Education

At archdiocesan ‘teach-in,’ high school students lean in to discuss race, culture

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org | Twitter: @aeternusphoto

Students at Catholic high schools in the archdiocese came together March 2 for a “Culture and Race Teach-in.” Participants spent the day in dialogue listening to different perspectives. Marissa Jones listened to conversation in her group.

Prior to showing up at the Cardinal Rigali Center last week, students were instructed not to wear anything that would identify what high school they attend.

As any lifelong St. Louisan knows, the mere mention of high school affixes a preconceived understanding to a person — call it a prejudice, if you will. And labeling was one thing organizers of the Culture and Race Teach-In did not want students to bring to the table that day.

St. Peter School in St. Charles to close at end of 2016-17 school year

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has accepted a recommendation to close St. Peter School in St. Charles at the end of the 2016-17 school year, due to enrollment and financial struggles.

St. Peter will merge with St. Elizabeth-St. Robert Regional School in St. Charles, located about 4.5 miles west. Families were notified of the decision last month.

Holy Rosary ‘Saints Museum’ celebrates Catholic education

Saints Museum player and Holy Rosary School eighth-grader Emma Buskin, center, talked about the life of St. Catherine of Bologna with fellow students. Emma dressed up as St. Catherine to give her presentations about the founder of the Poor Clares as part of the Saints Museum at Holy Rosary.

Five saints filled the small front office at Holy Rosary School in Warrenton on a recent morning as they waited to see the principal.

"Oh, my heart is so warm," said Lori Racine as she came out of her office to meet St. Catherine of Bologna, St. Cecilia, St. Sebastian, St. Bernadette and St. Hubert. "Remember to talk naturally, like you're telling a story about yourself."

Students eager for parents’ help in growing in faith

Our Lady School eighth-grader Vincent Mueller answered a question from principal Tracy Kempfer in religion class. Mueller and his classmates desire more guidance and help from their parents in preparation for confirmation.

At the beginning of the school year, Tracy Kempfer posed a simple question to eighth-graders at Our Lady School in Festus.

"I asked them, 'What do you need from your parents to help you prepare for confirmation?'" said Kempfer, who teaches religion to the eighth-graders in addition to serving as school principal. "I gave them a piece of paper and they just wrote their thoughts out."

The consensus of the anonymous responses struck at the heart of the Catholic faith and the realities of being Catholic — even a young Catholic — in this day and age. The students wanted their parents to ...

Federation of Catholic Schools fosters collaboration

St. Angela Merici eighth-grader Jeremiah King talked on camera about what makes the school great and, pointing to a picture of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, said, “this guy’s cool.” Cara Koen, director of advancement for the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools, visited with students at the schools of the federation to shoot a video.

Cara Koen aimed her iPhone at the young student standing in front of a brightly colored bulletin board at St. Norbert School. "OK, let's do the come-and-explore part again," she told second-grader Cadence Levin.

Koen visited the Florissant school earlier this month to shoot video promoting Catholic Schools Week. As director of advancement for the Federation of Catholic Schools in the Northeast Deanery, such work is a regular part of Koen's routine.

Never-give-up attitude prevails at Most Holy Trinity Academy

De Smet Jesuit High School sophomore Cameron Rodgers played one-on-one basketball with Most Holy Trinity eighth-grader Davion Ford. Cameron is part of the “Give Back” work- study program at Access Academies, in which graduates of the academies who are in high school or college return to provide assistance and mentoring to current students.

Cameron Rodgers is comfortable at De Smet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, where the sophomore excels in the classroom and on the football field and track.

That comfort level is matched or exceeded at Most Holy Trinity Academy in north St. Louis, where he serves as a tutor and assistant basketball coach. He's an effective leader, assisting the grade-schoolers with their studies and athletic skills.

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