Aim Higher Foundation awards tuition assistance grants

The Aim Higher Foundation announced April 22 that it has awarded a total of $750,000 in tuition assistance grants to 76 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

All schools that applied were awarded tuition assistance grants for students with financial need. The foundation said it is continuing support to all students who received Aim Higher Foundation tuition assistance in 2012-2013, remain in Catholic elementary school and have continued financial need.

The Aim Higher Foundation exists to help provide access to a Catholic school education to more families. In addition to providing tuition assistance to Catholic school families, in the future the foundation will foster continued excellence in leadership and innovation in education through grants to educators and schools in the archdiocese, according to the foundation’s website,

Seminarian writes and directs theater drama

Seminarian Kyle Kowalczyk wrote and directed the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity’s recent production of “Saved by the Guillotine,” a play based on letters written by Jacques Fesch while he was in prison in Paris. Fesch was the last person killed by guillotine in France in 1957. The play was performed April 26 to 28 at the University of St. Thomas and featured Tyler Dickinson, a seminarian for the Diocese of Madison, Wis., as Fesch.

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Kowalczyk started acting in seventh grade and began participating in theater regularly in high school. It was then that he also began writing.

“When I was in my high school drama class, I was assigned a project with some classmates to come up with a short scene,” he said. “The little play we came up with was very funny and quite a hit.  The following year I decided to write a collection of short comedies and produced it at my school. This also was received very well.  I realized that I had a knack for writing and a real passion developed.”

Kowalczyk became interested in the story of Jacques Fesch when he was visiting a monstery in Illinois and the monks were reading a book of his letters during lunch.

“I knew nothing about him before, but the letters were clearly written by a very holy person,” he said. “Later one of the priests mentioned that this same man had committed murder and written these letters while on death row. I was instantly taken in by his story.”

Cardinal Burke keynotes tribunal provincial meeting

Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura, presided at the opening Mass and gave the keynote address at the Tribunal Provincial meeting May 6 at the St. Paul Seminary. The annual meeting is a gathering of tribunal personnel from throughout the province — the 10 dioceses of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota — and was hosted this year by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Cardinal Burke spoke on “The Nullity of Marriage Process as the Search for Truth.” Aside from the Roman Pontiff, who is the supreme judge for the Catholic Church, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is the highest court of the Catholic Church. One of the roles of the Signatura is to exercise vigilance over lower Church courts, such as marriage nullity tribunals, and ensure that these courts are correctly applying the law of the Church.

Feasibility study update

The Steier Group, which is conducting a comprehensive feasibility study to test the level of support for a proposed archdiocesan capital campaign, will continue gathering feedback from clergy and lay people through Friday, May 24.  Individuals interested in participating in the study are encouraged to visit the feasibility study web site at The study may also be accessed on the home page of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’s

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Category: News Notes