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St. John Neumann accepts $25,000 donation

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    St. John Neumann Regional School students accept a $25,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus alongside Principal Sister Virginia Stephanie. From left are Emma Martinez, Megan Matsko, George Kattner, Susan Gilsbach, Eva Schisler, Alise Heisey, Sister Virginia Stephanie and Olivia Handwerk. DANIELLE DERRICKSON/TIMES NEWS

Published March 11. 2019 12:58PM


It takes a village to raise a child. It takes one to educate them, too.

That might be one reason why Knights of Columbus, a fraternal Catholic organization centered on charitable giving, donated $25,000 to St. John Neumann Regional School in Palmerton.

“It’s a real big thing for me, because once you lose the Catholic education, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” George Kattner, grand knight of Lafayette Council of the Knights of Columbus 2522, said at a check presentation Thursday. “You really should have a Catholic (faith-based) school.”

“Sister (Virginia) and all the teachers are really great for what they do with the children here,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the Knights of Columbus have made a contribution to St. John Neumann, a private school. Kattner said that the organization tries to give to the school every two years.

“I am thrilled,” Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal of St. John Neumann in Palmerton, said. “It takes thousands upon thousands of dollars to operate any business, but particularly a school. Our parents really only pay approximately one-third of what it costs to educate their child in our school, and so we have to — through donors — make up the deficit.”

“It’s always a challenge — a pleasant challenge — to support Catholic education,” she added.

The Knights’ last donation to the school, Stephanie said, went toward updating the school’s technology. This time around, it will supply not only new technology, but financial aid for students as well.

When receiving the check, Stephanie invited the older students, who make up the school’s student council, to accept it alongside her.

“I think they (student leaders) need to know that they’re needed, and their leadership is needed,” Stephanie said. “That’s a good example to all the other students, that we work to achieve things. We don’t work just for ourselves.”


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