'Tis The Season!

During the holidays members of the CJ community, like members of most families, look forward to sharing in special Christmas traditions, many of which are aimed at helping others.

Here are just a few examples of how students, faculty and staff are spreading the Christmas spirit this season.

Students taking second year foreign language classes supplied lots of goodies for the Language Club’s annual holiday bake sale (pictured above). Baked goods sold December 3 during all lunch periods helped raise about $400 to support families through the Hispanic Catholic Ministry. An additional $200 in Mejier gift cards were donated to families said Linda Colas, teacher and club moderator. Club members also created hand-made pinatas to give to the organization’s annual holiday party.

Key Club has generously organized the school’s Giving Tree for 13 years, said club moderator and guidance counselor Susan Eichenauer. Each year students select a different community organization to sponsor, then invite the CJ community to take an ornament off the tree and give a themed gift. Donations of children’s pajamas were collected this year to benefit Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley. About 50 pairs of pajamas had been donated between the first week of December and the last week before break, said Eichenauer, and gifts continued to come in through exam days.


Students enrolled in American Sign Language (ASL) with teacher Judi MacLeod completed a festive component of their final assessments December 13 by using what they had learned to silently perform Christmas carols for faculty and staff. Small groups of students signed the lyrics to Christmas favorites “Feliz Navidad,” “Joy to the World,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for audiences in the Welcome Center and guidance office while MacLeod provided vocals.

In addition to making signing an annual part of her exams, MacLeod is also the director of Hands in Harmony, CJ’s sign language choir. Students in grades 2-8 are invited to join the group on stage at the upcoming Winter Concert this February. Go to the Youth Programs page for more details.

The faculty tradition of adopting families in need continued this year thanks to a longstanding collaboration with Catholic Social Services’ Holiday-Help-A-Family Christmas Project. Spearheaded by Claire Davis, administrative assistant in the office of ministry and service, teachers and staff members pitched in to provide gifts, clothing and toys to children, adults and seniors in the Dayton area. Presents were delivered on December 16.