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Got small campers? Some top spots to pitch your tent
Courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Nestled on a sandy spit between the Pacific Oregon and Netarts Bay, Cape Lookout State Park is a great spot for families to soak up sun while creating sandcastle masterpieces.

Courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Nestled on a sandy spit between the Pacific Oregon and Netarts Bay, Cape Lookout State Park is a great spot for families to soak up sun while creating sandcastle masterpieces.

With its sand dunes to climb, cascading falls to contemplate, mountains to trek and sparkling waters to paddle, Oregon is a nature-lover’s paradise. And it’s not just for the young adventurist or avid hiker: The state offers abundant spots for families to pitch a tent — or rent a yurt (a circular tent with a design used by nomadic Central Asian peoples) — and explore these wonders together.

From among the many gems, we’ve selected five places to consider camping with your kids this summer. We included a nearby parish where your family could attend Sunday Mass and some tips for keeping your small campers happy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New at camp: Flying drones, solving crimes
The summer camp that brought your kids paintball is about to teach them about flying drones and solving crimes.

Catholic-run Camp Howard provides the splat and gee-whiz that kids want, but always with a dose of values and morals.

Monday, March 27, 2017
Students from Lasallian schools visit Milwaukie's La Salle Prep 
MILWAUKIE — They hail from different schools and three different communities in the Northwest. Despite their differences, students from three Lasallian schools all speak the same words when they bow their heads to pray, “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.”
Friday, March 24, 2017
Notre Dame professor to talk jokes at UP
Mark Roche, professor of German and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, will present “What’s So Funny About a Joke?” as the annual Hesburgh Lecture at the University of Portland. The lecture will be March 23 in Franz Hall, Room 120, on the U.P. campus at 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The life and origins of a super-parishioner

EUGENE — Caitlin Breitenstein is all in.

At 28, she’s a member of St. Paul Parish here, where she grew up. She has led vacation Bible school, confirmation class, youth group sessions and a cooking camp. She’s a eucharistic minister. She and husband Eric host a faith-sharing group for Lent and she coordinates weddings.  

Breitenstein teaches at the parish school, where she and Eric graduated 14 years ago. They intend to have their toddler, Ian, enroll there — “of course.” In addition to many duties as a learning specialist, Caitlin teaches an elective class on Thai cooking, plus some math and American Sign Language.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Archbishop Sample visits St. Matthew

HILLSBORO — To help the students, staff and families of St. Matthew Catholic School here honor Catholic Schools Week, Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated the school Mass Feb. 2 — the high point of St. Matthew’s weeklong celebration. 

The week included several student-spirit days, a schoolwide service project, a staff-versus-eighth-grade volleyball game and Special Friends’ Day — when students were invited to bring a friend or relative to join them. Thursday morning, guests were invited to enjoy coffee and breakfast, a musical performance from the third-grade class, and readings from St. Matthew middle schoolers about what attending a Catholic school means to them.

Monday, March 20, 2017
A sentimental favorite, St. Patrick's Day at his churches
Sure ‘tis himself and no other: St. Paddy, giving a grand Irish pause to Lent so we can go all sentimental for the old country — whether she’s ours or not.

Still, we’re thinking the mighty saint may be abroad for his day some places more than others. Indeed, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin must echo with the slivering ghosts of Ireland’s banished snakes on his holy day and its light must shimmer with the green of the shamrock he used to explain the Holy Trinity.

Monday, March 20, 2017
Blanchet to host St. Patrick Day Mass

SALEM — Blanchet Catholic School will host a St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 7:30am at the school’s chapel, St. Patrick Chapel named in honor of Msgr. Taaffe.

The Mass, a part of the school’s special Lent program, will be said by Father John Aridiacono, parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Salem.

Thursday, March 16, 2017
A sampling of Catholic Colleges
From the nearby University of Portland to the far away Fordham University in New York City, explore this listing of just some examples of Catholic colleges around the country.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Catholic prep schools prepare the whole person

There are still die-hard advocates for throwing kids in the deep end to teach them how to swim. But representatives from the Archdiocese of Portland’s Catholic high schools, many of them schools boasting the word “prep” or “preparation” in their title or mission, say their results show that kids do better with nurturing and, well, preparation.

Peter Johnson, director of college advising at Jesuit High School in Portland, says any school that is concerned about the whole person provides their students with quality support for that time when their graduates will be in the deep end, negotiating their college career. The preparation and support they receive in high school is critical to their success.

Monday, March 13, 2017
La Salle Prep student scores highest possible on PSAT

MILWAUKIE — A junior at La Salle Prep has earned the highest score possible on the PSAT/NMSQT he took last fall. 

“It was really surprising,” student Derek Wong said of his 1520 score. “I didn’t think I did particularly well.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Why non-Catholics attend Catholic universities

Elijah Fisher is not Catholic, but he studies in classrooms where crosses hang, socializes in a dorm where the Eucharist is celebrated and crisscrosses a campus where Holy Cross priests and brothers are more common than a pre-exam all-nighter. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fisher, a junior studying theater and music at the University of Portland, wanted to attend a college that challenged him academically. But what he values most about U.P. is harder to quantify: a strong community and “the chance to gain new insights about myself,” he said. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017
St. Mary's School coach receives national award

MEDFORD — Jamie Young, football coach and athletic director at St. Mary School here, has been named a winner of the 2017 Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coaching Award. The annual award is given to 50 coaches around the country who’ve been selected out of 150 finalists and more than 2,000 nominations.

The Positive Coaching Alliance is a national organization created to provide resources to coaches, student-athletes, administrators and parents with the stated goal of developing “better athletes and better people” in youth and high school sports.

Friday, March 10, 2017
Catholic high school counselors offer advice for making sure the right college says yes
There’s a movie scene in which a hopeful teen is handed theletter, the one he’s been waiting for, with a college’s logo embossed on it. It’s a charged moment, and the student has to brace himself to open it.

Most colleges have turned to emails these days, but the tension is just as great. With one click, the gates to a student’s chosen path are either opened or slammed shut.

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Tips for finding the right college
Amid sports and band practice, homework and the social complexities of high school life, choosing a college is daunting. Stacks of college guides, piles of glossy brochures and countless websites at their fingertips can make the process both more informed and formidable for students. For many teens, it’s the biggest decision they’ve ever made.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Catholic colleges often the right fit for Latinos

Victor Rodriguez Valdovinos scored straight As in his first semester at the University of Portland. In some families, that might elicit a thumbs up. For Victor’s family, it’s akin to reaching a mountaintop.

Victor, a nursing major at the North Portland university, is the son of hardworking Mexican immigrants, neither of whom attended high school.

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Catholic college leaders urged to bridge racial divides on campus

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic college leaders were encouraged Jan. 29 to take steps to heal racial divides on their campuses during an annual meeting in Washington.

Father Bryan Massingale, a theology professor at Fordham University in New York and author of “Racial Justice in the Catholic Church,” acknowledged that Catholic colleges and universities likely have diversity plans and strategies in place, but he said such guidelines will simply sit on the shelves unless there are concrete actions behind them.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Paying for college

Gonzaga – $41,333

Catholic University of America – $41,800

University of Portland –  $41,844

Santa Clara – $47,112

Georgetown – $49,968

Kids, you may now help your parents off the floor. Tell them only a third of students pay these annual tuition sticker prices.

“The full price of tuition should never be a deterrent,” says Lesley Klecan, college counselor at St. Mary School in Medford.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Rogue Squires volunteer to raise money for worthy causes
MEDFORD — Young men from Sacred Heart Church belonging to the parish’s Rogue Squires group have spent the last year volunteering to raise money through their volunteer efforts. Money raised has gone toward Special Olympics, the Haiti Relief Fund through the Knights of Columbus and most recently a new traveling Mass kit for one of the parish’s parochial vicars, Fr. Justice Alaeto. Nicholas Budde, Christopher Cutler, Jonah Hadley, Matthew Wilkoff and Arthur Gifford are shown presenting the Squire’s check to Fr. Alaeto.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Novena for world peace
NEWPORT — Sacred Heart Parish in Newport is nearing completion of their novena for world peace.
Sara Maguire picked up a newspaper and read of the suffering of the children and families in Syria. She was inspired to pray. For nine weeks, the parish has been praying the Novena for World Peace, put out by Vatican Radio, every Friday at the end of the parish’s 9 a.m. Mass.

Monday, March 6, 2017
Star of the Sea Parish hosts respect for life event
BROOKINGS — Star of the Sea Parish marked the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a Respect for Life rally that  drew around 70 people from the community.

The event drew support from the parish’s Respect for Life group, Altar Society, Knights of Columbus, youth ministry and parishioners, as well as a local church in Harbor.

Sunday, March 5, 2017
St. Rita Parishioners hear homeless
Parishioners from St. Rita Church in Northeast Portland held a town hall meeting Feb. 19 aimed at listening to the community’s homeless neighbors speak about homelessness in the Parkrose area.

For the last two months Harry Guildner and Lisa Porter from St. Rita worked with the Historic Parkrose Association and others to plan the event where homeless neighbors could have a voice in the city.

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Making a tangible difference'
EUGENE — Marist High School senior Maya Dotson received the Future First Citizen Award from the Eugene Chamber of Commerce last month. Given annually, “this award serves to showcase our area’s top high school seniors who excel academically, are leaders among their peers and have made great contributions to our community,” said a Eugene Chamber of Commerce representative.

A panel of composed of chamber of commerce members interviewed and judged the nominees based on contributions to their school and community, leadership ability, GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

Friday, March 3, 2017
Learning along the Oregon coast

WOODBURN — St. Luke Middle School students spent a few days this fall going to school in a beautiful outdoor setting on the Oregon coast. Thirteen sixth-graders learned about natural history and ecology while spending time at Camp Westwind Outdoor School in Lincoln City.

“Our annual Outdoor School trip is a wonderful opportunity for the sixth-graders to get out of the classroom for a few days and learn about our natural environment,” said Darrell Risen, the St. Luke seventh-grade teacher who accompanied the students on the trip along with Jesuit Volunteer Emily Curran. “Allowing them to experience our beautiful coast is the perfect setting for this type of instruction.”

Friday, March 3, 2017
Roman Catholic Challenge helps youths know their faith, and hopefully embrace Jesus

How many of his flock know that Archbishop Alexander Sample is a devotee of the nightly television show “Jeopardy” and watches it as often as his busy schedule allows? Roman Catholic Challenge, which celebrated its 30th anniversary match Jan. 27-28 at Valley Catholic School, gave the archbishop the opportunity to emcee one of its four championship rounds.

Alex Trebek, watch out.

Friday, March 3, 2017
U.P. announces 2017 commencement honorees
The University of Portland has announced honorees to be recognized during 2017 commencement ceremonies, to be held on campus in the Chiles Center Sunday, May 7. Commencement I begins at 10 a.m. and is held for undergraduate and graduate students of the Pamplin School of Business, the Shiley School of Engineering, and the School of Nursing. Commencement II starts at 2 p.m. and is for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Grant supports Japanese-language program

EUGENE — Marist Catholic High School received a $1,000 grant from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, to purchase teaching materials for the school’s Japanese-language program.

Marist, founded by the Marist Brothers, offers five levels of Japanese, three of which are certified College Now courses — in which students can earn college credit — and taught by Miyoko Nakajima King. King has a master’s degree in Japanese language and pedagogy from the University of Oregon.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Giving to neighbors in need

MILWAUKIE – Students at La Salle College Preparatory made the holidays brighter by giving to local families this winter.

As part of the school’s annual Christmas Drive, the high schoolers raised more than $9,500 to buy toys, clothes and other gifts for 33 families whose children attend Lot Whitcomb Elementary School, a Milwaukie school where more than 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Our Lady of Lavang Parish celebrates Lunar New Year in a way focused on God
In a decades-long tradition of celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tet, Our Lady of Lavang Parish in Northeast Portland marked the beginning of the Year of the Rooster with a celebration Jan. 27.

“This celebration of the Lunar New Year is a marvelous thing,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample who celebrated at the parish’s Tet Mass. “For you good people, the new year celebration is all about God,” said the archbishop, contrasting it to secular New Year revelry.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Archbishop blesses new parish center

MILWAUKIE — Christ the King Parish rejoiced at the opening of the new parish center Jan. 15.

The nearly 10,000 square foot space cost more than $3 million. At the event, Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated Mass for the community before blessing the new center.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Love is bigger than you think

Several months back, a Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center employee made a simple request: Let’s put God into the lives of these young people. St. Rose of Lima Church answered the call. Since then, Father Matt Libra and Deacon Brian Diehm have made bi-monthly visits to the center.

“These visits are a privilege for us,” says Father Libra. “The youth want to come and can only do so if they’ve been on good behavior. We evangelize because they want God in their lives.” 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
School continues holiday tradition of helping others
Students, faculty, staff, parents and alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy braved December snow and ice to continue one of the school’s most cherished holiday traditions: donating and delivering food and gifts to some of the neediest families in the community. Partnering with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mary’s provided toys, gifts, clothing, food and household items to 39 families for the Christmas season — benefiting more than 80 adults and 100 children.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Snow can't dampen Jesuit students' generosity
On Dec. 15, as Portland’s roads glazed into gridlock, a few dozen Jesuit students and staff members were at school, boxing food for delivery to needy families.

But since it was a snow day on Thursday, would drivers really show up to deliver food? At 8 a.m., students, parents and alums began showing up, as they did throughout the day.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Holy Names Sisters join Marylhurst University board
MARYLHURST — Two leaders among the Sisters of the Holy Names — Sisters Mary Breiling and Carol Higgins — have been appointed to the Marylhurst University board of trustees. Both have a long history with the university. They join fellow Holy Names Sisters Roswitha Frawley, Jane Hibbard and Lynda Thompson on the 26-member board that guides the school.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Snowed in

With many snow storms already having hit Oregon this winter, southern Oregon experienced its own historic snowfall with 8.3 inches of snow being recorded at the Medford Airport over a 24-hour period on Jan. 4. This is the most snow in a 24-hour period for Medford since 1919 when the same area saw 11 inches of snow. Shown above is Sacred Heart Parish in Medford the morning after the major snowfall.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
St. Matthew student wins Year of Mercy poster contest
HILLSBORO — St. Matthew student Emily Clauson won first place in a poster contest sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland to promote the Year of Mercy. Clauson was the top pick in the sixth-to-eighth-grade category.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Exhibit and presentation on sacred relics and images

St. Thomas More Parish in Southwest Portland is hosting an exhibit and presentation on sacred relics of the Passion Feb. 25 and Feb. 26.

Attendees will have the opportunity to venerate a relic of the True Cross and a relic of Saint Longinus, as well as view displays of images of the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Tunic of Argenteuil.

Friday, February 24, 2017
Schools celebrate Catholic education with prayer, pizza
SALEM — Queen of Peace Parish here welcomed an estimated 750 students from Salem schools for the Catholic Schools Week Mass Feb. 2. Blanchet, St. Joseph, St. Vincent and Sacred Heart students joined their peers from Queen of Peace to pray in gratitude for Catholic education. The principal celebrant was Father Tim Mockaitis, pastor of Queen of Peace.
Friday, February 24, 2017
UP ranked top Oregon university by Kiplinger

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Portland was the top Oregon school in Kiplinger’s “Personal Finance” annual ranking of best values in its private universities category for 2017. The university was ranked 58th nationwide among all private universities.

“Our faculty, staff and students are proud to be recognized as one of Kiplinger’s top 100 private colleges,” said Holy Cross Father Mark L. Poorman, U.P president. “To receive this honor for the seventh consecutive year is a tremendous endorsement of the University of Portland’s strong academics, great value and commitment to our students.”

Friday, February 24, 2017
Mt. Hood Mass times change
Mass time for some parishes in the foothills of Mt. Hood have chaged. The four parishes are all under the direction of Father Manuel Becerra.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Schools strategic plan in motion
The Archdiocese of Portland has begun work on a long-range plan for Catholic schools. Topics to be explored in the next year include mission, academic quality, demographics, enrollment trends, financial viability and the condition of school facilities.

“If you don’t choose your future, your future will choose you,” Holy Cross Brother William Dygert, schools superintendent, told dozens of Catholic education leaders at a Feb. 8 session. “We are blessed because we are planning from strength, not weakness. It isn’t falling apart.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Swim surges at CYO

Another CYO swim season has ended, and with it swimmers will carry memories of hard work, new friends, snow, ice, and keen competition.

There were four championship meets: The Polliwog, for kindergarteners to third graders; two division meets for 4th – 8th graders; and the most popular, the All Stars Meet for 4th – 8th graders competing against their own gender and grade.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Parishes reach out to their neighbors without homes
Across the street from St. Patrick Parish in Northwest Portland, the sidewalk is lined with tents and shelters belonging to people without homes. Twice a month, a group of parishioners from the church prepares either coffee and hot chocolate or lemonade to take to these homeless neighbors.
Friday, February 17, 2017
First steps to help with mental illness

Alejandro Bautista, volunteer leader for St. Andrew Parish’s Latino youth group, realized that several of the 14 kids in the group were struggling with depression, including his own daughter.

“She was hiding it very well,” he says. “I hadn’t realized that depression is a huge issue among our teenagers.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017
St. Anne completes fundraising for new church
GRANTS PASS — For three and a half years, St. Anne Parish in Grants Pass has been in talks with contractors about potentially rebuilding the church. Parish leaders discovered that remodeling their current church would cost about as much as building a new one.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The Scherzinger Weddings
On average, someone from the Scherzinger family gets married at Sacred Heart Church every four years.

Of course, weddings tend to come in bunches. In 1948, Richard and Robert Scherzinger had a double wedding.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Interfaith crowd prepares for afternoon of lobbying

SALEM — Despite a downpour, marchers took to the state Capitol steps as part of the 2017 Interfaith Advocacy Day Feb. 7.

The crowd of more than 450 was welcomed to the building by state lawmakers Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem) and Sen. Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis).

Monday, February 13, 2017
Shepherd of the Valley reaches out to marginalized

CENTRAL POINT — For the southern Oregon parish of Shepherd of the Valley, peace and justice has become a focus.

The church has created the “Emmanuel Project” to reach out to seniors, homebound, mentally ill, mentally handicapped, hospitalized, homeless and other marginalized people.

Monday, February 13, 2017
Parishioners spend Christmas with homeless neighbors
As local Catholics rushed to get ready for Mass on Christmas day and then hurry off to dinner with family, parishioners at St. Peter Church in Southeast Portland shared a meal with homeless people who sleep in their neighborhood. Father Raúl Márquez thought the parish should go beyond serving dinner to the homeless on Christmas day and sit down and eat with them. Along with enjoying a nice meal, the parish's homeless neighbors were given gifts. There was a spirit of joy in the room. Homeless neighbors enjoyed the warmth and the friendship and the parishioners enjoyed getting to further know their homeless neighbors.
Monday, February 13, 2017
After aggressive encounter, St. James reconsiders security
MCMINNVILLE — It was Jan. 11. The day for Father Mike Walker, pastor at St. James Parish in McMinnville, started in the usual way with Mass, visits, phone calls and a staff meeting. After the staff meeting a man entered the pastor’s office and wouldn’t leave. After repeatedly asking him to leave, Father Walker called 911 and asked Mike Douglass, the parish’s youth minister, for assistance until police arrived.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Dinner about more than food and funds

It turns out that church dinners can be about more than they seem.

That’s the case at Ascension Parish in Southeast Portland, which has been serving up crab legs in late January since at least 1970. In addition to crustacean limbs and coleslaw, the menu includes a side of fellowship, a big helping of support for the wider church and sweet evangelization for dessert.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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