Our Lady of Grace Catholic School Named 2019 National Blue Ribbon Award Recipient!

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced Our Lady of Grace Catholic School as one of 362 schools to be recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored and recognized great American public and private elementary, middle, and high schools since 1982. Every year, Catholic elementary and secondary schools are among the hundreds of public and private schools identified by the U. S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools”… “Each state's commissioner of education nominates public schools for the award and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates the private schools. Representatives from each school are invited to an awards ceremony in November in Washington, D.C. This award is a great tribute to the dedication of faculties who clearly value academic excellence, as well as to the commitment of students who strive to succeed to the best of their ability. Each of these schools exemplifies the best of Catholic education, and all of us at the National Catholic Educational Association are extremely proud of the efforts of these school communities that led to this tremendous accomplishment.”- NCEA (National Catholic Education Association), National Blue Ribbon Schools 2018

Our Lady of Grace Catholic School is blessed to have received this distinction twice before, in 2001 and 2009, making this our 3rd Blue Ribbon Award. OLG is the only K-8 School in the state of Minnesota to receive three Blue Ribbon Awards!

Through the National Blue Ribbon Award process we were given the opportunity to create a written record of our school’s legacy and history. This record chronicles 30 years of academic excellence in our Catholic School rooted in faith and tells the story of a mission, predicated 70 years ago in 1949 with our founders, the Sisters of Mercy, to provide outstanding Catholic education, serve the poor and reach out to the community. What we have achieved today would not have been accomplished without the dedication of all the many wonderful religious sisters, principals, priests, teachers, staff, students, parents, volunteers and parishioners who came before us.

 

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About Our Lady of Grace Catholic School

Our Lady of Grace (OLG) is a private, co-educational, Catholic School welcoming students from kindergarten through eighth grade. A three-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Our Lady of Grace is an exemplary educational experience - nurturing and expanding the hearts, minds, and souls of students since opening its doors in 1949. Families are drawn to OLG and its community of learning, inclusion and faith, grounded in a motto of 'Leading with Yes' - saying yes to personal excellence, reaching beyond ourselves, and the call to share God's love.

Students thrive under a faculty committed to continuous improvement through ongoing professional development. The OLG staff is dedicated to their craft, collaborating across grade levels and subject areas to provide a rigorous curriculum, promoting growth with attention to the individual.

In 2006, OLG began its One-to-One Laptop Learning Program with a focus on digital literacy, creative collaboration, and inventive thinking. In 2009 and 2010, OLG was selected as an Apple Exemplary Program for illustrating best practices of a 21st century learning environment. Today, technology is integrated into every classroom with a one-to-one technology initiative and a STEM curriculum bridging the entire student population.

OLG stands on the shoulders of generations of families, parishioners, students, faculty, and staff who have made it the extraordinary Catholic School that it is today. At OLG, students grow in faith, virtue and character. Graduates go on to excel in high school, college, and beyond - with a strong foundation of integrity fostered and realized while at OLG.

OLG School Kindergarten Open House

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Monday, November 18
8:45 - 10:00 AM (parents and children)
7:00 - 8:00 PM (parents only)

Join school staff and teachers for an informational session on Our Lady of Grace Catholic School. During the morning session children will have the opportunity to visit a kindergarten classroom, meet current kindergarten students and do an activity. Parents will also have the opportunity to schedule a school tour to see the things you heard about in action!

2020-2021 Applications Accepted
Monday, November 18 - Friday, December 13

Acceptance/Waitlist letters sent late December.


Our Lady of Grace Catholic School is a Catholic community of parents, educators and students whose greatest commitment is to spiritual and academic growth.

National Blue Ribbon Award School of Excellence Winner
2001, 2009, 2019

Schedule a Tour
Amy Selby, amyselby@olgschool.net

Kindergarten Open Houses
Monday, November 18, 8:45 AM or 7:00 PM

Get Connected
952-929-5463
www.facebook.com/OLGSaints

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Pen Pals

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Have time to correspond with one of our 5th graders? Our Pen Pal program connects a senior with a 5th grader. It’s a small way to support our OLG students and get connected with the next generation of disciples! Let us know if you’d like to be paired with a 5th grader by calling the Parish Office and leaving your name. We will try to make it happen!

Meet Our New Teachers and Staff

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Congratulations and welcome to our new teachers and staff!

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Anthony Barrett

Assistant Principal

Mr. Anthony Barrett began his work in Catholic schools in Denver with the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education program. He taught middle school English there for three years before moving to Faribault to teach at Bethlehem Academy. During this time, he also coached speech, basketball, and several other sports. Mr. Barrett earned his Master of Education through Notre Dame in 2015 and is currently working toward a Master of Educational Leadership.

Mr. Barrett was drawn to Our Lady of Grace because of the community's love of faith and commitment to student learning. He is particularly excited about OLG's student-centered approach to education. He looks forward to supporting students in their goals to become life-long learners and to become more Christ-like toward one another. Mr. Barrett possesses a strong love for learning. When he is not working to help educate others, he enjoys teaching himself to paint and to play piano. He also appreciates the outdoors, and he has been to every state park in Minnesota. He is grateful for this opportunity to move back home to the Twin Cities, and he is filled with joy as he awaits the upcoming school year.


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Katherine Hird

5th Grade Teacher

Ms. Katherine Hird grew up in Bloomington and recently graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. She is thrilled to be teaching 5th grade at OLG next year and joining such a welcoming, faith-filled community. Growing up in a Catholic school (Nativity of Mary), Katherine experienced first-hand the transformative effects of Catholic Education. She hopes to be a small piece of her students’ unique journeys through a similar experience.

Ms. Hird’s desire to pursue a career in education began when she was in middle school; while she was in college, she developed a love for Psychology and learning about human behavior and development. Through various roles, such as leader of a Parks and Recreation summer program, tutor, Educational Assistant, Accessibility Assistant, and Adaptive Softball Coach, Ms. Hird gained experience that furthered passions for Education and Psychology and prepared her for a classroom of her own.

In her free time, she loves to read, play music, and spend time with her parents, sister, and two brothers. Ms. Hird will also serve as the Assistant Varsity Women’s Soccer coach at Holy Family High School this fall.


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Kory LaCroix

Associate for Mission

Kory has committed his life to inspiring and equipping people to live for Jesus. One of his greatest joys is seeing hearts transformed by the abiding love and mercy of God. At Our Lady of Grace, Kory will serve and collaborate with our staff and parishioners to make Jesus Christ known and loved, especially engaging in our young adult, youth and men’s ministries. 

Kory comes to Our Lady of Grace after nine years of serving the youth and families of Holy Name of Jesus in Medina. He began his theological studies at St. John’s University, finishing his undergrad in 2010 and is currently working on his Masters in Theology through the Augustine Institute. Kory and his wife, Alicia, grew up a mile apart in Buffalo, MN and are proud parents of four children. You may hear Kory’s laughter before you see him.  


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Claire Mealey

6th Grade Writing and Religion

Ms. Claire Mealey holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a Minor in Theology from Benedictine College. She served this past year in the Seton Teaching Fellow program in the Bronx, NY, teaching 5th grade catechism and 5th-6th reading intervention at Brilla College Prep Middle School. She is thrilled to be returning home to the Twin Cities and to her parish at Our Lady of Grace. She enjoys long distance running, baking, and drinking coffee with friends. Ms. Mealey attended Our Lady of Grace as a student, and is looking forward to being back as a staff member. When she was a second grade student at OLG, Ms. Mealey made up her mind that she wanted to be a Catholic School teacher some day! She is most excited to share in the Catholic Faith with her 6th graders and build up a strong community of leaders who grow together.


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Joe Mortl

7th and 8th Grade Religion

Mr. Joe Mortl has served at OLG as the 6th grade writing, grammar and social studies teacher since 2004. Mr. Mortl joined the group of OLG Pilgrims to the to the Holy Land in March of 2017 and it completely changed his life. A burning desire was left in his heart that he could not ignore and he began the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute at the University of St. Thomas in the fall of 2018.  His wish is to share and inspire our 7th and 8th graders to welcome the invitation from God who seeks us out daily.  Mr. Mortl received a 1-6 Education degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN in 1998. He also received his Master's degree in Education from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 2003.  He has coached basketball teams and is involved in the school's run club. He also serves on the Staff Development Team, Standards-Based Grading Team, and Education Committee to work on curriculum, assessment, and staff initiatives. In his free time, Mr. Mortl enjoys sports, exercising, writing, music, and spending quality time with his family. 


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Caroline Redelmeier

Marketing Communications Specialist

Caroline Redelmeier grew up in Houston, Texas and got her Master's in Architecture at the University of Miami in Florida in 2014. She moved to the twin cities while she was serving with Saint Paul's Outreach as their Human Resources Assistant for two years before joining the team here at Our Lady of Grace as Parish Secretary in 2016.

While in her role as Parish Secretary, Caroline developed a passion for using Marketing and Communications to help invite people into deeper relationship with the Lord. Over the past three years she has helped transition the parish website to a new digital platform, managed the parish weekly email newsletter, developed graphic media, assisted with photography, redesigned and managed the Parish Bulletin, as well as assisted with processing event space reservations. In her new role Caroline is most looking forward to working with both the school and parish to make Jesus Christ known and loved to all who we encounter at OLG.


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Amy Selby

School Enrollment Coordinator

Amy Selby has been an active volunteer at Our Lady of Grace School and Church since moving to Minnesota from Chicago in 2010. A former classroom teacher and professional development presenter for 11 years in Illinois, Amy loves to talk about education. You may recognize her from the Parent School Organization (PSO), New Families Committee, School Advisory Council (SAC), Moms of Grace, Vacation Bible School (VBS), Nativity Play, Seven Sisters Apostolate, Faith Formation Families Organization (3FO), Acts 29, various OLG Bible studies/book groups, Faith Formation, or Sunday School. If you have not yet met her, she looks forward to meeting you!

As School Enrollment Coordinator, Amy looks forward to working with families and introducing them to the Our Lady of Grace Community. This position combines many of her favorite things--Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and School, meeting new people and making spreadsheets. She also enjoys spending time with her family, baseball, sailing, travel and hiking. Amy’s mission is to stay close to Jesus and bring others closer to Him.

2019 Discipleship Guide Book

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Look in your mailbox for our new Discipleship Guide Book! Advertisers helped provide this service at no cost to our parish. We encourage you to think of them in the future as your needs arise. Contact amandavogt@guidebookpublishing.com for more information or if you are interested in advertising next year.

Please familiarize yourself with the OLG ministries and organizations located in the front of the book. An electronic PDF version of the Guide Book, which you can download to your computer, smartphone or tablet is available for your convenience.

Congratulations OLG Class of 2019

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Congratulations to our 2019 OLG School 8th Grade Graduates!

Charlie Abdo
Claire Abdo
Ryan Baird
Ruby Benson
Sophia Carroll Boockmeier
Brooke E. Bothwell
Cooper Clinton
Lucas Combs
Jacqueline Commerford
Megan L. Cornell
Kristen Dougherty
Grace K. Eigner
Lily Eigner
Evelyn E. Elder
Eric John English
Anna Farley
Emily Fleetham
Samuel Fulton\
Abigail Garvin
Isabel Garvin
Matthew John Gorman
Alanna F. Halloran
Elizabeth Fettig Halloran

Samantha Jean Hankinson
Luke P. Hannan
Ashton Hartman
Liam Harvey
Chase B. Hogan
William S. Horsager
William Howell
Carson S. Hegenbarth
Tyler J. Hewitson
Mary Kathleen Hewitt
Annie Juckniess
Lila Kadue
Michael King
Lauren Kraft
Genevieve Larson
Vivienne Larson
Abigail G. Lohmann
Gabe Mankowski
Faith A. McAdam
Olivia Michael
Clare Miller
Nicholas Mork
Ella Murray
Avery Nientimp

Elizabeth V. Nixon
Colleen Noonan
Mikel Nunez Mudoy
Leo E. Ogle
Grant Olson
Nolan P. Pankratz
Gretchen Pohl
Olivia Grace Porthan
Evan Reid
Ethan J. Remjeske
Mark Joseph Rogalski
Lucas J. Schutz
Caroline E. Sislo
Kayla R. Smart
Ryan Souka
Issac X. Stelzer
Mackenzie Thomas
John W. Vaccaro
Henry Thomas Veldman
Luke Vitt
Cece Walser
Benjamin Scott Wilhoit
Kyle R. Williams

OLG School 70th Anniversary Celebration Sponsorship Opportunities

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The excitement is growing as we prepare to celebrate 70 Years of Grace at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School! The celebration will be held on Saturday, September 21 on our beautiful campus and will include all those whose lives have been touched by OLG School and who have made us who we are!

We expect to have several hundred alumni and alumni parents in attendance along with school families - past and present - and members of our community. To make this celebration a memorable event for all, we would love to partner with you through sponsorships.

We are seeking various levels of sponsorship:

Grace Event Sponsors: would receive logo/name recognition in all print/media and banner recognition leading up to and day of event. Potential opportunities include:

  • 5K Sponsor ($4,000)

  • Food Truck Sponsor ($2,000 x2)

  • Adult Beverage Sponsor ($2,000 x2)

  • Print and Media Sponsor ($2,000)

  • Decade Gathering Sponsor ($2,000)

  • Thank you to Dan and Kelly Ballard for serving as an Adult Beverage Sponsor at $2,000!

  • Thank you to Dermatology Specialists: Mimi Cho-Rohlfsen, M.D., PhD. for serving as a Food Truck Sponsor at $2,000!

  • Thank you to Patti, Timmy and Conor Marrinan honoring Tim, husband and father for serving as the Rock the Field Sponsor as $4,000

  • Thank you to Gill Brothers Funeral & Cremation for serving as the Mass Sponsor at $4,000!

Saints Sponsor ($1,000+): would receive name recognition in all print/media and banner recognition leading up to and day of event.

Alumni Sponsor ($500+): would receive name recognition in all print/media.

Interested individuals and businesses can contact Dan McGraw at 612-720-3949 or daniel.mcgraw@gillbrothers.com

 

Alleluia! He is Risen! - Easter 2019

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A Letter
From Fr. Kevin

Alleluia! Easter is not just about Jesus rising from the dead. His rising from the dead is certainly what we celebrate, is the singularly most important event in the history of all history. But what makes Jesus rising from the dead so earth-shattering is what it means for us – both for our present lives and our eternity.

We no longer need be held captive by our death. “The power of his death once confronted our death. … “[Therefore,] Jesus did away with the everlasting character of death so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity” (The Power of the Cross, St Leo the Great). This is why we cry out Alleluia! The Lord has destroyed and put a limit on our death, thus preparing a place for us with Him for all eternity.

This reality, however, calls for a response from me and you. We need to decide if we want to dwell with God for all eternity. Of course we do! The best way to prepare for all eternity is to grow in our love and service of God, one another and especially the needy and poor.

If you are joining us at Mass today for the first time, or the first time in a long time, I invite you to get to know our parish community, share your gifts and talents here among us, and grow in holiness alongside us. Please contact Janna Davies, Stewardship Coordinator, at 952-929-3317 x9006 or jannadavies@olgparish.org, or visit our website at www.olgparish.org to learn more about Our Lady of Lady of Grace, where we are making Jesus Christ known and loved.

Alleluia! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Alleluia!
Father Kevin Finnegan


Easter Symbols

“What does that mean?”

One of the tangible and beautiful things about our Holy Week liturgies are the symbols that are used to highlight certain aspects of the liturgy and to draw responses from us on a deeper lever. Symbols can be found in architecture, artwork, manners of dress and objects. They touch us both by their grandeur and, in many cases, their sheer simplicity. The symbols of Easter call us to joy and resurrection!

The Easter Fire. Fires were lit before the time of Christ to celebrate the spring equinox, the darkness giving way to the light. Jesus is the Light of the World. He has overcome the darkness once and for all. The new fire of the Easter Vigil symbolizes light of Christ coming to dispel the darkness.

The Paschal Candle is lit at the Easter Vigil from the “new fire” created each year. It burns throughout the season of Easter in the sanctuary and is also lit at baptisms and funerals, both a sign of the light of Christ and the promise of resurrection. Our Paschal candle is ornamented with beautiful symbols of a fleur-de-lis cross, the ancient symbol of the Holy Trinity. Ornamental bands with bronze medallions of the Agnus Dei and Chi Rho monogram of our Lord are beautifully adorned with bees, a noble symbol of sacrifice celebrated in the Easter Exsultet (a sung hymn of praise.) Take a moment to look closely at the candle. It is not only a strong symbol, but a beautiful piece of artwork.

Holy Water. A symbol of baptism, holy water is used throughout the Easter season to remind us of our baptism, and to call to mind our baptismal promises.

Colors. The dark, penitential color of purple has given way to the colors of white and gold, fitting for the King of Kings.

Palm Branches are used on Palm Sunday signify majesty and victory.


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Please Pray

for those in the RCIA process this year.

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OLGMC
Fish Fry Recap

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Men’s Club (OLGMC) 10th Annual Lenten Fish Fry held on Friday, April 5, 2019, was a tremendous success. The plan was to make it ‘the best fish fry in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area’.

We were fortunate to host local WCCO-TV Morning News Anchor and food critic Jason DeRusha. He commented: ‘This is crazy huge!’, and then Tweetted at @DeRushaJ: ‘Never seen anything quite like the Lollapalooza of Friday fish fries: freshly battered and fried cod using the @TinFishMpls recipe; 2200 people at the delicious and delightful @OLGSaints in Edina!’ We served a record 2,467 meals which is almost 20% larger than last year’s record, with a shout out to our all-volunteer team led by the OLGMC, OLG Service Club and OLG youth groups.

Proceeds from the event support our local OLG youth groups. In addition, the proceeds provided a financial donation of $1,000 in total last year to two charities designated by our OLGMC Fish Fry supplier (Tin Fish); Focus Minnesota and IOCC Disaster Response.


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Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday, April 28, 3:00 PM, Church
"In the evening when I was in my cell," St. Faustina wrote, "I saw the Lord Jesus, clothed in a white garment... Jesus said, paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature, Jesus I trust in You." (Diary #47) "I desire that this Image be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter - The Feast of Mercy." (Diary #49) The two rays are a distinctive feature of this Image of Christ. Jesus explained: "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of soul...Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter". (Diary #299) By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it. (Find the Image in the Commons and in the Adoration Chapel) Please join us next Sunday for our Divine Mercy Celebration April 28 at 3:00 PM in the main Church. Refreshments after the Holy Hour.


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Holy Week in HOnduras

Fr. Marcio Matute, OFM Conv
San Maximiliano Kolbe Parrion, Honduras

Without a doubt Holy Week is one of the most important moments of celebration in the parish. We live the festivities daily, beginning with early preparations, step by step.

You cannot miss the blessing and cheerful procession on Palm Sunday. The live Stations of the Cross are very popular, everyone rising very early to accompany the Lord on Good Friday. The great Easter Vigil is the solemn day of the week, where the church welcomes the Light of Christ and congregates to listen the Word of God and the feast of the new Water.

Nobody is left out this week even though some people work more and others less. The essential thing is that Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection do not go unnoticed by anyone. I really like to see the commitment of the people in this time, enjoy faith with the people. It is a cheerful,beautiful time of renewal, penance and change. We are all tired but satisfied at the end of the week, contemplating God in our lives and experiencing that indeed Jesus Christ has risen and lives among us!

Have a happy and blessed Holy Week!


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Easter in Ghana

Fr. Victor Atta-Boamah
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ghana

The Catholic Communities in Ghana celebrate Easter in grand style, from Palm Sunday through Easter Monday.  We start on Palm Sunday, when the entire congregation gathers far from the church to begin the procession through the principal streets of the town, with the faithful holding the blessed palms amidst singing , drumming and dancing as Jesus triumphantly enters "Jerusalem."

On Good Friday there are Stations of the Cross in the morning until midafternoon. The town is divided into the fourteen Stations. The faithful mourn wearing black and red, with many people stopping whatever they are doing to participate or listen once we get to their suburb. 

People bring firewood to prepare for the fire in front of the church for Easter Vigil Mass. Most people believe that the ashes drawn from the fire on the night of the vigil of the Risen Lord is a blessing for good farming, so some people collect them and spread them on the farms.

On Easter Sunday there is so much joy as we sing and chant our Gloria and Allelluia, dancing to the tunes of resurrection songs of in praise of God for the wonderful thing He has done!  Mostly on this day is a mini-harvest held to thank God and raise funds for projects of the Church.  In our parish we have the ritual of asking every member to bring some food items or toiletries that could be gathered together to distribute among some extremely needy people.

Easter Monday is a day for picnics and fun games, so many churches, groups and societies meet to socialize and have fun. Most times we organize games and most adults get the chance to participate. This is also a day many people do a lot of donations to the less privileged in the society, like orphans. 

2019 OLG School Carnival

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Friday, April 26, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Please join us for the 31st annual OLG Carnival. There will be games, food, candy, prizes, a DJ, and even a special room for parents and alumni to get away and recharge with a chair massage.

All profits go directly back to the parish community to support growing technology infrastructure needs. We hope to see you there!

Carnival wouldn't be possible without the support of our incredible sponsors:


 
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