Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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It’s the vision of Notre Dame Regional High School that their students will “Enter to learn, and leave to serve.” This ideal certainly reaches its zenith during Holy Week. 

Since Mark Koehler began the program in 1995, Notre Dame students have participated in numerous service projects and an organized retreat led by an outside group - such as the ‘REAP’ Team, or Southeast Missouri State University’s Newman Center - over a two-day period during Holy Week. But according to Paul Unterreiner, who instructs their Franciscan Leadership Class (FLC), they did things a bit differently this year. 

On Apr. 16 and 17, while service projects remained - nearly 45 projects were completed this year - over 42 seniors from the FLC volunteered to lead the retreat for the entire school, making it a student-led project for the first time. It was centered around the Stations of the Cross. 

“They worked the past month-and-a-half organizing it,” said Unterreiner. “They went through all 14 stations, with small activities tied into that.”

The stations were placed throughout the school with two stations per classroom, and two FLC leaders per station. 

Senior DJ Lynch served as a student supervisor for the retreat. He said FLC was excited to give the stations a ‘new era’ type of theme. 

“We wanted to get the message across in a way that the underclassmen would understand it more and relate to the events more,” said Lynch. “It was different from the typical Stations of the Cross we’ve done.”

As for Holy Week service, Lynch has participated in projects in the past at Christian School of the Young Years, canned food drives, and a trash pickup on Route K. FLC seniors are receiving their service fulfillment this year in planning the retreat. 

Lynch said he likes participating in the service projects, and that they allow him to reach out to the community in any way he can. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to find service projects on your own, and Holy Week makes them accessible.” said Lynch. “It allows me to have those opportunities and give back.”

Senior Paige Emmenderfer also assisted with the retreat. She said another goal in modernizing the Stations was to connect them with students’ daily lives, and how they might struggle. 

“We wanted to show them that Jesus went through the same things we do,” said Emmenderfer.

Unterreiner said he touched base with students for the retreat on a weekly basis to ensure they remained on track, but he still found difficulty in - and learned from - ‘letting go.’

“I’m not good at giving up control and delegating, if you will,” said Unterreiner. “But at the same time, I knew what our kids were capable of. Knowing that the Lord would work through these kids... that gave me a little inner peace.”

In the end, he said it was a very unique project that students loved. 

“It really tied into the heart of the pain and agony that our Lord went through during his passion,” said Unterreiner. 

Unterreiner said Holy Week is always an important time in our liturgical calendar to focus on Christ and his work of serving others. 

“It’s a great way for us to center ourselves around Him by getting out in the community, helping those in need, and seeing the face of Christ in others,” said Unterreiner.

 

Click the image below to view all images

Retreat & Service Days 2019

 

Thank you to the following businesses for allowing our students to lend a helping hand.

Big Stuff Pre-School 
Cape Senior Center
Catholic Campus Ministry
Christian School for the Young Years
Cobden Elementary
Foutainbleau Lodge
Guardian Angel
Head Start - Chaffee
Head Start - Charleston
Head Start - New Madrid
Head Start - Sikeston
Horizon Enrichment Center
Immaculate Conception Church
Immaculate Conception School
Jackson Senior Center
Jesus in Disguise
Just Kids (Cape)
Kid's Academy (Chaffee)
Klaus Park
Knights of Columbus - Cape
Knights of Columbus - Kelso
Lutheran Home
Mac's Mission
Mississippi Therapeutic Horsemanship Assoc.
ND Art
ND Prom Storage
ND Route K Clean Up
ND Theatre Storage
Options for Women
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (IL)
Ratlif Nursing Home
Sack Lunches to Waiting Rooms
Sacred Heart (Dexter)
Sacred Heart (Poplar Bluff)
St. Ambrose
St. Andrew School (Murphysboro, IL)
St. Augustine
St. Denis
St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis Xavier (Carbondale)
St. Henry
St. Joseph Rectory (Cobden, IL)
St. Joseph School (Marion, IL)
St. Mary Cathedral School
St. Mary's (Anna)
St. Vincent School
Ugly Quilts

 

 

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WinGS, Women in God's Service, painted faces at the Hope House Easter Egg Hunt over the weekend.  The event was held for foster children in Southeast Missouri.  WinGS is led by Mrs. Gail Timpe.

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Seniors Cassidy Swain and Dawson Snider put their Faith in action by showing Christ's love for a family in need.  Thank you to those who give so generously to our Liturgy collections. And thank you to Charleston High School for running the story. May God continue to bless the Harper family!

from Charleston Facebook:

AWESOME: When two students at Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau heard about the Harper family's accident last fall, they decided to take action.
Senior students Dawson Snider and Cassidy Swain took the idea to raise money for the family to their principal Brother David Migliorino, who says this is a regular part of the school's liturgy. The school hosts several fundraisers like this every year to reach out and help organizations, people, and families in need.
"This is what we do," said Brother David. "The students come to me with a need and we see what we can do to support."
The Notre Dame students collected donations to be offered to the Harper family, and Cassidy Swain recently visited Charleston High School to present Christa Harper with a $500 check for her family! 

 

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Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, our school Feast Day! May we all find the humility and grace of Mary to say "yes" to the Lord in our lives.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” ... (Luke 1:38)

“Loving trust and total surrender made Our Lady say ‘yes’ to the message of the angel. And cheerfulness made her run in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth. That is so much our life: say ‘yes’ to Jesus and running in haste to serve him in the poorest of the poor. Let us keep very close to Our Lady and she will make that same spirit grow in each of us.” - St. Teresa of Calcutta

God Bless!!

Click the image below to view more photos...Annunciation 2019

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2019 Spring Food Drive

Thespians and Backstage Blue hosted a food drive on Wednesday. Students and Faculty brought in 69 boxes and 1,820 lbs of canned food.  This surpasses last year's drive. Thank you to everyone who participated!

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This February, Notre Dame Regional High School, Cape Girardeau, and two schools from the east coast -- St. Francis Prep in Queens, New York and St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island -- came together once again for the Franciscan Volunteer Program. 

The annual event was started in 2001 by Br. Damian Novello, OSF.  The Franciscan Volunteer Program is sponsored by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn to bring the high schools staffed by the Brothers together for service. During these seven days, students participate in different service projects throughout the region at a variety of organizations, such as food pantries, shelters, or anywhere help is needed. 

Each year since 2002, Notre Dame’s campus minister and theology teacher, Sarah Strohmeyer has attended, rotating between the duties of program director and chaperone. The program is hosted by a different school each year tied to the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, and for 2019, Br. David Anthony Migliorino, OSF and Notre Dame took their turn as hosts. 

Over 40 people participated in the Franciscan Volunteer Program this year. Nine students and two chaperones attended from St. Francis Prep, 11 students and two chaperones attended from St. Anthony’s, and 12 students and one chaperone, science teacher Jerry Landewe, attended from Notre Dame. Br. Mark Waldmann, OSF, a chaperone from St. Anthony’s, along with Br. Michael Sullivan, OSF, and Br. Etienne Jaeckel, OSF, went with different groups of students to service projects all week. 

The Notre Dame family was also called on to help support the students.  Notre Dame faculty members Laura Halter and Gail Timpe helped coordinate meals and student lodging needs.  Faculty, student groups, community members, and alumni brought in and served meals to the volunteers throughout the week.  

Strohmeyer says a key part of hosting the students from New York is exposing them to rural poverty. 

“This is something that they don’t always realize -- it’s different here,” said Strohmeyer. “And through this, we also show our own students areas which they can serve every day.”

The students served over 10 locations this year through cleaning, serving meals, and building structures such as a storage shed for Mac’s Mission Animal Rescue in Jackson and a fence for Birthright in Cape Girardeau. Other locations included the Cape Senior Center, The People’s Shelter, St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and Salvation Army in Cape Girardeau; the Jesus in Disguise Food Pantry in Benton; and the SEMO Food Bank in Sikeston. They also picked up trash along Route K and made 53 “ugly quilts” for the Ugly Quilt Project at St. Vincent’s in Cape Girardeau. 

Christian O’Grady of St. Anthony’s said he was unable to participate when the Franciscan Volunteer Program was held in New York in 2018, but was excited when the opportunity came up this year to travel to a place to which he had never been. Although it was cold and rainy when he arrived, he enjoyed seeing the Arch in St. Louis when traveling down.  

“I expected to see more cows, and the area was not what I expected to find,” said O’Grady.

Making ugly quilts was one of O’Grady’s favorite projects.

“We were able to make 53 quilts, so 53 people are going to have warmth during the cold months,” said O’Grady. “The project also gives out basic toiletries, hats, and more. It makes us appreciate what God has given us, and that we are able to help people stay warm.”

Notre Dame senior David Dugan is no novice to service projects, having been on Notre Dame’s summer Mission Trips in the past. But this was his first year participating in Franciscan Volunteer Program.

“Unlike other Mission Trips, like our recent one to San Antonio, it’s an opportunity to do something in my community,” said Dugan. “I really like service, because it makes me feel good, and it brings out the best in me.”

Strohmeyer says, all-in-all, Franciscan Volunteer Program is a great time to bring all three schools together.

“It’s wonderful to live out that charism to be of service,” says Strohmeyer. “It’s important to expose the kids to profound experiences of service -- we hope it will inspire them to be of service in their area.” 

Thank you to the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, Drury Southwest, Mid-America Hotels, and all of our community partners for making this year's Franciscan Volunteer Program a success!



 

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Catholic Schools Week 2019

View pictures of the week's events!

Monday - Future Day

-College shirt day.  Wear college apparel with dress code bottoms or Dress for your future occupation.
-Home and School hosts breakfast for the Faculty.

The Guidance Office hosted its biennial Career Day on January 28th.  Thirty-one professionals from the local community volunteered to spend the afternoon with our students, providing them with a glimpse into a typical day in their respective career field.  We are so grateful to everyone who gave of their time and talents! 
A big THANK YOU to:
Geri Beussink ‘77
Natalie Brewer ‘11
Kevin Brost ‘13
Kyle Campbell ‘12
Brad Deken
Dr. Rob Dodson ‘91
Ryan Eftink ‘95
David Enderle
Lindsay Grojean ‘14
Kim Hagedorn
Darin Halter
Tanner Hiett ‘10
Mike Higgins ‘95
Jamie Koehler ‘77 & Jeanie Haertling
Lana Lange
Teresa Machicao-Hopkins
Daniel Mansker
Del McKinney
Kevin McMeel
Katie Michael ‘98
Brian Rhodes & Alan Long
Taylor Seyer ‘13
Dr. Kelly Smith
Amy Sutherlin
Ben Traxel
Madawn Traxel
Dennis Vollink
Lindsey Wagoner
Dr. Timothy Wencewicz ‘02

Tuesday - Student Appreciation Day 

-ND Dress down day - wear blue/white/black/gray ND shirt
-Pep Assembly Schedule @ 2pm

Wednesday - Academic Excellence 

-A celebration of the academic accomplishments of our students.
-A top student is recognized in each academic discipline with an award from Marian Charities
-NAHS (National Art Honor society) and Tri-M (Music honor society) inductions.

Thursday - Grandparent’s Day 

-Students invite their grandparents to lunch here at school, chili and beef vegetable soup is on the menu.


Friday - Faculty Appreciation Day 

-All school mass with Bishop Rice at 10:15am
-Student council sponsors and hosts a lunch for the faculty.

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March for Life 2019

Notre Dame was represented by eleven students and two faculty members at the March for Life in Washington DC.  Students joined Bishop Rice and others from the Springfield-Catholic Diocese. 

The March for Life began in 1973 and coincides with the anniversary of the Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade.  The Mission of March for Life is to "End abortion by uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square". Visit www.marchforlife.org for more information.

Thank you to all who supported these students on this pilgrimage and for your prayers for their safe travel.

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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

Father,
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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