High schools

Catholic high schools set for open houses

The annual open house at Catholic high schools in the archdiocese will be held in coming weeks.
Most high schools will hold their open houses Sunday, Nov. 1.

Three schools have alternate dates.

Tours, displays, demonstrations and programs will be featured at the sites for upper elementary students and their parents.

African-American teens build leadership skills at Kujenga

A choir of teens sang during the closing Mass at the annual Kujenga VIII Catholic Youth Leadership Conference Sept. 27 at the Sheraton Westport Hotel. Pictured, from left, are Bria McWoods, Daisy Gurley, Anthony Smith and Christina Carter from St. Augustine. This year's theme was "The Fire is Within Us." The conference is sponsored by the St. Charles Lwanga Center, which provides support to the African-American Catholic community.

For many teens, leadership skills come easily. For others, it takes extra work.

But for all who attended the Kujenga VIII Catholic Youth Leadership Conference last month, everyone had a chance to put those skills to the test.

Sponsored by the St. Charles Lwanga Center, Kujenga is a three-day event primarily for African-American high-schoolers and recent graduates. The Lwanga Center is an archdiocesan agency that provides spiritual and leadership development for the local Catholic African-American community and beyond.

The theme of this year’s conference, held Sept. 25-27 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel, was “The Fire is Within Us.” About 130 teens from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Diocese of Belleville, Ill., attended.

The weekend included prayer, a faith-sharing session, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Mass celebrated by Dominican Father Art Cavitt. Healing Hands, a local group of musicians and poets, interacted with the teens throughout the weekend. Participants also split into small “families,” and chose Swahili family names that reflected positive leadership traits.

Philadelphia Catholic high school service project has hip-hop flair

PHILADELPHIA — Through their school’s Operation Katrina Team, students at Mercy Vocational High School in Philadelphia have spent their last four Easter vacations on the Gulf coast of Mississippi, helping victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The funding for next spring’s service trip has already gotten a big boost, thanks to a rap and hip-hop video of the 2009 trip produced by the school’s music instructor, Michael Cain.

True Hero, a Cleveland-based nonprofit that rewards community service by young people, gave the school a $5,000 check for being the best high school service project in the nation and the most viewed service video posted on YouTube.com during June.

A sampling from the Operation Katrina Team video: “Gettin’ work done in the hot ‘sippi sun, Painting houses, servin’ food, helpin’ everyone, From the Gulf of Mexico to the Back Bay, Mercy changin’ people’s lives, baby, all day.”

Trinity Catholic High School alumni will hold fundraiser

Alumni are giving back at Trinity Catholic High School in North County.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, a group of alums from Trinity and two of its parent schools — St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Thomas Aquinas-Mercy — will present an evening of music to benefit Trinity’s Drama Club.

The participating alumni are all involved in some aspect of music or theater, either amateur or professional, according to Dan Grumich, Trinity development director.

The alumni performing at the concert include Lori Renna, Aquinas class of 1977; Patty Scanlon, Aquinas class of 1983; Marc Strathman, Aquinas-Mercy class of 1989; Jennifer (Chilson) Strathman, Aquinas-Mercy class of 1995; Adam Grun, Aquinas-Mercy class of 1996; Ryan Cooper, Trinity class of 2008; Danny Grumich, Trinity class of 2008.

Bishop DuBourg grad recognized for success of Twitter

Jack Dorsey, a 1995 graduate of Bishop DuBourg High School, speaks to a crowd at Webster University Sept. 18. Dorsey, creator and co-founder of Twitter Inc., an online social networking service, received Webster's Person of the Year Award that day.

 With as much traveling as Jack Dorsey does these days, it’s important, he said, “to keep my friends in my pocket at all times.”

The native St. Louisan and 1995 graduate of Bishop DuBourg High School was in town last week to receive several recognitions for his role as creator and co-founder of Twitter Inc.

Twitter is a free, web-based social networking service in which users send “tweets” — text messages of up to 140 characters — to others online and even via cell phone.

While in St. Louis, Dorsey, who now splits his time between San Francisco and Manhattan as Twitter’s chairman of the board, received the 2009 Person of the Year award from Webster University.

More than two dozen family members, including his parents, Tim and Marcia, were on hand to see him receive the award Sept. 18.

Archdiocesan area high school nights announced

Middle-school students and their parents can go “shopping” for a high school at the upcoming High School Nights, to be held at 11 locations throughout the archdiocese.

All programs begin at 7 p.m. Sites and dates include:

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — Ursuline Academy, 341 S. Sappington Road in Oakland;

Wednesday, Sept. 9 — Trinity Catholic High School, 1720 Redman Road in Spanish Lake;

Thursday, Sept. 10 — St. Mary’s High School, 4701 S. Grand Blvd. in South St. Louis;

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