move a piano in the chapel, to help carry loads of toys during our Christmas toy drive, or to fix something that isn’t working is "yes," and always when I thank him, he replies not with a “you’re welcome” but a “it’s my pleasure” or “I’m here to serve.” He seems to never run low on patience with taking care of all of us and Holy Child. “It’s my home,” he says.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Guzman to ask him some questions about his Holy Child experiences. I share here some segments of our conversation:
DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE SEASONS IN THE HOLY CHILD YEAR?
I like the Christmas season. We see the enthusiasm as doors and lockers are decorated for Advent Angels, everyone puts on a Christmas hat, there is great energy. It’s an exciting time of year and one in which I’m especially happy to work at a Catholic school.
I also like the time when we approach graduation. Everyone is excited and emotional about graduation coming, we wait for it each year. So many families are here to celebrate the graduates and we take care of the school and grounds to look really great.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN HOLY CHILD OVER THE YEARS?
When I first started, the Holy Child sisters lived here in the ranch house on campus and Sr. Margaret was the Head of School. Their presence was something that I really enjoyed and gave the school a special holy feeling. You still feel the religious importance of Holy Child, but in a different way. We have our Masses frequently, our events like toy drives, community service, and many events through the year to keep the spirit. It is something that I like very much as I’m Catholic and believe in the importance of this.
In our buildings, I see many changes over time. There has been a transformation of our buildings – from the ranch house where the sisters lived to the new Connelly Hall building. The chapel has moved from place to place to our beautiful chapel today, our field has been renovated, the gym, the cafeteria, even the classrooms and furniture. I see it as really beautiful now as it’s modernized.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO MAINTAIN YOUR JOYFUL SPIRIT OF SERVICE IN YOUR HARD WORK EVERY DAY FOR ALL THESE YEARS?
In this job, no one obliges me to be here at 7 at night or on Sunday. But the school gives me so much – the satisfaction of working. I feel good, useful, so I dedicate my time to this community. If they say that the firefighters have to come, I rush to be here. Whatever is needed I put in the effort.
This is a place full of great people. My team and I are treated with great respect. We are treated so well. We are very content with our work and the community. We try to serve the best that we are able. We serve here with pleasure.
Written by: Catherine Easby-Smith Albornoz '98