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Meeting Highlights

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       We started the May meeting a few minutes early because we wanted to hear as much as possible from Diocesan Superintendent of Schools Shana Druffner. She did not disappoint!

        She will continue for a year as the first principal of St. Michael’s Academy. A nationwide search for the second principal will begin in November. News to your editor – the school will inspire students’ academic achievements without devices. “No computers in the classrooms, no cellphones on campus,” Dr. Druffner stated. That “device-free” education has drawn two former NFL players to accept positions at the school and to support a flag football team.

         She cited a book named “Anxious Generation” to support the device-free focus. Older students will also

engage their computer brains while thinking about thinking.         

      “Why do we support Catholic Education,” she asked. The attendees and she agreed it was to educate children in the faith in response to Matthew 28: Go teach and make disciples of all nations. One attendee mentioned that in some countries if you were not educated by the nuns, it was left to you.

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          Upon accepting the superintendent role, she found a three-day retreat for the schools’ leadership on the calendar. One of the products of the gathering was a mission statement for the schools:

Our Catholic schools, in communion with our parents inspire students to pursue Truth and form young men and women to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Members had announcements:         

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          Courtney Conklin is hosting a fundraiser for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital June 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Veronica Beard ( Courtney sported a stylish navy blazer from the store to pique our interest.

          We met new member Tammy Fitzpatrick who runs a restaurant with her family. It is called Island Fin. The menu offers Hawaiian style poké bowls of lusciousness. Tammy, her husband and two grown daughters, invite us to join them any day of the week from 11 to 8 p.m. (

         Tricia Casa Santa reminded us she collects the pop tops from cans (beverage and other canned goods) to donate to Ronald McDonald House. She introduced us to Mary Gardner, a volunteer like Tricia at Ladies of Charity, who offered a big collection of rosaries that had been donated to LofC for the University rosary drive. Members brought rosaries, too.

        Mary Rolando introduced her guest, Kim Derrick. Many members were moved by founder Kim’s brief description of the Heart of Mary House located near St. Edward’s parish. The home accepts the dying poor and provides end-of-life care.

         “The first thing we do is put them on our hearts,” said Kim. “We show them love that they may never have felt.”

         The House opened September 22, 2022. They have housed 30 guests, generally for three months or less. Eight of those guests converted to Catholicism.

          The private / members' only page for Pearls of Wisdom solicitation was described. We can report our progress there. Also, great news! The Diocese will have an option for us to assign our attendance ticket price to the ACE Dinner (Advancement of Catholic Education) to our Aurelia Varallo Mariani scholarship fund. We can attend the Pearls Gala October 4 to support the fund, and the ACE Dinner October 22 to support the girls' scholarships, too. 

Courtney wore her lovely blazer but showed off her beautiful daughter, Bernadette!

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From left we have two guests, looking for the right association - Alicia Vanderschuere and Maria Kemp! 

Next we see Diana Miller, Janet Coscarelli and Sharon Alderman.

At the corner table are Mary Elcan May, Jennie Guinn, Lisa Link and new member (!!) Amelia Strobel.

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Let's celebrate our June birthdays!

Bonnie Parrish - 02 Jun                              Melissa Doyle - 11 Jun

Sharon Huber - 06 Jun                               Paula Harris - 13 Jun                  Laret Casella - 07 Jun                                 Gail Mondelli - 21 Jun

Patti Hinton - 07 Jun                                   Tina Whitley - 25 Jun

Sharon O'Connell - 08 Jun                         Patricia M. Smith - 27 Jun


If you are celebrating a June birthday and are not included here, please provide details to Ellen Wade, AND Tricia Casa Santa,

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