Our Good News

Partnership Produces Christmas Blessing for Two Families

posted Dec 23, 2015, 7:21 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 23, 2015, 7:25 AM ]

Thanks to the partnership between SSM Health DePaul Hospital and the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools, two families in need received a special Christmas blessing this year. It all started when Lisa Mills, PR and Marketing Consultant for DePaul Hospital, inquired with the Federation of Catholic Schools if there were any families in need that she and a group of her friends from Kee West Farm and coworkers from SSM Health could adopt for Christmas and grant some gift wishes. Two Federation principals, Sr. Mary Lawrence, SSND at Christ, Light of the Nations School and Mrs. Addie Govero at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School, each identified a family at their school who could use the help.  Mills and her group of "elves" did all the shopping and wrapping, and passed along a van load of Christmas cheer that we delivered to the two grateful families.  

SSM Health DePaul Hospital and the Federation of Catholic Schools began partnering in 2015 to bring the CatholicFIT faith and fitness program to students in the 8 elementary schools of the Federation.  CatholicFIT will continue in Spring 2016 for students in 3rd and 6th grades. The partnership has also enabled the Federation's Professional Learning Teams to invite expert speakers, like Heather Davidson, Director of Youth Services at SSM Health DePaul's Behavioral Health, to share information and tips with teachers as part of their professional development.

OLG Celebrates Feast Day

posted Dec 15, 2015, 11:08 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 12:09 PM ]

The annual feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is always a joyful event. The students and parishioners at OLG hosted their annual extravaganza in honor of the Virgin on Saturday, December 12.  Several students participated in the 5 p.m. Mass, followed by a small reception.

The celebration actually began at 12:00 midnight on Friday night.  There were songs, dancing, the Rosary, music, Mass, and lots and lots of flowers!  The celebration lasted until after the "Waking of the Virgin" prayer and Mass at 6:00 a.m.  A breakfast was served as soon as Mass concludes.

The excitement continued on Monday, December 14 when OLG school welcomed visitors from Incarnate Word School (7th grade) and St. Cletus School (2nd grade) as their honored guests.  They attended Mass together, and enjoyed music, dancing, and a reenactment of the miracle and a reception after all of the hoop-la!  

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School Focuses on Mercy this Advent and Beyond

posted Dec 15, 2015, 11:06 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 11:07 AM ]

BTC is joining in Pope Francis' mission of the Year of Mercy.  Our Advent prayer service focused on the Year of Mercy and the Corporal Works of Mercy.  Displayed in the school building Corporal Works of Mercy posters and next to each poster are the different things we are doing in our school that go with that Corporal Work of Mercy.  This will go from December 8th, 2015-November 20th, 2016, the dates designated by Pope Francis to celebrate and live the Year of Mercy.  

Sacred Heart Students Collect Cans for Christ

posted Dec 15, 2015, 11:05 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 11:05 AM ]

Sacred Heart students in Grades 5-8 have completed their Cans for Christ Project. Their gift of 601 food items was delivered to TEAM on Friday, just in time for filling Christmas needs. The students had to work for the items, or pay for them with their own money, so this is indeed their gift to their needy brothers and sisters in North County. We exceeded our goal by 49 items! The students continue to practice the Corporal Works of Mercy throughout the year in our Feeding God's People project, making sandwiches every month for the homeless at St. Vincent's. 

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Collect Personal Items for Marygrove

posted Dec 15, 2015, 11:03 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 12:49 PM ]

For the first two weeks of Advent, St. Rose students hosted a collection in support of the Marygrove residential center. Each grade level was assigned a particular personal care item (i.e. bar soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc.) to bring in to help the residents of Marygrove in Florissant. Marygrove offers a safe and healing environment for children, teens and young adults. St. Rose students also recently collected change in a friendly classroom competition for the American Diabetes Association and had "Cupcakes for a Cause" during lunch each Monday in November in support of the Alzheimer's Association.

St. Angela Merici Students Focus on Tree of Kindness

posted Dec 15, 2015, 11:02 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 1:45 PM ]

Students at St. Angela Merici have been focusing on giving and generosity during this season of Advent. The school has displayed Trees of Kindness on their bulletin board, and are sharing many acts of kindness within their school and parish community and beyond. How better to bring the spirit of CHRISTmas to Advent.  Small acts of kindness, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.  Here are a few examples of the Acts of Kindness practiced at SAM:
  • Make a Christmas card for your neighbor
  • Leave a happy message with sidewalk chalk on your sidewalk
  • Tidy your bedroom
  • Leave a beautiful homemade bookmark in your library book
  • Sit next to someone you normally don’t at the lunch table and be nice to them
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Send a card to a veteran
  • Offer to help and elderly friend or neighbor with their Christmas decorations
  • Give a complement
  • Telephone an elderly relative and have a nice conversation with them.

On Christmas Day, may our homes be filled with Christ because we have brought Him closer to us by our Random Acts of Kindness!

Christ Light of the Nations Students Prepare Hearts and Homes for Christmas

posted Dec 15, 2015, 9:04 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 9:04 AM ]

The seventh and eighth graders at Christ Light of the Nations School were each assigned an advent project to prepare their hearts and homes for the coming of Christ. Eighth graders chose from a nativity scene, an advent wreath, an advent calendar or advent banners. The seventh graders each made a Jesse Tree of some kind with ornaments for the people in the bible that led up to Christ’s birth. They are on display at school but will also be at the Christmas program at Trinity on Thursday night. Come and see how the students made this an act of love.

IWA Students Recognize Caring Hands of Teachers

posted Dec 15, 2015, 7:30 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 8:29 AM ]

Recently, freshman students at Incarnate Word Academy had the opportunity to nominate a teacher from their elementary school who made a positive impact on their lives.  Several teachers from our North County Federation schools were recognized at a liturgy with Father Art Cavitt and music ministry by Kyle Huelsing, followed by a reception.

Congratulations to the following teachers for this special recognition, another sign of how teaching in Catholic schools is truly a ministry!
  • Blessed Teresa of Calcutta - Mrs. Joanne Sextro
  • Christ Light of the Nations - Mrs. Jane Zappia, Mrs. Whitney Compas, Mrs. Karen Dafflitto
  • Sacred Heart - Florissant - Mrs. Vicki Muellhaupt, Ms. Josie Zeugin
  • St. Norbert - Mrs. Christine Lightner
  • St. Rose Philippine Duchesne - Ms. Rose Sigears, Mrs. Debbie Davis

St. Ferdinand Science Students Decorate a "Chemis-Tree"

posted Dec 15, 2015, 7:18 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 7:19 AM ]

Eighth grade students at St. Ferdinand School are getting ready to begin their unit on Chemistry.  Mrs. Agathen, their science teacher, found a fun way to get them excited about the elements and in the holiday spirit by creating a "chemis-tree" of the periodic table of elements. They enlisted the help of the sixth graders and seventh graders, too.  She gave the students a quick lesson on the periodic table and assigned each student an element.  Each individual card has the atomic number, chemical symbol, atomic mass and name of element displayed on it.  The eighth grade students mapped out how many elements would be in each row and helped to hang the masterpiece!

Teachers Learn More about AD/HD and Autism in the Classroom

posted Nov 12, 2015, 9:42 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Nov 12, 2015, 9:42 AM ]

On Friday, November 6, teachers gathered with their Professional Learning Teams at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School in Ferguson to learn some strategies and tips for working with students with AD/HD and Autism.  Heather Davidson, MSW, LCSW, Director of Youth Services for SSM Health DePaul Hospital Behavioral Health shared information about what Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is, how it is diagnosed, what the symptoms are and some strategies and resources teachers can use with students in the classroom.  

The second speaker was Molly Murphy, MAT, SPE, who with Special School District in Non-Public Diagnostics.  Murphy spoke with the teachers about students on the Autism spectrum and ways to work with these students. Murphy noted that often private school settings offer an environment that is helpful to students with high-functioning autism.


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