March 15, 2018
Dan's Blog
Yesterday, our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders all attended a reconciliation service, followed by individual confessions. A few weeks ago, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had a similar experience with going to confession.
The teachers, Father Gary, and some parents all offered feedback after the services through the words of what they heard the children say... and it was very positive. Although many of the kids were nervous, and some downright scared prior to going to confession, the feedback was that afterward the kids felt relieved, or perhaps better words were they felt carefree and at peace.
You might be thinking to yourself, "What remarkable sins could an eight or ten year old confess that would make them feel so relieved to get off their chest?" That's not the point. We know that little kids normally only commit, and thus confess to, venial sins. They will most likely not commit mortal sins in their youth, but if they continue in the habit of venial sins, it is very likely they could commit some mortal sins in their adolescence. 

To give you a quick Thursday morning recap of what you learned when you went to Catholic school or C.C.D. classes:
  • Venial sin wounds our relationship with our Lord.
  • Mortal sin destroys our relationship with Him.
  • In confession, through the ministry of the priest, Jesus forgives us of these sins.
(For a better explanation, that's what a priest's Sunday morning Homily is for.)

It was not only removing the heaviness of confessing their sins that provided relief to your kids, it was the entire confessional process itself that was healing. The entire process your children went through - of first examining their conscience, then acknowledging their faults, followed by stating their sorrow, then asking for forgiveness, and finally doing penance - was a wonderful spiritual practice.
The Church's reconciliation process also parallels the best way to resolve differences when trying to get along with others. When I have a discipline problem brought to me in my office that involves a student wronging someone else - such as fighting with a classmate or cheating on a teacher's test - I have the student go through a sort-of "reconciliation process." The student is asked to acknowledge his/her fault, admit what he/she did wrong, say "sorry" to the person (and that person who was wronged needs to in turn forgive), and then do something to make up for the wrong, such as write an apology letter, sit out the next two recesses, etc.
So I guess we can see that your children have a thorough understanding of and practice in the process of reconciliation and the Sacrament of Penance.

Now, what about you parents?

When is the last time YOU went to confession?

When your kids were little you made sure they started to learn how to brush their teeth themselves, and they watched you in the bathroom mirror as you brushed your own teeth. This modeling continued as your child learned you went to the dentist to have your own teeth checked twice a year by the dentist, and you then started to bring your child to your family's dentist so your child could start getting these bi-annual check-ups.

Imagine how silly and hypocritical it would be if you told your child to go to the dentist for check-ups, but you yourself never did. Oh, your child saw you brush your teeth at home, and that was a good, initial start. But he/she never saw you visit the professional cleaner - the dentist. "Then why do I have to go!?" would be the cry from your child...and rightly so.

Your child hears you pray aloud the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass, "...I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault..."That's sort of like seeing you brush your teeth. But then after that, there's no visit to the dentist - no visit to the professional cleaner, the priest, in the confessional room.

Now I know some parents do indeed make a confession on a regular or at least an occasional basis. You are great models to your children, and you don't have to finish reading this blog. Scroll down now to the next article. But to the rest of you, please keep reading on...

To the many adults who haven't stepped into a confessional room since Cheers was the top hit on TV, please don't take this as a guilt-trip blog I'm writing. I, myself, had not been going to confession for a long time. I was "settling" for simply attending the group, communal penance services. It wasn't until Father Gary instituted individual confessions for our kids here that I then realized I couldn't expect our students to attend annually if I, too, wasn't going to confess my sins to a priest. "Do as I say, not as I do?" Nah! That wouldn't work for me! (So, thank you for the nudge, Father Gary!) Those communal penance services we did for many years in large groups in the church just weren't the same thing as a private, personal reconciliation with God, once I went back to the confessional room.

I'm writing today as encouragement to parents to go to confession at least once a year, just as your children do. Don't look at this as someone saying you "have to" go to confession. Look at it as saying you "get to" go to confession.
In this Sacrament, God is forgiving you through the ministry of a priest, and the warm and human aspect of this event, as you hear the words of absolution pronounced officially and authoritatively by a priest who represents Christ, can truly stir the emotions. Can you recall a time when you had to ask someone to forgive you - your parents when you were young? your spouse when you really messed up? - and how marvelous it felt when that person did indeed forgive you? Well, in the confessional, God's words of forgiveness will make you feel peace. Hmmmm....where did I hear those words before? 
Here's a brief article explaining how to go back to the confessional if it's been many years since you made your last confession. There is one more opportunity to go to confession at St. Louise before Easter. It's this Saturday between 3:00 and 4:30. You can read more here about going to individual confession at St. Louise this Saturday or at a future Saturday in 2018.

You can also check out the confession schedule at the various parishes on the greater Eastside, either because they'll have a time that works out better for you, or because sometimes people feel more comfortable confessing to a priest they haven't met before:
Thanks for reading,   
Mr. Fitz
Tonight is opening night for HONK! Jr., our school musical, performed by about three-dozen of our students!  Break a leg! I'm very proud of the hard work of our student actors, and also the students behind the scenes who assist as the crew. Additionally, I appreciate Terry LaRussa Banton's unbelievable amount of time put into producing and directing our drama program. She was helped by Trina Legnon and a handful of super-supportive parents. Thank you, all!

Upcoming Calendar of Events  
Tonight and Tomorrow
  • Thursday & Friday - HONK JR. performed at 7:00PM at the Interlake HS Theater (16245 NE 24th St.)
  • Thursday at 10:30AM - Reconciliation Service and Individual Confessions for grade 6-8 students
  • Friday - Report Cards sent home with grade K-8 students; parents are asked to please sign the envelopes and return only the envelopes
  • Friday - St. Patrick's Day/Free Dress Day for all students & staff ...provided they wear something green (regular rules apply for proper free-dress-wear; note that 8th graders are in full school uniform today for their fieldtrip to the Capitol)  

Monday, March 19
  • All-School Mass on the Feast Day of St. Joseph, 9:00AM; parents should meet their children outside the homerooms at 8:45


Friday, March 23 

  • Uniform Sale today! Used Uniforms & Charger Gear (hoodies, fleece, gym shorts, etc.) on sale in the St. Louise Room (central wing of the original school) from 2:00-4:00PM
  • Grade 8 only has free dress today since they weren't able to have it on the 16th

Saturday, March 24  
  • Spring Spruce-Up of the grounds from 8AM-12PM; contact Jeffrey Hummer if you are able to attend; bring your yard tools; we'll feed you lunch when we're done at noon; gather outside the north wing of the original school at 8:00

Tuesday, March 27
  • Tech Committee Dinner Meeting at 6PM in the faculty room; all parents with technology experience welcome to attend and help brainstorm future tech advancements for the school and troubleshoot current tech issues; RSVP to Dan Kirby

Report Cards Coming Home Tomorrow

          All grade K-8 students will be bringing home their report cards tomorrow. The envelope holding the card is to be signed and returned to the teacher next week. The report card itself is for parents to keep. As parents read over the marks on their child's report card, it will be handy to refer to the criteria list the teachers use when completing the report card.
          Immediately below you'll see the "4 to 1" number scale used for some subjects and grading categories on grade 4-8 report cards, and for all grade K-3 report card subjects and grading categories. A student needs to exhibit all or some of the descriptors to earn the corresponding number grade. With descriptive words such as "high level," "consistently," and "always," you can see that a mark of a "4" would truly be a difficult and rare mark for a student to achieve.
4 to 1 Number Scale Descriptors for ACADEMIC Marks
4 = Exceeding Grade Level Expectations     
     * Exhibits exceptional quality work consistently
     * Shows high level of knowledge and understanding
     * Shows creative and new ways of thinking
     * Applies learning to other subject areas and life situations
3 = Meeting Grade Level Expectations
     * Meets requirement for quality work
     * Shows knowledge and understanding
     * Demonstrates sound thinking
     * Applies learning to other subject areas       
2 = Progressing Toward Grade Level Expectations 
     * Meets some requirements for quality work
     * Demonstrates some knowledge and understanding
     * Requires extra time, instruction, assistance, and/or practice
1 = Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations  
     * Seldom meets requirements for quality work
     * Demonstrates little knowledge and understanding
     * Requires an extended amount of time, instruction, assistance, and/or practice
4 to 1 Number Scale Descriptors for BEHAVIOR Marks
4 = Exceeding Grade Level Expectations     
     * Always follows school rules
     * Listens attentively at all times
     * Never disturbs others when working
     * Consistently demonstrates a respectful and helpful attitude toward teachers, classmates, 
       and school environment
3 = Meeting Grade Level Expectations
     * Follows school rules
     * Listens attentively
     * Works with minimal disturbance of others
     * Demonstrates a respectful attitude toward teachers, classmates, and school
2 = Progressing Toward Grade Level Expectations 
     * Has difficulty following school rules
     * Needs improvement in listening attentively
     * Occasionally disturbs others when working
     * Demonstrates some respect toward teachers, classmates, and the school environment
1 = Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations  
     * Rarely follows school rules
     * Is inattentive when should be listening
     * Constantly disturbs others when working
     * Demonstrates little respect toward teachers, classmates, and the school environment
Parents, please contact the teacher if you have any questions on your child's marks or the teacher's comments. Thank you for partnering with us in helping your children learn and progress.

 Auction News 
Dear Parents,

A few days ago, our Committee Chairs got together to kick off the 2018 Auction! We shared the theme with them (though we've asked they keep it under wraps!) and talked about some changes we're making this year to improve the volunteer experience and raise our earnings. They will be helping to create a great fundraising and community building event! We sincerely appreciate their time and dedication to St. Louise as leaders of committees!
Congratulations to Alice Shaw and Zandra Gallindo-Navarro for their correct answer from last week's Auction Trivia! They were tied for first in their reply to "Name the year the auction was themed 'A Night in Paradise' ". The correct answer was 2011. Starbucks Charger Cards were sent home to each of them! Thanks to all who participated!
One more week until the big reveal - when our 2018 theme will be revealed to all!

Follow the auction on Instagram @stlouiseauction, for a hint or two before the BIG reveal!
If you are able to support the Auction as a volunteer or donor, or if you want to know more about the event, please send an email to You can also give me a call at 425.214.5441 or 425.761.9996. Looking forward to hearing from you!
~ Julianne Read 

Get Some Volunteer Hours on a Weekend

           Coming up on Saturday, March 24, is the first of two Spring Spruce-Ups. These are 4-hour-long mornings when we tackle some yardwork projects on the school and parish grounds. If you're up for raking, weeding, and planting, please consider joining the Spruce-Up. Bring your yard tools (wheelbarrows, rakes, weed-digging-tools, gloves, etc.) and meet outside the north wing of the original school at 8:00 AM. You'll be done by 12:00, and will have earned 4 volunteer hours. If both parents come, that's 8 hours! 
          Please RSVP to our volunteer head landscaper, Jeffrey Hummer, so he knows how many workers he'll have on the 24th.

Sign Up Your Kids for St. Louise's Summer Camps

          St. Louise School is starting summer camps this July and August. Under the direction of our Kids' Club and extra-curricular programs director, Maria Zambrano, CHARGERS' ADVENTURE SUMMER CAMPS will run in weekly sessions each Monday through Friday from July 30 through August 24. Kids entering grades K-5 in the fall are eligible to sign-up, and camp is open to both our school students and other kids who go to church here and/or live in the neighborhood. Perhaps you can encourage one of your child's neighborhood or sports-team friends to attend?
          Whether you need one week of camp to "keep your kid busy" this summer, or if you could use all four weekly sessions so your child is cared for when you're at work throughout August, you can register your child for St. Louise's Chargers' Adventure Summer Camps HERE.
          For more information, please see the brochure sent home in last week's red Family Envelope and/or contact Maria.




Tami Kowal and her 6th grade son, Jonah, recently returned from a pilgrimage to Italy they took with parishioners from St. James Cathedral. Both Tami and Jonah were readers at Saint Peter's Basilica for a Mass celebrated by Father Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James, who was returning to the Basilica where he was ordained 52 years ago. (See photo of the three at left.)

Below, Jonah (in the red) gets to shake hands with Pope Francis!  

Pray, Fast & Give this Lent

What you ask of my life seems so right. It is how I want to live, following your Son, Jesus, so closely. And yet I fail so often to stay on that path. I cannot do it alone, loving Lord. I need your help and guidance. I need to remember your love for me, and I want to remember how very much I need you in my life. Transform my heart through my Lenten journey of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I ask this through Christ our Lord.
"I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew."
~Pope Francis




Walk the Stations of the Cross with Your Child
Good Friday, March 30
Plan ahead to make time in your schedule to meet your children at school and walk the Stations of the Cross with them on Good Friday. The prayerful walk, reflecting on Jesus's Passion, will take about 30 minutes. (Remember, March 30 is a noon dismissal day for the entire school.)

Please wait outside the homeroom 5 minutes prior to the time listed below or wait outside under the deck near the main entrance 5 minutes prior. (Under the deck is where the first station will begin.) Dress warmly as many of the stations will be outside. 
8:45 - 6A; 8:50 - 6B; 8:55 - 4B & 1A; 9:05 - 2B; 9:10 - 7B; 9:15 - KA;
9:20 - 5B; 9:25 - KB; 9:55 - Recess Break; 10:40 - 4A; 10:45 - 3A;
10:50 - 3B; 10:55 - 5A & 2A; 11:05 - 7A; 11:10 - 1B; 11:15 - 8A & 8B

          Sale Coming Up on Used Uniforms & Charger Gear
          Our Used Uniforms and Charger Gear programs are both holding impromptu sales next
Friday, March 23. You'll find them in the original school's central wing hallway from 2:00-4:00. This will be a great time to find a gently-used pair of pants/shorts or a skirt, now that your child has grown since the fall, and you still have four more months of school to get through. And if you buy a Charger Gear hoodie or fleece next Friday, you'll receive a free water bottle. Have fun shopping!  

          Students Screened for Vision & Hearing
          On Tuesday, students in the following grades were screened for hearing and vision concerns, per state law: Kdg., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th. School nurse, Jane Reynolds, will rescreen any students whose initial screening showed concerns, and if she still sees concerns with either the hearing or vision results, she will personally contact the parents. If you are not contacted in the coming weeks, consider your child's screening results came out fine.
          Thank you to these parents for helping Jane with the screenings: Lilibeth Tiotuico, Silvia Macias, Jorge Soto, Alison Weber, Jennifer Kosiara, Grace Palisoc, Seema Lukose, Shyam Prakash, Alice Shaw, Aila Calayag.
          Special Guest Author Visits the Library
          Last week, grade K-5 students came to the St. Louise library to listen to guest author, poet, songwriter, and educator Eric Ode. Eric shared his stories, songs, and poetry, and told the kids how he became an author.  He also did writing workshops with grades 2-4 in the afternoon. The children created poems and learned about the writing process. Eric did an amazing job engaging the students with his talents.
         Mrs. McIntosh, who organized this special guest author day, said, "I want to thank the Parents Club for supporting us by providing enrichment grants that bring special guests like Eric,to inspire the students at St. Louise School." It was the fundraising through the Walk-A-Thon that allowed the Parents' Club to provide this  enrichment grant.
          Each grade K-5 teacher sent home an order form if students would like to purchase any Eric Ode books, and Eric will personally sign them. Orders are due by tomorrow, March 16.


Eric Ode captivates his St. Louise student audience. See Mrs. McIntosh's webpage for more photos.

See what's happening on our St. Louise Facebook page