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JANUARY 26, 2017


Newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton

Craig Pittelli photo

The Monitor’s annual salute to Catholic Schools

Bishop: Catholic schools educate, enliven faith, S-2 … Superintendent’s message:


Catholic educators are valuable mentors, S-3 … Red Bank Catholic HS dancers showcase talent, S-4 … NDHS, St. Rose make strides in technology, S-6 … Moorestown Video clip

students raise funds for canine cops, S-10 … Kindness counts at Holy Cross, S-14 … Ecology-minded St. Jerome students protect

Craig Pittelli photo

John Blaine photo

John Batkowski photo

Photo courtesy of St. Veronica School

fish, S-20 … GCU students awarded $50K in scholarships, S-21






Catholic schools light a fire

Ministrare Non Ministrari


here is a popular quote attributed sometimes to the Irish poet William Butler Yeats (other times to Ralph Waldo Emerson) that states, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” In St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus makes a similar claim when he proclaims his educational mission, “I have come to set the world on fire and how I wish it were blazing already (Luke 12:49).” Jesus set the world on fire by proclaiming the Good News for all people. That’s the work of Catholic schools.  When discussing education at any level, it is common to hear the distinction between public and Catholic education expressed in terms of “values,” that Catholic education’s unique contribution is the presentation of “values.”  While I understand the point, I think that distinction is simply too easy, too vague and too incomplete.  Any true educational experience in any school is going to present “values.”  Even when we specify “faith values” as the distinguishing characteristic, we are being too simple and incomplete. Catholic education is not simply about values or even “faith values.”  Catholic education is about a specific vision and an investment in that vision that comes from the Gospel and creates the specific values by which the Catholic school is known and identified. And that makes its values real and alive and applicable to life.  Catholic education is about passion; a vision and passion that views every young person in our Catholic schools, every parent, every teacher, every administrator, every staff member, every alumnus, and every benefactor as a partner in the Church’s mission to

spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in season and out of season, in the classroom and on the playground, on the computer screen, when school is in session and when it is not, in the school, in the home, in the neighborhood and community. What Catholic schools do – like every other school – is to educate. The enduring effects of what we do, however, depend upon how we educate and that’s what makes us different, unique and worthy of support.  Catholic schools are places “where faith and knowledge meet” but unless that meeting inspires, unless that meeting engages, unless that meeting “lights a fire,” unless that meeting changes lives, our Catholic schools are simply just “schools.”  To inspire, to engage, to light a fire, to change lives – these are the results of a Gospel vision and passion that occur within a committed partnership, a convinced and courageous partnership that educates in a way that is unambiguously and, therefore, distinctly faith-based and Catholic.  Because of their Catholic identity, we have in our Catholic schools unambiguous and distinct opportunities to evangelize.  That is where the vision and the passion come in.  Evan-

The Monitor’s photographer captured this student in Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, in a prayerful moment before the Mass that Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated for Catholic Schools Week last year. Monitor file photo

gelization, through Catholic education, pursues a vision and passion for excellence. And what is the measure of that excellence and our success at achieving it? It is our children – the students who sit in the Catholic school classrooms, in the school buses, who play on the playgrounds and return home at the end of the day.  To those entrusted with and involved in creating such excellence, I ask: are our Catholic school students’ lives different; better; inspired, and more engaged because they attend Catholic school?  Do they learn how to pray? Are they on fire with Christ’s name and his teaching and his example and his Church?  Do they realize that, because of his name, they have responsibilities to one another and for one another?  And it is not simply religion class or catechism that does that, although their importance should not be underestimated.  We light a fire through social studies and math, through literature

‘Schools for the human person’ deserve recognition


ational Catholic Schools Week 2017 will showcase the very best of what Catholic Schools across the nation have to offer – both in quality of education and prominence of faith. From outstanding graduation rates to saving the country billions of dollars per year, they are an integral part of educating children and youth that the United States would be hard-put to replace. There’s a reason these schools have celebrated their existence for a week each year since 1974. In fact, according to the National Catholic Educational Association, there are at least 12 of them. The NCEA website cites that Catholic schools:  Offer an education that combines Catholic faith and teachings with academic excellence.  Partner with parents in the faith formation of their children.  Set high standards for student achievement and

help them succeed.  Provide a balanced academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture and life  Use technology effectively to enhance education  Instill in students the value of service to others  Teach children respect of self and others  Emphasize moral development and self-discipline  Prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders  Have a 99 percent high school graduation rate; 85 percent of graduates go to college  Cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring and effective  Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all Daily themes, in addition to the 2017 theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” are suggested by the NCEA for recognizing See Catholic • S24

and language, through music and art, through computers and sports as well as through religion or, more accurately, because of religion! Everything that happens in the Catholic school is a call to be the very best one can be; not simply by getting by; not just by putting in another day. Catholic schools recognize that their students are the future of our nation and our world.  President Kennedy said it well: “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future (UNICEF Appeal, July 25, 1963).” And we only have a few precious years to make them aware of that and to help them realize their potential.  That, too, is the work of evangelization.  The excellence in education that we impart in the Catholic school is what makes the world better, safer, more just, more loving, more ethical, more peaceful … more holy.  What could possibly be more important?


JANUARY 26, 2017 •





A salute to Catholic educators


n the early days of our nation, it was common for youth to become apprentices and learn a trade or profession from a master craftsman. The work was arduous, yet the end result equipped them with the ability to provide for a family and to pass on learning and skills to benefit all.

The practice of passing on knowledge continues in the classrooms of this great nation each day. It is fitting that, on this 43rd annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week, we pause to celebrate and salute Catholic school educators who have chosen the teaching profession to be mentors of the youth of today. They are the role models who teach and challenge students to analyze and to learn to think, to the point where thinking is a habit. On a daily basis, they impart faith and knowledge through their work in Catholic education. As teachers teach the faith, children experience that personal connection with God. Students learn of the love of God for all and the responsibility that we have to love one another. They soon learn that prayer provides the solace necessary when there is confusion, sadness and despair in life. They learn that it provides the expression of gratitude for blessings. They understand

HAPPY STUDENTS • Surrounded by blue

balloons, several St. Peter School students celebrate upon learning their school received Blue Ribbon recognition. Photo courtesy of St. Peter School

“The art of teaching is not centered on teaching subjects, but in teaching students.” the comfort it provides in knowing that God walks with us through every life experience. As we understand the gift and strength of prayer, learning for a lifetime occurs in our Catholic schools. Each day, over 1,600 individuals in the Diocese ofTrenton bring their best to form students in the faith and to expand their horizons as they prepare them for a future yet to be imagined. Not driven by monetary gain, but by an intrinsic desire to give of self and to help another provides the basis for their contributions. The continuing desire to improve self and to best serve students finds many educators enrolled in doctorate

and master degree programs. The search for knowledge is alive. School faculties have become certified in the Notre Dame University Satellite Theology Education Program, (STEP), to expand their knowledge of the Catholic faith. Teachers serve on numerous curriculum committees in the Diocese as well as in their schools, so that instruction will be current, standards-based and driven by research. With technology abounding, teachers are transmitting learning through a medium which continues to astound and engage the learner and the instructor! Beyond the computer lab, students

Governor Christie proclaims Catholic Schools Week 2017 As is customary annually, Gov. Chris Christie recently signed a proclamation designating the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4 as Catholic Schools Week in New Jersey. The document acknowledges the contributions of Catholic schools to the public welfare of all New Jerseyans. The theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week again will be Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. “The Catholic schools of New Jersey represent an investment in New Jersey’s future, and the sacrifices made by Catholic school parents save the state’s overburdened public school system (and local tax payers) over $1 billion annually,” said Dr. George V. Corwell, director of the office of education for the New Jersey Catholic Conference. “We hope that all residents of New Jersey recognize the dedicated efforts of Catholic school teachers, which contribute to the overall success of our schools. Truly, Catholic schools represent a significant opportunity for parental choice in education.”

utilize laptops, Chromebooks and iPads in the comfort of their classroom. Science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math programs (STREAM) prod students to consider and solve problems through integrated, meaningful and authentic learning experiences. Perhaps the greatest contribution made by Catholic school educators is their understanding that the art of teaching is not centered on teaching subjects, but in teaching students. As teachers express belief in the abilities of each student, they provide opportunities for them to imagine, to think critically, and to explore questions of social and moral consequence. The results of the efforts of our educators is evidenced in the success which is touted nationally, regionally and in each local school, whether it be in the classroom, on the playing field or on the stage. Among the many success stories are schools that have received recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. They have been recognized for overall academic excellence and for being in the top 15 percent in the nation in academic performance. Current schools include St. Ann School, Lawrenceville; St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft; St. Paul School, Princeton; St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton; Holy Cross School, Rumson; Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, and St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach. The rigorous preparation of Catholic school graduates is affirmed by colleges and universities rendering significant savings in college tuition. Graduates of the class of 2016 received scholarships and grants in excess of $222 million. The exceptional Catholic secondary education has prepared students for college and beyond. Students know the importance of giving back and caring for others. They take part in a diocesan sponsored Day of Service, and are actively involved in contributing to the needs of the community on an ongoing basis. Students live the teachings of Jesus throughout See Catholic • S22




For more photos from the RBC performance, visit> Multimedia> Photo Galleries SHINING STAR • Hannah Ploskonka, Red Bank Catholic High School junior, performs a contemporary dance.

‘ICE IS BACK’ • Juniors in Red Bank Catholic High School perform a hip-hop dance to the 1990’s hit “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice during the school’s annual Coffee House Cabaret show Jan.13 at the Red Bank school. Ken Falls photos

Dance a flourishing art in Red Bank Catholic Story by Carly York, Correspondent


rom hip-hop to ballet, students in ARTS Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank, presented its annual Coffee House Cabaret dance show, set to winter and snowthemed songs, Jan. 13-14.

“Dance is a creative outlet for the students that gives them a release from the stress and grind of the day,” said dance program director Stacy Bascom. In total, around 360 people attended the Coffee House Cabaret, which dates back to 2002 and has become a leading part of the dance program’s five-

concert season. The winter dance show presented a variety of 18 dance numbers, with one of the major crowd pleasers being a hip-hop dance set to the 1990’s hit “Ice, Ice Baby.” Eliza Rocco, a RBC dance program alumnae who is currently enrolled in


Catholic high school winter/spring productions across the Diocese Burlington County

• Holy Cross Academy, 5035 Route 130 South, Delran, NJ 08075 Spring play: Shrek the Musical • April 7 & 8, 7 p.m.; April 9, 2 p.m.

Mercer County

• Notre Dame High School, 601 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Winter play: The Little Mermaid • March 3-4, 7:30 p.m.; March 5, 3 p.m.; March 10-11, 7:30 p.m. Spring play: Tom Sawyer • April 27-28, 7 p.m.; April 29, 2 p.m. • Stuart Country Day School, 1200 Stuart Road, Princeton, NJ 08540 Winter play: Beauty and the Beast • Feb. 24, 7 p.m.; Feb. 25, 2 & 7 p.m. • Villa Victoria Academy Lower School, 376 West Upper Ferry Road, Ewing, New Jersey 08628 Spring play: Cinderella • Jan. 23, 3:30 p.m.; Jan. 24-26, 12:30 p.m.; Jan. 28, noon

Monmouth County

• Christian Brothers Academy, 850 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738 Spring play: The Music Man • March 3, 4, 10 &

11, 7 p.m.; March 5, 2 p.m.; March 9, 5 p.m. • Mater Dei Prep, 538 Church St., Middletown, NJ 07748 Spring play: Cry Baby • April 7 & 8, 7 p.m.; April 9, 2 p.m. • Red Bank Catholic High School, 112 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701 Spring play: Cinderella • March 23-25, 7 p.m.; March 26, 2 p.m. • Saint John Vianney High School, 540A Line Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733 Spring play: Footloose • March 30-April 1, 7 p.m.; April 2, 2 p.m. • St. Rose High School, 607 7th Ave., Belmar, NJ 07719 Spring play: Me and My Girl • April 6 & 7, 7 p.m.; April 8, 2 p.m.

CLASSIC MOVES • Juniors and seniors perform the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from “The

Nutcracker” ballet.

St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, said she attended the performance to see friends and support the program. Though she is a communications major, she said “seeing the show makes me miss dance.” Bascom said the dance program is a vibrant part of a large visual and performing arts department at the school, adding that the school administration is extremely supportive of the role of arts education in the school’s STREAM curriculum. STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts

and Math. The goal of the Coffee House Cabaret, she said, is “to allow every level of dancer a moment to be on stage. It allows all students an opportunity to build their confidence in performance.” She said the dance program also helps make the students well-rounded and enables them to learn to work well in a group setting. For example, freshmen and sophomores participate in after-school dance groups, and junior and senior students See RBC • S28

Ocean County

• Donovan Catholic, 711 Hooper Ave., Toms River, NJ 08753 Winter Drama: “And Then There Were None” • Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11, 2 p.m., presented at Ocean County College, 1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754 Spring play: Guys and Dolls • April 6-8, 7 p.m.; April 9, 2 p.m.

JAZZ HANDS • Red Bank Catholic High School juniors line up for their jazz dance rendition of “Frosty the Snowman.”


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

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Cybersecurity field, skill-building a focus for NDHS CyberPatriots By EmmaLee Italia, Correspondent


echnology and its accompanying devices have cropped up in nearly every corner of our lives, offering both connectivity and convenience, but also exposing online users to unseen threats. Cybercrime – any illegal activity carried out by means of computers or the Internet – is on the rise globally, and according to industry resources, more than 200 billion devices are estimated to be at risk by the year 2020. With an eye toward combating the growing risk, schools like Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, have started CyberPatriot clubs – a computer program designed for students, run by the United States Air Force Association, created to teach youth cybersecurity and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

PROACTIVE MEASURES • Notre Dame High School’s CyberPatriots Club competed in state competitions Jan. 14. The Platinum team, from left, are Rey Battaglia, Noah Hulick, Alex Gonevski, and Dennis Liu, with group moderators Dr. Brian Bridgewater and Walter Schulwitz. Not pictured is Victoria Dee. Courtesy photo information. The CyberPatriot teams of NDHS competed in state round competitions Jan. 14, with three Gold Tier teams and one Platinum Tier team, outperforming 1,200 teams nationally to get there. The four NDHS teams of five students each have been learning and applying practical skills in the computer field, specifically “hardening” a computer – how to make an individual computer or a computer network more immune to outside hacking threats.

Teams compete in six-hour tests created by the AFA, in which they must protect virtual computers, called “images.” The images have been made vulnerable either through negligence or malice, and students must fix the image in each of several scenarios – which grow progressively more challenging. “We don’t teach them any of this, they’re entirely self-trained,” said Dr. Brian Bridgewater, NDHS science teacher, and group co-mod-


St. Rose High School library boasts new computers, study lab By Haley Cafarella Correspondent


or years, students in St. Rose High School, Belmar, have been able to learn, grow and travel the world by cracking open a book in the school’s library. But thanks to almost $400,000 in donations, students can now turn those travels into a reality – a virtual reality – and expand their studies through distance learning. In a ceremony attended by diocesan and town officials, clergy and alumni – and live streamed by students of the school’s daily morning show, St. Rose Live – St. Rose High School unveiled its newly equipped and constructed Ottilie R. King Library as 2016 drew to a close. Upgrades to the library include new computers and the “Maker’s Space,” which allows students to take online courses for college credit through the school’s distance learning partnership with various colleges. The new technology in the Maker’s Space includes 3D printers, and the space will allow students to work on group projects and embark on virtual reality field trips. The library is a positive reflection of the Diocese as a whole, because it shows that Catholic schools are moving in the right direction to having the best faith and technology-based education possible at the high school and elementary school level, said JoAnn Tier, diocesan


The library in St. Rose High School, Belmar, has been completely renovated and now includes new computers, 3D printers and a distance-learning lab. Jennifer Mauro


superintendent of schools. “I see this [library] as being on the cutting edge,” Tier said. “It is right on for what we are trying to accomplish at St. Rose and other schools.” Tier was on hand Dec. 2 as Robert C. King and his wife, Cynthia, cut the ribbon on the library. The Kings donated $150,000 for the construction of the new library. “I’m of one of 15 children. Our entire family was educated in the Catholic education system,” said King, an alumnus. The library is named in memory of his late mother, who was a volunteer at the library for 40 years. “This library is a great way to memorialize my mother and an opportunity to upgrade the facilities,” he said. Four years ago, the high school

erator along with fellow science teacher Walter Schulwitz. “That’s part of the benefit of CyberPatriots. If you want to succeed, Notre Dame provides you with the hardware, the time and a space to practice – but you have to identify what you need to develop expertise in, and then you have to work out how you’re going to develop that expertise.” The NDHS Platinum team is eligible for a slot in the National Finals in Baltimore. Senior Reyna Battaglia, Platinum Tier team leader, said that the six-hour competitions are what she loves most about the CyberPatriot club. “I love when the whole team works together and cooperates with one another to solve the challenges,” she said. Battaglia has enjoyed the experience so much, she plans to build a career in a related field. “Because of CyberPatriots, I am majoring in computer science next year at college,” she said. “It has taught me so much, and it is such a rewarding experience.” With many college graduates struggling to find employment, the cybersecurity field may offer an answer. IDG Enterprise (International Data Group) revealed in its online magazine, CSOonline. com, that cybersecurity job openings were up to 1 million in 2016, and could reach 1.5 million by 2019. Additionally, more and more devices in need of security are constantly added to the global total – which CSO predicts will reach up to 200 billion by 2020. Cisco and Microsoft have predicted a smaller number – 50 billion – but Microsoft adds that by 2020, data volumes online will be 50 times greater than today. Cybercrime damage costs, says CSO, will cost the world economy $6 trillion annually by 2021. All that boils down to a very real need for expertise in cybersecurity – a need which CyberPatriots is trying fervently to address. “CyberPatriots broadens students’ perspectives beyond programming, and is hugely important in the field, because cybersecurity has a zero percent unemployment rate, and very large starting salaries straight out of college,” Bridgewater explained. “It also provides students with a variety of leadership, organizational, team building and critical thinking skills in all of the competitors.” Bridgewater attributes the accomplishments of his CyberPatriot students to their own diligence. “The great successes they’ve achieved are completely due to them and the hard work they’ve put in… I’m hugely proud of them,” he said. For more information about the AFA CyberPatriot Program, visit www. Flannery O’Connell, Notre Dame High School intern, contibuted to this article.

sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, but the library was one of the only rooms not destroyed, said Nancy McGaughan, director of advancement. She said the library hasn’t seen any renovations, cosmetically or technologically, since the 1960s, when the library was first constructed. In addition to the new library, an alumna, who wished to remain anonymous, donated $225,000 toward two computer labs with MacBooks and PCs with the latest software to enhance all disciplines, including programming and robotics. See Technological • S28

JANUARY 26, 2017 •



Open House Sunday, January 29th 12:30—2:00 PM 40 Rumson Road Rumson, NJ 07760 732.842.0348 2015 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence


In an ever-changing world, St. Benedict School strives to create an atmosphere where your child will grow, be challenged, and discover his or her own unique talents along the way - in a warm Catholic environment. Take a tour at our Open House on January 28th from 3-5 pm or February 1st from 9-11 am.

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Celebrating 75 years of Catholic education were every child’s light shines




TCA Pajama Day a success worthy of superheroes


n excuse to wear pajamas to school and raise funds for a worthy cause makes for one of the students’ favorite days of the year in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton. The school’s annual Pajama Day on Jan. 12 brought in nearly $1,000 for Christine’s Hope for Kids, as teachers and students wore their pajamas to school in exchange for a monetary donation. “Our students have always responded generously on Pajama Day and are able to see how their donations are used to help other children first hand,” said TCA Lower School director Anne Reap. Christine’s Hope for Kids was founded in 2010 by John and Jean Gianacaci, Hopewell Township, in honor of their daughter Christine, who died in the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Christine, three fellow students and two professors on mission from Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla., died that day, along with more than 100,000

Haitian people. The foundation promotes “kids helping kids,” and as stated in their mission statement, “strives not only to raise money, but also to teach and communicate the idea that every person can make a difference. In keeping with this positive concept, the foundation hosts school events and programs that allow students to young students to directly help less fortunate kids in our own communities.” Jean Gianacaci plans to return to TCA in the spring OUTREACH LEGACY • Trenton with pajamas and supplies Catholic Academy student Gloria Leroy purchased with the funds is featured with Jean Gianacaci in an raised by Pajama Day, and will article detailing the Haiti earthquake seven years ago. assist the students in make overnight bags for children in opportunity to continue her mission,” shelters. Reap noted. “While the day commemorates a For more information on Chrissignificant and sad day for the people tine’s Hope for Kids or to make a donaof Haiti and those who knew and tion, visit loved Christine, it also provides us an


KIDS HELPING KIDS • Trenton Catholic Academy students, decked out in their superhero nightwear, helped to raise nearly $1,000 for Christine’s Hope for Kids. Courtesy photos

Saint Catharine School Now Accepting 2017-2018 Preschool and Kindergarten Applications

Open Houses January 29th 11:00AM - 1:00PM

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JANUARY 26, 2017 •



P aul VI H IgH S cHool is proud to be a part of

Catholic Schools Week 2017 Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service




901 Hopkins Road • Haddonfield, NJ 856.858.4900 •

1050_PVI_CSW_Monitor.indd 1

1/12/17 2:48 PM


Moorestown kids raise

Story by Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


funds to protect police dogs


hen it comes to helping others, students in Our Lady of Good Counsel School don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk.

For 10 years, the Moorestown school has given its students a fun and creative way to assist charities of their choice through its “Just Do It Giving Club.” Along with learning about their chosen organizations, students spread the word and solicit donations by producing monthly informational videos, which can be viewed on YouTube and the school’s Facebook page. Fifth-grade teacher Marcie Steel said the club began during the 2006-2007 school year as a way “to help students learn how to give back to society and practice philanthropy.” She noted the inspiration to form the club surfaced after she heard a piece on National Public Radio about a young girl who held a bake sale at school to raise money for an organization that frees slaves in Africa. In a follow-up discussion with her class, she said, it was realized how “often we talk about things we want to do to help people or make a difference, but then we decided not to just talk but to ‘just do it.’” Steel said the club comprises a group of

REACHING OUT • Students in Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, are all ears as an officer describes how grateful police are for fundraising activities that raised more than $4,000 for Kevlar vests to help protect their canine units. Photos courtesy Our Lady of Good Counsel School

fifth-through eighth-graders who serve as officers and liaisons. These students meet every Wednesday morning to review proposals submitted by student groups interested in producing a video as a way to raise money for a charity of their choice. A production day is held monthly, and students receive assistance in their video efforts. To date, the club has raised more than $25,000. Some of the beneficiaries have included the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, American Cancer Society, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Burlington County Animal Welfare Society, Covenant House and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. One recent video that garnered great attention around the OLGC community was produced by seventh-graders Dylan Esser and James Sivley, who wanted to raise money for bulletproof Kevlar vests to be given to the canine units in the Pennsauken and Camden County Police Departments. Noting that each of the vests costs more than $1,100 – and there are a total of nine active police dogs between the two units – Esser said, “These dogs go selflessly every day to do their job to protect the safety of the citizens. However, they have nothing to protect themselves. As part of giving back to my community, my hope is to provide enough funds to be able to purchase a canine Kevlar vest for each of these working dogs.” “It is a small token of appreciation for the dedication and devotion they not

only provide to their handlers, but also the citizens that they are protecting on a daily basis,” Esser said. With assistance from their parents, namely Esser’s – who are owners of Rothman Animal Hospital, Collingswood – the boys held various fundraising projects to raise funds in the amount of $4,584.38. In addition to producing the YouTube video at school, they sold t-shirts with the “Kevlar for Kanine” logo and held games of chance where people could win gift baskets filled with veterinary products. The K-9 police units from Pennsauken and Camden County also visited the boys’



Thanks to Our Lady of Good Counsel’s “Just Do It Giving Club,” police dogs in the Pennsauken and Camden County Police Departments have an extra layer of protection.

“We decided not to talk, but to ‘just do it.’”

school in November and held a demonstration for the student body on how the K-9 dogs work. Footage in their video includes clips from the demonstration. Noting that he hopes all of his peers become involved in the “Just Do It Giving Club,” Esser said, “There are plenty of people and organizations out there that could use all of our help. I learned that with determination, guidance and help from others, you can accomplish anything you set out to do.” Sivley added the club “allows people to make a difference,” he said, adding that among the many skills he learned was about time management, working together and “that I can make a difference a step at a time.”


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

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236 E Main St. • Maple Shade • (856) 779-7526 •



CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK HAPPENINGS The following schools have announced events to which the public is invited during Catholic Schools Week. For a full listing of Catholic Schools Week activities, visit the schools’ websites.

BURLINGTON COUNTY OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL, Moorestown: Jan. 29 Open House from 12-2 p.m.; Jan. 30, Open House for prospective students and their parents only. The school is located at 23 W. Prospect Avenue, Moorestown. For information, call 856-23-7885. ST. PAUL SCHOOL, Burlington: Feb. 2 Open House at 6:30 p.m. The school is located at 250 James Street. For information, call 609-3861645. ST. CHARLES BORROMEO SCHOOL, Cinnaminson: Jan. 29 Open House from 12:302:30 p.m. The school is located at 2500 Branch Pike. For information, call 856-829-2778. HOLY CROSS ACADEMY, Delran: Jan. 30 Open House and Mass from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The school is located at 5035 Rt. 130, Delran. For information, call 856-461-5400.

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP, Maple Shade: Jan. 29 Mass at 9 a.m., followed by an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 236 East Main Street. For information, call 856-779-7526. ST. JOAN OF ARC SCHOOL, Marlton: Jan. 28 Open House for new families at 4 p.m., followed by Mass for Catholic Schools Week at 5:30 p.m. The school is located at 101 Evans Road. For information, call 856-983-0774. ST. MARY OF THE LAKES SCHOOL, Medford: Jan. 29 Mass 12:15 p.m., Open House 1 – 3 p.m. The school is located at 196 Route 70, Medford. For information, call 609-654-2546.

MERCER COUNTY OUR LADY OF SORROWS SCHOOL, Hamilton: Jan. 29 Mass at 11 a.m., followed by an Open House from 12:30-3 p.m. The school is located at 3800 E. State Street Extension. For

information, call 609-587-4140. ST. RAPHAEL SCHOOL, Hamilton: Jan. 29 Mass at 11:30 a.m., Open House and art show to follow. The school is located at 151 Gropp Avenue. For information, call 609-585-7733. TRENTON CATHOLIC ACADEMY, Hamilton: Jan. 29 Flapjack Fundraiser, 8-10 a.m. at Applebee’s, 333 Rt. 33, Hamilton; Jan. 30 Open House 8:30 – 10 a.m. The school is located at 175 Leonard Avenue. For information, call 609-586-3705 (upper school) or 609-5865888 (lower school). ST. GREGORY THE GREAT ACADEMY, Hamilton Square: Jan. 29 Open House from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. The school is located at 4680 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square. For information, call 609-587-1131. ST. PAUL SCHOOL, Princeton: Feb. 16 School Tour from 9-10 a.m. The school is located at 218 Nassau Street. For information, call 609-921-7587.

MONMOUTH COUNTY ST. ROSE SCHOOL, Belmar: Jan. 29 Open House from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Feb. 2 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 7 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The school is located at 605 Sixth Avenue. For information, call 732-681-5555.









ST. BENEDICT SCHOOL, Holmdel: Jan. 28 Open House from 3-5 p.m.; Feb 1 from 9-11 a.m. The school is located at 165 Bethany Road. For information, call 732-264-5578.

S a c re d H e

When you meet a Princeton Academy student he looks you in the eye and shakes your hand.

He conveys a palpable sincerity and is eager to think of others before himself. Student life at the Academy is joyful - meaningful friendships and an enduring brotherhood transcend age and grade level. PRINCETON ACADEMY of the Sacred Heart 1128 Great Road Princeton, NJ 08540 We bring out the best in boys.

An independent school for boys in kindergarten through grade 8.

ST. MARY SCHOOL, Middletown: Jan. 29 Open House from 1-3 p.m. The school is located at 538 Church Street. For information, call 732-671-0129.

HOLY INNOCENTS SCHOOL, Neptune: Jan. 29 Mass at 10 a.m., Open House to follow until 1 p.m. The school is located at 3455 West Bangs Avenue. For information, call 732-922-3141. HOLY CROSS SCHOOL, Rumson: Jan. 29 Open House from 12:30-2 p.m. The school is located at 40 Rumson Road. For information, call 732-842-0348. ST. JEROME SCHOOL, West Long Branch: Jan. 29 Mass at 9 a.m., Open House from 10 a.m. to noon. The school is located at 250 Wall Street. For information, call 732-222-8686.

OCEAN COUNTY ST. DOMINIC SCHOOL, Brick: Jan. 29 Open House and Registration from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.; Jan. 31 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.; Feb. 1 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. The school is located at 250 Old Squan Road. For information, call 732-840-1412. ST. PETER SCHOOL, Point Pleasant Beach: Jan. 29 Mass at Noon will be followed by a teacher meet and greet from 1-2 p.m.; Jan. 30 Open House from 9-11 a.m. The school is located at 415 Atlantic Avenue. For information, call 732-892-1260. DONOVAN CATHOLIC, Toms River: Feb. 11 DARTS Wine and Food Pairing, 7 p.m. (contact advancement office for reservations at ext. 2432); Feb. 16 Winter Open House from 7-9 p.m. The school is located at 711 Hooper Avenue. For information, call 732-349-8801. ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL, Toms River: Jan. 29 Mass at Noon will be followed by an Open House from 1:30-3 p.m. The school is located at 711 Hooper Avenue. For information, call 732-349-2355 ext. 2012.

JANUARY 26, 2017 •

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1/17/17 10:11 AM



Faith, Knowledge, Character

Holy Cross School teaches students that kindness counts


n addition to its focus on educating children in the Catholic faith and providing state-of-the art academics, Holy Cross School, Rumson, makes a conscious effort to guide its students to be good friends, good citizens and good Christians.

To that end, teacher Kim Clauss now instructs a half-year course called Life Skills, which is part of the curriculum in every grade. Instead of focusing on buzz words like “bullying,” Holy Cross uses this class to help students explore new ways of understanding, trusting and communicating with each other. The Holy Cross PTA’s Faith in Action Committee, chaired by Christy Ramos – mother of three Holy Cross Students and one Holy Cross graduate who is now a student at Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft – spearheaded the recent “Kindness Counts!” campaign,

inspired by Ephesians 4:32, which reads, ”Be kind to one another, compassionate.” Weeks ago, each student received a blue wristband that read, “Faith in Action – Kindness Counts!” to wear throughout the day as a reminder to make an extra effort to listen, comfort, compliment and help their fellow students. The Student Council took on this mission, too, Nov. 21 as they were preparing for Thanksgiving. They stayed after school to write “positive Post-Its” to every student in the school. The upper grade students found their friendly notes


ALL EARS • Sixth-grader Brigid Johnston of Holy Cross School, Rumson, reads to preschoolers Julianne Spiropoulos, left, and Kennedy Megaw.

on their lockers, and the younger students found them on their desks when they arrived at school the next day. From “God loves you,” to “You are funny,” to “You are extraordinary,” the notes were a simple reminder to each student that they are special and appreciated. Finally, to put this idea of kindness into action, Holy Cross

guidance Counselor Melanie Jaenicke asked all sixth-grade students to bring in their favorite picture books and visit with the preschool students. They spent time with the younger children, playing and showing patience and interest in them and their questions. Both the older and the younger students enjoyed the experience, school officials said.

St. James student wins VFW contest for essay on America

HANDS-ON LEARNING • Sixth-grader Colin Cottrell of Holy Cross School, Rumson, reads to preschooler Elijah Mitchell.

YOUNG ARTISTS • From left, preschoolers Chloe McCaffrey and Brandon Bachstetter enjoy coloring with sixth-graders Kayla Deet and Clare Horowitz.

A seventh-grade student from St. James Elementary School, Red Bank, has won first place for his essay on patriotism. Through his AP-English Language and Composition class, Ethan Wilson participated in the Veterans of Foreign War’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest. Conducted nationwide, the VFWsponsored competition encourages youth to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay that expresses their views based on a patriotic theme. Wilson’s essay, the topic of which was “The America I Believe In,” won first place at the local VFW post level. It went on to compete in the district level, where he also won first place. Wilson and his family have been invited to attend a dinner Feb. 11 hosted by the VFW, where his essay will compete at the state level. The winner will be announced that evening. Each year, more than 125,000 students in grades sixth through eighth enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner

WORDS OF PATRIOTISM • Ethan Wilson, a seventh-grade student in St. James Elementary School, Red Bank, is the local and district first-place winner of the Veterans of Foreign War Patriot’s Pen essay contest. His essay will now compete at the state level. Courtesy photo

from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

Open House

Sunday, January 29th 11:30am - 1:30pm

Thursday, February 2nd 9:30am to 11:30am

Tuesday, February 7th 9:30am to 11:30am Registering for PreK to 8th Grade

St. Rose Grammar School

605 Sixth Avenue 732-681-5555

Belmar, NJ 07719


Spend four years within a you learn more about the life God has planned for you.

Notre Dame teachers put what they teach into a moral and theological context each day in the classroom. Daily prayer and active participation in youth-oriented school liturgies play a role in developing spirituality and moral development rooted in faith in everyday life. Participate in Kairos, a special four day retreat for seniors. Become a Campus Minister. Join with Athletes for Christ. Come to know the joy that comes from inner peace. Come to pray.

Visit our website at to learn more about our school.

ND Student Representatives at the Bishop’s Mass 2016

Come to know

Notre Dame High School 601 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 609.882.7900, ext. 139 or 183



Mater Dei Prep’s annual gala Feb. 11 Mater Dei Prep high school will hold its signature fundraising event, the Seraph Strong Gala, Feb. 11 at the Shadowbrook estate, Shrewsbury. The annual event typically raises almost $75,000, with the money used to enhance academic programs and facilities at the Middletown school. The gala will feature cocktails, dinner and entertainment by The Trend as well as online, silent and gift auctions. This year’s event honors James Shaw IV for his untiring commitment to Mater Dei Prep. Shaw is a 1976 alumnus, member of the Mater Dei Prep Board of Trustees and a driving force behind the 2015 Save the Seraphs campaign. He is active in the Mater Dei Prep Booster Club and

plays the bagpipes at football games and graduations. He is also the chairman of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Polar Plunge for Catholic Education. He is currently the director, regional lead for Trade Controls U.S./Canada for the Pfizer Inc. pharmaceutical company. In this role, he is responsible for working with customs and other agencies to ensure the security and flow of the company’s products. Shaw and his wife of 25 years, Sharon, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Erin, who graduated from Mater Dei Prep in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Only 300 seats are available for the gala, and Feb. 1 is the deadline to reserve a seat. For more information, contact Maria Buzzanco at

Breakfast with the Bishop

Students from Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, who attended the Mass for Life in Trenton Jan. 23 were treated to breakfast by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., seated fourth from right, later that morning. Joining in were Father Michael Wallack, the Bishop’s episcopal secretary, shown fourth from left, and Father Jason Parzynski, chaplain at Notre Dame. The Mass was celebrated by the Bishop in observance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. Courtesy photo

Red Bank Catholic High School Providing an education that enriches, challenges & nurtures the whole person

faith in action College preparatory for a changing world

Red Bank Catholic • 112 Broad Street • Red Bank, NJ 07701 • 732-741-1774 •


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

Admissions Information Session Join us to see how CCHS students “stack up” Thursday, February 2 at 7PM

January 30 ● 8:30-10 AM April 5 ● 6-8 PM

O p e n

Hamilton, NJ 08610 609 586 3705 (US) 609 586 5888 (LS)

Honoring Catholic values and traditions since 1887.

Instruction rooted in the Catholic faith

A “Project Lead The Way” School

STEM enhanced curriculum

Robust technology, 1:1 student to laptop ratio

Innovative learning spaces

Award winning Athletic programs

H o u s e

175/177 Leonard Avenue

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2017

Come see why, “It’s a Great  Day to be an Iron Mike!”

Full range of fine arts, elective courses and extracurricular activities

Saint John Vianney High School

Be a part of our Future….

540A Line Rd., Holmdel, NJ 07733 732-739-0800


Photo by Pittelli Photography


FORMATION… INFORMATION… INSPIRATION Find it all in the pages of The Monitor The Diocese of Trenton’s award-winning newspaper CNS ile photo by Karen Callaway, Northwest Indiana Catholic

A valuable resource to parents – the first catechists of their children! In print or digital editions, subscribers WHO BETTER get full access to:


 Regular messages from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., child’s faith life is built and nurtured by their parents. Our doctrine Pope Francis and other Church leaders holds that the family household is the DOMESTIC CHURCH


and that PARENTS are the first catechists of their children.

 Inspiring and engaging articles on Catholic life in the Parents can turn to The Monitor to refresh their own faith education, stay Diocese, the country the world up to date with news andand issues in the Church and find resources to help them teach their children and apply what is learned to real life. Having

The Monitorinformation in the family home a consistent, visible andCatholic accessible way  Important onisChurch initiatives, for your family to cultivate a sense of Catholic identity. advocacy issues and efforts


The Monitor is, in my opinion, a very fine diocesan Every issue brings you: publication that is objective, informative and  Community news from our parishes and schools educative, and I strongly encourage parishes, schools • Reflections on Scripture, Christian life, family and Catholic parenting and members of the Diocese to subscribe to it in print  Tools •for families Catholic movie Kidz Cornerlike – a child-based faith reviews, activity insightful or electronic form. Bishop David M. columns and helpful articles on parenting • Stories and resources for youth and young adults... ...And much more! O’Connell, C.M. State of the Diocese message, Feb. 6, 2014

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JANUARY 26, 2017 •


Two weeks offer St. Paul School students time to reflect Students and faculty in St. Paul School, Burlington, prepare for Catholic Schools Week in a rather interesting way. They devote part of the preceding week, National School Choice Week to getting ready. According to Jackie Krieger, school counselor, National School Choice Week, which runs from Jan. 22-28, is a time when the students can reflect on the fact that they “get a choice” on which type of school they attend – in their case is a Catholic school – all the while engaging in a myriad of projects that will be on display the following week. Then during Catholic Schools Week, she said, the focus shifts to celebrating all that a Catholic education can offer. Examples of the projects, Krieger noted were the fifth-graders creating a “living timeline” in which students reflect on the history of the American flag and researching pertinent people who are part of the flag’s history, such as Betsy Ross. The eighth-

graders are preparing a “QVC” infomercial in Spanish and the seventh graders are hosting science fair in which they test hypothesis and prepare reports on their findings. The two projects fourth graders are engaging in include studying saints and a “state suitcase” project in which theyHalf-Horiz research various Monitor CSW 2017 pg Ad.pdf









factoids on the states, such as the climate, population and whether the state is more rural or city.

During Catholic Schools Week, a host of activities are scheduled including a group of middle school grade students who will attend a Mass to be celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in Holy Cross Academy, Delran, Jan. 30; participating in a Drama, Chinese Yo-Yo and Mock Trial on Feb. 1, and joining in the Feb. 2 School Choice Week assembly during which the student-made classroom banners will be displayed. In reflecting on her experience in attending the Burlington Catholic school and participating in the celebrations of National School Choice Week and Catholic Schools Week, eighth-grader Kaylin T. said, “At St. Paul School, you gain new life lessons. As a student of nine years, St. Paul School has truly shaped me into the person I am today. I have gained many great friends, learned many things from the excellent teachers and faculty and was able to grow in and understand my faith.

“I’m beyond grateful for the sacrifices my parents have made for me to attend St. Paul School and I wouldn’t wish to go anywhere else. St. Paul School is truly my second Kaylin4:54 said.PM 1home,” 1/14/17

Stay Informed!




Young conservationists aid fish population Students in St. Jerome School are learning about conservation, clean water and caring for wildlife … two fins at a time. Under the guidance of seventhgrade teacher Joan Tagliaferro, the West Long Branch students are raising rainbow trout from the egg stage to release as mature adults through the “Trout in the Classroom” program. Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a science-based program that teaches children about the importance of coldwater conservation through a hands-on approach to learning, according to its website. Through the process of raising trout from eggs to fingerlings, the size they are at release time, students learn about the importance of clean, cold water, not only for the trout they are raising, but also for the other organisms, including people. The cross-curricular program, which encompasses many subject areas, is geared for students from kindergarten through college and currently reaches more than 40,000 students per year in urban, suburban and rural areas. In New Jersey, TIC is a cooperative effort of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the New Jersey State Council of Trout Unlimited, along with its member chapters who spon-

sor fish tanks and equipment in local schools. Tagliaferro had participated in the TIC program as a student in her New York City grammar school, and was eager to introduce it to the St. Jerome School curriculum. She applied for a grant from the Freehold Soil Conservation District (part of the New Jersey Natural Resources Program) which provided equipment such as a 30-gallon tank, filters, chillers and aerators, valued at $1,000. Now in its seventh year in St. Jerome, the project requires a great deal of responsibility on the part of the students, Tagliaferro noted. “Students are involved in all stages of development and maintenance of the tank throughout the year,” she noted. “They feed the fish, do water testing, clean the tank and the supplies. They really enjoy it.” In past years, the students raised brook trout, the state fish of New Jersey. An infectious bacterium which affected the species prompted them to switch to raising rainbow trout. About 10 percent of the eggs mature into adulthood each year. “Last year, we received 350 eggs of rainbow trout and in May were able


A FISHY EXPERIENCE • Seventh-grade students in St. Jerome School, West Long Branch, raise and release trout into the wild as part of the “Trout in the Classroom” project. Pictured with a 30-gallon tank filled with their finned companions are, from bottom left, seventh-graders Kayla Potochar and Natalie Ciacma and, from top left, Paul Siciliano, Jeffrey Fenn and Dillon Karaban. Photo courtesy of St. Jerome School to release 65 fish into the wild in Brice Park, Wall Township,” Tagliaferro recalled. “I loaded the fish into an aerator ... they had to be kept in water with temperatures in the 50s.”

Despite the challenges, Tagliaferro and her students relish the thought of contributing to the fish population and promoting clean water. “It’s hands-on science,” she said.

St. Joan of Arc School


Knowledge, Service

101 Evans Rd Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 983-0774

Come See the Difference!


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

Georgian Court University students awarded $50,000 in scholarships


wenty Georgian Court University students will benefit from $50,000 in scholarship funds recently awarded by the OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River.

The gift represents OceanFirst’s investment in higher education throughout the region and its support of Georgian Court University, Lakewood, which enrolls a significant portion of students from Ocean and Monmouth Counties. “We are grateful to for the OceanFirst Foundation’s ongoing commitment to cultivating future leaders, including the amazing students who walk the campus of Georgian Court University every day,” said Brian Agnew, the university’s vice president of institutional advancement. “The impact of their support makes a difference in students’ lives, now and in the future as they become nurses, educators, business professionals and scholars,” said Dr. Agnew. The OceanFirst Foundation has been a key supporter of the university for more than a decade, and the

Local recipients of OceanFirst Foundation scholarship funds include:

COST SAVINGS • From left, OceanFirst Foundation Scholarship recipients John Murtagh, Nicole Maddalena, Baily Yanci and Rebecca Ruimy attend the annual Scholarship Brunch. The brunch connects donors with students benefiting from their gifts to GCU. Courtesy photo $50,000 gift marks its eighth consecutive year of awarding scholarships to GCU students. The OceanFirst Foundation is affiliated with OceanFirst Bank. The foundation, founded in 1996, provides grants

We are…

to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst footprint area. Since its inception, OceanFirst Foundation has contributed more than $30 million to more than 750 local charities and schools.

 Olivia N. McKittrick, Barnegat  Nicole Maddalena, Bayville  Robert E. Hill, Brick  John P. Murtagh, Brick  James C. LaPoint, Brielle  Emily M. Barnes, Farmingdale  Rebecca Ruimy, Freehold  Joelle L. Meimin, Forked River  Heather Smith, Howell  Rebecca Paneque, Jackson  Clement J. Rajakumar, Jackson  Sage Greenberg, Little Egg Harbor  Elissa Zaccagnino, Little Silver  James Manzo, Manahawkin  Baily A. Yanci, Manahawkin  Anissia Fucci, Manchester  Bianca Louis, Ocean  Hayden Fairhurst, Port Monmouth  Sarah Srour, Tinton Falls  Daniel Smoke, Toms River

Academic Excellence. Spiritual Growth.

• NEW! “1:1 Surface Program” for all students in grades 6–8 • Proven successful pre-K-8 Co-Ed School • National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence • Dedicated, NJ certified faculty

Join us…

• Affordable tuition and financial aid • St. Paul School accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and by the international agency AdvancED • Placed 1st or 2nd in the Diocesan-wide Scholastic Olympics since 2001


from 9am - 10am on the following Thursdays

February 16th • March 23rd • May 18th or call to schedule a personal tour!

218 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ • 609.921.7587 •


Sacred Heart School Open House Sunday, Jan 29th from 11am-1pm Open House Wednesday, Feb 1st from 12:45-2:15pm


Catholic education’s contribution to society is multi-faceted Continued from • S3

Where Traditional Catholic Education Meets 21st century learners!

Please visit our Open House!

(609)267-1728 250 High St. Mt. Holly, NJ 08060




3:59:23 PM

the school year, remembering His words, “Do unto others as I have done unto you.” Each year during Catholic Schools Week, the governor of New Jersey issues a proclamation attesting to the contributions of Catholic schools. The schools are recognized for providing an education that emphasizes the formation of moral values and a commitment to community service; for educating millions of students who have been prepared to be responsible citizens, and for the contributions of Catholic schools to New Jersey’s educational system. The contributions of Catholic schools are recognized on many levels because they not only make a difference in the life of the student, but ultimately in the lives of others. As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week and reflect on the theme, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” we recognize the educators who have given of themselves to prepare the students to be responsible citizens. We extend sincere thanks for being a positive influence and for guiding students as they express their gifts and talents. We recognize parents as the primary educators of

their children and thank them for choosing to educate their children in a Catholic school. Sincere thanks are extended to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., pastors and priests, administrators, teachers and staff, alumni, parishioners and the larger community for their continued investment in Catholic education. Abraham Lincoln stated, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Catholic schools are learning communities that play a vital role in creating the future by forming and educating today’s youth to be discerning and involved citizens. By living a faith-filled life, by exhibiting moral courage, students contribute to a dynamic vision for the future. As we continue to write the history of our nation and form leaders for tomorrow, may we always have the courage to be true to the teachings that are imbued in our faith and are part of our country’s heritage.









Come see what’s new at St. Rose High School Newly renovated state-of-the-art Ottilie R. King Library

2016 Annual fund raised over $320,000

Two new technology labs with 3-D printers

$38,000 raised in the annual student Walk-a-Thon

Project Lead the Way Engineering Program

Class of 2016 received $20.98 million in scholarships

11 senior athletes signed with colleges in 2016

145 students took 222 AP exams in 2016

Contact the Admissions Office for more information and to set up a tour 732-681-2858 ext 305

607 Seventh Avenue Belmar, NJ 07719 Phone: 732-681-2858


JANUARY 26, 2017 •

Catholic schools plant seeds for vocations by example By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service WASHINGTON • Although priests and women religious say a variety of reasons led them to pursue their vocation, one thing many of them have in common is that they went to a Catholic school. Attending Catholic school certainly isn’t a magic bullet that leads to a vocation, but for some it proved that a religious vocation was not only a possibility but also looked appealing because of the example of priests and women religious they saw on a regular basis. That was the experience of Dominican Sister John Mary Fleming, a member of the Dominicans’ St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennessee, who is the executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Sister John Mary is convinced she wouldn’t be a sister had it not been for the example of the women religious who taught at her school, Providence High School in New Lenox, Illinois, which was a Joliet diocesan school at the time and is now run by the Augustinian order. The teachers there in the 1980s

“Day after day at the school or the parish, they were helping us and guiding us.”

Youngsters attend the Diocesan Catholic Schools Mass last year in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Trenton. Craig Pittelli photo

came from five to seven women’s orders and men’s congregations along with diocesan priests. Their example – of living their faith and being happy – “debunked the myth that living a faithfilled life was not a happy thing,” she told Catholic News Service. Five graduates of the school entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville and other graduates

chose other religious orders and the priesthood. Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, chair of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education and chair of the board of directors for the National Catholic Educational Association, similarly said the example of priests in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, who taught him were key





to his vocation. The Catholic school experience also led him, as a Methodist, to join the Catholic Church as a fifthgrader. The bishop, who was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1979, said he wanted to be like his parish priest and the priests who taught at his high school. “I saw them as happy people – people we could put our trust in; day after day at the school or the parish, they were helping us and guiding us,” he said. These experiences confirm a 2014 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate based at Georgetown University that linked Catholic schools to vocations. The report: “Catholic Schools in the See Call • 25

Every girl has the ability to learn and reach her potential. At Villa Victoria Academy, education is a shared responsibility of the Catholic school community of administrators, faculty, parents & students – it takes a Villa.






Catholic education a community effort Continued from • S2

Catholic Schools’ many elements and support systems, without which the schools could not thrive. Beginning with Sunday, Jan. 29, the proposed daily themes celebrate parishes; communities; students; the nation; vocations; faculty, staff and volunteers; and families. Masses, open houses and other activities are planned for each school community, many of which are open to the public. These events allow not only current school families to celebrate the value of their Catholic education, but also to invite prospective families and the larger community to witness the school in action, and how it contributes to the country as well as to the Church. The United States Conference of

Catholic Schools



“Think about the world in which your children live. Now picture how different that world would look in Catholic School.” -Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Catholic Bishops, in a 2005 letter about their commitment to Catholic education, noted that young people are a “valued treasure and the future leaders of our Church.” “It is the responsibility of the entire Catholic community – bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and laity – to continue to strive towards the goal of making our Catholic elementary and secondary schools available, accessible, and affordable to all Catholic parents and their children, including those who are poor and middle class,” the letter continued. “All Catholics must join together in efforts to ensure that Catholic schools have administrators and teachers who are prepared to provide an exceptional educational experience for young people – one that is both truly Catholic and of the highest academic quality.” On its website, the USCCB cited the Vatican Congregation on Catholic Education, noting that Catholic schools’ unique identity of faith makes them “schools for the human person,” filling a critical role in the future life of all society. “Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation,” the bishops’ letter stated. “Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church … By equipping our young people with a sound education, rooted in the Gospel message, the Person of Jesus Christ, and rich in the cherished traditions and liturgical practices of our faith, we ensure that they have the foundation to live morally and uprightly in our complex modern world.”

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JANUARY 26, 2017 •


Call to religious life teaches how to truly give ourselves to one another Continued from • S23 United States in the 21st Century: Importance in Church Life, Challenges and Opportunities,” points out that half or more of new priests and brothers attended Catholic primary schools as did 41 percent of new women religious and 45 percent of young lay ministers. “If fewer and fewer Catholics enroll in Catholic schools, it will become ever more challenging for the Catholic Church to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life,” the report said. Two members of the School Sisters of Christ the King, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is an order with a mission to teach in Catholic schools, said the religious sisters that taught them inspired their vocation and now they both hope to do the same for their students. Sister Mary Maximilian, who teaches second-graders at St. Peter’s School in Lincoln, said the teachers she had when she was in school “were normal and had a lot of joy – something my heart just longed for.” “I, too, try to share the joy that was shared for me,” she told CNS in a phone interview at the end of the school day Jan. 12. She said she does that by building relationships with the students

and answering all their questions about what it’s like to be a sister. Sister Regina Marie, who teaches second-grade religion at four different schools in Lincoln while also working as general treasurer for her community, similarly was impressed by both the “normalness and the prayerfulness” of the sisters who taught her. She said she doesn’t promote vocations with her young students, but she impresses on them that they need a foundation of prayer. “I want them to know they need to pray – that God is real and he wants to talk to them. If there is a religious vocation for them and they have a foundation of prayer, it will be that much easier to understand,” she said. Sister Regina Marie said she hopes to counter the feeling a lot of people have about religious life “that it is a sacrifice” full of things you can’t do and hopes to instead show “that it is so lifegiving.” She and the other sisters also urge the boys in their classes to love and respect the priesthood. But even when Catholic schools aren’t staffed by women religious or priests – as is often the case today, the vocation message is still getting out.

“I want them to know they need to pray – that God is real and he wants to talk to them.” Father Mark Ivany, director of priestly vocations in the Washington Archdiocese, said a Catholic school in the Washington Archdiocese – St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown, Maryland – has had a high rate of men entering the priesthood in recent years. For example, of the 11 men who entered the minor seminary in the Archdiocese of Washington last year, five were from that school. He said the school has “a handful of teachers that really love the Lord and the church and see their teaching as a vocation and ministry.” He also noted that the school offers something unique for its students by providing spiritual directors to

any student who wants one, which is 200 this year. Eleven priests serve as spiritual directors meeting with students once every two weeks. Catholic schools also can foster vocations for teachers as proven by Holy Cross Father Louis DelFra, director of pastoral life for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. He wrote in a blog post last year that he found his vocation, planted by his schoolteachers, when he was filling in as a substitute teacher at a Catholic school. “Catholic schools teach us how to truly give ourselves to one another – as students and as teachers. In doing so, they plant the seeds for vocation in all of us,” he wrote. He also noted that “at a time when the call to religious life can be difficult to discern, Catholic schools continue to provide an environment where this call can be heard, nurtured and followed.” Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @ carolmaczim.

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Witnessing History Through Technology Chrome books and smartboards replaced televisions in St. Rose Grammar School, Belmar, Jan. 20 as students in the middle school grades turned to modern technology to view the presidential inauguration ceremony. Diocesan school officials had encouraged Catholic school educators to use the inauguration live stream to discuss the historic perspective and the significance of the peaceful transition of power as a foundation of the nation’s democracy. Photos courtesy of St. Rose Grammar School

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Immaculata University to cut tuition


n an effort to make college more accessible to those seeking a degree, Pennsylvania’s Immaculata University has initiated what it’s calling the “Immaculata Advantage” – a program that focuses on making college more affordable. In addition, a rebalancing of its tuition and scholarship structure will be introduced that will better reflect the actual “bottom line” that full-time undergraduate students pay per academic year. Starting in fall 2017, tuition will be reduced by 25 percent, from $35,400 to $26,500. Along with last year’s 10 percent reduction in room and board, university officials are hoping to draw in prospective students who may have forgone the university as an economically viable option due to its published tuition under the high-tuition, high-discount model used widely for years in the private college market. Additionally, as part of the new initiative, students’ SAT/ ACT scores will be optional when applying for most majors at the university, allowing for a more holistic approach to college acceptance. “With nearly 75 percent of jobs requiring an undergraduate degree within the next five years, I whole-heartedly believe that our ‘Immaculata Advantage’ will allow families the ability to send their sons and daughters to college,” said Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister R. Patricia Fadden, university president. “The IHM congregation, with over 165 years of educating young people, has shown an undy-

ing dedication to providing quality education to the broadest possible pool of students. Immaculata has always strived to be affordable to our students, which is why we saw a 16 percent increase in enrollment last fall. Immaculata continues to make college affordable so that more people can attend.” The university is adopting this model to showcase how accessible its education can be, officials said. With an 83 percent retention rate and nearly 60 percent of Immaculata’s full-time undergraduate students earning their degree within four years, students can graduate on time, thus entering the workforce earlier than their peers. In addition, 10 years after enrolling at Immaculata, alumni report a median salary of $47,600, which is above the national median of $33,400. “I am very proud of the university’s commitment to increase the accessibility of a quality Immaculata education through the ‘Immaculata Advantage,’” said Gerald J. Wargo Jr., vice president for Enrollment Management. “We are certain that these efforts will provide an increased opportunity for more students to now consider Immaculata as an affordable option.” For more information about the “Immaculata Advantage,” visit www.immaculata. edu/advantage. Immaculata University is a Catholic, coeducational institution of higher learning, located in Immaculata, Pa., 20 miles west of Philadelphia.

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Dance program flourishes at RBC Continued from • S4

are able to take college-prep dance classes during the school day. Juniors and seniors can also audition to be part of a specialized dance company. In addition, RBC also has a group called the “Worship Dancers,” which Bascom says provides a “nice way to bring God into movement,” for events like the freshman convocation. Carly Luff, a sophomore who performed in the show, said camaraderie is one of the best parts of being in the dance program. “It’s a really welcoming community,” she said. Luff’s mother, Leslie, says her daughter, who has been dancing since kindergarten, followed a family tradition of dance performance that began with Carly Luff’s grandmother.

The RBC dance program allows her daughter to extend her talent and love for dance at school in addition to her private dance study, Leslie Luff said, adding that the program offers students a wonderful and unique opportunity. “We support Catholic education,” Leslie Luff said. “I would chose RBC for my children over and over again” because it offers students “so many wonderful things.” Supporting the community was on the minds of the Black family as they attended the performance. Bill Black, an alumnus as was his father, attended the show with his wife, Debbie. Their daughter Devin is a freshman at the school. “The dancing was great, and the costumes were fabulous,” said Debbie Black. “The choreography was amazing.”

Technological advances added to St. Rose Continued from • S6

McGaughan said the school plans to add more technology, and she would like to revamp the science labs in the future. Hannah Gammand, an 18-year-old senior who said she looks forward to having a quiet place where she can study and be with her friends, is also glad the laptops will be made available for student use outside of the library. Ryan Loftus, a 17-year-old senior and member of the school’s film club, said the library’s technology will help the club to edit and produce their video projects. The new technology and facilities will show potential students and families that St. Rose is committed to change with the times, said Sister of St. Joseph Kathy Nace, St. Rose

principal. She went on to say not only students, but faculty can go to the library to share their ideas and have a space for research, which is the basis of any good education. Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, blessed the library before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “With all the added features that the new library has, I believe there will be more opportunities, especially through the media, to understand and explore the Catholic faith, and other faiths for that matter, through the study of theology, the Bible, lives of the saints, spiritual authors and other areas,” Msgr. Arnister said. “And at the same time, through that research and study, students will have the opportunity to explore their own life of faith and deepen it.”

Villa Victoria announces academic redesign Chuck Machion, chairman of the board of directors at Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, announced that the school is establishing a middle school that will open at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. The middle school will encompass grades six through eight and will be added to the academy’s high school grades, which serve students in grades nine through 12. The new middle school will ultimately result in an adjustment to the structure of Villa Victoria’s academic program for grades six through 12. The academy is also planning for enhancements to both the middle and upper school including facilities upgrades, technology upgrades and the expansion and development of programs, especially in the area of the fine and performing arts. The ongoing trend of decreased enrollment in the lower grades led the board of trustees, in consultation with a board subcommittee, to the decision that the lower school will no longer accept enrollment with the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Students currently in fourth grade will continue their education in Villa Victoria’s fifth grade before entering the middle school for the 2018-2019 school year. Villa Victoria Academy is still accepting applications for fifth grade for 20172018. Since it was formally established as a private academy in 1933, the mission of Villa Victoria Academy, consistent with the vision of the Religious Teachers Filippini, is to educate students to a global view, to uphold the dignity of each individual and to empower students to influence the world in a truly Christian manner. Filippini Sister Lillian Harrington, academy president, added, “We hold true to our tradition of excellence in education, believing that every Villa girl has the ability to learn and reach her potential.”



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Catholic Schools Week Monitor Supplement Jan 28 2017 28pgs  
Catholic Schools Week Monitor Supplement Jan 28 2017 28pgs