Prayer for Study and Exams

As we enter exam week on Monday, know that the prayers of the faculty and staff are will all of our students, particularly as they prepare over the weekend. Good luck and finish strong! St. Joseph, pray for us.

Lord, I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.

Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying ,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself.  Amen


Dear Lord, as I take this exam, I thank you that my value
Is not based on my performance, but on your great love for me.
Come into my heart so that we can walk through this time together.
Help me, not only with this test, but the many tests of life that are sure to come my way.

As I take this exam, bring back to my mind everything I studied
and be gracious with what I have overlooked.
Help me to remain focussed and clam, confident in the facts and in my ability,
and firm in the knowledge that no matter what happens today you are there with me.  Amen

Middle School Celebrates St. Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Today, the middle school celebrated with treats in the cafeteria thanks to many of our moms and Mrs. Jaraczewski. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and is a major saint in many European and Eastern countries. One of the old Christian traditions surrounding his feast day is for kids to leave their shoes out overnight in front of the fireplace, on the windowsill, or outside their bedroom door so that St. Nicholas can fill them with special fruits, candies, and other small gifts and treats.


Sixth Grade Academy Altruism in Action: Water of Life Ministry Visit

On Thursday, November 29th, the Sixth Grade Academy continued its Altruism in Action series with a visit from Water of Life Ministry. The students, who are currently studying the virtue of compassion, listened intently to their guest speaker Sarah Kelley as she shared the about the mission of Water of Life – to support communities in need in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and India by providing clean water through drilling new wells, sharing the Gospel, and helping to break cycles of poverty. One of the most pressing needs they face in India is the desperation of child slavery.

Mrs. Kelley explained to the students the caste system of India, and of the “untouchables,” largely familiar in the United States as those Mother Theresa served. She explained that thousands of children, average age 9, are forced into slavery in the brick and slate mines underground, often because of their families live in extreme poverty. It was very hard for our students to grasp that these children do not get to go home at night but are forced to sleep in these mines with very little food. Mrs. Kelley told the students that they are rescuing these children from the mines and are giving them medical attention, clothes and schooling so they can earn a living. Many of the little girls they rescue learn to sew and work as tailors. In order to help raise money to rescue other children from slavery, these little girls also make stuffed elephants which they sell for $15 each. Some of the money raised from these elephants also goes toward the drilling of new wells, which in turn helps to break the cycle of poverty in rural villages by sparing children and parents hours of walking each day to bring dirty water home to their families. The cost of one Water of Life Ministries well is $3,500.

The Academy students and teachers were very moved by this presentation and asked if some of the elephants could stay at the school, both for the children to purchase and to be able to help them share the story. If you would like to see or purchase them, contact any of the Sixth Grade Academy teachers!

More information about Water of Life can be found at their website at




St. Joe’s Blankets and Stadium Seats Available

The lacrosse team will be selling St. Joseph’s blankets at the upcoming home basketball games Dec. 10, 11, and 14. These cozy throws are 54″ x 84″ and perfect for cool weather events or as an additional layer at the foot of the bed ($40 each). Also available are 11″ x 14″ royal blue foam stadium seats ($10 each). The seats make indoor or outdoor spectating much more enjoyable! Both items make wonderful Christmas gifts, so be sure to get yours before they’re gone!

Theology of the Body Class Hosts Speaker

St. Joseph’s Theology of the Body course is a unique classroom offering in the Greenville area. As the Upstate’s only Catholic high school, St. Joseph’s is the only educational experience offering an in-depth, semester long exploration of St. Pope John Paul II’s critical work on an integrated vision of the human person.

“The human body includes right from the beginning… the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.” – St. Pope John Paul II 

As part of this course of study, taught by Theology teacher Michele Houmis, each year the class welcomes a guest speaker to introduce the high school students to the concepts of Natural Family Planning and fertility awareness. In a culture that assumes contraceptives as a given in women’s healthcare and within relationships, this lecture provides a research-backed alternative that is respectful of both a woman’s body and of the bond between husband and wife in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual ethics. This year, the class welcome Tami Kiser, wife of Headmaster Keith Kiser, as guest lecturer.

Mrs. Kiser, a nationally recognized speaker and author, presented a compelling and informative approach not only to the practical method of tracking a women’s fertility, but also shared the practical and positive impact NFP can have on the health of a marriage – stronger communication, mutual support, and shared spiritual growth. She also witnessed to the class, as unmarried teenagers, how a chaste dating relationship helped prepare her for marriage.

This course continues to be a highlight of the St. Joseph’s experience, providing a forum for discussion and questions regarding many life issues and the purpose and beauty of human life.


Flag Retirement Ceremony to be Held Thursday, Dec 6

All students, faculty, staff, and families are invited to attend a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, December 6th at 9:45 AM. A special invitation is extended to all veterans who may be interested as well. The ceremony will be conducted by SJCS senior and Eagle Scout Dillon Spikings, and will be held on the St. Joseph’s Catholic School football field.

“As an Eagle Scout, I have been a part of several flag ceremonies my Boy Scout Troop has done and I wanted to share this great event with SJCS,” said Spikings. December 7th is also National Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day, and so presents a duel occasion to honor the flag and the fallen members of the United States Military.

We look forward to seeing you at this event and extend our thanks to Dillon for bringing this opportunity to St. Joseph’s.

Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) Claims National Championship with Emory University

Emory’s volleyball team won its second-ever national championship on Saturday, Nov. 17, where Knight alumni Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) contributed eight kills to help her squad claim the title!

Following the UAA Championships earlier in November, Saunders was named to the 2018 All-University Athletic Association Team, where she was awarded the conference’s Most Valuable Player. See below for her excerpt from the full write-up on and congratulations Leah!

Sophomore Leah Saunders (Simpsonville, SC), highlighted Emory’s selections by being tabbed as the conference’s Most Valuable Player, the eighth member of the program to earn that distinction. The 5-foot-8 Saunders earned her initial first-team berth to the all-conference team, and has averaged 2.67 kills and 2.36 digs over 91 sets of action. The owner of 11 contests of double-figure kills and five double-doubles (kills/digs), Saunders is coming off a solid showing at the UAA Championships, hitting .303 (29-5—78) while registering 11 terminations against Carnegie Mellon in the semifinals and 10 vs. Chicago in the finals.  She has ranked as the club leader in both kills and digs in three matches this year.  She has come through with eight outings of 10 or more digs and is fourth on the team with 27 service aces.

SJCS Youth In Government Delegation Brings Home Honors

The SJCS Youth in Government (YIG) delegation had great success this year in the state capitol. The delegation, representing St. Joseph’s for our 17th year, once again received the Premier Delegation Award. St. Joseph’s has brought this high honor home every year since we began participating and speaks to the incredible time and efforts put forth by every single students in the delegation.

Special thank you to Lizzie Latham for providing such wonderful photos!

This year, our students took home a new honor by setting a new school record for most signed bills, 13 of the 24 written. The following students had their bills signed by the Youth Governor:

Lauren DeLo & Sydney Nobarak
Jenna Maunsell & Gracie Lawton
Ava Keating & Abbie Panuccio
Abby Seidel & Adrianna DeLacruz
Emily Mulholland & Rachel Marlar
Ellie Cassidy & Maria Clark
Spencer Marchant & Lee Eberly
Karen Shenouda & Maurena Supra
Eleni San & Camille Ferguson
Sam Nixon & Julia Arnett
Preston Saad & Ishan Lal
Eli Challis & Sandon Brown
Michael Ann Pace & Mackenzie Manfredi

Outstanding Bill Awards
Eleni San & Camille Ferguson
Brendan Dunlavey & Mclean Armstrong

Outstanding Statesman Awards
Andrew Walajtys — Premier House
Spencer Marchant — House

Outstanding Appeals Attorney Award
Davis Cooney

Elected Youth Secretary of Education
Ishan Lal

Students were also selected to attend the very competitive summer programs. Both the Committee on National Affairs and the National Judiciary Competition are programs that students have to apply for, be recommended to, and then selected. The following SJCS students were chosen:

Committee on National Affairs
Maegan White
Katelyn Supra*
Emma Kate Seckinger*

National Judiciary Competition
Maegan White
Jessica Gerac

*indicates alternate

All 77 students participated in a variety of roles. We had eleven leadership positions, twelve attorneys on two attorney teams, and one appeals pair. Davis Cooney was the only appeals attorney selected at YIG to argue the Constitutional Bill Challenge, and Ishan Lal won the election for Youth Secretary of Education. Thank you to Mrs. Megan Koon and Dr. Steven Jones who coached the attorneys, and to Mr. Jamie Swingle, Mrs. Greshan Charlton, and Mrs. Meby Carr who worked with the legislative pairs.

‘He’s earned everything’ – Andre Stoddard (SJCS ’14)

‘He’s earned everything’
Wofford fullback Stoddard overcomes missing fingers to be a force on the field

By Todd Shanesy – Article from the Spartanburg Herald Journal

In youth league football, Andre Stoddard sensed that other kids — adults as well — were rudely staring at him with unabashed curiosity and sometimes even making shameful comments.

Stoddard was born without the three middle fingers on his left hand.

“I noticed people doing that,” Stoddard said. “But I always thought it was just because I wasn’t very good at football. Actually, I was terrible.”

People stare and talk about Stoddard now because he is so good.

Stoddard, a senior fullback at Wofford College, was preseason All-American and recently named first-team All-Southern Conference. The Greenville native (St. Joseph’s Catholic) has rushed for 912 yards this season and 1,737 yards in the past two seasons. His career total of 1,884 yards ranks among the top 20 in program history.

With 88 yards Saturday in a 2 p.m. second-round FCS playoff game at Kennesaw State, he would become only the fourth Wofford player to reach 1,000 in a season during the school’s Division I era. He would join Kevious Johnson (2004); Eric Breitenstein (2010, 2011, 2012); and Lorenzo Long (2016) in accomplishing that feat.

“That’s just a byproduct of playing and winning,” Stoddard said. “I just want to be a better version of myself and give this team an opportunity to compete for a national championship. I want to get better as an individual. Whether that means rushing for a thousand yards or not, I’m comfortable as long as I’m helping my team.”

Wofford senior fullback Andre Stoddard has rushed for 912 yards this season. [JOHN BYRUM/FOR THE HERALD-JOURNAL]

Stoddard is certainly a grown man now. He is 5-foot-10 and 240 pounds, with legs so powerful they move entire piles of bodies toward the first-down marker.

Wofford head coach Josh Conklin, a former college linebacker, was asked how he would try to tackle Stoddard.

“With a lot of people,” he said.

Stoddard’s body, even one like his, has taken a beating this season. That’s what happens to Wofford fullbacks as they absorb brutal hits on every snap, whether they have the ball or not. And when he is tackled, teams have gone with the Conklin line of thinking and done it with a lot of people. Stoddard didn’t play in the final regular-season game against Presbyterian and had 11 carries last week against Elon for only 44 yards, including 20-yarder, with a 17-yarder called back because of penalty.

Freshman fullback Nathan Walker has played a key role this season and especially during the past two weeks with a combined 175 yards on 22 carries. It could be that Stoddard plays a lesser role again Saturday with hopes of him healing up even more for a possible third straightquarterfinals game or beyond.

“Andre has just been a staple for us,” Conklin said. “He’s a guy who has that consistent mentality and attitude. He just goes about his business. When he gets his touches, he gets the big yards, the tough yards. … He doesn’t expect anything. He just believes that he is going to go out and earn it. In football and in life, he’s earned everything he’s gotten.”

That mentality certainly goes back to his youth days.

“I started playing when I was 5 years old,” Stoddard said. “I was always the smallest on the team. My dad is a huge football fan. We’d always play in the back yard. With me being so small, it took some convincing for my mom to let me play on a team. My dad and I finally convinced her. But I wasn’t very good. I played defense and I would just kind of get smacked around. At some point, I challenged myself to not get smacked around anymore.”

The challenge of having seven fingers inspired him to practice harder.

“It definitely forced me to work 10 times as hard as the other kids because I was being forced to make up for the lack of three fingers,” Stoddard said. “I’ve always convinced myself that it was just about putting in the extra time. It will never slow me. I know that whenever I put my mind to doing something, I can do it. I may have to do it a different way. But I can get it done.”

FRIDAY: Jr. Beta Club Movie Night, Elf

The St. Joseph’s middle school Jr. Beta Club invites you to come get in the Christmas Spirit and raise funds to benefit Birthright of Greenville! We will be hosting a movie night this Friday on campus and watching the Christmas classic Elf! All middle school students are welcome.

6:45-8:45 PM



The $6 admission includes hot chocolate & a snack (to be charged to your school account) with additional concessions available for $1 each.



SJCS Theatre Team Places First in SCTA Tech Olympics

During November, the South Carolina Theatre Association hosted their fifth annual Tech Olympics. This event allows theatre students to demonstrate their accuracy, speed, and efficiency as well as creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork in executing technical theatre skills in the areas of Lighting, Stage Management, Wardrobe, Stage Crew, and Rigging.

At this year’s event, the team representing SJCS included Carson CrockettPhilip Mosley, Luke Perham, and Dante Wells. In the separate events, St. Joe’s placed third for the Rigging and Stage Crew events and first for the Stage Management event. Additionally, Philip Mosley placed first in Lighting. Overall, for the fastest combined time in all six events (hanging and focusing a light, sewing a button, knot tying, cable roll relay, taping a ground plan, and folding a drop), the SJCS team placed first in the state with the fastest combined time.

Additionally, Luke Perham participated in the technical theatre audition and interview process for SC college and university theatre programs. Among the eleven programs in attendance, he received callbacks to ten of the schools.

St. Joe’s Gathers for Friendsgiving Celebration

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, over 150 people from the St. Joe’s family – students, their families, teachers, and staff – gathered to celebrate the holiday together with a Friendsgiving potluck hosted by Campus Ministry. The evening ran several hours with great conversation and energy, families sharing their favorite dishes and enjoying each other’s company.

The evening included a musical program with performances by senior Dante Wells on the piano, and senior Mary Lynam on the guitar accompanied by Jacob Kiser and Philip Stapleton.

After the meal, two individuals shared their stories of how Campus Ministry at St. Joseph’s has impacted their lives. Parent Mark Ferrell shared his story of how involvement in the community has been helpful for him and his family, and senior Anthony Cinquemani described how Campus Ministry became the means of finding the answer to his search for friends and meaning in high school. Gabe Lewis closed the evening by leading the group in song. Thank you to everyone who came to join in the evening’s fellowship and to the volunteers who made the night so enjoyable for all!

Knights Welcome Visitors for Grandparents Day

St. Joseph’s welcomed more than 230 guests for Grandparents Day during November. The annual celebration has become one of the largest events held on campus each year and is a wonderful highlight in the community life of the school.

This year, the morning began with an invitation for grandparents to arrive early if they wished for a special mass with chaplain Fr. Jonathan Duncan. Immediately following, grandparents were welcomed to the beautifully transformed gymnasium for beverages and a welcome from Headmaster Keith Kiser, and the Heads of the Middle and High Schools, Dr. Steven Jones and Mrs. Wanda Jaraczewski. SJCS grandparent and frequent visitor John Hoffman also spoke about his family’s experience at St. Joe’s and shared about the importance of supporting the school.

The students arrived in the gym to visit and had the opportunity to take their grandparents on school tours if they wished, as well as a chance to have their picture taken together. Lunch followed, served by many wonderful parent volunteers, along with a student musical program.

Thank you to all the grandparents for joining us on this wonderful day, and to the many hands that made it possible!

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