The Lord is ever doing new and wonderful things in our lives. This year, history was made in Peoria with the arrival of Sister Marie Jeannette – our seventh Sister at our Peoria mission!

Under the intrepid leadership of our principal, Sister Maria Christi, the students, families, faculty, and staff of St. Jude Catholic School have continued to navigate the challenges of the pandemic without sacrificing the goal of leading young people to a deeper knowledge of Christ and His truth.

Sister Theresita’s kindergarten students have recently been collecting advice for next year’s kindergarteners. A few lessons stand out: “Only say charitable things!” and, Sister’s favorite, “Be nice to the teacher!”

In second grade Sister Maris Stella and Sister Marie Jeannette have been preparing the students to receive their First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. When discussing why it is necessary to be sorry for sins in order to go to Confession, one student summed it up beautifully: “If we are sorry, we open up and are ready to give our sins to God! If we are not sorry, we are closed to God.”

The seventh-grade students have been learning about Salvation History. Sister Faustina Thomas recently asked her students to share a favorite aspect of what they have learned. Here is one response: “From studying the Covenants, I have learned that God is very trustworthy, and you can always rely on him; he will never abandon you. God is someone who you can love, and he will love you back. You can trust in him and rely on him as your Heavenly Father.”

At Peoria Notre Dame Highschool, Sister Agnes Paulina and Sister Catherine Thomas have been working hard to form a wonderful group of young people as they teach biology and theology, respectively.

Sister Agnes Paulina, who teaches biology and biomedical science classes, recently asked her students why they chose to study biomedical sciences. Here is one great response: “As I have reflected on the future, family medicine seems to be an incredibly appealing choice. It combines my passion for working with and helping others and my love for the biological sciences into a career where I think I can be a steward of God’s creation.”

Last but certainly not least, Sister Catherine Thomas asked her high school theology students why they thought it was important to study theology. Here is a response that would warm the heart of any Dominican: “There are three reasons for studying theology. First for God: because He is worth it. Second for ourselves: to grow in our faith and because we were made to know and love God. Third: for others-we have to know Christ in order to bring Him to others.”

While the world may seem like a crazy place these days, it is a gift to work with and assist in the formation and education of so many wonderful young people!

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