Students Reflect on Ski Retreat

Twenty-five high school students participated in a weekend of friendship, reflection, and snow skiing February 13-15 at Lake Junaluska Retreat Center close to Asheville, NC. The vacation began with an introductory lesson by high school religion teacher Michelle Houmis on the theme for the weekend, which was summarized as, “Divine Mercy allows us to crave the unexpected in life.” SJCS Chaplain Fr. Jonathan Duncan traveled to the retreat to hear confessions and celebrate Mass for the students. There was time for games, skits, singing (led by SJCS freshman Hallie Palms), a presentation on Divine Mercy by senior Luke Lyons and sophomore Drew Lyons, and a witness to how mercy has been present in her own life by senior Mary Sloan Morris. The remainder of the trip was spent skiing at Cataloochee Ski area before heading home.

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Catholic Schools Week Keeps Giving

The annual National Catholic Schools Week celebration in early February has had long term ramifications for the SJCS and Greenville community. Households participated in a week long canned food drive to benefit Loaves & Fishes. Led by the High School Student Council, food items piled in throughout the week while students and staff participated in various events and celebrations:

On Tuesday, SJCS held their 3rd annual Pastors Appreciation Luncheon with more than 20 local pastors and youth ministers in attendance for food and fellowship. Students from SJCS who attend these various congregations were able to spend some time with their pastors before heading to their next class. Represented at the luncheon were: Advent United Methodist Church, Christ Church Episcopal Church, Disciples Fellowship Baptist Church, First Baptist Greenville, First Presbyterian Church, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Lee Road United Methodist Church, Rock of Ages Baptist Church, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Townville Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Of special note was the attendance of Rev. Robert Miles of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church. His blessing granted St. Joseph’s the use of the little house on Augusta Road more than twenty years ago. The beloved Red Door came from this house turned school room for St. Joseph’s. It is now serves as an important symbol of the school’s humble beginnings and mission.

On Wednesday, Student Appreciation Day, middle and high school students participated in a fierce but friendly dodgeball tournament. During Household, every student was treated to cookies lovingly brought in by our volunteers.

On Thursday morning, the school also celebrated our hard working volunteers with a full breakfast spread put together by Flik and Chef Shawn. We are so grateful for everything our volunteers do for our school. It truly would not be possible without them.

Later that morning, the all-school Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston. This was an unexpected gift, as the Bishop decided to make a surprise visit to SJCS! During his homily Bishop Guglielmone shared his own experiences of Catholic education as a child, and how the gifts he received through Catholic Schools have been a life-long blessing and a responsibility for him. After Mass he granted a day off to the students. This gift was, of course, received enthusiastically.

Later that evening, members of the 8th grade class put on their annual play. This year, the students turned their acting talents to the medieval times by performing, The Canterbury Tales…or Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus.

The very next day, the faculty and staff were treated to the annual appreciation luncheon put together by members of the Parents Guild, once again showing the kindness of our parent volunteers.

Saturday’s MORP dance marked the end of Catholic Schools Week, with over 1,000 food items being collected at the dance alone. The theme of the dance was “Hollywood Red Carpet.”

After the celebrations were over, the message from the Bishop, the kindness of our community members, and the official count for the Loaves & Fishes food drive (2,400 pounds of food) reaffirmed the importance of Catholic Education by showing the community that working together in faith, fun, service, and learning, has a much larger impact outside of this one week.

Winning Households of the canned food collection received a dress down day and a pizza party. Congratulations to:
The Barbarians (Crosby/Tierney): 375 canned items
The MidKnight Riders (Connelly/Lewis): 306 canned items
The House of Durandal (McCoy/Milteer): 295 canned items

SJCS Welcomes Chaplain & Deacon

Ash Wednesday brought a new face to St. Joseph’s Campus Ministry team and embraced a familiar face serving in a new role. On February 10, SJCS welcomed Father Jonathan Duncan as the new school chaplain. He joins us from Texas with his wife and children. Also on this day, middle school teacher Deacon Bill Hudson officially celebrated his first All-School Mass at SJCS as Deacon after being ordained the previous weekend. Deacon Hudson and Father Duncan marked the beginning of Lent with the distribution of ashes to the school community.

Click here to view photos of Ash Wednesday Mass.

Fish Fry Reels in SJCS Crowd

The Parents Guild fourth annual Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross was held at the school on Friday, February 26. Families from the St. Joseph’s community came together to enjoy fried fish, baked potatoes, mac n’ cheese, homemade coleslaw, and dessert as they enjoyed one another’s company. During the fish fry, SJCS Campus Ministry led the Stations of the Cross in the JPII Center, with meditations written by SJCS students. Additionally, an exciting announcement was made in the middle of the supper regarding the newly unveiled UKnight Capital Campaign. Mary and Joe Salgado, who serve as Campaign Committee co-chairs, made the campaign public along with Headmaster Keith Kiser and talked about the enhancements that this will bring to the school: a three story building to bridge the gym and main building which will include locker rooms, large science laboratories, classroom space, and more. Special thanks to the SJCS parents and volunteers, especially Charlie Sutter our fish-fryer of the evening, who facilitated a successful community event.

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New SJCS Weight Room Unveiled

SJCS held an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, February 9 to dedicate the newly refurbished Weight Room. About 50 guests came together to witness Fr. Jonathan Duncan bless the room and listened to Coach Josh Reynolds and Coach Joel Raines give an overview of their coaching philosophy and the positive aspects of the upgraded, new equipment. Students Matt Bynum, Dylan Lane and Hayden Raines demonstrated various lifting and conditioning exercises on the machines, which are available for use by all sports teams. The weight room would not be possible without the 32 donors who raised nearly $26,000 to purchase items such as 8 Pendlay Elite Half Rack Power Systems, barbells, bumper plates, medicine balls, soft impact Plyo boxes, and more. Additional thanks are due to Coach Reynolds who researched and selected all of the equipment and organized a team of students and coaches who gave the room a fresh coat of paint.

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SJCS Collects For Loaves & Fishes

During National Catholic Schools Week in February, St. Joseph’s Catholic School and the SJCS High School Student Council collected and donated over 2,400 lbs of canned food to Loaves & Fishes of Greenville. According to the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Loaves & Fishes, Bob Bunchman, this contribution is the largest amount collected for the organization in the last twelve months. Loaves & Fishes delivered the canned goods to Our Lady of the Rosary food pantry for their mission. They estimate that the amount will feed 200-300 families in the community.

Thespians Excel at State Festival

Thirteen SJCS students attended the Palmetto Dramatic Association/SC Thespian State Festival, along with 22 other high schools from South Carolina, February 19-21 at Dorman High School.

  • Jena Brooks’ one act play, Elective Affinities, received an Honorable Mention for Play Production. She also received one of four Senior Thespian Scholarship awards.
  • Kelly Burns was selected as one of five Student Thespian Officers (STO) to initiate and serve on our first state Student Thespian Board.
  • Of the fifteen Individual Events that the students presented, Jena Brooks and Maddy Miller’s Duet Musical Theatre performance of “Three Bedroom House” from Bat Boy: the Musical was selected to showcase in the final event of the weekend.

Additionally, the following Individual Events received “Superior” ratings and were selected to advance to compete in Individual Events at the International Thespian Festival (ITF) to be held in Lincoln, NE in June.

  • Jena Brooks and Maddy Miller: Duet Musical Theatre (listed above)
  • Dominic Masotti: Solo Musical Theatre performance of “Last One Picked” from Whoop-Dee-Doo! the Musical.
  • Thomas Poteat: Solo Musical Theatre performance of “Proud of Your Boy” from Aladdin.
  • Maddy Miller: Solo Musical Theatre performance of “Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me.

Palmetto Fellows Named

The College Counseling Office recently announced that seventeen students out of the St. Joseph’s class of 102 seniors have met the qualifications for the Palmetto Fellows Early Award. Anthony Alber, Alice Bailey, Kara Cervetti, Grace Cooney, Margaret Eberly, Alie Fink, Lauren Jones, Mary Kramer, Luke Lyons, Jack Mobley, Carter Powell, Walker Seman, Alexandra Tamura, Josiah Tennent, Ethan Veideman, Miles Weiss, and Hannah White met the Early Award requirements by maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA scoring a minimum on the SAT and/or on the ACT. The Palmetto Scholarship recognizes academically talented South Carolina high school seniors and encourages these individuals to attend college in state. Each Palmetto Fellow may receive a scholarship up to $6,700 during their first year of college. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may receive up to $7,500 per year.

NHS Hosts Computer Class

On February 6, members of the National Honor Society held a free adult/senior computer class for members of the Greenville Community. NHS members helped answer questions concerning the use of laptops, iPhones and iPads. This is a yearly event for the National Honor Society and the participants are always grateful for the help the students provided so that they can more easily communicate with their loved ones.

Leaders Attend Diversity Bridge Day

Kevondrea Haynes, Christian Gillespy, Bailey Mullins, and Alexandra Tamura attended the Future Leaders Leadership Bridge Day at the Statehouse in Columbia on February 3 after being selected at the Atlantic Institutes Diversity Leadership Dinner held at Furman University in November. The students met current legislators and had dinner at the Capitol City Club, where they participated in a panel discussion of diversity in leadership, where Alexandra served as a panel member. The students are members of the National Social Studies Honor Society and Pope Francis Forum for Dialogue and Diversity.