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About Maggie Naughton

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So far Maggie Naughton has created 22 blog entries.

January Ministry of the Month: John Paul II Academy Racine, Wisconsin

In this month’s “Ministry of the Month,” the Midwest District is featured. The ministry is John Paul II Academy in Racine, Wisconsin, and the Lasallian Volunteer is Madison Caropino, 17-19. Madison is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

WHAT IS JOHN PAUL II ACADEMY?

John Paul II Academy (JPIIA) is a Catholic school providing a faith-based education that embraces the teachings of the Gospel in order to develop the whole child. The school exists in partnership with the parents, parishes and the community to meet the needs of each individual student.

HOW DID MADISON BECOME A LASALLIAN VOLUNTEER?

Madison attended Saint Mary’s College of California and found herself called to a year of service. Lasallian Volunteers felt like a very natural fit. She says, “I was given many service opportunities, serving others is what I have always been happiest doing, and I knew that I wanted to continue service after I graduated. When I learned about Lasallian Volunteers, I knew that it would be the perfect fit for me. What attracted me most to the program was the mission of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, empowering our world’s youth through a quality education.”

WHAT IS THE SERVICE THAT MADISON PROVIDES?

Madison works to support the principal, helps the administrative assistants with administrative tasks, aid in classrooms, oversee all technology use at the school, and monitor recess and lunch. She says, “The kids I serve are what I look forward to when I wake up every day. The service aspect of the program has greatly impacted my life, and that is because of the kids I serve.”

HOW DOES MADISON TOUCH MINDS AND HEARTS AT JPIIA?

Madison with Principal Schumacher

Many of the students at JPIIA come from lower income families that receive free or reduced lunch, they need a lot of help with homework, and their parents work long hours to afford the tuition to send them to the school. Madison feels blessed to get to be a part of their lives and see them every day. She says, “What my students need is unconditional love. At the end of the day, I do not know what every one of my students’ lives are like outside of school. But I do know that I get seven hours a day with them, and during those seven hours, I try to be my best self and show up with a smile on my face every single day.”

HOW HAS LIVING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED MADISON AS A LASALLIAN VOLUNTEER?

Like many of our Lasallian Volunteers who have attended our colleges and universities, Madison had known the De La Salle Christian Brothers during her time at Saint Mary’s. She shares this about living in community, “Living with Christian Brothers is a unique experience. It’s awesome to get to know them and about their lives, and why they are on the path they are on. It is incredibleto have Brothers with so much experience and knowledge at your dinner table to share with you what their experiences were in education. I have learned so much from the Brothers with whom I have lived throughout the past two years. Something that I have learned from living with Brothers is how to be a better listener. I think that the Brothers with whom I have lived with are great listeners, and it made me want to improve my listening, ask more questions, and just absorb the advice or stories that they are telling.”

WHAT DOES MADISON HAVE TO SAY TO COLLEGE SENIORS ABOUT LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Madison says, “My best advice to a college senior discerning a volunteer year would just be to be open minded and ready to learn. The experience will not always be easy, but it is worth it. The personal growth and amount of love that I have experienced the past two years is indescribable. My students truly have made me a better person.

By |January 11th, 2019|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|0 Comments

November Ministry of the Month: LaSalle School Albany

In this month’s Lasallian Volunteers “Ministry of the Month,” the District of Eastern North America is featured. The ministry is LaSalle School in Albany, New York, and the Lasallian Volunteers are first-year LV Christopher (Chris) Lackey and returning volunteer Krystiana Schaffer. Krystiana is a 2017 graduate of La Salle University, and Chris is a 2018 graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

 WHAT IS LASALLE SCHOOL?

Founded in 1854 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers to serve abandoned and orphaned boys, LaSalle School is a multi-faceted human services agency. A talented and dedicated staff of more than 200 work with a daily enrollment of 230 adolescent boys and their families in Residential Treatment, Day Education, the Specialized Treatment Program, the After-School Center, and related programming. In addition, outpatient appointments are now being accepted at The Counseling Center at LaSalle. Located in the Pine Hill’s neighborhood of Albany, LaSalle’s main campus co-exists with residences, businesses, public schools, colleges and universities. Over the last decade, the agency’s facilities have benefited from an extensive program of renovation and new construction, providing an excellent environment for learning, living and working. Today, the work of LaSalle extends well beyond the residential campus. Nearly two-thirds of the youth in care live in their own communities and homes. An emphasis on the development of enhanced education, aftercare and preventive services has proven to be a natural complement to the strong program of residential care LaSalle proudly traces to its origins 160 years ago.

WHAT SERVICE ARE CHRIS AND KRYSTIANA PROVIDING AT LA SALLE SCHOOL? Chris is a campus minister and recreation worker. In his role as campus minister, he brings students to different ministries around the Albany area. As a recreation staff member, he puts on activities for students when they are out of school such as football games, bike rides and camping trips. Krystiana is part of the admissions team at LaSalle School. She assists in the admissions process beginning with the referral made by an outside agency, down to the happenings the day the youth come into the school for care.

HOW WERE KRYSTIANA AND CHRIS INTRODUCED TO THE LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS? Both volunteers are graduates of Lasallian universities in very different areas of our Region. They share a common belief that they were being called into a deeper connection with the Lasallian family after college. Chris says, “I became an LV because I could not see myself anywhere else. One thing I knew for certain leaving college was that I knew I wanted to stay connected to the Lasallian community. I love the spirit and charism of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and wanted to keep growing and learning in that. I also felt I heard God’s call to the Lasallian Volunteers stronger than any other place. I looked at other ministries, but my prayers just did not seem to lead me any other place.” As a second year, Krystiana echoes this when she says, “I think I decided to serve as an LV because I strongly believe in the Lasallian mission. No matter the ministry, no matter where I am in the world, I can feel the core values in everything we do. I want to be someone who helps to share those values with the greater Lasallian world.”

HOW DO CHRIS AND KRYSTIANA TOUCH THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF THOSE ENTRUSTED TO THEIR CARE?

The young men at LaSalle School come to them having experienced trauma. Chris and Krystiana, along with the other staff, are called to reach out to them with care and consideration no matter what. Chris says, “These young men have suffered in their short life from very traumatic experiences and troubled lives. So, what we are taught in how to help these young people is to do your best to create a relationship with them and show them you care so you will have the privilege to be with them when they are struggling the most. At the heart of this I find Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s words as well as the core values of Lasallians. I try to remember if you approach an emotionally traumatized young man with love remembering that he is God’s child, you can transcend all that trauma!” Krystiana says, “I believe each person is of value to our society and deserves to be treated in such that they feel dignified, seen and listened to. I have a deep appreciation for the way we as Lasallians see each other holistically. What I have learned at LaSalle School is that positive relationships are at the core of transformation. I believe that starts with being seen, and you do that by showing respect. Most of our young men have faced severe adversity in their short time on earth. LaSalle School is in the business of using therapeutic relationships and supports to elicit personal growth.”

HOW HAS LIVING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED KRYSTIANA AND CHRIS?

As Krystiana and Chris both went to Lasallian universities, they had experience with being taught by De La Salle Christian Brothers. As a second year, Krystiana says of being in community with Brothers, “Being witness to the Brother’s dedication to the mission is truly inspiring. It is not always easy to be of service to others, but these men have shown me how to navigate the co-existing worlds of service and community while starting each day ready to give to others your best self. It is not every day you get to sit at a table filled with hundreds of years of experience. The wisdom they have imparted on me is a gift I will forever be grateful for.” Chris reflects on his time so far in community when he says, “Living in community with the Brothers has impacted me by truly trying to live in the presence of God. Trusting in His Providence every day and trying to recognize Him in all peoples and things is truly life giving.”

WHAT DO 2018-2019 LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS WANT TO SAY TO COLLEGE SENIORS ABOUT LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Both volunteers at LaSalle School have encouraging things to say about serving with Lasallian Volunteers. Krystiana says, “The fact that you are even considering a year of service means that you are mission driven and care a great deal for your fellow man. A service year will test you, push you, and stretch you in the best ways possible, and you will come out stronger and a better person. In your dedication to social justice and the service of persons in need, I bet you will find the person you become through that experience is someone you are proud of.” Chris offered this, “You will get something out of it if you put your whole self into whatever it is you are doing. So, do not be afraid to take a leap!”

By |November 6th, 2018|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on November Ministry of the Month: LaSalle School Albany

October Ministry of the Month: De La Salle Academy

In this month’s “Ministry of the Month,” the District of San Francisco New Orleans is featured. The ministry is De La Salle Academy (DLSA) in Concord, California, and the Lasallian Volunteers are Ashley Weinburger, 17-19, and Julia Mach, 18-19. Ashley attended La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Julia attended Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Ashley and Julia focus on how service and community help them continue their love for the Lasallian mission fostered during their college experiences.

WHAT IS DE LA SALLE ACADEMY?

De La Salle Academy is a middle school for boys of academic promise from low-income families in the greater Concord area. The San Miguel-model school is grounded in the belief that a well-ordered and rigorous education is a key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Such an education can prepare students to live meaningful and productive lives and to recognize and fulfill their obligation to contribute to the well-being of the larger community. By focusing on students during their formative years, De La Salle Academy helps boys to lay a foundation upon which to build future success. Like other Lasallian Miguel-model schools, De La Salle Academy culture emphasizes citizenship, service and responsibility in a loving learning environment created by a skilled faculty and staff. At De La Salle Academy, attention is consistent, expectations are high, and each boy’s talents are recognized and nurtured, so that students can grow into young men with a positive vision for the future and with the skills to make their vision a reality. By providing opportunities for creativity and exploration, and for leadership and accountability, the academy orients students toward the pursuit of excellence in everything they undertake.

WHAT IS THE SERVICE THAT ASHLEY AND JULIA PROVIDE AT DLSA?

Ashley is the 5th and 6th grade science teacher, the 6th grade English language arts (ELA) teacher, and the mentor program facilitator. Each student at DLSA has an adult mentor who follows them through their years in the school. Ashley pairs students and mentors. Julia is the ELA support teacher for the 5th, 7th, and 8th grades. She also supervises physical education for the 6th and 8th grade students and is the coordinator for DLSA’s tutoring program. This program invites people from the community to come to DLSA and share their wisdom with the young men after instruction is over for the day. They help with homework, reading and other skills.

WHY DID JULIA AND ASHLEY DECIDE TO JOIN LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Both Julia and Ashley went to Lasallian universities, where their love for mission was nurtured in the classroom and through service opportunities. It seemed natural to them to continue their discernment as educators by joining the Lasallian Volunteers. Julia says, “I decided to become a Lasallian Volunteer because I wanted to grow as an educator and what better way to grow as an educator than to be surrounded by people who dedicate their lives to educating the poor. I also wanted to be a Lasallian Volunteer because I knew the experience I gained through the program would not compare if I just took a teaching job outside of college.” Ashley found out about the program from recruiting efforts at La Salle. She says, “I was initially attracted to the Lasallian Volunteers because a current volunteer came and talked about it in my class. Since I am an education major, I thought about it but wanted to do an international program. Then I received an email about volunteering in Jamaica and the rest is history.”

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT THESE VOLUNTEERS OFFER TO THE STUDENTS ENTRUSTED TO THEIR CARE?

Both volunteers have education as their majors. As important as it is that they are trained teachers, each young woman recognizes that teaching subject matter – while important – is not their only job. They have to instill confidence in the young men entrusted to their care and show them that they are loved. Ashley says, “Getting to touch the hearts of children and families in a very unique way is what makes being a Lasallian Volunteer so special. The most important thing my students need from me is quality education and my support. With these two things, I can help my students to become the best that they can be.” Julia agrees when she says, “As it is often said at my site ‘everyone has a story.’ The most important thing a student needs from me – besides an education – is to know that I believe in them. No matter what they say or do, against all odds, someone still believes in them, cares for them, and wants what is best for them.”

HOW HAVE JULIA AND ASHLEY’S EXPERIENCE LIVING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED THEIR EXPERIENCE AS LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Both volunteers attended Lasallian universities and had contact with Brothers prior to volunteering. Their understanding of community life and the religious life the Brothers live deepened when they chose to be Lasallian Volunteers. Julia says, “I have learned how to begin to anticipate the needs of others and to understand why they choose to live together in a community. You are not going to see eye-to-eye with everyone in community but the Brothers are there to support you, give you advice and provide some witty commentary when a laugh or pun is needed.” As a 2nd year, Ashley echoes this and says, “My involvement with the Brothers has made me a better person. I have become more responsible and more giving than I have ever been. I strive to make others happy and tend to worry about my needs less.”

WHAT WOULD JULIA AND ASHLEY TELL COLLEGE SENIORS THINKING ABOUT THE LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM?

Ashley and Julia both highly encourage college seniors to think about a year of service with Lasallian Volunteers! Ashley says, “It will be the best yearof your life! You think that when you decide to do a year of service that you will only being giving your whole self for an entire year, but you receive a lot too. You receive experience, knowledge, lifelong relationships and unconditional love, along with giving so much of yourself to others.” Julia agrees with her community member when she says, “It will be the best decision you ever made as a soon-to-be college graduate.”

 

By |October 11th, 2018|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on October Ministry of the Month: De La Salle Academy

September Ministry of the Month: DeLaSalle Minneapolis

In this month’s “Ministry of the Month,” the Midwest District is featured. The ministry is DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Lasallian Volunteers are Jumari Callaway, 17-19 and Joseph Rogers, 18-19. Jumari is a graduate of Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, Tennessee. Joseph is a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 WHAT IS DELASALLE HIGH SCHOOL?

DeLaSalle High School opened in 1900 as the first Catholic high school in Minneapolis. Administered by the Christian Brothers since its inception, “De” has been co-educational since 1971-72. Over 15,000 men and women have graduated from DeLaSalle, which is still located on historic Nicollet Island, within walking distance of downtown Minneapolis. Today, DeLaSalle educates students from over 116 different Twin Cities elementary schools, from as far away as 30 miles in each direction. Still the only traditional college prep Catholic high school within Minneapolis, De is also the most diverse private high school in Minnesota in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic and family background.

HOW DID JOSEPH AND JUMARI BECOME LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

For Jumari, her life has been full of volunteering opportunities. As graduation from CBU approached, she began to think more seriously about education, but knew she was not ready for a full-time teaching experience. A trusted mentor steered her toward Lasallian Volunteers. She says, “I went to the Honors Program director with my dilemma, and she introduced me to Lasallian Volunteers. The program sounded like the introduction to the education field that I needed, with the support I was afraid I’d be lacking if I pursued a job and eased some of the stresses of living on my own with a job. It was even more appealing to me because I was serving others by getting this experience, and I would get to know a city I hadn’t known before.” Joseph’s experience is a bit different. The product of a double Lasallian education, Joseph encountered the Lasallian Volunteers through a service immersion program at Central. He says, “I first encountered the Lasallian Volunteers during my senior year at Central Catholic when I went on a service trip to the DeLaSalle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana. I have always been committed to serving others and giving back for the gifts I have received, and this, plus the opportunity to work in a Lasallian high school made this program a perfect fit.”

WHAT IS THE SERVICE THAT JUMARI AND JOSEPH PROVIDE?

Both Joseph and Jumari serve as Learning Lab Coordinators at De. They are responsible for scheduling tests for students and helping with homework and other academic needs. They make sure students communicate with their teachers when they would like to take a test with learning accommodations, keep and proctor tests, and turn them in to staff afterwards. For the younger students, this sometimes means they hold them accountable for finishing tests in a timely manner. As Learning Lab staff, Jumari and Joseph have several students they meet with weekly, biweekly, or monthly to keep them on track with academic goals and discuss any academic issues they might have due to their learning disabilities. The goal is to help them grow in communicating their classroom needs to their teachers confidently, and learn to excel in the classroom regardless of whatever learning challenges they are facing. In addition to this, Joseph is also working in campus ministry, which allows him to plan prayer services, liturgies, and service opportunities for the students at De. Both volunteers participate in extracurricular activities at the school.

HOW DO JOSEPH AND JUMARI TOUCH MINDS AND HEARTS AT DE?

High school can be a challenge for all students. Having a difficult time finding friends, making teams, or discovering what extracurriculars make students feel passionate are challenging enough without having learning needs as well. Jumari recognizes this and says, “The students who focus more on fitting in have the added struggle of accepting the fact that what makes them different isn’t a bad thing before they even handle learning how to work with it. That’s something we try to do with them, but it’s ultimately something they have to accept themselves before we can help them. While they learn to embrace that, we do everything we can to help, even if it’s just building a relationship so that students feel they can approach us when they have struggles or questions. Personally, I feel this is the most important part of our job. We’re here to help the students, but we can’t do that if we haven’t made it clear that we are here for them and made them feel that we care for them and want to help however we can.” Joseph agrees when he says, “Students who struggle academically often feel demoralized when they cannot understand something at the same level or speed as a classmate, and rather than pushing them to their limits about turning in late work and studying harder, I find ways to connect with them and identify something they did really well to build confidence. I also hold my students accountable by checking their grades frequently and corresponding with students and their parents regularly.”

HOW HAS LIVING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED JUMARI AND JOSEPH AS LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Like many of the volunteers who have gone to Lasallian high schools, colleges and universities, where De La Salle Christian Brothers live in the communities, Joseph and Jumari have had previous experience with the Brothers. The volunteers at De have gained a new perspective on the sacramental relationship living in community can have in theirlives. Joseph says,  “I have known the Christian Brothers for eight years, since I was a freshman at Central Catholic, and their encouragement, guidance and support have shaped me into the person and educator that I am today.” Jumari agrees when she says, “Living with the Brothers has taught me resilience and given me an appreciation for life that I didn’t realize I was lacking.”

WHAT DO JUMARI AND JOSEPH HAVE TOSAY TO COLLEGE SENIORS ABOUT LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Jumari encourages all college graduates to think seriously about giving a year of service. She says, “A year volunteering will not be easy, but it will be worth it. You will see growth in yourself, even in areas you didn’t think you could grow. You will inspire growth in others, even if you don’t immediately see it. You will serve those that need you, and the experience you gain from that will change you in positive ways. If you value service, growth in yourself and others, and are open to change, this will be an invaluable, unforgettable year. And if you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear all about it.” Joseph says, “At the end of my life, many years from now, I never want to look back and say ‘I wish I would have done that.’ If you feel called to work in a volunteer ministry, regardless of the program, live your life to the fullest and let life find a way!”

By |September 13th, 2018|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on September Ministry of the Month: DeLaSalle Minneapolis

May Ministry of the Month: Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School

In this month’s Lasallian Volunteers “Ministry of the Month,” the District of Eastern North America is featured. The ministry is Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York, and the Lasallian Volunteers are first years, John Taylor (JT) and Isabella Virgen, both 2017 graduates of Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC) in Moraga.

WHAT IS BISHOP LOUGHLIN MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL?

Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School is a Catholic, college preparatory high school that draws its Christian perspective from the faith tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lasallian tradition of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Loughlin fosters academic success, builds character, develops future leaders and nurtures a vibrant personal relationship with God. Loughlin stimulates and supports a student’s quest for intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and civic development. Students are challenged to achieve their full potential to strive for excellence and to further their education at colleges and universities. Loughlin students, faculty and staff are committed to an inclusive community that respects diversity in its many forms and values excellence in scholarship.

WHAT SERVICE ARE JT AND ISABELLA PROVIDINGAT BISHOP LOUGHLIN?

JT is an academic tutor in the school’s library. He is available throughout the day to students who need help with homework, projects, college applications, SAT/ACT prep, and anything else they might need. In addition, JT helps with the after-school homework center, a study hall environment where students can get homework and studying help from faculty members in each subject. Isabella serves incampus ministry and student life. She works closely with the campus minister to find service opportunities for the students, assist with liturgies and prayer services, and co-lead and facilitate retreats.

HOW WERE JT AND ISABELLA INTRODUCED TO THE LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Both JT and Isabella were involved at Saint Mary’s in service and community activities through the Mission and Ministry Office. With a large LV Alumni presence on the campus, they became drawn to the program. JT says, “I had heard about Lasallian Volunteers when I started working in the Mission and Ministry Center at SMC, and it stuck in my mind as a potential post-grad option. When it came time to decide what I was doing after getting my degree, I job-shopped a little and decided that the LV program was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I should go for.” Isabella says of her decision to join, “I decided to become a Lasallian Volunteer because their core values of faith, service and community are values that I cherish and apply to shape my life. My family has taught me that my faith is something I can rely on in times of hardship as well as to remain humble and always be thankful for the opportunities I have received. It allows me to continue to remain consistent with my faith, dedicated to service, and become part of a community who cares about helping others.”

HOW DO ISABELLA AND JT TOUCH THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF THOSE ENTRUSTED TO THEIR CARE?

JT’s main service is helping students understand tough material from class. He works hard to help them feel proud of what they are learning. He says, “I think the most important thing I can give them is confidence. I’ve had some students come to me needing essentially a second lesson on what they’d learned that day, others needing help finding the information to get them on track, and many that just want me to look over their work. In all of these cases, my end goal is to have my students be confident in their own ability to perform and problem solve.” Isabella’s experience of touching minds and hearts of those entrusted to her, “In Campus Ministry and Lasallian Youth we give students access to outside service opportunities so they can get involved in not just their school community but their local community outside of school as well.”

HOW HAS LIVING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED ISABELLA AND JT?

Isabella and JT interacted with the Brothers during their time at SMC. However, they did not truly get to know community life with the Brothers until they came to Bedford Park. JT says, “The passion for vocation that is evident in every Brother I’ve met has been an inspiration to me. They all have different ways of expressing the zeal that’s so fundamental to the Lasallian mission, and that has inspired me to give my pursuits the same level of commitment.” Isabella says, “My involvement with the Brothers has opened up a pathway to learn more about where I live and of the people who live in the community around me. Coming from California and having never been to New York before, living in community with the Brothers has allowed me to feel more comfortable being far from home as well as strengthened my faith.”

WHAT DOES THE 2017-2018 COHORT WANT TO SAY TO COLLEGE SENIORS ABOUT THE LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM?

Isabella shares, “I would tell a college senior who is discerning a volunteer year that it is an experience through which they will see themselves grow and they will become comfortable with being uncomfortable and being outside of their comfort zone.  They will live in a community and meet people who are generous and willing to put the needs of their community and others before their own. This is an experience through which they will make friends and they will be dedicated to serving the people in the community around them.” JT says, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only to get to know new people and a new place, but also to get to know yourself so much more than you would otherwise. A volunteer year gives you the unique perspective of ‘I work for this group of people’ (in my case, students) rather than ‘I work for this business/organization.’ That may not seem like a big difference, but it’s a certain viewpoint that is hard to gain elsewhere and can change your worldview.”

By |May 9th, 2018|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on May Ministry of the Month: Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School