The Catholic schools of the diocese extend an invitation to everyone to enjoy the spirit of the season at their Christmas programs. Contact the schools for additional information.
St. Francis of the Lakes School — Christmas program on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 5:30 p.m. at Tornstrom Auditorium, 804 Oak St., Brainerd. Contact the school at (218) 829-2344, www.stfranciscatholicschool.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen of Peace School — Christmas program on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Queen of Peace Church, 102 Fourth St., Cloquet. Contact the school at (218) 879-8516, www.queenofpeaceschool.org or email@example.com.
Holy Rosary School — Middle school Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 10, at noon and 6:30 p.m. in the school gym, 2802 E. Fourth St., Duluth; K-6 grade Christmas program on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth. Contact the school at (218) 724-8565, www.holyrosarymn.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. James School — Christmas program on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the school, 715 N. 57th Ave. W., Duluth. Contact the school at (218) 624-1511, www.stjamesduluth.org or email@example.com.
St. John’s School — Christmas program on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at St. John’s Church, 4230 St. John’s Ave., Duluth. Contact the school at (218) 724-9392, www.stjohnsduluth.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Michael’s Lakeside School — Christmas program on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church, 4901 E. Superior St., Duluth. Contact the school at (218) 525-1931, www.smlsduluth.org or email@example.com.
St. Joseph’s School — Christmas program on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, 315 S.W. 21st St., Grand Rapids. Contact the school at (218) 326-6034, www.stjosephscatholic.org/school or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assumption School — Christmas program on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the school gym, 2310 Seventh Ave. E., Hibbing. Contact the school at (218) 263-3054, www.acshibbing.org or email@example.com.
St. Thomas Aquinas School — Christmas program is called “Listen to the Angels” and is held Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Backus Community Center, 900 Fifth St., International Falls. Contact the school at (218) 283-3430, www.stthomascatholicschool.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Mary’s School — Christmas program is called “Peace on Earth” and is held Monday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 535 Eighth St. S.W., Pine City. Contact the school at (320) 629-3953, www.stmaryspinecity.org or email@example.com.
Marquette School — Christmas program is called “Glory to the Newborn King” and is held Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in Holy Spirit Church social hall at 306 S. Second St., Virginia. Contact the school at (218) 741-6811, www.marquettecatholicschool.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Joseph students rake leaves
St. Joseph School students were at different locations throughout Grand Rapids this fall for their annual service marathon. The students, grouped in mixed-age teams, went to locations to rake up lawns for the autumn clean-up for people who needed the assistance. The school participates in the Minnesota Marathon for Nonpublic Education as do many of the diocesan Catholic schools. The mission of the Minnesota Marathon for Nonpublic Education, Inc., in cooperation with the Minnesota Knights of Columbus, is to raise public awareness of nonpublic education by promoting fundraising initiatives. Students run, walk, bike and do service projects and other activities as a school community to raise the money for the school. St. Joseph’s students raked in over 1,600 bags of leaves for 16 people in the community.
10K supports St. Francis of the Lakes
Saint Francis of the Lakes School in Brainerd had a 2015 Marathon for Non-Public Education success! Over $42,000 was raised through the event. Students in preschool and elementary classes rode their bikes and middle school students participated in a 10K walk/run. An added highlight this year was the Essentia Health sponsorship that provided bike helmets, T-shirts and beverages for the students. Students enjoyed an ice cream social as top fundraising families were recognized at an all school assembly on Monday, Nov. 2.
Students learn about Native American culture
In Global and Linguistic Studies at Holy Rosary School in Duluth, students in kindergarten and third and fourth grades started the school year learning about key attributes of culture, beginning with specific traits of northern Minnesota and America. They then migrated to a study of Native culture, focusing on the Alaskan Inuits. Sister Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP, director of Indian ministry at the Diocese of Duluth, shared her experiences serving and travelling to five reservations in the region. She spoke of the importance of the four major colors used by area tribes and their significance. She showed a jacket she received from her Native Alaskan friend, Gemma Guadio, at the National Tekakwitha Conference in July. The jacket is the outer clothing worn by the Native Alaskans while out fishing. She also taught students about St. Kateri Tekawitha and the documented miracles that led to her canonization in 2012. Sister Rose was an honored guest in Rome, travelling with Bishop Paul Sirba and four tribal members to celebrate this monumental event for the first Native to become a saint. Students created appreciation notes to send to Sister Rose recapping their favorite parts of her presentation and using the Ojibwe word “Miigwech,” meaning “thank you!” In an extension of the Native culture lessons, Tammy Dixon, Holy Rosary School parent, also presented to students the traditional Native regalia and shared Native music. Students had an opportunity to sample fry bread and wild rice.
Holy Rosary saints visit bishop
The first-grade classes at Holy Rosary School in Duluth continued a school tradition begun by one of its former Dominican sisters, Sister Samuella Volk, almost 20 years ago. Students spent several weeks learning about saints and their importance to the church. Each child selected a saint to portray as an example of living a holy life. On All Saints Day, the first graders dressed as their chosen saint to lead and participate in the Holy Day Mass presided over by Father Eli Gieske, associate pastor of the school and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary. On All Souls Day, the first graders shared their knowledge with Bishop Paul Sirba and staff at the Pastoral Center and with the staff at the Cathedral offices. The children also presented their saints to their classmates with an oral report that was given in the first person, so that the children truly embraced the persona of their chosen saint. This is an opportunity to look at the characteristics of the saints and to see how their example can be used in our own lives as followers of Jesus.
The students of St. James School in Duluth brought their pets to school in October for the annual blessing of pets for the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Father Michael Garry, associate pastor of St. James parish and school, blessed all the different animals brought to him.