Students in Spanish and science classes had the opportunity to sign up for the second school-sponsored trip to Costa Rica. While there, the group participated in cultural and adventurous activities, including tours of a strawberry farm and a coffee plantation, explorations of national parks next to an active volcano, hikes through the rain forest and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, time to relax in natural hot springs and coastal beaches, whitewater rafting, visits to a local school, and lessons about the rich cultural traditions of the region, including food, music and dance, and more.
Fourteen students and chaperones Nina Lesch and Laura Zeilner, both World Language Department faculty members, headed to Spain for their spring break. The trip, which was open to junior and senior students in Spanish classes, included excursions in Madrid, Seville and the Costa del Sol. Walking and bike tours of towns and historical landmarks such as the Gothic Cathedral in Toledo, as well as cooking, language, art and dances classes, made the nine-day trip a truly cultural and unique experience for our students.
Eleven students and chaperones Art Sheridan, Theology teacher, John Kyler, Director of Campus Ministry, and alumna Stephanie Seweryn '07, spent their spring break in Clintwood, VA for the Appalachia Mission Project. They left on Good Friday and stopped in Louisville, KY for a night. While there, they volunteered for a couple of hours at the Salvation Army with students from Mercy Academy. They then spent the night at the school before driving the rest of the way to Clintwood on Saturday.
After Easter Mass and hiking trips through the Appalachian mountains, the group spent the week completing construction projects that improved the homes of people struggling with poverty issues. Every night, they had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Appalachian culture and meet members of the community by attending a picnic sponsored by St. Joseph's Catholic Church; visiting the Fourth World Movement, an organization similar to the Peace Corps. based out of France; participating in a weekly music night in Pound, a town not far from Clintwood; and much more!
From December 26, 2015 - January 2, 2016, approximately 50 sophomore, junior and senior members of our Chorus were in Rome, Italy. They were invited to perform in the Pueri Cantores, a concert held for the Pope with children and teen choirs from all over the world. Senior Caitlin Hennessy was chosen to meet the Pope, who blessed her and gifted her with a rosary.
In addition to this experience, the students were in a choir for Mass at St. John Lateran, performed in the special Honor Concert with choirs from Korea, Germany and France, and visited many famous sites.
The Brother Rice and Mother McAuley Band was selected as the only marching band to represent the State of Illinois in America’s National Independence Day Parade on July 4, 2014. Almost 100 members of the band performed in the parade.
Nina Lesch and Maria Ramirez, both faculty members at McAuley, traveled with 10 students throughout Spain from June 26 - July 6. While there, they visited Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Madrid and Barcelona. They took tours of the cities; attended a flamenco show; took a salsa dance lesson; saw beautiful art, architecture and scenery including the Mezquita, Seville Cathedral and the Bull ring; visited an olive oil museum; attended an art workshop; and spent a whole day meeting with local students involved in a two-week English Immersion Camp in Madrid.
Twenty-nine art and language students took part in a nine day cultural adventure through Italy. Kathy Gordon Davis and Eric Schmitt were the teacher leaders and Roz Sunquist, Lisa Rollheiser and Debbie Bewley were the adult chaperones. They saw the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Fountain of Trevi, The Vatican and Vatican museums in Rome, then moved on to Florence, Venice (where they attended an amazing glass blowing demonstration, Mass at the Basilica of San Marco and took a gondola ride through the canals), and spent a day in the exquisite hills of Assisi, where they had a city tour, and visits to the beautiful frescoes in the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare.
Nineteen seniors and three chaperones headed to Clintwood, VA for the Appalachia Mission Project (AMP). This bi-annual trip has been a staple at McAuley for 12 years. Mr. Art Sheridan, a McAuley Theology teacher, initiated AMP and has led the groups ever since, working with the St. Joseph Housing Repair Program. They spent the first night at Mercy Academy in Louisville, KY, where they worked on a service project with some of their students. The remainder of the trip was spent fixing up houses for people in need by day and immersing in the local culture at night.
Students and faculty who are in Science and Spanish classes had the opportunity to sign up for a trip to Costa Rica. While there, they hiked through forests, went zip-lining and experienced the local culture. They had the chance to visit national parks and learn about animal and plant life in Costa Rica. One day, they stopped at a local school, and the children performed traditional dances for the McAuley students
The Music Program headed to Ireland. While there, they had the chance to sight-see; visit with local musicians; participate in a choir clinic with Mr. David Leigh, Director of the Girl’s Choir at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a strings clinic with Alan Smale of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra; visit Mercy Secondary School, a high school operated by the Sisters of Mercy, where they performed for their students, and their school choir performed for our students; perform in the National Museum of Ireland and the Christ Church Cathedral; and visit Baggot Street, where the Sisters of Mercy was started.
The Theatre Program went on their annual trip to New York City. They had the opportunity to see five Broadway shows, “Kinky Boots,” “After Midnight,” “Beautiful – The Carol King Musical,” “Bridges of Madison County,” and a show of their choice. On their first night in the city, they saw an off-Broadway show, “Act One.” The star of the show was Fantino Santino, who voices Prince Hans in the movie “Frozen.” The rest of their trip was filled with sight-seeing to places such as the 9/11 Memorial and Ellis Island, where several students found the names of relatives on the wall and were able to take home pictures for their families; tours of the Lincoln Center and Radio City Music Hall; and a private seminar with Broadway actor Joey Taranto from the Tony-award-winning musical “Kinky Boots.”
Mrs. Nina Lesch, Spanish faculty member, spent Spring Break with five students in Spain. They had a packed schedule: in just 10 days they visited eight different cities, as well as one in France (after bribing their bus driver to drive them across the border). Some of the memorable sights they saw include a night-time procession on Good Friday in Madrid, called Semana Santa; the full path used during the annual running of the bulls; and Holy Family Church in Barcelona. They also celebrated Easter Sunday by attending mass in the oldest church in Madrid, San Nicolás. The trip was open to all junior and senior students in honors and AP Spanish classes.
The Theatre Program, headed by Mrs. Patricia Haynes (Auditorium Manager and McAuley faculty) and Dr. Roz Iasillo (Natural and Health Sciences Chair), travled to New York City over Spring Break. Nineteen students had the opportunity to see 6 different Broadway shows; attend late-night Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral; attend a seminar with the Prince from the Broadway show, "Cinderella;" and visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Chinatown and Little Italy, among other activities.