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M ONITOR M ONITOR M ONITOR M ONITOR M Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J.


Newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton

The Monitor’s Annual Salute to Catholic Schools JANUARY 25, 2018


Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J.


Mike Ehrmann photo

John Blaine photo

John Blaine photo

Craig Pittelli photo



January 28 to February 3, 2018

For one special week each year, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton join others nationwide in a unique celebration of all that make these institutions of faith and learning remarkable. Catholic Schools Week, running from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, is a time for schools to highlight their academic excellence, spirit of service, leadership, community and discipleship, and their continuum of faith formation that prepares students to make a difference in their world.


 Messages from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and JoAnn Tier, superintendent of Catholic schools  • P2, P3  NEW WAYS TO GROW: Thinking “outside the box” to build stronger Catholic schools • starts P4  CATHOLIC SCHOOL CHAMPIONS: Priests reflect on parish support of Catholic schools • starts P8  POWERED BY STEAM: Schools embrace science, technology, art and math • starts P10   CENTERED ON CHRIST: Nurturing a daily life of prayer • P26   DOING FOR OTHERS: Students take their Gospel call to heart • P28 Plus … More on the transition of Holy Cross Academy • P24






Catholic schools: A choice for more


hen a child is baptized in the Catholic Church, his/ her parents make promises to help their child grow in the Church’s faith. Parents are their “first teachers,” their “first preachers” of the faith and, as a result, the family home becomes the “first Catholic school” and a “domestic Church.” Without their direct and active involvement in their child’s faith formation, however, faith doesn’t happen, it won’t happen. Simple things like teaching and “hearing” a child’s prayers, telling Bible stories, taking a child to Church, showing a child the difference between right and wrong, giving good example, treating people with respect and charity and so on, these are all part of Catholic parents’ primary responsibilities to their baptized Catholic children. What if parents don’t exercise their faith responsibilities for whatever reason? What happens to the faith of their baptized child? The answer is simple: nothing. Bringing a child into the Catholic Church in Baptism without making him/her welcome, at home, familiar with the Church — at least on a level appropriate to a child — make him/her a stranger to and within the community that is home to the Catholic faith. Thank God for Catholic schools! (Thank God, also, for Catholic religious education programs in our parishes!)

VALUE OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS • Students from St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, prepare to receive Communion during the Diocese’s annual Catholic Schools Mass held in October. In his Catholic Schools Week message, Bishop O’Connell writes that our schools should be partners with parents in building on the foundations of faith and guiding children to become faith-filled adults. Craig Pittelli photo Although nothing can substitute for parents’ active witness to the faith in the Catholic home, Catholic schools should be an extension of the Catholic home and faith, building on its foundation or, more often than ever before, becoming a first foundation where it does not yet exist. In either case, Catholic schools are or should be partners to Catholic parents forming and engaging their children in Catholic faith, along with other subjects as well. The goal is to help children become good Catholics, with knowledge of their faith, exposure to prayer and the sacraments, becoming part of their parish church community and the experience of living and relating

Catholic schools do the job, and they do it well. to others —adults and peers alike — with respect and charity. These are all things taught in Catholic schools, their religion curriculum. And children live what they learn. “Catholic Schools Week” annually provides all Catholics — whether they have children in Catholic schools or not — with the chance to think about how the faith is taught and witnessed

CSW celebrates the gift of Catholic Education


ope Francis has described Catholic schools as tools of evangelization, dialogue and hope that may be used to build a more humane world. Future generations who are “educated in a Christian way for dialogue will come out of the classroom motivated to build bridges and, therefore, to find new answers to the many challenges of our times,” the Pope said to members of the Congregation for Catholic Education during a 2017 meeting. Embracing this vision and to celebrate Catholic education in the United States, Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Trenton will join with others nationally to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, with Masses, open houses, exhibits and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. The theme for this year’s CSW obser-

vance is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” The official CSW logo, which brings the theme to life, is an open book made up of multi-colored pages that symbolize how all areas of Catholic schools blend together with faith – symbolized by the cross – at the forefront. The new theme, explains the National Catholic Education Association, which sponsors CSW, “encompasses

the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country. Not only are we teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities, we, as educators, are growing with them. In Catholic schools, we are all learners, servants and leaders. These shared qualities are what make Catholic schools work. They are what make Catholic schools succeed.” In addition to the overarching theme for the week, schools are encouraged to embrace daily themes, each one celebrating a different focus of Catholic education, beginning Jan. 28 with Celebrating Your Parish, followed by Community, Students, the Nation, Vocations, Faculty, Staff and Volunteers, and Families. For a roundup of Catholic School Week activities, see page S22 or visit the schools’ websites.

Ministrare Non Ministrari

and the “value” that Catholic schools offer to children, to parents, to families, to the Church, to society at large with respect to that faith and its influence. Is that “value” worth the sacrifice it takes for parents and families to provide Catholic school education to their children when public school education is readily available without any extra cost required? The research has been done and a majority of graduates of Catholic schools at the primary and secondary levels have demonstrated greater success across the board in a variety of measures than their public school counterparts. We live at a time, however, when many Catholic schools throughout the country , including our own Diocese, are facing significant challenges to their continued operations because of steadily declining enrollments and the resulting strain on available financial resources; the inability of parishes and dioceses to provide subsidies to Catholic schools at past levels; competition with public schools for faculty, staff at higher salaries and competition for facilities; demographic shifts in traditionally Catholic population centers; growing secularization among Catholics regarding Catholic teachings and practices; and, as mentioned before, the perception of “value” afforded by instruction in the Catholic faith and its influence. The key to the future of primary and secondary Catholic schools lies in the hands of Catholic parents and families as well as non-Catholics who “value” Catholic education for their children. It comes down to a decision. Catholic schools do the job and do it well. A Catholic environment with its emphasis on caring for the whole person; a commitment to unity of purpose provided by Catholic faith, identity and mission; the presence of institutional structure and teaching personal discipline; adherence to codes of conduct and appropriate behavior; advocacy of social justice and service; excellence in education and a proven record of academic success; religious instruction; the personal commitment of administration, faculty and staff; a sense of partnership with parents and family, the loyalty of alumni — these characteristics of Catholic schools demonstrate the “value” that Catholic education provides. A healthy and strong society needs good public schools. The history of American education reveals that good Catholic schools have also made a substantial contribution to society and are, likewise, necessary. “Catholic Schools Week” is an annual reminder that Catholic schools continue to make an incredible, faith-based difference in the lives of students with a “value” worth choosing.


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com





Catholic Schools Week 2018 – A time to celebrate!


anuary 28 through February 3 marks a time of celebration nationwide. Each year during Catholic Schools Week, school doors open wide inviting the public to be a part of the Catholic school experience. Visitors can observe an environment centered in faith with intriguing programs and activities that engage the learner and promote discovery and adventure in learning. The atmosphere reflects the celebratory mood as a festive climate is created. The contributions that are realized because of Catholic education are accentuated and recognized. During CSW, school communities focus on the value that Catholic education provides to students and families and salute the many contributions to our Church, our schools, our nation and our global society.

All-around Great Value According to the National Catholic Educational Association, 1,878,824 students enrolled in Catholic schools nationwide in the 2016-2017 school year. Based on the national average public school per pupil cost of $11,066, Catholic schools provide $20 billion in savings each year for the nation. In the Diocese of Trenton, 16,182 students choose Catholic schools and save taxpayers in excess of $184 million annually. The schools are academically competitive demonstrated by students’ scores that exceed the 75 percent national average. In 2017, 1,684 graduating seniors were awarded over $227 million in scholarships and grants. Eight Catholic schools have attained recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence – St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, St. Paul School in Princeton, St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft, St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton

MATH COUNTS • Thomas Makin of

Rumson and Julian Mattioli of Colts Neck use a school laptop to work on their Math Counts contest entries in Holy Cross School, Rumson. The club again earned Gold Level status last year. Photo courtesy of Holy Cross School

Square, Holy Cross School in Rumson, Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach, and Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Students in these schools score in the top 15 percent of all schools in the nation in English, Language Arts and Math. Realizing the importance of continual growth in learning, administrators, faculty and staff assess the delivery of instruction and consider student involvement as a pivotal part of authentic learning. Charlotte Danielson’s evaluation instrument, Enhancing Professional Practice - The Framework for Teaching, serves to guide teachers’ instructional improvement and professional growth. Student engagement is assessed, underscoring the role of the student in the learning process. The teacher understands the need for engaged and active student involvement for a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Faculty and staff are trained in the interpretation and use of data. They collect, analyze and apply findings to evaluate student learning, instruction and programs. Our Catholic schools truly exemplify the theme for Catholic Schools Week

2018….“Catholic Schools Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” Students exhibit learning as they delve into cutting-edge academics. Schools have a plethora of technological devices for student use. Laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, Mac Books, SMART Boards and 3D printers enhance learning. Curriculum guidelines, based on research and national and state standards, accentuate the reason for the school’s existence as the tenets of the Catholic faith are infused in all areas of the curriculum. Students receive a challenging, high-quality academic experience that contributes to forming their future.

“Catholic schools provide $20 billion in savings each year for the nation.” Service is a hallmark in Catholic schools and it is practiced throughout the school year. Students see the face of God in the disenfranchised, recognize their dignity as creations of God, and extend a hand to lighten their burden. At the high school level, students readily provide service as part of the expectations for graduation. Leadership may be seen as a natural by-product of the educational environment. Benchmarks, expectations and the belief in the potential of each student help students to realize, demonstrate and contribute their talents in the world. Success is evidenced as a disciplined work ethic results in an array

of choices for students to demonstrate their gifts. Catholic school graduates rise to the top in countless occupations including the medical field, the sciences, the arts, finance, engineering, technology, and education.

Strengthening Our Schools And the work to provide for the future of Catholic schools continues. Five years after the Commission for the Sustainability of Catholic Elementary Schools was established by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., the charge was given by Bishop to review the recommendations and to re-affirm, delete or expand the guidance for elementary schools. Pastors, principals, teachers, business managers, board members and parishioners are reviewing the key areas of Catholic identity, governance, academics, finances, marketing, development and at-risk schools. With thought-filled discussions, recommendations to best support Catholic schools are nearing completion for Bishop’s review and consideration. School communities will incorporate the recommendations as they continue to work relentlessly to provide an exceptional faith-based, academic environment for students. It is the vision and the sacrifice of many that contribute to the viability of the schools. The commitment is exceptional yet requires expansion and continued investment. With the New Jersey demographic prediction of a 3-5 percent decrease in the school age population through 2020, this support and investment in students must be augmented so that the gift of Catholic schools continues. It takes the investment and support of a community for a vibrant and sustainable learning environment to provide students the resources to create, to discover, to explore and to invent tomorrow. To be sure, it is the faith-life, the values, the ethics, and the service to others that will contribute to our global society. It is the commitment and investment of the parish and school communities that will provide the faithbased, academic environment for our students to contribute to the future of our church and nation. During Catholic Schools Week and throughout the year, be sure to visit a Catholic school. Experience that intangible spirit and energy that pervades the school environment. Observe students, alive with faith, enjoying the learning experience as they explore, discover and expand their potential. See their animated faces, hear their voices, and appreciate the blessings that flow from a Catholic school education.




U.S. bishops’ group eyes plans to revitalize appeal of Catholic schools By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service WASHINGTON • Catholic bishops are looking to “transform” Catholic schools in response to decades of declining enrollment that has forced hundreds of schools to close since 2005. The effort, said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, encompasses a wide-ranging look at issues facing Catholic schools and a renewed effort to help parents better understand that the spiritual development of a child goes hand in hand with academic achievement.

“Catholic schools transform lives.” “The concern of the bishops is that Catholic schools are valuable, Catholic schools transform lives,” said Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio. “It’s not only talking about academics. It’s not only a matter of discipline, but it’s a matter of preparing the whole


Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, reflects on his Catholic school experience while growing up in Camden. CNS photo

person for college and for heaven.” In an interview with Catholic News Service following a Jan. 17-18 meeting at USCCB headquarters that included 30 bishops, educators and representatives of Catholic education organizations, Bishop Murry said the goal is to ensure that Catholic schools will remain a vibrant and important part of family and Church life. Sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, the meeting was the sixth in a series since 2009 looking at the future of Catholic education.

Forming the backdrop are sobering statistics on school closings and declining enrollment. Figures from the National Catholic Educational Association show 1,393 Catholic school closings or consolidations from 2007 to 2017 compared with 287 school openings. During the same period, enrollment declined by 19 percent to less than 1.9 million students. Enrollment peaked in 1965 at more than 5.2 million students. The bishops and the educators focused on four trends during the meeting:  The changing relationship across Catholic school leadership including those between bishop and pastors, pastors and principals, and principals and teachers.  The evolving landscape of Catholic school governance as more advisory boards of lay leaders take shape.

 Expanding access to Catholic schools through educational choice.  Charter school expansion. Also underlying the bishops’ concerns are shifting demographics, tuition costs and changes in the practice of the faith, all of which influence whether parents decide to enroll their children in Catholic schools. Bishop Murry said the simple message that Catholic schools transform lives must become the Church’s basic refrain. “Many parents don’t see particular value in the religious formation that occurs in a Catholic school,” Bishop Murry said. “So how can we challenge some of those ideas so people come to a better understanding of why it is important to develop the entire person?” Pastors, he explained, are diligently working to bring parents into parish schools to see firsthand the advantages a Catholic education has in developing the “whole person.” “Pastors with parishes with schools, pastors with parishes without schools, parish school of religion directors have been working together to say it is a genuine value for the future to train the whole person, not just the mind or the body – the mind academically, the See Revitalization • S27

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JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com


St. Paul principal sees parish, school as an invaluable partnership By Mary Morrell Correspondent


hen Dr. Ryan Killeen asked pastors and principals to describe their perception of the significance of the Catholic school in their parish communities, their responses ran the gamut of eye-opening, encouraging, and, sometimes, funny with one pastor saying, “Well, the school is the life of the parish. If it was all adults, it would get pretty dull. And adults have big egos so you have to deal with that.

“(Students) see themselves ... as furthering the mission of the parish.” The children liven up the place.” Dr. Killeen, who serves as principal of St. Paul School, Princeton, believed the questions, the responses and the results of the study from which they came – part of the research undertaken for his doctoral dissertation – could be of benefit to school and parish leadership in a time when the future of Catholic

Schools is in a period of transition. On Jan. 24, as part of the St. Paul Parish Adult Faith Formation series, Dr. Killeen offered a presentation on “Catholic Schools and the Parish: A Partnership with Future,” focusing in great part on the topic of his study – the sustainability of Catholic parish elementary schools in the 21st century and the driving forces of leadership. Dr. Killeen, who has spent the greater part of his professional life in Catholic schools, acknowledged taking up this research topic “to advance the mission of Catholic schools,” noting that the most prevalent model of Catholic schools has always been, and remains, the parish elementary school. He stressed that Catholic schools are not simply private schools but a faithbased arm of a larger parish. Focusing on the unique relationship that exists between parishes and schools, Dr. Killeen spoke about what is happening in some places, when schools sever ties with parishes and become regional schools. “A lot is lost, not just for the school but for the parish, as well,” he said. “When a school is not there long term, how does this affect the life of the parish?” Some 80 pastors and 80 principals from within the Dioceses of Trenton, Metuchen and Paterson were invited to

this is my classroom THIS IS ST. ROSE www.srhsnj.com

Dr. Ryan Killeen Monitor file photo

participate in the study, with five principals and five pastors selected randomly to take part in confidential interviews. Their responses, said Dr. Killeen, were reflective of the challenges to Catholic school sustainability during a time that may be the next stage of evolution in the history of Catholic schools, particularly in the areas of financial viability, available parish resources and the need to

this is my laboratory

find alternate school funding sources. Of strong concern is the responsibility to balance conflicting needs, as addressed by one pastor in the study: “While a strong advocate of Catholic education, I do not feel that the school should stay open at all costs. There needs to be parish life beyond Catholic schools. The bottom line problem for most of us is finances. Parents are not willing to pay cost-based tuition.” The concern about the priorities of parents and the Catholic identity of families is notable among pastors, said Dr. Killeen, while on the other hand, principals consider the school as a positive drive of faith formation. Said one principal, “I think the parish sees how prepared these students are for the next step in their education and how vitally important they are to the parish. The students are for the most part active participants in the life of the parish – altar servers, choir, cantor – the youth ministry is growing again ... They are an integral part of the parish. So, [students] see themselves not as a separate entity, but as furthering the mission of the parish as well.” Dr. Killeen shared that while there were differences between the concerns of pastors and principals, those who responded were nearly unanimous in See Killeen • S27

this is my faith Where academic excellence meets faith. Where forward thinkers, innovators, and leaders achieve success. Where dreams become reality.




Icing on the Cake

With new connection between TCA, Eet Gud Bakery, community traditions continue


renton Catholic Academy and Eet Gud Bakery are staples in their community. Situated just a mile apart in Hamilton, their fingerprints in the neighborhood are far-reaching, with alumni and fans from all over, going back generations. So the fact that the two will be more closely related in the future can only come as welcome news to those who have benefitted from what they provide.

Story by EmmaLee Italia, Correspondent

Under new ownership and management, which was reported in the Jan. 11 issue of The Monitor, the Eet Gud Bakery is celebrating its 90th year of business – one that includes pre-existing staff, treasured recipes and loyal customers, many of whom are affiliated with TCA in one way or another. That fact was not lost on new Eet Gud CEO Tracey Destribats, who is also director of advancement and development at TCA. “It’s important to support others in the community,” Destribats said, adding that as a patron of Eet Gud, she watched many businesses in the area fold, particularly in Chambersburg. “I grew up in Trenton, not far from here, and this [bakery] was the constant.” Now, Destribats wants to continue the constant, with the help of prior owner Donna Gorish, and see that proceeds from Eet Gud help support TCA’s scholarship program. Joining her in the bakery endeavor are TCA colleagues Michael Knowles, director of community relations and robotics teacher, and Rose O’Connor, director of marketing. When the bakery went up for sale in 2015, Destribats and Knowles had lightly discussed the idea of TCA purchasing it as a fundraising endeavor. When that didn’t come to fruition, Destribats finally took matters into her own hands. Now that the details are ironed out, and some property updates have been made, what was once a “what if” between TCA coworkers has become a reality.


Time to Make the Donuts Upon entering Eet Gud Bakery at 2113 Hamilton Ave., two phrases immediately come to mind: “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name,” and, “If you bake it, they will come.” The frosting of falling snow Jan. 17 – bearing an uncanny resemblance to the powdered sugar tops of the bakery’s legendary cream donuts – didn’t keep customers from their highly anticipated favorites that reappeared in their glass display cases following the custom-

HISTORY OF SERVICE • Patty Lyszczak, who has been with Hamilton’s Eet Gud Bakery for eight years, works behind the counter Jan. 17, the day the bakery reopened with its new owner. CEO Tracey Destribats, director of advancement and development at Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, hopes the bakery can eventually seek to hire TCA students as employees and interns, as well as sponsoring fundraisers. Rose O’Connor photos

ary two-week closure after the new year and reopening under its new owner. The Mayberry-esque atmosphere of familiarity and first-name basis between patrons and staff is one of the reasons people come to Eet Gud, rather than the grocery store uberbakeries or chain coffee shops. “Most supermarkets now have bakeries, which are convenient, but not special,” Knowles observed. “Here, it’s a unique experience. You get individual attention.” Added Jerri Tiger, who has been working at the Eet Gud bakery counter the past nine years, “People walking in are like family.” Customer Raymond Staub grew up in the Trenton area. His whole family patronizes the bakery, and he believes the Eet Gud and TCA connection will be beneficial to the Hamilton community. “I know Tracey, and no doubt, I can see [TCA and the bakery] going hand-in-hand. She’s always been about giving,” Staub said. “It’ll be a mix of great service, but more upto-date, with a place to sit and talk – I like the tables.” Destribats noted that adding the tables and chairs was something that Gorish had always wanted to do. Wi-Fi service will also be installed, and the bakery will eventually be open for business on Mondays as well. “We’re going out and talking to customers,” she explained, “asking them their opinions.”

History and Charity In 1928, Gorish’s grandfather Joseph Schaffener, 19, and his wife, Mary, purchased the Hamilton bakery and renamed it Eet Gud. Ninety years later, Gorish is convinced the bakery couldn’t be in better hands. Also a Catholic, Gorish said faith definitely played a part in finding the bakery’s new owner. “You don’t know how long I’ve been praying for someone to come and do it justice… It was just perfect timing.” Gorish began as a teenager working the register, with the bakery owned and managed by her mother, Peggy Harvey, and uncle, Joe Schaffener. She learned the art of cake decorating from them, describing it as “the school of hard knocks.” The bakery expanded in the 1960s, adding the deli portion and establishing relationships with local vendors – which Destribats intends to maintain. Gorish has managed the bakery

for the past 17 years, continuing to decorate the custom cakes, following in the footsteps of her uncle and grandfather. With no family in the area willing to take on the business, however, Gorish was faced with potentially selling her beloved third-generation bakery to a stranger, with no control over what might happen to the property. That’s when Destribats showed up. When asked whether she heard of the Catholic practice of burying a statue “I can of St. Joseph upside see [TCA down on the property to help it sell, Gorish and the motioned outside with a smile and said, bakery] “Yes, St. Joseph’s out in the garden!” going “I heard you have to thank the Lord hand-intwice as hard as when you prayed for the hand.” favor,” she quipped. With Destribats at the helm, Gorish is happily installed in the kitchen, continuing to decorate cakes and offer her visions for the bakery’s next phase. She looks forward to more flexibility in her schedule. “[Tracey’s] a good person, and I like what they want to do with the school,” Gorish said. “There are so many opportunities for employment and fundraisers here.” Knowles, who began in marketing at TCA and is now on board as Eet Gud’s general manager, credits Destribats with the idea of a profit-based business connected with the school. Knowles’ said that the bakery will eventually seek to hire TCA students as employees and interns, as well as sponsoring “ordering fundraisers,” in which community organizations and schools, including TCA, could have a portion of sales during the event go back to their institutions. “We’re Hamiltonians,” he said. “We’re a part of this community, and we want to be good partners with the rest of the community.” For hours of operation and more information about Eet Gud Bakery, visit www. eetgud.com. For more information about TCA, visit www.trentoncatholic.org.


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com


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Parish and school work hand in hand in support of Catholic education


t’s a challenge, but it’s a good challenge,” said St. Katharine Drexel pastor Father Christopher P. Picollo about the inclusion of a Catholic school in the life of the parish that he leads. Located in Burlington, St. Katharine Drexel Parish not only includes two worship sites, but also sponsors St. Paul School, a pre-K through eighth grade Catholic school founded in 1870. The important relationship between the parish and school is described on the school’s website, which proudly proclaims that it “is generously supported in faith and in action” by St. Katharine Drexel Parish. A testament of that relationship can be found in Father Picollo’s frequent presence and involvement in the school. “The school has gone through tough times in recent years,” admitted Father Picollo, adding, “but the PTA inspires me to see how hard they work to support it.” Of his regular visits to the school, Father Picollo said, “I do the best I can. I go in and out, walk the halls, talk to the

A BLESSED BEGINNING • Father Christopher Picollo, pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Burlington, (created from the merger of All Saints Parish and St. Paul Parish, both Burlington) blesses the students of St. Paul School, Burlington, on the first day of school in September 2015. Craig Pittelli photo

faculty, just visit. The kids see me walking around and say hello. “Sometimes, if a teacher requests it, I go in and do a question-and-answer period with them,” he continued, “and maybe further explain one of the Sacraments to the children. Father Mike (St. Katharine Drexel parochial vicar, Father

Michael Kennedy) or I say First Friday Masses with them in the church, and on other Fridays, we say a Mass in the


Many schools, one mission supported by St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel “

school chapel for a certain grade level.” Weekend Masses provide a key opportunity to “share the good news” of Catholic education with parishioners, both in word and deed. Father Picollo said, “There’s always something from the school going on in the vestibule after Mass. We put it out there, put a face on it. One year, during open house, we asked eighth graders to get up at Mass and give reflections about their Confirmation preparation.” School improvements and fundraising events are also shared on the website and weekly church bulletin. A recent parish bulletin lists sales of SCRIP gift cards to local vendors, a bake sale, Bingo and other activities to supplement the tuition and parish contributions. An invitation to a school open See Catholic • S20


here’s just something about a Catholic school environment, I can’t pin it down,” said Msgr. Gregory D. Vaughan, pastor of St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel. Though the Monmouth County parish does not have a school of its own, the faith community has plenty of opportunity to show its love of, and support for, Catholic education by participating in the diocesan co-sponsorship program. The program assigns each parish without a school an amount to be raised in support of tuition assistance for Catholic school students in their area. As the former vicar general, moderator of the curia and director of vocations for the Diocese, and also now as a pastor, Msgr. Vaughan understands well the need for the co-sponsorship program in the life and health of the Diocese’s Catholic schools. He has made it a priority to convey that same understanding to his parish community. “Most people believe in Catholic education, and we do not have a heavy burden here.” Msgr. Vaughan added, “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to lighten the burden for parents.” He feels that understanding and support among his parishioners for cosponsorship has grown. “Last October, I gave a talk to explain the terms … and the responsibility we have. A number of people had no idea how it worked.” He felt that the talk “was an eyeopener . . . but well-received,” adding that the parish was able to meet their assessment without a separate envelope or collection.

SUPPORTING CATHOLIC SCHOOLS • Msgr. Gregory D. Vaughan, pastor of St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel, who supports co-sponsorship by parishes without schools, offers remarks to his congregation following Mass June 4, 2017. John Batkowski photo

Members of St. Catharine Parish have experience with the value of Catholic schools, Msgr. Vaughan observed, noting that while some families enroll their children in Catholic schools from the beginning of their educational careers, many families in his parish begin their children’s education in one of the area’s local public schools and later turn to Catholic education to fulfill their needs on the high school and college levels. “Parents feel they know what is going on with their education, and that they make good friends,” Msgr. Vaughan said. “Some of our children See Religious • 20

CAN WE TALK? • Trinitarian Father Gerard Lynch, pastor of St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, visits Kathleen Ritchey and her fourth-grade class Jan. 24 in the parish school. Mary Stadnyk photo

Parish is part of the team for St. Ann School


ou need a team to run a school,” said Trinitarian Father Gerard F. Lynch, pastor of St. Ann Parish, about the 2010 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence which shares the church’s Lawrenceville campus. “I leave the day-to-day to principal [John] McKenna but there are no surprises, for we meet regularly.” The priest continued, “It goes hand in glove: no one person is more important than another. Each has a gift from God, and you bring them all to the table.” Father Lynch has been bringing his gifts to that proverbial table since his education in first public grammar,

then Catholic secondary, schools in his native Brooklyn. After serving more than 30 years in Asbury Park’s Our Lady of Mount Parish Carmel Parish, (now Mother of Mercy Parish), he was assigned to helm St. Ann’s. In addition to regular meetings with the school principal, Father Lynch interacts with the school children often as they move seamlessly between the school building and the church complex for First Friday Masses (“where they learn proper Church etiquette,” the long-time priest stressed) and classes. His office in the parish’s Faith Development Center assures he is always there See A parish • S20


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com




Wednesday, January 31st 40 RUMSON RD. RUMSON, NJ 732-842-0348


9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Parent Tours Prospective students invited to stay and experience a day as a Holy Cross student.



Diocese of TrenTon Annual

TuiTion AssisTAnce ProgrAm Applications for tuition assistance for students in grades K-12 are now being accepted!

• Eligibility is determined by our third party provider FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment. • The application deadline is March 2, 2018. • Additional funds may become available for late applications and will be accepted until May 18, 2018. • For additional information, visit our website: www.dioceseoftrenton.org

Grades K-8: Apply at https://online.factsmgt.com Online application fee $30. Grades 9-12: Contact the high school directly

Questions? Kathleen Golazeski: 609-403-7168 kgolaz@dioceseoftrenton.org FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment: 866-441-4637 or Contact your school office

HOW to APPly



‘STEM’ stretches students’ learning

experience in unique ways


Story by Rose O’Connor and EmmaLee Italia, Correspondents


t has been full STEAM ahead this year for many of our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton as STEM education has enhanced classroom lessons in the elementary and high schools.

STEM, an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as STEAM, when Art education is included and STREAM when Religion is incorporated, are lessons where students are challenged to think critically and delve deeper into the problems they are working to solve. In order to effectively engage students in STEM lessons, schools have created innovative learning areas where teachers are creating and implementing lessons and instructional practices that encourage hands-on learning and discovery.

“It’s a really cool thing.” In St. Rose of Lima School, Freehold, creating a STEAM center was important to PTA President, Elizabeth Hierl. “This was my pet project,” she joked. “We called it ‘STEAM 100,’ because water turns to steam at 100 degrees and it was 100 days until the beginning of Catholic Schools Week,” Hierl, a chemist herself,

explained. She continued. “The STEAM center aims to enhance students’ curiosity and creativity by challenging them to look at science in a whole new way. Using technology to reinforce concepts taught in class, students come to the STEAM center to explore and collaborate. In addition to traditional experimentation, students are offered opportunities to learn about robotics, design and coding.” The STEAM center was made possible entirely by the generous support of the St. Rose of Lima family community. Led by the PTA under the direction of principal Franciscan Sister Patricia Doyle and pastor Father James Conover, the new STEAM center project has been created to serve students today, and also grow with them as they become active 21st century learners. St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, has also made a concentrated effort to include STEM lessons into the curriculum. Fifth grade teacher, Karen Stives, explained how principal Dr. Jason Briggs came up with the idea of turning one of the classrooms “into a STEM Lab for scheduled classes to introduce and expose our elementary students to the wonders of STEM. From kindergarten through third grade, students have explored designing and building bridges, robots and various structures with Legos, as well as recycled home items.

SEEING IS BELIEVING • Kaon Interactive president Gavin Finn assists a student in St. Paul School, Princeton, with a virtual reality device during STEM Day Nov. 2. EmmaLee Italia photo

SACRED STUDY SPACE • At left, Franciscan Father Gabriel Zeis, vicar for Catholic education and catechesis, blesses the science lab of St. Benedict School, Holmdel. At right are Father Garry Koch, pastor of St. Benedict Parish, and Father John Patilla, parochial vicar. Kyle Plumstead photo

SEE MORE PHOTOS from blessing of science lab in St. Benedict School and STEM Day in St. Paul School, at TrentonMonitor.com > Multimedia > Photo Galleries Students are guided through the design process according to their grade level and the complexity of the challenge.” These learning spaces have proven to be successful for our students as they explore the STEM challenges presented to them, she noted. St. Benedict School, Holmdel, opened its new state-of-the-art science lab, which was built over the summer months, and is now being used by students for hands-on and virtual laboratory experiences during this school year. The school’s new science series enhances the lab experience through a set of modules, encompassing topics from the biological, physical and environmental sciences.   One innovative learning space is exciting for both students and teachers alike. In St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach, a grant has enabled the school to purchase the WeatherBug weather station which is installed on the roof of the school building where weather data is delivered to the school’s online education program. “It’s really a cool thing,” Eileen Baglivio, kindergarten teacher, said. “The kids are really excited. Everybody loves the weather station.” Classes are recording the temperature, documenting the wind chill and weather trends. The students are also graphing the information and predicting the weather based on the information they have received.

Taking the opportunity one step further, Baglivio teamed with the school technology instructor, Carl De Pazza, to install a green screen and worked with the fifth grade class to put on a news broadcast using iMovie and their iPads. The students have written the scripts and the news broadcast, which obviously features a weather broadcast, to be shown in each classroom at the end of January.

Global Endeavors STEM endeavors are not limited to grammar schools, however. Catholic high schools, such as Red Bank Catholic High, are also embracing the STEM educational program. As part of Red Bank Catholic High School’s commitment to 21st century learning, this year the school has added virtual reality (“VR”) goggles and Google Expedition software to the already long list of instructional aides for teachers.  This technology will provide teachers the opportunity to take students to other parts of the world, other times in history and through components of life not visible to the naked eye. The VR system allows the instructor to monitor full-time via an iPad.  Instructors can direct students to a particular part of the VR lesson, as well as identify where each student is through an icon that appears on the iPad.  This provides the opportunity for real-time See Innovation • S12


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com

Catholic Schools



FA I T H • A C A D E M I C E X C E L L E N C E • AT H L E T I C S • S E R V I C E • C O M M U N I T Y Applications are now being accepted for the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton. BURLINGTON COUNTY

Our Lady of Good Counsel • Moorestown Our Lady of Perpetual Help • Maple Shade Pope John Paul II Regional School • Willingboro Sacred Heart • Mount Holly St. Charles Borromeo • Cinnaminson St. Joan of Arc • Marlton

St. Mary of the Lakes • Medford St. Paul • Burlington

MERCER COUNTY Notre Dame High School • Lawrenceville Our Lady of Sorrows • Mercerville St. Ann • Lawrenceville St. Gregory the Great Academy • Hamilton Square

St. Paul • Princeton St. Raphael • Hamilton Trenton Catholic Academy • Hamilton


Holy Cross • Rumson Holy Innocents • Neptune Our Lady of Mt. Carmel • Asbury Park Red Bank Catholic High School • Red Bank

St. Benedict • Holmdel St. Catharine • Spring Lake St. James • Red Bank St. Jerome • West Long Branch St. John Vianney High School • Holmdel St. Leo the Great • Lincroft St. Mary • New Monmouth St. Rose • Belmar St. Rose High School • Belmar

St. Rose of Lima • Freehold St. Veronica • Howell


All Saints Regional • Manahawkin Donovan Catholic High School • Toms River St. Aloysius • Jackson St. Dominic • Brick St. Joseph • Toms River St. Peter • Pt. Pleasant Beach

Space availability will vary by grade for each school.

TAKE THE STEP that will make a powerful difference in your child’s future! REACH OUT to the Catholic school near you to learn more.

To learn more about your local Catholic school… GO TO dioceseoftrenton.org/catholicschools OR CatholicSchoolsHaveItAll.org



Innovation, excitement a result of ‘STEM’ Continued from • S10

instruction as the student navigates through the experience. Science teacher and department chair Mary Jane Davis recently introduced her AP Biology students to the internal structure of a cell and its components using the VR system. She noted the benefits almost immediately, saying, “It can be frustrating for students to grasp multidimensional material from a textbook.  With VR, they can be exposed to all aspects of the concept and actually navigate their way through it.”  Senior Amanda Dobrowolski agreed, adding, “The virtual reality component as an instructional tool added the emphasis on how the parts of a cell work together.  We could experience that in real time.” Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, implemented Project Lead the Way, a transformative STEM curriculum into its Middle School during the 2016-2017 school year. This year, PLTW Launch was included in the technology classes in grades K through five and the course instructor and Lego/robotics coach, John Kocsis, was named 2018 STEM Teacher of the Year by the Professional Engineers’ Society of Mercer County. In TCA’s Upper School, students are coding in the PLTW computer science

CUTTING EDGE • Students in Holy Cross School, Rumson, try out some new STEM activities with their laptops. Courtesy photo modules. The instructor of the course and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics instructor, Michael Radaszkiewicz, recently spent 10 days in STEM and PLTW coursework and training at the Rochester Institute of Technology. St. Catharine School, Spring Lake, has also offered the STEM curriculum to students. This past summer, Michael

Perez, St. Catharine School’s lead STEM instructor, flew to Eastern Michigan University for special instructor training in app creation and design. This spring, Perez will facilitate an App Creators course with students in grades six through eight. “We look forward to observing all of the innovation and exciting new apps our students create,” Robert Dougherty,

POWERED BY STEAM principal, said. St. Rose Grammar School, Belmar, is committed to cutting edge learning programs and have partnered with New Jersey Institute of Technology to implement a comprehensive STEM program. To maximize student learning in the Middle School, Chromebooks have been purchased and the school has a 1:1 student to Chromebook ratio in those classes. Students throughout the Diocese also took part in the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week, held this past December 4-10. On Dec. 7, St. Benedict School participated in this movement for the first time, during which students were given brief instructions and coding assignments, creating their own computer games and animations in a single hour. This global movement is based on the theory “Anyone can code,” which means every student in every school can learn how to code.  Students are given an opportunity to learn something new, something that they otherwise would See STEAM • S14


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com


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

Catholic Schools Week 2018 Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.





250 High St, Mount Holly, NJ 609-267-1728


Sunday ~ January 28th ~ 11am-1pm Tues. Jan 30th & Thurs. Feb 1st ~ 9am-11am

901 Hopkins Road • Haddonfield, NJ 856.858.4900 • www.pvihs.org

2653_PVI_CSW_Monitor.indd 1

1/16/18 2:57 PM


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

Four former Notre Dame chaplains returned to help concelebrate Notre Dame’s monthly liturgy on Thursday, January 18, commemorating our 60th Anniversary. Along with the chaplains, alumni from the first graduating class of 1961 attended mass. Pictured above, left to right are: Matt Simms ‘19, Monsignor Walter Nolan, our current chaplain, Father Jason Parzynski, Julianna Okupski ‘18, Fr. H. Todd Carter, Monsignor William Capik, Fr. Joseph Jakub and Dominic Colter ‘19.

Celebrating 60 years of Academic Excellence, Tradition and Community Visit our website to learn more about our school and to apply. www.ndnj.org Application Deadline: January 31 Come to know

Notre Dame High School

601 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 609.882.7900, ext. 130 or 183



‘STEAM’ an investment in future Continued from • S12

have no knowledge or understanding of, and by giving them the tools to learn it, they may actually find it something they enjoy or would like to pursue,” Lori Ulrich, director of marketing, explained. In Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Maple Shade, students in grades five through eight have the ability on Tuesdays to participate in an activity period that features STEM lessons. “The classes are mixed and the students are on various levels,” principal Carl Jankowski offered. “There are great leadership opportunities for the students, especially in the younger grades.” Classes are a unique mix of engineering activities, biology, culinary arts, photography and creative writing. “It’s great to see the way the science comes in with the culinary arts in the kitchen,” Jankowski said. Lego/Robotics, app development and coding are something teachers are not only including into classroom instruction, but in after school activities for students in a variety of grades as well. Our Lady of Sorrows School, Mercerville, is extending its STEM instruction past the final bell. “We now offer an after school STEM club for grades five through

POWERED BY STEAM eight. About 21 children participate, and each week is a different group activity. The program will continue through March, and then the club will be open to grades K through four,” school principal, Maureen Tuohy, stated. Sacred Heart, Mount Holly, will also begin an afterschool Robotics club for students in the Middle School that is being taught by a graduate. In St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, students will have the opportunity to participate in “Gross Out Chemistry,” a science enrichment class for six weeks for first through fourth graders. “Gross Out Chemistry” blends chemical reactions, optical illusions, viscosity, fluorescence, and phosphorescence. Students will also get their hands dirty making quicksand, slime and flubber. In November, 2017, St. Veronica School, Howell, was awarded a $1,000 grant  from the Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation to use for the

FUTURE OF FIBER OPTICS • Ciena lab truck driver Audi Lay gives a sixth-grade class in St. Paul School, Princeton, a tour of the double-decker mobile lab the company uses to demonstrate its Internet tech systems. EmmaLee Italia photo advancement of the school’s STEAM program. The funds will be used to bring Mobile Ed’s STEAM Museum, a portable field trip, to the school on Feb. 2 during Catholic Schools Week. St. Veronica’s gym will be turned into a hands-on children’s museum focused on STEAM education from building arches, to programming a robot, to 3D printing.

Generous Offering In Mater Dei Prep, Middletown, the Donald Froude and Edwin “Skip” McLaughlin Science Center is scheduled

to open in the 2018-2019 school year, thanks to a $250,000 gift from two alumni. The extensive renovations will transform the existing labs into cuttingedge learning environments for chemistry and biology. “Mater Dei Prep is very grateful that these 1974 classmates have committed to supporting the creation of our new science center,” said Don Galante, Mater Dei Prep president. “The disciplines of science and technology are valued by colleges as they are the See Information • S16

JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com

2010 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Educate your child’s mind, heart and soul at a faith-based, private school ranked in the top 10th percentile of the nation.

Open House: January 31, 2018

Presentation at The Faith Development Center, 9am & 7pm, tours to follow. The entrance to The Faith Development Center is located in the rear parking lot of the church.

Please call for personal tour: 609-882-8077

34 Rossa Avenue, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 • st-ann-school.org • 609-882-8077 Accreditation by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission





Information highway inspires creativity Continued from • S14

key drivers of 21st century intellectual and economic innovation. Having state-of-the-art facilities significantly enhances the college prep curriculum for Mater Dei Prep students,” Galante said. The new center will include islands and workstations with ample worktop space, offering easy access to services like electricity, water and gas, as well as technologies like USB and data ports. The design of the labs will allow teachers to interact seamlessly with students for more effective instruction. Skip McLaughlin is excited to see the impact his gift will have on the Mater Dei Prep students. “Mater Dei made such a difference in my life,” McLaughlin said. “I’m happy to give back to this wonderful institution. I know my gift will help enhance the college prep experience at Mater Dei.” “Philanthropy and community service have always been a major part of the Mater Dei experience,” added Don Froude. “As an alumnus, I’m proud to be able to support the school as it continues to provide its students with an exemplary education.” According to Galante, Mater Dei Prep is also developing an advanced curriculum and co-curricular program to best utilize the new facilities. The curriculum will incorporate science

POWERED BY STEAM and math across all disciplines to teach students to effectively solve problems in everyday life, with a focus on hands-on activities, creative thinking and collaboration. “This curriculum will be more than teaching subject matter,” said Galante. “It will be active learning that empowers and inspires students to think creatively to find solutions to problems.”

Hair-raising Possibilities Students in St. Paul School, Princeton, participated in their first STEM Day, Nov. 2, which featured an all-day rotation of various presentations related to digital technology, physics and engineering. Interacting with Ciena, its partner Kaon Interactive, and Princeton Physics Plasma Labs, the school’s first through eighth grades were able to witness demonstrations that included how information travels across the Internet, what

FUTURE VISION • Using special headsets, students in Holy Cross School, Rumson, are transported into the digital world of virtual reality. Courtesy photo virtual and augmented reality look like, and how plasma could be responsible for a new form of renewable green energy. Ciena, a Maryland-based global network communications company, brought its two-story lab on wheels: a semi-trailer that expands both outward and up to create presentation space both downstairs and upstairs. SPS classes each took a tour of the lab, which travels the country as a marketing tool for the company’s various Internet technology systems.

“Here’s what the fiber optic cable looks like,” said lab truck driver Audi Lay, as he passed around an insulated wire for students to examine. He showed them network hubs built into the truck wall. “Basically every time you use a cell phone or iPad, it goes through this.” “We mostly give people a network from point A to point B,” Lay explained. For the school presentation however, he said Ciena is trying to get the kids’ curiosity piqued about the technology, See STEM • S18

St. Joan of Arc School Faith, Knowledge, Service

101 Evans Rd Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 983-0774 www.stjoansk-8.org

Catholic Schools Week 2018

Come See the Difference!


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com



Saint Dominic School Open House & Registration


January 28, 2018 Hamilton Square, NJ

1:30pm – 3:30pm

Saint Dominic School offers an academically excellent education for preschool to eighth grade students that enlivens the Catholic faith, promotes personal growth, and develops the full potential of each child. Opportunities are provided for athletic, cultural, and social experiences that give students the tools and skills they need to succeed in the world ahead of them, while making memories that will last a lifetime. We invite you to discover our school community during our Open House events.

Enrolling children in Pre-K3 through Grade 7

Open House & Registration Dates and Times: January 28, 2018 - 10:30 a.m. - Noon January 30, 2018 - 9-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. January 31, 2018 - 9-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.

Full day Pre-School and Kindergarten Available Extended Day Program until 6pm Financial Assistance Available

For more information, call 609-587-1131 Or visit www.stgregorythegreatacademy.org

Where: Saint Dominic School 250 Old Squan Road, Brick, NJ 08724

For More Information, Contact Us at 732.840.1412 or visit us at www.stdomschool.org

A 2014 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Walking Forward together The mission of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School is to enable students to celebrate their God given talents by serving others in the Spirit of Christ, and grow into life-long learners.

enrichmenT Art, music (instrumental

& chorus), research & analysis skills, modern technology skills, Spanish & physical education into a rich academic setting.

elecTiveS Middle school students are

offered electives each trimester, such as culinary arts, biology, coding, debate, photography, newspaper, yearbook, creative writing or visual & digital arts.

SPOrTS Our cyO programs are offered to boys & girls. They may participate in track, volleyball, basketball & cheerleading.

educaTing Pre-K 3 through 8Th grade rich

with over 85 years of catholic heritage and service, Olph continues to offer affordable and comprehensive programs for early childhood, elementary and middle school students. Our families continue to thrive with our high academic standards, commitment to catholic values, cocurricular enrichment programs and its extended day program. With a 14:1 student to teacher ratio see the dedicated faculty and staff challenge every student to become global citizens who understand the need to celebrate their God given talents by serving others in the Spirit of christ, and grow into life-long learners. Join the legacy. The difference is inside.

Visit Our Open Houses Sun 10am-2pm JAN 28 Catholic Schools Week ThurS 9-11am MArch 22, April 19, MAy 17

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP SCHOOL 236 E. Main St., Maple Shade, NJ | 856-779-7526 | OLPHParish.com



STEM prepares students for changing technology Continued from • S16

and how they might one day invent networking solutions themselves. “Most [of our employees] have electrical engineering degrees,” Lay continued. “No one comes to this job knowing how to do it – you basically learn on the job.” The virtual and augmented reality presentation by Kaon Interactive gave SPS students a chance to immerse themselves in digital technology – literally. “How many of you have heard of ‘Pokemon Go’?” asked Kaon Interactive president Gavin Finn. Every hand in the room immediately shot into the air. “If you like science and math,” he continued, “then you can learn to create virtual reality games like that.” Finn showed the students an augmented reality program on an iPad, in which they were allowed to place an object into the environment on the screen, making it look as if it were really in the room, like in the Pokemon Go app. “You’re going to get to see something that really isn’t there,” he said, placing a refrigerator in the middle of the screen. At another station the students got to try out a virtual reality headset, using software developed by Kaon, which helps businesses create virtual reality presentation tools for conventions. In what looked like a virtual data

center, the students took turns “walking around” the environment as their classmates saw their perspective on a projected screen. “I got a view all the way around, everywhere I looked,” said seventh-grader Miranda Beasley. “And there was this cloud that exploded at you when you looked at it!” Shannon Greco, a researcher in the U.S. Department of Energy funded Princeton Physics Plasma Lab (PPPL), gave seventh and eighth grade classes a hands-on presentation that included a Tesla coil and other hair-raising electrical devices. “At PPPL, we’re trying to work on something to replace fossil fuels and nuclear fission,” Greco explained. Highlighting the differences between fission and fusion, she asked for the students to give examples of plasma – where it occurs on earth and in space, and its unique properties. Plasma is used in the fusion process, super heating gas to a plasma state and forcing the atoms to fuse together. “The byproduct of fusion is helium, which has no pollution risk,” she explained, noting that the hope is that the energy harnessed from plasma during fusion could someday be a replacement for burning coal or nuclear power plants. Greco gave student volunteers a





POWERED BY STEAM chance to experience static electricity by holding onto a charged silver ball, to hold lightning created by the Tesla coil and a special balloon device, and test the temperature of metal coils exposed to an electromagnetic charge. “My hands are tingling!” said seventh grader Gianna Timberlake, who held the balloon device as Greco used the Tesla coil to apply electricity. When asked how a person could work in that field and what should be studied, Greco said all the STEM subjects apply. “Engineers make it happen, they build the technology,” she said. “Scientists come up with the ideas ... Math – no one is good or bad at math, it’s just a language you haven’t learned. And computer science – any chance you get to code and to learn a computer language like Python or Java.” Glenn Calafati, Ciena’s global integrated director for content and media,

tailored his presentation to the age group in the room each session, allowing plenty of time for student curiosity to drive the information. Older classes were curious about satellite communications, while the younger set wanted to learn how electricity works. “I’m trying to get the students to relate to the [media] they use – the technology behind ‘how does it get to you?’” Calafati said. “We also want them to think about the science involved, and why STEM is important.” One fourth grader wanted to know whether it takes longer for information to get from New Jersey to California, or from California to China. The discussion veered toward bandwidth, speed and distance, and even repeaters, which leapfrog signals across a distance, adding latency. Calafati explained how each aspect of STEM is necessary when it comes to using media that is broadcast or streamed. “Technology never stays the same,” Calafati told the students. “Things always change, people are always making them better.” He reminded them that their suggestions and ideas helped drive the nature of the changes made in media performance. “Never look at an iPad and say, ‘I wish it could do that.’ Instead, think, ‘How COULD it do that?’”


A small, traditional all-girls Catholic school with - A faculty staffed by the Religious Teachers Fillippini - An 8:1 student teacher ratio - 100% college placement and enrollment, with all graduates receiving financial awards - National Merit Scholarship Commended Graduates - AP Graduate Scholars in both Honor and Distinction Categories


Provide a nurturing academic and character-building environment to ensure - Confidence, Achievement, Success




JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com


Discover why the all-boy, K-8 setting is ideal for the academic and social development of boys.


Sacred Heart

Schedule a personal tour today! (609) 759-3053 www.princetonacademy.org

For more information or to schedule a tour, call us at 609-654-2546 www.smlschool.org 196 Route 70, Medford, NJ 08055

"When the schools are properly established and are well managed they will contribute to the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls and they will form families and generations of persons who love peace and will be blessed by God." Saint Vincent Pallotti



‘A parish with a school is really alive’ Continued from • S8

for a quick chat or handshake with a student. “[The children] see me at least once a week, and since they come over to the Center for library, art and music classes, they often see me there,” he said. Chuckling, he confessed, “I like to wait until the teachers have the kids all

lined up to return to class, them come into the hall and watch them come over and say hello. They are in a perfect line, and with my visit, it is all undone.” But the informal interaction plants seeds which are recalled long after the school day is complete. Father Lynch continued, “I know they talk about me at home, for their

Catholic schools part of a greater whole Continued from • S8

house period informs the invitee that St. Paul School has won in the category of “Best Private Schools, Pre-Schools and more in Burlington County,” and trumpets the new STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum enhancements enabling the students to remain competitive in the educational arena. The designation of Catholic Schools Week is a time that St. Paul School is given a particular spotlight. “We have one of the older students speak about Catholic education during the weekend Masses,” the pastor continued.

Father Picollo expressed his and the parish’s feeling about being connected to St. Paul School, saying, “We are proud to be part of a school community. No priest ever wants to close a school. We try to do whatever we can to promote a Catholic environment.” He continued, “The school is part of a greater whole, and makes a strong parish. Families entrust their children to us, we educate the whole child.” Father Picollo acknowledged, “In this day and age, it is a challenge. My hope is that people will learn the truth: good, sustainable schools are part of handing on the faith.”

Open House Thursday, February 1st 9:30am to 11:30am Sunday, February 4th 11:30am to 1:30pm

605 Sixth Avenue Belmar, NJ 07719



parents see me at Mass and tell me how their children remember the details of our conversations. For me, it’s a natural way to be. They know I believe school is important.” The pastor’s obvious love for and support of the school is echoed in the parish community. School events are featured prominently in the weekly bulletin, while parish programs are also included in the school news sources. “Just yesterday, I was encouraging the parishioners at Mass to go over to the cafeteria and indulge in the pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the eighth graders to fund raise for their trip,” Father Lynch said. “It is a great responsibility to have a Catholic school today, but it spurs me on to work harder,” he asserted. “A Catholic school is important to the life of a parish; a Catholic school is always a source of new life, that’s the bottom line. A parish with a school is really alive.” The priest paused, then reflected on more than three decades of experience in faith-filled learning environments. “The value of Catholic education is it gives kids an opportunity to thrive, to gain confidence and self esteem,” Father Lynch said, “so that when they leave here, they can go out and conquer the world.”

Religious leave legacy in Catholic schools Continued from • S8

attend Catholic schools such as St. Benedict School (Holmdel) and St. James School (Red Bank), while later they go to Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft), St. John Vianney High School (Holmdel), and Red Bank Catholic High School.” “When I was more involved with schools, I loved the excitement and joy of a school in a parish,” Msgr. Vaughan said. As a youth, he attended Catholic schools in New York and New Jersey before entering a seminary high school at age 13. “I’m a ‘lifer’,” he laughed. The priest credits the contributions of the religious nuns and faithfilled teachers he encountered along the way in guiding him toward his vocation. “I enjoy Catholic schooling,” he said. “We need to hold onto the wonderful legacy the sisters gave us. I’d hate to see it disappear in the Diocese, and I hope they continue well into the future. It’s a wonderful environment for learning.”


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com

Saint Mary School CSW2018 Ad 4.9x6.7.pdf

Open House 2016 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Sunday, January 28, 2018 • 1:00pm to 2:00pm Monday, January 29, 2018 • 9:00am to 11:00am

Kindergarten registration February 6, 2018 Tuesday • 9am-11am

2:47 AM











MIDDL E TO WN, NJ 415 Atlantic Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 • 732-892-1260 • www.stpschool.org



Join us for a Family Mass Sunday at noon.

Advanced Math Program | Second Language for All | AdvancED Accredited New Science & Art Facility | ipads for Kindergarten-5th /Microsoft Surface Pros for Grades 6-8 New Science Lab | Media & Technology Centers | SMARTBoard Technology in Each Classroom Full Day Kindergarten & Aftercare Program | Busing from Brick and Point Pleasant Academic Excellence in a Private School Setting After School Clubs and Varsity/JV Sports


enroll now!


We teach Respect, ReveRence & Responsibility in a challenging academic setting




Catholic Schools Week Roundup The following schools have announced events to which the public is invited during Catholic Schools Week Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. 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, 9 to 11 a.m.; Jan. 31, open house, 6 to 7 p.m.  The school is located at 23 West Prospect St. For information, call 856-235-7885. OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP, Maple Shade • March 22, April 19 and May 17, open house, 9 to 11 a.m. The school is located at 236 East Main St. For information, call 856779-7526. SACRED HEART, Mount Holly • Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, open house, 9 to 11 a.m. The school is located at 250 High St. For information, call 609-267-1728.       ST. PAUL, Burlington • Jan. 30, open house, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Feb. 1, open house, 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. The school is located at 250 James St. For information, call 609386-1645.          POPE JOHN PAUL II, Willingboro • April 26 and May 17, open house, 6:30 to 8 p.m.  The school is located at 11 South Sunset Rd. For information, call 609-877-2144.     

MERCER COUNTY ST. ANN, Lawrenceville • Jan. 29, Mass, 9 a.m.; Jan. 31, open house for new families with tours, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Faith Development Center; April 25, open house, 9 a.m. The school is located at 34 Rossa Ave. For information, call 609-882-8077. ST. RAPHAEL, Hamilton • Feb. 15; April 12, open house, 5 to 7 p.m.  The school is located at 151 Gropp Ave. For information, call 609585-7733.         TRENTON CATHOLIC (Lower School), Hamilton • Jan. 29, open house, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; Jan. 30, Opening Mass, 9 a.m., gym; April 11, open house, 6 to 8 p.m. The school is located at 175 Leonard Ave. For information, call 609-586-5888.           ST. PAUL, Princeton • Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, May 17 and June 7, tours, 9 a.m.  The school is located at 218 Nassau St. For information, call 609-921-7587.


We are…

Park • Jan. 31, open house, 10 to 11:30 a.m. The school is located at First Ave. & Pine St. For information, call 732-775-8989.       ST. BENEDICT, Holmdel • Feb. 3, open house, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school is located at 165 Bethany Rd. For information, call 732264-5578.       ST. CATHARINE, Spring Lake • Jan. 31, open house, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m. The school is located at 301 Second Ave. For information, call 732-449-4424.     ST. LEO, Lincroft • The school is located at 550 Newman Springs Rd. Call for an appointment, 732-741-3133. ST. JAMES GRAMMAR, Red Bank • Jan. 30, Feb. 22, March 22 and April 24, open house, 9 to 11 a.m. The school is located at 30 Peters Pl. For information, call 732-741-3363. ST. ROSE GRAMMAR, Belmar • Feb. 1, open house, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 4, open house, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The school is located at 605 Sixth Ave. For information, call 732681-5555.       ST. ROSE OF LIMA, Freehold • Jan. 31,

open house, 8 to 11 a.m.; Feb. 11, open house, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 51 Lincoln Pl. For information, call 732462-2646.          

OCEAN COUNTY ALL SAINTS REGIONAL CATHOLIC, Manahawkin • Jan. 30, open house, 9:30 to11 a.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. The school is located at 400 Doc Cramer Blvd. For information, call 609-597-3800. ST. ALOYSIUS, Jackson • Feb. 25, open house, 9 a.m. to noon. The school is located at 925 Bennetts Mills Rd. For information, call 732-370-1515.          ST. JOSEPH, Toms River • The school is located at 711 Hooper Ave. For a private tour, call 732-349-2355. ST. PETER, Point Pleasant Beach • Jan. 29, open house, 9 to 11 a.m. The school is located at 415 Atlantic Ave. For information, call 732892-1260.  For updates to the Catholic Schools Week Round-up visit www.trentonmonitor.com.

Academic Excellence. Spiritual Growth.

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from 9am - 10am on the following Thursdays

February 15 • March 22 • April 19 • May 17 • June 7 Spring Open House on March 24th. or call to schedule a personal tour!

218 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ • 609.921.7587 • spsprinceton.org

JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com






Holy Cross family prepares to begin new chapter Story by Georgiana Francisco Correspondent


n the five-plus weeks since the announcement was made that Holy Cross Academy in Delran will close as a diocesan school in June, plans to convert the institution to a private entity moved forward in earnest and are already showing results. Guided by a three-year financial plan, and the outline of a leadership model that will promote ongoing development, the group of interested alumni who stepped forward to save the school have high hopes for the success of Holy Cross as an independent Catholic high school. After putting some impressive early numbers on the board, they appear to be headed in that direction. According to 1968 Holy Cross graduate Dennis Murawski, president of the founding board, they raised more than $400,000 and continue to solicit other potential donors. The leadership group is also compiling an extensive list

Courtesy photo

of alumni to whom they will reach out through an annual campaign, followed by a capital campaign in the near future. “So we’re pretty confident that we will have the dollars needed to support the school in the coming year, although our goal is to have money to support the school for three years into the future. We have a five-year financial outlook,” said Murawski.

“Honoring Our Traditions, Pursuing Our Future”

OPEN HOUSE Febr uar y 25, 2018 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. Optional Mass

In building the model for what the group now calls Holy Cross 2.0, they have “started two new non-profit corporations: one to operate the school and a second to collect money in support of the school. The Lancer Fund is where we will hold financial reserves, endowments and alumni money that we raise from various alumni events and will, in one form or another, be placed to help support the operations of Holy Cross.” The board, composed of five Holy Cross alums from four different decades (1968 to 1990), some with students in the school, others who are graduates or have children who graduated, includes Murawski, Steve Paolini, Rich Suter, Kathleen Jillions and Peter Sciortino. It also has created a transition team of 15. Expected to open in its new configuration on July 1, the current staff will need to re-apply for a position under the Holy Cross 2.0 structure. “Because this is a totally new corpora-

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tion,” Murawski said, “we must begin with an application process for current staff. But we will also be posting on other jobsites, and there will be an interviewing process by which people will be hired.” Murawski recently told a meeting of parents that the board hopes to build Holy Cross into a premier institute of secondary education. He explained that they will not change the curriculum for the 2018/19 year, but will pursue consultation with “an academic team that would include university presidents, Catholic school principals, private prep school headmasters and school superintendents.” The operational side of the school will be overseen by an executive board that will include captains of industry, the arts, and education, who will bring their best business practices to the table, Murawski noted. The board is also reaching out to the principals of all area Catholic feeder schools to see what Holy Cross can do to help them be more successful going forward. Murawski, who served on the board of directors for what is now referred to as Holy Cross 1.0 for 17 months after his retirement in 2012 as vice president from a South Jersey engineering firm, says Holy Cross played an integral part of his life, so he wanted to give something back. Knowing the school was struggling, he joined forces with Tim Durkin, director of community and alumni relations, and baseball coach Steve Paolini in a plan to keep the school alive. The group quickly expanded to the current board of five. “We are one Catholic family when it comes to education, and we all need to help each other for all of us to survive,” Murawski said. “And everyone we talk to agrees. So we’re trying to get that message out because it’s something the world sorely needs today.” Registration is set to begin in February, but already 100 applications for the freshman class have been received thus far, which, he described as “an increase over last year’s numbers.” Murawski is passionate about the need to secure the future of Catholic schools: “We are now the stewards of Catholic education and it’s time for people to support it, because if it goes away, it’s never coming back. That’s a message we talk about when we’re looking for financing. At least for my generation, Catholic education gave us the best of everything. Now it’s our turn to give back and support those institutions that gave us so much and help them stay alive for our kids and our grandkids.” Anyone who wishes to help with funding can send checks made out to The Lancer Fund, c/o The Holy Cross Alumni Association, P.O. Box 2304, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077. For more information, visit www.newholycross.org.


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com

St. Veronica School Strong in Faith, Proven in Academic Excellence K - 8 with Full Day Kindergarten 3 and 4-year old Pre-K Programs

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* Tours also available at your convenience Academic Excellence: Along with teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, we also teach Reverence, Respect and Responsibility. Our students consistently receive superior results in academic competitions and standardized tests. Reinforces Values Taught At Home: Children today face tough moral decisions early in life. We support the same moral values you teach your children at home. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your child is learning in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. Lifelong Friendships: Our students pray together, learn together, laugh together and carry a special bond for each other which lasts a lifetime.


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Prayer Buddies

Through Prayer Partners program, students guide their peers in ways of faith Story by Dorothy K. LaMantia Correspondent


YOUNG MENTORS • Children in St. Dominic School, Brick, take part in Prayer Partners, a program in which fifth-graders mentor secondgraders. Courtesy photo

FUN WITH FRIENDS • Pre-K and eighth-grade students pair up as Prayer Partners to make elf ornaments in Pope John Paul II Regional School, Willingboro. Photo courtesy of Debbie Letton

ach month, Marybeth Fondonella, fifth-grade teacher at St. Dominic School, Brick, ushers her 27 students to the second-grade classroom of Kathleen Gaspich, where the two classes engage in a 20-minute activity including prayer, a craft and plenty of camaraderie. The two classes are part of a program known as Prayer Partners, in which a “Having fifth-grader serves as a mentor to a younger a prayer child. For that academic year, the fifth-grader partner has will be a companion to a younger buddy, helphelped me ing him or her learn prayers, serving as a become model for appropriate behavior at Mass and more helping prepare for sacramental milestones spiritual.” – receiving first Penance and Holy Eucharist. The program has been adopted in parishes around the country in recent years, with several schools in the Diocese participating, including Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, Pope John Paul II Regional, Willingboro, and St. Dominic. “There is such excitement,” Fondonella said.  “The children look forward to the time that they spend with their buddies. Each morning we pray for our prayer partners.” 

Prayer at the heart of Villa Victoria Academy By Dorothy K. LaMantia, Correspondent t Villa Victoria Academy, every event is centered in prayer, from concerts to the Feast Day of St. Lucy Filippini,  founder of the Order of the Religious Teachers Filippini who staff the academy. “Every day begins and ends with all-school prayer,” said Colleen White, director of admissions in the grade six-through-12 school for girls in Ewing. “Each class begins with prayer, 10 times a day. It reminds them of their faith and what we are all about. In the words of our principal, Filippini Sister Lesley Draper, ‘God is the reason we exist. Everything we do points our girls to Divine Providence.’” Prayer and Catholic culture filter into the day to day. “Often in the hallways, I overhear conversations between students ending with, ‘OK, don’t worry. I’ll pray for you.’ It is so informal and organic,” White said.  


Students are invited to spend their lunch or study hall periods for private adoration in the chapel, a practice providing students with a modicum of peace. Sophomore Alyssa Romano views it as “one of the most important prayer experiences available, being with Jesus present in the Eucharist. Prayer allows me to take a step back and remember God is in control.” For junior Meghan Di Mercurio, prayer helps attain balance in the face of academic demands faced by high school students. “Our first reaction to a stressful situation or challenge is to pray first. We stop and meditate on how we can approach situations in a Christian manner. A steady prayer life allows me to be grounded, even at the height of stress.” “Prayer life at Villa has left a mark on my life,” said senior Mary Zsolway, “because it unites us as a school community. [Villa is] an environment that strengthens faith in Christ and unites my Villa family.”

CENTERED ON CHRIST Added Gaspich, “The fifth-grader models proper behavior and posture for Mass for the younger ones. As my class gets ready for Reconciliation, the fifth-graders will give them advice on what to expect when they confess and keep them comfortable through the service.” The younger students appreciate the wisdom of their older counterparts, too – just ask second-graders Olivia Dolan and Olivia D’Erasmo. “We like having an older friend set an example for us. We learn what to do by watching them in church,” they said. Fifth-graders such as Emma Ward acknowledge the benefits of shouldering responsibility. “Having a prayer partner has helped me become more spiritual. I am happy to know I am helping someone learn about their faith,” she said. The program is flexible and can be tailored to the demands of a school community’s schedule and student needs. Yet the spirit remains the same, organizers said. In Our Lady of Good Counsel School, second-graders receive support from their buddies in the form of greeting cards in commemoration of their first Holy Communion, while first-graders are guided in reciting a decade of the Rosary.    In addition to prayer, the program prepares the way for cooperative experiences among the groups for big yearly events. Grades six, seven and eight are assigned to the youngest grades – kindergarten and two pre-school classes – for the Halloween parade, during which they hold the hands of the younger ones. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when some Prayer Partners worked on service projects together, the youngest children wrote poems on the subject of dreams and making the world a better place with their buddies’ assistance.    “The older students remember being little with the bigger kids looking after them,” principal Carla Chiarelli said. “Now it’s their turn to pay it forward and serve as role models.” Eighth-grader Joseph Manall understands the importance of a role model.  “I remember being small and having my prayer partner guide me through the Rosary. He taught me a lot not only about the layout of it, but how to pray it with intention and purpose.  A prayer partner allows you to share parts of your life with someone that you otherwise may not talk about. It helps me stop and think about how I am doing.” The program has the support of Father Damian McElroy, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, who desired a more vibrant religion program in the parish school.   “Prayer Partners remind us that we are See Buddies • S28


JANUARY 25, 2018 • TrentonMonitor.com

Revitalization of schools weighed by USCCB



Continued from • S4

Faith Faith

Photo by Pittelli Photography

schools is spotty and at times lax. undaunted in going to donors, people body in sports – but also to develop the Numerous charter schools nationwide whose lives have been positively afspiritual life,” the bishop told CNS. fected by Catholic schools and have have been found to be in disrepair, offer “Unfortunately, we live in a very been blessed with economic security ... inadequate instructional resources or a secular society. We are blessed that and ask them to give back to Catholic narrow curriculum, and lack transparwe’re not as secular as many of the ency and public accountability. And at hopes that regional or statewide gatherschools,” he said. countries in Europe. But we are a very ings of bishops will undertake the quessome schools, student performance has “(We have) to get them involved, secular society, and fewer and fewer tion of transforming Catholic schools. been lower than at public schools in the to not be afraid to talk to them and say people see the value of that spiritual He also said another national gathering same community. we need your help in maintaining these development. I think that becomes the to discuss progress would be beneficial. Bishop Murry said that even the schools,” Bishop Murry added. task of evangelization. Just programs to “It was an excellent meeting,” he most successful charter schools are not The Church also is contending with get people into Church are not enough. a substitute for Catholic schools, “where said of two-day gathering. “The converthe growth of charter schools. While We have to change hearts. sation was very, very good, very frank, the whole atmosphere is an atmosphere publicly funded, charters schools are “It’s not simply a matter of an and, I think, very helpful in terms of of living faith.” privately run. They offer parents an alintellectual decision. It’s a realization ternative to traditional public education. mapping out a plan to go forward into The work ahead is expected to take that I want the very best for my son or However, oversight of charter the future in revitalizing our schools.” time to unfold, Bishop Murry said. He my daughter. And part of the best is that that child is eventually in heaven,” he said. Bishop Murry, 69, speaks from experience. His parents, practicing Methodists at the time, took the unusual step of enrolling him in St. Bartholomew School in Camden, New Jersey, midway through his third-grade school year. He recalled that he “didn’t do well in public school” and that the atmosphere at St. Bartholomew turned his The Diocese of Trenton’s award-winning newspaper life around. He credited Sister Mary Pauline, A valuable resource to parents – a member of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the order founded by St.the first catechists of their children! Katharine Drexel of nearby PhiladelThe Diocese of Trenton’s award-winning newspaper phia, for her patience and caring attiIn printThe or digital Dioceseeditions, of Trenton’s award-winning newspaper tude throughout third and fourth grade. A valuable to parents – subscribers getresource full access to: “It was Catholic school that helped valuable resource to parents – me to settle down and to focus,” Bishop theAfirst catechists of their children! Murry said. the first catechists ofM.their children!  Regular messages from Bishop David O’Connell, C.M., print or digital editions, As for rising tuition, Bishop MurryPopeIn Francis and other Church leaders In print orget digital editions, suggested two approaches. The first subscribers full access to: Our doctrine child’s faith life is built and nurtured by their parents. involves helping parents realize that27Inspiring subscribers get full access to: andholds engaging articles on Catholic life in the that the family household is the DOMESTIC CHURCH states and the District of Columbia have andmessages that PARENTS the first David catechists their children. Diocese, the country andfrom theareBishop world  Regular M. ofO’Connell, C.M., legislation providing financial assis Regular messages from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Pope Francis and other Church leaders Parents can turn to The Monitor to refresh their own faith education, stay tance to parents who choose privateorImportant Pope Francis and otherinChurch leaders Catholic on issues Church initiatives, up toinformation date with news and the Church and find resources to help faith-based schools. child’s faith life is built and nurtured by their parents. Our doctrine them teach their children and apply what is learned to real life.  Inspiring and engaging articles on Catholic life in Having theOur doctrine child’s faith life is built and nurtured by their parents. advocacy issues and efforts holds that the family household the DOMESTIC Inspiring engaging articles onisvisible Catholic life in CHURCH the The second requires school leadTheMonitor in theand family is afamily consistent, accessible way holdshome that the household is the and DOMESTIC CHURCH and that PARENTS areworld the first catechists of their children. Diocese, the country and the and that PARENTS areworld the first catechists of their children. Diocese, country andofthe for your family tothe cultivate a sense Catholic identity. ers and clergy “to be courageous and  Community news from ourto parishes and schools The Monitor is, in my opinion, a very fine diocesan Parents can turn The Monitor to refresh their own faith education, stay Photo by Pittelli Photography

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Find it all in the pages of The Monitor




CNS ile photo by Karen Callaway, Northwest Indiana Catholic

CNS ile photo by Karen Callaway, Northwest Indiana Catholic


CNS ile photo by Karen Callaway, Northwest Indiana Catholic

Find it all in the pages of The Monitor

Parents can turn to TheChurch Monitor toinitiatives, refresh their own faith education, stay  Important on Catholic up toinformation date with newsnews and issues in the Church and find resources  Important on Church initiatives, Catholic Every issue brings you: publication that is objective, informative and up toinformation date with and issues in the Church and find resourcesto to help help them teachteach their children andand apply what is learned totoreal them children apply what is learned reallife. life. Having Having advocacy issues andtheir efforts  Tools for families like Catholic movie reviews, educative, and I strongly encourage parishes, schools advocacy issues and efforts The Monitor in the home is aisconsistent, way The Monitor infamily the family home a consistent, visibleand andaccessible accessible wayparenting on Scripture, Christian life, visible family and Catholic • Reflections and members of the Diocese to subscribe to it in print insightful columns and helpful articles on for your family to cultivate a sense of Catholic identity. for your family to cultivate a sense of Catholic identity. Kidz Corner – from a child-based faith activity  Community news ourour parishes and • Community news from parishes andschools schools TheMonitor Monitor opinion, a very diocesan The is,is, in in mymy opinion, a very finefine diocesan or electronic form. $ parenting Bishop David M. Every issue brings you: more! that • Stories andissue resources for you: youth and young adults... ...And much publication is is objective, informative and and Every brings publication that objective, informative Continued from • S5  Tools for families Catholic movie reviews,  Tools for families likelike Catholic movie reviews, educative, encourage parishes, schools O’Connell, C.M. educative,and andI strongly I strongly encourage parishes, schools iaall parenting on Scripture, Christianlife, life,family familyp and Catholic c • Reflections i on Scripture, Christian and Catholic parenting e c • Reflections  Dedicated content for youth and e S and members of the Diocese to subscribe to it print p insightful columns and helpful articles on S and members of the Diocese to subscribe to inDiocese print one thing – the need for a strong posiinsightful columns and helpful articles faith on activity State in of it the • Kidz Corner – a child-based • Kidz Corner – a child-based faith activity $ 5 Ye r or message, Feb. 6, 2014 adults orelectronic electronicform. form. parenting 15for Y eaaFamilies! $1 tive collaboration among pastors and young The parenting Bishop David M. M. • Stories resources youth andyoung young adults... Monitor... a MUST-READ Bishop David And much muchmore! more! • Stories andand resources forfor youth and adults... ion ......And

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principals as school leaders. O’Connell, C.M.C.M. Edduuccaattion O’Connell, E  Dedicated content for youth and e t State of the Diocese  Dedicated content for youth and a However, said Dr. Killeen, the bot-Complete & mail R Complete and mail the form below, call 609-403-7131, or visit TrentonMonitor.com and click on ABOUT US>SUBSCRIBE the form below, call 609-403-7131, or subscribe online at TrentonMonitor.com> ABOUT US>SUBSCRIBE e t State of the Diocese message, Feb. 6, 2014 Ra for Families! young adults message, Feb. 6, S2014 pecial tom line when it comes to the sustainyoung adults The Monitor... a MUST-READ Begin a family subscription to The Monitor, The Monitor... a MUST-READ for Families! $15 Year ___ YES! I would like to begin my subscription to The Monitor the special Education Rate. ___Yes! 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Killeen: We all have a stake in Catholic schools



RBC students ‘Make Wishes Come True’ for seriously ill children By Christina Leslie Correspondent



hanks to the desire to put their faith into action, a student club in Red Bank Catholic High School is helping the dreams of seriously ill children in Monmouth and Ocean counties come true. The secondary school’s “Making Wishes Come True” club, which raises funds to grant the desires was created in 2010 when young Kasey Kennedy, a student in St. James School, Red Bank, was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and granted a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation. When doctors learned the child’s illness was not as grave as they had thought, Kasey chose to “give back” her wish to aid someone less fortunate. Kasey’s mother, Ashleigh Kennedy, a science teacher in RBC, shared with her students how the Make a Wish Foundation helped the family through the experience. Inspired by the teacher’s example, her students approached her to start the “Making Wishes Come True” club at the high school and serve as club moderator. Over its first five years of existence, RBC students worked with the New Jersey chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation to grant eight wishes for children, including family trips to Disney World, cruises, a trip to Greece and a child’s wish to be an astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kennedy noted that the reach of the club extends beyond the RBC student members into alumni and the community. “Students have used the opportunities of Sweet 16 and graduation parties to continue the mission and have guests donate to the cause rather than receive gifts,” the teacher said. In 2016, club members chose to assist a charity even closer to home: Red Bank-based non-profit Jason’s Dream for Kids, Inc., which grants wishes to children in Monmouth and Ocean counties. As its major fundraiser, the club conducts an annual benefit carnival held on the grounds of St. James Church. Rides, carnival games, food vendors, music and a silent auction with prizes donated by area businesses and RBC families serve as a good time that also does good. “Since 2016, we have raised over $30,000,

Getting Slimed for School Bob Kelly, traffic reporter for the “Good Day” program on Fox 29 News Channel, Phila., made a televised visit Dec. 19 to Pope John Paul II Regional School, Willingboro, shining a spotlight on the school’s multiple class-generated fundraisers that involved creativity – and slime. “When these students got word that their school was going to close, they said ‘no, way!’” Kelly announced on his program segment “Kelly’s Classroom.” “Every grade came up with an idea to help raise money to keep the school open.” Genesis, a fifth grader who has attended PJPIIRS since preschool, started GEM Slime – a group made up of Genesis and two close friends who sell individual containers of homemade slime. “My school has given me so much, and I wanted to help raise the necessary funds,” Genesis said. Acquiescing to the chants of the entire student body, Kelly good-naturedly agreed to get “slimed,” while the school cheered. Other class fundraisers included selling candy, pencils, hoagies and homemade Christmas ornaments, as well as movie basket raffles, purchasing dress down days, a roller skating outing and a family Star Wars Day. Facebook video screenshots

GRANTING WISHES • Children enjoy an amusement ride during the 2016 Red Bank Catholic carnival. Sponsored by the school’s Making Wishes Come True club, the carnival benefits area children battling serious illnesses. Photo courtesy of Red Bank Catholic High School

primarily through the success of our carnival,” said Kennedy. “This year we also collected new toys for patients who would be spending their holidays on the pediatric floor of local hospitals and provided Christmas for a family who lost a child a week before due to a lifelong illness.” RBC “Making Wishes Come True” club members also see value in outreach to those less fortunate and the outward expression of Catholic Social Teaching. “Being in this club has opened my eyes to the amount of children locally who are so brave in their fight against illness. The fact that they do it with a smile has inspired me to wake each morning counting my blessings,” noted Gianna Piroso. “I have participated in this event since I was in middle school and it has shown me that I can be a part of something much larger than myself,” declared freshman Danellia Gangemi. “One of the reasons I made the decision to come to Red Bank Catholic was so that I could become a member in the club and continue to volunteer at the carnival.” RBC junior Mackenzie Boyle said, “It has made me realize how important it is for me to give back to children who really do need a smile, and realize how fortunate I am every day. Seeing our hard work all come together each year the day of the carnival

really matters, and truly matters to each one of these families.” “The [club] impacted me because it made me feel like I was a part of a bigger cause, and helping kids and their families that I probably will never know but will have done something to help make their dreams come true,” said senior Jordan Foy. “Working the carnival was one of the best experiences because I met so many amazing people, and I knew that everything that we were doing that day was going to go towards families and kids to make their days brighter.” This year’s Red Bank Catholic High School benefit carnival is slated for June 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of St. James Church, 112 Broad Street, Red Bank. For further information, or to make a donation, contact club moderator Ashleigh Kennedy at 732-6157277 or Ashleighkennedy198@gmail.com.

Buddies help in prayer Continued from • S26

part of the Body of Christ, the Church, men and women, boys and girls, who travel this journey together,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers, but we sustain one another in prayer, support and companionship.” In Pope John Paul II Regional School, all grades are paired with prayer partners, but eighth-graders spend their last year in the school mentoring younger students who are just beginning their first. Pre-K teacher Debbie Letton observed, “This relationship reminds the older students how far they have come, how much they have grown and how they are role models for the younger ones.  As role models, their behavior serves as an example for the younger students to follow. The eighth-grader feels a sense of responsibility for their actions in school, and it helps the pre-K child build a sense of confidence and comfort in this new environment.  This relationship helps us feel more connected and a larger sense of unity.”   Eighth-grader Michael Rodriguez agreed. “Having prayer partners … allows older and younger students to connect and for older students get to demonstrate their leadership skills.” Fellow classmate Zaraya Robinson said one lesson learned was that the smaller children looked up to their older counterparts. “Whenever we do something, the little kids think it must be the right thing to do.  That is why it is important for us to get good grades, have good manners and do the right thing, so when our prayer partners see us, they want to do the same thing.”      

Profile for Diocese of Trenton

Trenton Monitor Catholic Schools Week 2018 Issue  

The Monitor's salute to Catholic Schools. January 25, 2018

Trenton Monitor Catholic Schools Week 2018 Issue  

The Monitor's salute to Catholic Schools. January 25, 2018