Students and Staff Sponsor Families for Christmas

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.

Students Join Fellow Lasallians to Fight Homelessness

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.

Senior Takes Fourth Trip to State

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.

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

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.”

Tennis team state bound for third consecutive year

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.

Four Students Receive National Merit Recognition

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.

Youth Fire Fan Night and Tailgate Picnic

Youth Fire Fan Night and Fire Tailgating Night are joining forces! All families – new, current and alumni – are invited to join the Holy Family Catholic High School community for Fire Football on Friday, September 23. Join us for complimentary tailgate fare (burgers, brats, hot dogs) between 6-7 p.m. with kids’ games and activities, giveaways, entertainment by the HF pep band and dance club followed by an exciting football game. Prospective families, print your family’s free admission ticket to the game at http://www.hfchs.org/events/youth-fire-fan-night-football/

Girls CC wins AHA Invitational

Emily Willenbring
September 8, 2016
The girls cross country team got an early start on their season, starting their training near the beginning of summer with frequent captains practices and training days. Led by senior captain Kendra Franck, the team is excited to build on last year’s strong season, which included a conference championship and a trip to the state meet.

While the team lost great runners like Maria Eastman and Allie Bodin to graduation, they are optimistic that new members will step up to take their place. “I’m excited to show the freshman everything we love about cross country,” Franck said. One key addition is Abby Ernst, a senior and member of the 4 x 800 team that qualified for the state meet.

The season got off to a great start when the team finished in first place at the Academy of Holy Angels Invitational with a score of 58 points. Kendra Franck finished 6th and freshman Abbey Fink finished 9th, with each girl running a time under 12 minutes. 11 other schools, including Blake, Visitation and Providence Academy, participated in the meet.
Fink and Franck followed up that meet with another strong performance at the St. Olaf High School Showcase on Sept. 2 in Northfield, each finishing in the top 30 of a very competitive field.

The team’s next test will be at Baylor Regional Park on September 13th at 4pm. Another great opportunity to get out and watch the girls run is their upcoming meet at the Chaska Golf Course on October 4th at 3pm.

This article was originally published on Holy Family Catholic High School’s online newspaper on September 8, 2016. See more stories and slideshows from the school’s online paper at http://hfphoenix.com/

Fire Football Earns a Win in Season Opener

Trey Cavello, Sports Editor, hfphoenix.com
September 6, 2016

After a long wait, high school football is finally back! On Thursday night, the Fire football team took on St. Cloud Cathedral. After a huge tailgate that included pizza, frozen yogurt, volleyball, and even a pool, the fans were ready for football to finally resume.

The Fire received the opening kickoff, and went to work quickly. After driving their way methodically down the field, sophomore Dominic Phillips scored, putting the Fire up by 6-0 after a blocked extra point.
The rest of the first half saw both teams trading possessions with no points scored. The third quarter was very similar, the only scoring came on a 35 yard field goal by sophomore Colin Neve. The Fire held a 9-0 lead going into the final 12 minutes of the game.

The score was still 9-0 with 5 minutes remaining in the game, but St.Cloud Cathedral was not ready to give up. A costly turnover on a punt gave the Crusaders the ball at the Fire 8 yard line. They were able to score and bring the game back to one possession. St. Cloud Cathedral held the Fire to a 3 and out and got the ball back with enough time to try to score. Fortunately, the defense stood their ground and forced the Crusaders to turn the ball over. The Fire then went into victory formation and took a knee to secure the win.

Holy Family generated 209 yard of total offense and held St. Cloud Cathedral to 94 yards. Brendan O’Connor was the leading rusher for the Fire with 66 yards and Michael Furlong was the leading receiver with 32 yards. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Zay threw for 41 yards on 4 completions The Fire take on Annandale at home this Friday.

This article was originally published on Holy Family Catholic High School’s online newspaper on September 6, 2016. See more stories and slideshows from the school’s online paper at http://hfphoenix.com/

Tennis team starts season with back to back victories

Emma Terris and Alexis Pricco
September 6, 2016

As the tennis season begins, the team has large shoes to fill. The previous coach, Jack Roach, arrived in 2012 and began to reenergize the girls tennis program. Jack worked tirelessly with the players and during the 2014 season his efforts paid off when the team won the Class A State Tennis Tournament. The following year, they made it back to the State Tournament once again.

Now, as the 2016 season takes off, the team is expected to have another great season. The new coach of the girls team is TJ Garin, who was previously the assistant to Jack Roach and also coaches the girls hockey team and boys tennis team at Holy Family.

TJ has great expectations for the team this fall, along with the new assistant coach, Amy Dean. “As a new coach to Holy Family, I am so excited to see the energy this team brings to the courts everyday. I am looking forward to a fun and successful season,” said Amy. Senior captains Libby Moakley and Mary Seifert are also excited to help lead the girls this season.

The team started the season against Providence Academy on a good note, winning their first match 4-3. First doubles player Lindsey Harris remarked on her match, “Our final match score was closer than expected, which means we need to cut down on unforced errors and keep the ball in the court. If we can make these changes, we will have a successful and exciting season.”

The second match of the season was on the refurnished home courts at Holy Family against Glencoe-Silver Lake. The Fire won 6-1, christening the courts with a victory.

The girls tennis team has endured many changes from last year. With the loss of four seniors, coaches TJ Garin and Amy were confronted with many decisions regarding the lineup this year. One notable change includes junior Sophie Lynch moving up to play first singles, after playing second singles last fall.

After the second match Sophie remarked, “I think our match against Glencoe really showed the improvement we have made as a team this season. I am very excited about playing one singles this year! I really have looked up to the girls that have played one singles, they have taught me to relax and have fun out on the court as well as fight hard to represent our school well!”
With a new team, new coaches, and new courts, the tennis team has a a high bar to meet and great expectations to fulfill. Many fans are interested to see how the 2016 season will turn out. But, if there is one thing to be sure of, it is that the girls are ready to play and give their best effort to make a reappearance back at the State Tournament for the third year in a row.

This article was originally published on Holy Family Catholic High School’s online newspaper on September 6, 2016. See more stories and slideshows from the school’s online paper at http://hfphoenix.com/