Jan 01

What they knew four years ago…

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Four years ago the parents of the HFCHS Class of 2017 were looking for much of the same things that today, the parents of the Class of 2021 are seeking. They wanted a welcoming environment where their children would be known, challenged, supported, and would discover new talents and passions. We are proud of our Fire 2017 graduates, and we can’t wait to start the journey with our Fire 2021 incoming 9th graders!

Our graduates attend some of the best college and universities across the country. Click here to see a list of the schools of our 1673 alumni. The National Student Clearinghouse®, the leading provider of educational reporting, tells us our students are two times more likely to graduate from college than the national average.

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Dedicated Teachers

“At Holy Family, I was able to form and run a club, play sports, and challenge myself academically because of the teachers’ never-ending support and dedication. They create an environment where learning is the focus, not the deadlines. Education at Holy Family is more than just educational; it prepares you for the future.”

Lorena Palattao 17, College: UCLA, Major: Mathematics

$10 Million in College Scholarships

The 103 graduates of the Class of 2017 earned $10.32 million in college scholarships and they accepted over $3.5 million of those scholarships. As she announced the scholarship amounts at graduation, President/Principal Kathleen Brown stated: “With these awards, colleges and universities acknowledge in our students a skill set they may not otherwise see in other students. They want our students to attend their institutions.”

Opportunities to Excel, Lead, and Participate

Holy Family offers students the opportunity to participate and excel in college preparatory academics, service projects, and over 50 clubs and sports. The Class of 2017 includes:

  • 4 National Merit students
  • 9 AP Scholars
  • Athletes continuing to five Division I and multiple Division II and III athletic programs
  • 10,000 Lakes Regional First Robotics Competition Winner and World Championship Qualifier
  • State Math League Second Place Team
  • Presidential Service Medal recipients

MSHSL superior-rated vocalists, instrumentalists, and artists

Application totals for Class of 2021 largest since 2010

Applications for the Class of 2021 are approaching the highest we’ve seen since 2010. The Class of 2021 students and families are excited to be a part of the FIRE! Admissions work continues all summer long and we welcome new families every week!

Our sophomore class is expected to grow by 10-15% by the end of summer.  Why are those students looking to make the move to Holy Family? Here’s what one recent transfer told us in his application, “I would like to attend Holy Family because of the small class sizes and the sense of community. I enjoyed my visit and felt welcome. I know Holy Family will offer me a better high school experience and prepare me well for my future.” 

Tuition assistance and a limited number of transfer grants are still available.

Jan 01

Fire Track and Field Athletes Look Forward to Section Meet

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With the track and field championship season now in full swing, the primary goal of every track and field athlete is the same: perform well enough to advance to the next round. When the bus left Jordan High School, host of the Section 2A, Sub-Section 8 Championship meet on Thursday, May 25, many Fire athletes met that goal. Holy Family will send a large contingent to sections.

Holy Family Girls Team Fared Well

The Holy Family girls fared well as a team, battling their way to a third-place team finish in the seven-team Sub-Section. The Fire’s 140 points trailed team champion and host Jordan’s 234 points. The Holy Family team attack was spurred on by qualifying efforts in three of the four relays, three event titles, three Honor Roll standards, and 12 Section 2A Championship meet qualifiers.

With the top four athletes in individual events and the top two relays qualifying for the next round, the Fire needed great performances.   Holy Family would boast the winner in two of the individual events led by senior captain Kendra Franck, who rolled to another victory in her primary event, the 800m run. Franck’s winning time of two minutes, 25.07 seconds was just off of her personal best time, but almost two seconds ahead of the next competitor and a Section 2A championship qualifying performance. The Fire received another Section 2A meet standard in this event courtesy of junior Megan Beulke, who ran a personal best time of 2:30.63 to advance to the 4th and final qualifying position. The final individual Fire victory belonged to sophomore distance specialist Ellie Marschall, who paced herself to an easy victory in the 3200m run with a winning time of 12:58.23, over 17 seconds faster than the next competitor. Also sparking the Holy Family distance attack was senior captain Abby Ernst, who qualified for sections with a 4th place time of 5:49.80, a new personal best, in the 1600m run.

Senior captain Emily Willenbring advanced to the Section 2A meet in three events. Willenbring set a new Holy Family Catholic school record in the long jump competition, stretching the tape to a new personal best mark of 16 feet, 11 inches to place 2nd overall. Willenbring then also set a new personal-best time in the 200m dash, shaving almost 1.5 seconds off her previous best. Her time of 26.14 seconds was a Minnesota Class A Honor Roll Standard and placed her in 2nd overall, just 0.04 of a second out of 1st place. She then capped her day by anchoring the Holy Family 4 x 200 relay to victory in a time of 1:48.54. Willenbring’s relay teammate junior Emma Terris also qualified for the Section 2A meet in three events: the high jump competition with a second place 4’7” effort, the 4 x 200 relay, the Fire 4 X 100 relay with Section 2A second-place qualifying time of 51.97.

Also qualifying in more than one event were Holy Family sophomore sprinter Evelyn Willenbring in 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 relays, and junior Alexis Pricco in the 4 X 100 relay, and as an individual in the 300m hurdles with a personal best time of 50.85 seconds and a 4th place finish.

Junior Maggie Mahota advanced to sections with the top Fire time in 300m hurdles and second place 49.75-seconds. Mahota (5th) and Pricco (6th), also posted personal bests in the 100m hurdles but did not advance to sections in this event. Mahota then teamed up with fellow juniors Casey Krasowski and Gracie Lund along with sophomore Grace Conroy to claim Holy Family’s 4th and final event win of the day in the 4 X 400 relay with a time of 4:20.34, almost 8 seconds better than the next team, and just off a season-best mark.

“Our girls took care of business today by advancing to the Section Meet in multiple events,” noted Fire head coach Ian Parzyck. “Emily had a great day with the school record in the long jump, we had two individual champions, and our relays were good again. All in all it was a good day for our girls, but our multiple personal best performances show us that everything is coming together for them at the right time with the Section meet on the way.”

Fire Boys Track and Field Athletes Fight to Move On

The Holy Family boys were able to fight their way to 5th place in the team standings behind Jordan High School’s Sub-Section 8A Championship 280 points at Sub-Section 8A meet. Staring down the possible end to their track and field season, a number of Holy Family boys showed their fight by demonstrating that they were far from finished; as they sent six athletes in four events on to compete at the Section 2A meet.

Leading the way in the individual events was Fire sophomore and middle distance specialist Zyler Niece, who paced himself to a 2nd place finish in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:10.37. Holy Family would see one more distance runner advance as sophomore teammate Jack Fink grabbed the 4th and final Section qualifying spot in the 1600m run with a time of 4:54.64. Fink became the Fire boys’ only two-event qualifier when he anchored the Fire 4 X 400 relay team of junior captain Joe Olson, with sophomore teammates Nick Lynch and Brendan O’Connor to 2nd place in a near season-best time of 3:35.47.

The Holy Family boys would also see success in the field, as senior throws captain Daniel Trieff punched his ticket to next week’s section meet with the 4th and final qualifying spot in the shot put competition. Trieff threw a personal-best mark of 44 feet, 2 inches to ensure his season would continue. “I was really pleased to see Daniel chuck out that personal best throw with his season on the line,” exclaimed Coach Parzyck. “And while there were a couple of near misses from some of our athletes in other events, I was truly happy to see our boys battle back and eek out one more Section qualifying performance in the 4 X 400 in exciting fashion at the end of the meet.”

The Holy Family Catholic track and field teams will now set their sights on Mankato West High School, host of the Section 8AA championship meet. The top two individuals and top relay teams, plus any qualifying standards, will earn the right to compete at the MSHSL State Championship meet in June. “All of our Section qualifiers performed well on Thursday, and will now see the best in the Section 2A Meet on Saturday, June 3. We have 18 girls and boys who are set to compete at Mankato this week for an opportunity at State. It should be a lot of fun for our athletes to perform at their best to see just how far they can go.”

Photo by Paige Wicka

Jan 01

Holy Family Catholic High School Announces New President

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After an intensive search led by current and former members of our Board of Directors, in collaboration with Cohen Taylor Executive Search Services and Holy Family administration, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Brennan as the new president of Holy Family Catholic High School. The Most Reverend Archbishop Hebda gives his blessed approval.

Brennan will succeed Kathleen Brown, who has served the high school in a dual role as president and principal since 2010. Brown is eager to focus on the role of principal, allowing her to continue to enhance the strong college preparatory curriculum of our school and execute the academic initiatives of the 2017-2021 strategic plan: Growth & Excellence. She describes the partnership with Brennan as “a gift that will strengthen our commitment to touch the hearts and minds of students, thereby transforming lives.”

A product of Catholic education, Brennan has a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College, a Master of Education and a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame. His career in Catholic education includes five years as a teacher, four years as a principal, and, most recently, six years as the Director of Catholic Schools in Rochester, MN.

As the Director of Rochester Catholic Schools (RCS), Brennan oversaw a unified school system that provides high-quality Catholic education to more than 1,600 students living in the greater Rochester, Minnesota area and the Diocese of Winona. He managed a $15 million budget, oversaw a $34 million building project, managed a team of 250 staff, and cultivated extensive community relationships.

Brennan and wife, Denae, along with their four young children, will relocate to the southwest Twin Cities metro this summer. Brennan looks forward to bringing to Holy Family his passion for helping youth develop a love of learning and faith.

Holy Family Board Chair Chris Moakley shared his sentiments about the hiring of a new president, “As a school community, we will begin our 18th year in Catholic education with an increase in enrollment, continued commitment to high academic achievement, and a diverse program of athletic and extracurricular activities. The success of Holy Family is a direct result of the leadership of Kathie Brown, the administration, teachers, and our dedicated students. Our current families will immediately benefit from the energy and experience Michael Brennan will bring to this role. Our future students, including the children of our more than 1600 alumni, can look forward to a school characterized by Christian values and a continued pursuit of excellence.”

Holy Family faculty and staff will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Brennan before the end of the school year. More information regarding a community-wide welcome reception will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Jan 01

Holy Family students seeing success in Knowledge Bowl Season

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Holy Family students competed in a multi-school Knowledge Bowl event on January 18th in Blaine. Over forty different teams competed alongside the four teams Holy Family sent.

Knowledge Bowl competitions consist of two different portions. First, everyone competing takes a written test. There are sixty questions on the test and individuals are given fifty five minutes to complete it. Based on those test scores, teams are placed into different rooms.

The oral rounds take place in these rooms. There are four rounds of oral, or buzzer, and each round consists of forty five questions. All points are cumulative, and at the end of the meet, whichever team has the most points wins.

Team ‘Plural Moose’, with Walter Treat, Patrick Loughran, Mitchell Jans, and Josh Mohling, took third place in the competition.

Many students participated in this meet, such as the team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’, consisting of Colin Dosedel, Dominic Phillips, Evan Epple, Matt Deavan, and Tony Berg. Reflecting on the competition, Colin Dosedel said, “The meet went pretty well, but there were some struggles because we are a JV team and this was a varsity meet.”

The team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’ during yesterday’s competition.

Participation in Knowledge Bowl has grown over the years, drawing students from all grade levels at Holy Family. For this particular meet, Holy Family sent two senior teams, one junior team and one sophomore team.

Sophomore Dominic Phillips said Knowledge Bowl “is fun because it’s an opportunity to challenge myself with things I might not otherwise have known. It’s also fun to work as a team with friends outside the context of sports. My highlight of the season so far is getting third place at the first meet.”

The team’s next competition is at Holy Family on January 31st.

This article originally appeared in the school’s online newspaper, The Phoenix

Anna Mohling

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.

Jan 01

Senior Takes Fourth Trip to State

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For the 11th consecutive year, Holy Family will send at least one runner to the State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, demonstrating the strength of the cross country program over the last decade. In large part, that consistency has been the result of underclassmen stepping up to replace a talented graduating class, and this year was no different. Having lost Allie Bodin and Maria Eastman to graduation, the team looked to seniors Kendra Franck and Abby Ernst for leadership, in addition to key contributions from other runners like freshman Abbey Fink and sophomore Ellie Marschall.

The Section 4A meet took place at Battle Creek on Thursday, October 27th. The Fire took on a strong field, including two top-10 ranked teams in Minnehaha Academy and Trinity School. To qualify for the state meet, the team would need to finish in one of the top 2 places. Unfortunately the team came up short by the narrowest of margins, finishing 3rd by only 2 points behind Minnehaha and Trinity, respectively.

This strong team effort came courtesy of a 4th place finish by Kendra Franck (20:09), a 20th place finish from freshman Abbey Fink (20:52), a 24th place finish from Ellie Marshall (21:07), a 27th place finish from Abby Ernst (21:17), and a 29th place finish by Megan Beulke (21:25).

Franck’s impressive 4th place finish earned her a place in the state meet for the 4th consecutive year.
Reflecting on the season, Kendra said, “This fall, our team got way closer and we did a lot of team bonding. We worked really hard this and it was so sad to see us miss the state qualifying places by two points.”

Kendra will run at St. Olaf college on Saturday, November 5.

This article originally appeared in the school online newspaper, The Phoenix, on November 1. Staff writer: Grace Lund Click here to see more stories from The Phoenix writers.

Jan 01

Alum Will Arrett’12 returns to speak to AP Bio Students

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Science teacher Mr. Dwyer regularly brings Holy Family alumni back to speak with students about the connection between the material they are learning today and the possibilities of tomorrow. This week’s guest was Holy Family alumnus Will Arrett ’12. Will, a May 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy.

During his presentation, Will shared how he came to change his major from engineering to conservation biology. He then described research he was involved with while studying abroad, including projects with the Leaf Cutter ant in the Amazon Rainforest, sea turtles near the Galapagos Islands, and monitoring of illegal shark finning at the local fish market in Ecuador. Using terminology and information correlating to his listeners’ AP Bio classes, he explained these projects, the research team’s hypotheses, and the eventual outcomes and conclusions. He also shared the variety of careers available to individuals who choose to major in Conservation Biology.

At the end of the month, Will leaves for Southeast Asia. He will visits several countries before spending the final days of his trip working with TRACC Marine Conservation Program (Tropical Research and Conservation Centre) off Pom Pom Island near Borneo, Malaysia. He will plant coral reef as part of TRACC’s reef conservation program. An adventurer at heart, he will then leave Southeast Asia for a research stay at a preserve in South Africa.

Will’s plan in the “semi-distant” future is to return to school to complete a master’s degree in tropical biology or marine ecology and, perhaps, return to Ecuador to do further research.

Before closing his presentation, Will took a moment to invoke his philosophy background to share a little brotherly advice: “First, find something you love to do and GO DO IT! Second, don’t chase the money; if you are doing what you love to do, it will find you. And, finally, study abroad- it will change your life.”

Jan 01

Tennis team state bound for third consecutive year

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Emma Terris and Alexis Pricco
October 17, 2016
After a challenging regular season in which the girls tennis team accumulated just fours wins out of twelve matches, the team strung together a series of succesful matches at the perfect time and will be going to state for the third consecutive year.
The team hoped to be seeded second or third heading into sections, but surprisingly ended up with the top seed. When asked about being the favorite in the section, captain Libby Moakley said, “I was surprised at first, but it made sense due to the high level of competition in our conference.” Seven out of the team’s eight losses during the season were to 2AA schools.

The girls played Southwest Christian in the first round of sections, and won 6-1. After this victory, the team advanced to the semifinals at Gustavus Adolphus College. There they played Sibley East, again winning 6-1. Moving to the team finals, the girls competed against St. Peter for the second year in a row. Holy Family won 5-2 to clinch their third consecutive trip to the state meet.

“I am beyond excited about going to state. It means so much to not only the team, but also to the whole Holy Family tennis program” said Libby. Heading to the Reed Sweat Tennis Center, the team will play Foley in the first round on Tuesday, October 25th.

Currently finishing up at Gustavus are the section individuals. The athletes still competing are first singles Sophie Lynch and first doubles Libby Moakley and Lindsey Harris. Sophie Lynch, seeded first for singles, will play in the semifinals against Belle Plaine on Monday. Along with her, the first doubles team, seeded second, will play St. Peter. Good luck to all girls tennis players as they prepare for STATE!

UPDATE: October 18. Libby Moakley and Lindsey Harris finished with a “true second” place finish and Sophie Lynch finished earned a second place medal. Libby and Lindsey will compete in the Class A Doubles Tennis State Tournament and Sophie will compete in the Class A Singles Tennis Tournament.

Jan 01

Four Students Receive National Merit Recognition

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Two Holy Family Catholic High School seniors, Jacob Brekke and Tim Zeien, have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Competition. They were selected based on test scores from the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit® Scholarship Qualifying Test and represent less than one percent of seniors in the United States.

In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit® Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist.

Two Holy Family Catholic High School seniors, Evan Epple and Dominic Peichel, have been recognized as commended students in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Program. In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named by a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Including this year’s recipients, sixteen Holy Family students have received National Merit® recognition in the past four years alone- six National Merit® Finalists and 10 National Merit Commended® Students.