Friday, November 30, 2018

Advent 2018

Preparing for Christmas at ASA

Kids Food Basket Trail Mix assembly December 19
9:00 Elementary Campus
1:00 Middle School Campus

Collections Items by grade level:
    K and 4: Cheddar crackers
    1 and 6:  Pretzels (mini-twists)
    2 and 5:  Oat cereal (ex. Cheerios)
    3 and 8:  Raisins
             7: Snack size ziplock bags
             Pre-K will decorate bags for sack suppers.

   $1 Jean Days for Kids Food Basket Dec. 7, 14 and 21
  • Band Concert at West Catholic - 5-8 Dec 4th 7pm
  • Elementary Christmas Program at Blessed Sacrament - Dec 10 6:30pm
  • Christmas program at Aquinata Hall -  K-4 Dec. 19

Friday, November 23, 2018

ASA Saint Art Installed!

One in The Body of Christ 

Forming Saints to Serve All

1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ.”

Reflecting this unity in diversity, we at All Saints Academy are excited that we have installed a beautiful, new, one-of-a-kind painting by artist John McCoy in the entryway of our middle school campus. At All Saints Academy, “We Believe We Are One” community of unique learners developing our talents to serve God and others.  

At the center of the piece we see the Blessed Sacrament with St. Jude, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Isidore and St. Alphonsus on either side, a reference to the four parishes who established All Saints Academy (Blessed Sacrament, St. Isidore, St. Jude, and St. Alphonsus, where the Redemptorist community who ministers there is devoted to Our Mother of Perpetual Help).

Since we are All Saints Academy, we chose to include more saints to represent the entire body of Christ. Students and ASA staff helped identify eight additional saints who exemplify ASA’s core values, Faith, Learning, Loving and Serving: 

  • Cecilia - Patroness of musicians
  • Sebastian - Patron of athletes and soldiers 
  • Albert the Great - A doctor of the Church and “universal thinker” whose interests included science, ethics, logic, philosophy, psychology and theology, and who demonstrates the  pursuit of truth
  • Joan of Arc - Defender of faith, and an example of both contemplation and action 
  • Juan Diego - A native to Mexico and a convert; news of his encounters with Our Lady of Guadalupe caused thousands to convert to Christianity  
  • Kateri Tekakwitha- The first Native American to be canonized a saint; the patroness of ecology and the environment, she is also inspiration for missionaries, those in exile and those adopted
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton - First native-born U.S. saint and founder of the nation’s first Catholic girls’ schools. Elizabeth was a prolific reader, both a wife and mother, and also a religious sister and foundress of the Sisters of Charity 
  • Teresa of Calcutta - Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity and a modern exemplar of a life lived in loving service to others 

All of these saints, with their various gifts and missions, remind us that as All Saints Academy strives to “Form Saints to Serve All,” the saints we form will choose various professions focusing their talents and honoring God. This beautiful painting reflects the unity of the body of Christ and also demonstrates diversity among our gifts, all with the Eucharist at the center.

We were blessed to have Mr. John McCoy stay in Grand Rapids while he painted One in The Body of Christ. He worked in Thaddeus to stretch the 6 x 12 foot canvas, and then paint. As John began sketches for the piece he visited the 4 ASA parishes to seek inspiration from both community and art. During his stay John was able to meet and share a number of meals with ASA families.  

To both protect and also highlight our new Saint art a one of a kind frame was designed and assembled. Due to a generous donation from Mr. Jim Steffens we were able to reclaim wood from the old St Alphonsus bleachers for the frame. Shane Kamps, cousin of ASA alum Bianne Robach, and his assistant John Michael Lunt constructed the frame and installed the art. 

It was a blessing to welcome both John McCoy and Shane Kamps to Eaglefest 2018 to “unveil” One in The Body of Christ and thank the donors that helped make this project possible last year at Eaglefest 2017. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

5th Grade Global Partnerships

World Water Crisis 

by Drew Beye, Ryan McGavin, Addison Dewolf, Dean Armock & Nick Schaab

We have been learning about the global water crisis in science class. We’ve been partnering with kids in Jordan with Level Up Village so we are experiencing a country that probably doesn’t have water as clean  as we do in the US.

Everyone has enjoyed making videos and chatting with an all boys school in Jordan. In our videos we talk about where we get our water and if it is safe to drink. So we are designing different water filters and seeing how good they work, Why? Or Why not.

We think Level Up Village is a great learning tool. When our partners get our videos they will watch them and then comment or answer our questions or comments. LUV (Level Up Village) is our favorite project so far at ASA. Sometimes it can be hard to understand our partners because English isn’t their first language naturally. We learned that some of them were born in the USA and moved to Jordan.

The water filter project was really fun, not only was it fun we got to attempt to save lives! We designed water filters as a science project where we got dirty water and tried to make it clean. Not many people succeeded, but many were very close. Overall this was by far a really cool experience for everybody in 5th grade including whoever experienced it too. We’ve never done anything like this and we thought it was just awesome! It was by far the best and when we say this I think we speak for the whole class.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

All (people can be) Saints Academy

“Saints don’t give up!” - Gavin McKinney

During our All School Mass for All Saints Day Fr. George challenged us that we can all become Saints. Regardless of size, looks, resources, talents, with God’s help we can all work towards sainthood! 

As part of our All Saints Day celebration the 8th grade class treated us to 2 plays about 2 normal people who went on to become great Saints, St Bernadette and St Nicholas. 

St. Bernadette of Lourdes received several visions from the Virgin Mary starting in 1858. When she shared these visions people didn’t believe her and tried to force her to change her story. She refused and continued to tell people about Mary’s and the miraculous healing water that sprung up at the sight of her visions. Eventually a Church was built at the sight that people still visit to this day. 

St. Nicholas was a Bishop in Myra. Legends of his generosity and gift-giving transformed St Nicholas the man into the legendary character known as Santa Claus. One such legend tells how St Nicholas secretly put 3 bags of money inside the house (by tossing them down a chimney or in a window so they landed by stockings drying at the fireplace) of a poor father who couldn’t pay the dowries for his 3 daughters to get married. 

Some of the insights students gained from these these performances are that:
“The little things count.” 
“You have to be humble.” 

Great job, 8th grade!!! 

At All Saints Academy we are Forming Saints to Serve ALL! 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Eagle Award 2018

Congratulations to Deb Westveer, the 2018 Eagle Award Winner!

The Eagle Award is presented each year by the Home and School Association to a member of the ASA community in acknowledgement of his or her extraordinary contribution to the success of All Saints Academy.

This award enhances the culture of All Saints Academy by drawing attention to those who are living our Catholic faith and supporting our school mission by holding them up as an example for others to follow.

Prior recipients of this award have included: 2011-Chris Burns; 2012-Pete and Peg Gonzalez; 2013-Mariae Firlit; 2014-Christine Jarecki; 2015-Linda Kozminski; 2016-Judy Hardy; 2017-Jon Fournier

Along with an award for them to take home, the recipient’s name will be added to a perpetual plaque that is displayed in the halls of both the elementary and middle school campuses for all to see.

While it is true that no great achievement is accomplished by the work of one person, a significantly great work like providing a well rounded Catholic education requires talented and committed people. 

Congratulations to Deb Westveer, the 2018 All Saints Academy Eagle Award winner! 

Deb Westveer was nominated by Susan Zarzecki. Below is Susan’s nomination letter...

When I think of exceptional service a few names come to mind. A name at the top of my list, and  very deserving for an Eagle award nomination, is our very own Mrs. Deb Westveer. She demonstrates our core values of, “Faith, Learning, Loving, Serving.”

Mrs. Westveer is a faithful person. She is a constant presence at mass, at church functions, such as the fish fry, and a friendly face. She is always willing to volunteer, offer a smile, and lend a hand at Mass. In the most recent years, she has been an usher at all the masses she attends.
Deb understands the importance of learning and approaches her job with love. Mrs. Westveer often has a kind word to say or an inquiry about others. She goes out of her way to discover what they like and incorporate it into activities. As a parent at All Saints Academy, I am lucky to have Mrs. Westveer as part of our village. She runs Saints Club for the Elementary campus and is there with a smile in the very early mornings, and after school until 6:00 PM. These hours are a challenge. However, she is always a loving presence in the children’s lives and makes sure to incorporate things they enjoy doing. Sometimes it is easy to fail to recognize and praise auxiliary staff. However, without the “Mrs. Westveer’s” of the world, where would we be? She has been invaluable to working parents. Her quiet kindness and Christian nature is necessary to her role, especially to those of who depend on her help with their children during non school hours. 

Finally, Mrs. Westveer is a true servant. Her duties are many. Whether is is before school, after school, at mass, or a church function, her heart of service doesn’t go unnoticed. She and her husband are there with a smile, and often lending a helping hand. While recovering last year from her knee surgery, we felt her absence. We were so glad to have her return to our All Saints Academy family after recovery.

For these reasons, and many more, Mrs. Westveer was at the top of the list for an Eagle Award, and we are so pleased she is back with us and receiving it. 

Thank you, Mrs. Westveer!