November 24, 2019

Advent Begins December 1st

Advent begins next Sunday, December 1st.  Advent would be a great time to renew one’s efforts to attend Mass each weekend.

Giving Thanks

Gratitude Trees

Even BonBon is thankful.

Hide the Turkeys!

Kindergartners are trying to save the turkeys!


Navigating Technology Together

The Navigating Technology Together meeting of parents last week was eye-opening.    Dr. Lindsey Day (another former student of mine) had an interesting presentation that focused on TikTok, which I didn’t even know existed until earlier this fall.  The information and messaging available to students seems to start out pretty innocent, if the account is made by someone who is twelve years old or younger (and is honest about his/her age).  As soon as the account holder turns thirteen, however, the type of information and content that is PUSHED to the user is shocking.  One doesn’t even have to go looking for the shocking content; it comes to the user!

With about 45% of 10 to 12 year olds in the US having not only their own smartphones but smartphones with an Internet service plan (Nielsen report from February 2017), will you be ready?  Will your child?

The following is an interesting blog post on how cell phones and social media have changed the landscape.  Click here to read the story:  Comparing 2008 with 2018.

Don’t Forget Victory Vouchers

As you are doing your shopping this holiday season, don’t forget to use Victory Vouchers.  You purchase gift certificates or gift cards through OLV at face value, and the parish purchases them at a program discount.  The difference ends up being a painless fund-raiser; the card is worth exactly what you pay for it.  In addition to this fund-raising element, our Victory Voucher program also allows parishioners to receive a 2% credit on all purchases that can be directed to school tuition, youth ministry programming, Faith Formation fees, or other selected areas within the parish.  The parish regularly stocks Victory Vouchers from over 50 national and local businesses, and others are available by special order.  HyVee participates through a coupon program that you can print yourself.  Vouchers are sold on Sundays in the Gathering Space at church from 7:30-11 AM, at the Parish Office on weekdays from 7:30-4:00 PM, or by leaving a prepaid order at the parish or school office.  For more information, check out the information on the Victory Voucher section of our website.  Vouchers can also be purchased online at

School Tuition Organizations

The following is edited and reprinted from Fr. Jake’s article in this past weekend’s bulletin:

During the Board of Education meeting two weeks ago, Mr. Andy Craig, who serves as the President of Assumption High, presented the annual report of the Family Tuition Plan. Many parishioners are familiar with the Family Tuition Plan because of the financial assistance they have received through this program….  The Family Tuition Plan began in 2004 as a means to help families with tuition assistance who attend the five Catholic schools in Scott County. Families who want to participate in the program have to apply for assistance every year. The application for assistance takes into consideration several aspects of a family’s financial picture, including the size of a family. Depending upon the amount of money available in the Family Tuition Plan and guidelines set by the State of Iowa, tuition assistance is then dispersed to families.  Last year, the Family Tuition Plan helped support 634 students with a total of $1,280,903 in financial assistance throughout Scott County. Our parish had 148 students at JFK and Assumption High School (AHS) receiving $281,439 in financial assistance. In other words, OLV parishioners received 22% of the total assistance available in all of Scott County. OLV is [the] largest single recipient of financial assistance in Scott County….  [P]arishioners have told me first-hand how the financial assistance is giving their children the opportunity to attend both JFK and AHS.

The money used for the Family Tuition Program is raised primarily through donations given to the Mississippi Valley School Tuition Organization (MVSTO). The MVSTO’s primary mission every year is to raise approximately $1,200,000 to fund the Family Tuition Plan. For anyone interested in donating to the MVSTO, there is also a financial incentive. The Iowa Education Opportunities Act, which passed in June 2006, allows Iowa taxpayers to claim a 65% direct state tax credit for all donations made to the MVSTO. For example, if someone is able to make a $1000 donation to MVSTO, this individual will receive a tax credit certificate for $650 that is applied when s/he files their state taxes. Depending on each person’s tax situation, you might also be able to deduct some of this same $1000 donation from your federal taxes as well.  In the end, a person’s donation to the MVSTO helps students attend Catholic schools in Scott County, but it also helps to offset some of the tax burden that a donor might have for the tax year….  [A]ny donation would be appreciated. Mr. Andy Craig said that he is willing to answer any questions that parishioners might have about donations or the overall mission of the MVSTO. Mrs. Judy Johnson, who is a parishioner and Lay Trustee of our OLV, also serves on the board of the MVSTO and she would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Highlighted Upcoming Dates

It’s starting to get very busy for every grade.  Below are some highlights.  Please see the website for a more complete calendar and look for grade specific notes from teachers.

Nov 26:  JFK’s Toys for Tots drive ends

Nov 27:  Thanksgiving break.  ECLC open.

Nov 28-29:  Thanksgiving break.  ECLC closed.

Dec 3:  JFK Reconciliation for 3rd-8th graders

Dec 4:  All school Mass with Bishop Zinkula.  End of 2nd mid-qtr

Dec 5:  First Reconciliation

Dec 9:  Feast of the Immaculate Conception Holy Day Mass.  Civic Oration

Dec 12:  Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe all school Mass.  3/4 Christmas show.  Feast

Dec 13:  4 yr old PS show

Dec 16:  3rd grade gingerbread houses.  Skate Night

Dec 17:  Band Concert (day at JFK, night at AHS)

Dec 18:  3 yr old PS family activity

Dec 19:  K-2 Christmas show

Dec 20:  All school Mass.  Special dismissal at 12:40

Dec 21 – Jan 5:  Christmas Break.  Check the school calendar for dates when ECLC is closed.

OLV parish bulletin:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:

Praying Hard

We’ve been praying extra hard in my family this past week.  My daughter’s boyfriend’s mother had a stroke.  Through lots of praying and the wonders of modern medicine, it seems she may be through the worst of it, but she has a long way to go, and her life will likely never be the same.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!