News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.12, October 8, 2020
“When lovers are together, they spend hours and hours repeating the same thing: ‘I love you!’ What is missing in the people who think the rosary monotonous is Love; and everything that is not done for love is worthless...The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families… that cannot be solved by the Rosary. The Rosary can be recited either in common or in private, either in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament or at home, either with the rest of the family or alone, either when traveling or while walking...Our day has 24 hours in it. It is not asking a great deal to set aside a quarter of an hour for the spiritual life, for our intimate and familiar converse with God.”

~Sr. Lucia de Jesus, Servant of God and Fatima visionary.
Each Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., parents gather to pray the Rosary. Please join in when you are able to do so: in the Sacred Heart chapel with us, in your car...wherever you are.
Next week our parish will celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Please join us in in prayer. More information later in this newsletter

Dear Academy Family,

Given the uncertainties of the months leading up to the start of classes, it is hard to believe that tomorrow we will close out the first quarter of the historic 2020-2021 school year. We have much to be thankful for, not least the relative health and safety our community has enjoyed over the past nine weeks.

Going forward, we will continue to be vigilant and follow the Safe Return Plan that we published over the summer. We will also move forward with a somewhat larger on-campus student body. We began the year on August 12th with 183 students on campus and 84 working remotely; on Monday, the first day of the new quarter, we anticipate 219 students on campus and 57 working remotely. 

As we look forward the start of the second quarter next week, I would also like to highlight an event happening at our parish. This next Tuesday (October 13th) at 7:00 p.m., Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church will be holding a special evening of prayer to honor Our Lady of Fatima on the anniversary of her final apparition. The evening will include a candlelight rosary procession around the campus grounds.

God hears when we knock (Matthew 7:7), and especially when we knock persistently (Luke 11:5-13). For the contemporary American family, dedicating a weekday evening to prayer must certainly qualify as persistence! Therefore, as you contemplate what special intentions to bring before God in this procession, you might consider:

- that our nation would turn to God
- an end to COVID-19
- an end to abortion
- the upcoming election
- for the Academy to grow as an evangelistic presence in the wider culture

I hope to see you there. If your schedule precludes this particular event, I encourage you to find time for a family rosary procession of your own, perhaps as you walk together around your neighborhood.

Let us continue to pray for one another. Our Lady of The Atonement—pray for us!

Your servant,

Matthew David Watson
Head of School

Safe Return Plan. Thank you for partnering with us to carry forward the mission of Catholic classical education in these challenging times. Please remember that our comprehensive Safe Return Plan and all updates and revisions will always be sent first to your email inbox and then will be posted on our website at this link.

October 12-December 15
Second Quarter AR Quiz Testing Period

October 13
Sibling Shadow Day

October 14
PSAT (All 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Students)
SAT (Seniors)

October 19-22
Our clergy will be out of town. A substitute priest will cover the 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Masses on these days, but will not be available for the Lower School Mass at 12:50 p.m. Instead, Mrs. Taylor will be preparing our 5th graders to lead their younger colleagues in praying the rosary during their normal Mass time.

October 23
Half Day (LS dismissal at 12:15; MS/US at 12:30) Lower School Mass is at 10:30 a.m. instead of 12:50 p.m.
Note: Even though King's Fair was re-scheduled, this is still a half day. Also, please realize that only PreK – 5th grade will have lunch that day. Therefore, if you use the school’s catering service, you may order lunch for any of your children in 5th grade and below, but will not want to do so for any children in 6th grade and higher.

October 24
Daddy-Daughter Dance "Hoedown Hootenanny"
Times vary. See flyer below "Scenes on Campus."

October 30
Virtual All Saints' Day Program and Salute to Grandparents
With health concerns, our program will be a virtual one this year. All LS families will be emailed a link for the program.


10/8/20-Middle School Volleyball vs. Gloria Deo- 4:30 p.m.- Crusader Gym
10/8/20-Middle School Football vs. FEAST- 7:00 p.m.- Crusader Field
10/10/20-Middle and Upper School XC Meet in Austin at Brentwood Christian
10/10/20-Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball travels to San Angelo to play Cornerstone in (district match-up) at 2:00 p.m.

Always check our school website for updates and details.
In addition, Atonement Sports are kept current on their social media page (Atonement Sports) and the Athletics tab on the school website.
We are pleased (and grateful) to report that due to the success of our Safe Return Plan we continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report. Additionally, of the 83 students who started the year with Remote Learning 36 will have returned to campus by the start of the 2nd quarter. See our report here.
Please note the most recent updates to the Remote Learning FAQs. These updates address what to do if your child needs to transition temporarily to Remote Learning due to illness or quarantine.

If you love sacred music, you won't want to miss our seventh and eighth grade choirs as they sang "Drop, Drop, Slow Tears" by Orlando Gibbons during daily Mass. Mr. Oliveros and Ms. Leary's efforts pay off with these young scholars and their performance of the a capella piece, which was based on a poem written by Phineas Fletcher in 1633. Click here to listen to their performance. 

Middle School Football: Coach Hegedusich
The Middle School football team is coming off a BYE week (in which they did not play anyone). They have had some time to work on special teams and a few minor adjustments going into the game on Thursday against FEAST at 7:00 p.m. on Crusader Field. The team is looking forward to this Thursday’s game, and they hope you will come out and support the team.
Upper School Football: Coach Vidal
The Varsity Football team is on their BYE week, coming off a big win at home last Friday vs. New Braunfel’ s Calvary Baptist 46-0. Nicholas Cosnowski and Mason Wendtland had two rushing touchdowns, with David Henriquez and Gabriel Wendtland hauling in one touchdown pass each from Mick Skeens. Nicholas caused two fumbles and recovered one. The team played great and are progressing well. With this week being the BYE week, we are using this time to build strength and fine tune a few things, offensively, defensively, and on special teams. The Crusaders will host Bracken Christian, a good program who has won several State Championships in the past, on October 16th, at 7:30 p.m., so mark your calendars.
Middle School Volleyball: Coach Alvarado
The team traveled to Winston School on October 2nd, and won their first game of the season 2-1. They hosted Concordia to two games this past Monday on October 5th, dropping both games with scores of 1-2 on each. The team is playing tough, they are getting better with every game, and they are striving to be excellent. We will host Gloria Deo this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Come join us!
Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball: Coach Alex Alvarez
The team is still undefeated in TAPPS at the 1A level, having taken down TAPPS 4A San Marcos Academy on Monday October 5th, in three games 3-0. The team hosted Bulverde Living Rock in their second district match-up this past Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Crusader Gym, winning the game in three sets with a score of 3-0 to remain undefeated. This team is going to make a strong playoff push this year, and is already turning heads at the 1A State level. Keep cheering on the team to victory. The team will be traveling to San Angelo this Saturday to play their third district game against Cornerstone. They look to remain undefeated.

Mark your calendar to join us at the home game on October 13th, when the Booster Club will sponsor Hot Dog Night (see flyer below).
Middle and Upper School Cross Country: Coach Gray/Coach Buendia
There was not an official meet this past Saturday, however as a coaching staff, we marked out a course here on Atonement property and used some of the adjacent neighborhood for our teams to run this past Saturday. We have marked off a course, as in the future we would like to be one of the schools in San Antonio to host a cross country meet. Everyone did a great job on the course. This was in preparation for the meet that both teams will travel to in Austin at Brentwood Christian School this Saturday.
Booster Club
Registration is still open on the school's website. The Booster Club meets every first Wednesday of the month. You can also catch them at their next Tailgate, which will be on October 16th at 4:00 p.m.
LS Volleyball Clinics
We will have two morning volleyball clinics for girls in our Lower School. They are scheduled for October 17th and October 24th from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. in the Crusader Gym. Cost is $10 per clinic per child, and parents may register their daughters by emailing Coach Vidal.

Live Streaming- Indoor Only at this time
Beginning this Friday, we will be live streaming our home indoor athletic events for fans at home to watch and cheer the Crusaders on. We have installed a camera in the gym that gives us the capability of live streaming all indoor sports through our Atonement Sports Facebook page. Between now and Friday, if you would like to view the live streaming, we ask that you "Follow" or "Like" the Atonement Sports Facebook page to know exactly what is going on with sports at The Atonement Academy, and also to view the game.

Game Tickets and Protocols
Remember, you must have an advanced ticket to get into game, purchased tickets as well as free tickets for student, teacher, or Booster Club members. For free tickets, please email Coach Vidal if you plan to attend. Temperatures are being checked at the admissions table. Please follow protocols and practice social distancing while at the game. Face masks required when entering and exiting facility.

To purchase tickets, please go to links below:
Faculty/Staff and Students get into game free. Please email or notify Coach Vidal if you plan on attending

Amazon will once again have their annual Prime Day Sale on October 13th and 14th. Please remember that when you shop and log in through AmazonSmile, Amazon will contribute a percentage of most purchases to our school. Thank you to all the families who have designated The Atonement Academy their charity of choice. Click here to use our school link. 

College visits begin next week at The Atonement Academy. All upper scholars are invited to participate. 

Texas A&M University is scheduled for Thursday, October 15 at 3:00 p.m. If your upper scholar is interested, he or she should pre-register here:

Thank you to the PTC for providing a Teacher Appreciation Lunch for the faculty as well as the staff. Members of the PTC provided a BBQ lunch cooked by Katie and Cami's dad, Mark Cerda.

Next week Tuesday, October 13th, marks the 103rd anniversary of "The Miracle of the Sun," when Our Lady appeared to three children of Fatima. She appeared on the 13th of each month from May through October. To commemorate this event next Tuesday, Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church will have the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament followed by a candlelight rosary.
Benediction will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by the blessing of a new Our Lady of Fatima statue. The statue will then lead attendees in procession around the parish as the rosary is recited. 
This celebration will initiate our daily reciting of the rosary for our nation and the upcoming election. Fr. Lewis is asking every family to commit themselves to praying the rosary every day, from Wednesday October 14th through Monday November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. Join us as we pray together as a parish, offering ourselves, our nation, and this election into the care of our Blessed Mother.

What do you currently teach, and what do you enjoy about it?
I am currently teaching fifth grade. I enjoy teaching 10 and 11 year old children because of their curiosity, honesty, and level of cognitive development. 

What do you most appreciate about teaching at The Atonement Academy?
What I enjoy most besides daily Mass is that the students at The Atonement Academy are knowledgeable about their faith. Additionally, they realize their responsibility as students is to do as well as they can in their school work. They want to succeed and know it takes diligence to do so. 

What do you look forward to this school year? 
I am looking forward to a full year of teaching and learning. 

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
In May my daughter got a French bulldog puppy which I enjoy taking care of when she is working.

I recently finished reading The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory. Even though the book was originally published in 1886, these laws for the most part still hold true. 
Photos include Mrs. Taylor with her husband Chris on a trip to New Mexico, and one of her with her daughter's French bulldog.

I first enrolled at The Atonement Academy for Kindergarten in 2000, and 14 years later, I graduated with the senior class of 2014. Early on at the Academy, I developed a passion for singing, but it was not it was not until my sophomore year that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in music education, specifically voice and choral studies.

After graduation, I spent two years pursuing my associate's degree in liberal arts/music studies at Northwest Vista College. I then transferred to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville for a little over two years to finish my bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education. I graduated cum laude with my bachelor’s in choral music education in May 2020.

I am currently in my first semester of graduate school pursuing a master’s of music in choral conducting at Texas State University. I manage social media (FB @TXStateChoirs), the TXST choral department website, and direct the University Singers choir. This is the first step of many in my future pursuit of teaching at the collegiate level as a Director of Choral Activities.

In my free time, you can find me exercising, binge watching Netflix/GMMTV series/Hocus Pocus, or working on word-search puzzles. #ThanksQuarantine

When I look back on my time at the Academy, I am eternally grateful for the learning and performing opportunities. At the Academy, sacred music has always been an integral part of the curriculum as it pertains to the school’s vision of a classical and Catholic education. The act of singing for the holy sacrifice of the Mass, whether it be hymns from the congregation, chant from the schola, or choral anthems from the choirs, is a crucial testament to the importance of a sacred music program integrated in Catholic schools.

My best memory was being student conductor for the Upper School Honors Choir my senior year. This memory would not have been possible without the mutual collaboration from the choir and the mentorship and guidance from the past director and my current friend and colleague, Mrs. Chalon Murray. Thank you, Honors Choir 2013-2014 and Mrs. Murray, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in me.

I also I thank all the music teachers, directors, and mentors past and present of The Atonement Academy who have shown true passion, integrity, and resilience in making the music program what it is today. Keep up the good work. Lastly, a big shout out to my parents for being my #1 supporters throughout my musical formative years. None of the above mentioned would’ve been possible without the two of you investing in my education. Thank you.

To the senior class of 2021, I am so proud of you. As you journey off to far away places and achieve excellence wherever you go, remember this: lead with love, take those leaps of faith, give yourself grace, and take time to listen to that Still Small Voice of Calm.

This is my favorite quote, for obvious reasons:

“Music uncovers the buried way to the heart, to the core of our being, where it touches the being of our Creator and the Redeemer. Wherever this is achieved, music becomes the road that leads to Jesus, the way on which God shows his salvation.” -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Photos include Christian with his family (missing big brother Brandon), Christian during one of his many guest conductor opportunities during choral concerts, and Christian as a kindergarten student.
Note that the date has changed, and there is no half-day just before King's Fair, but there will be plenty of fun, food, and fellowship! Mark your calendars, and plan your costume!
Mrs. Fitzgerald's kindergarten class displays their "Crow and the Pitcher" project -- even her remote students join in the photo on her laptop!

In other photos, our top-performing Lady Crusader volleyball team on the home court, and several photos of our varsity six-man football team that had a great away game last week. Way to go, Crusaders!
The Atonement Academy, founded in 1994, is a PreK through 12th grade Catholic, classical school. It is the parish school of Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church, one of the founding parishes of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, established by Pope Benedict XVI and located in Houston TX.