Congratulations to Bishop LeBlond, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Pius X High School girls' soccer team for winning their respective districts and moving on to state quarterfinal matches this Saturday, May 27. Quarterfinals are an exciting stage in any tournament, and it's a testament to their hard work, skills, and dedication. We wish them all the best of luck in their upcoming matches.
* Bishop LeBlond High School plays Barstow at Barstow, Saturday, May 27 @ 1 pm.
* St. Michael the Archangel High School plays Smithville at Lee's Summit North High School, Saturday, May 27 @ noon.
* St. Pius X High School plays Helias Catholic High School at Helias Crusaders Complex, in Jefferson City, Saturday, May 27 @ noon.
Eucharistic Revival Relic Tour
The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery in the United States. Don't miss this opportunity to view the official relics of Blessed Carlo Acutis and Saint Manuel Gonzales Garcia. This relic tour will stop in our diocese May 1-3 as part of the National Eucharistic Revival. Our schools will also have the opportunity to visit this tour. See you there!
Happy 15 Anniversary
Today marks Bishop James V. Johnston's 15th Anniversary of his ordination as Bishop. We are truly grateful for your guidance and the many blessings you have been as Bishop for the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph. May the Lord continue to bless you and the Holy Spirit guide you as you shepherd our diocese!
Happy Anniversary Bishop Johnston!
In Memory of Pat Burbach
Patricia "Pat" Burbach passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
Pat decided at an early age to become a teacher after she witnessed the harsh treatment of one of her brothers by a teacher. She was the first to earn a Bachelor's degree and devoted her life to Catholic education and catechesis. Her life of service took her to classrooms in Wolbach, York and Omaha Nebraska. In 1995, she earned her Master's degree in Education and began the of Principal of St. John's Catholic School in Lincoln, Nebraska.
She came to Kansas City, Missouri to serve as Principal of St. Therese School in the Fall of 1999. She continued in this role until 2007, when her career focus shifted to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Schools Office. She served as the Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools for 15 years until her retirement in June 2022. During her years in the Catholic School Office, Pat served on the Notre Dame de Sion School Board and the Missouri Nonpublic Schools Accreditation Association Board. Her dedication to these organizations was evident by her tireless work on their behalf. In her nearly fifty-year career as a Catholic educator, she was a strong advocate of students, teachers, school families and administrators within Catholic schools. Her calm and peaceful spirit was a gift to all who knew her and her service to our Catholic School community will be felt for generations.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Catholic Schools Week
This past week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week in our Diocesan schools. Each day we focused on aspects that make our schools unique: parish, community, students, nation, vocations, faculty/staff/volunteers, and families.
Sunday, we kicked off the week by celebrating our parish communities. Our schools benefit from the religious guidance, prayers, and support the parishes provide. The next day, we celebrated our communities. A central aspect of Catholic education is learning the importance of service to our communities and others. When students are engaged in service to others, they demonstrate the values and faith gained through Catholic education. On Tuesday, we celebrated the success of our students; learning, serving, and leading. Our schools participated in dress-down days, dodgeball tournaments, and scavenger hunts. On Wednesday, our schools celebrated our nation by praying for our government leaders and those who serve. The next day, we celebrated vocations. By focusing on the themes of learning, serving, and leading, Catholic schools prepare children to succeed in their God-given talents. On Friday, we celebrated our teachers, staff, and volunteers for their dedicated service to their vocations. On Saturday, we acknowledged the role of the families as partners in Catholic education and celebrated their contributions to the success of our schools.
Thank you to everyone that made this year's Catholic Schools Week a success!
A Family Affair
Passing on the faith is a family affair with Stephanie and Joe Hollo; a mother and son. Stephanie's passion for Catholic education started when her husband and her husband made the choice of Catholic education for our oldest son 22 years ago, after experiencing the family-like atmosphere and faith-based curriculum. Stephanie is the principal at Nativity of Mary Catholic School in Independence. And Joe teaches Latin, theology, and small-engine repair at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Lee's Summit.
Find out more about this amazing family by reading the article found below in the Catholic Key.
Dr. Hopson started her career in education 31 years ago with the desire to help people. Dr. Hopson was drawn to Catholic Education when her daughter was going to start Kindergarten. She wanted to make sure her daughter was surrounded by people who had similar values and morals, so she decided to make the switch to Catholic Education for both her and her daughter.
A day in the life of an Associate Superintendent is different each day. One day Dr. Hopson is visiting schools, another she is meeting with principals and on another, she is working in the office on the next project. Dr. Hopson's goal this year is to be a support to all the principals and schools!
When Dr. Hopson is not at work you will find her crafting for others or watching a Chiefs game. Dr. Hopson is passionate about Catholic Education, as she believes everyone should have a Catholic Education to help them to be the best human, he/she can be! Dr. Hopson is also a strong supporter of Children’s Mercy Hospital where her daughter received excellent care when she was younger.
One day, Dr. Hopson would love to go to Rome, Italy, and visit the Vatican. When asked who she would like to meet in history, Dr. Hopson said Mother Theresa. I would like the chance to talk with her and learn from her. That would be a blessing!
Bright Futures Fund announces 100 scholarships awarded in first round of MOScholars program
Kansas City - The Bright Futures Fund is pleased to announce the awarding of the first 100 scholarships in the new MOScholars program. Scholarships have been awarded to students attending 26 qualifying Catholic schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
The Bright Futures Fund was one of the six Educational Assistance Organizations certified by the Missouri State Treasurer’s office to administer the MOScholars program. These 100 scholarships are concurrent with fundraising generated from individuals and companies purchasing Missouri State Income Tax Credits.
“We are excited to begin to fund these scholarships and to further our mission with the MOScholars program, giving families the best tool to succeed: a high-quality education,” said Jeremy Lillig, Executive Director of the Bright Futures Fund.
To date, the Bright Futures Fund has generated more than $1 million in Missouri State income Tax Credits with more pledged. To donate, or to learn more, please visit www.brightfuturesfund.org. Individuals and Corporations can receive a 100% tax credit for 50% of their annual State Income Tax obligation.
Who are the people in the Chancery?
A typical day in the office looks like….
Most days you will find me meeting with school leaders, special educators and classroom teachers to support their work with students with exceptionalities. I also provide support, education and advocacy for our schools as they access federal programs like Title I for reading and math remediation and Covid relief funds. When I’m not in our schools, I am working closely with our amazing Catholic Schools Office team – Dr. Karen Kroh, Pat Burbach, LeAnn Lakin and Kerry Eckert to support school leaders with the resources they need. In my downtime, I research best practices, funding opportunities and legislation that would benefit our school communities.
Over the last year, I am most proud of the work that our educators have done in our learning communities as they support the mental and physical health of their students while continuing spiritual and academic growth and creating some sense of normalcy. Teachers and school leaders have been tireless in their work, stepping up and stepping in as they take on more and more tasks and responsibilities, all the while keeping students at the center of all they do. Their work inspires me, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to support them in their mission as Catholic school leaders.
This year, with Dr. Kroh as our new Superintendent, our Schools Office team has focused our energy on supporting our school leaders and educators with the tools they need to keep their doors open while understanding the tremendous toll Covid is taking on their mental and physical health. One of my focuses has been on federal relief assistance. Schools have utilized Covid relief funds to update their technology, curriculum materials and professional development. These investments will have long lasting impacts in our schools and I am so proud of our joint efforts to access and utilize these programs.
We might cross paths at my home parish – St. Therese. My daughters have attended St. Therese school and our family has been involved in church ministries there for over a decade. You’ll also find me on the soccer field or volleyball court! I have three wonderful daughters who love playing soccer and volleyball. My husband and I spend lots of nights and weekend cheering them on. We also love supporting our local NWSL team – the Kansas City Currents!
St. Joseph Catholic Schools will align under St. Joseph Catholic Academy, five campuses with centralized administration
St. Joseph, Missouri – The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership announced a key decision today following two years of evaluation, research and visioning about the future of St. Joseph Catholic Schools. Effective July 1, 2022, five St. Joseph Catholic Schools will align under one entity called St. Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA).
“The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership was formed to facilitate collaboration among the area’s Catholic schools and ensure a common experience for all students. We have laid an important foundation for that work with the decision to establish St. Joseph Catholic Academy,” said Ann Lachowitzer, president of the St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership. “We are excited and inspired by the opportunities that this new alignment offers to the students, families, teachers and staff of our St. Joseph Catholic Schools.”
All five schools will continue to operate as individual campuses within the SJCA structure: St. Gianna Early Childhood Center, Cathedral School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, St. James Catholic School and Bishop LeBlond High School. A centralized administrative team is to include Pastoral Coordinator Father Christian Malewski, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish; St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership President Ann Lachowitzer; and Head of Schools Catherine Neumayr. The administrative team will work closely with Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Kroh and Bishop James Johnston.
“This next step will better facilitate living out a unified vision and mission among our Catholic schools in St. Joseph.,” said Father Malewski. “It’s vitally important that we all know what we’re about and our ultimate goal. The mission and vision was already given by Jesus Himself: “Go make disciples . . .” While we want to educate our youth to be successful in the work world, we also want to help form them to be true disciples of Jesus who will continue to live their faith out in the world and build up the Church as a whole. It is a blessing and an honor to be a part of this hopeful future for our Catholic community.”
Benefits of the single entity structure of St. Joseph Catholic Academy include Catholic liberal arts opportunities such as foreign languages and fine arts, advanced technology, STEAM, robotics, and other diverse electives; expanded professional development opportunities for teachers and staff; consistency in curriculum that is engaging, builds foundational skills and develops disciplined thinkers; and centralized administration.
“Catholic schools are dependent upon the people, the communities and the vision that make them up: students, families, teachers, coaches, leaders and administrators,” said Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop James Johnston. “I am proud to see how the people of St. Joseph never lose sight of the unique mission of its Catholic schools and continue to be passionate about fulfilling it.”
Next steps in establishing St. Joseph Catholic Academy include continued communication with teachers, staff, parents, parishioners and the St. Joseph community; researching similar systems across the country to get a firm grounding and ensure the best possible system for St. Joseph; fostering teacher preparation; studying curriculum options; pursuing new funding; as well as branding for St. Joseph Catholic Academy and marketing strategy.
“I am proud to see St. Joseph Catholic Schools continue to make history in the way they are approaching the spiritual and academic needs of their students,” said Karen Kroh, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Learn more, and stay up to date on progress, at stjosephcatholicschools.com or St. Joseph Catholic Schools on Facebook.
About St. Joseph Catholic Schools
The mission of St. Joseph Catholic Schools is to build and foster a thriving, collaborative & sustainable K-12 Catholic School System in St Joseph, Missouri that educates the whole person through unique attention to academic and spiritual formation, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph Catholic Schools teach the lessons its students will need as they strive to share with the world their gifts and talents, so that in all things God may be glorified. The Vitality in Catholic Education plan emphasizes the development of the whole student in Catholic teachings and values and seeks to stabilize, and eventually increase, enrollment to reach more students across the St. Joseph area.
About the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was established in 1956 when the Dioceses of Kansas City (founded in 1880) and St. Joseph (founded in 1868) were combined. Led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., the Diocese is home to nearly 124,000 Catholics in 87 parishes, 10 missions and 35 schools across 27 counties in northern and western Missouri. Under the guidance of Bishop Johnston, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues its mission to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live and serve in charity in northern and western Missouri. kcsjcatholic.org