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School News In Brief - March 2016

The Northern Cross - March 2016
School News In Brief

Duluth Area Catholic Schools study day

Teachers as well as their students need time to recharge for the second semester of the school year. On Friday, Jan. 22, all teachers in the Duluth Area Catholic Schools had an opportunity to gather at St James Church for a time of catechetical formation and education. Nic Davidson, an author of a youth ministry program, led the catechetical portion of the day with inspiring words to enrich everyone’s spiritual life. Kyle Eller, communications director for the Diocese of Duluth and editor of The Northern Cross, shared some practical and interesting ways to expand memory in children and adults. Teachers also had an opportunity to connect with each other throughout the day. It was truly a time of inspiration and enrichment, organizers said.

St. Francis celebrates Catholic Schools Week

During Catholic Schools Week, St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School in Brainerd had activities throughout the week and dress-up themes for every day. All students pre-k to eighth grade participated. Numbers participating varied by class. Some activities held during the week included Nic Davidson, family speaker; staff-eighth grade volleyball tourney; reading with prayer buddies; and Family Fun Night (a family game night). Each class also participated in service projects for various groups and organizations in the community.

Holy Rosary hosts 20th annual dinner and auction

“A Night to Shine” was the theme for this year’s dinner and auction for Holy Rosary School in Duluth. Parishioners, parents, teachers, alumni, business sponsors and friends gathered together to celebrate and appreciate the presence of the school in the community. The evening brought in $60,000, which is now available to fund the school’s mission and operations. The night kicked off with live music from Jenna Kelly on vocals (HRS drama teacher), Eric Cyr on guitar and vocals (HRS band director), and Dan Gershgol on percussion (HRS alumnus and maintenance staff). The electronic bidding for the silent auction opened for the first time to families who were not able to attend and raised $1,000 more than last year. The live auction raised close to $20,000 and included Father Peter Muhich, Father Eli Gieske and Jesse Murray in bomber hats and sky goggles delivering balloons with prizes to cap off the Take Flight Race event. Local businesses sponsored the event. Families were also very generous with their gifts. The Fund a Need raised $15,000 to launch mission vision projects, including the school garden, remodels to the school gymnasium and purchasing Marian statues for classrooms.

Second graders participate in ‘We Give Books’

This year Holy Rosary School in Duluth has been focusing on serving Jesus by keeping him foremost in minds and hearts while looking for opportunities to serve others before oneself. The “We Give Books” program was just what was needed during the Christmas season. The second-graders were inspired to enjoy reading books available on the We Give Books website, knowing that for each digital book they read, a free print book would be given to a child who would not otherwise have one. All it took was a brief explanation of the program on the first day of December and the students were off and reading. Each day the students came to school eager to share just how many books they had read and which ones they enjoyed the most. All of the reading was done with their families outside of school, and the students kept track of the books read on their checklists. To see just what an impact a class of 30 students could make during just one month, each student had a chance to add the number of books he or she had read to reach a grand total. After a lot of addition, the second-graders had read 658 books. Through the simple act of reading, they had helped not only themselves but had made a big difference in the lives of children around the world.

Registrations for 2016-17

Catholic schools have begun registration for the 2016-17 school year. Contact your local Catholic school to learn more about registering your children at a Catholic school.

Brainerd: St. Francis of the Lakes School, 817 Juniper St.; (218) 829-2344,;

Cloquet: Queen of Peace School, 102 Fourth St.; (218) 879-8516,;

Duluth: Holy Rosary School, 2802 E. Fourth St.; (218) 724-8565,;

Duluth: St. James School, 715 N. 57th Ave. W.; (218) 624-1511,;

Duluth: St. John the Evangelist School, 1 W. Chisholm St.; (218) 724-9392,;

Duluth: St. Michael’s Lakeside School, 4628 Pitt St.; (218) 525-1931,;

Grand Rapids: St. Joseph’s School, 315 S.W. 21st St.; (218) 326-6232,;

Hibbing: Assumption School, 2310 Seventh Ave. E.; (218) 263-3054,;

International Falls: St. Thomas Aquinas School, 810 Fifth St.; (218) 283-3430,;

Pine City: St. Mary’s School, 815 Sixth Ave. S.W.; (320) 629-3953,;

Virginia: Marquette School, 311 S. Third St.; (218) 741-6811,;

Student scholars

Literary masterpieces, movies and munchies make a sure-fire combination for a great day for the seventh- and eighth-grade students at Holy Rosary School. Every month, students can sign up to read a literary or contemporary classic, discuss the book together at a “literary luncheon” and watch a based-on-the-book film after school. After the credits roll and the book-themed snacks have been devoured, the students discuss their thoughts on the movie, its faithfulness to the original story, the director’s choices of cast, lighting and music, and their overall impressions. This year students have already canvassed a wide variety of literature from Gaston LeRoux’s “Phantom of the Opera” and J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Ring” to “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman. Literary luncheons are part of the Upper Middle School Scholars Program, but participation is not limited to scholars students. The next selection is “Dracula,” by Bram Stoker.

Works of Mercy relay

The crowds cheered, the kindergartners jumped up and down and Thomas Ojard buried Andrew Morris just in time to win the Catholic Schools Week Corporal Works of Mercy Relay Race on Feb. 1. The race was part of the prayer assembly to start Catholic Schools Week at Holy Rosary School in Duluth. After the prayer and gospel reading they sang the school fight song. The race was designed to creatively model five of the seven corporal works of mercy. It started with four eighth-grade students “clothing the needy” by dressing kindergartners in oversized winter clothes, followed by stations where fifth-grade students “fed the hungry” sixth-graders with muffins, and fourth-grade students “gave drink to the thirsty” teachers out of baby bottles. The fourth station had seventh graders “visiting and ransoming the captive” first graders from their position tied to a chair, and the race concluded with second graders “burying the dead” third graders in piles of blankets and sheets.