News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.13, October 15, 2020
This week we commemorated the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three young Portugese children 103 years ago with Benediction and a Rosary Procession. For a short video click here. Whether you participated in person or from your home, we hope you were able to join us in prayer.

In 2000, St. Pope John Paul II released a letter regarding the Message of Fatima, and it is an enlightening message to re-read in light of our world situation today.

As Cardinal Bertone mentions in the introduction, "The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the 'secret' of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet pervaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the Mother of Jesus and of the Church. The action of God, the Lord of history, and the co-responsibility of man in the drama of his creative freedom, are the two pillars upon which human history is built. Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten values. She reminds us that man's future is in God, and that we are active and responsible partners in creating that future."
Briony Garza with our newly acquired Our Lady of Fatima statue. Our parish's American Heritage Girls troop helped with this week's Fatima commemoration. Like Briony, most are also Academy scholars.

We thank our clergy, Fr. Lewis and Fr. Jenkins, as well as the Knights of Columbus for organizing the Benediction and Procession, and for encouraging the praying of a daily Rosary. Additional photos are in "Scenes" toward the end of this newsletter.

What wonderful opportunities our students have to understand and preserve our beliefs, rites, and rituals.
Dear Academy Families,

I hope you will enjoy this edition of the Crusader Times. By taking the time to stay informed and involved, you participate in the Academy’s mission to be an outpost of the kingdom of God and a beacon of truth in an often dark world. Thank you.

As you are no doubt experiencing along with us, accomplishing many of the normal activities of life has been difficult in the midst of an international pandemic. We continue, however, to press on. Recently, it has been a pleasure to see our seniors, the Class of 2021, pushing ahead as well. 

Seniors, in collaboration with their parents, are in deep into preparations for a safe Upper School fall dance (outdoors, masks, etc.). I have been impressed by their teamwork and attention to putting on a safe event. In addition, I know the seniors would also appreciate your support of their upcoming class fundraiser, “Blingo!” (see information below).

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.

Library Hours
Each full school day, our St. Pope John Paul II Library will be open 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

October 12-December 15
Second Quarter AR period

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) Aftercare ends at 3:30 p.m. Lower School Mass is at 10:30 a.m. instead of 12:50 p.m.

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

October 26
Deadline to submit photos for All Souls' Day commemoration, "Altar of Remembrance."

October 29
Parishioner Shadow Day

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.


10/15/20-MS Football vs. Castle Hills - 6:00 p.m. - Crusader Field (5:30 p.m. gate)
10/15/20-US Lady Crusader Volleyball vs. Fredericksburg Heritage - 5:30 p.m. - Crusader Gym (5:00 p.m. gate)
10/16/20-Varsity Football vs. Bracken Christian - 7:30 p.m. -Crusader Field (6:30 gate) Booster Club tailgate begins at 4:00 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. See our report here. Additionally, of the 83 students who started the year with Remote Learning all but 55 will be on campus as of this Monday. 
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.

Do you know any parishioners who have been considering The Atonement Academy for their family? Be sure to tell them about our upcoming "Parishioner Shadow Day" on Thursday, October 29th. Prospective students can spend time in their appropriate classroom and experience Crusader student life! Additional details and registration for this day are available from our Director of Admissions, Mrs. Yolanda Joiner via email.

Middle School Football: Coach Hegedusich
Middle School Football lost their last game against FEAST 47-12. The boys played tough and picked it up late scoring the last two touchdowns with two minutes left to go in the game. We have a had a great week of practice to prepare for Castle Hills today (Thursday, October 15th) at 6:00 p.m.
Varsity Football: Coach Vidal
Coming off a BYE week, the team was able to finish the academic quarter strong, rest up, and recover their bodies in preparation for the first district game this Friday against Bracken Christian at 7:30 p.m. on our field. The team has been working hard and are prepared to play a good program. With that being said, we are also becoming a great program. Be Loud and Be Proud to be a Crusader! Cheer them on this Friday.
Middle School Volleyball: Coach Alvarado
The team has been practicing all week, unfortunately this week's game was cancelled by our opponents. However we will travel to Shepherd of the Hills this Thursday to play two games back to back. Every practice, and every game, the girls are getting better with each repetition.
Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball: Coach Alvarez
The team traveled to San Angelo, TX this past Saturday to play their fourth district game of the season against San Angelo Cornerstone. They went undefeated into the match and came out 10-1. The girls lost the hard-fought game 0-3. We have moved on and will look to build off of that loss as we host Fredericksburg Heritage this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Crusader Gymnasium. The game will also be live streamed. Follow the Atonement Sports page on Facebook to receive the link. The link will go live about 15-30 minutes before game begins.
Middle and Upper School Cross Country: Coach Gray/Buendia
Both teams traveled to Austin TX this past Saturday to compete in the Brentwood Christian Cross Country meet. Both teams did well and competed at a high level. Both teams will stay in town this Saturday and compete at the FEAST XC meet.
Booster Club
We will be tailgating at the Varsity Football game this Friday starting at 4:00 p.m. Please come out and enjoy the school community. We will be happy to answer any questions about joining the Booster Club, but overall we simply want to enjoy the time together as the community, and we welcome everyone. There will be food, too! Be on the lookout for a few flyers whether it be by email or the Atonement Sports Facebook page. There are a few fundraisers we will be having this month and next that we would like to see everyone at. All money raised goes back into the athletic program.
Winter Sports
Practices will begin November 2nd for both Middle and Upper School.

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

Help us create an Altar of Remembrance! As part of our commemoration of All Souls' Day, Fr. Lewis would like for our students to bring copies of photos of deceased loved ones to create an altar at the entrance of the school. If you would like for your family to participate, please send copies of the pictures by Monday, October 26th to the school office, attention Mrs. Trevino. Please note that copies are not to be any larger than 4x6 and will not be returned.

What do you currently teach, and what do you enjoy about it?
This is my fourth year at The Atonement Academy, with the first year being a Physical Education teacher. I am going on year three as Director of Athletics. For the past three years, I have coached Middle and Upper School Football, Middle and Upper School Basketball, and Middle and Upper School Baseball. I am busy throughout the year. I enjoy coaching football because I helped start the program as a student back in 2010, along with the baseball program as well. I want to see The Atonement Academy continue to strengthen its athletic program and be competitive. The thing I enjoy the most about coaching sports at The Atonement Academy is the ability to teach the students about life and how to overcome any obstacles they may face. As a coach, you get to develop leaders, and show them that they are capable of setting goals and accomplishing anything they set their mind to

What do you most appreciate about teaching at The Atonement Academy?
I appreciate teaching at the school that helped shape me as a young child, and now as an instructor of student-athletes. We have the best community, parents, and students at The Atonement Academy, and you can’t ask for a better combination.

What do you look forward to this school year? 
The thing I am looking forward to the most this school year is the birth of my first child. My wife and I are expecting our daughter on December 3rd. Now in regards to coaching, I am looking forward to seeing our Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball team make a strong push in playoffs on the way to a State Championship this year and seeing all of our sports be successful during COVID-19. Our coaching staff has done a great job of ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all of our student-athletes.

What is your vision for Atonement Athletics?
My vision for Athletics is simple: To create a consistent and competitive sports program that will develop the student-athlete as whole person, instilling the values on how to work well with others, be on time, and defend your faith when graduating from The Atonement Academy.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
When I do get the chance to have a little bit of free time, I will spend it with my wife usually bass fishing on Canyon or Medina Lakes. I also enjoy playing golf as much as I can, best time to relax and enjoy the seasons as they come and go. One of the books I am currently reading right now is by Rick Warren, called God’s Power To Change Your Life--great book! One of my favorite quotes is by Pope Francis: “Sport is not only a form of entertainment, but also--and above all I would say--a tool to communicate values that promote the good that is in humans and help build a more peaceful and fraternal society.”
Photos include Mr. Vidal coaching his teams as well as one with his wife Julia and their soon-to-be-on-the-scene baby girl. Also included is a photo of the inaugural football team he captained- he is the first athlete in line.

I started attending The Atonement Academy as a fifth grader in 2008. During my time at Atonement, I loved my science and math classes, and credit the six(!) classes I took with Mr. Adian for preparing me for college and my career more than anything else I have done. I participated in the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy during the summers after my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school working as an assistant in a biochemical lab at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. After playing on and captaining multiple sports teams at The Atonement Academy, one of my most rewarding moments was receiving the Fr. Phillips Award for Student Athletes during the last athletic banquet of my senior year.

After graduating from Atonement in 2016, I attended Boston College, a private Catholic university, where I received a BSc in Management with dual concentrations in Finance and Information Systems and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2020. During my time at BC, I participated in numerous mentorship and service programs, including First Year Experience, Women in Business, Global Mentorship, and an exchange with a local school for children with special needs. In various club leadership positions, I worked with the university administration to create a student-run on-campus garden, bring local and seasonal food options to campus dining halls, and develop a program to facilitate a more welcoming environment for students studying abroad at BC. 

During my junior year at BC in Spring 2019, I also had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland where I took classes and traveled around Scotland, the UK, and Europe. Climbing to the top of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica during The Atonement Academy biennial pilgrimage inspired me to climb other European churches while abroad, including the Duomo in Florence! 

During my summers in college, I interned with USAA in San Antonio and Bank of America in Atlanta. After graduating in May, I started my first full time job as an Investment Analyst at John Hancock Insurance Company in Boston. Although starting a job remotely has had its challenges, I already love my job and my team! I work in the Bond Investment part of the company and I spend most of my time analyzing and researching companies. I definitely credit my Atonement Academy education for fostering my appreciation for the complexity of problem solving and sophistication of writing required in this job.

In my free time I love yoga, walking, reading, baking, golfing, and watching sports! I recently moved across the street from the beach in South Boston and hope to pick up some new ocean-related hobbies too! I would advise current students to dream big dreams. The support of your family, friends, and faith will follow you on whatever path you choose to take, and we are all rooting for you to succeed.
Photos include Jessica in Scotland, at Boston College as one of the first to sign the graduation wall, and with a furry yoga mate! Atonement shots show Jessica with some of her classmates on pilgrimage in Rome, and with the Class of 2016 -- the first ones to have class in (on?) the new building.
There will be plenty of fun, food, and fellowship! Mark your calendars, and plan your costume--lots of after Halloween sales may inspire you!

With pandemic restrictions, it has been difficult for many of our Crusader families to get to know each other. The newsletter will begin interviewing families for features from time to time, and we will begin with some of our new families. We are beginning this series with Sandra and Brian Salinas and their children, Diego (8th) and Mia (4th).

How did you discover / first hear about The Atonement Academy?
When we moved back to San Antonio about four years ago, we had researched a couple of private schools and The Atonement Academy stood out the most because of the classical education and small classes. We finally began the process to enroll the kids this year.

What made you decide to look into The Atonement Academy as an educational option for your child(ren)?
We were looking for a faith-based, structured, and well-disciplined learning environment for our children. After touring the school and asking what felt like a million questions, we as a family knew that this was the right school for Mia and Diego.
Now that some time has passed since school began, what do you like about the education your child receives?
We absolutely love the dedication and involvement that the teachers give the students. It's fast-paced and it's been a transition for both our children, but they have adjusted very well to their new school environment. They have learned that time management is the key to their success at The Atonement Academy. They have become more responsible with their studies and take accountability for their work.
What do you appreciate about the religious environment at The Atonement Academy?
We appreciate that the children attend Mass everyday. Not only are we raising our children with a faith-based structure at home, but now we also have it reinforced at school. It has strengthened their faith, morals, and values in their everyday lives.
What would you like the Atonement community to know about your family?
We love to take family road trips! I know that sounds crazy with two kids that are four years apart, but it's fun. We treasure every memory that we can have as a family since our babies seem to be growing up way too fast. We as a family are happy to be a part of The Atonement Academy and are looking forward to making new memories with other families in this community. We have met such wonderful new people and truly appreciate the teachers' commitment to their students. Diego's and Mia's transitions to The Atonement Academy has been amazing due to guidance from other Atonement families--everyone has been so welcoming!
Here are a few photos of the Salinas family, including some of their road trips.
Classwork includes a classroom full of second grade scholars displaying their sarcophagi and first grade work inspired by the pointillism technique of French artist George Seurat.

In addition, this week we have a number of classroom photos to share from our own Crusader dad Adolfo Morales. He generously shared his talents with us to create some great file photos! We also have some Fatima procession photos from Crusader moms Hope Garza and Veronica Sepulveda Tovar and some cross country meet pics from Crusader dad Peter Petroff. We appreciate our talented, generous parents!

The Class of 2021 is very excited to announce that The Atonement Academy is partnering with CB Jewelry to host a Blingo fundraiser for our school!
What is Blingo you ask? Blingo is a way for us to have some fun during this time of social distancing and raise funds for this amazing school. CB Jewelry will host Blingo in your living room via a secured Zoom meeting.
Over $800 in CB Jewelry prizes will be awarded to the Blingo winners! CB Jewelry is offering the prizes at a substantial discount to help play its part in giving back. Your participation will help support The Atonement Academy while you have some old fashioned family fun and win some beautiful jewelry for yourself and/or a special person in your life.
The Blingo will take place on Sunday, October 18th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm CST. Everyone is invited – friends and family, young and old – near and far! And there will be prizes for children as well! You just need to be able to print out the bingo cards, which will be sent via email, and be able to log into Zoom! A few days prior to the event, you will receive an email with a link to print out the bingo cards and a Zoom link to use the evening of the event. It’s that easy!
Click the link to register today here. You will see that there are two options. You can either purchase 2 cards for $20 or a 5 card family pack for $40. This is a great opportunity for a family night!
We also have a special code to use on the website on the day of the event. Very important: At checkout please select "Nancy Alvarez CB159" as your ambassador to ensure that the proceeds of the sale go to support The Atonement Academy. Additionally, should you wish to purchase items from the website, use code PRAYALWAYS to receive free shipping and remember to please ensure you select "Nancy Alvarez CB159” as your ambassador during checkout. 
About our partner: CB Jewelry is a Christian based jewelry company offering handmade religious jewelry based in the United States. Our mission is to promote our faith! Each piece of jewelry is named and comes with a story card and a scripture passage. Our hope is to provide special gifts with meaning – to help celebrate one another and encourage those who need support and healing. We have women, men and children’s jewelry.
We look forward to seeing you at BLINGO!

Another new feature, included as needed, will be a general notices section at the end of each weekly newsletter.

-SHOES UNLIMITED IS CLOSING. The family-owned business will soon be closing their doors. Please note that their inventory is reduced for quick sale (40% off), so if you anticipate needing shoes soon, stop by the store, located at 2019 Vance Jackson, 78213. Call 210-734-9003 for more information.

-NEED TUTORS. Are your MS or US scholars interested in tutoring other Crusaders? If so, you may submit the following information to the newsletter to be included on a listing: tutor name, subjects, and contact details. Please note that all arrangements must be made parent-to-parent and no on-campus facilities are available. NOTE: Contact information will be omitted from newsletters published online.

Sample Listing:
Ima Tudor, 9th Grade: She can tutor all LS subjects except handwriting. Contact mom via text at 210-555-6677. Available most Saturday afternoons for virtual tutoring (or in-person at your home, with minimal travel charge and must observe all COVID-19 precautions).

-NEED CARPOOL. If you are interested in carpooling with other families, list your information here! Please note that all arrangements must be made parent-to-parent. NOTE: Contact information will be omitted from newsletters published online.

Sample Listing:
Nita Wright-Morninz: I would like to share a carpool with a family of 1 or 2 children in the Leon Springs area. Ideally, to meet at HEB Leon Springs mornings, and I can handle afternoon pickups. Contact me via text at 210-222-3344 or via email at

Submit your school-related notices to Mrs.Havel at mhavel@atonementonline by Wednesday noon before anticipated publication.
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.