Our Good News

Trinity Football Coach Leon Hite Brings Message of Opportunity to Parents and Teachers

posted Oct 14, 2014, 6:54 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 6:55 AM ]

Coach Leon Hite, head football coach at Trinity Catholic High School and Director of Security for Jennings School District spoke to a group of parents, teachers, principals and pastors from the schools and parishes of the Northeast Deanery Federation on Tuesday, October 7th at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic Church.   The purpose of the meeting was to provide a new perspective on the events and issues that have emerged over the past two months in Ferguson.

Coach Hite encouraged attendees to not let FEAR (“False Evidence Appearing Real”) take over their thoughts and actions, but instead to focus on “WWW” –

  • “Who” are we concerned about as teachers and parents? Our student and children 
  • “When” – right now in the midst of stress and unrest in our community 
  • “Why” – because we love our kids and they are our future leaders

Hite explained that the current events and their portrayal in the media can cause fear, but by focusing on the who, when and why we have the opportunity to affirm the valuable strengths of our schools and communities and build relationships to address areas where improvement is needed.

Attendees broke into small groups for discussion and sharing about the main strengths they see in the Catholic schools and parishes of North County, along with identifying some areas where they see improvement is needed.  The groups shared their thoughts, which included strengths such as the safe and welcoming environments at each school and education rooted in Christian values, along with areas for improvement including more training for parents and teachers, continuing to share the good news about Catholic schools, and working on building relationships in the neighborhoods and communities that the schools serve.  The full list of strengths and opportunities to improve will be shared and discussed by the pastors and principals at their November meeting.

Father Tom Wyrsch, pastor at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, summarized Coach Hite’s presentation by saying, “We have to connect with the ‘why’ that we are here – in our parishes and in particular our schools and not let fear drive us off from what we believe and why we are here.  Our Catholic schools are a real prize, and we have to stay committed to that.”

Principals Honored at 30 Leaders in their Thirties Luncheon

posted Sep 26, 2014, 2:55 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated Sep 29, 2014, 2:41 PM ]

Congratulations to Mrs. Govero, principal at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School, and Mrs. Davis, principal at St. Ferdinand School, who were honored on Friday, Sept. 26 at the 30 Leaders in their Thirties luncheon at Norwood Hills Country Club. Recipients are honored for their leadership and commitment in the North County community. North County, Inc. Regional Development Association sponsors the event each year.

To learn more about Mrs. Govero, Mrs. Davis and all 30 of the leaders, click here to view the Community News event program.

Mrs. Govero was joined by her husband Mike and Father Robert Rosebrough, pastor at BTC.

Father Tom Haley, pastor at St. Ferdinand, attended the award luncheon with Mrs. Davis.

The Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools is a member of North County Inc.


Northeast Deanery Confirmation Rally

posted Sep 9, 2014, 12:57 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated Sep 30, 2014, 5:59 AM ]

Over 250 7th and 8th Grade students who are preparing for Confirmation came together from across the Northeast Deanery on Monday, September 22nd for a Youth Rally at Trinity Catholic High School. Throughout the day the students had an opportunity to interact with their peers from other schools and parishes, helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ as they prepare for Confirmation.

      Paul Masek and Rachel Allen of the Archdiocese of St. Louis' REAP Team led the day with witness talks, "stupid human tricks," small group discussions and a scavenger hunt.  Music ministers Karl Zimmerman and Chris Lightner led everyone in contemporary songs of praise and worship. During the exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, students had the opportunity to receive either the sacrament of reconciliation or a special blessing from one of the priests in attendance.

     Deacon Bill Twellman, pastoral associate at St. Norbert Parish organized this special day for the 9th year. "If we touch just one of these young people's hearts with this retreat, then we have succeeded," said Deacon Bill. He gave the homily during the closing Mass and invited 12 participants to come forward and share one gift God has blessed them with. He reminded everyone present that God is calling each of them to share their gifts and talents and spread the good news of the Gospel in their daily lives, making "disciples of all nations."

This slideshow provides a few snapshots from this beautiful day:

New School Year Brings New Students, Leaders and Continued Commitment to Collaboration

posted Aug 21, 2014, 11:38 AM by Cara Koen

NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – August 13, 2014 – Principals, teachers, pastors and parents are in the "Back to School" spirit as the eight Catholic elementary schools located in the Northeast Deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis open their doors to students and their bright, smiling faces for the 2014-15 school year.

New Computer Lab at St. Angela
While students were enjoying swimming pools and lazy summer days, schools have been doing their annual summer cleaning and planning. St. Angela Merici School, for example, installed a new technology lab with 30 computer stations ready to enhance student learning. The school also received hand-carved crucifixes as a gift from a closed city school, engraved with "Through Christ our Lord," which is the theme the school has adopted for the coming year.
Through Christ Our Lord

As the new school year begins, several leaders are settling in to their new roles within the deanery. Three parishes are welcoming new pastors: Father Tim Henderson at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Msgr. Matthew Mitas at St. Angela Merici Parish and School, and Father Tom Haley at St. Ferdinand Parish & School. St. Norbert School has a new principal, Mr. Dave Watkins and assistant principal, Ms. Julie Hayes.

Mr. Kenneth Morr, principal at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School will now serve as the principal representative for the Federation, replacing Ms. Lois Vollmer, principal at Sacred Heart School who had this role for the past two years. Father Mike Henning, pastor at
Holy Name of Jesus Parish, will be interim pastor representative for the Federation.

"For almost 10 years leaders in Catholic education have sustained a renewed commitment to the value of Catholic schools in our community," said Father Henning. "A faith-based and values-based education reinforces the work of community and business leaders in their responsibility for thriving cities and healthy neighborhoods."

Continuing collaborative programs of the Federation include Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) Teachers from all eight schools gather regularly throughout the school year, by grade level in lower grades and by subject area in the upper grades. Principals are observing a positive impact from their teachers’ participation in PLTs. "Our Lady of Guadalupe is definitely a better school because of our faculty's participation in the PLTs," said Peggy O'Brien, principal at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School. "The PLTs provide a network for the teachers where they can share ideas, successes and challenges with one another, providing a source of encouragement and problem-solving that did not previously exist for our teachers. Over the past few years this has brought a new level of excellence to our classrooms."

CatholicFIT, a fitness education and wellness program that was piloted in the 6th grade physical education classes last year will return in the spring to help students and their families connect their faith and Christian values with tools and techniques for becoming more healthy and fit. The program was developed by St. Ferdinand parishioner, Dave Reddy, who is a health and physical fitness expert and consults with the physical education teachers in their PLT on the development of this program curriculum.

"Because of the Federation, administrators and their faculties of our schools are becoming stronger leaders and more effective educators," said Father Henning. Their commitment to curriculum development and methods of teaching, to collaboration in professional development, and to the stewardship of the resources available for the operation of our schools is worthy of praise and much community support."

Financially, hundreds of students in Federation schools continue to benefit from the archdiocesan Alive in Christ Scholarship Program, which offers scholarships of $1,000-$2,000 based on financial need to students entering a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese in Kindergarten - 4th grade, as well as to those students currently enrolled in a Catholic school whose families qualify. Each school can provide additional details for how to apply for the scholarships, and more information is available at www.archstl.org/ttef.

St. Ferdinand and Our Lady of Guadalupe Schools Receive Grant for Connect4 Program

posted Aug 20, 2014, 2:59 PM by Cara Koen

Mrs. Anna Davis and Sr. Cathy Doherty accept grant award.
Two Federation schools, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Ferdinand, recently received a Sr. Mary Ann Governal and Mrs. Ellen Ryan Memorial Development Grant from the Archdiocese of St. Louis Catholic Education Center for their Connect 4 program. Fourth grade students from the two schools with gather four times throughout the school year for special projects and field trips. This gathering of students together helps build community and a collaborative spirit between the schools, teachers and students. Mrs. Anna Davis, principal at St. Ferdinand, and Sr. Cathy Doherty, SSND, pastoral associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe, applied for and received the grant.
     The grants were presented at a Leadership Conference "Sent Forth Together," which was held on August 7th at Our Lady of Pillar Parish.  Dr. Kurt Nelson, the new Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis was formally introduced to principals, pastors and directors of religious education.  For more information on Dr. Nelson, read this recent article published in the St. Louis Review.

Sacred Heart Catholic School Thanks OASIS Tutors for 5-10 Years of Service

posted May 19, 2014, 7:04 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 19, 2014, 7:04 AM ]

Sacred Heart is very blessed to have ten dedicated OASIS tutors who work with our primary grade children once a week. These ten "Reading Buddies" work with 29 of our students on reading and writing skills. A special recognition goes to the tutors in this picture for the 5 and 10 years of service with OASIS.
From the left, Maureen Curran (5), Dolores Schulte (10), Frankie Appleby (5), Mary Ellen and Mark Prosser (5).

St. Rose Students Raise over $2,000 for Local Charities

posted May 9, 2014, 3:08 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 3:08 PM ]

Earlier this month students at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School in Florissant celebrated 
their service to the community with a special rally where they presented a check for $1,500 to the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund and over $500 to Friends of Kids with Cancer. Students collected donations for these service projects earlier in the year and participated in a hockey puck shootout during gym class. The winning student from each grade level had a chance to shoot the puck at the assembly on April 11 with visitors from both organizations, along with a special appearance by "Louie" the St. Louis Blues' mascot.  For Friends of Kids with Cancer the students held a classroom "penny war" and made valentine cards and decorations to bring a smile to kids who are battling cancer.  St. Rose Philippine Duchesne enrolls students in preschool (3s & 4s) through 8th grade. 

Christ Light of the Nations 8th Grade Student Wins Respect Life Scholarship

posted May 9, 2014, 2:30 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 2:31 PM ]

Hector R., an 8th grade student at Christ, Light of the Nations School was selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship for his essay entry in the Respect Life Apostolate's annual 8th grade Creative Writing Contest.    Hector won the Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship, which is new to the annual program.  You can read Hector's essay by downloading the PDF below.  He will use the scholarship to attend Chaminade.  Over 1,100 entries were submitted this year with 102 finalists honored at an assembly on April 29th at the Cardinal Rigali Center.  Congratulations, Hector!

First Communion and Confirmation Congratulations

posted May 9, 2014, 11:45 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 11:45 AM ]

The Easter season is filled with celebration of sacraments at our Catholic schools and parishes.   Please continue prayers for all of the children who have received the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation this school year.

Sacred Heart Students Prepared for Easter with Special Holy Week Activities

posted May 9, 2014, 10:31 AM by Cara Koen

The students at Sacred Heart School in Florissant celebrated Good 
Friday by walking the Via Dolorosa, the Road of Tears.  The 7th Graders drew posters of Pope John Paul's Stations of the Cross, which were then hung throughout the building.  Stepping Stones with symbols for each Station connected the path. Each school family walked from Station to Station in prayerful reflection.
Middle School Students at Sacred Heart School in Florissant honored Jesus on Holy Thursday by performing a Passion Play for the entire school.  Actors, speakers, and singers all told the story of Jesus' last days on earth. 

1-10 of 94