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Every week, Upon This Rock will report to those involved with the campaign with updates on parish goals and momentous news from this wonderful initiative.
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Ingenuity Shines at X-STREAM Games!

Yesterday, the Diocese of Buffalo hosted its third annual X-STREAM Games and Expo, a day of competition in science and technology events that look to inspire a new generation of innovators, scientists, and believers.  This event, held at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Kenmore – affectionately known as STREAM Academy’s ‘Event & Training Headquarters’ – saw a crowd of over 1,000 spectators, including more than 400 participating students from 25 diocesan schools. 
 
Students from third through eighth grade participated in a variety of competitions including The Science Scrimmage Event, Shark Tank for Inventors, Kitchen Chemistry Cook-Off, and Roller Coaster Rally.  We spoke with Jean Comer, STREAM Coordinator for the diocese, who described some of the amazing activities that happened at this year’s extravaganza, “The energy in the room was really special. It felt like you were actually at a sporting event!” She explained how some of the events took place in St. Joe’s gymnasium where spectators in the bleachers were able to cheer their schools on while watching events as they unfolded on large, video-projection screens.  One of the guests of honor in attendance at the X-STREAM Games was Bishop Malone who, Comer says, students were especially eager to ‘wow’ with their projects.  The Bishop took the time to visit all of the competitions and was even presented with his own lab coat.  “By that point,” Comer pointed out, “every kid wanted to get a picture with him!”
 
The STREAM Program is part of a nationwide push to entice students in Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, and Math, and provides 21st century learning experiences through hands-on lessons, promoting a higher level of critical thinking and a deeper understanding of content.  Upon This Rock will allocate $3 million to fund leadership and professional development, as well as essential technological upgrades to STREAM.
 
After this third year of success, the X-STREAM Games have no plans of slowing down.  By the end of the festivities, students and parents alike were already exclaiming that they “can’t wait until next year!”  In the meantime, this new wave of hands-on learning will continue every day at Catholic schools all throughout the diocese!


Read below for even more good news from the Upon This Rock initiative!

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A Prayer for Upon This Rock

Loving God, we come to You,
standing together in faith,
ready to realize the freshness of a bold endeavor,
as we look to the future of our Church.

Building up the Kingdom of God on earth is Your will and our privilege.
Bless our efforts with the energy and enthusiasm we need. 

Jesus, our Redeemer,
encourage and guide us.
Open our hearts to be good stewards because of our love for You.

Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier,
empower us to carry out Your will for the Upon This Rock campaign.

May Your Goodness be upon us,
And give us success to the work of our hands and hearts.

We ask Your blessing now and always 
through Christ Our Lord.

Amen!

Other Upon This Rock Highlights
 
Block 1

St. Josaphat | Cheektowaga
Fr. Richard Poblacki and the parishioners of St. Josaphat have officially surpassed goal!  With the 35% return on parishioner gifts, the parish plans to make a number of renovations to its grounds, such as repaving the parking lot.


 
Block 3

St. Raphael | Niagara Falls
After a successful second Commitment Weekend on November 19 and 20, St. Raphael surpassed goal by over $16,000.  Since then, Fr. Ivan Skenderovic reports that the parish is now at 111% of goal – having raised $395,739 from 103 gifts.  Congratulations to everyone at St. Raphael! 


St. Brendan on the Lake | Newfane
The parish held its second Commitment Weekend before Thanksgiving and raised an additional $20,300 from 17 families.  With these additional gifts, St. Brendan on the Lake has raised 98% of its $485,000 goal.


St. Bonaventure | Allegany
Fr. James Vacco and parishioners of St. Bonaventure held their first Commitment Weekend on November 26 and 27 during all Masses.  Through the generosity of 64 families, the parish raised $171,050 – 72% of goal.  The parish held its second Commitment Weekend on December 3 and 4; results from these events will be reported in our next newsletter on December 12.

 
Block 4

St. Katharine Drexel | Buffalo
Fr. Jim Monaco is thrilled to report that St. Katharine Drexel has surpassed its goal!  Though many families have participated in this effort at the parish, its greatest swell of support so far came this past weekend, as Fr. Jim held his first Commitment Weekend.  St. Katharine Drexel will have a second Commitment Weekend on December 10 and 11. 


St. Anthony | Lackawana
St. Anthony is now is at 63% of goal. When talking to Upon This Rock staff, Dcn. Dave Velasquez shared, "We are off to a good start.  Meeting with parishioners has given me the opportunity to get to know folks better as I listened to their concerns.  I have found people to be open to consider the information presented and to make careful, prayerful decisions, resulting in a very generous response to the campaign."  


All Saints | Lockport
Fr. Walter Szczesny continues to visit with parishioners and is pleased to be met with such enthusiasm for Upon This Rock.  Most recently, the parish surpassed $100,000 in pledges!
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