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School News in Brief - February 2017

The Northern Cross - February 2017
School News in Brief

10 students entrusted with priest’s money

Every Wednesday, students of St. Francis of the Lakes School in Brainerd gather for Mass. One Wednesday during the homily, Father Paul Strommer, associate pastor, entrusted 10 students with ‘mysterious’ envelopes. Before selecting them, Father Strommer asked them, “Who considers themselves to be bold?” The Gospel of the Mass was the Parable of the Ten Gold Coins (Luke 19:11-28). In the parable, a nobleman calls 10 of his servants and gives them 10 gold coins each and charges them to engage in trade with them until he returns. The envelopes simply read, “Return 12/14.” Next Father Strommer instructed the students to open the envelopes. To their surprise, each student, ranging from eighth grade down to kindergarten, found a crisp, new $10 bill. They were instructed to go, to use the $10 they had been entrusted, and to be “bold and fruitful,” — to return with more. One student used the $10 to purchase ingredients for baking cookies to multiply the amount of money. Another student used the $10 to design, make and sell hair bands. Father Strommer said, “God is astonishingly generous and bold with his children. All of us are entrusted with his grace, always, and nothing is more precious than God’s grace. The purpose of entrusting the students with a bit of my money was simple: God entrusts us with his grace and he expects us to be ‘bold and fruitful’ for his kingdom.” The students returned to Mass on Wednesday, Dec. 14, with the envelopes. The $100 grew to be around $900. The entire sum of money was then given to the school’s Tuition Assistance Fund.

New statue at Holy Rosary

During this past Advent season, a new statue was given to Holy Rosary School in Duluth and was blessed by Father Peter Muhich, pastor, at the Feast of the Immaculate Conception school Mass on Dec. 8. The beautiful new 36-inch statue depicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and offers an opportunity for increased devotion and reflection. Before she is permanently placed, the statue will travel to each of the school classrooms. Students will learn more about her significance and history as part of the richness of our Catholic faith while reflecting on her image and her message. What is her heart saying to each of us? What is it about her heart that we desire for our own? Mary’s greatness consists in the fact she wants to magnify God rather than herself. The new statue is part of the school’s ongoing Catholic Identity Project. The goal is to enhance the school’s Catholic identity, incorporating various elements, including sacred art, to enrich the student experience. Currently, many of Holy Rosary’s classrooms either do not have a statue or the statue in place is in poor condition. A total of 18 statues will eventually be purchased, representing different apparitions of the Blessed Mother or a saint. The school is grateful to the support of the Knights of Columbus Monsignor O’Shea Council based at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary. Their generous gift launched this project.

Teacher restores Nativity

The teachers at Holy Rosary School in Duluth offer their time and talents to the students every day. But behind the scenes, many continue to serve the school in other ways. Thanks to the meticulous work of Jim Giuffre, Holy Rosary School was blessed to have a restored Nativity set to display for the preparation of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Nativity set has been used for many years. It was gifted to the school when the Cathedral of our Lady of the Rosary purchased a new set. “Last year, when I saw the [Nativity] statues for the first time in their condition, I told [Principal] Jesse [Murray] I would restore them for the school,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of thought process to it. There was a need, I have a skill set, and I could help. The time it takes varies with the amount of damage. The minimum amount of time is roughly 45 minutes per repair. Some take more time, others less. Painting is another facet of the process and takes the most amount of time. What I enjoy is sharing my skills, seeing the finished product, and knowing that my effort will be enjoyed by others for a long time.”

Catholic schools raffle

Some Catholic schools in the Diocese of Duluth will be selling raffle tickets as part of the Catholic Schools Raffle, sponsored by Catholic United Financial. One $5 bill gives buyers the opportunity to win a 2017 Jeep Compass (or $20,000 in cash), vacation packages, cool gadgets or other prizes totaling $40,000 in value. Participating Catholic schools will keep 100 percent of every ticket sold. The St. Paul-based company covers the entire cost of the raffle, including prizes, ticket printing and promotional materials. More than 13,400 students from 82 participating schools in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota will sell tickets through Feb. 26, prior to the official drawing at 11 a.m. on March 9 at Catholic United Financial’s home office in St. Paul. In the raffle’s seven-year existence, it has helped Catholic schools in the Upper Midwest to raise more than $5 million. Catholic United is hoping to increase the Catholic Schools Raffle grand total to $6 million during this year’s six-week selling period. Money raised through this fundraiser has allowed schools to provide tuition assistance, improve technology and pay for special learning opportunities, such as field trips and special guest speakers. Schools in the Diocese of Duluth that are participating include: St. Francis of the Lakes School, Brainerd; Queen of Peace School, Cloquet; St. James School, Duluth; St. Michael’s Lakeside School, Duluth; St. Joseph’s School, Grand Rapids; and Marquette School, Virginia.

Notice of student nondiscriminatory policy

The Catholic schools within the Diocese of Duluth admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. They do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. A listing of schools this applies to may be found at the diocesan web site,