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Leading retreatants on their spiritual journey is a joy for her Print E-mail
Written by Debora Shaulis Flora Special to the Exponent   
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 11:25

VILLA MARIA, Pa. – Sister Ardath Blake has spent years helping others discover how God is working in their lives. The experience spurs her on to keep improving the programs she facilitates.

Sister Ardath, who holds several titles in the Humility of Mary congregation, is a retreat facilitator at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center (VMESC) here.

Holy Cross students learn art ‘by doing’ in partnerships with area organizations Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:25

CANTON – When Holy Cross Academy (HCA), talks about the three R’s of education, they usually add one more letter.  “P” for partnership.

Holy Cross Academy, the umbrella organization for Stark County’s Catholic schools, has spent several months developing and implementing programs through partnerships with the area’s most well-known and successful organizations.

Catholic School Week activities Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 13:34

Diocesan schools plan Catholic Schools Week activities

Catholic schools across the diocese, along with other schools nationwide, will celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29-Feb. 4. The annual event includes activities and observances promoting Catholic education.

The following schools have notified the Exponent of their anticipated activities for Catholic Schools Week (though some plans were incomplete at press time).


St. Charles, Boardman: Jan. 29: Students assist at spaghetti dinner by Knights of Columbus; School Mass, Open House. Jan. 31: Teacher appreciation luncheon by parents association; students artwork will be displayed at open house, Movie day for K-6; YMCA for swim and gym for grades 7-8.

Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten, Canfield: Jan. 30 and 31: Puzzle Days, with all students working puzzles at the same time; Feb. 1 and 2: “Hats off for Catholic Schools”; Feb. 2 and 3 “Day of Thanks for Catholic Education” students gather at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day to thank God and parents for the gift of a Catholic education.

Holy Family, Poland: Jan. 29: Open House. Jan. 30: National Junior Beta Club installation at 1 p.m.; prayer pals work on projects. Jan. 31: Care notes will be created for state representatives during social studies classes, Clergy will be invited to join students for lunch. Feb. 1: All-school Mass, distinguished service honoree presented; Feb. 2: Dress down, with donations going to St. Vincent de Paul Society.

St. Nicholas, Struthers: Jan. 28: Open House, 2-4 p.m., spaghetti dinner by Mom & Dads Club; Student teddy bear sleepover. Jan. 30: School Mass; Jan. 31; Students dress as favorite super hero, play bingo with super hero prizes, discuss clergy as role models/super heroes; students make cards for area nursing home. Feb. 1: Mass at 9 a.m. Feb. 2 Student buddy art day; Feb. 4: Teacher appreciation luncheon by Mom & Dad’s Club, spirit rally, Knights of Columbus basketball free throw.

Cardinal Mooney High School, Youngstown: Jan. 29: Open house, 1-4 p.m.; Jan. 30: All-school Mass with Bishop Murry at 11 a.m.; Feb. 1: Distinguished alumni morning prayer, 11 a.m.

St. Christine, Youngstown: Jan. 30: School Mass, Distinguished alumni recognition and reception. Jan. 31 Day of service with grades 4-8 students creating thank-you notes for parish organizations. Feb. 1: Special lunch for students by Home and School Association; Career Day. Feb. 2: Light the Fire for Vocations, with Father Chris Luoni. Feb. 3: Teacher appreciation luncheon by Home and School.

Early Childhood Learning Centers: Open House, Mass with parents/families at each site; Mini carnival, pizza party and Phantoms hockey.


St. Joseph, Randolph: Jan. 28: 5:30 p.m. students say thank you to the community at 50/50 banquet. Jan. 29: Bulletin inserts and pictures about the school. Jan. 30: Breakfast with Buddies. Jan. 31: 6:30 p.m. Math Madness Family Night and Open House. Feb. 1: Junior Achievement Day for K-Grade 6. Feb. 2: 12:45 p.m. “Jesus as Storyteller” everyone wears pajamas and slippers all day. Feb. 3: All-school Mass and Blessing of Throats. Feb. 4: Hosting regional chess tournament.


Regina Coeli/St. Joseph School, Alliance: Jan. 30: Pre-School and Kindergarten will celebrate 100 days of school; Bible Quiz at 1 p.m. for Grades K-5. Jan. 31: 8:30 a.m. Mass with cookie and punch reception, spelling bee for grades 3-5 at 10 a.m. Feb. 1: Students participate in special gym activities. Feb. 2: Students may dress out of uniform; ice cream treat; grades K-2 participate in Lego Project at 1 p.m. Feb. 3: Students will pray rosary for world peace at 8:20 a.m.; Soup-er Bowl Day, with students in jeans and team colors (to earn privilege student must donate cans of soup or other items for local food bank), all school kickball game at 1 p.m.

Central Catholic High School, Canton: Open house daily 9 a.m-2 p.m. for prospective families.

St. Joan of Arc, Canton: Jan. 30: All-school Mass, 8:15 a.m.; Muffins for parishioners after Mass; “Fun Facts About Father” questions for Father Weikart will be asked daily; Stop and Pray, throughout the day entire school will stop and say various prayers together; “SJA, Making a Change in the World” will include a collection for the Syrian Refugees. Jan. 31: Special visitors will read to the younger students and talk to older students, bus drivers receive a token of appreciation from students, students may wear a “local” shirt with uniform (local college, schools, businesses, sports team, etc.) Feb. 1: Staff luncheon, Staff vs. Grade 8 volleyball game, SJA Spirit Day. Feb. 2: Parents invited to have lunch with students; Get Up and Move Day (when music comes over the PA system, staff and students are encouraged to get up and move to it); “Knock Your Socks Off” with crazy sock day with uniform. Feb. 3: Dress-down day for staff and students, “Fun Facts About Father” will be revealed after Mass, bingo and ice cream sundaes after Mass.

St. Michael, Canton: All students in each grade (K-8) will participate in a special service project throughout the week. Jan. 27: Kick-off the week with Spirit Day with students in Viking attire or school colors; pep rally at 1:40 p.m. in gym. Jan. 29: All-student Mass at 11 a.m., with students in uniform and fully participating. Jan. 30: Honoring the school’s founding in 1953, students will dress in 1950s style clothing; treat and no-homework passes; participation in grade-level projects, sucker sale at 50 cents each; Preschool and Kindergarten Preview Night at 5:30 p.m. in the gym. Jan. 31: Praise and worship session 9:20-9:50 a.m. led by Walsh University students; Grades 3-5 participate in presentation on the Beatitudes at 10 a.m. in Fannon Center. Feb. 1: All-student Mass at 8:10 a.m.; handmade cross to be presented to Father Don King spelling bee for grades 6-8. Feb. 2: Reptile presentation at 8:15 a.m. in the gym; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel for K-5 students. Feb. 3: Spirit day, with students wearing Viking attire or school colors; classes partner with another grade level for special activity; teachers to be treated to a luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Our Lady of Peace, Canton: Jan. 30: Mix and Match Day, Homeroom door decorating, appreciation letters for teachers, rosary-making in art class to be given to parishioners of Christ the Servant; 9-9:45 a.m. and 10-10:45 a.m. magic show in Seton Hall. Jan. 31: Hat & Accessories Day with regular uniform, parent conferences 4-7 p.m. Feb. 1: Spelling bee; conferences 3-6 p.m., family dinner 6:30-8 p.m. with family activities. Feb. 2 Sports day, letters of appreciation for teachers. Feb. 3: Dress-down day, staff appreciation lunch; ice cream treats for students, door decorating judging and winners announced.

St. Peter, Canton: Jan. 29: Morning social and Open House. Jan. 30: Students make appreciation cards. Jan. 31: Dress-down day with cookies for lunch. Feb. 1: Patriotic activities. Feb. 2: Questions for Pastor. Feb. 3: Thank-you posters made for faculty, staff and volunteers. Feb. 4: Families are encouraged to spend time together.

St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School and High School, Louisville, will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with themes of Thanks, Service, Community & Faith, Scholarship and Fun: Daily tours of the school during regular school hours. Feb. 1: Community Mass, 9:35 a.m. Feb. 4: Alumni Memorial Mass, 4 p.m.

St. Barbara, Massillon: Jan. 29: Open house 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the school. Jan. 30: Walk-a-thon during gym, with money to be donated to Catholic Relief Services; book fair all week in the library. Feb. 1: Each class will take time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with quiet prayer and reflection. Feb. 2: All-school Mass at 9 a.m. Feb. 3: Each class will go to the church to pray the rosary; spelling bee at 1 p.m. in the cafeteria. Feb. 4: Students will be treated to an ice cream social at 1:45 p.m.; Spirit Day with red and black and Crazy Socks Dress-Down Day.

St. Mary Elementary and Preschool, Massillon: Jan. 29: Mass, pancake breakfast and open house. Jan. 30: Appetizers made by teachers; Open house 3-5 p.m. with appreciation to be shown to all staff, volunteers and workers involved in the school and parish; donuts and muffins for families in the morning; valentines for shut-ins will be made. Jan. 31: Retired veterans will participate in color guard; students will recite Pledge of Allegiance, sing the national anthem and “God Bless America” and read essays about freedom; cookie sale, with money going to Syria. Feb. 1: Father Robert from Uganda will celebrate Mass and speak about the ordeals in his country and on vocations, spelling bee in the afternoon. Feb. 2: Students wear jeans, movie with popcorn and juice boxes in the gym. Feb. 3: Lunch for teachers and staff, Kids’ Bowl.

St. Paul, North Canton: Jan. 27: Open house 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (also during the week). Jan. 29: Spartan Sunday/Donut Sunday; Jan. 30: Mismatch Monday and MCEA National Day of Service, collection for Syrian refugees (all week long). Jan. 31: Dress-Up Day, all-school Mass, 8:15 a.m.; Spelling Bee, 9:30 a.m. grades 4-8; Popcorn Bar at all lunch periods; Kindergarten Readiness Fair, 5-7 p.m. in the gym. Feb. 1: Patriotic Colors, dress in red, white and blue; Military Care Package collection. Feb. 2: Sports day, wearing favorite team gear; presentation with Father Daniel Finnerty, grades 4-5; letters of appreciation to priests and religious will be written by all grades. Feb. 3: Spirit Day; staff and volunteer appreciation breakfast, 7-8:30 a.m., social hall; Science Fair, grades 7-8; Science Day with Solar Quest presentation in the gym, K-3 at 12:15 p.m. and grades 4-8 at 1:30 p.m.; Family Science Night, 6-7:30 p.m. in gym; students will write thank-you cards to parents and staff. Feb. 4: Family Day, students and families are encouraged to plan a special activity to do together.

St. James, Waynesburg: Jan. 30: Crazy for Kindness Day – students wear crazy clothes and write note of appreciation to teachers; spelling bee at 1 p.m. grades 1-6. Jan. 31: prayer service at 9 a.m., students collect change to aid refugees, bake cookies for Career Day speakers. Feb. 1: Career dress-up with speakers on careers. Feb. 2: Bully prevention program at 11:15 a.m.; after lunch, students work on skits, poem, a cheer or songs on prevention that will be performed at a 2:15 p.m. rally. Feb. 3: Spirit Day, with students wearing blue and white; All-school Mass at 9 a.m., Carnival and Open House 6:30-8 p.m.


St. Rose, Girard: Jan. 30: Spelling bee; Feb. 1: Service project and bingo. Feb. 2: Zoo Olympics. Feb. 3: Mass.

John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Warren: Upper Campus: Feb. 2, annual faculty student volleyball game. Feb. 3: K Day Leadership Retreat, established to educate students on the social mission of the Church. Feb. 26: Open House, 1-3 p.m. Lower Campus: Jan. 29: Open House 1-3 p.m. Jan. 30: Spelling Bee. Jan. 31: Mass. Feb. 1: Boys and Girls basketball pep rally in Covelli Gymnasium. Feb. 2: Drop Everything and Dance. Feb. 3: Talent show.

Boardman entrepreneur credits Ursuline High School for his success Print E-mail
Written by Marly Kosinski Special to the Exponent   
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:18

BOARDMAN – Jeff Ryznar said his four years at Ursuline High School helped mold him into the person he is today and laid the foundation for his success as an entrepreneur.


"Ursuline has been a part of my life since I was born." Ryznar said. "My aunt and godmother, Sister Carole Suhar, is an Ursuline nun and I was surrounded by the teachings of St. Angela from a young age. Ursuline prepared me academically and personally to excel and achieve.

Br. Francis Blouin, third Walsh University president, dies Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:27

NORTH CANTON – Brother of Christian Instruction Francis Blouin, former president of Walsh University here, died Jan. 21 at the age of 87 after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


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