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Catholic Schools Week Part II: Schools nourish faith

Posted By February 2, 2012 | 1:05 pm | Featured Article #3

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Spaghetti tower
Photo by Tanya Connor

WORCESTER – Eighth-graders at St. Stephen Elementary School try to make as tall a tower as they can out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows. From left they are Erin Serafin, Hannah Petit, Kaela Fitch, John LeDoux and McBrian Nkongchu. Fifth-graders also participated in the Catholic Schools Week project aimed at sharing ideas and trying things out. Other grades paired up for other projects, including a “values auction” and the creation of “peace trees.”


Pastor for a day

Photo by Tanya Connor

SHREWSBURY – Sam Edmunds, a first-grader at St. Mary Elementary School, shows off his Roman collar, on a shirt borrowed from Msgr. Michael F. Rose, St. Mary’s pastor, who is eating lunch with him and other students. As Msgr. Rose’s apprentice-for-the day, Sam made a decision to benefit fellow students. As Sam put it, “They got five more minutes of recess.” As the pastor put it, “He thought it was something nice he could do for his class.”
“It was fun,” Msgr. Rose said of the day. “He loved the keys. He loved visiting everyone.” They visited all the grades, the pastoral center and the parish exercise group, he said.
Sam was one of about 15 students who won an apprenticeship with an adult at the school for Catholic Schools Week, said Joan Barry, principal. Winners were drawn from among students who bought chances for the coveted positions, raising $561 for the soup kitchen at St. John Parish in Worcester.

Flag kids
Photo by Marilyn Willand
UXBRIBDGE– Our Lady of the Valley School had a dressed-down day  to
celebrate Catholic Schools Week, but even out-of-uniform, the students
coordinated colors.  They dressed in red, white and blue and gathered on the
pavement outside, where they lined up to form a human flag.


Milford Catholic welcomes Bishop McManus to school

By Laura Lambert
CFP Correspondentt

 MILFORD – Bishop McManus was greeted with the chirpy “Good mornings” and bright smiles of Milford Catholic Elementary School students, on Monday, when he celebrated Catholic Schools Week with Mass and classroom visits.
During his interactive homily, Bishop McManus discussed the three-part theme of the 2012 Catholic Schools Week; faith, academics, and service.  However, he gave faith the most importance, saying that it is a God-given gift that gives us strength and helps us to change the world.
“Faith is like a seed,” Bishop McManus said.  “The farmer can’t just put it in the ground and walk away from it. … If we nourish it, faith turns into a beautiful gift that’ll change your life.”
Parents, faculty, administrators and students alike expressed their appreciation for the Bishop’s support of Catholic schools.  Students were eager to share details of their religion classes with their guest and the Bishop looked pleased to hear that the curriculum includes the sacraments, Old Testament scriptures and the miracle of the resurrection.
Andrea Tavaska, principal of Milford Catholic Elementary, expressed her joy over welcoming Bishop McManus to the school.
“It’s a pleasure and an honor to have him with us,” she said.  “It’s wonderful that he connects with the children so well.”
She also mentioned her appreciation for Catholic Schools Week.  “This is a lovely time to celebrate who we are, “she said.
Parents seconded her sentiments and expressed their gratitude for Catholic schools.  Caroline Haggarty drives from Franklin to Milford and back each day so that her son can attend the school.  “We really wanted that Catholic education,” she said.
Beth Crevier has been associated with Milford Catholic Elementary for 18 years and has sent 9 of her 10 children there.  Her youngest will soon follow in his siblings’ footsteps and enter Milford Catholic’s kindergarten class.
“The most important thing about sending them to Catholic school is the faith education,” Mrs. Crevier said.  “Milford Catholic has a strong academic program too.”
Bishop McManus also expressed his own appreciation for the many Catholic schools in the Worcester Diocese.
“Catholic schools prepare you to take your place in the Church … and helps you to bring others to know Christ better,” he said.

Care packages from St. Joseph

   WEBSTER – Marine Cpl. Matthew Gardner and his buddies in Afghanistan soon will be getting some care packages and thank-you cards from St. Joseph’s Elementary School.
Students at the school have donated items for the care packages and Denise Joinet’s 5th grade class has packed them and made thank-you cards to go with them. The local Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 56, also has given items for the packages. Mrs. Joinet said the packages will be mailed to Cpl. Gardner and he will distribute them to other Marines.
Three years ago care packages were sent to Cpl. Gardner when he was stationed in Iraq. He sent the school a letter of thanks and, when he came home from Iraq, he visited the school to thank the students once again. His sister, Jessica is in the fourth grade at St. Joseph’s, Mrs. Joinet said.
Two years ago, the students sent care packages to Mrs. Joinet’s son, Navy STG2 Michael Arsenault, who also passed them out to his shipmates. The care packages were put together and mailed as part of the school’s observance of Catholic Schools Week. It’s theme is Faith, Academics, Service.
A list of items acceptable for the care packages was passed out to classes. Items include cookies, crackers, energy bars, beef jerky, hard candies, chewing gum, sunflower seeds and nuts.
Also, hot sauce and seasoning to add flavor to prepackaged rations, powdered energy mixes to add to water, moistened/disposable wipes, toothbrushes, mouthwash, toothpaste, body washes and sprays, sunscreen, disposable razors, eye drops, nail polish, polish remover, lotion, soaps, deodorant, individual baby wipes, hand and foot warmers, thumbtacks, pens, stationary, envelopes, notebooks, AA batteries and zipper-type bags.
Also, disposable cameras and pre-paid telephone cards help military personnel keep in touch with loved ones, according to the list.

Partners honored in Webster

    WEBSTER – At a Mass in St. Joseph Basilica to open Catholic Schools Week, Bishop McManus interacted with the students of St. Joseph School during his homily, at times asking them questions to which they readily had the answers. “When I am around young people, the teacher in me comes out,” he said.
He told them that the mission of Jesus continues today in our Catholic schools. “Jesus wants us to bring him and his message to the world,” Bishop McManus said. But “we can’t teach others about him unless we know him,” he said.
We encounter Jesus in the Mass, the bishop said, asking the children: “What do we receive in holy Communion?”
“We receive Jesus. So we are able to bring him to others,” he explained.
The bishop made a promise to the students, faculty and parents: “I will keep all of you in my prayers so that you will come to know more about Jesus and grow in love with him and bring him to others.”
Carmine Cacciapouti and Clemence Starosta received the St. Joseph School Partners in Education awards at the Mass.
The awards were presented by Donald Cushing, school principal. Both recipients are graduates of St. Joseph’s School.
Mr. Cacciapouti, who graduated in the 1960s, taught there for 37 years and served as librarian for six years. He was assistant athletic director and now is scorekeeper, statistician and athletic historian. He was Route 395 Parochial School Basketball League commissioner for 15 years and coached basketball and baseball at the school for 10 years. He was a Boy Scout leader and Troop 173 Scoutmaster for 20 years. He re-instituted the school science fair in 1993 and served on the fair committee for 10 years. He also was active in several other school programs.
Mr. Starosta, who graduated in the 1950s, was an integral part of the first St. Joseph’s School Festival during its first 15 years. He has been a lector at Basilica Masses for 35 years, has chaired the parish council for 15 years and initiated the “Fill the Pantry” program in the school cafeteria. A meat cutter, Mr. Starosta has volunteered to run the kitchen for all school and parish picnics and cookouts and has cooked for the 8th grade graduation banquets for many years.

Food drive is service at St. Anthony’s       

FITCHBURG – St. Anthony Elementary held  a food drive for  the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Fourth and fifth-grade students gathered near some of the food that was brought to the school. They are, from left to right, Michael Lamosa, Olivia Renda, Abigail Jollimore, Will Hanley, Ethan Chandler, Lexis Emma, Logan Schluter and Kimberly Quirk.