Thursday, December 5, 2019

Friday, December 6th - Dollar Jean Day

Friday, December 6th - Grades 3 & 4 to visit Our Lady of the Angels

Tuesday, December 9th - Panera Night, 4-8 PM

Tuesday, December 10th - Advent Reconciliation, Grades 3-8, 9:30 AM

Saturday, December 14th - Cookie Walk after 4:30 PM Mass

Sunday, December 15th - Cookie Walk after 8:30 & 10:30 AM Masses

Tuesday, December 17th - November and December Birthdays Out-of-Uniform

Wednesday, December 18th - Christmas Program, 12:30 PM and 6:30 PM

Thursday, December 19th - Journey to Bethlehem

December 23rd to January 3rd - Christmas Break, No School

Monday, January 6th - Classes Resume

Family Prayer 

Second Sunday of Advent

Reading I :  Isaiah 11:1-10
The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb.
  • The reading from Isaiah describes the expected Emmanuel God with us.
  • The reign of Emmanuel will be harmonious, just, and peace-filled. The one who comes will be a person of justice and wisdom.
  • The characteristics or qualities of Emmanuel are what Christians today identify as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Reading II :  Romans 15:4-9
Accept one another, as Christ accepted you.
  • In the passage from the Letter to the Romans, Paul urges the strong to carry the burdens of the weak, to follow the example of Christ, who became the servant of all.
  • Followers of Christ ought to build the community and its members up rather than tear it down.
  • Paul calls for unity and acceptance, between the Gentile Christians who were the majority and the Jewish-Christian minority.

Gospel :  Matthew 3:1-12
Reform your lives!
  • In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist is introduced preaching a message of conversion: “Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand.”
  • John the Baptists’ preaching demanded a radical conversion of the whole person to God.
  • John baptized the people in the River Jordan as a symbolic washing that signified their repentance, but this is a Jewish, not a Christian baptism. On this Sunday, we focus on preparation for Christ.

Please consider reading the upcoming Sunday readings together as a family. These conversation starters will help to prepare your children for weekly mass.

A Message from
Mrs. Laidlaw Otto
Dear SJE Families; 

Advent is such a busy time for us. This year, our Advent theme is “Wait, Watch, Wonder.”  We are waiting for the coming of Jesus, we will watch for signs of Jesus, and we will wonder about the true meaning of Christmas.  Here at school, our students will be focusing on kind, positive interactions in their daily lives.  Tomorrow we will gather as a school for an Advent Prayer Pod activity. At the conclusion of this activity, each child will be bringing home an Advent calendar.  This calendar will have some suggestions to help your child wait, watch and wonder at home.  Please take time to review this calendar with your children. Preparing for Christmas during the Advent season is a great opportunity for families to explore and grow in our Catholic faith as well. Family traditions such as lighting an Advent wreath and praying together daily and placing straw in a family manger scene as we complete acts of kindness and generosity help our students to understand the importance of the season, and draw attention away from the many material messages with which we are bombarded. In addition, there are several wonderful feast days during December. Taking time to celebrate these special days is a wonderful time to teach our children about their faith.  

Here’s what’s coming up, along with a few ideas to help you celebrate as a family: 

December 3 | Feast of St. Francis Xavier  
Francis Xavier was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and led an extensive mission to proclaim Christianity throughout Asia. 

December 6 | Feast of St. Nicholas  
Saint Nicholas, a bishop who lived during the third century, is the original “Santa Claus.” On the feast of St. Nicholas, children leave their shoes by the door for St. Nicholas to fill with candy (often foil-wrapped chocolate coins). This tradition recalls the story of how St. Nicholas secretly provided the dowry for young maidens so they could get married. 
This feast day is also a good opportunity to tell kids the true story of “Santa Claus.”  Find out five ways to celebrate the feast with your kids.   Then head over to the  Saint Nicholas Center ,  which has every imaginable resource on the original St. Nicholas.  

December 8 | Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception  
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation in the United States, commemorates the immaculate (“stainless”) conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is not about Mary’s conception of Jesus.  Find out how to explain the Immaculate Conception to your kids

December 9 | Feast of St. Juan Diego  
St. Juan Diego is the peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared as Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

December 12 | Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe  
On the morning of December 9, 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac (now part of Mexico City). Speaking to him in his native  Nahuatl  language, Mary identified herself as the “mother of the very true deity” and asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor. Juan Diego finally convinced skeptical Church authorities of the truth of the message by producing an armful of out-of-season roses from the folds of his tilma (a simple outer garment); an image of the Virgin Mary as a young, pregnant native woman miraculously appeared on the tilma as well. The image has been preserved to this day and draws millions of pilgrims every year.  Find out how to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with your kids

December 13 | Feast of St. Lucy  
Lucia of Syracuse  (283–304) was a young Christian martyr. Later accounts of her martyrdom included a story about her eyes getting gouged out; that, along with the date of her feast, led to the celebration of her feast as a festival of light, especially in Scandinavian cultures. There, a young girl dressed in a white dress and a red sash (as the symbol of martyrdom) carries palms and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy’s Day will help you survive the long, dark winter days. 

December 14 | Feast of St. John of the Cross  
John of the Cross, together with St. Teresa of Avila, reformed the Carmelite order in the sixteenth century. He is also well-known for his spiritual writings, which had an enormous impact on the development of the Catholic contemplative tradition. 

December 16 | Las Posadas  
Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration that had its origins in Spain but is now widely practiced in Latin America.  Posadas  means “lodging”; the celebration is chiefly a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem and underlines the Christian importance of offering hospitality. 
You can find out more about  Las Posadas at Wikipedia

December 16 | Christmas Novena  
Pray a special  Christmas Novena  beginning nine days before Christmas. 

December 17 | O Antiphons  
The O Antiphons are sung or recited during the last seven days of Advent (from December 17 through December 23) as part of the Liturgy of Hours. Each hymn begins with the interjection “O” followed by a title for Christ, e.g., O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Dayspring, O King of Nations, O God-with-Us. You can find the O Antiphons online. 

(courtesy of

Go forth and be a blessing. 
Mary Laidlaw Otto 
Our little elves are busy preparing for our annual Christmas program!

Mark your calendars now!

Wednesday, December 18th.
Rehearsal 12:30 PM
Evening performance 6:30 PM
SJE Gymnasium

Christmas seat raffle information is included in today’s paper folder. You could be watching from the front row! Drawing will be held next Wednesday, so you need to act quickly. Proceeds will offset expenses for the Christmas Program.
A Big THANK YOU to the families who have already sent in their donation for class baskets for our Small Plates, Big Hearts fundraiser. If you have not already sent in your donation, please send $10 per child to the office in an envelope marked with your family's name. Donations are due on Thursday, December 12th. For more details, please see the letter from Mrs. Laidlaw Otto.
Calendar Raffle Reminder

Each family at St. John the Evangelist is required to sell 7 calendar raffles. All money and completed raffle stubs must be turned into the school office no later than this Friday, December 6th.

Need help selling your calendar raffles? Time at the weekend mass Scrip table is still available. This is a great opportunity to sell your raffles.
Each month, we have an out-of-uniform day for students who are celebrating a birthday during that month. In November, we forgot to put that date on the calendar. Therefore we'll be including those with November birthdays in our December Birthdays Out-of-Uniform Day, Tuesday, December 17th.

Tomorrow, December 6th, will be a Dollar Jean Day. Students may be out of uniform if they donate a dollar (or more). Donations will be sent to Water to Thrive.
  Cookie Walk 

Our annual cookie walk will be held on Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th. We need lots of cookies to make this a success. Thank you to all who have replied to our request. As you plan for your holiday baking, please consider setting aside few dozen cookies for this extremely popular event!  Please bring cookies to the school office on Friday, December 13th.
Save the Date for our annual Open House and Spaghetti Dinner! 
Saturday, January 25th, 2020 
Open House 2:00 – 4:30 
Spaghetti Dinner following 4:30 mass 
You won’t want to miss this amazing event! 
panera clipped
Safe Environment Training Information  
As we begin to plan for class parties, holiday celebrations, and upcoming field trips, we want to remind our families that all volunteers in our building, even field trip chaperones, must complete the following: 
  • A national criminal background check 
  • Completion of Safeguarding All God’s Family Class 
  • Read and sign the Code of Ethical Standards for employees and volunteers 
To sign up for a Safeguarding class simply follow this link: 
This will take you to the sign up page for Safeguarding classes. 
St. John the Evangelist School
Fax: 414-321-4450
exemplary recognition logo