Our Good News

SSM Health Cardiology Nurses Teach Elementary Students about Heart Health

posted Nov 3, 2017, 9:26 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 2:01 PM ]

Recently nurses from SSM Health DePaul Hospital visited students at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School and Christ Light of the Nations School to teach them about heart health, how the heart works and what happens when someone has a heart attack. They also learned how to call 911 if they are with someone who appears to be having a heart attack.  It was a great experience for the students and the nurses!  Click here to view more photos.

Fr. Nick Winker Receives 30 Leaders in Their Thirties Award

posted Nov 3, 2017, 8:53 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 9:16 AM ]

     This week, Fr. Nick Winker was recognized as one of North County Inc.'s 30 Leaders in their Thirties. Each year, the regional development organization invites nominations from the north county community for young professionals who are making a difference. Fr. Nick certainly makes a difference for the parishioners at St. Ann Catholic Church, leading their parish and school with energy and compassion. Recently he led the installation of new LED lighting in the school building. Not only does the new lighting save energy, money and provides a better look, but the classrooms are now equipped with cutting-edge lights that are dimmable and they can change their color temperature. The hue of the light in a classroom can now be adjusted from hospital bright white to a much softer yellow fireside glow light. Natural human biorhythms are informed by the color of the light around us, which means brightness and temperature of the light affect how we feel. Teachers now have the ability to use the light to help inform the students' bodies as well as their minds of the appropriate attitude and energy level for the task at hand.

2nd Grade Students Prepare for Sacraments with Retreat Day at Pallottine

posted Nov 3, 2017, 8:51 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 9:20 AM ]

Students from all the north county Catholic elementary schools and PSR programs had the opportunity to gather for special retreat days away from school to focus on the sacraments they will soon receive.  Second-grade students are preparing for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The Sacred Heart Sisters from the Archdiocese's PaulVI Retreats led groups of schools through wonderful retreat days on Oct. 5 (Christ Light of the Nations, Holy Spirit, St. Norbert and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne), and Oct. 25 (Holy Trinity, Holy Spirit PSR, St. Ann, St. Ferdinand, and St. Sabina PSR) at Pallottine Retreat Center.  A third day is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 6 (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sacred Heart). 

Students "Proclaim Joy" at Annual Confirmation Rally

posted Nov 3, 2017, 8:13 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 8:37 AM ]

Over 250 students arrived at Trinity Catholic High School on Friday, Oct. 13 for the annual Confirmation Rally led by the REAP Team, Paul Masek and Rachel Leininger.  It was a beautiful day filled with music, prayer, laughter, reflection, and fun! Pizza and snacks fueled the students as they listened to talks to help get them thinking about the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation they will receive this year.  The heard a talk on peace & justice from James Comninellis, and Fr. Brian Fallon and Sr. Karolyn of the Alton Franciscans gave an engaging presentation on vocations.  The day was complete with Mass celebrated by Bishop Rivituso.  Click here to view some video clips and photos from the day.

Back to School Renaissance

posted Aug 2, 2017, 10:55 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Aug 2, 2017, 11:23 AM ]

Back to School Blessings

New Director of North County Schools Signifies

Archdiocese and Parishes Partnering for Continued Excellence


One of the first steps toward implementing a Renaissance for Catholic Schools in North County has been taken: a new Director of North County Elementary Schools joined the Catholic Education Office this summer.  Rick Danzeisen will provide leadership and support to all North County Catholic elementary schools and the Federation of Catholic Schools as the Archdiocese’s Renaissance for Catholic Education gains momentum.

Rick Danzeisen, Director of North County Elementary Schools
Danzeisen has served as a Catholic School principal for 35 years, most recently at Our Lady of Lourdes in Washington, MO.  He brings enthusiasm and expertise to the table, as he will be working together with the school principals, pastors, and director of advancement to continue the collaboration of Catholic schools in North County, which has been ongoing since 2005.

“For many years now, we have been working hard at working together to continue excellence in Catholic education here in north county,” said Fr. Mike Henning, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and pastor representative for the Federation of Catholic Schools. “Having a director from the archdiocese focused on the unique opportunities and challenges for our north county schools is another milestone in this collaboration. We are excited to have Rick join this important work.”

Danzeisen will spend much of his time on location in the 10 Catholic elementary schools in north county.  He will provide support and guidance to principals at all parish schools on administrative and curriculum issues, and identify programs and resources that are needed to ensure that all families in north county have access to excellent and affordable Catholic schools.

“I am very excited and honored to be the new Director of North County Catholic Elementary Schools,” said Danzeisen. “I look forward to working closely with principals and pastors to ensure viability, affordability and accessibility of Catholic education for all children in North County”


This new leadership position is one of several recommendations that Archbishop Robert J. Carlson approved in April 2017 after a series of meetings in January and follow-up Q&A led by the Archdiocese School Oversight Committee. While all nine schools in the federation are currently parish-based schools, that will change with the formation of the new partnership model school to be established between St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne parishes and the Archdiocese. The school will be one educational entity, governed by the members of the corporation (pastors, the archbishop, and superintendent of Catholic education) and a board of directors, and operated at the sites of each of the three existing schools. As a designee of the Superintendent of Catholic Education, Danzeisen will work with those pastors and principals to plan all the details, including the formation of a board of directors this fall, to ensure a smooth transition to the new partnership school, set to begin with when enrollment for 2018-19 starts in early 2018.

The recommendations also include a study of the Archdiocesan Elementary School (AES) model to be completed by October 2017. The AES model, which means that the school is run completely by the Archdiocese through the Catholic Education Office, is currently in use at three schools outside of north county.

In addition, starting in the 2018-19 school year, all schools will have access to funds from the archdiocese to enhance the quality of educational and religious education programs in North County. More details on the recommendations and history is available at www.FederationofCatholicSchools.org/renaissance.

In 2010, after several years of exploring ways to collaborate, the pastors of the Northeast Deanery first signed the agreement on the Federation of Catholic Schools. The federation helps all parishes, even those without schools, stay close to the mission of Catholic education in North County through collaborative programs such as Professional Learning Teams for teachers, Sacramental Preparation Retreats for 2nd, 7th and 8th grade students, joint marketing/advertising programs, and opportunities to seek grant funds in support of collaboration.

The federation agreement is renewed annually and now includes Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School and Parish, Christ Light of the Nations School (Holy Name of Jesus Parish), Holy Trinity Parish and School (joined for the 2017-18 school year) Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and School, Sacred Heart Parish and School, St. Angela Merici Parish, St. Ann Parish and School (joined in 2016-17), St. Ferdinand Parish and School (St. Martin De Porres Parish), St. Norbert School and Parish (St. Sabina Parish) and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Parish and School.  To learn more about the programs and goals of the Federation, or for application and enrollment information for any of the nine schools, please visit www.ExploreCatholicSchools.com.

North County Teachers Celebrate $100K Beyond Sunday Grant

posted May 10, 2017, 7:04 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 10, 2017, 7:06 AM ]

Over 100 teachers from the Federation of Catholic Schools gathered at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School in Florissant on May 5th for their final Professional Learning Team meeting of the school year. They learned more about the $100,000 Beyond Sunday grant that was awarded to the Federation of Catholic Schools for the 2017-18 school year.  Grant funds will provide one classroom set of Chromebooks for each Federation school, as well as access to a variety of professional development opportunities in using Google Gsuite as well as Differentiated Instruction techniques.  Each school will also have at least one teacher on staff who is or will become a certified Google educator. 

Sherri Kulpa and Jonathon Lee, representatives from EdPlus, led the teachers through an exercise to help identify what types of learning opportunities would be most beneficial for the various teachers individually and as part of their PLT.

To position the whole discussion, they showed this video clip. "When you know your WHY, your WHAT becomes more impactful because you're walking towards or in your PURPOSE."

North County Educators Attend NCEA17 in Downtown St. Louis

posted Apr 28, 2017, 2:09 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated Apr 28, 2017, 2:18 PM ]


Christ Light of the Nations Prays for Peace

posted Jan 26, 2017, 8:59 AM by Cara Koen

Christ Light of the Nations principal, Sr. Mary Lawrence began this year encouraging us to pray for peace. She gave each of the teachers St. Francis’ prayer for peace so we could focus on being a conduit for peace.

In recent years, St. Louis has been challenged by violence and as a community and we are all saddened by it. We wanted to find a way to encourage everyone to work for peace beginning in our families and in our school so that through us, peace could spread to our communities.

This year our Christmas performance was entitled “Searching for Peace on Earth”. Through music, dance, scripture and prayer we looked to God for answers to find peace. We know that the world does not give us the right answers we need but in the end...

FOR can only come through faith. It can only come by imitating the
one who has come to show us PERFECT LOVE, love the world
cannot understand. If we can be one with Jesus, if we let Him dwell in

At that concert, our school unveiled a banner that we have placed on the fence by our school to encourage peace in our community. It includes a quote by Gandhi that says, “Be the Change you want to see in the World”


Christmas Performances by Northeast Deanery Children's Choir

posted Dec 9, 2016, 9:58 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 9, 2016, 9:58 AM ]

The Northeast Deanery Children’s Choir will be singing in a Christmas concert at the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine on Sunday, December 11. The concert begins at 3:00 pm. On Tuesday, December 20, they will perform at the Missouri Veteran’s Home. At 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve the Choir will sing their Concert of Carols at Holy Name of Jesus Church, and then lead the singing for the Christmas Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. The Choir is composed of children from Holy Name of Jesus (Christ, Light of the Nations School), Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. For more information contact the director, Theresa McWilliams at tmacwms@sbcglobal.net.

Second Grade Students Prepare for Reconciliation and Eucharist with Special Retreat Days

posted Oct 26, 2016, 8:52 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated Dec 9, 2016, 10:20 AM ]

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.

2nd Grade Retreat Day - Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert

2nd Grade Retreat at Pallotine Oct. 3 - Sacred Heart, St. Ann and St. Angela Merici

2nd Grade Retreat Day at Pallottine - Nov. 3 - St. Rose, Christ Light of the Nations, Blessed Teresa, St. Sabina PSR

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