Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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“If all this were true, then it’s really important.”

2018 was a busy year for Fr. Andrew Williams, having been ordained a deacon on May 25, and ordained a priest on Dec. 14 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Over a phone call with Fr. Williams, who, at the time, was on his way to see an also newly ordained friend, Fr. Joseph Stoverink, I talked with him about his upbringing, his call to the priesthood, and his time at Notre Dame.

What was your upbringing like in a Catholic family?

I was raised in a pretty practicing Catholic family. We always went to mass, and the only times we ever missed were when we got snowed in, in which case, our mother would make me and my siblings sit around and sing hymns! My parents were involved with marriage prep for other couples and with bible studies, so we definitely had that influence on us. In eighth grade, I was brought into youth group by Teresa Legrand, who was the youth minister over at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cape Girardeau at the time. She invited several students to the Steubenville conference, and I just remember being very impressed by the joy and comfort felt by the other people there. I knew that whatever they had, it was something I was interested in.

When do you think you were initially called to the priesthood?

The call to priesthood started very early on; my father’s best friend was Fr. Rick Jones, and knowing him growing up put the idea in my head that this was possible. Also, we had so many young associates who were freshly ordained come through at St. Mary’s, and the impression that made on me as a young man was a very favorable one towards the kind of energy that a young priest should have. I was probably a sophomore at Notre Dame when I first mentioned to my mom that I thought I wanted to be a priest. The vocation director for the Springfield Diocese at the time made a visit to our house, and asked me: ‘Do you pray? How are things at school?’ He also pointed out that there weren’t any high school seminaries in the area, and he asked if I would be okay with staying at Notre Dame for the time being. I said I would, and we agreed to get back in touch after two years.

What were some of your interests in high school? I mean, was religion your focus, or did you study anything else seriously?

I think I was interested in theology from the time I was in grade school. I actually just told the St. Mary’s grade school through a homily that, around 6th grade, I realized that if what we were talking about was true, if the religion thing and all these stories and teachings about God and the Church were true, then it was really important. If this was true and people are going to live by it, then this is the most important thing. That was the realization I had, and it carried me into high school. I was involved in campus ministry with Miss Sarah Strohmeyer, and Mr. Danny Strohmeyer was also influential on me. He was another example of a young man in my life who was interested in theology. I was part of science club, gaming club, National Art Honor Society, NDTV, and, of course, theatre. But I always had an interest in theology, which was something I didn’t necessarily share with a lot of people.

Do you know where you’ll be assigned, or do you have yet to be assigned to a parish?

I have yet to be assigned, because I’m going back to school for one more semester. I’ve already completed my Master of Divinity, which is a 6-8 year program, and now I’m going to finish up my extra degree on scholarship by the diocese for a Sacred Theology Licensure (STL). I just need to take three classes this semester, finish my 60-page thesis, and then take the STL exam. It’s an oral exam which will test my general knowledge of the 2,000 years of Christian thought. The STL is meant to help me be of more service to the diocese; by studying spiritual theology, hopefully, I’ll be able to assist the Bishop in either writing documents, preaching at retreats, and giving spiritual guidance to people.

Do you have any advice for those considering entering the seminary, or those who are discerning?

I would tell anyone in high school to pray, and to take this seriously. I spent time every day at Notre Dame’s chapel. And, remember that the faith we’re presented with as kids has been tailored for us being kids - they have to explain it in a way for children. If someone never studied science again, except from what they learned when they were in grade school, they would grow up thinking that science was only these childish things they learned as a kid, not realizing that there was a whole other world of science that happens once you continue to study it. The same is true with our faith, our Catholicism, and our Christianity. But you have to keep going, or else you’ll grow up thinking that the childish way this was explained to you is all that there is. I would also remind them that there’s a whole lot of pain that, if we allow God into our lives by prayer, He will be present with us. And there really is a lot of comfort and support that comes from the relationship with Christ and the parish community that, when we allow that to just disappear from our lives, a lot of things become very difficult. Lastly, there’s no life worth living, that we aim at, that is going to be easy. Whatever path you choose - married life or priesthood - they’re all pretty difficult. But they’re also full of joy!

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Happy Epiphany

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. Epiphany means "to shine upon," "to manifest," or “to make known.”  In Spanish-speaking countries, The Epiphany is called Dia de los Reyes, meaning "Three Kings' Day." 

'After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.' 
-- Matthew 2:9-11

you revealed your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.
Lead us to your glory in heaven
by the light of faith.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen

The Liturgy of the Hours

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All-School Liturgy was held today for the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Father Andrew Williams ('08) was co-celebrant with Father Rick Jones ('81). This was Fr. Andrew's first Liturgy at his alma mater as he was ordained on December 14, 2018. The school presented him with a chasuble depicting the life of Mary, including the Wedding at Cana, The Visitation, The Nativity, The Annunciation and The Coronation.  After Liturgy, students participated in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trivia with Brother David.

The Patron Saint of Catholic Schools, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley and grew up in a wealthy family in New York. She married William Seton and they had five children. By the time she was 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, and had five small children to support. She opened a school for girls in Maryland, marking the start of the Catholic parochial school system in the US. In 1809, she took her vows becoming Mother Seton and founding the Sisters of Charity, the first community for religious women in the United States. 

In 1975 she was canonized by Pope Paul VI, making her the first citizen born in the US to be given the title of "Saint." 

"Be Children of the Church." - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“Faith lifts the staggering soul on one side,
Hope supports it on the other.
Experience says it must be,
and Love says let it be.” - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton





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AGB Delivers Food and Toys

Students in Athletes Give Back helped deliver food and toys over the weekend. 



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Clubs Spread Christmas Cheer

FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and WinGS (Women in Gods Service) spread Christmas cheer at the Jesus in Disguise food pantry in Benton by caroling and handing out cookies. They were joined by Seasons of Giving club who helped with food distribution. 

Thank you ND students!

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Alumni Ordained This Weekend

Congratulations Andrew Williams ('08) on your ordination to the priesthood.  Andrew was ordained on Friday night and celebrated his first Liturgy on Saturday.

We are so proud and wish Andrew all the best!


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The Season of Giving

Notre Dame families continue to give back.  Clubs brought in canned and boxed food before the Christmas Dance last week to see their candidates crowned.  SADD members Jamie Barnes and Jasmin Maisuria were crowned on Saturday night.  The clubs brought in over 1,200 items. Athletes Give Back packaged those items for families at Franklin Grade School. 

In keeping with tradition, Mr. Ben Edwards challenged students to bring in toddler socks and other baby items for Birthright. If the students met their goal, they were promised a dance routine by faculty member, Mrs. Barb Tomaszewski and sophomore, Hayden Jansen. Over 2,000 items were received and the dance received a standing ovation after Liturgy on Friday. Nice job, Mrs. T. and Hayden!!

Thank you NDHS families for your overwhelming generosity during this Advent season. 










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NHS Toy Drive

National Honor Society sponsored the annual Toy Drive today. Students were asked to bring in two unwrapped toys with the added bonus of a dress down day! In true Notre Dame spirit, students far exceeded expectations with their generosity.  Club Sponsor, Mrs. Cindy Maher, states that over 3,000 toys were collected.

The toys will be delivered Friday after school by students to the Jaycee Toybox collection. 

Thank you to all who donated!

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Wednesday, November 21
Liturgy at 10:15am, Reception following

It has become a tradition at Notre Dame Regional High School for alumni to return to the school for the annual Thanksgiving Mass. Brother David will bless all our returning alumni during the mass and the NDHS Education Fund Foundation will host a short reception for visiting alumni immediately following the Mass at Notre Dame.

We look forward to welcoming back our alumni!

We welcomed over 90 alumni during our Liturgy. We are thankful for all who were able to attend. Thank you for coming!!

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Opening Prayer Service

The Opening Prayer Service for the 2018-19 school year was held on Friday, August 24th. 

Brother David set the tone of the year by asking students and faculty to keep their eyes on the Cross.  Everything we do should be with Christ in our minds and in our hearts.  As the cross was held before each class, he blessed each class.  He finished by blessing the faculty.

Our prayer is that all faculty and students have a blessed school year.  Through the ups and downs that may come this year, may we all keep our eyes on the Cross!


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