May 12, 2019

Candy Bar Sale — Last Day is May 14

Candy bar money is due May 14.  It is $60 per box.  There are two options if you haven’t sold your last full box:

  1. Turn in the $60 and keep the remaining candy bars.  You can continue to sell them on your own, or, my favorite, keep them as treats for yourself!
  2. Turn in the money for what you have sold ($1 per candy bar) and return the remaining candy bars to us as well.

Thank you for your help with this fundraiser.  It seems as if it’s been a pretty easy and successful fundraiser!

Additional Holy Fire 6th Grade Parent Meetings

We had an amazing experience with 7th grade students last year at Holy Fire-Chicago.  Holy Fire is a day long mini-NCYC experience for middle school youth.  We will again be using this awesome retreat experience for 7th graders next fall.  Evan Brankin is hosting two additional information meetings for 6th grade parents:  May 16th and May 21st at 5:15 in the youth room in the rectory basement.

Assessment Results Reminder

As was stated in the letter than accompanied the reading screening and Iowa Assessment scores that were recently mailed, results for 3rd-5th graders are not expected until late summer or early fall.  The state has switched to the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress for 3rd-11th graders for public schools.  Most of our diocesan schools are transitioning to these tests as well.  JFK used them for grades 3-5 this year.  Next year, we will use them for grades 3-8.  As a new test and with open-ended written responses, the ISASP will take longer to score than the traditional Iowa Assessments.

Applications for Financial Assistance Due June 30th

The deadline for returning families to apply for financial assistance and receive consideration for full amounts is June 30th.  Click HERE for the direct link for the online application.

OLV/JFK Campus Expanded with Donation

OLV/JFK’s campus was expanded with the donation of two lots just to the south of the drive by the ball field.  KwikTrip, Inc., owner of KwikStar, added these two lots to their donation of land to OLV.  Our southern property line is now a straight line that backs up to KwikStar and extends from Division to Sturdevant.    (OLV owns and rents out the white house and brown house on Division.)  Volunteers have already begun the process of cleaning up the properties so we can better maintain the land in the future, and they made great progress again this weekend!

Scott County Catholic Schools Strategic Plan Draft Meetings

About a year ago, Meitler was hired by the Assumption Foundation to examine how Catholic school education is provided in Scott County and provide suggestions on how we might continue to improve in the future.  The executive summary was presented to administrators on April 26th and will be presented to pastors on May 13th.  From there, the draft will be presented to the staffs of our Catholic schools and then to boards of education, finance councils, and other parish leadership organizations.  From there, the executive summary will be shared with the larger community of parents, stakeholders, and other interested parties.  It is an exciting time in Catholic school education in Scott County!

How I Met Your Mummy — Hilarious

Wasn’t I right?  The 8th grade play, “How I Met Your Mummy,” was hilarious!  The results of dedicated students on stage crew, set design, and on stage was amazing.  Many thanks to the adults too:  Mrs. Bauer, Ms. Burken, Ms. Siefers, Mrs. Woerdehoff, Mr. Ryan, and the parents and supporters of JFK drama.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health affects many families.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness, 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition, and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.  Fifty percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and there is an 8-10 year gap between the onset of symptoms and intervention.  Recognizing these issues, major legislation was passed this spring in Iowa that will establish a Children’s Behavioral Health System State Board that will guide age-appropriate universal screening and help provide services in the areas of prevention, early identification, early intervention, community prevention, and comprehensive crisis services.

Home & School News

Home & School board members are needed for next school year.  Andrea Schuster would be glad to answer any of your questions.

Our last H & S meeting is May 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the parish center.  Share your thoughts about this past year, brainstorm ideas for the future, and prepare the budget for next year.

Family Movie Night: May 31st, time TBA.  Lego Movie 2 will be the featured show.

Band Concert

The band concert is Thursday at 9:15 in the gym and 6:30 in Assumption’s auditorium.  Fourth graders will play their recorders at the morning concert.

Field Day Volunteers

We are in need of field day volunteers!  If you can help on June 5, please contact Sara Tilkens.

Calendar Gets Full in the Spring

As we get closer to the summer, the school calendar seems to get fuller!  Please stay tuned in to building wide news and grade/homeroom news from the teachers.  You don’t want to miss anything!

Position Open at JFK

School Counselor:  We will have a full-time school counselor position available for the 2019-20 school year.   Iowa licensure is required.  To apply for this position, please send a copy of one’s license, resume, letter of interest, and references to

That Someone Else Is Us

I have to share my Mass experience on Saturday because it reminds me of a lesson for all of us.  My wife, Lynn, was out of town, and I attended the 4:30 Mass by myself.  Attendance seemed just a little lower than usual.  As we sat in silence waiting for Mass to begin, it seemed too quiet.  How can we be the most vibrant and welcoming faith community in the Diocese (our vision statement), when there’s so much silence?  When one goes to the best basketball game, concert, or family gathering, do we quietly enter and wait for it to begin in silence, or does the anticipation of the event flow out of us with energy?  At Mass, I thought we needed at least some pre-Mass music to help us set the stage and help us with the anticipation for the highlight of the week, which is coming together to worship.  We needed, however, someone there to lead the music.

At the beginning of Mass, there was no one to welcome us, no one to lead us in song, and no one to play the piano/organ.  Fr. Jake welcomed us from the back and led us in the processional song a cappella.  I then also noted that there was no deacon.  Deacon Al was there but he wasn’t scheduled for this Mass.  Where will we be when there is not someone to step forward to be our deacons, our cantors, our organ players?

I quickly scanned the church to identify the number of parishioners who are commissioned to be Extraordinary Eucharistic ministers.  Would someone be there, or should I take my coat off to be able to help, if needed?  Because I have plenty of opportunities to be an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister at school and special liturgies, I typically do not do this ministry on the weekends, but, if there is not someone else to do it, I certainly can step forward.  I counted at least twelve parishioners who could do it, more than enough to help that day.

As Mass continued, Mrs. Jevyak did the first reading.  She stepped back from the microphone for the responsorial psalm, but quickly realized that there was no one to sing it, so she read it.  Then, she did the second reading as well, and I thought back to my mother-in-law’s funeral.  I think Lynn and I did all the lay person Mass parts at that Mass as there was not someone else to do them.

When Mass on Saturday proceeded to the presentation of the gifts, we did it in silence, which just didn’t seem right for the 4:30 Mass.  Mass seemed rather “dead.”  When I talk to new families who are looking for a church and a school, we sometimes talk about the Masses, and I encourage families to try each of our four Masses.  Each Mass has a different “feel” to it, and, if one doesn’t appeal to them, perhaps another one will.  On Saturday, however, I began to wonder, “What will we do if Shirley cannot play the organ any more?  Where is the music book kept for the organist?  What if someone is not there who can do it?  Should we have a recording ready to pump into the church?  Can we find someone who can at least play the melody on the piano?  Wouldn’t that at least be better than sitting in silence?”

Just as we were about to go up for Communion, Rose Haas (former JFK parent and parish council member and active in several committee areas) slipped into the pew next to me, and said they’d like to sing a Communion song.  She had one picked out.  They just needed someone to go up to the microphone and announce it, and they didn’t feel comfortable doing that so they were asking me to do it.  I asked who would lead it.  She said they would.  So, I crossed over to the organ side of the church and introduced the song.  When they began singing, I could barely hear it, and it seemed to be faltering.  I was standing in front of a microphone so I did what I never expected I would do — I attempted to lead us in singing the hymn a cappella.  Now, if you heard me at the Catholic schools week Mass talk about being a croaking frog often caught between women singing like angels, you know that I was definitely out of my comfort zone.  I don’t think my heart stopped racing for an hour after Mass, and I’m glad I didn’t have to think about doing it beforehand, or I would have been a nervous wreck!  But there wasn’t someone else there doing it; it was just me. I probably would have led us in a recessional song too, if someone had picked it out, but, by then, I was on the other side of the church from Rose and still reeling from the realization of what I had just done with the offertory song.  Fr. Jake said we would just leave Mass in silence.

Often times, we can find ourselves in similar situations thinking, “There’s someone else who is more worthy or better.”  Sometimes when I go to educational workshops, I find myself thinking, however, “This is not earth shattering stuff.  I could be presenting it.”  But I’m not.  In these situations, someone else is.  Are the presenters more worthy or better?  Not necessarily.  But when there wasn’t someone else, they stepped forward and did it.

If we want a vibrant parish, if we want an active Home & School with family events for our kids, if we want field day, if we want school-based athletic events and after school activities, if we want successful band, music, and drama programs, if we want a great community, …, that someone else is us.

Bulletin Link:   May 12, 2019