schools

Catholic Charities provides long-term care for tornado victims

A month after a devastating tornado hit the Perryville area on Feb. 28, Catholic Charities is settling in to provide long-term care to those affected. The tornado left one man dead and tore a 15-mile-long path of destruction costing families their homes and businesses. Mary Fulton walked through her property where once stood Fullerton Window’s and Siding, her family business. Many of the materials were lifted up and dispersed across the area.

More than three weeks since a tornado hit near Perryville, Catholic Charities of St. Louis has been formulating a plan to provide long-term care to households affected by the storm.

The EF4 tornado on Feb. 28 killed one person and leveled several homes and other structures, according to the National Weather Service. Others were left with extensive damage.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis was among agencies that participated March 4 in a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), a one-stop shop, if you will, to provide information and disaster-related assistance.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Giving faith-based schools the support they deserve

Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are blessed to be supported by parents, parishioners and benefactors. These individuals support our schools not only because they recognize the individual benefit each student receives, but they recognize that Catholic schools benefit our entire community.

Balance of solidarity, subsidiarity guide future of Catholic schools

The proposal of three school models in the Archdiocese of St. Louis signals a major shift in the way the Catholic Education Office operates and how they're looking at the future of Catholic education in St. Louis.  Students at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be an Archdiocesan School model. Makalo Spencer seemed to raise his hand for every question about subjective personal pronouns during his sixth grade language arts lesson.

Kurt Nelson sees the future of Catholic education in the archdiocese as that of balancing a set of scales. On one side you have subsidiarity — the principle of making decisions at the most local level possible. On the other, you've got solidarity — Catholics throughout the archdiocese acting together as one Body in Christ.

"We want people to do the things they need to do, to have those freedoms," the superintendent of Catholic education said. "And where they have challenges, we want the solidarity piece to show how we are working as a larger Church. It's a balancing of both of these."

Plan seeks ‘renaissance’ of Catholic education in the city

Under a new school model, the archdiocese will partner with parishes and schools as a strong stakeholder to make sure the schools are available, affordable and in the right locations. The corporate school model is in addition to the parish school model, administered by the local parish, and the archdiocesan elementary school model, in which the Catholic Education Office makes decisions regarding curriculum, programs and personnel. Deresun McCaskill, a first-grader, made his way along the monkey bars on the new playground at St. Frances Cabrini Academy, a consolidated school sponsored by nine parishes in south St. Louis.

The Archdiocesan School Oversight Committee has developed a plan to address issues affecting Catholic elementary schools in the City of St. Louis.

Under the plan for a "renaissance in education," the archdiocese will partner with parishes and schools as a strong stakeholder to make sure the schools are available, affordable and in the right locations. The partnership will include leadership — a position within the Catholic Education Office focused on these schools — and funding to ensure educational and religious educational programs are of similar quality in all of the schools.

Virtue-based discipline

The sixth graders entered the 2015-16 school year at Our Lady Queen of Peace School with their reputation preceding them.

Homeroom teacher Terry Ostlund described it as steeped in "conflict." Student Paige Vancil defined it as "drama." For math and science teacher Rebecca Nestor, their reputation was "negative."

Regardless of the word, the reputation had been firmly entrenched "since the primary grades," Ostlund said. "They've had a rough go."

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