ST. LOUISE SCHOOL PARENT BULLETIN

February 22, 2018
Dan's Blog
St. Louise School is different from the local public school down the street. We begin the day with prayer, we end the day with prayer, and we pray before lunch. We have Religion as one of our main subjects taught during the day, we attend Mass as a school community, and we have crucifixes hanging in every classroom as reminders that Jesus is the reason for our school. He is the unseen but ever present teacher in our classrooms. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students. With all these actions and traits, it's obvious that a Catholic school is distinguished from a government-run school.
 
Now, what makes you - a Catholic family - different from the neighboring family down the street who aren't Catholic or even Christian? Are there actions and traits your family demonstrates which make it obvious that one could distinguish you from a family of non-believers? Similar to my example of St. Louise School above, I would guess you have a crucifix hanging prominently in your house as a reminder that yours is a faith-filled home. But what other actions make your family stand distinguishable from your nice, friendly, yet non-Catholic (or non-Christian) neighbors? 
 
In their book, Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids, authors Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak suggest there are five traits that distinguish a family seeking to live the authentic Catholic difference in their daily lives. The first two are: Catholic families worship together, and Catholic families pray together. I wanted to address those two in a little detail. 
  
Many of today's families do not attend weekend Mass as frequently as a generation ago because parent's go-go-go mentality and kids' over-scheduled sports games take priority. Sundays are no longer kept as the holy day of rest as the Sabbath used to be. I won't use the heavy handed guilt of the Bible to remind Catholic parents of why not attending Sunday Mass is wrong. So I won't say the verse, " Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day" (Exodus 20:8). And I won't repeat Jesus's words , 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I' " (Matthew 18:20).
;-)
Instead, let me point out the benefits of how you will help your children positively grow when you make weekly Mass attendance as much a routine in your family as weekly Seahawk game viewing or weekly select-basketball tournaments.   
  
With today's kids bombarded with technology and R-rated media, spending 60 minutes each weekend with no technology, but only with G-rated Biblical stories and song lyrics, is something you can expose your children to as a type of antidote to our quickly corrupting culture. In addition to hearing the Word of God and singing hymns to our Lord, going to church provides fellowship for your family. Your associations with members of the church congregation can be strengthening, as you will run into families with similar Christian values.
 
Furthermore, did you know that a national study showed that children who frequently attend church are most likely to have a high-quality relationship with their parents?

Finally, we know that children learn much from what they see their parents do. Kids should see their moms and dads bow their heads in private prayer time to God before Mass begins. They should see their parents sing hymns of praise with joy. Your children should see you listen intently to God's Word in the Gospel followed by you taking in the priest's homily. 

If your family worships together by going to Mass as often as possible every Saturday night or Sunday morning or night, you are distinguishing yourself as truly a Catholic family.

A second trait that distinguishes a family as one seeking to live the authentic Catholic difference in their daily lives is a family that prays together. 
 
An easy initial way to start your family praying together is to pray Grace at dinner.  Right before you dig-in to the delicious meal, outwardly give thanks to God for the little blessings that have occurred over the last 24 hours since you spoke to Him at your last family dinner. What is so great about your family saying Grace is everyone gets to add in something. Here's an example:
  • Mom or dad can begin by leading everyone in making the Sign of the Cross and then saying, "Dear Lord, we thank you for this time our family is together. I am especially grateful for..."
  • Then mom or dad states one thing that he/she is thankful for, and each person around the table adds a similar sentence - "Thank you God for..." or "I am grateful for..."
  • Grace ends with the entire family saying, "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, from Christ our Lord, Amen." 
     
Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids suggests that parents try adding a different type of family prayer - one that has parents praying over their children. Praying over children can be done daily before your kids head to school each day, before they go to bed, or before they have a sports event or dance/drama performance. What you are doing is asking God to be with your child throughout the day when you can't be, and to oversee them in wisdom and grace. Of course, you already know God is with your child 24/7, but in this outward prayer with your kid listening and being a part, he or she is taking in the importance you are placing in the power of prayer and in inviting the Lord into your family's life.

Here is an example of how a prayer over your child could sound:


"Dear Lord, bless Danny.
Give him peace of mind and heart. Help him to use his gifts and talents to be a blessing to others and to give You glory in everything he does. Give him a wonderful day. Help him know how much You love him and how much we love him.
Amen."
 
As I said, Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids, suggests there are five traits that distinguish a family seeking to live the authentic Catholic difference in their daily lives. I've only written about the first two - Catholic families worship together, and Catholic families pray together. If you want to find out the other three, you'll have to check out the book from the public library or purchase it.   
:-)  

 
Thanks for reading,
Mr. Fitz
 
p.s.

It's been difficult this week for teachers to present new units in math, give science tests, or break up students into groups for new social studies projects. Why? Because too many of their students are gone this week, as their families decided to push our 4-day school holiday into a 7-day family vacation.

We really need school families to stick to our school calendar as much as possible! As you look ahead, we have an entire week of school vacation planned for April and two 3-day weekends scheduled for May. And of course, the entire period of June 16 through September 3 is yours to travel as far away from Bellevue as you'd like! :-)
 
The 2018-19 school calendar is being finalized this spring, and you'll receive it by May. In the meantime, I can tell you that:
 
  • The first day of school next year will be Tuesday, September 4;
  • Christmas Vacation will begin with a noon dismissal on Friday, December 21, and school resumes on Monday, January 7;
  • Easter Vacation is a little trickier to settle on, in that Easter Sunday falls late in 2019 - April 21 - so we would either take off for vacation the week of April 22-29 (which is when most Catholic schools will be vacationing), or take off the earlier week when the Bellevue Public Schools have their Spring Break in 2019, which is April 8-12. Do YOU have a preference? Let me know by filling out the Easter-vacation-question in the Parent Survey I emailed you last Friday. That Survey closes tonight!

  • The teachers and I thank you in advance for planning your family vacations for next year by using our 2018-19 school calendar as not just a "guide," but as a "bible."

    Upcoming Calendar of Events  

    Today
     
  • Reconciliation Service for Grades 3-5 at 10:30; parents are invited to the first 20 minutes of this liturgy, and then only students will remain to be able to make their Confessions with the priests
  • Altar Serving Training, 3:00-4:30 in church.
  • Please complete Mr. Fitz's Parent Survey by today; you'll find the link to the survey in an email Mr. Fitz sent each family on Feb. 16.
  • Tickets go on sale to the public for HONK Jr. - the school musical performed by grade 6-8 students at Interlake HS Theater on March 15-16; order your tickets soon, as some shows are selling out!

  •  
    Tomorrow
    • Flavorful Friday Treats on sale for $1; proceeds benefit the 5th graders' sponsorship of orphans in Central America.
     
    Sunday, February 25
    •  Speech Team's end-of-year party.
     
    Monday, February 26
    • Sneak-Peek at the school musical, HONK Jr., will be presented to students;  HONK Jr. will be performed at Interlake HS Theater on March 15-16; order your tickets today!
     
    Friday, March 2 - NO SCHOOL DAY
    • School and Kids' Club are closed.
    • End of 2nd trimester; teachers' workday on report cards.  
     
    Wednesday, March 7
    • Guest Author, Eric Ode, visits in library - paid for by the Walk-A-Thon fund raiser proceeds!
    • 8th Graders take their Graduation photos today

     

    Thursday, March 8

    • School Commission meeting at 6:30PM in faculty room; all parents are invited




     
     
    Auction News
     
    Dear Parents,

    Thanks so much to everyone for a warm welcome! I'm really looking forward to working side by side with our great St. Louise community to hold a wonderful Auction event in November! Getting started is sometimes the hardest part, so I reached out and asked what the Auction and St. Louise means to some of our families. I'll be sharing some of these special notes with you in the next few bulletins. Here is one that really describes the heart of the event:
     
    "Auction night provides us all with a time to slow down,
    connect as friends (not just moms and dads),
    and celebrate all of the blessings of St. Louise School."
    ~ Erin A.
     
    Over the coming weeks, many of our committee chairs will be starting their quest to fill their teams with great volunteers. Our goal for volunteers this year is to keep things fun, easy, and efficient! In that spirit, we are hoping that some of you might consider taking on a Committee Chair role - see if you fit the descriptions below!
     
    • "I love keeping things organized. I can categorize and move large amounts of amazing Silent Auction items. And, I work effectively with others to distribute them. Also, I want to complete as many hours of my volunteer requirement at one time."
     
    If this describes you, consider shadowing Mary Anne and Elwell Baradi this year as they complete their final year as Chairs of Loading/Moving and Distribution. These 2 volunteer roles require 2 - 3 meetings in the fall, and then working the day before, the day of, and the day after the big event.
     
    • "I love having fun and getting my friends together for a great party.  I love the detail around planning events. "
     
    You might be a good person to handle Reservations! This role is fairly light in the early fall, and then gears up a bit the two weeks before the auction as you plan seating arrangements and encourage people to complete their registrations. You may be called upon to put together gift bags for our hotel guests. This role can primarily be done from home and would give you up to 12 hours for your volunteer requirement.
     
    If you are able to support the Auction in the roles noted above, or if you want to know more, please send an email to auction@stlouiseschool.org . You can also give me a call at 425.214.5441 or 425.761.9996.
     
    Looking forward to hearing from you!
     
    ~ Julianne Read 
    Support the Special Olympics

              The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games are coming to Seattle this July 1-6, and t he Seattle Archdiocese Catholic Schools are excited to announce our partnership and commitment to supporting the Special Olympics!  Other ministries within the Archdiocese are also coming together to serve, including the Fulcrum Foundation and the Knights of Columbus.
              If you and your children want to
    witness and possibly volunteer at any of the venues, you are encouraged to do so. The volunteer opportunities include these three choices:
      
    Choice 1: Friday, June 29 - SEATAC AIRPORT WELCOME
    Help welcome and assist the Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and their families as they fly into Seattle.

    Choice 2: Saturday, June 30 - MASS FOR THE ATHLETES
    Provide hospitality support for and attend the evening Mass that is being offered to the Special Olympic athletes, coaches, and their families. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain is celebrating this Mass on the University of Washington campus.

    Choice 3: Sunday, July 1 - CHEER
    Join fellow parents and students from all the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools in building a mile long  "cheer line" starting at 9AM, to honor all Special Olympics athletes as they gather for their Parade of Athletes in UW's Husky Stadium. Families who volunteer for the cheer line will have access into the Opening Ceremony - you can sit in the stands for the Opening Ceremony at 12:30.


               
              Please go HERE for more information on the Special Olympics USA Games and how to get involved this summer.

     

    Here are 6 of St. Louise's 19 new "teachers" who enjoyed lunch in the faculty room with their "boss," Mr. Fitz. Yesterday was "Teacher for the Day," and one student from each of our 19 homerooms had the privilege of living the day as a teacher would. They taught lessons, passed out papers to students, gave out spelling tests, and yes, even got to experience life in the faculty room.

     

    Thanks to their parents for their generous donations which thereby purchased "Teacher for the Day" at the Auction. And thanks to Anais Fawcett for organizing the day, along with her helpers Esther Magnotti and alumna Anjah Fawcett. 

     

    New Menu Items for Hot Lunch
             
    Dear St. Louise Parents,
     
    Just an update on what's new with our hot lunch program. We are now offering some new menu items for your children to try.
    • Pasta and Pizza on Tuesdays.
    • Nacho's with or without chicken (with black beans and cheese sauce) and fresh fruit.
    • Thursday is our Sandwich and Salad Day - as well as two hot items.
    • Pizza Fridays with carrots and a cookie.
    You can order daily up until 8pm the evening before, or order weekly or monthly ahead of time.
    No minimum orders amount are needed.
     
    Its easy to set up your account online.  Just visit the school website and follow the ordering instructions.
     
    We welcome any suggestions on our program via email.
     
    Thanks
    Lunch Ladies Catering




    See what's happening on our St. Louise Facebook page