St. Paul Catholic School in Florence, KY is seeking a licensed elementary teacher for a fall maternity leave. The position will cover teaching religion, math, science, social studies, reading, and language arts to 4th grade students. The estimated beginning of the position is the first of October and the estimated end is the last day of November, approximately 8 weeks. That is subject to change. If you are interested, please email a cover letter, resume with references, and a copy of your license or proof you can obtain one to the principal, Kemberly Markham, at [email protected].
By David Cooley.
Around 140 youth and youth ministers from across the country came to the Diocese of Covington to serve the local community June 30–July 6. Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria was home base for Catholic HEART WorkCamp, an international youth-friendly, Christ-centered organization dedicated to service, connection and loving others, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.
This is the second time Bishop Brossart High School served as a host site; the first time was in 2017. Each summer more than 13,000 youth go on mission trips through this organization around the country to restore homes, feed the hungry, lift the spirits of children, bring joy to the elderly and disabled, and offer assistance while partnering with social agencies.
The missionary campers stayed in the school facility at Bishop Brossart for the week. They began each day with Mass and then broke into teams, working at many different sites throughout the region. The group collectively worked more than 5,750 hours during the week. They served in soup kitchens, food pantries and worked for organizations like HONK (Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky), People Working Cooperatively and the Rose Garden Home Mission. Groups painted at St. Anthony School, Taylor Mill, organized crafts and activities for the aged and infirm at Carmel Manor, assisted elderly neighbors at their homes, helped with minor construction projects and cleaned properties.
In addition to service projects each day, the evenings were filled with music, skits, games and spiritual enrichment. Donna Heim, former Bishop Brossart religion teacher and Catholic minister at NKU’s Newman Center, managed the work camp.
“These campers worked hard. What I love about Catholic HEART is that it is the epitome of what it means to be Catholic packed into one week,” said Mrs. Heim. “It is like a service-learning retreat; not just serving people but also loving them as Christ does.”
Mrs. Heim said that the experience has a very positive impact on the campers and those they serve.
“It’s a win-win situation,” she said. “The campers get to experience the joy of serving others, homes in the community get restored and the people served feel loved and develop a relationship with the campers.”
Father Robert Rottgers, pastor, St. Philip Parish, Melbourne, served as the chaplain for the camp; Lee Roessler Band led the worship music; and Charles Marks, junior high teacher at St. Thomas School, Ft. Thomas, gave three presentations on the theme — “Radiance” — and how Christians are called to shine with the light of Christ. As part of the experience, adoration was offered as well as reconciliation during evening ceremonies.
Students from Bishop Brossart High School also took part in the week, serving as a hospitality committee for those visiting and living at the school. Three recent graduates — JD Schumacher, Justin Kiefer and Samantha (Sam) Webster — served those who were serving others.
“It was a great experience; not only do I think that we helped them but this experience also helped me in my faith. When you are in an environment like that it is hard not to take a step forward. Everyone there was working toward the same thing,” said Mr. Schumacher. “It was just awesome.”
Mr. Kiefer said that his favorite part was the fellowship he experienced with the campers from all over the country and worshiping Christ together.
“During the week I had an experience that really changed me. It isn’t something that I can explain but I feel it,” he said. Mr. Kiefer was inspired and is hoping to become a member of the trained Catholic HEART Workcamp team next year.
Service is very important to Miss Webster, who is also thinking about applying to become a member of the national team next year.
“Catholic HEART Workcamp allowed me to see a larger community of youth that were super passionate about helping the community and those around them. I’m struck by the joy and the passion and the faith that the whole experience brought to everyone involved,” she said.
“This is a great way to go around and spread Christ’s message and show everyone love and compassion, and teach other young people how valuable and how important service is for ourselves and our community — locally and globally.”
Mrs. Heim said that a lot of young people come to camp because they like to volunteer and serve, but she noticed something more happening below the surface.
“It seemed to me that many of them have not had that personal encounter with Christ. They know of him but they didn’t know him in such a personal way; I have seen this camp change that. Through the worship and the liturgy, tied in with the service, they experienced something that they hadn’t experienced before,” she said.
“This is what we are all about — the sacraments, the power of a community united around Christ, serving our brothers and sisters in need, worshiping together and enjoying each other’s company. It is one of those ideal moments in time when you can see what the Church is, what people do in Christ’s name.”
By Caitlin Shaughnessy Dwyer.
This article is the first of a three-part series. Future articles will address logic, the law, and “hard cases.”
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Are you comfortable talking about being pro-life? Many of us aren’t. We may be convinced that abortion is wrong, but when it comes to sharing our convictions with others, we tend to clam up. We want to say something, but we don’t know where to begin.
There is a simple strategy that you can use to make these difficult conversations easier. If someone expresses that she is pro-choice or undecided, you can ask the following question: “If you were convinced that the unborn child is a human life, would you still support abortion?”
This question does two things. First, it invites the person to examine her own position. She must decide: is abortion still ok if the unborn child is a human life? Second, it cuts your own work in the conversation in half:
— If the person answers “No” — meaning that if she accepted the unborn child as a human life, she would not support abortion — then you have a conversation about science on your hands.
— If she answers, “Yes” — meaning that, even if she accepted the unborn child as a human life, she would still support abortion — then you are entering into a conversation about the legal and philosophical question of personhood: Which human beings are persons who have basic rights?
This article will focus on the scientific conversation, while a forthcoming article will focus on personhood.
If your listener agrees she would not support abortion if she were convinced the unborn child is a human life, tell her you are going to share why you are convinced that the unborn child is a human life from the first moment of fertilization.
First, the unborn child is human because he has human DNA. There is universal scientific consensus regarding this fact: a complete human genome made up of a unique set of 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) is present at fertilization. The child is not a chicken, or a rabbit. He is not one kind of thing that turns into another kind of thing. He is always human.
Second, the unborn child is alive because he exhibits the characteristics of life that scientists generally use to determine whether an entity is living. You don’t have to remember all of these, but I’m going to list them here for reference:
- made of one of more cells;
- has DNA;
- maintains homeostasis;
- is responsive to environment;
- grows and develops; and
- reproduces (meaning an entity that can reproduce even if reproduction isn’t possible until adulthood).
An unborn child meets all criteria.
At this point, you can pause and ask, “When do you think life begins?”
This is a Golden Rule moment: treat this person the way you would want to be treated. Really listen, and show that you are listening to her and seeking to understand her thoughts by repeating back her definition of when life begins.
She may present an objection to your argument, such as, “Ok, it’s alive, but at the beginning it’s just a clump of cells! My skin cell is alive and human, but it’s not a human being.” Here, it is helpful to explain that the unborn child is an organism, a self-directing entity that coordinates its own growth and ￼￼￼￼￼including the right to ￼development and will mature into an adult member of its species if given a proper environment and adequate nutrition. A skin cell cannot mature into an adult human.
It would also be helpful to share basic facts of fetal development. Begin by explaining that words like “zygote,” “morula,” “embryo” and “fetus” are terms used to describe phases of development of a human child before birth (just like we use “newborn,” “toddler,” and “adolescent” after birth). This is an important clarification because some people use these words as though they were describing different non-human kinds of beings. A baby is human and exhibits the characteristics of life at each phase of development.
During the first few days of development (zygote and morula phase), the baby is already communicating with the mother by sending her body chemical signals. These signals tell the mom’s body to keep making progesterone, so that she will not menstruate and lose the endometrial lining that the baby needs to successfully implant. The baby also sends signals to suppress the mother’s local immune system so that her body will allow the baby to implant (the baby has different DNA than the mom and our bodies tend to attack or reject foreign DNA).
During the embryo stage (2-8 weeks), the baby’s heart starts to beat at just 21 days after conception. Many women do not even know they are pregnant at this point. At six weeks, brain waves can be detected. By 8.5 weeks, every organ is in place and unique fingerprints have formed. At this age, babies react to touch and there is some evidence that babies can feel pain.
During the fetal stage (9 weeks until birth), the baby continues to grow and develop, and by 20 weeks, there is compelling evidence that babies can feel pain. For this reason, twelve states have banned abortion after 20 weeks citing fetal pain.
You might ask if the person has ever seen an ultrasound, and if not, offer to pull one up on YouTube.
Another objection that your listener might present is the claim that the baby is just part of the woman’s body. The points that we have already covered above can help you respond to this; you can point out again that the baby has unique DNA. If he were part of the mother’s body, they would both share the same DNA. The baby also has his own heart with his own blood (often a different blood type than the mother). He has his own brain that directs his own movements and bodily functions. He is a unique, distinct human being.
Finally, when having these conversations, always remember that the goal is not to “win” the argument, but to speak the truth in love for the genuine good of the other. Ask questions, listen, and lovingly respond through the guidance of the Spirit. The person will not only remember what you said, but how you said it. Your message about dignity, given in a way that respects her dignity, will resonate in her heart.
Caitlin Shaughnessy Dwyer is an Instructor of Theology at Thomas More University. She and her family are members of St. Pius X Church in Edgewood. This “We Choose Life” article first appeared in the July 19, 2019, edition of the Messenger.
- Ask questions. Begin by making lots of statements about your own position can be off-putting. Asking good questions can invite a person to more carefully reflect on her own position. A question could be as simple as, “Could you share with me why you think that?”
- Plant the seed; don’t give a lecture. The article provided today is not meant to be a script and you don’t need to cover every point to have an impactful conversation. You can ask a question, listen, then share what you think might be helpful based on the person’s response. If the conversation is going well you can ask, listen and share again. If the person is not receptive, you might try to engage in dialogue again another day.
- Empathize and find common ground wherever you can.
- Be calm, humble, kind, respectful and joy-filled. So much about the message is conveyed by the demeanor of the messenger!
“To accept the fact that, after fertilization has taken place, a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion … It is plain experimental evidence.” – Dr. Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of Trisomy 21 as the genetic basis of Down Syndrome
“It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.” – Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard Medical School
The Diocese of Covington’s Catholic Charities ministry is seeking a dedicated and compassionate individual to launch and manage the startup of a Mobile Food Pantry program in the rural counties of the Diocese that are often considered a “food desert” due to limited resources. This part-time position will be a unique opportunity for a practicing Roman Catholic to spend approximately twenty hours per week putting their faith into action in a tangible way by helping to address hunger and being the face of Christ in the outlying areas of our Diocese. Utilizing a mobile pantry, local building space, volunteers, and local collaborations for families in need of service, the Coordinator will build relationships and establish partnerships in order to create and/or expand food distribution. Desired qualifications include at least an Associate’s degree in Business, Social Work, or other related field, related work experience, and a comfort and familiarity with the use of technology. Due to the nature of this new enterprise, candidates must be self-starters with good communication skills and a certain amount of drive and imagination, capable of working with little supervision to convey the vision and needs in a compelling manner. Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest along with a detailed resume, compensation history, and at least four references including contact emails to Stephen Koplyay, SPHR, by email: [email protected], fax: 859/392-1589, or mail: 1125 Madison Avenue, Covington, KY 41011.
On a warm summer afternoon in the late 1880’s, a little girl walked up to the front door of the residence of the Bishop of Covington and rang the bell …
St. Catherine of Siena in Ft. Thomas is seeking applications for a part time after school care teacher for the 2019-2020 school year. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: assistance with homework, planning and implementation of program activities, and interaction and supervision of children ages kindergarten through eighth grade. Hours are from 2:30-5:30pm, 2-3 days a week. Some flexibility with scheduling. To apply send resume and references to Principal Julie Scherer at [email protected].
St. Joseph School is looking for an After School Care director for the 2019-2020 school year. The director will be responsible for:
- maintaining a clean, safe environment for the children
- scheduling and supervising assistants
- billing and collecting after care fees
- enforcement of the policies set forth in the handbook
The director’s hours will be M-F, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Interested candidates should send a resume to Sue Greis at [email protected].
Thomas More University’s Board of Trustees announced May 1 that, following a national search, they have elected Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. as the University’s 15th president. Dr. Chillo, who begins at TMU on June 1, has served as the president of Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts, since 2014. He is also a professor of humanities and has taught first-year seminar and courses in American History.
The TMU community will have the opportunity to welcome President-elect Chillo as the University’s 15th president on Thursday, May 23 outside the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel on campus at 10 a.m.
“While Thomas More University was blessed with a pool of excellent candidates who met our presidential qualifications, it was Dr. Chillo who emerged as our unanimous choice for this appointment given his executive, academic, and administrative experience, along with his energy, insights, and collaborative style,” said Board of Trustees Chair Judith Marlowe, Ph.D.
During his presidency at Newbury, the college increased its fundraising, received its largest donation ever, built a nationally-recognized Student Success Center, and established the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Dr. Chillo’s student-centered focus led to the development of new academic programs, athletic and co-curriculum expansion, and improvements in student outcomes. He served as executive vice president and vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions from 2008 to 2014.
Dr. Chillo, a first-generation college graduate, earned his bachelor’s degree at Binghamton University, a Master of Public Administration at Long Island University, and a Doctor of Law and Policy at Northeastern University. With more than 25 years of private, higher education experience, prior to Newbury, his past positions include senior leadership roles at Colby-Sawyer College, Wheelock College, and St. Thomas Aquinas College.
“It is a great honor and my distinct privilege to be selected to serve as Thomas More University’s 15th president,” Dr. Chillo said. “I look forward to working with the entire TMU community as someone who serves as a mission-driven, servant leader dedicated to academic and student excellence. I strongly believe that Thomas More University is well positioned for the future and has the unique opportunity to create a bold and visionary future for Catholic higher education.”
“His enthusiasm for leading Thomas More forward into our second century of educational excellence inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition focuses on preparing learners of all ages for life’s opportunities and challenges,” said Dr. Marlowe. “Optimism, stewardship, team building based on trust, and mutual respect are the bedrock of his approach to leadership. We are grateful that he has accepted our offer and very pleased to welcome Dr. Chillo to our campus and community.”
Dr. Chillo plans to focus on TMU’s future through emphasis on expanding academic program development across the institution, creating a dynamic student experience, building local, regional, national, and international partnerships that boost student and alumni opportunities as well as fundraising.
“I am pleased that Dr. Chillo has been elected president of our beloved Thomas More University,” said Bishop Roger Foys. “I commend the Board of Trustees for their diligence in conducting this search and presenting for my approval the appointment of Dr. Chillo. I look forward to him serving the university. At the same time I extend my thanks to Dr. Kathleen Jagger for her service to the university as acting president this past school year.”
By David Cooley.
In a letter addressed to parents dated April 11, the Diocese of Covington Department of Catholic Schools announced that Bishop Roger Foys had approved the recommendation that “beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the students of Holy Trinity Junior High School (Newport) will join the other students at Holy Trinity Elementary (Bellevue) to create one kindergarten through eighth-grade school building.” Holy Trinity School has served the cities of Bellevue, Dayton and Newport since the consolidation of three schools — Holy Spirit, Newport; St. Bernard, Dayton; and St. Michael, Bellevue — in 2002.
The letter, which was signed by Michael Clines, superintendent of Schools; Msgr. William Cleves, pastor, Holy Spirit Parish, Newport; and Father Martin Pitstick, pastor, Divine Mercy Parish, Bellevue, and St. Bernard Parish, Dayton, stated that this move is in line with the mission of the Alliance for Catholic Urban Education (ACUE) and is part of the ongoing effort “to keep Catholic education affordable and available in the urban core.”
The move, according to the letter, will unite the student body, faculty and principal at one location and alleviate the expense involved in operating two buildings. The letter acknowledged the sacrifice the change means for Holy Spirit Parish and stated that the monies saved would be put toward the students’ educational programs. The three parishes will continue their partnership to support the success of the school.
Holy Trinity School, Bellevue.
“Catholic education is so important and we must do everything in our power to keep it as affordable as best we can; this is especially vital in our urban core,” said Bishop Foys in an interview with the Messenger. “We believe in our Catholic schools and sacrifice for our schools because our students are priceless. That’s why we do what we do — it’s not the buildings, it’s the students and the faith taught at those schools that matter.”
Kendra McGuire, assistant superintendent of Schools, agreed that the most important facet of using one building was making tuition more affordable, but, she said, that is just the first of many positives.
“Another positive aspect is that with the money we are saving, we can invest more into programs for the students,” said Mrs. McGuire. “Therefore, academically it is a better situation for the students because they are going to get the benefits of the money for their schooling program as opposed to it going into the cost of the facility.”
Mrs. McGuire said that the majority of the families that are enrolled at Holy Trinity School reside in Bellevue or are parishioners at Divine Mercy, and that the central location in Bellevue will cause the least amount of disruption for the families. Also, the Bellevue building, as opposed to the building in Newport, is large enough to fit the K–8 classes. The Holy Spirit Child Development Center for infants, toddlers and preschool children will continue to operate in Newport with room to grow.
“At Holy Trinity School there are going to be more activities that the students can partake in that they didn’t have before that will benefit the school as a whole,” said Mrs. McGuire. “For example, student government; we were looking at establishing an art program, which they don’t have currently. Another possibility is an accelerated or advanced math class at the middle school level, and so on.
“I feel like all of that is just the beginning,” she said. “Once this move is established there are going to be a lot of new opportunities to achieve more.”
Mrs. McGuire is happy that Katie Jacobs is the principal of Holy Trinity and believes that she is the right person to have in place to keep things moving forward.
“Mrs. Jacobs has really done a great job,” she said. “As a former student of St. Bernard School, she has a personal connection and her heart is in the mission of the school. She is a strong principal and is working really hard to see the school grow and be successful.”
On Friday, following the official announcement, Mrs. Jacobs spoke to the junior high, particularly the sixth- and seventh-grade students, about the change. She said that they were very excited.
“I told them that I have some high expectations for them as leaders of the school,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “I told them that I expect them to demonstrate for the younger students what it means to their work, to behave in the classroom and to respect the teachers.”
Mrs. Jacobs said that they are planning on building family units next year — taking students from every grade level and combining them into families. At least once a month they will enjoy special family activities together to help them build unity and work in collaboration with each other.
“I told the upper class students that I was going to count on them to help build that linear alignment of all the grade levels when we do our special activities,” she said.
Mrs. Jacobs said that she was also excited about the move, and she believes it is going to build up morale for the entire school.
“I think that a lot of times they felt left out at the junior high — the teachers included, because there was only three of them. So, I think it is going to be a big morale boost to have that team atmosphere,” she said. “This move will be uniting us into one campus. We will all be in one spot together and it will be great for the students and the teachers.”
Mrs. Jacobs said that everyone seems to be really enthusiastic and she has received nothing but positive feedback from parents, the teachers, the students.
“It’s going to be a busy summer, but so far this move has been very welcomed,” she said. “I am happy to have Bishop Foys’ blessing on this and to know that he fully believes in our school. To be back on one campus means a lot to us. I am ready to hit the ground running and prep for next year.”
Holy Trinity School, Bellevue, has open spots available for every grade and is currently enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year.
Diocese of Covington