On Sunday, August 13, the students and the parishioners of Saint Mary Magdalen celebrated the start of the new school year by attending a special Backpack Blessing during the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Father Jack Siefert called all students in the parish forward and gave them a special blessing for a great year. Each of the students received a tag that they can attach to their backpacks for the year. After Mass the Day School students visited their classrooms and dropped off all of their school supplies. After visiting the classrooms the kids and their families enjoyed a cool treat.
Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School students in grades 3-7 participated in the World CPR Challenge Event sponsored by American Medical Response and particularly Abbott EMS.
The purpose of this challenge is to increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and to highlight the critical importance of bystander CPR. The students learned to recognize a typical victim who is unconscious and not breathing normally, when to call 911, and to perform chest compressions until professional help arrives. Tracey Swabby, a parent at Saint Mary Magdalen and Business Development Manager for AMR/Abbott EMS, and three Abbott paramedics talked to our students and taught them compression-only CPR, which significantly improves survival from sudden cardiac arrest. She told the students that research has shown rescue breathing is not necessary in the first minutes after sudden cardiac arrest, but that continuous compressions can be lifesaving. Even though the presentation was short, the extreme importance of being prepared with essential lifesaving skills was not lost on the children.
Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Brentwood had sculpted a depiction of Saint Mary Magdalen. This depiction of the, “Apostle to the Apostles,” is taken from the beautiful crucifixion scene located in the church sanctuary. Michelle Bowman of Restorations Plus handled the commissioning of the statue and put the pastor, Fr. Jack Siefert, in contact with a local sculptor, Abraham Mohler, who sculpted the statue from a large block of limestone. The ten thousand pound statue took a year to finish and is sitting on the southwest corner of the church property.
Every year since 1974, Catholic schools celebrate Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week. This past week Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School celebrated this rich tradition. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 was “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” We observed the annual celebration week with Masses, an open house and other activities for students, families and parishioners. These events helped us to focus on the value Catholic education provides to our students, our church, and our communities.
The 8th grade students from Saint Mary Magdalen School and the Family Faith Formation Program, along with 8 parents, are attending the March for Life in Washington D.C.
The Saint Mary Magdalen Pro-Life Committee helped to cover the cost of the trip. Thousands from the Archdiocese of St. Louis are marching to protect the lives of the unborn.
Part of the mission of Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School is to provide a foundation in Christ through serving others. [On Nov. 22] we demonstrated SERVICE to others and the whole school participated: we decorated bags, wrote notes, made sandwiches, and bagged cookies and chips for Saint Patrick Center.
St. Patrick Center is one of Missouri’s largest providers of housing, employment and health opportunities for people who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless. Saint Mary Magdalen School chose this charity to share our blessings with the less fortunate in Saint Louis. All of the children from three years old through eighth grade have been studying the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School and Parish was extremely fortunate this weekend to have raised over $100,000 on Saturday and an additional $20,000 on Sunday. The money will be used to both enhance the technology in the school building and replace the school’s fifty year old malfunctioning boiler: $70,000 for the boiler and $52,500 for technology. The parish hosted its annual Dinner Auction last Saturday night at the Frontenac Hilton. Father Jack Siefert asked those in attendance to fund a need for new school technology and alerted the group that a new boiler was needed for the school. He stated the new boiler would cost $100,000, but a generous donation of $50,000 had already been made that morning anonymously.
In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Brentwood, Missouri, took part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at Manchester and Brentwood. Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st — there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 10), 2015, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, Miss Audrey Corby, our art teacher, coordinated the Pinwheels for Peace project this year. This project is non-political — peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”
Saint Mary Magdalen Kindergarten through 8th Grade students created pinwheels. As part of the creation process, the students wrote their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance / living in harmony with others” on one side.
On Thursday, May 5, the Brentwood Community along with 51 other city halls in the St. Louis area held a National Day of Prayer. Every first Thursday of May, Christians and Americans of other faiths come together at their local city halls and pray for their land locally and nationally. The mission of the Day of Prayer is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in our culture. Saint Mary Magdalen students, as well as our Pastor Father Jack Siefert, joined other Brentwood citizens at the Brentwood City Hall.
Several Saint Mary Magdalen students were recognized on Thursday, March 3, at Powell Symphony Hall for their artistic interpretations of the Scherzo for Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Nights Dream. Miss Audrey Corby, art teacher at Saint Mary Magdalen, entered the students’ work into the Picture the Music Program through the Saint Louis Symphony. The Picture the Music Program encourages creativity of students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. The students are to use their artistic interpretations in painting, drawing or coloring in response to a specific selection of symphony music. After all entries were received, judges reviewed them and the top 100 finalists were chosen. Saint Mary Magdalen students Agatha L., Abigail K., Jacob N., and Colleen D. were chosen in the top 100.