Dear HRA Family and Friends,
It is humbling and gratifying to let you know that this year’s auction was our most successful in the twenty-five years of our existence! We garnered $221,000.00 after expenses thanks to the many generous and loving donors of Holy Rosary Academy. I continually say prayers of thanksgiving for all who gave of their time, talent, and treasure at this wonderful gala put on by the superb Auction Team of Ms. Jacki Rose, Mrs. Ann Neavill, Mrs. Pam Esbenshade-Bjelland, Mrs. Rosa Salazar, Mrs. Krissy Johannes, and Mrs. Gena Columbus. Your generosity and your unflagging work ethic and love for HRA turned this year’s event into an historic one. I would further like to thank Mr. Austin Welsh for providing the student photos and the live auction item slides. You do good work. Further, thank you to HRA supporter and videographer extraordinaire, Theresa Imlach, who outdid herself in making an alumni video that brought tears of joy to my eyes and served as such an inspiration to our donors. The video will shortly be uploaded to our website for all to enjoy. Finally, thank you to alumni, Michelle Tobia, Patrick Klump, Sam Wilson, Jan Acosta, Rebecca (Klump) Haley, Mark Villaflores, and Jacob Zipay for sending in such beautiful testimonials on such short notice. We at HRA are so very proud of you!
Thank you to Business Manager, Miss Marisa Shanstrom, parent volunteer, Mr. John Tobia and General Contractor, Mr. Matt Unger for their incredible progress in completing our fire code requirements for the 2012-13 school year. I know how much work it has taken to replace windows, put in exit signs, and safety lights as well as update our facilities to meet fire code. We had a wonderful and positive visit from the fire inspector who is pleased with our progress and who marveled at the amount of work we had accomplished in such a short time. God bless you Mr. Tobia, Miss Shanstrom, and Mr. Unger for such a terrific job nearly completed!
We enjoyed another incredible week at HRA! The junior high basketball once again won their game on Monday against Lumen Christi. The volleyball team continues to practice for major tournaments coming up. Fr. James Barrand said a beautiful all -school mass in honor of the saints and the holy souls in purgatory. Wednesday we celebrated All-Saints Day and Thursday we enjoyed a day of vacation. Friday was All-Soul’s Day and the older students visited the downtown cemetery to pray for the dead and then joined the elementary school as we all had first Friday adoration in the school chapel. Thank you to Fr. James and Fr. Augustine for coming to offer confession for the students!
I wish to take a moment to thank Archbishop Schwietz and Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Les Kramer, for joining the school on the morning of October 31st. Archbishop Schwietz joined the student body and faculty in a pilgrimage around the campus to bless the classrooms and offices and give each of them saint names. Senior Natalie Chennault rang the bell signifying the sprinkling of holy water; senior, Reagan Biegel carried the holy water and assisted the Archbishop; senior, Michael Tappel, called out the saint name in each room, and the students quietly listened as the Archbishop blessed the rooms and prayed a prayer written by or in honor of the saint for each room. It was a solemn and mystically beautiful event and one that I will not soon forget. Thank you so much to the Archbishop and Mr. Kramer for joining the students and me for this historic blessing. Parents and friends of HRA are encouraged to come in and read the gold plaques stating the saint names above each office and classroom. I chose, for example, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as the patroness of my office as she is the patroness of Catholic Schools.
The All Saints Day Festival this year was simply outstanding! The students both wrote, in many cases, and acted out the lives of some incredible saints!
- The kindergarten performed one of the most sophisticated depictions of newly canonized 14-year old martyr, St. Pedro Calungsod, that I have seen in children so young. Congratulations, in particular, to Jayjay Puckett, for playing the lead, Pedro, so expressively!
- The first and second grades won cheers for most unique costumes by donning garbage bags cut out as monastic habits as they honored St. Francis of Assisi by reciting his famous prayer and singing a special hymn of St. Francis taught them by HRA friend, Mrs. Colleen Duncan.
- The third and fourth grade wore outstanding costumes to honor St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Scholastica etc.. Their recitation and their costumes gave great honor to the saints they depicted all day! Thank you to all the parents who helped with the costumes especially Mrs. Patton who sewed the most incredible likeness of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s habit for her daughter, Angela, to wear!
- The fifth graders all recited the most beautiful story of the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha written by Mr. Shaut! It was read with such reverence and care that it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to Mr. Shaut and the fifth grade for doing justice to this incredible, newly canonized saint!
- The sixth graders quite moved me with their thoughtful and well-acted version of St. Tarcisius. This young boy was martyred for safeguarding the Eucharist and the sixth graders and Miss Viens truly did him justice by their moving presentation. I especially congratulate actor, Evotia Manu, for depicting Tarcisius in such a respectful way.
- The seventh and eighth grade presentation of the famous G.K. Chesterton’s Battle of LePanto was both visually stunning (actor’s costumes were terrific) and auditorially delightful! This long and moving poem of the Crusader’s victory over the invading Ottoman Turks was presented by Mrs. Schirda’s theology class with great care for the language, rhythm, and rhyme of this poem! Thank you.
- The ninth grade play depicting the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to the three children was nothing short of professional. Bravo to Monica Klump for playing Our Lady with such reverence and piety. Sarah Lucas as Lucia was truly memorable. The whole cast was perfectly cast. Pun intended.
- The tenth and eleventh graders truly honored St. Polycarp. Junior, Justin Klump, and sophomore, Karina Biegel, gave standout performances and led their classes in this serious but sometimes hilarious original script by junior, Patrick Czyz. The sophomores and juniors truly revealed how much their drama experience over the years has equipped them to entertain and move their audience.
- The seniors win the award for most original script by senior, Jamie Cookson. This “Dinner with Apologists” hosted in a mock pub visited by a non-believer played animatedly by senior, Natalie Chennault, was the story of the non-believer who encounters the great apologists, St. Thomas Aquinas (played by senior, Michael Tappel), St. Augustine of Hippo (played by senior, Reagan Biegel), St. Justin Martyr (played by Marisa Ramos), and modern apologist, Peter Kreeft (played by senior, Jamie Cookson). Served beverages of Holy Ale by junior, Rilee Geiermann, the apologists used some of their best teachings to convince the non-believer of the truth of God’s existence. This witty and wise play revealed how much the seniors have come to understand about their faith. They are truly able to defend the faith and the audience was spellbound by this unique depiction of some of our greatest saints and theologians. Thank you seniors.
Fr. Augustine Highlander finished the event with a special closing prayer and Michael Tappel led the entire audience in “For all the Saints.” We finished by enjoying doughnut treats donated by mother, Mrs. Roberta Zipay. The students and I thank you for this culminating treat, Mrs. Zipay. God bless you for your kindness.
- Scantron testing for the elementary students is happening on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. The students will take approximately one hour each day to complete the Reading, Math, and Language Arts portion of the scantron test. This is a grade-level test that helps the school to measure the progress of our students at HRA and against the national average of comparably aged students around the country. We are so grateful to Mr. Welsh for setting up the computer lab and Mr. Tim Trueblood for donating refurbished computers in order for the students to take the tests as a class in the computer lab.
- High school mass is on Tuesday at 10:10 A.M. in the chapel and elementary school mass is on Thursday at 10:10 A.M. All are welcome to join us.
- The junior high will go on a field trip, Tuesday, November 6th to St. Nicholas of Myra with Fr. Augustine Highlander to study Byzantine art. Thank you to Fr. James Barrand for hosting and teaching our junior high about icons!
- Drama practice is ongoing in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. Thank you to Mrs. Furby, Miss DiCiero, the students, and the parents for all the driving and time sacrifices you are making to produce Taming of the Shrew for January. It will be great!
- Monday, November 12th are photo retakes and class pictures. Students are to wear their formal uniforms. P.E. is replaced with art that day. Please help your child to remember. Forms to order pictures will be sent home this week.
- Mrs. Maureen Klump, our school nurse, will offer TB testing at school Tuesday, November 13th for all in need. She will send a special reminder to all families who need to complete this testing.
- Grades 7,8, and 9 will take Scantron tests in Reading, Math, and Language arts on November 13,14, and 15.
- Tuesday, November 13th will be the Parent Association meeting in the Kolbe Building from 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. All parents are encouraged to attend. The agenda for the meeting will be sent home this week. Miss Neumayr will give her State of the School address. Babysitting is provided.
- High School parents will be sent home information on an upcoming retreat for the high school students. The Dominican Sisters of Nashville will be arriving on November 19th and 20th. An all-girl joint day-long retreat with the Lumen Christi girls will take place at the Holy Spirit Center on November 19th. The boys will attend a retreat the following day with the Lumen Christi boys. Parents who can help the teachers with providing and serving meals are most needed. Share hours will be awarded. Let Miss Neumayr know if you can help. More information on these retreat days will be sent home. The Dominican Sisters are of the finest character and have had some of the most superb theological training in the country. This is an incredible opportunity for our high school students. Thank you to Bob McMorrow, Youth Director and Church History teacher at St. Benedict’s parish, for coordinating this event.
Starting this week, I will be posting a hard copy of my weekly blog on the bulletin board. Further, a hard copy calendar of the events of the month of November will be sent home to parents to post on the refrigerator. I do hope these extra reminders will encourage you to continue to check the Principal’s Corner for upcoming events and consult the online calendar to know what is coming up. The online calendar will update any changes that take place.
Thank you for the privilege of working at this fine school. Each day, I am edified by the excellent work ethic and scholarship of our students. It is a joy to walk alongside my faculty, staff, parents, and students.
Miss Neumayr, Principal
P.S. Be sure to enjoy the heartwarming article in the Catholic Anchor featuring HRA alumni, Mr. Michael Rannals ’10, who is considering the priesthood. The article is posted on the bulletin board in the Kolbe building.