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Your Catholic Online News Magazine
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Monday, May 04, 2015
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  • ‘Master teacher’ at St. Elizabeth School known for teaching with heart, and faith
    All the students at St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Rockville sat cross-legged on the gym floor and stayed completely still waiting for the middle school science teacher and Golden Apple Award winner Elizabeth Orlandi to appear. Then the room erupted with cheers and music as she walked in with principal Vincent Spadoni, through an archway of enthusiastic eighth graders, past golden balloons, and a cake decorated with a golden apple. She continued to the podium where she was congratulated by officials from the school and the archdiocese, and by her husband and, via video-chat, by her waving children. 
  • For DeMatha’s Julie Penndorf, teaching religion is a calling, not a job
    Julie Penndorf, the campus minister at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, was told over and over again from her peers that she was going to be a high school religion teacher, a prophecy she prayed wouldn’t come true. “I wanted to prove them wrong,” said Penndorf. However, it wasn’t long before she realized they were right. “All those people who were some way making fun of me in high school were the start of God’s grace. They planted that seed,” Penndorf told her students, minutes after she and they found out she won the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence, one of 10 Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese of Washington to receive that honor. “I hope when I teach you guys that I have the ability to plant that seed in you too, because it’s the great gift of my life to bring people to God,” she said. 
  • CUA’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music celebrates 50th anniversary with Gala Concert
    As part of the yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary, The Catholic University of America’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music presented an April 12 gala concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that featured classical standards and a premiere of a student composition. 
  • One fish, two fish, 1,200 hats
    On April 17, hundreds of students of St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Rockville, along with their parents, grandparents and members of the parish, broke a Guinness World Record by donning 1,200 floppy red and white striped hats, a la the children’s book Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. 
  • Cardinal blesses new turf field at Stone Ridge
    After the head of Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Catherine Ronan Karrels, tried and failed to beat Stone Ridge senior and Olympic Gold medalist Katie Ledecky in a swimming race, she decided that not every Gator, the school’s mascot, is made for water. Luckily, the race was featured in a promotional video for the new $6 million turf sports field at the Bethesda Catholic school, which was christened by Cardinal Wuerl on March 23 in front of the entire student body, faculty, parents and donors to the project. 
  • Holy Week and Easter through the eyes of children
    In the middle of the month, envelopes from schools across the Archdiocese of Washington start to fill my desk. I sort through them all, picking out the ones with the sweetest quotes and the best artistic showing.  
  • Before performing ‘Dead Man Walking,’ DeMatha hosts the nun who inspired the story
    When Sister Helen Prejean agreed to be pen pals with death row inmate Patrick Sonnier, she had no idea she would spiritually minister to him and then witness his death, or that her story would become the basis for the critically acclaimed film “Dead Man Walking,” or that universities and high schools all over the country would perform the play, including DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville. 
  • Students rally in Annapolis for the Maryland Education Credit
    The fourth graders from the Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle in Lanham were able to see their social studies textbook come to life when they visited the statehouse in Annapolis to support the Maryland Education Credit on March 4. “We interwove the curriculum with the advocacy,” said principal Abigail Greer, noting that they not only saw history, but they hopefully participated in the creation of history through advocating for the passage of legislation that would allow businesses to earn a tax credit when they donate to student assistance organizations. 
  • ‘Teaching Together’
    Anna Allen is a young Marylander with sandy brown hair and a passion for her faith. On Sundays she teaches kindergartners and first graders catechism at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie. During the week, she enjoys playing video games and taking care of her two birds, three gerbils and a cat named Tigger.

  • Catholic institutions of higher learning play a significant role in the essential mission of the Church today – to bring a new generation to the eternal truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl told members of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.


  • Dear Pope Francis…

    As part of their inaugural celebration of Catholic Schools Week, students at San Miguel School in Washington wrote to Pope Francis about their lives, their school, and their hopes to meet him during his visit to the nation’s capital in September.  As eighth grader Melvin Lazo told the pope in his letter, “It’s not that far from the White House.”

  • Bishop McNamara High School fosters a love for the arts
    At Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, appreciation for the arts isn’t reserved for a few drama enthusiasts and band members – almost one-half of the 885 students are dancers, singers, actors or instrumentalists. Yet, “it doesn’t feel like arts school,” insists visual art teacher Kate Heneghan, “it feels like a school that takes its fine arts seriously.” 
  • Power outage
    Morgan Wootten, the future Hall of Fame basketball coach, arrived at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville in 1956. Two years later, due in large part to the great Archbishop Carroll teams, local interest in high school basketball was exploding. The city championship game between the Catholic league and public high school champions had drawn more than 10,000 fans to Cole Field House at the University of Maryland. Wootten dreamed of DeMatha being a part of it. 
  • Mother Catherine Spalding School, a small Catholic school in Helen, Md., will close at the end of this academic year. The request to close the school was submitted to the archdiocese by the school’s canonical administrator in collaboration with the priests at the parishes that have supported the school, which include Holy Angels (Avenue), Sacred Heart (Bushwood), Our Lady of the Wayside (Chaptico), Immaculate Conception (Mechanicsville) and St. Joseph’s (Morganza). The request was accepted and the school will close its doors at the end of this school year in June.

  • Olympic champion Katie Ledecky joins fellow Stone Ridge seniors for final home swim meet

    Katie Ledecky – who won the gold medal in the 800-meter women’s freestyle swimming race in the 2012 London Summer Olympics as the youngest member of the U.S. Olympics Team at the age of 15 – had another golden moment on Jan. 10, as she joined five fellow seniors at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda in celebrating their final home swimming meet at the Stone Ridge Aquatics Center.

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