Friday, December 12, 2014


. . . that the Maria Kaupas Center is bursting at the seams with
Anticipation, celebration, and appreciaton?

According to Pope Francis,
“Advent begins a new journey”

At the MKC, this “new journey” involves learning about the
 history and traditions of Advent during Daily Reflection

. . . it also means looking outside of oneself to help others less fortunate by restocking the
empty shelves of local food pantries,

The Maria Kaupas Center was proud to partner with the Junior and Senior seminars of Catalyst-Maria High School and with the Women’s Basketball team from Geneva High School in our annual Advent food drive.

And, most importantly, it means “. . .draw[ing] from the crib
the joy and deep peace that Jesus comes to bring to the world.”
Tweet by Pope Francis (you just have to love a tweeting Pontiff!)

MKC volunteer and Maria High School alumna Suzy Etsch (’75)
 helped middle school students create rustic nativity scenes that

eloquently capture the simple beauty of the Christ’s birth in the stable.

Anticipation of another kind is an important part of each cooking class sponsored by the MKC.
Scholars can’t wait until they get to eat the delicacies they create in the Kaupas Kitchen under the direction of talented adult cooks. Recently, Dr. Mary Roy and her sister, MKC Board member Nadine Roy, Holy Cross Hospital VP Dennis Ryan, and the MKC’s own Matt Whalen took turns in the kitchen.


In addition to learning to make (and then eat) delicious recipes,
 young cooks are learning to appreciate different foods, spices, and fresh ingredients as well as learning
kitchen etiquette and proper cooking techniques.

Celebration has also been a theme at the MKC lately!
The fall dance class celebrated with an-end-of session recital where girls demonstrated their
fancy footwork and stage presence:

Here’s a Did You Know in a Did You Know!
Did you know that Pope Francis loves the tango and used to dance when he was young?

A celebration of another sort took place in
 Sister Elizabeth Ann’s Sacred Sewing classes. Our adult seamstresses finished and modeled their most recent project, fashionable bags (though some might say that the little guy with the pillow really steals the show) and our junior designers created Christmas runners.

Yet another kind of celebration is Praise Dance, a mini session offered to 7th grade girls by Catalyst-Maria teacher’s aide Erin Bell. The girls are learning to communicate their joy in life and love of God through music and dance.

And at the MKC, a sense of appreciation always accompanies anticipation and celebration.
We are so grateful

for the gift of our talented volunteers

for the adults who come and give purpose to the MKC during the day

for the joie de vivre the scholars bring to the Center every afternoon

for our many, many benefactors.

The MKC is indebted to the following Foundations for rewarding our work with recent grants:

The Edmund and Alice Opler Foundation
Porticus North America Foundation

We are also thankful to all those individuals who supported our #GivingTuesday efforts;
 thanks to your generosity (and the generous match of Nadine Roy and Peg Weiser),
 we more than doubled our goal and raised


We are grateful for the opportunity to spend quality time with the people in Marquette Park
the children, the adults, and coming soon,
the senior citizens!

But mostly, we are grateful to God
for the opportunity to share the message of His
 unconditional love
in an environment that strives daily to bring Gospel values to life.

To quote another of Pope Francis’s tweets:

“May we always say thank you to God”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Giving Tuesday results!

On behalf of everyone at the Maria Kaupas Center, I am pleased to share with you results from the #Giving Tuesday/#ILGiveBig day!  Thanks to so many, we were able to raise $16,725 on Tuesday, December 2, exceeding our goal in a “Big” way!  A big thank you has to go to Nadine Roy and Peg Weiser for matching our first $5,000 on December 2.

Your generous support made our giving Tuesday a huge success!  Thank you to our matching donors, past donors, new donors, our Board of Directors, friends of the Maria Kaupas Center, volunteers, and Maria High School alumnae.  We are so grateful for your kind gifts.  Your donations will help expand programming at the Maria Kaupas Center, enabling more youth to benefit from  after school activities focused on spirituality, community and leadership.

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Warmest Regards,

Carmen Ontiveros
Executive Director