St. John Brebeuf celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Submitted Photo Students and parents join Principal Elise Matson, Rev. Mike Meany, John Jekot of the SJB Men’s Club and Chicago Wolves mascot Skates at the ice rink for a blessing.

Catholic Schools Week at St. John Brebeuf in Niles got off to a rousing start with its annual open house on Jan. 31.

The event featured a blessing of the school’s outdoor ice rink by Rev. Michael Meany. Later, a “shoot the puck” contest was held in the gym due to the warm weather and a lack of ice.

The contest was held with the assistance of “Skates,” the official mascot of the Chicago Wolves professional hockey team.

Skates also visited classrooms, posed for photos with students and families, signed autographs, and presented a Wolves jersey to Julia Gutzman, a student who won the raffle drawing.

When weather permits, the outdoor rink will be flooded and made available to the community during daylight hours.

A contest to name the ice rink was held for weeks prior to the event in conjunction with The Niles Bugle. Entries were submitted via email and printed entry forms.

Judges named Braeden Manogura, a fifth grader at SJB, the first-place winner with his entry “The Guardian Angel’s Ice Castle.” Lee Fitzgibbons of Niles won second place with the entry “Polar Ice Cap.” Manogura received a $100 gift certificate to Sports Authority, and Fitzgibbons won a $50 certificate from Kappy’s Restaurant in Niles.

New families and current families also got a chance to visit classrooms, meet teachers and tour the school.

Catholic Schools Week is celebrated throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago. At SJB, the week included teacher and student appreciation days, dress down days and a kick-off to the annual school appeal.

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