Wednesday, October 22, 2014


. . . that on Monday, October 20th we welcomed some very special guests to the
Maria Kaupas Center?

Illinois Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes and
attorney Dan Cotter, President of the Chicago Bar Association,
met with high school students immediately after school in the chapel.

MKC teens listened attentively as the gentlemen explained their jobs and
shared stories of personal perseverance that led to success.


. . . later, the ninth grade chefs from Cooking with Mary – Prete-y Good Food!  welcomed family
to a home-cooked meal they prepared under the watchful guidance and instructor Mary Prete.

The menu included salad, bread, BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese, bread, green beans, brownies, and apple crisp, all
prepared from scratch.
The meal both began and ended in prayer as Ms. Mary thanked her students for sharing themselves with her
and they in turn thanked Ms. Mary for sharing her appreciation of home-cooking with them.
Each graduating chef was given personalized apron and a booklet of the recipes they had prepared together.

Families, bursting with pride for their sons and daughters,
broke bread together and enjoyed fellowiship
over a meal prepared with new-found confidence and seasoned with love.

We were also delighted that Nadine Roy, the newest member of the MKC Board of Directors,
was able to join us for both events.
Nadine spent the afternoon and evening getting to know who and what make the Maria Kaupas Center so special.
We think she learned a lot in her Monday visit.

. . . we also welcomed a visit from these harbingers of good luck,
as Monday’s sun and pleasant temperatures led lady bugs to turn the
MKC awning into a speckle-tacular canvas of blessings!

Monday, October 20, 2014

St. Xavier University here at the MKC for retreat!

It was an absolute pleasure having our partner, St. Xavier University here for a Women’s Retreat this weekend.  LOVED having you.  The MKC is excited to have you work with our retreat team for our December retreat!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


 . . that the Maria Kaupas Center sponsors a robust music program for

third through sixth graders in its after school programming?

On Monday afternoons, Maria Sandoval, a Maria High School alumna, teaches 6th graders thebasics of guitar.
Some enterprising students come back to the MKC through the week to practice on their own.

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We are deeply grateful to Harmony, Hope, and Healing for bringing their “joyful noise” to us every Tuesday afternoon.


Ms. Tina and Ms. Anna Belle, along with volunteers from St. Xavier University, share their passion for music with eager learners.

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Voices lifted in song, bodies swaying to the melody; the tinkling of chimes; the beat – beat – beat of the drums,

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Lessons in basic note-reading . . .  and the songs they produce on the recorder

hands exploring and gaining confidence on keyboards –


The music programs at the MKC offer young people opportunities to learn something new

that has the potential to bring them joy in the future even as it

gives them tools to help them succeed in the present.


According to an essay written by Joanne Lipman and published in The Wall Street Journal just last week,

“there is compelling evidence that it [music education] can boost children’s academic performance and help fix some of our schools’

most intractable problems.”

A family concert will be held to showcase the talents of these aspiring musicians on

Thursday November 4th at 4:00

in the MKC Community Room.

We would also like to extend an invitation to Catalyst administrators and teachers to attend this very special event.

We know your students would love for you to come.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


. . . fall programming is in full swing at the Maria Kaupas Center?

The MKC is proud to offer a variety of activities to Catalyst-Maria students beginning in 3rd grade, and over the next few weeks,
we will be sharing with you a sampling of each program.

This weekwe take a look at one of the two cooking classes we offer, a
ninth grade cooking class with volunteer instructor Mary PreteIt’s called
Prete-y Good Food!


The nine boys and girls in this program have immersed themselves in a fast-paced, challenging cooking experience where they have learned to make pancakes, omelets, homemade spaghetti and lots more.




Each class culminates with a shared meal where everyone sits down at table and enjoys delicious food they helped prepare. In this way,

skills are learned,
palates are broadened,
friendships are made, and
community is created.

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The highlight of the class comes on October 20th when these accomplished chefs will prepare and
host a meal for their families, right here at the MKC.
Afterwards, program graduates will receive their very own monogrammed aprons
so they can continue their culinary adventures at home.

The Maria Kaupas Center is deeply grateful to volunteer

Mary Prete

who has selflessly shared her
dynamic energy and culinary flair
with ninth graders at the MKC.