October 2, 2018
From Our Principal
Saint Paul clearly stated in his letter to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always." This seems like an impossible command, since how can we always be joyful? However, the key is to rejoice in the Lord. If our joy comes from hope and trust in Jesus, then it cannot be taken away by stress, hardship, or trials. If we forgive the slights and hurts of others, they will not build up bitterness inside of us. We hope that this same joy permeates the life of our school and our families at home. It is this joy that will lead others to Christ.
House System Update: Scenes from our First House Day

What a great kick off to our new House System! Students joined their housemates to learn about the Saint of their house, did some ice-breakers to get to know one another across the grades, and wrapped up with a game of Catholic Trivia! Everyone had a great time! Thank you faculty and House Prefects!!
Mrs. Brunner's 4th Graders are joined by Ms. Howell's 3rd Graders to release our first monarch butterflies in Our Lady's Rose Garden at Saint Benedict Church. How wonderful are all of God's creatures!
Getting Ready for High School...
In order to help our 8th grade families prepare for applying to high schools, we have some helpful information and deadlines you need to know. We are also hosting a Coffee with Mr. Cruess tomorrow morning for all 7th and 8th grade parents (only) - the invitation went out 10 days ago. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss timely middle school information and specifically review the high school application process for our 8th graders. Those documents are also provided here, in case you are unable to make tomorrow's coffee (and they have also been previously emailed home):

We have provided some of the area high school application deadlines known to date, but this list is not exhaustive, so please stay on top of your prospective high school application deadlines! Also, on Thursday, October 11th, Saint Mary’s Catholic School is holding a High School Information Fair from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. This is a very helpful event to attend.
Coffee with Mr. Cruess
On the first Wednesday of each month, we are hosting a series called, "Coffee with Mr. Cruess" on topics relevant to parents of students in specific grades. In September, we hosted our new Comet families and, in October, we will focus on our 7th and 8th grade parents as we discuss applying to high schools and other relevant middle school topics. For November, we will invite 5th and 6th grade parents to discuss transitioning into middle school and relevant middle school mile markers. Below is the schedule for the remainder of the year. Mr. Cruess, along with grade-relevant teachers, will lead the event, which lasts from 7:45am - 8:30am and includes coffee and bagels from Panera. Morning Care will be provided (free) for students of those parents attending the Coffee. Invitations will be sent to parents in the specified grades a couple of weeks before the event, along with a link to register. This is another great way to stay informed, and we hope you will be able to join us at an upcoming coffee! Questions? Contact Gretchen Ridgely at gridgely@saintbenedictschool.org.
December - JK & K
January - 3rd & 4th grades
February - 1st & 2nd grades
March - Rising  Middle School (Grades 5-7)
April - Rising Elementary School (K-4)
May - 8th Grade Families
June - 2019-2020 New Families Orientation
Comets Join in the One Million Kids Praying the Rosary Campaign
On Thursday, October 18th, the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need will hold its One Million Kids Praying the Rosary campaign. Saint Benedict Catholic School is proud to participate in such a worthwhile initiative, and we will hold our own Rosary service at 9:00am that same day in Saint Benedict Church. Parents are encouraged to learn more about the campaign at  www.millionkidspraying.org  and are especially encouraged to join their children in praying the Rosary as we petition Our Lady for world peace and for the relief of persecuted Christians throughout the world.
PTO News
FallFest Plans are Underway! The SBCS PTO FallFest is set this year for  Saturday, October 27th.  This is a favorite family event at our school, and we’d like you to get involved!  We are looking for MIDDLE SCHOOL parent volunteers to serve on the planning committee for this annual event.  If you are interested in being part of the planning, please contact Jennifer Eschbach at  jmeschbach0314@comcast.net  or sign up  HERE .

We are also looking for volunteers for all other areas of Fall Fest including set up and break down. If you are able to help out please take a moment to look over the  sign up genius  to see where you can help!

Spirit Night 
Thank you everyone for coming out to our first Spirit Night of the year! We had 68 students and their families show up to support our school. St. Augustine house won the extra house points with 20 students in attendance. It was a great night that exemplified the spirit of our school community. We hope to see more of you at the ext spirit night event!

Box Tops  - we are collecting these by classroom and the class with the most box tops by  10/26  will win a class party! The next collection will be in the spring so keep collecting them throughout the year.

Lunchroom Volunteers:
Lunch service is in need of a few volunteers to serve lunch in October . If you can volunteer your time please sign up by clicking HERE .

Classroom Reps Needed:
PTO classroom representatives are an important link between the PTO and the parents of students in each class. As a room rep you will act as a liaison between the PTO and teachers.  Reps are still needed for 4th and 7th grades . Please click HERE to sign up!

New! Enrichment Reps:
This year we are looking for 1 parent per grade to fill the role as an Enrichment representative . Enrichment representative's primary responsibility is to encourage participation in fundraising events outside of school. For more details please click  HERE .
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
The Hispanic families at Saint Benedict Catholic School are organizing a festival to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. This great event will take place on Saturday October 13th from 2:30pm to 6:00pm at the SBCS playground. This celebration is open to all families of the School, their relatives and close friends. The event will include fun and educational activities, music, face painting, folk dances, and an array of delicious Hispanic food for children and adults, to share different aspects of the diverse Hispanic culture. Free admission. All activities and crafts are free. Food will be available for purchase. It will be a wonderful experience for all the families.

If you are planning to attend, please complete the registration form HERE , This will help us to plan accordingly.
P.E. and ART Schedule
Reminder : Here is a copy of the PE/Art schedule through DEC 31.
Have You Joined the Comet Campaign?
The Comet Campaign at Saint Benedict Catholic School is an opportunity for all of our families to show our children that 100% of our parents, teachers and staff are behind them! Your tax-deductible donation ensures that our children have excellent teachers, a classroom to be proud of and the opportunity to learn and practice their faith. We are a community of the faithful, and as we begin our Centennial celebration in 2019, we look to you to continue our commitment to all of our children.

Please make your gift to the Comet Campaign today...you can make an outright gift or you can pledge your gift and make payments monthly. Click HERE for a form, that can be filled out and sent to school with your child or you can make a donation via PayPal on our website HERE .
Volunteer Sign Up
Please look over these opportunities to help our school out throughout the year. Information can be found at this link . We encourage you to sign up for the volunteer opportunities through the sign up genius link listed below each activity prior to Book Day. A printed version of the sign up forms with the remaining slots will also be available at Back to School Night.
A Word About Volunteer Hours
As you know, every family, who did not elect to buy out of their hours on Book Day, must volunteer for the school a minimum of 20 ho u rs. Parent volunteer hours can be performed by parents or a family member 18 years of age or older. PTO Hours are given for all PTO-sanctioned events of the school (meaning, school events like the Gala, Oktoberfest, school clean up, and helping out in the lunch room or front desk to name a few). With a school our size, we rely on all of our parents to pitch in and do what they can for the life of our school and the benefit of our students.

Middle school students are required to earn 10 volunteer service hours as part of their Religion class. Oktoberfest volunteering was allowed and appreciated this year, however, going forward we hope our students will participate in more corporal works of mercy which is at the heart of their service hours. This includes such efforts as feeding the hungry/thirsty; visiting the sick, and; serving the church to name a few. Here's a great article from the USCCB about living out the Corporal Works of Mercy and here's a link to Hands On Greater Richmond - a local volunteer portal for all kinds of opportunities to serve those in need. We also have opportunities at Church including parish clean up day, cantoring, altar serving and being a reader (outside of school Mass). The objective for our students is to reach beyond themselves and to serve others by helping their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Student Council News
On  Friday, October 19th  the Student Council will be sponsoring its first dance of the year for middle school students . The dance will run from 6:30pm until 8:30pm in St. Anslem Hall. The theme will be Halloween and the cost will be $5.00 per student unless you wear a costume, then you will receive a dollar discount.  Students are also asked to make a refreshment donation; 8th graders should bring a bag of candy, 7th graders should bring small individual bags of chips, and 6th graders should bring a two liter bottle of soda . There will also be a costume contest that night.

On Saturday, October 27th  the PTO is having their annual Fall Fest. The Student Council will be selling recycled crayons that night. If you have pieces of crayons at home, we would love for you to send them to the school and we will take the pieces and create new crayons.  All crayon donations can be sent to Mr. Cichocki in the history classroom.  

One of the Student Council projects is the collection of soda can tabs which we donate to The Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue.  This charity provides a place for families to stay while a loved one receives medical treatment in the area. Those pop tops can be sent to school where they will also be sent to Mr. Cichocki.

Thank you for your support of the St. Benedict Student Council
Parents Connection: For Your Marriage Website
Partners in Faith: October Edition
September issue of Partners in Faith here.
From the Parish
Visit our parish online for mass schedules, sacramental preparation and other timely info! Also, here's a link to Ida B's Bits (our parish administrator's weekly email with events and happenings at Church.)

Deadline for Sacramental Preparation - OCTOBER 3RD
The deadline for signing up for all sacramental preparation is October 3. This includes First Penance / First Holy Communion (whether the child is in 2nd grade or a higher grade) and Confirmation (normally 10th grade). If a child or young person has not been enrolled by the deadline, the reception of the sacraments will be postponed until next year. Please remember that any child or young person preparing to receive sacraments must be concurrently enrolled in religious education (either through a Catholic school, the parish religious education program, or a homeschool program). First Penance and First Communion along with Confirmation letters and schedules are on the parish website.  
EDGE , middle school youth ministry, will take place from  6:30pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday nights starting Oct. 3rd. On the first night only, Oct. 3rd, we will meet at the Church, all following meeting will be in the St. Anselm Hall.  Dinner will be provided! Registration is here . Check out the bulletin board in the middle school hall way, church side porch, or link above for schedules. 
Parish Clean Up Day - Fall Edition!
Parents and their children (ages 8 and above) are welcome to participate in a St. Benedict Parish Clean-Up Day on Saturday, October 6 from 9:00am to 12:00pm . (Parents, this is a parish event, so while your volunteer support is VERY appreciated, it would not count towards your PTO Hours for the school. However, this is a GREAT opportunity for our MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS to earn VOLUNTEER HOURS for their Religion Class! The purpose of the effort will be to do minor landscaping on the parish grounds (weeding, trimming bushes, etc.). Please sign up for this event HERE .
Saint Gertrude Open House - Oct 14th
Saint Gertrude High School   invites you to their annual  Open House  onSunday, October 14 from 1 PM - 3 PM. Hear from Head of School Renata Rafferty, learn more about our NEW Flexible Tuition Program, take a private tour of campus, and discover what makes our academic, athletic, and arts programs truly amazing. Register at  saintgertrude.org/openhouse . For more information, contact Meredith McNamara at 804-822-3941 or  mmcnamara@saintgertrude.org
Virtus Training - THIS THURSDAY, 6-9PM @ St. Benedict Church!
In order to volunteer with anything that involves contact with children you must be Virtus trained and have a background check.​ Pam Autry, in the front office, must process your background check and confirm your Virtus attendance before you volunteer with children. Your attendance counts to your volunteer hours. There are a number of different times and locations offered for training sessions. Register for a training session, by visiting https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/ . This Thursday (10/4) it will take place at St. Benedict Church from 6pm-9pm and next Thursday (10/11) it will be offered IN SPANISH at at St. Benedict Church from 6pm-9pm. Use the link above to REGISTER. You MUST register!
Talking with Our Kids about the Clergy Abuse Scandal
“How Do I Talk to My Kids About the Clergy Abuse Scandal?”
with Mr. Robert Feduccia ,nationally-known speaker, retreat leader, writer
 Thursday, October 4 at 7:15—8:30 pm, St. Mary Catholic Church, Upper Commons
9505 Gayton Rd., Richmond VA 23229. RSVP by visiting  stmarysrichmond.org or calling the Parish Office at 804-740-4044

If you are a parent or grandparent who is searching for a way to talk to your children about the clergy abuse scandals, we invite you to join us for a special presentation by Mr. Robert Feduccia who is a husband, father, and nationally-known speaker. For many years, Robert focused his efforts in the field of youth ministry, and he is one of the most sought-after Catholic speakers in the USA. Robert will be coming to St. Mary Church for a presentation about this important topic. There is no cost to attend, but RSVP is requested. For more information on Mr. Feduccia, visit  www.robertfeduccia.com .

School Mass Schedule for September
Friday, October 5 
Choir: 5th Grade
Servers: Jack Bellaver, Griffin Lang, Noah Mikkelson

Friday, October 12
Choir: 8th Grade
Servers: Jacob Lang, Chloe DiGirolamo, Lemma Wheatley

Friday, October 19
Choir: 2nd Grade
Servers: Madeleine Lang, Tabitha Pickral, Gabriel Bevc

Friday, October 26
Choir: 4th Grade
Servers: Hector Cibes-Lee, Liam Cruess, Seamus Cruess
Upcoming Dates
Oct 3 - EDGE Middle School Youth Ministry begins! 6:30pm-8pm, St. Anselm's Hall
Oct 4 - Cross Country Meet , 4pm-6pm
Oct 4 - VIRTUS Training at St. Benedict Church, 6-9pm
Oct 6 - Parish Clean Up Day (9am - 12pm), St. Benedict Church

Oct 6 - Sports! Go Comets!
5th & 6th Grade, 2pm-3pm

Oct 8 - NO SCHOOL (Teacher Workday)
Oct 11 - VIRTUS Training in Spanish at St. Benedict Church, 6-9pm
Oct 13 - Hispanic Heritage Day Festival 2:30pm - 6pm, St. Benedict Playground