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Weekly Newsletter - Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Once again this year there is much to be grateful for as we prepare for our nation’s traditional day of thanks! At Roncalli we are thankful for the many families that continue to choose Roncalli and entrust their children to us. We are thankful for the wonderful teachers, coaches, directors and moderators who work with our students daily and are the backbone of the outstanding educational experience our students receive. We are thankful for the countless benefactors that continue to donate generously to Roncalli of their time, talents and treasures! Thanks for all ten of our South Deanery grade schools and the great work they are doing with our young people! We are thankful for the many blessings that God pours down upon the Roncalli Family on a daily basis. Finally, and most importantly, we are thankful for Jesus Christ and the unconditional love and mercy that He offers to us freely every day!

We do pray in a special way this Thanksgiving for the men and women of the armed forces that are away from family and friends. We ask God’s protection over them and for a safe return home to their families!

Finally, we pray for all those who struggle to provide food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their loved ones. May each of us be generous in our support of their needs!

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the Roncalli Family!


Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Mere Mortals” (one of last year’s acts in “The Night of One Acts) which won first place this past weekend in the 2015 Indiana Thespian Regional championship. The cast included Zalen Niccolini, Alex Woods and Nathan Kern. The crew consisted of Stage Manager — Brendan Bard, Sound — D.J. Deak, Lights — Andy Reel, Projector — Jonathon Coons, Emily Wray, Stage Crew — Ryan Armstrong, Sarah Barron, Michael McClellan, Shannon Mitchel, Mia Roberts and Sydney Wade.

This acting troupe now advances to the 2016 Indiana Thespian State Competition on January 22. Special congratulations to Zalen Niccolini who received the “Best Actor” award from all of the performances on Saturday. Great job, RHS thespians!


We had close to 200 RHS students participate in last weekend’s National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in downtown Indianapolis. Feedback was extremely positive in terms of the faith-filled, positive, uplifting experience the students had. We thank them for their participation and are delighted it was a growth-filled, faith experience.


A big thanks to all Rebels who supported this past Saturday’s Canned Food Drive collection and Blood Drive. What a great day it was to be a Rebel. We are still trying to put together the final totals, but it looks like another outstanding Canned Food and Blood Drive.


Roncalli High School chaplain, Fr. Wyciskalla, has set up our annual Advent Penance Service for our students to be held on Monday, November 30. Fr. Wyciskalla will be joined by priests from throughout the South Deanery who will be on hand to hear the confessions of students who wish to participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

A word of encouragement from mom and dad to your child to participate might be beneficial.


A tradition in the archdiocese that was started by Archbishop Buechlein was that he celebrated a Senior Mass with all of the seniors from the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Additionally, he always extended to them a “free day” for the remainder of that day. This year’s Senior Mass will be celebrated with Archbishop Tobin at the Ss. Peter & Paul Cathedral on Wednesday, December 2nd at 10:00 AM. This is a school sponsored field trip and attendance is required of all seniors. They will be asked to report to the cafeteria by 8:30 AM. Students will be transported by Roncalli buses. As noted, the bishop declares the remainder of the school day as a free day for the seniors. They will arrive back at RHS at approximately 11:15 AM and will be dismissed at this time.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a financial aid form that should be filled out by parents with college-bound seniors in order to determine if the family qualifies for financial assistance. The assistance can be federal, state or college aid.

On December 9th, Roncalli will host a FAFSA update meeting at 7:00 PM in the RHS auditorium. Heidi Carl, Director of Financial Aid at Wabash College, will be the presenter. In addition to the FAFSA update, other topics that will be covered include grants, scholarships, work-study and loan programs.
Please note: Although you may not qualify for financial aid, there are other ways your child may receive funding which would require a FAFSA form to be completed and filed. We recommend that all potential college bound students fill out the FAFSA; however, here are some programs which do require (*) or may require the FAFSA:

• 21st Century Scholar Program*
• Work Study Programs*
• College / Private Scholarships
• Student Loans

This is an important meeting for seniors and their parents but can also be a helpful tool for parents of underclassmen as they begin to research and review college options and paying for college. Please join us on December 9th at 7:00 PM! If you have any questions about the FAFSA or this presentation please contact RHS College Counselor, Carrie Poehlein, at 787-8277, extension 236 or


On Wednesday, December 2, all juniors will take the free Princeton Review practice ACT in the RHS auditorium. Testing will begin at 7:30 AM and should be completed at approximately 11:30 AM. This would include periods 1-4. This free practice test is an excellent opportunity for our students to continue to grow in their familiarity with this college admissions standardized test as well as in their confidence. If you have any questions regarding the testing on December 2, please contact RHS College & Career Counselor, Carrie Poehlein at


Thursday, December 3rd is the first Thursday of the month and as such school will be dismissed at 2:00 PM on this day for teachers to attend department meetings.


Please keep in your prayers the 40 seniors that will be attending their senior retreat next Tuesday evening through Friday evening at Fatima Retreat House. May the Holy Spirit shower them with his love and blessings during their retreat!


Ensembles from the Roncalli Band and Choral Programs will perform their Christmas Concerts on Sunday, December 6. The Advanced Women’s chorus, Beginning Women’s chorus and Show choir only will perform at 1:00 PM. The Bands and Orchestra will perform at 3:30 PM in the Roncalli Auditorium. The Advanced Women’s chorus, Beginning Mixed chorus and Show Choir will perform a concert on Monday, December 7 at 7:00 PM. All RHS families are encouraged to come and enjoy the sounds of the holiday season!

Tickets are now available for all the Christmas concerts. Admission is $5.00 for Adults, $2.00 for RHS students or children 14 years old and younger.

Tickets may be purchased online at, (fine arts tab then box office) or by contacting Miki Lewinski in the Box Office at 787-8277, extension 249. Payment is expected to accompany order. Tickets ordered in advance may be picked up at the Will Call table in the auditorium lobby beginning 30 minutes before the show.


Roncalli is hoping to start up an archery club. We had a club in the past, but membership fell off so the club took a hiatus. We now have students that are interested and we want to re-start this fun and energetic club, but we need an adult or two to help moderate the archery club. We plan to apply for a grant to purchase equipment and receive training. But, we cannot apply for the grant until we get some adults to agree to help moderate and coach the club. Duties for the moderator/coach include setting up team practices and scheduling meets for the team. If we do receive the grant, we plan to add archery back into our PE curriculum. We feel like there is quite a bit of interest on the part of our students, but we need your help. If you or someone you know is knowledgeable or willing to learn about archery, please consider volunteering your time as our archery club moderator. If interested in helping out or would like to learn more, please contact Shellie Hartford, Assistant Principal, at or call her at 317-787-8277 Ext. 284.


Parents of the RHS Performing Arts Department annually have provided the faculty and staff a scrumptious Christmas Luncheon. Once again we are asking the parents of our performing arts students to contribute food and gifts for this luncheon. This year, all food will be provided by going to Sign-Up Genius and selecting items to provide.

Please visit: to sign up for your choice. Students can drop off the items to Room 009 on Thursday, December 10th between 7:00 – 7:30 AM.

Small gifts, such as car wash coupons, snack sets and candy are needed. Gift cards are also very popular and can be purchased ahead of time through our SCRIP program. Contact Miki Lewinski at 787-8277 ext. 249 or for more information about gift cards.

All purchased gifts should be dropped off to Miki by Tuesday, December 8th.

Thank you so much for helping make this annual luncheon a special “thank-you” to the best faculty and staff.


When weather or emergency conditions warrant a cancellation of school or a delayed start to school, the fastest, most accurate way to access this information is via the school’s web site at Once a decision to close or delay school has been made the first step is to post this on the front of the school’s web site, which typically happens within 1-2 minutes of the decision being made. Immediately after posting it on the web site there will be an automated phone call /text message sent out to parents informing them of the closure or delay. We will then call the four major network television stations.

The geographic area that encompasses all of the areas in which our families live stretches from 56th street to the north; Plainfield to the west; Shelbyville to the southeast and Martinsville/Paragon to the south. We attempt to take all of this into consideration when determining whether or not to delay or close. That can be challenging as the weather conditions can vary significantly in the areas mentioned above.

Parents, please know that it is always your decision as to whether or not your child can travel safely to school. If the conditions in your general area are such that you deem it unsafe for them to travel, please keep your child at home. They will not be penalized for their absence.

We will make every effort to be sensitive to the safety and well-being of all of our students at all times.


A reminder that there are a handful of local businesses that offer families a program that financially rewards their child’s school for shopping at their business. Roncalli is not advocating patronage of these businesses. We are simply asking that if these are businesses your family patronizes, that you please consider signing up for their customer rewards program and listing Roncalli as the school to receive the funding. Here are the links:

Amazon -
Kroger –
Target -
Gordon Food Service -
Meijer - (Roncalli’s school code number when signing up is 444559)

Thanks for your consideration on this matter. Roncalli High School has received over $40,000 from these businesses over the past few years!


The Johnson County Community Foundation offers several college scholarships for high school seniors who reside in the county, including the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

The Lilly Scholarship provides FULL TUITION, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study at any Indiana public or private college or university. In addition, many private universities will also offer an additional scholarship, along with the Lilly award, to cover costs for room and board

To be eligible for the Johnson County Lilly Scholarship, students must:

• Have resided in Johnson County for at least one full calendar year as of the date of the application for the scholarship
• Have a GPA of at least 3.5
•Have test results for the ACT and/or SAT
• Be accepted to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study at an accredited public or private college or university in Indiana
• Graduate with a diploma from an accredited Indiana high school by June of this year
• Be involved in significant community service and school leadership activities

Scholarships will become available online on November 26th. To apply for the Lilly Scholarship or for any scholarship offered through Johnson County, please visit

The Johnson County Lilly Scholarship application is due on January 8, 2016.


Proctors, readers and scribes are needed for the STARS program during final exam week. Final exams will take place December 14-17. There will be two finals each day. The first final will be from 7:30-9:23 AM and the second final will be 9:32-11:25 AM. If you are interested in helping, please contact Pat Musgrave via email at before December 5th.


Parents, are you a firefighter?

If so, your son or daughter is eligible to apply for a one-time $1,000 scholarship in memory of John Lorenzano, who died while saving others in a fire at the Indianapolis Athletic Club in 1992.

Please have your student write an essay between 200-300 words on “What makes you proud that your parent is a firefighter?” The essays are due by Wednesday, December 3rd to Ms. Terese Carson in the RHS Advancement Office. Please be sure to include student name, grade and the name of the parent who is a firefighter. Applications are available in the Main Office. The recipient of the scholarship will be announced prior to Christmas break.


Hard to believe we are already starting to plan Rebelation! Rebelation is Roncalli’s annual dinner/auction/party to help raise money for families in need of tuition assistance. This year the party is on Saturday, April 30, 2016 and we need your help to make it a success.

There are lots of ways you can help, pick one that works for your busy schedule:

  • Pick up donated items around town and bring them to RHS
  • Make phone calls to personally invite RHS supporters to attend
  • Commit to filling a table of ten for the evening
  • Call a business to follow up on the donation request letter
  • Provide your own donation for the silent auction (tickets to an event, job shadow, merchandise, etc.)
  • Help the night of the event with registration, bartending, check out, sales
  • Just too busy, but want to help? Any monetary donation made is tax deductible and will help offset the costs of Rebelation to make the night more profitable for families in need.

We keep meetings for Rebelation volunteers to a minimum to respect your time. It is a great way to meet new people and help the school. Please contact Rachel Brown at and let her know how you’d like to help. Looking forward to a great party on April 30th.


Roncalli High School is looking to employ a sports writer who would be interested in covering 2 contests of each sport every season. In addition to covering these athletic events, this person would write stories and provide photos for these sports for use on the school website.

If you are interested and would like more details, please contact Terese Carson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at or at 317.787.8277 ext. 240.


This past June, I was horrified and saddened, as much of the nation, at the events in Charleston. Dylann Roof walked into an African-American church and sat with parishioners having a Bible study for an hour before going on a racially motivated murderous rampage. The repugnant act of violence took the lives of nine people. When the families of the victims met the one who caused their pain in court, I expected something very different than what I saw. The family members who addressed Dylann, through unspeakable pain and tears, offered forgiveness. One woman even went as far as to say, "We enjoyed you." Maintaining that type of love and dignity in the face of such evil was nothing short of heroic, even perhaps supernatural. I was in awe. I wouldn't have had that kind of courage, grace, or love to offer. They stood tall at that moment; a shining city on a hill and a beautiful example of light in the face of darkness.

I was able to prescreen a new movie called Woodlawn which will be released later this month. It is based on the true story of NFL great Tony Nathan and the violent racial divide of his hometown in 1973. We have made progress since then, but that divide still exists today. The story of Woodlawn shows what can happen when people have the courage to stand up and change. In a pivotal scene, Tony Nathan is being recruited by legendary coach Bear Bryant. Tony expresses doubt in playing because his family was attacked due to his race and football success. Bryant informs him that when he was driving to Tony's house, he saw a young black kid wearing his jersey number. His bravery was inspiring others, as was the way his team had come together. Read More

(Courtesy of All Pro Dad)


Author Leo Buscaglia once wrote about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to identify the most caring child. The winner was a four-year-old boy whose next door neighbor was an elderly man who had recently lost his wife. One day, the little boy saw the man crying. So he walked into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he said to the man, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

That little boy was showing kindness to the old man. And kindness is one of the great pillars of love. Author Rick Warren says there are four things we need to do to show kindness to others.

(Courtesy of All Pro Dad)


  • For safe travels for all in the Roncall Family who will be traveling during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
  • For God’s blessings on Pope Francis, Archbishop Tobin and all the bishops and leaders of the Church around the world.
  • For healing of body, mind and spirit for all in the Roncalli Family dealing with depression, addiction or mental health issues.
  • For strength and healing for all in the Roncalli Family battling life threatening illness and for their families and caregivers.
  • For the men and women of our armed forces and their families, especially our Roncalli High School alums who are serving in the military.
  • For our RHS alums preparing for a religious vocation as a priest, religious woman or missionary.
  • For vocations to the priesthood, religious life and missionary field, and that Roncalli High School and its families will provide a nurturing environment that fosters and supports these vocations.
  • For all those in need of food, clothing, shelter and those most in need of God’s mercy.

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
Pope Francis

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