Jan 01

Student artists contribute to Empty Bowls fundraiser

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Holy Family students artists will once again contribute to PROP’s Empty Bowls fundraising efforts. Proceeds from this event help to alleviate hunger in our local communities. Run by People Reaching Out to People (PROP), Holy Family began participating in 2012 and has continued to do so every year since. According to PROP, “Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations on a community level.”

PROP began in 1971, when an Eden Prairie pastor asked Gerry Beckmann and others to make Thanksgiving food contributions to local needy families. The organization has grown in scope and participation since then, but at its heart the goal is the same.

For this particular project, students at local schools make clay bowls on the wheel at school and donate them to Empty Bowls. Here at Holy Family, students can make bowls for the next few weeks after school on Mondays and Tuesdays. The goal is to create 100 bowls to donate. All students and staff are invited to participate.

The event itself is free, and will take place on February 21st at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie from 11am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 7pm. At the event, you receive one of the hand made bowls with soup served in it. The food is donated by local restaurants. Attendees get to keep the bowl, which was made by an artist from the local community.

In addition to the food, there will be entertainment and a silent auction. A donation is asked for but not required. The donations assist PROP in their service of over 1,100 families in the Southwest Metro. Nearly half of those PROP provides food service to are under the age of 17.

Anyone interested in helping should stop by the art room after school and check it out. Help glazing the bowls will be needed closer to February.

You can find more information about the event HERE.

Jan 01

Students take seats of government officials in newly-renovated Capitol

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By Jack Geadelmann

Model Assembly is one of Holy Family’s shortest but most unique extra-curricular activities. Every January, for an extended weekend of four days, it summons 1,600 students from across Minnesota to the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis to form an intricate simulation of state government.

Participants can serve as legislators, judges, attorneys, lobbyists, cabinet members, media representatives, or introductory leadership corps members. Most students take the opportunity to make daily commutes to the Capitol in St. Paul to take on these roles and sit in the chairs of real political officials.

This year was one of Holy Family’s most successful in the program. Students participated in the House of Representatives and the Senate, debating bills and passing some in the two chambers of state legislation. Others had the opportunity to act as both lawyers and justices in cases for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Finally, several students debated bills that reached more broadly in the National Issues Forum. All these great programs were located at the Capitol (some even required walks through underground tunnels to get to the correct building).

While many students did well in their court cases, victory was more apparent in the legislature, where a Holy Family record of five student-made bills passed into law. For a bill to be “passed” it must receive a majority vote in a legislative committee, in the House, in the Senate, and then be signed into law by the governor (who in this case is a fellow student elected from last year to preside over the government this year).

If rejected in any of those areas, the bill will fail. This is why it’s such a difficult task to pass one. Some students had great bills that the legislature didn’t even get time to discuss, since there were only three days to discuss them all and every representative or senator makes one.

Emily Bauer, Evan Epple, Gabi Shiffler, Walter Treat, and Bryce Villanueva did great work in passing their bills through the legislature.

What’s truly amazing is the graciousness the state government has shown in allowing young students to make a large-scale simulation within the Capitol building. Only four other states actually allow Youth in Government (YIG) students to have this great privilege. Furthermore, the Minnesota Capitol building has been in construction for 3 yrs, and renovations were completed for the real state officials for just two days before they were asked to recess so a bunch of students could use it for a four day weekend.

As a result of the large sum of money spent on the renovations, the Capitol looks amazing. While YIG participated in activities throughout the building, crowds of excited citizens took tours and photographs. Colin Dosedel, a sophomore who participated in Court of Appeals, said that his first YIG experience was “A great way to learn more about how the government works,” and that ” being inside the Capitol was the coolest part.”

Dr. Pottebaum has been running Model Assembly for eleven years at Holy Family. It all started when a transfer student from New Prague approached her about starting up the program, which she had enjoyed at her previous school. So, a Holy Family “delegation” ended up being created at Model Assembly, and Dr. Pottebaum has supervised the program for students ever since.

When asked why she keeps coming back to run it, she said, “I recognize the importance for students to understand their civic duty as Americans. In this program, they are actively involved in how our government works, whether it be courts or legislature. Understanding parliamentary rules and the voices of peers, researching current issues, putting the facts before personal opinion in court cases… there are just so many life skills that you’re exposed to. Since adolescents rarely have much of a voice in politics, seeing them sit in the chairs of today’s representatives reminds me that they will be the generation who take them up in the future. The idea of kids civically participating is so important, because they are the future of America.”

While Holy Family students may come to YIG from different grade levels, they all naturally come together to support each other in Model Assembly, learning how to be citizens that will dictate society’s future.

 See a slideshow from YIG

Read more articles about student life on the school newspaper, http://hfphoenix.com/

Jan 01

Our Advent Journey: Walk the Talk

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Campus Ministry students continue to lead us through our Advent focus, Walk the Talk, during this final week before Christmas.  Along with daily Convocation reflections and prayers, they also prepared and led last week’s Advent Reconciliation service for our school.  Campus Ministry student, Caitlyn Shipp ’17, shared the following reflection this year’s Advent theme.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust, French novelist

The quiet whispers of the wind spoke through the air of a king. Three wise men swayed side to side on their camels as they traveled across the uneven terrain of the desert. Mystery hung in the night sky like a blanket. The men walked in a starlit path leading them to the true light, the king that shined in the darkness. These three wise men had to prepare, for it was no ordinary journey. These men traveled with clothes of prayers and hope, shoes of charity and justice, a map in the form of a shining star to lead them through the darkness, food to sustain them, and each other to walk side by side. These men embarked on the first Advent journey to discover God made human in the birth of a King.

Advent is a journey of discovering God’s presence in the world. For the three wise men, theirs was a physical journey; Christ came to Earth as a humble human being. For many, it is hard to see God’s presence in the world. Christ was crucified and rose from the dead to fulfill His promise of eternal life in heaven. Despite His death and resurrection, God’s presence is still incarnate in the world today. God’s incarnation is us. The spirit of God that dwells within each of us becomes God’s living presence in the world. Advent  is a journey of discovering his presence. In order to discover this, we must learn to use our eyes to see those around us who are hurting, lonely, hungry, and cold. We must “Walk the Talk” and be God’s living presence to others with acts of service and kindness during the Advent and Christmas seasons, but, also each day throughout the year.

 

Jan 01

Students and Staff Sponsor Families for Christmas

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As Christmas approaches, students and teachers of Holy Family reach out to those families in need around our community. For the past eleven years we have been involved in a program called Sponsor A Family MN. This program provides Christmas gifts and other goods for families in need of financial help.

Every classroom receives a family to sponsor and a list with the specific gifts that each family needs. This usually ranges anywhere from toys and winter coats to toothbrushes and shampoo.
This year, Holy Family sponsored twelve families between seventeen classrooms. This comes to a total of seventy six people sponsored. Everyone in each classroom donated money to the family they were sponsoring and a few students volunteered to purchase the items on their family’s list.

One of the directors of Sponsor A Family MN, Patrick Fitzpatrick, said, “Holy Family and Sponsor A Family MN have been partners for a long time. In early September, when we reach out to Mr. Dols and ask if we can count on the school’s support once again, we always get an enthusiastic ‘YES!’” This quote exemplifies the dedication Holy Family has to the program.

Fitzpatrick also showed his appreciation by saying, “What this means is that, not only is each class sponsoring a family but more important, Holy Family Catholic High School understands and embraces the idea that not all families get a fair shake in this world and through the kind, caring and compassionate generosity of your community, you can bring a smile, provide a gift or put a meal on the table for a very, very appreciative and grateful family.”

The gifts were blessed at Convocation before being delivered to Sponsor A Family MN for distribution.

Marissa Endres ’17
December 7, 2016

This article originally appeared in the school newspaper The Phoenix. To read more articles from the school newspaper, click here.

Jan 01

Students Join Fellow Lasallians to Fight Homelessness

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On November 5, a group of 19 Holy Family students and two teachers, Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Dols, were bused to Cretin-Derham Hall, the host location for 2016’s Night to Fight Homelessness. At Night to Fight, four local Lasallian schools, Cretin-Derham Hall, Totino Grace, De La Salle, and Holy Family, get together to gain knowledge and create awareness for homelessness.

We started out the night with Mass, praying for the homeless. After a light dinner, Joe Surber, a representative from Families Moving Forward, spoke about the factors of homelessness and how we can help. None of the factors he mentioned were things someone can choose, making the point that homelessness is not a choice.

He also focused on the action aspect of Families Moving Forward and how students can act upon this issue. He encouraged students to become involved through social media and connect with Families Moving Forward: Twitter- @believeinhome and Facebook- @beaconinterfaith.

After icebreakers and fun team building games, we eventually went outside to sleep for the night. Most people slept in tents; however, some brave souls decided to sleep in a box. Luckily for us, the weather could not have been more perfect fall night: 52-degrees and no wind.

There are many things that changed my perspective on homelessness at Night to Fight.
The weather: Even in 52-degree weather, in a tent, and with multiple layers, I was still cold. Imagining a homeless person with no extra layers, on the street, and in the middle of a Minnesota winter, makes me realize how terrible the conditions for homeless can be.

We went to bed at 1 a.m. and woke up at 5:30 a.m., resulting in about four hours of sleep. These can be regular hours for the homeless, especially with Families Moving Forward. They wake up the families at 5:30 a.m. to make sure the families can make the bus to the day center so they can go to work and school.

After Night to Fight, I was lucky enough to go home and take a 3-hour nap in my bed. This is not even close to reality for the homeless. Each night is a question of where the homeless will go, creating problems of safety and health. I take for granted that I will sleep in a bed every night under shelter.

One of the Holy Family students that slept in a box was Jack Geadelmann. His perspective on homeless changed over the course of the night: “When I first got to the field and set up my box, it seemed like sleeping in it with two layers and a sleeping bag would be a piece of cake. However, when we all got settled eventually, the cold air and flat ground was much more present. After about an hour or so, I did get some sleep, but it’s not a discomfort I could imagine living with for days on end.”

Night to Fight Homeless is meant to give students a small insight into what homelessness is like. For someone who has never experienced homelessness, just one night can be uncomfortable and miserable, so imagining having no shelter for days on end is unfathomable. Fighting homelessness needs action, whether it is getting involved on the social media, creating a Families Moving Forward program in your local church, or simply being grateful for the shelter you have.

This article written by Mary Seifert first appeared in the school’s online paper, The Phoenix on November 5, 2016. Click on this link to read more articles.