News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.17, November 12, 2020
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
—G. K. Chesterton

The great thinker and writer G.K. Chesteron was also a Catholic, and his words inspire us still today. This week Atonement Crusaders gave thanks for the sacrifices of our veterans and for a gift from a special group of them: a new U.S. flag for our school. See story later in this newsletter.

Dear Academy Family,

During yesterday afternoon’s faculty and staff meeting, Father Lewis announced that, with the Bishop’s approval, the Academy will be known officially as The Atonement Catholic Academy beginning January 1st, 2021. I would like to take a moment and reflect on this change.

On a basic level, this move accomplishes some institutional housekeeping. It highlights the fact that our Catholic identity is front and center in all that we do. Accolades such as membership in the Cardinal Newman Society’s “Catholic Schools Honor Role” specifically attest to this. Additionally, The Personal Ordinariate of St. Peter is still a relative newcomer in the grand sweep of Church history. Clarity about the fact that ours is a Catholic school faithful to the Magisterium heads off potential confusion.

Perhaps more significantly, our school has a mission to evangelize the culture, both directly and through the lives of our graduates. As schools across the nation, Catholic and otherwise, succumb to the allure of technology, teaching to the test, and an educational philosophy animated by “college and career readiness,” the Academy has held steady in its practice of the classical liberal arts as the best means of accomplishing truly human formation. Catholic families in our centrifugal times are seeking such stability of vision as they choose their children’s school.

I look forward to how God will use The Atonement Catholic Academy in the coming years. 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.

November 9-13
Spirit Week for Grades 7-12

November 9-20
NJHS will be hosting a Food Drive during carline and in LS classrooms

November 23-27
Fall Break

November 29
Chores for Charity Project begins. Watch next newsletter for details!

Always check our school website for updates and details.
In addition, up-to-the-minute information on Atonement Sports are kept current on their social media page (Atonement Sports). Please go to the Atonement Sports Facebook page to get pre-sale ticket links.
To accommodate those setting up for King’s Fair, a few adjustments to our afternoon procedures are necessary.

First, after-care will be in the Common Room instead of St. Anthony Hall. You will therefore need to park in the Church parking lot and come through the front doors of the school to pick up your child(ren). Second, Middle and Upper Scholars will await their rides on the Church side of the piazza instead of on the side of the new building. Nevertheless, as usual we will have two separate lines for car-line, and pick-up will begin at 3:15 p.m. for Lower School and 3:30 p.m. for Upper School.
Thank you for your cooperation with these slight changes tomorrow.
If you are transferring to Remote Learning for illness or to quarantine, please consult Remote Learning FAQs here if you have any questions about the process.

This week our Atonement scholars honored all veterans. On Tuesday, Veteran's Day, they paid special tribute during a special ceremony in which a new U.S. flag was donated to our school. Pastor and Marine veteran Father Lewis opened the cermonies with a prayer and Mrs.Taylor's fifth grade class provided student leadership for the ceremonies, as Ben Garza and Gianna Ku placed a commemorative wreath at the base of the flag. Middle scholar Henry Watson recited the classic poem, "In Flanders Fields," which is reproduced below.

Special thanks to Mr. Oliveros and the fifth graders who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," Mr.Ted Coulter who donated the flag, and OLA's Knights of Columbus Council who organized the tribute. A special treat was the opportunity for the fifth graders to speak to Major General John Kinsey of the Texas Air National Guard. Click here to see a short video of part of the beautiful ceremony.

Many, many of our Atonement community are family members of U.S. veterans or are themselves currently in service or are veterans. We especially wish to note that our pastor, Father Lewis and our faculty members Mrs. Kennedy, Mr. Markovetz, Mr. Sackett, and Mrs.Wendtland are all veterans. Our school is a better place because of them. They bring discipline, teamwork, love of God and country, perseverance, and respect for authority that the military developed in them. We appreciate you and your service. May God bless America! 
In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

--Lt. Col. John McCrae


Your Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball team won their Bi-District Playoff game last weekend! On Tuesday, the team had a wonderful send-off by their fellow Crusaders, and they travelled to Austin to win their Area Playoff game this week, with a 3-0 score!

Click here for a short video celebrating the success of our varsity team!

They will be competing in the Regional round of the TAPPS 1A Playoffs vs. Hill Country Christian School at Universal City First Baptist Academy in San Antonio at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday!

More information to follow about tickets and COVID-19 protocols to follow at the gym. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Faculty member and altar server coordinator Mr. Zach Adian announces the opening of altar server applications. There is technically not a due date for these forms; basically, when each family is ready, they can fill it out and turn it in to Mr. Adain. If your son wishes to serve at the altar soon, please return the form as soon as possible, as they will begin implementing school servers during the first week of Advent, when we return to school from our Fall Break.


What do you currently teach, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am currently the Director of Strength and Conditioning, and I also coach middle school and high school football. I enjoy having the opportunity to use sports to teach valuable life lessons to developing young men and seeing the impact it has on their lives.
What do you appreciate most about teaching at the Atonement Academy?
What I most appreciate about coaching here is definitely the opportunity the kids have, not just in athletics, but in developing life skills. They have the opportunity to become strong Catholics, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and to go out and shape the world with the skills they develop here.
What do you look forward to this year?
This year, I look forward to having a larger role as the Director of Strength and Conditioning and implementing workouts for our high school athletes. This is the first opportunity all of our athletes have had to consistently train in terms of strength and conditioning development, so I'm excited to see their growth!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Outside of working at The Atonement Academy, I am taking graduate classes at UTSA, pursuing my Masters in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Pedagogy. On top of that, I am interning with UTSA's Strength and Conditioning Department, working with five Division 1 sports. In my free time, I enjoy reading, and I am currently re-reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (one of my absolute favorites).
Photos include Coach Hegedusich assisting with player development on the field and along the sidelines.

I attended The Atonement Academy from first grade ('04) through my senior year of high school ('16). My fondest memories all take place in the choir room: from the tenors goofing off, to singing in a masterclass with Paul Phoenix, to an unforgettable prom-posal, to making incredible music, the Music Department was my niche. Under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. Murray, Dr. Seighman, Mrs. Zuberbueler, Mr. Patterson, and Mr. De Hoyos, I discovered that my vocation was to serve people through music—I just was not sure what that meant yet.
I graduated from the University of Houston in May 2020 with my Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. During my time at UH, I studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany at the oldest conservatory in the world (Hochschule für Musik und Theater, "Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy"). I also had the opportunity to travel with the world-renowned UH Concert Chorale. In the summer of 2018, we won the Bela Bartok Choral Competition held in Debrecen, Hungary, qualifying our choir to compete in the European Grand Prix the following year. 
As a vocal performance major, my career was geared toward opera. I sang in several shows while attending UH and most recently played the role of Dritte Knabe in Opera NEO's virtual production of The Magic Flute. Although all of the artists would have preferred to perform this show in sunny San Diego, we were grateful for the opportunity to create this "opera film" with an amazing company. 
COVID-19 has played a major role in shaping my path since graduation. With live performances and the possibility of graduate school on hold, I accepted the Director of Liturgical Music and Wedding and Funeral Coordinator positions at Holy Rosary Church in Houston. I have discovered a greater love for serving the church and look forward to many years here. I also have a private “Zoom Studio”—I give voice lessons to students preparing for TMEA All-State; to older students who want to learn chant; and to a few students who want to sing musical theater for fun. I love their diversity of interests and their personalities that come out when singing!
When I am not in the office or the studio, I like to explore restaurants in the Houston area with my boyfriend. I have lived here for five years now, and I am still finding new and wonderful places! I also love to travel, and I am looking forward to flying back to Europe as soon as I can.
Photos include Mary after a recent performance and several from Atonement days, including after an awards ceremony, two of our musical productions (Les Miserables and The Sound of Music), and with her senior class, carrying on the traditional Last Day Dunk!

Help support their fundraising efforts every Friday morning, plus now offering donuts after each Sunday 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Mass.

The Logic classes have been busy with a new project: they are creating game boards, reports Sister Mary Margaret.

The students will collaborate in small groups to develop game rules/board design; however, each student must design and produce their own game board. The basic design should be a board game where players move one or more pieces around the board, answering logic questions while heading for “home.”

Sister Mary Margaret explains, "Some are designing a parcheesi-like game board, while others are more like a Monopoly board. Another (very creative) student has shown me a proto-type for a circular, Trivial Pursuit-like six-player game board. She wants to incorporate earning “powers” into the game. It will be interesting to see how this works out!"

Sister also sent us a few photos from her boys' class as they were developing their ideas. It will be great to see how they turn out!
Above: Sean Brosnan, Dominic Le, Adrian Garcia-Tovar (and Thomas McHugh in the back)
Above: Gabriel Garcia, Ethan Keller (and on the team but not pictured, Ethan Cochetti)
Above: Henry Watson, Evan Landry, and Lucas Sanchez
Above: Roman Pena, Tyler Johnston, and Hrehaan George
Photos include our Crusader Spirit Week (Grades 7-12), on crazy sock and silly shoes day (with teachers joining in on the fun, too). In addition, our NHS members are conducting a food drive for the SA Food Bank this week and next, and there are some scenes from our Varsity team's last game, featuring seniors David Henriquez and Nicholas Cosnowski.

-TUTOR AVAILABLE. Faith Weems, 11th grade. Mathematics through Algebra I, Lain I, and all MS Science. Contact via email at to set up.

-TUTOR AVAILABLE. Hannah John, 9th grade. Can do all subjects in all grades. Contact via text at 210-831-7277. Tutor through Zoom only.

-PTC NEEDS A ROOM PARENT COORDINATOR. The PTC is looking for a parent volunteer to be the room parent coordinator of the Pre-K3 through 8th grade room parents. If you are interested email  

-MIDDLE SCHOOL PHOTOS NEEDED. The Yearbook Club is in need of Middle School Volleyball and Football Game photos. Photos from a camera work best! Please send photos to Mrs. Powell at Thank you in advance.

-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

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.