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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 19, 2017

Novena of Grace 2017

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News  
Parishes reach out to their neighbors without homes
Courtesy St. André Bessette Parish
St. André Bessette Parish didn’t start for the sole purpose of serving homeless people, but this ministry has become ingrained in the parish identity. Its ministries help up to 125 people six days per week.

Courtesy St. André Bessette Parish

St. André Bessette Parish didn’t start for the sole purpose of serving homeless people, but this ministry has become ingrained in the parish identity. Its ministries help up to 125 people six days per week.

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
Weathering the snow days

As principal of St. Therese School in Northeast Portland, Joy Hunt excels at jumping from one role to the next — one moment she’s comforting a kindergartner with a scraped knee, the next she’s navigating piles of paperwork. But nothing prepared her for this winter.

“I was part-snow-shoveler, part-weatherwoman,” laughed Hunt.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017
St. John the Apostle students explore interests
OREGON CITY — This year, middle school students at St. John the Apostle School are exploring areas of study through an elective offered each week. Classes to choose from include Lego robotics, fitness fun, creative writing, advanced art, organizational skills, world music choir, stained-glass painting and study hall.

Stephanie Pack, middle school English language arts teacher, said the electives are a vital part of students’ academic experience because “choosing has an automatic aspect that targets both student interest and motivation.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
At St. John the Baptist, the focus is on service
MILWAUKIE — The eighth-grade class at St. John the Baptist has been serving elderly in the community with great enthusiasm, and last month the class planned a caroling trip to The Springs, a local retirement home.

“We are all really excited to go sing,” said eighth-grader Olivia Pisaneschi.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Brainchild of St. John Fisher student helps the hungry
Delanie Strauss, now a senior at Central Catholic High School, started the Mac Attack competition between neighboring parish elementary schools as a St. John Fisher sixth-grader in 2011. Mac Attack promotes macaroni and cheese donations to the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division, which provides free food and clothing assistance to the greater Portland community in need.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Students write support of new school
VERBOORT — One thousand, six hundred and twenty little fingers are moving at Visitation School, while students use the old tradition of writing messages to support plans for a new building. The children want to spread word of the need.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Learning for life
WOODBURN — St. Luke School is encouraging middle school students to explore new interests through creative courses such as American Sign Language, woodworking and cooking. All middle school students participate in one of the three courses offered once a week on Wednesdays. Students chose the electives through a brainstorming session at the beginning of the year; new courses will be chosen for each trimester.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Sacred Heart students reflect on grace
GERVAIS — “For it is by grace you have been saved,” from Ephesians 2:8, is the theme for Sacred Heart’s 2016-17 school year. The students consider its meaning daily.  

“I am saved,” says sixth-grader Jaiden Collazo. “We have been saved because God loves us, and even though we may not deserve it, we still get grace no matter what as long as we repent. But you have to really, truly be sorry and you will be saved.” 

Monday, January 30, 2017
Upgrades anticipate Montessori school's 40th anniversary
The campus of the Franciscan Montessori Earth School, for children ages 2 1/2 through 12, and St. Francis Academy, for ages 12-14, was purchased from the Centennial School District in 1994. Since then, the school has undergone many changes and transformations, including the construction of the middle school building, Clare Hall, in 1996.
Monday, January 30, 2017
50 years of speeches, memories

BEAVERTON – A student paces in a school hallway, quietly rehearsing a presentation. Another walks to the front of a classroom, takes a deep breath and begins to speak.

For 50 years, that scene has come to life on the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus during the annual Valley Catholic Middle School Speech Tournament. On Saturday, Feb. 25, approximately 450 young men and women will become part of the tradition.


Friday, January 27, 2017
The show must go on

Through snow, sleet and ice, the show must go on.

And it did at St. Clare School. This winter’s weather in Portland called for flexibility, including from St. Clare students and Judy Sherbo, music director at the Southwest Portland school.


Friday, January 27, 2017
Nativity students type, dance, code their way to success

St. Andrew Nativity School, Portland’s only tuition-free private middle school, has been expanding its curriculum over the past six months and will continue to increase opportunities for students and alumni. 

This year the school implemented a holistic after-school program, which provides four hours of language and arts or academic enrichment. Each week, students receive instruction in things like music, dance, theater, typing, coding and photography. 


Friday, January 27, 2017
Religious freedom key to well-being
BEAVERTON — People at St. Cecilia School know how blessed they are to be able to freely enter into prayer, write about faith and demonstrate religious beliefs.

St. Cecilia School eighth-grade students recently were invited to submit essays addressing the topic “The Importance of Religious Freedom” to the Knights of Columbus. Sydney Averill, Roxana Abtin and Liam Chandlee were the first, second and third place winners, respectively.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Book battle develops love of literacy
EUGENE — For the last eight years, St. Paul School has been taking reading to a higher level by participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books.

The program encourages voluntary reading and comprehension among students in grades three through eight. For students at St. Paul, it has become something to anticipate and a way to encourage teamwork, accountability and fun.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
They looked to the experts
When Holy Cross Catholic School in North Portland needed ideas for a new playground, they knew just whom to turn to: the students. After all, the children would be the ones enjoying the benefits of a playground designed to keep them active and to promote social skills.

The idea for a new playground began in the 2015-16 school year. Holy Cross polled students and parents about what they felt were the biggest needs for the school, and the results were clear — the community wanted a revamped playground.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Kindness challenge accepted
SHERWOOD — So far, fifth-grader Jada Utberg has written about more than 40 acts of kindness in her journal. She is responding to a schoolwide challenge to make a difference through 15 days filled with simple acts of kindness.

When asked about what the students of St. Francis are achieving, Jada smiled. “It feels really good to be able to go out and do something really amazing,” she said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Catholic schools offer apprenticeship for sainthood
Catholic schools are a gift to the church. The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 mandated that every parish in the United States should have a Catholic school. The bishops of the United States made this decision essentially because they recognized the importance of a mission-driven school system in partnership with parents, the first educators of their children, in protecting, preserving and passing on the faith.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Secure but hospitable
EUGENE — What began at O’Hara’s 2016 annual auction as a successful appeal has put O’Hara Catholic School at the cutting edge of school security. When donors were asked to raise their paddles to create a fund dedicated to enhancing and maintaining building and campus security, the more than 500 attendees responded by committing more than $90,000 to the school. 
Monday, January 23, 2017
Untold history: Blacks in Oregon Catholic schools

First in a series on race in the Catholic schools. This story is one of two focused on African-Americans

If he missed the bus home from public school, Jerry Peterson could find himself running from a group of white students as they shouted the N-word. 

It was the late 1960s and African-American children like the fifth-grade Peterson were being bussed from their predominately black neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland to all-white schools as part of a much-criticized approach to the desegregation of public schools. 


Monday, January 23, 2017
Eugene campus minister earns national honor

EUGENE — Leslie Jones of O’Hara Catholic School will receive the 2017 “Lead. Learn. Proclaim.” Award from the National Catholic Educational Association for dedication and commitment to excellence.

The annual award honors teachers who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and results.


Monday, January 23, 2017
They serve face to face

Rachelle Hanna and Noemi Skoviera, St. Agatha School seventh graders, decided this year it was time to stop watching and start acting. They joined Youth Ministry, a group that leads the Southeast Portland school’s service projects.

First Youth Ministry assignment: Lead by serving. In November, 14 middle school students immersed themselves in the life of people who are homeless.


Monday, January 23, 2017
Blanchet students engage elders
SALEM — A key component of Blanchet Catholic School’s mission is service to others and contributing to the enrichment of society. A team of Blanchet middle school students took this mission to heart and started a new program that connects students to a neighboring community. 
Monday, January 23, 2017
Weathering the snow days

As principal of St. Therese School in Northeast Portland, Joy Hunt excels at jumping from one role to the next — one moment she’s comforting a kindergartner with a scraped knee, the next she’s navigating piles of paperwork. But nothing prepared her for this winter.

“I was part-snow-shoveler, part-weatherwoman,” laughed Hunt.

The principal joins administrators around the archdiocese navigating the startling snowfalls this winter and deciding how to make up lost instructional time


Friday, January 20, 2017
Rural Catholic education benefits

STAYTON — With the unified administration of St. Mary and Regis, many students and community members look back with fond memories tied to both schools. Regis senior Eric Gustin grew up walking the halls of St. Mary and Regis. As a leader both on and off the football field, he has many memories.

Gustin began playing football in third grade as part of St. Mary’s Catholic Youth Organization team. Throughout his 10 years playing football for St. Mary and Regis, one of his most influential mentors was his coach, Jeff Wiltsey. Wiltsey coached Gustin’s third- through seventh-grade teams and coached him all four years at Regis. 


Friday, January 20, 2017
Special seating at the Madeleine
A chair is simply a chair, but a “Hokki” stool is something entirely different. Earlier this fall, The Madeleine School in Northeast Portland purchased two Hokki stools for use in the Learning Loft — a classroom where students can receive extra academic support from one of the school’s four learning support teachers. The stools’ convex base allows for movement in all directions.
Friday, January 20, 2017
WATCH: Screenings can detect teens' hidden heart problems

Teenagers can have serious heart trouble without knowing it. 

Ask former Central Catholic High School football star Hayward Demison. After rushing for a Ram touchdown in 2010, Demison collapsed to the turf. His heart stopped for two minutes until he was revived with CPR. Tests showed that Demison’s coronary artery wasn’t supplying his heart with enough blood during those big runs. 


Friday, January 20, 2017
But how 'bout the corn dogs and ketchup?

Ah, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and pizza, foods at the pinnacle of hundreds of years (or at least 50) of the evolution of American cuisine.

Not to mention the apex of salt, trans-fats and refined carbohydrates, alluring ingredients that make for fast-food yumminess.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017
St. Mary and Regis to merge

STAYTON — St. Mary School and Regis High School recently announced they will merge into one preschool-12 school system. The change was approved by Archbishop Alexander Sample and is effective July 1.

“Students’ experiences will be better because the schools will work more effectively and efficiently together,” said Rick Schindler, principal of both schools.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Experiencing faith in Tanzania
In the summer of 2015, Janice Richards joined other parishioners from St. Pius X Parish in Portland, witnessing the ordination of approximately 30 men in Tanzania. The trip had been organized by Father Peter Siamoo, who previously served at the Portland parish.

Richards called the trip eye- opening. She and the other participants were able to take part in the Thanksgiving Masses of many new priests, work on a mission project for local people and tour the nearby towns.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Active Fall at St. Peter
Students from the youth group at St. Peter Parish in Newberg join teens from the Archdiocese of Seattle at an annual Catholic youth conference in Puyallup, Washington, in November.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Drama director in hall of fame
At their annual meeting this fall, the Educational Theatre Association inducted Jesuit High School veteran drama director Jeff Hall into the theater educators’ hall of fame. Hall was one of four members to be recognized for his “outstanding contributions to theater education” among the approximately 100,000 members who represent about 4,500 schools across the globe.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Portland parishes form citywide youth group
The youth groups of St. Charles Parish and The Madeleine Parish in Portland have combined their programs to create #YouthGroupPDX for Portland high schoolers. Gabriel Triplett, youth coordinator for the new group, says its formation is aimed at breaking across parish boundaries to meet youths where they are.

The group is trying to gather students from North and Northeast Portland for the first youth-led rally and march across Northeast Portland in celebration of Martin Luther King Day.

Thursday, December 29, 2016
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton holds Mass in honor of tiny saints
ALOHA — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish here is holding a rosary and Mass to celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents. The rosary will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28 with the bilingual Mass following at 7 p.m.

The parish invites attendees to remember all deceased children, especially those who have died before birth or are victims of abortion.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Pageant allows people with disabilities to deepen meaning for everyone
Holding 7-month-old Amaya Paz, Cheryl Kuehl portrayed the Virgin Mary, gazing at the child with an unabashed grin.

Kuehl and dozens of other people with disabilities convened Dec. 10 in the University of Portland Chapel of Christ the Teacher. There, they acted out the story of Jesus’ birth — with an emphasis on joy. Almost everyone takes a role as either a member of the Holy Family, a king, an angel or a shepherd.

Saturday, December 24, 2016
Renovation begins at St. Joseph the Worker
The community at St. Joseph the Worker Church broke ground on a major renovation in November.

For some time, the parish has had an overflow room during Mass on Sundays. More than 100 people often are found sitting in the room and watching a livestream of the Mass on television.

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Rams lose in state football final
With cross-country and volleyball titles already in the bag for 2016, Central Catholic was aiming for the 6A football title, too. The gritty Ram team had defeated rival Jesuit and then won a thriller against Tigard. But in the championship game Dec. 3, top-ranked West Linn played even beyond expectations with a 62-7 rout.
Monday, December 19, 2016
St. Cecilia Christmas Mass schedule
Here are Christmas Mass times for St. Cecilia Parish in Beaverton.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Catholic preschools introduce children to faith
Eloise Jacobsen works in one of the Children’s House classrooms at Franciscan Montessori Earth School in Southeast Portland. The room is filled with child-sized furniture, learning tools and beautiful art. One boy is washing dishes while others are honing skills like writing and drawing shapes.

The children have about three hours each morning to develop these kinds of abilities.

Friday, December 16, 2016
Principal: We can do more to help teens with eating disorders

In the Nov. 18 issue of the Catholic Sentinel, we ran the story “Hungry for hope,” about factors contributing to teenage eating disorders, how Oregon Catholic high schools are responding and what parents can do to help.

Brian Heinze, principal of Blanchet Catholic School in Salem, followed up with us to add insights into the condition and discuss how schools might more effectively help teens with anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders.


Thursday, December 15, 2016
Oregonians to provide education for Hondurans
CHAMELECON, Honduras — Every year, Tim Stadelman of Star of the Sea Parish in Brookings leaves his electric contracting business behind and boards a plane for a place that is very different from his idyllic coastal town. He travels to oversee a project dear to his heart in the chaotic industrial capital of Honduras, San Pedro Sula. The project is a school he helped create with the nonprofit Caminando por la Paz.

San Pedro Sula has the distinction of having one of the highest murder rates in the world. Two major international gangs struggle for control of the streets of Chamelecon, a suburb of San Pedro Sula.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
St. Mary enlivens Nativity
EUGENE —  Final rehearsals are underway at St. Mary Church here for “The Christmas Story.” A cast and crew of nearly 75 volunteers will perform two concerts to proclaim the joy of the upcoming Christmas season. The 50-member choir will accompany Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and King Herod along with Wise Men, shepherds and angels as the story of Christ the King’s birth is retold.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Campus missionaries build disciples
EUGENE —  A team of young adults excited about their Catholic faith has moved near the University of Oregon to add even more fire to campus ministry.

UO is one of a dozen campuses nationwide with new teams from FOCUS, Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Other new sites include Washington State, Boise State, Idaho State and the University of Idaho. More than 550 FOCUS missionaries serve on 123 U.S. campuses.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Plan for archbishop's birthday energizes parish projects
SALEM — The house always gets spruced up best when guests are on the way. The same goes for St. Joseph Church here.

On Feb. 11, the parish will hold a to-do for the 80th birthday of Archbishop John Vlazny, the amiable retired leader of the Archdiocese of Portland. The day includes an 11 a.m. brunch for clergy and a 2 p.m. Mass for everyone, with music led by Catholic school students. A reception follows at the East Salem Community Center.

Monday, December 12, 2016


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