Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Did You Know...

. . . that the Maria Kaupas Center has been blessed with a new Monday volunteer?

Larry McClain,

a DCFS certified youth counselor, has chosen to get involved with the MKC. He will be interacting with everyone, but he really wants to hang out with the boys. He has agreed to facilitate a weekly MAN TALK group where Catalyst scholars can share openly and honestly.

Larry brings with him a variety of life experiences. He has faced – and overcome – the same challenges facing our young men. He is grateful for his success and wants to mentor today’s youth through a turbulent environment. In Larry’s own words,

It’s all about giving back.”

Monday, March 24, 2014

MKC Quote of the Week: Diarmuid O'Murchu

"It is when we refuse to deal with the sickness within that the problem recurs in all sorts of unexpected places." 
-Diarmuid O'Murchu

Remembering Oscar Romero

Photo: www.time.com, 2014

"Let us not forget: we are a pilgrim church, subject to misunderstanding,to persecution, but a church that walks serene, because it bears the force of love."
-Oscar A. Romero

Often described as the "Voice of the Voiceless", Archbishop Romero changed the world and worked for social justice. He did not waiver, even when confronted with the idea of his own death. 

"I do not believe in death without resurrection. 
If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the Salvadoran people..."

We remember Archbishop Romero's mission-- and his tireless efforts to bring justice to people. 
We remember the man affectionately, reverently referred to as MonseƱor.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Did You Know?

. . . that 51 fourth and fifth grade Catalyst-Maria scholars gather every Tuesday afternoon at the MKC to participate in a drum circle where they are learning how to play drums and chimes. Originally we only planned on taking 20 participants, but so many children were interested, we opened up a second group.
The program is being generously and skillfully facilitated by Harmony, Hope, and Healing, an organization which provides creative, therapeutic and educational music programs.
The program will continue until May when the scholars will present a concert in the auditorium. The Sisters of St. Casimir, parents, and Catalyst-Maria faculty and staff will be invited to attend the May 6th event.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ask a Sister: Q & A

Friday marked the close of National Catholic Sisters Week. The MKC celebrated this inaugural event by inviting the Sisters of St.Casimir to come and talk about their lives. The sisters did a Q & A with the teens, and it was amazing!

Why did you join the Sisters?

I had a calling. I felt it at church, at home... I couldn't ignore what God wanted for me. This is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. 

I've been around the Sisters since I was three years old. I joined the Sisters when I was 21... I always knew I wanted to do this.

What did you do to become a Sister? 

It takes years to become a Sister. You spend a lot of time thinking and praying about it. 

You take a lot of time to evaluate this choice... it's like a serious relationship. Would you marry someone you met yesterday? No. It's the same with taking our vows. 

Why do some of the Sisters wear black and some blue?

We're fashion conscious.

Do you eat fast food?

If you can call that food... 

I really like Burger King... much better than McDonald's. 

I like Chinese food...

How do you spend your days? Do you have free time? 

Well, we all like to do lots of different things. Just like you...

I'd rather be at a Fabric store than anywhere else...

I spent most of childhood and teen years at Comiskey Park. I love baseball.

The Sisters answered questions with sincerity and good humor. We are so grateful for their willingness to share time with us. The Sisters were helpful and offered one last piece of advice to our teens--

"There's someone who guides you-- you just have to listen." 

Thank you for your visit, Sisters! We hope to see you again soon!

Monday, March 10, 2014

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 8th-14th, 2014 is the inaugural National Catholic Sisters Week! This celebration is part of an initiative to make visible the contributions of women religious.

The Maria Kaupas Center partnered with Nativity Early Childhood Center to celebrate the beginning of this awesome tradition. We went to the Sisters of St.Casimir Motherhouse with the preschool aged children to sing songs to the Sisters, share blessings, and give the Sisters a special gift of handmade stars.

We began with a special introduction for the Sisters:

"Sisters, we are gathered here to celebrate you. Today we are kicking off the Inaugural National Catholic Sisters Week. As you know, March is International Women's History Month. this is wholly appropriate because everyday your hard work, charism, and mission-driven lives shape the world around us. You are making history-- a meaningful, impactful, and just history.
So, we are here today to say 'thank you'. As a Maria Alumna, I have personally benefited from your hard work. I could never thank you enough for all you've done... and I'm not the only one.
Thank you for all you've done to bless us. Now, we'd like to take this opportunity to bless you."
- Britt (Johnson) Quinn '06

We shared songs, smiles, and a collective spirit of gratitude for all the Sisters do for the world. 

This week, try to take moment to recognize and appreciate the efforts of these women. They do a whole lot, and they make a huge difference for the world!

Let's hear it for the Sisters!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our First Ash Wednesday at the MKC

We celebrated our first Ash Wednesday together at the MKC! 

We saw parents, teachers, staff, students, volunteers, friends, and family come through the big blue doors to receive ashes. 

Over 120 people stopped by the MKC to receive ashes and celebrate the beginning of our Lenten journey! 

It was an amazing to see so many people come together to observe this important day. Thank you to all who shared it with us!

We talked about our Lenten promises-- and what we can do to address the struggles and obstacles in our life so we can move forward-- 

1. What are some of the struggles in my life? How can I work on them?
2. How will I face and move through these challenges?
3. What will my rising look like?

Remember, it doesn't end with the Crucifixion-- His Resurrection is the pinnacle of our faith