May 17, 2020 // Diocese

Around the Diocese: May 17, 2020

Saint Joseph High School named distinguished school for STEM and career learning

SOUTH BEND — Saint Joseph High School announced recently that it has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Biomedical Science and Engineering. It is one of just 143 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of pre-K-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 schools across the U.S.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Saint Joseph had to meet the following criteria:

• Offer and have students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses

• Have 25% of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, have at least 33% who take two or more PLTW courses

• Have 95% of students take the end-of-course assessments

• Have strategies and procedures in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty, gender and can support such claims with relevant data.

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

“It is a great honor to recognize Saint Joseph High School for their commitment to providing students with an excellent educational experience,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW. “They should be very proud of their work to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

Saint Joseph is part of a community of pre-K-12 schools, colleges and universities and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program visit

Provided by Beth Barrett
Christ Child Society of South Bend volunteers Debbie Low and Kae Sobczyk deliver 6,500 diapers to the South Bend Center for the Homeless in early May following a collection at the society’s clothing center.


Christ Child Society of South Bend diaper drives net thousands

SOUTH BEND — Because of the economic uncertainty of the moment, the Christ Child Society of South Bend is helping some of its partner agencies with a drive- by Diaper Drop Off.

On May 6, 6,500 diapers were delivered by the Christ Child Society to the Center for the Homeless for the toddlers who are sheltered there. Donors simply drove up and tossed diaper boxes into bins, a safe and easy was to contribute to those in need.

A second diaper drop-off took place May 13 at the Christ Child Society Clothing Center in South Bend. This time, even more children in the community benefited through their association with St. Margaret’s House, El Campito and the Hope Rescue Mission. All three organizations refer clients to Christ Child so that, every fall, thousands of children from birth through age 12 can receive new coats, shoes and clothing at the clothing center.

In response to the sudden closing of schools this spring, in March the Christ Child Society donated learning materials and books to children at St. Adalbert School, which families picked up along with their free lunches. The materials had been purchased for “learning parties” with second grade and kindergarten students that were scheduled for April and May. The parties are part of the Success program Christ Child operates at the school in an effort to enhance the educational experience of the students. 

Despite fundraising efforts such as graduation gift wrapping at the University of Notre Dame bookstore and the annual Derby Day luncheon being canceled, as well as the possibility that the society’s fall dinner auction might not occur, the organization is working hard to continue serving the children of St. Joseph County.

The Christ Child Society is moving from its current location at Western and Scott streets in South Bend to the Town and Country Shopping Center in Mishawaka, which will offer more space for its volunteers to clothe more children and increase services to the community. The building is undergoing some basic renovation to accommodate the storage and distribution of thousands of coats, shoe boxes, blue jeans, bundled socks and more. At the same time, inventory and ordering continue in anticipation of increased need.

To contribute to helping children in the South Bend-Mishawaka community, visit One hundred percent of donations is used exclusively for children in St. Joseph County.

Provided by Stacey Noem
University of Notre Dame master of divinity lay formation students celebrated a social-distanced Mass of blessing and sending with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades May 4. The students have completed three years of human and spiritual formation and are graduating this year. During the liturgy at St. Joseph Church in South Bend, each was presented with an icon of “The Vineyard” — Jesus in the center with vines and branches coming out from Him. From left are Raquel Falk, Patrick Schmadeke, Chris O’Brien, Bishop Rhoades, Daniela DeCiantis, Grace Carroll and Maggie McMahon. Not pictured is Kevin Effron.

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