Our Good News
Thanks to grant funding from The Koch Foundation, a Catholic foundation committed to supporting a variety of evangelization efforts, over 250 2nd grade students from the nine schools in the Federation of Catholic Schools are experiencing a very special retreat day at Pallottine Renewal Center this fall. On October 3, students from Sacred Heart, St. Angela Merici and St. Ann Normandy were the first group to "get away" from the classroom for a day at the retreat center, where they were led in song, stories, playtime and prayer time by Sister Laura, Sister Adrienne and Sister Guadalupe (Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart). The Sacred Heart Sisters greeted students and welcomed them in the chapel, then moved to the conference room for a talk about Reconciliation. After a morning break, the students heard another beautiful story about the Eucharist. Then they enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken tenders and homemade macaroni and cheese. In the afternoon they worked on a craft activity together, and then celebrated Mass with Fr. RajPaul. Students from St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert and Our Lady of Guadalupe had their turn to participate in this wonderful day on October 17th. The third and final group of students from Christ Light of the Nations, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and St. Sabina PSR will gather at Pallottine Renewal Center on November 3rd.
October 25, 2016
Dear Northeast County Deanery Parishioners and Members of our Catholic School Community,
Recently I have heard many rumors concerning the future of Catholic Education in the Northeast County Deanery, of which your parish is a part. I want to share with you what is really happening.
Throughout our Archdiocese and throughout the country, the number of students attending Catholic schools has been on a decline. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been one of the shining examples of quality Catholic education in the country. Archbishop Carlson wants to preserve this charism of quality Catholic education in the Archdiocese. As the student population in Catholic schools has decreased in many deaneries across the Archdiocese, Archbishop Carlson has called on each deanery to explore the best way to insure the continuation of quality Catholic education for the long term throughout the Archdiocese. Since each deanery has its own strengths and challenges, the Archbishop recognizes that this planning needs to be done separately for each deanery.
Under the direction of Bishop Edward Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese and chair of the Archdiocesan School Oversight Committee, two listening sessions were held in the Northeast County Deanery. These listening sessions took place in April and May of 2016 and had two purposes. Bishop Rice wanted to hear the concerns surrounding Catholic education from representatives of the deanery. He also wanted to share the statistical analysis of Catholic population trends in our area. These trends indicated a need to begin planning for a new approach in assuring quality Catholic education in the Northeast Deanery. The first listening session included the pastors of the parishes in the Northeast County Deanery. The pastors were then asked to invite two representatives from their parish council, two from their school board and two from the parish finance committee. The same group of people was invited to the second meeting along with the principals of the parish schools.
When Bishop Rice was appointed the Bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, Monsignor Mark Rivituso, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was appointed by Archbishop Carlson to take his place as his representative to the School Oversight Committee. At the time of Monsignor’s appointment there were two deaneries in process of searching for the best possible solution as to how to ensure quality Catholic education in their deanery. These two deaneries are the Northeast County Deanery and the South St. Louis City Deanery.
Monsignor Rivituso considered the reports from the two deaneries and examined the concerns of the laity and clergy of these deaneries. He along with the Archdiocesan School Oversight Committee determined that the deaneries were asking for more assistance from the Archdiocese. To assist the deaneries Monsignor Rivituso and the School Oversight Committee appointed three individuals to study the South City Deanery and the Northeast County Deanery. The individuals selected include:
Since July 1, 2016 these three individuals have been:
The report is nearing completion at this time and, as a result, no recommendations have been presented. What you are hearing are rumors. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit that we are all open to His plan so that he can show us the way to share our faith with our children.
Very Reverend James Mitulski, VF
Pastor, St. Norbert
Dean, Northeast County Deanery
For those of who may not be familiar with the term “deanery,” the Archdiocese of St. Louis is divided into smaller sections of parishes called deaneries. The Archbishop then appoints a Dean for each deanery. The job of the dean is twofold:
8 Northeast Deanery Schools and Parishes
On Friday, September 16 Trinity Catholic High School’s gymnasium (1720 Redman Road, 63138) will be filled with music and over 250 kids and adults in colorful t-shirts as Northeast Deanery junior high students come together for the 10th Annual Northeast Deanery Confirmation Rally with the theme “Living Mercy.” This opportunity to praise and worship God while interacting with their peers from other schools and parishes will help them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ as they journey through their junior high years and prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. Students from the following schools and parish PSR programs will be in attendance: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Christ Light of the Nations, Sacred Heart, St. Angela Merici, St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and St. Sabina.
The REAP Team, led by Paul Masek and Rachel Leininger, will facilitate the day, which begins at 9:00 a.m. with a fun icebreaker activity, “Musical Hot Potato.” Then, Paul and Rachel will present “10 Ways to Ruin Your Confirmation,” followed by small group discussion facilitated by adult leaders. Before lunch, the group will split for “Girls and Guys” sessions. The afternoon has a new format this year, with three breakout sessions that small groups will be rotating through. In the gymnasium, Dr. Jonathan Smith, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Community Engagement at Saint Louis University will speak on Peace & Justice. In the chapel, Paul and Rachel will present about the healing power of Reconciliation. And in the cafeteria Fr. Chris Martin, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, will invite teens to begin thinking and praying about what God wants them to do with their lives. After the breakout sessions, everyone will return to the gymnasium for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and preparation for the closing mass at 3:00 p.m., celebrated by Fr. Martin.
This is the 10th year that Deacon Bill Twellmann from St. Norbert has organized the Confirmation Rally for all Northeast Deanery parishes and schools. “It’s a great experience for the kids,” said Deacon Bill. “They receive some excellent faith formation from the REAP Team and have an opportunity to get to know one another and realize they are not alone in their faith journey, that hundreds of other kids are right here with them in their community.”
The confirmation rally is a collaborative program of the Federation of Catholic Schools. This year partial funding for the rally was provided through a grant from The Koch Foundation, a Catholic foundation committed to supporting a variety of evangelization efforts.
The pastors and principals from the eight Catholic elementary schools and 10 parishes of the Northeast Deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been collaborating as the Federation of Catholic Schools since 2010. To learn more about the programs and goals of the Federation, please visit www.FederationofCatholicSchools.org.
The Federation of Catholic Schools Professional Learning Teams gathered on September 2nd at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Florissant for their first meeting of the 2016-17 school year. The full group of teachers and principals received a hands-on introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning by Dr. Ray Wicks and Mrs. Sue Geiseke, who have provided this training to Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for the past three years through a grant by Monsanto to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation. Pictured are the teachers working in small groups in the "create" stage of the challenge.
Mass at Holy Name of Jesus on . Auditions for the Choir will take place at the beginning of the 2016 - 2017 school year. For information contact Theresa McWilliams firstname.lastname@example.org
The Choir was also recently featured on page 9 of the April 18 edition of America Magazine.
The art classes at St. Ferdinand Catholic School are helping to assemble a unique mural of the St. Louis skyline for the Magic House. The mural is the concept of Connor Wright from St. Louis Priory School. The image will require approximately 300,000 crayons in the style known as pointillism. The students are enjoying their roles as apprentices of this great artistic endeavor. It should be on permanent display in the near future.