Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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ND Enjoys Summer Travels

Notre Dame had an eventful summer.   Mrs. Layton, Mrs. Tomaszewski, Mrs. Worley, and Mr. Hinton, with students from ND, took a trip to Peru; Ms. Strohmeyer hosted this year’s Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip in Tuba City, Arizona, along with Mrs. Schaefer, Mr. Boeller, Mr. Landewe, Mr. Rowland, and Mr. Kuper; Ms. Siebert spent her summer in Spain; and Mrs. Timpe and Mr. Keusenkothen, along with students, attended Steubenville.

Mrs. Layton’s group had the opportunity to take 16 students, along with a few parents, on a trip to Peru. The group visited Lima, Cuzco, Uros Islands, and Machu Picchu: one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The trip itself wasn’t a walk in the park. According to Layton, “It was rugged.We did stay in hotels for the majority of the trip, but that didn’t mean it was easy.”  At 14,000 feet, experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness wasn’t uncommon. “It was strenuous due to altitude sickness, but it was still awesome,” Layton said.

The group hiked for the majority of the trip. “Lots of hiking at the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu. We had to have a guide, and we only had two hours to stay as the site was closely monitored-- they didn’t want a lot of people staying for too long,” Layton said. Alongside the exhausting symptoms of altitude sickness and the strenuous hiking, there was a lot of culture shock.

One thing to know was that it seldom rains in Peru; however, when the group visited, they did experience some misting. “The first day in Cuzco, our guide, Rod, said, ‘This is the first time it rained since I was eleven.’ And he was talking about the mist!” Layton said.

The food in Peru was exotic compared to the meals the average American is used to. “The food was amazing,” Layton said. “This may be a little controversial, but we tried alpaca steaks and kebabs, and the Inca specialty: guinea pig… It was all delicious,” Layton said.

Ms. Strohmeyer led the Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip to Tuba City, Arizona. According to Strohmeyer, the origin of the mission trip was in 1996 when she was working at St. Vincent’s Grade School in Cape Girardeau.

“My mom and dad went on vacation with this priest who had a pastor friend from Tuba City, and they suggested  I should bring my youth group so they can experience this awesome place,” Strohmeyer said. The Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip, named after her late mother, was founded.

Tuba City, Arizona is a small town in Coconino County on the Navajo land. According to Strohmeyer, this year’s group had the opportunity to see some dinosaur tracks and the Grand Canyon, which was only half an hour away.

Mission trips are often a place where community comes together through service and prayer. “You feel like you’re really doing something—and that’s a great feeling!” Strohmeyer said.

It’s also an opportunity to get close with people participants might not have had the chance to be close with. “Every year, we have students coming with us for the first time during their junior or senior year, and they often say they regret not going on all four years,” said Strohmeyer. 

Dulac, Louisiana will be the location of next summer’s trip. Sign-ups will be available during an informational meeting announced sometime this year.
Ms. Siebert travelled to Spain to work as an au pair to teach kids English. According to Siebert, this was her first time traveling out of the country. “I went to San Sebastian, Spain, which is a tourist destination. There are three different beaches and, in the time I was there, multiple celebrities visited the area, including Woody Allen, who is currently shooting his newest film,” Siebert said.

Siebert stayed in Spain for a little over a month and lived with the Rodriguez family.  Experiencing Spain this way was better because she lived like the locals and fully experienced the Spanish culture through the Rodriguezes.

“My sole purpose for being there was to help the kids with their English, while also caring for them during the day,” Siebert said. She taught the three kids through different activities that included reading books in English, watching videos in English, and practicing their English-speaking skills constantly.

Siebert also met a friend of the family who was German and also an au pair. “We had her over for a dinner party one night. Between the family, the German au pair, and myself, there were four different languages being spoken at one table,” Siebert said.

Siebert’s stay in Spain was an eye-opening experience and sparked her desire to continue learning more Spanish once she returned home. “I can truly see the value in speaking multiple languages and being able to communicate with others,” Siebert said.

Steubenville is a three-day high-energy youth Catholic conference held all over North America. The conference is filled with great music, wonderful presenters, and a few thousand Catholic teens. Mrs. Timpe had the opportunity to be a group leader for this year’s Steubenville in Springfield, Missouri.

A lot of students from ND annually attend the conference, but Timpe recommends more go. “Teens get to encounter Jesus personally, in Word and Sacrament. The focus is on choosing Christianity as a joyful decision. When you get 5,000 teens in a room that is already brimming with energy, then add Jesus, the effects are amazing,” Timpe said.

The conference is geared to mainly youth and is specifically developed for high school students, but there are adults and college students who attend to act as chaperones or small group leaders. “There are conferences put on for college students, for example ‘Seek’, and three different adult Steubenville encounters,” Timpe said.

Timpe’s job as a group leader was to keep everyone in check for their safety. “Once I got there, my job was to get us where we needed to be, and keep track of everyone,” Timpe said.

“My favorite thing was watching so many teens living out their faith. Every time I leave, I have a renewed faith in the future of the church,” Timpe said. This was Timpe’s 9th year attending the Steubenville conference as a group leader. According to her, she would have gone as a student if she had known it existed. “I think it would have been an incredible boost to my faith before going off to college,” Timpe said.

by Jona Vercide, Staff Writer for the ND student newspaper The Hi-Lites


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On June 17, over 30 students and faculty from Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau headed out west for their annual week-long mission trip. 

Since 1996, the Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip has served impoverished areas in many different locations across the U.S. - including Dulac, LA, San Antonio, TX, and Montgomery, AL - but this year, it returned to its roots in Tuba City, AZ. 

“In the 90’s, my mom and dad went on vacation with a priest friend who had another priest friend stationed in Tuba City,” said Sarah Strohmeyer, director of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame and daughter of the trip’s namesake. “He said there was a lot of poverty there, and I was doing youth ministry at St. Vincent-Cape at the time. So he told my parents I should bring the kids out for service work, and we’ve been going there every few years since.”

One of Strohmeyer’s goals in hosting the trip is to inspire students to be of service back home by bringing them out of their comfort zone. Throughout the course of the week, they’re provided with the experiences of service, prayer, and community. This year, as is typical of the Tuba City trip, they were also exposed to quite a culture change.

“Our home base is at a Catholic parish, St. Jude. It’s on a Navajo indian reservation, and right by a Hopi village,” said Strohmeyer. “So we actually get to work with two different drives of native american.”

When they arrived, the students were split into groups of four or five and sent to various locations for various jobs. Many served at the Diné Association - a daycare for severely handicapped adults. 

“Most of the people are in wheelchairs and many are non-communicative. We basically spend time with them, take them for walks, and play games,” said Strohmeyer.

Many other service locations involved outdoor work, such as shearing sheep for a Navajo family and gardening at a Hopi village. 

“The Hopi are known for having these lush gardens and fields, and it’s in the middle of the desert. It’s unbelievable what they’re able to accomplish,” said Strohmeyer. 

And, with a weekend of ceremonial dances ahead of them, the Hopi enlisted the help of several students in preparing yucca plant fibers for baskets.

“They saw the whole process of stripping these yucca, dyeing the yucca, and then the weaving of baskets out of it,” said Strohmeyer. “Just stuff you wouldn’t see. Like shearing sheep: that’s just not something we usually do around here.”

Although service projects are the main focus of the trip, Strohmeyer said they still start and end each day in prayer. To break up the monotony, each group of students plan a different prayer service each night. 

And, they always have one service dedicated to sharing a personal moment where students and faculty “really saw the face of Christ” in what they were doing.

“It’s a very profound night,” said Strohmeyer. “This is where we realize it’s more than just digging a hole for a fencepost. This is where we realize it’s having an encounter with Christ through the people who are there.”

As for being situated between two indian reservations, students saw firsthand how the Navajo and Hopi weaved stories of Christian faith with their cultural faith. 

“I think sometimes, people who have never been there think of the native americans as having their own spirituality, and that they kind of do their own thing. That’s true, but there’s also a rich Christianity. Many of them go to the churches in the area,” said Strohmeyer.

From the poverty, to the climate, to the terrain, to the people, and to the culture, Strohmeyer said the experience was - and is always - unlike anything the students and faculty may see anywhere else. 

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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 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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