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Thursday, February 22,  2018 *  Volume 15  *  Issue 30

Dear SBPS Families: 

Next Saturday, March 3rd is our Annual Gala, our annual elegant fundraiser where all come together to support and celebrate the mission of our parish school. This year's event at Morgan MFG will focus on good food, spirited drinks, fun music and excellent items to on which to bid. We will also feature a new speed painter as well as some really great Live Auction Items. There are still some tickets left, so we hope to see you there. If you are on the fence about purchasing tickets because you are new to the parish or school, don't worry! Our talented Advancement office will make sure that you are seated with families of similar grade levels! You don't want to miss this because you will certainly make new friends! 

Our teachers also have some great Teacher Treats and class projects are also a HUGE hit! You can find out more below. Be looking out for online bidding to start next week and daily eblasts with information.  Thank you to all those who have donated, sponsored or given of time to make the Gala 2018 a success. We are looking forward to a great evening and would love to have as many people there as possible! 

Lastly, thank you to those who expressed positive responses regarding my comments about school violence in last week's BUZZ. This prompted some parents to join together to form a school safety committee of sorts. There will be more information forthcoming. Stay tuned! 

Thank you for supporting our parish school. Please enjoy your weekend - stay healthy, warm and safe. 

 Peace - Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of Parish School


  • Important Upcoming Dates to Know
  • Gala 2018 Information
  • One More Thing to Keep Our Neighborhood Children Safe and to Help us Be a Good Neighbor
  • Next Session of St. Benedict Online late night Parent Book Club is February 28th at 9PM
  • Operation Rice Bowl and the Parish Lenten Almsgiving Project
  • LENTEN ONLINE RESOURCES - Tap into the many ways to enrich your LENTEN journey for you and your family (from our pastor, Father Steve) 
  • Bernie's Book Bank - please support the Girl Scout Drive
  • February Lunch Menus
  • Dignity Revolution: How to Talk to Little Kids about Bullying Behaviors (Article by the Catholic Identity Committee of the SBPS Advisory Board) 
  • Family Life Night: God's Gift of Human Sexuality & Reproduction
  • Time to Sign Up for Spring Athletics Grades 4-8 - Message from Chris Deakins
  • Girls on the Run Starts Soon
  • Parish Fish Fry - March 16th
  • St. Joseph Day Table - March 18th
  • Parish Mission with St. Andrew Parish - April 15, 16 & 17
  • Youth Leadership Awards - May 4
  • Summer Enrichment Camps at St. Ben's  
  • July 23-27 Vacation Bible School - "Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus"
  • July 9-13 Notre Dame Vision
  • Time to Order the 2017-18 School Yearbook 
  • Check out all the St. Benedict Parish Events to enjoy! 

Here are Upcoming Dates to Keep in Mind –

  • Wednesday, February 28th - 9PM Parent Online Book Club session #2 (see more info below)
  • Tuesday, February 27th - Empower Illinois Scholarship Applications Open 7PM -
  • Tuesday, February 27th - Online Bidding opens for some packages today!
  • Friday, March 2nd - Athletic Registration Due for grades 4-8 today
  • Saturday , March 3rd - Gala 2018 begins at 7PM! 
  • Sunday, March 4th - Kindergarten Family Mass 9AM and 10:30AM
  • Wednesday, March 7th - Online Book Club #3 9PM
  • Thursday, March 8th and Friday, March 9th - 2nd Trimester Exams for Secondary School Today 
  • Thursday, March 8th - please be current on all monies owed the school 
  • Friday, March 9th - Early Re-enrollment for next school year begins
  • Monday, March 12th - Aspire Interim III begins for grades 3-8 
  • Tuesday, March 13th - Trimester three begins 
  • Wednesday, March 14th - Java with Gemo, Dr. Mickelburgh "Choosing the Right High School for your Child" at 8:15AM
  • Friday, March 15th - 7th Grade Lady Bengals go to STATE Basketball Games 
  • Monday, March 19th - 7PM Family Life Night for parents grades 4-8 
  • Friday, March 23rd - Living Stations of the Cross 1PM, 2PM and 7PM (Fish Fry follows) 
  • Tuesday, March 27th - Parent AGORA night 
  • Wednesday, March 28th - Online Book Club #4 9PM
  • Thursday, March 29th - early re-enrollment ENDS 
  • Thursday, March 29th - Holy Thursday (Full Day of School) 
  • Friday, March 30th - Good Friday - No School 
  • Easter Vacation - March 30th through April 9th - School resumes on TUESDAY, April 10th 

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Only 8 days until our big event!

Here is your weekly update of all things happening for Gala 2018.  Check out everything there is to know about the Gala on our website!



Looking for a great ride to the event?

We have several donated Mercedes limousines ready to deliver you to Morgan Mfg. (pick-up at an agreed upon location) and bring you back safely after the fun evening has ended.

$75 per couple or $500 for your group (up to 14 guests)

100% of all fees collected go to our school!  (Tip not included)

Interested?? Please email Mr. Accardi at or call 773.509-3832. Only 70 spots / 5 limousines are available!

Our Gala highlights to date:

  • We have over 350 guests in attendance for our event.
  • 4 Premium Tables and 1 Maroon and Gold Table have been sold. Don’t miss out on this special seating and upgrades.
  • We are almost at the 100% mark for donations by families to cover the cost of the parish and school staff, faculty, and volunteer catechists. Our goal is $14,000 to cover everyone’s ticket. This marks the first time we have surpassed the $11,000 mark in the 17 years of this event!! Thank you donors!!!!
  • Over $10,000 in sales of multi-sale class projects (over 250 orders) have already been received.  
  • We have received $26,000 in yearlong sponsorship to date. Thanks to the committee working on the yearlong sponsorship efforts for 2018.
  • Our Gala Committee is on schedule with all the preparations.  We have received well over $70,000 in donated items and experiences with more coming in everyday for fabulous silent and live auction offerings this year. Thanks to the staff and volunteers we have 54 teacher treats and 19 class projects from RE and all school grade levels.  Pre-registration will open next week Monday as will online bidding for Super Premium items. WATCH for an email next week inviting all ticket holders to join in the early bidding.
  • Our ad book is off to the printer and we are grateful to our many advertisers who helped underwrite our event with their contribution.

Thanks to our most recent ad purchasers:

  • Quest Food Services
  • Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club
  • JDC Realty
  • Crawford Supply
  • Summit Funding


There is still time to purchase a seated admission, after dinner ticket, or a bidder paddle.  

  • General Seated Admission $225 each; Premium Seating $325 each includes upgraded liquor package and private table service along with a great seat by the dance floor.
  • After Dinner (9:30 p.m.) Ticket- enjoy drinks, dancing, and auction bidding if you can't make it for dinner. $100 each.
  • Can't make it but want to bid remotely??  Purchase a bidder paddle for $30

Thank you for all your support to make our Gala 2018 a huge success! Visit our website for more information!

Questions? Please call Mr. Accardi at (773) 509-3832 or email at

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This is just a reminder that visitors will not be allowed past the main office reception areas without surrendering photo ID card. Please note keys, phone, etc., do not count as photo identification. THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. THIS POLICY IS FOR OUR CAMPUS SAFETY. Please do not give school secretaries a hard time about this. When they ask for your ID, they are only doing their job. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of School. We appreciate your cooperation. 

One More Thing to Keep Our Neighborhood Children Safe and to Help us Be a Good Neighbor 

Many of you who drive to school and use the courtyard parking lot should have noticed a sign asking our visitors to refrain using the alley just south of the campus (between Bell and Leavitt) as a thoroughfare.  We would really like everyone to make a left turn out of the driveway onto Byron and proceed from there. We would like to keep traffic out of the alleys so that the sidewalks are safe for all the families who are walking to school. One of our good neighbors, Tony Knepper, will be joining our campus safety patrol soon. We ask that you give him the courtesy and respect that we afford each of you. We are partnering to make our travels safer for all. Thank you! 

Bernie's Book Bank - please support the Girl Scout Drive 

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The Girl Scouts will be hosting a book drive for Bernie's Book Bank between February 19th and March 6th.  Two out of Three low-income children have no books of their own.  Please consider donating new or gently used books for infants through the sixth grade level.  Collection boxes are on each floor of the elementary school building.  The boxes are located near the bathrooms and have Bernie's Book Bank stickers on them.  Thank You!

Celebrating the Sacraments at St.Benedict Parish and Preparatory School - Important Dates!

  • Final 8th Grade Confirmation Service Hours and Letter to Fr. Steve due by February 25th.
  • First Reconciliation for Second Graders, March 3rd and 5th.
  • Parent/Child Retreat for First Communion, March 10th and 17th
  • 8th Grade Confirmation Reflection Day, March 25th.
  • April 12th 8th Grade Confirmation
  • May 2nd through 12th, First Communions

If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Hughes, Director of Catechesis, at 

Spring Picture Proofs Have Been Delivered this Week

Students in grades K-7 should have received their picture proofs by the end of this week .  The proofs were sent home through the child in their folder/backpacks. If your children sat for a joined sibling photo, then the proof will go home with one child. If you would like to order the pictures, then please turn in your orders by Friday, March 9th. You may either turn in orders, or order online. Follow the instructions on the package.  

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St. Benedict Alumni Association & Knight of Columbus #15052
5th Annual Scholarship Lenten Fish Fry
Fridays: February 16 & March 16
5:30- 8:30 PM in Beaven Hall

Prices: (All you can eat)        
Adults: $10
Seniors: $7
Children ages 5-12: $5
Children 4 and under: FREE
For information or presale tickets please contact 773-509-3836 or visit

LENTEN ONLINE RESOURCES - Tap into the many ways to enrich your LENTEN journey for you and your family (from our pastor, Father Steve) 

Creighton University offers a wealth of resources that can be used for personal knowledge and spiritual growth.  I encourage you to look at their website. Creighton University’s Online Ministries:

Loyola Press is also a wonderful resource for ideas and materials. Consider exploring their whole set of links including the extra links on the bottom of their page.

Dynamic Catholic is a site run by Matthew Kelly’s Team. It is a site that offers a wide range of resources for individuals and families. Here is a link to their “Best Lent Ever” program, but you can also check out their full website for a lot of interesting information. We use Dynamic Catholic Materials in our School and Religious Ed Programs.

Many people have found EWTN to be helpful in their spiritual lives. Here is a link to their Lent resources, though again they have many other things to offer as well.

If you prefer you can also look to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. They have many resources to offer for so many areas of the Catholic Faith. I definitely encourage you to take a look at their material. Here is a link to some Lent materials.

One last resource I would recommend is the Archdiocese website, especially the Radio and Television link. Our Archdiocese offers a huge amount of information and resources for our local Church in Chicago.

Operation Rice Bowl - Focusing on Stories of Hope

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This Lent, SBPS and St. Benedict Parish will be participating in CRS Rice Bowl, a faith formation program that helps students experience our Catholic faith, Lenten spirituality, and helping people in need around the world.

Each family is receiving a cardboard "Rice Bowl" and Lenten Spiritual Guide. Please look through these materials and consider using them with your family this Lent. These materials will be sent home this week with the YOUNGEST/ONLY child.

The cardboard Rice Bowl is a tangible reminder of the hunger and hardships faced by the 870 million people in our world who do not have enough to eat each day.  The Rice Bowl also serves to hold the sacrificial contributions families make during Lent, showing that small sacrifices do add up. 

Please use the suggested activities as a way to discuss the problem of hunger in our world as well as pray together as a family. For more information and activities on the CRS Rice Bowl Project, you may visit    

Thank you for using CRS Rice Bowl with your family this Lent. We ask that families return their Lenten sacrificial contributions to school on or before EASTER. Please count the money in your Rice Bowl and write a check for the amount made out to St. Benedict Preparatory School. Be sure to write "CRS Rice Bowl" on the memo line.   Return your gift to your child's teacher. You may also donate online at 

Time to Sign Up for Spring Athletics Grades 4-8 - Message from Chris Deakins

I know it may not feel like it, but spring sports are just around the corner and in an effort to get an early start on team creation I am sending out the spring sports registration a couple weeks earlier than usual. Please return your registration form with payment to my attention by March 2, 2018. (CLICK) Spring sports details are listed below.


  • Boys and Girls Grades 4-8
  • We participate in the Windy City Baseball League. 
  • Practice begins in late March/early April and games begin in mid to late April
  • Weather permitting we play 8-10 games (once or twice a week)

Track and Field

  • Boys and Girls Grades 4-8
  • Divided into a 4th grade team and a 5th to 8th grade team

4th Grade

  • Coached by Stephanie Stecz
  • Practice Tuesday and Thursday – Begins March 13

5th to 8th Grade

  • Coaches: Roger Pinon, Tom Ryan, Meggan Flom and Cassidy Luciano
  • Practice Monday and Thursday – Begins March 12

We are a member of the IESA and will compete in Sectional and State meets


  • Boys Grades 6-8
  • Girls Grades 4-8
  • Practice will begin after basketball season is over and games begin in late March/early April

If you have further questions about spring sports please contact me at

Chris Deakins

St. Benedict Online Parent Book Club Beginning Soon - Late night book club

 What are the 7 C’s of learning that St. Benedict Preparatory School imbeds in our educational experience, and how can parents support this faith and academic formation?

Ms. Gemo and Ms. McMillan, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Benedict, will host an online parent book club to read and discuss two books, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells us about Raising Successful Children (Roberta Michnick GolinkoffKathy Hirsh-Pasek) and Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids (Chap Clark and Kara Powell).  Our goal is to begin conversations with parents about what makes for effective faith formation for your family as well as what are truly the important aspects of learning.

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We hope you join us! These books are appropriate for families with children of all ages. All interested from St. Benedict Parish are welcome to attend and participate. During Lent, fast from TV and social media and “feast” on good reading to spark your family’s growth spiritually and academically.


4 evenings set aside - online  - Feb 7th and 28th  &  March 7th and 28th  9PM - 9:45PM

Final in person Book Club session – Java with Gemo and Ms. McMillan on April 25th

Family Life Night: God's Gift of Human Sexuality & Reproduction

Everything you want to know about talking to your children about the “birds and the bees!”

Monday, March 19th   7-8:30PM Heidenreich Hall (enter at 3911 N. Bell)  

Designed For Parents of Students Grades 4-8

(all parish and school parents welcome no matter the grade level)

St. Benedict Pastor, Father Stephen Kanonik and the Administration of St Benedict Preparatory School, along with the School Advisory Board's Catholic Identity Committee invite you to share in a special night designed for parents of children of all ages.  (Adults only, please.)

God has given parents the primary responsibility of teaching their children and nurturing their faith. The purpose of this night is to help guide parents to be effective teachers on the topic of human sexuality grounded in our Catholic faith. The information presented and materials provided will help all parents to be better prepared for conversations on this important subject.

The presentation will inform parents the topics that will be taught at each grade level as well as help parents be effective teachers of their children at every stage of development. The information presented and resources offered should equip parents with a deeper knowledge about how to discuss human sexuality with children, and should make them more confident about their role in teaching them about God’s gift of human sexuality.   

Adult refreshments will be provided. We hope you join us!  

WHO: Parents/Guardians of current 4th-8th Grade. However, Parents of all ages are welcome! Grades 4th - 8th please have at least one parent per family attend. Adults only Please.

WHEN: Monday January 27, 2014 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

WHERE: Heidenreich Hall, please enter at 3911 N. Bell

Dignity Revolution: How to Talk to Little Kids about Bullying Behaviors (Article by the Catholic Identity Committee of the SBPS Advisory Board) 

The Dignity Revolution promotes the idea that every person has purpose and value.  This is a lesson best taught early and reinforced often by parents, teachers and clergy.  The most effective anti-bullying campaign starts in pre-school and involves the entire school community.  Parents are, of course, their child’s first and most important source of values training.  If values taught at school and in church are not supported at home, the child, especially the young child, can stray into behaviors promoted by individual peers or the group that are not in keeping with the promotion of dignity for all.

Bullying behaviors often emerge in early childhood.  Every important adult in the child’s life plays a crucial role in whether the bullying becomes worse or stops.  Many people are surprised to discover that bullying takes place in pre-school and kindergarten.  Parents and any adult in the child’s social circle should be aware that bullying exists among young children. Once it is acknowledged and recognized, it can be more easily prevented.  Some of the ways to prevent and even stop bullying in early childhood are:

  • Understand how bullying develops in early childhood
  • Use activities to help children develop the social skills to prevent and stop bullying
  • Learn how to take advantage of teachable moments
  • Develop an action plan for intervention

If bullying in early childhood is overlooked or dismissed, younger children who bully will most likely continue in this behavior.  Children, who are bullied, may continue to suffer and even take on the identity of a permanent victim.  If the behavior is not addressed, the patterns of bullying and victimization can continue through adolescence and adulthood.  The good news is that bullying is preventable and educators are prepared, but need back up from parents in the home.

Bullying behavior in young children often looks different from bullying among older children. It is important to recognize these more subtle behaviors and address them immediately. Young children may make “mean faces”, grab objects away from others and refuse to play with certain children.  Although these behaviors in preschool age children are not done with the intent of hurting another, if allowed to continue, can lead to a pattern of bullying.  Early intervention is the best strategy in the prevention of future bullying.

The act of bullying is meant to strip another of their dignity and value.  The earlier our children are taught to reject bullying and victimization, the more likely they will be to embrace the teachings of love, acceptance, inclusion and dignity for all.

Congrats to the following St. Benedict Alumni Who Received Honors at St. Patrick's High School 

  • GRADE 10 -- Nicholai Bermeo First Honors  St. Benedict
  • GRADE 10 -- Benjamin Guschwan First Honors  St. Benedict
  • GRADE 11 -- Ernesto Almodovar Jr. First Honors  St. Benedict
  • GRADE 12 -- Colin Gallagher Second Honors  St. Benedict

Congrats to the following St. Benedict Alumni Who Received Honors at St. Ignatius High School 

Grade 10 Sydney Goergen Honors with Distinction
Grade 9 John Gonnella First Honors
Grade 10 Ethan Haller First Honors
Grade 10 John Mangan Second Honors
Grade 9 Kyle McGovern Second Honors
Grade 12 Hannah Schubrych Honors with Distinction
Grade 10 Katherine Schubrych Honors with Distinction
Grade 12 Thomas Stoodt, Jr. Honors with Distinction
Grade 11 Denise Sullivan Honors with Distinction
Grade 9 Rosemary Sullivan Honors with Distinction
Grade 10 Vanessa Varela-Vera First Honors

Show Your Bengal Pride During Catholic Schools Week and Beyond - THE LONG AWAITED YARD SIGNS ARE IN! GET YOURS BEFORE THEY ARE GONE! NO CHARGE! 

Show your SBPS pride during Catholic Schools Week (and even after) by displaying a SBPS yard sign on your front lawn.  St. Benedict Prep yard signs will be available for pick-up in all school offices beginning next Monday, January 22nd.  Signs are free of charge.  Only 400 of the 2-sided signs have been ordered and once they are gone, they are gone.  We will not be re-ordering.  See Mrs. Dodovich, Mrs. Nota, or Mrs. Moore in the school offices to get yours staring Monday.



St. Joseph’s Day Table is Sunday, March 18th 

At 1pm in Beaven Hall. Food donations needed. Please contact Terri Aluise at 773-392-9006 or email

michael leach, author

michael leach, author

Save the date for the St. Benedict and St. Andrew Parish Mission

St. Andrew Church (Chapel located at 1725 W. Addison)
April 15, 16, 17 at 6:30PM (Dinner available each night at 6:00PM)

Once a year, we set aside some time to renew our faith as a parish community. We share a meal, hear an inspiring speaker, pray together, and engage in faith-filled conversation. The Parish Mission is a place for everyone from our St. Benedict and St. Andrew communities to gather together and rediscover the joy of being Catholic! We are excited to welcome best-selling Catholic author Michael Leach, who grew up at St. Andrew Parish, as our guest speaker. Michael will share his most inspiring ideas for living and loving our faith. All adults and teens are welcome. There will be a separate program for children ages 3-12. Join us April 15, 16, and 17. For more information or to volunteer, contact Beth Knobbe at or (773) 771-7440.


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Have your Child Spend His/Her Summer with Us!  Summer Camp Registration is NOW OPEN 

  • Themed - based creative and exploratory camps for Grades Preschool - Grade 2 
  • Athletic Camps for grades 1-8 
  • Summer Vacation Bible School - SHIPWRECKED 
  • Jump into Kindergarten with Ms. Tarris 



Youth Ministry is Seeking Youth Leaders for Vacation Bible School this Summer. Can You Help with SHIPWRECKED?
July 23-27.

All 6th through High School aged people are invited.
We will meet from 6:30pm-8:30pm each day during the July 15-19 week and prepare for the Young Kids who will attend VBS the next week.

Then, July 23-27 during the day, you will be helping the adults lead small groups of kids through the program.  The daily program would run from 8:30-2:30.  This time commitment would be applicable to the Confirmation Service Hour Commitment (40 hours total for the two weeks)

Sign up here if you are interested or if you’d like more information:



We have 10 young people at St. Benedict Parish and Preparatory School who will be recognized
May 4th for their witness to our faith and their practice of discipleship in our parish, school and community. These young people will receive a Vicariate 2 Leadership Award from Bishop Kane at a recognition luncheon. Please pray in gratitude for these young people and their continued desire to live their faith as witness for others.

Dominique Ghuneim          
Dallas Hilton                         
Taylor Martin                     
Mira JoriRuth Cohen           
Abby Garcia                        
Nicole Pagan
Fabiola Avila
Mylan Nguyen

Zach Kurzak

Mary Katherine Sullivan

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JULY 9-13  A group of High School students will be traveling from St Benedict Parish to the University of Notre Dame to participate in the Summer program VISION. ALL high school aged young people who are interested in attending are welcome. See Ms. McMillan for details. Our group will be traveling to the University July 9-13. The cost of attending is the $100.00 deposit and some earnest hours of fundraising. Please do not let the cost keep any person who is interested, from attending.

The sign up for Vision is included in our Summer Service Opportunities. I will follow up to answer questions and share details for all those who sign up, on the sign up genius.


Parents! Give your Children this Amazing Keepsake!
Order Your St. Benedict Elementary School and/or Middle School Yearbook Today!


Help Out at our Parish Easter Dinner


Please join St Benedict's in supporting our annual Easter Dinner.  The buffet-style meal will be held on Easter morning (April 1st) in Beaven and Ackerman hall from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. All are welcome! We are also seeking volunteers to help set up, serve, host our guests, and clean-up. Shifts will begin at 7:30 am and the last will conclude around 3 pm. We are also in need of donations of cooked food, including: ham, potatoes, vegetables, desserts, and beverages.  Please use the sign up link below or contact Elaine Lindia at (773) 509-3806. Thank you!

For more information contact
Jeremy Kiobassa at
To download the complete brochure, go to

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PRAYER CORNER -  Please pray for the Victims and Families Affected by the 18 School Shootings so far this year - Pray for Peace

Prayer for Healing  - Ethan Li, 6th Grader

Please keep in your prayers one of our 6th grade students, Ethan Li, who is battling aplastic anemia. He and his family needs your prayers for healing, courage and strength! 

A CaringBridge Site was created for Ethan. It‘s a caring social network to help people stay connected with family and friends during a health event. Visit Ethan‘s site often to stay updated and share messages of encouragement and compassion.

Visit online
Site Link:
Site Name: ethanli