Friday, November 21, 2014


. . . that the legacy of
St. Casimir Academy, Maria High School, and the Sisters of St. Casimir
lives on through the efforts of the Maria Kaupas Center


. . . and that Maria High School alumnae are a

huge part
of our success!!

Thanks to gifts of

time, talentand treasure

from many MHS alums, the Maria Kaupas Center is able to
make a difference in the lives of hundreds of local children.

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Alumnae have taken an active role in helping the
MKC get off the ground.

They are serving on the Board of Directors. . .
Board Member Sr. Immacula Wendt, SSC (’54) takes a look at the MKC bike shop.

teaching classes. . .

Suzy Lempa Etsch (’75) has been an MKC volunteer since the Center opened. She has taught healthy cooking and art classes. Her cooking class was featured in a PNC Bank video that received national exposure.031.jpg
Sr. Elizabeth Ann Yocius, SSC (’71) has also been with the Center since Day 1. She teaches Sacred Sewing, a service-learning program. This year, she is also teaching a beginning sewing class to women in the community.

Faith Walls (’01), former MHS Dean (shown here in a “selfie” with MKC Program Director and former MHS theology instructor Amy Eckhouse) has taught a “Teens Talk” class about young adult issues and helped facilitate Kairos-like retreats

Maria Sandoval (’13) volunteers her time to teach children basic guitar techniques and chords. Donors have gifted us with close to a dozen guitars! Maria’s talented students played and sang an enthusiastic rendition of This Land is Your Land; This Land is My Land.

Anna Belle O’Shea (’74, has brought her passion for music to the MKC. She has donated several instruments and teaches recorder, music, and intro to piano to excited students.

The Bacani sisters, Eliza (’10); Ellen (’06), and Eleanore (’12) are stalwart supporters of the MKC – teaching classes in art, photography, and Vacation Bible School, and assisting at Center events.
. . . and lending their support to get the word about the MKC out.
Anita Alvarez (’78); Anne McGlone Burke (’62); and Connie Jesukaitis (’75); all showed support by attending the MKC Open House in September. Simone Shimaitis McNeil (’70), staffer to Governor Pat Quinn, presented the MKC with a gubernatorial proclamation recognizing September 25, 2014 as Maria Kaupas Center Day in the State of Illinois.
 Many more have donated materials and supplies and
contributed prayerfully and financially to the cause.

The Maria Kaupas Center is deeply grateful to all of you.
We pledge to honor your legacy and to strive to live up to the words of Mother Maria:

Always more, always better, always with love.

Please visit our website,, to learn more about the Center. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 let’s come together to celebrate generosity!

We have a day for giving thanks.  We have two days for getting holiday deals. 
Now we have #GivingTuesday: a global holiday dedicated to giving back
that harnesses the power of social media to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. 
The Maria Kaupas Center is proud to participate in the Illinois branch of GivingTuesday, #ILGiveBig
We are asking our supporters and friends to kick off the holiday season by supporting the important work done at the MKC.
Please help us reach our goal and turn $5,000 into $10,000!

Nadine Roy, a Maria Kaupas Center Board member and Peg Weiser, a Maria Kaupas Center supporter have agreed to
match your donation, dollar-for-dollar - up to a campaign total of $5,000. 

This means that every gift can be worth TWICE as much! 

All donations have to be made on December 2, 2014 in order to be eligible for the match.

Please make a donation on December 2, 2014 by clicking on this link


Monday, November 10, 2014


. . . that according to famedtrumpeter Harry James,
“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and
strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili”
Well, here at theMaria Kaupas Center, we put a little spin on old Henry’s musings:
Next to music made by chimes, recorders, drums, and voice,
there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul
more than a good bowl of pasta
(with a side of cheesy garlic bread).
This week the MKC was carried away by heavenly sights, sounds, aromas, and tastes.
On Monday, November 3rd,
MKC board member Nadine Roy and her sister, Dr. Mary Roy,
taught a group of 7th and 9th graders new cooking skills
and how to prepare a meal for a crowd.
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Under the watchful eyes of Mary and Nadine,
students surprised everyone at the Center by preparing and serving an
unexpected andamazing Italian feast in the Kaupas Kafe.
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. . .Complimenti alla cuo
. . .Doe, a deer, a female deer;
Ray, a drop of golden sun. . .
On Tuesday, November 4th, MKC staff transformed the community room into
a performance theater.
The3rd, 4th, and 5th gradeparticipants in the
Harmony, Hope & Healing music program
presented aninspirational concertfor friends and families.

Led by instructors Ms. Tina Villapando and Ms. Anna Belle O’Shea and assistants from St. Xavier University,
and accompanied bypianist Ms. Mary Prete,
the children demonstrated many of the things they have learned over the past several weeks,
including basic note reading, recorder and drum technique,
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and a genuinelove of music and performing.

Stressing that music best learned – and appreciated – thoughall of the senses,
Anna Belle and Tina incorporated
kinesthetic activities and listening skills into their instruction and into the concert.
They also asked for audience participation when the children performed
The Peace Song andLean on Me.

A large and appreciative crowd consisting of
parents, siblings, Catalyst faculty, and
Representatives from the Sisters of St. Casimir
enjoyed the show as well as the informal reception that followed.


Food is music to the body,
Music is food to the heart.
--Gregory David Roberts
The Maria Kaupas Center is deeply grateful to our partner,
Harmony, Hope & Healing,
and to our benefactors,
Nadine Roy and Dr. Mary Roy,
for making these programs possible.