Working with our Sister Schools has been an unexpected joy of my priestly service at Our Lady of Grace. I had no idea I’d be involved in a school half the world away, let alone one where I had already served for four years as my teaching parish just a few miles away (Holy Cross and Saint John Paul II School)! Bringing education, dignity and joy to the young people in these two places has stretched my capabilities. It has required dedication, creativity and perseverance on a new scale. My two visits to Africa have conﬁrmed in me that Our Lady of Grace is absolutely having a huge impact and is on the correct course. Seeing the bright eyes and hearing the inspiring stories of scholars at St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School (JPII School) reminds of why Catholic education is so unique and important.
There are so many opportunities for everyone in our community to participate in our Sister School ministry. I would encourage you to pray through the next pages, be inspired by the accomplishments and impact, and discern how God is calling you to play your part. JPII School always welcomes tutors and people to come and read with the students. OLG Senior High School has need for people to help sponsor their tuition scholarships at any level.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulﬁll the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:2
In Christ through Mary,
Father Neil Bakker, Parochial Vicar
OUR LADY OF GRACE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
RISE & SHINE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
HOURS IN CLASS AND STUDYING PER WEEK
ALL-SCHOOL MASSES EVERY WEEK
DAYS A WEEK THE ROSARY IS
SPIRITUAL RETREATS EVERY YEAR
STUDENTS WILL ENTER THE CHURCH THIS EASTER
ST. JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC PREPATORY ACADEMY
AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME
RAISED BY OLG STUDENTS FOR A NEW PLAYGROUND AT JPII
Santa's Secret Shop
Santa’s Secret Shop is a long-standing tradition at OLG School - and now open to parishioners as well! The store “Helps Children to Help Other Children” by allowing OLG students the opportunity to do their secret Christmas shopping while the proceeds beneﬁt special needs at JPII. This year our OLG students proudly presented a $21,000 check to JPII students to help build a playground! Thanks to a grant and this generous gift from OLG students, the playground will be built in May 2018.
Please contact Alison James at email@example.com to see how you can be involved. We are still in need of funding support and physical labor on this project.
Christmas Shopping at JPII
After his experience in the “Saint Store,” one JPII student asked, “Will we have a special Christmas store so we can buy presents for our family?” The answer could only be “YES!”. A quick cast of the net and OLG parents were ready to step in and make Christmas magic happen for our JPII students - and for our OLG volunteers.
As we were setting up the shopping experience, I was stopped in the hall by Johnny, a JPII 5th grader. He asked me where his teacher and class were. Knowing that the upper grades had gone on a ﬁeld trip to see a Christmas play - and noticing that Johnny was wearing a distinctive tie - I knew he’d missed the bus. Principal Edgar Alfonso conﬁrmed this and Johnny’s face fell. I immediately told him that it was a miracle as we needed his help - and would he be willing to help us. Johnny stepped in and stole all of our hearts. He eagerly arranged stuﬀed animals, unpacked boxes, helped younger students shop and wrap gifts. Johnny even refused a well-earned lunch break. The Christmas spirit was alive and well.
Thank you to volunteers: Faerol Wiedman, Sarah Schliesman, Jeﬀ Larson, Susan Michel, Kristina Hook, Nikki Dobbs, Christina Mosakowski, Jane Reichert, Danette Halloran, Diane Mulligan and Caroline Mulligan
OLG Christmas Giving Trees
More than thirty OLG parishioners celebrated the spirit of giving by choosing ornaments to sponsor costs for winter coats, ﬁeld trips, supplemental lunch aid and before-school program costs for our JPII students.
One participant told me that last year her husband plucked an ornament oﬀ the tree and noticed it was to help cover the cost of a tuition scholarship. Their college daughter said, “Dad, let’s do it. I’ll help to cover the donation as well.” This Christmas Spirit of love and generosity is now a family tradition, and this Christmas season the family gifted not one but two tuitions scholarships for JPII students.