I read the Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2021, released on February 12. In his message, Pope Francis invites us to open our heart’s to God’s word, suggesting that fasting with a pure heart will help us to recognize Christ, and find our fulfillment through Him. The Pope explains that “fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14): the Son of God our Saviour.” Take time this Lenten season to turn off the noise.
We look forward to our visit with Bishop Burbidge on March 5. The Bishop will celebrate Mass and visit with students and staff. The Bishop is well-known for his commitment to spending time with students in the schools around the Diocese. This is such a great opportunity for our students to get to know the Bishop.
In our COVID-19 update this week, Virginia reported 496 new cases, and a record 234 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, alone, and has now reported 1,099 total new deaths in the past week. Nineteen of these deaths were in Fairfax County. Current data points for the pandemic indicate Fairfax County has a 7-day moving average of 7.6% positivity rate. Neighboring Loudoun County has a positivity rate of 7.6%, and in Prince William County the 10% positivity rate is significantly lower than last week. Notably, though, there are 12 known cases of the UK B.1.1.7 COVID variant in the Commonwealth, and three cases of the variant from South Africa, as of February 24. VDH asks all Virginians to recommit to following ALL mitigation strategies!
On February 24, Governor Northam issued third-amended EO 72. The easing of some restrictions has no impact on SJS. Indoor social gatherings are still limited to groups of 10 individuals, and outdoor gatherings are limited to groups of 25. Masks must be worn by everyone age 5 and older, and social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained. This order is in effect until further notice.
Many thanks to the parents who were able to attend the PTO meeting last week, and thank you to Father Rufino for sharing his reflections on St. Joseph. As I mentioned at the meeting, there are many decisions yet to be made that affect upcoming SJS events such as graduation and First Holy Communion in particular. While it is too soon to announce plans, with the third-amended EO 72 now in effect, it is reasonable to expect that these events will reflect the continuation of the gathering mandates, social distance requirements and masking.
For the month of March, we will close the school day by reciting a different prayer to St. Joseph each afternoon. This will expose our students to a variety of ways to pray to St. Joseph and it also allows us an additional way to celebrate the Year of St. Joseph!
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of any assistance.
Go to Joseph
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