Thursday, June 30, 2016

Stop Hunger Now Meals

For 6th grader Jonathan Lambert, and many other children like him around the world, going to school means hope.

"I am really happy because sometimes this is the only meal I get for the whole day," he said. "My parents are not able to buy me food."

The Stop Hunger Now meals Jonathan eats every day at school give him more energy to study and focus, and his grades have risen from Bs to As.

Jonathan is only one of the tens of thousands of children around the world who receive Stop Hunger Now meals at school. By packaging meals with us, you have helped Jonathan grow and thrive. And because you shared your time with us, children have hope for their future, families can take a step out of poverty, and communities can prosper.

We are delighted to announce that the meals from your meal packaging event on 4/8/2016 have been shipped in a container totaling 285,120 meals from our Kansas City warehouse. .

The meals will be received by our in-country partner Convoy of Hope in El Salvador.

Convoy of Hope has served more than 55 million people throughout the world via international children's feeding initiatives, community outreach, disaster response and partner resourcing. Convoy of Hope partners with Latin America Child Care to provide a comprehensive nutrition and health program in several Latin American countries, including El Salvador. Through the partnership, more than 6,000 school children receive food, vitamin support, and health and hygiene education. More than 4,000 family members receive food rations and communities have access to clean water and agricultural initiatives.  www.convoyofhope.org

Visit www.stophungernow.org for more information about how you can support Stop Hunger Now and continue your involvement in the fight against hunger. Follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/stophungernow for updates, videos and photos from the field.

Thank you for volunteering with Stop Hunger Now. We truly appreciate your dedication and commitment to the vision of a world without hunger.


Gratefully,

Baylee DeLaurier
Program Manager
Stop Hunger Now Kansas City
kansascity@stophungernow.org

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PRAYER for Finals & Service Opportunities


As the school year comes to a close and all of the projects, tests, last assignments, and of course finals...life can seem well "hectic." The LifeTeen Blog offers "5 Things God Wants You to Remember When You Are Studying for Finals;" here is (probably) "the most important one." 

"Your worth is not dependent on how well you do academically."
"Your worth is not dependent of a bunch of numbers divided into some percentage or one test you take on a Saturday. When we believe that our worthiness is based on this, we are failing to recognize our inherent dignity. Your worth is based on that you are a beloved and precious child of God. This is unalienable. Nothing can change that."

***Study Tip***if you like to have some background music on while studying...try some classical, piano, or "soundtrack" to help you stay focused and engaged!

Here are some prayers and thoughts for some motivation and inspiration for the perseverance and resilience to "push" through and break down the wall of Finals!

"St. Joseph of Cupertino, is the patron of exams (especially the most difficult ones). St. Joseph was a simple and holy man of prayer who really struggled with studies. He passed the exams for ordination because at the examination, through the grace of God, he was asked the one question that he knew!
All you holy men and women of God, teachers of the faithful, pray for us.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us."

And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Pope Benedict XVI

"Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. 
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. 
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. 
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. 
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy."
~ St. Augustine


“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.”  John 14:1

A Prayer of Trust by St. Ignatius
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel
our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of
Your presence, Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for,
living close to You, we shall see
Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.  

~  St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556

Summer Faith Growth
Interested in some Faith Growing Opportunities at some AWESOME conferences and retreats? 


Service Opportunities
Service Hours for 2015-2016 have been completed and our Fr. McGivney students gave back over 3,500 hours of service to the Community! Now you can get a start on service hours for the 2016-2017 school year. The summer is a GREAT way and opportunity to complete service hours! See the Faith Formation Blog for details on acquiring service hours. 

Parish Picnics and Summer Festivals are great ways to earn service hours and give back to the local parishes for their support for Fr. McGivney. The first one coming up soon is St. Bonifest's "Bonifest" the weekend of June 27-29. See the Bonifest Website for more information and also the Sign Up Genius to work the Funnel Cake Stand. St. Elizabeth in Granite City also has a BIG summer picnic along with Our Mother of Perpetual Help in August. 

Cedarhurst Memory Care in Edwardsville has several opportunities throughout the summer. Contact Sara Hoelscher at shoelscher@cedarhurstliving.com or 618-979-3602

Want to live out the Corporal Work of Mercy of Feeding the Hungry? The SAK lunch program runs from May 25th to August 15th Monday through Friday from 11:30 - 12:30. Contact Sherry Burhmeister at 618-656-4680 for more details on where the lunch program is during the week. 

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is bringing the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp to Edwardsville for its second year on June 13-17. In order to make this camp a success, they are looking for generous and enthusiastic volunteers - especially High Schoolers! If interested contact Wendy Macias @314-961-2504or intern1@dsagsl.org. Students will need to fill out and complete the registration form by clicking here.

Vacation Bible School
St. Mary's in Edwardsville is hosting a Vacation Bible School from June 13th to the 17th and are in need of help! Click on the link below to sign up to earn some service hours while helping younger children in growing in their faith!  - http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4aa4ac2ba2fd0-vbsstudent

What are some other programs over the Summer? 

  • Totus Tuus 
  • Just5Days
  • Vacation Bible Schools at the Parishes 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

HOUSE CUP WINNERS!!!

Congratulations to the House of St. Patrick! The Fr. McGivney Catholic High School our 2015-2016 House Cup Champions!


St. Patrick enjoying the (literally) taste of victory at Bobby's! St. Patrick showed a lot of determination, consistency, team work, perseverance, and sportsmanship on their way to repeating as House Cup Champions. Way to go Ms. Pirih, Morgan Wagner (Sr Leader), Rachel Kassing (Jr Leader), Spencer Neal (Soph Leader), and Nate Dammerich (Fr Leader) and the rest of the "Irish!"




House Cup Tug of War Challenge

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mary, Finishing the Year Strong, Fr. Chris Commerford, and Service!

In this month of Mary, we have focused on getting to know our Mother on a more deeper and intimate level so that she can form us into the saints - into other "Christs" images of Her Son Jesus in the world. This week are some books on Mary - some theological, some spiritual, and some both! - that can help us to understand who Mary is and why she is Our Mother. Leave a comment below if one of these catches your "fancy" or have read and would like to share your thoughts!


    • Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort
    • 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley
    • Behold Your Mother by Tim Staples
    • Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn
    • The Secrets of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort
    • Walking with Mary by Edward Sri
    • The World’s First Love by Archbishop Fulton Sheen
    • St. Pope John Paul II “Redemptoris Mater”
    • St. Maximilian Kolbe on Mary

Need some motivation or inspiration to finish the race of the school year? 

"I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus." —Acts 20:24  


Jesus focused on finishing. In today's Gospel, He tells His Father: "I have given You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do" (Jn 17:4). When Jesus faithfully completed His suffering on the cross, He took the occasion, despite His pain, to exclaim: "Now it is finished" (Jn 19:30). Finishing what He started was important to Jesus.


St. Paul also focused on finishing, saying: "I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line as I run toward the prize to which God calls me — life on high in Christ Jesus. All of us who are spiritually mature must have this attitude" (Phil 3:13-15). Near the end of his life, Paul exclaimed: "I have finished the race" (2 Tm 4:7). Finishing what He started was important to Paul (Acts 20:24). Starting to serve the Lord but not finishing tarnishes the image of both God and us. Jesus says: "If one of you decides to build a tower, will he not first sit down and calculate the outlay to see if he has enough money to complete the project? He will do that for fear of laying the foundation and then not being able to complete the work; for all who saw it would jeer at him, saying, 'That man began to build what he could not finish' " (Lk 14:28-30).

If you feel discouraged or dismayed or have no motivation/inspiration to “finish,” remember it was Jesus who first shows us how to finish by going all the way to the Cross. In prayer seek Jesus’ strength in finishing the school year strong and for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that we can finish this “race.”



Fr. Chris Comerford on his involvement with the St. Louis Cardinals and Catholic Athletes for Christ from Diocese of Springfield in IL on Vimeo.

Service Opportunities
Service Hours for 2015-2016 have been completed and our Fr. McGivney students gave back over 3,500 hours of service to the Community! Now you can get a start on service hours for the 2016-2017 school year. The summer is a GREAT way and opportunity to complete service hours! See the Faith Formation Blog for details on acquiring service hours. 


Cedarhurst Memory Care in Edwardsville has several opportunities throughout the summer. Contact Sara Hoelscher at shoelscher@cedarhurstliving.com or 618-979-3602

Want to live out the Corporal Work of Mercy of Feeding the Hungry? The SAK lunch program runs from May 25th to August 15th Monday through Friday from 11:30 - 12:30. Contact Sherry Burhmeister at 618-656-4680 for more details on where the lunch program is during the week. 

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is bringing the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp to Edwardsville for its second year on June 13-17. In order to make this camp a success, they are looking for generous and enthusiastic volunteers - especially High Schoolers! If interested contact Wendy Macias @314-961-2504or intern1@dsagsl.org. Students will need to fill out and complete the registration form by clicking here.

Vacation Bible School
St. Mary's in Edwardsville is hosting a Vacation Bible School from June 13th to the 17th and are in need of help! Click on the link below to sign up to earn some service hours while helping younger children in growing in their faith!  - http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4aa4ac2ba2fd0-vbsstudent

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mary Reflections, Star Wars!, & Service Opportunities

With May being the Month of Mary, here is some Spiritual Wisdom for reflection and meditation on the significance of our Mother Mary who leads us to her Son Jesus.

"We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son."
--Saint Louis Marie de Montfort


"Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and
protection of Mary."
--St. Bonaventure


“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
--Saint Maximilian Kolbe


"Love our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle."
--St. Josemaria Escriva


"Have confidence. Return. Invoke our Lady and you'll be faithful."
--St. Josemaria Escriva


Her [Mary's] example of faithful perseverance in doing the will of God and her heavenly reward are a source of courage and hope for all of us.
- Pope Benedict XVI


“As mariners are guided into port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary"
--Saint Thomas Aquina


“The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.”
--Saint Louis Marie de Montfort


"All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you. Don't give up hope! On the contrary, call your holy mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child. She will bring peace to your soul."
--St. Josemaria Escriva


Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.
- Saint Francis de Sales

Star Wars & God's Providence
Part of the "genius" of Catholicism is the ability to see the spiritual life in the world especially in the culture. Whenever we watch a movie or read a book or listen to a song...how do we "see or hear" God's truth, beauty, and goodness being revealed to us? To do this when watching, reading, or listening it can open our eyes to seeing God "work behind the scenes" in the world to pull us towards Him. For an insightful and very entertaining understanding of this Catholic Imagination is a reflection on "Star Wars and God's Mysterious Providence" from WordonFire.

"However, the film still manages to leave its characters—and us—with a vague but visible hope. The light has not been fully overtaken by darkness, and there is, shall we say, an even newer hope in the air. The forces behind the Light Side are up to something, even though we don’t know exactly what. As the credits roll and we depart from the fictional dream and enter back into our own lives—filled with real forces of light and dark—we recall that like these far off and ancient characters, we too aren’t left without hope—for we know God’s loving providence is working ceaselessly behind the scenes for our eternal good."
"Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.” -St. Catherine of Siena

Service Opportunities
Service Hours for 2015-2016 have been completed and our Fr. McGivney students gave back over 3,500 hours of service to the Community! Now you can get a start on service hours for the 2016-2017 school year. The summer is a GREAT way and opportunity to complete service hours! See the Faith Formation Blog for details on acquiring service hours. 


Cedarhurst Memory Care in Edwardsville has several opportunities throughout the summer. Contact Sara Hoelscher at shoelscher@cedarhurstliving.com or 618-979-3602

Want to live out the Corporal Work of Mercy of Feeding the Hungry? The SAK lunch program runs from May 25th to August 15th Monday through Friday from 11:30 - 12:30. Contact Sherry Burhmeister at 618-656-4680 for more details on where the lunch program is during the week. 

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is bringing the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp to Edwardsville for its second year on June 13-17. In order to make this camp a success, they are looking for generous and enthusiastic volunteers - especially High Schoolers! If interested contact Wendy Macias @314-961-2504or intern1@dsagsl.org. Students will need to fill out and complete the registration form by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Continue the Journey with Proverbs & Mary!

Continue the Journey through Proverbs
Since the beginning of school, we have journeyed week by week through a chapter of the Book of Proverbs. As we reflected on some of the passages of each chapter there is so much more! To dive deeper into the Book of Proverbs here are some suggestions to deepen that understanding on how we can continue to seek the Wisdom of the Lord in following our path to Holiness:

  • Re-read Proverbs! There are roughly 70 Days of Summer Break and 31 Chapters in Proverbs. Read a chapter every two days either re-reading each chapter or reading through Proverbs twice. As you read however prayerfully consider what God is speaking to you through the words of the author and how we see these words play out in our lives. 
  • Here are two commentaries to help us with the scholarly background/understanding along with some spiritual guidance: Catholic Culture Commentary & The Ignatius Catholic Bible Study 


May: the Month of Mary in which we honor Mary as our Mother who first said yes to God to be the Mother of His Son, Jesus. In honor of this, the Mary statue will be crowned in the FMCHS Chapel as we reflect on Mary as the Mother of Mercy in this Year of Mercy in how she helps us to be more merciful like our Heavenly Father. What else can we do during May to grow closer to our Mother Mary who in turn leads us closer to her Son?

  • Click on the Link above for some great ideas and resources especially in Praying the Rosary or finding a book on Mary or visiting a Marian Shrine, which we are fortunate to have less than 30 minutes away at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville 
  • Check out Word on Fire's "Mary" Page
  • Marian Consecration - for more on this check out a past Blog Post
  • Watch and share the videos on Mary below
Bishop Barron on The Queenship of Mary 

Scott Hahn on the Assumption of Mary 


Scott Hahn on Mary as Christ's Masterpiece

Service Hours
Service Hours are due Monday May 2nd in House...also once school is over the summer is a GREAT way to accumulate Service Hours for the school year!

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is bringing the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp to Edwardsville for its second year on June 13-17. In order to make this camp a success, they are looking for generous and enthusiastic volunteers - especially High Schoolers! If interested contact Wendy Macias @314-961-2504 or intern1@dsagsl.org. Students will need to fill out and complete the registration form by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Proverbs 31 (last one!) Standing up for Others and Finding a Holy Woman and Service Hours


"Be Filled with a Joyful Noise!" 
Daniel Oberreuter of “The Thirsting” will be at the Highland Knights of Columbus Hall on Sunday April 24th at 2 PM. Oberreuter’s solo performance will feature songs from his hit albums with spiritual messages that will be sure to move you. Tickets for the event are $10.00 for adults with the proceeds benefiting Knights of Columbus charities. Students and children under age 18 are FREE with paid adult admission. TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT ST. PAUL PARISH OFFICE, HIGHHLAND’S TRU BUY, KC HALL DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS & AT THE DOOR DAY OF SHOW. ***ALL PERSONS, (ADULTS AND THOSE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE ATTENDING), MUST HAVE A TICKET FOR ADMISSION***


Audrey Assad, a Catholic Musical Artist & a two-time Dove Award Nominee, will be at Assumption Church in O'Fallon, Missouri on Friday April 29th. Go here for more information about tickets for the event. 

Service Hours
St. John Neuman is holding their "Race for the Roses" 5K on April 23rd and are looking for some volunteers to work with kids in the "Activity Corner," helping with runners, etc. If interested contact Melany Bechtold at melany.bechtold@sjncrusaders.org 

St. Boniface in Edwarsdville is seeking our volunteers for Confirmation on Friday April 22 with Dinner at 4:30 and Confirmation at 6:30. In addition to the women of the parish who help with the catered dinner, 3-4 youth volunteers help also.  Could this  be something  McGivney students might like to volunteer for?  Help is needed serving and refilling drinks,  clearing plates, some clean-up, drying silverware, etc. Volunteers are welcome to have dinner after the guests have been served. If interested please contact Benna Denue @bedenue@st-boniface.com 


The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is bringing the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp to Edwardsville for its second year on June 13-17. In order to make this camp a success, they are looking for generous and enthusiastic volunteers - especially High Schoolers! If interested contact Wendy Macias @314-961-2504 or intern1@dsagsl.org. Students will need to fill out and complete the registration form by clicking here.

Proverbs 31: Finding the "Godly Woman" & defending Human Dignity 
Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor! (8-9) Remember that a theme of the Book of Proverbs is to live "justly" in the eyes of God as seen through God's wisdom. One way we live the Cardinal Virtue of Justice is in our care for the poor and vulnerable (one of the themes of Catholic Social Teaching). Because the poor and vulnerable are seen as "weak" they are often pushed to the side by society and left defenseless without a voice to speak or help them. That is where we come in. As brothers and sisters united as children of God, we can be the voice for those who do not have not have one and to defend the needs and rights of the needy and poor. How can I do this? Speaking out against unjust laws by writing to our elected officials, working with organizations to promote these rights, or by giving time, talent, or treasure to soup kitchens, food banks, Catholic Relief Services to reach out to the poor and vulnerable in helping their needs be met.
Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. (10) For the remainder of Proverbs, our author describes "the woman" that all men are searching after if they are called to the vocation of marriage. This woman has many great qualities and characteristics  - reaches out to the poor and needy, strength, dignity, wisdom, kindly instruction, blessed and praised by her "man." Speaking directly to you men - if you feel called to marriage and are "searching" for the "right woman," does she have these qualities and characteristics? Ladies, if you want to be truly "attractive," you are given what is truly attractive. A woman is pursuit of holiness and virtue. Throughout the book of Proverbs we have heard of Lady Wisdom and of the opposite of Lady Wisdom the "harlot." Her beauty and attractiveness is on the outside and is in pursuit of "pleasure" that is fleeting. "Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (30). The Woman who is in love with the maker of the universe, the Merciful Father, she is the one to be praised, blessed, and pursued. She is the one searching and seeking out as the "one" (if called to marriage). This sounds great, but what does this "look" like in a real person? Look to our Mother Mary who as the "handmaid of the Lord" lived her life of holiness and virtue rooted in Her Son, who draws all of her children to her Son. Let us then either looking for this ideal woman ask for Mary's guidance in searching for the "one" or for those who have found their "31" woman praise and bless her for holiness. One great way to do this is to recognize those special women - our moms - on Mother's Day that is just right around the corner!

Next week will be a "summary" of Proverbs and how we can continue on the path of Wisdom and Justice that leads to God!