Dear HRA family and friends,
I have returned from my week long visit to Los Angeles filled with excitement over the many wonderful talks and school visits that I made. At the same time, it is wonderful to be back in a place where I can breathe fresh air rather than smog, where I can drive steadily from place-to-place without facing traffic jams and bumper-to-bumper traffic, and where I can enjoy the seasons. Having said that, I was blessed with lovely, sunny, blue skies and pleasant weather. It has rejuvenated me for our busy upcoming spring.
Before I tell you about my trip, I want to thank my colleagues, staff, students, and parents for stepping in to keep HRA running smoothly in my absence. I thank Mr. Bolin and Mr. Welsh for running the all school seminar the last Friday of February. I thank Mrs. Schirda and Mrs. Furby for helping to coordinate the Priest Luncheon. I thank Mr. Welsh and Mr. Shaut for overseeing the safety of all the high school and elementary students, and I thank my business manager, Miss Shanstrom, and my office assistant, Miss DiCiero for maintaining the office and business affairs with such smooth and ease. Finally, thank you to all the parents for the many ways in which you help us with recess supervision and countless little tasks around the school.
Breaking News!!! The Owens baby has arrived. Mrs. Karin Owens, mother to Jacob, and Parent Association President, gave birth to her sixth child on Friday, March 1st at Providence Hospital. Monica Diane Owens was born to the family and joins four brothers and one sister! Congratulations Karin and family. We are so very happy for you!
REMEMBER THAT THE TIME TO RE-ENROLL IS NOW. YOU WILL BE DISCOUNTED $100.00 OFF YOUR RE-ENROLLMENT FEE IF YOU COMPLETE THE RE-ENROLLMENT ON SYCAMORE OR USING A HARD COPY BY MARCH 15TH.
In particular, I want to thank Mrs. Michelle Droege for cooking and serving all of the food for the Priest Luncheon last Tuesday! The soup, salad, quiche faire was enjoyed by all! Thank you also to Miss Frania for preparing the elementary to sing so beautifully for the priests. The kindergarten did a fantastic job re-presenting the saint skit of Pedro Colungsdad they performed in October. It was a hit with the priests. Further, I cannot thank my seniors enough for hosting the event and Michael Tappel for acting as the Master of Ceremonies and for directing the high school choir as they sang the exquisite Nathaniel Hawthorne poem he had just taught them! We were blessed with eight priests and Archbishop Hurley who graced our luncheon for the first time. We were honored to have so many priests and hope to attract even more priests to visit the campus next February!
CAN YOU SPELL VIOLACEOUS?
Our own eighth grader, Miss Mary Tappel, beat out 126 other spelling bee participants to make it to the second to last round. In her last round, there were only 13 spellers left. After her round, there were only three. Mary represented the school beautifully. In a poised manner and appropriate confidence, she successfully spelled four words before missing out on violaceous by mixing up just one letter. Mary, thank you for giving such a great effort to prepare for this event and for being gracious in defeat. We are so proud of you!
ALL SCHOOL MASS
Fr. Paul Raftery offered a special mass dedicated to our Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Thank you to the sixth grade for taking charge of the mass. Mr. Joseph Bjelland and Miss Shelby Albers read beautifully and Mr. Christopher Knox and Mr. John Lastimoso served solemnly and with great piety. Their teacher, Miss Selene Viens, led the music and guided us nicely through the mass. What a joy it was for me to see the whole school take time to mark the historic moment in which the Church bids adieu to our beloved Pope Benedict and patiently and faithfully wait for the Seat of Peter to be filled again.
Community Service/First Friday Adoration/Confession
The high school continues to reach out to the community to give service once a month. This Friday, the students went to Serendipity, a home for patients with early dementia or alzheimers to sing for the elderly. They went without their choir director and HRA senior, Michael Tappel, (who was away interviewing for a full ride scholarship to USC), and self-directed; the teachers reported that the choir did a beautiful job of singing some of their strongest numbers! I continue to be so humbled by the generous way in which our students share their artistic gifts. The students then drove straight to Holy Family Cathedral where our wonderful Dominicans always come over to the confessional to offer our students the Sacrament of Reconciliation while they are adoring the Blessed Sacrament.
I was so very blessed to have the opportunity to combine HRA business and St. Benedict Parish (my parish) for a week of edification. I flew down to Anaheim, California on February 21st to enjoy five talks and take advantage of many Catholic organizations selling the most up-to-date Catholic books and materials. The five talks I enjoyed were on the subjects of “The New Evangelization,” Social Media – how to make the BEST use of it, In Vitro Fertilization, The Ten Universal Principles of Life (Fr. Spitzer), and Confirmation – How to set up the course. In between talks, I enjoyed going to the Exhibit Hall to visit the hundreds of booths selling Catholic textbooks and religious materials. I have a number of the book companies sending me sample textbooks to consider supplementing our current Faith and Life Series.
Besides throwing myself into the Los Angeles Religious Congress, I took the opportunity to drive to Pasadena to visit St. Monica Academy, a school incredibly similar to our own. I sat down with their principal and shared about our schools. I took copious notes as I picked her brain for how they handle their K-12 program. Then, I visited classes from first graders working on phonics to twelfth graders studying moral theology. The visit was enlightening but also affirmed for me that HRA is every bit as strong as this wonderful classical, Catholic school. They have a fantastic and loving faculty as we do. Their students are just as inquisitive and articulate and polite to adults as HRA students are.
I also spent the day at another top fifty high school, St. Augustine Academy, run by Principal Mike Van Hecke. He came up to HRA years ago to offer us NAPCIS accreditation and is fond of our school. I had the most delightful day speaking exhaustively to his faculty and students about their impressions of the school and gleaned the best materials and approach to classical education that they use. Again, I could not help but be pleased to know that HRA is offering and effecting a comparable education up here in mission territory. Our students would flourish at St. Augustine as theirs would do here!
Finally, I spent a full day meeting and interviewing at Thomas Aquinas College with seven seniors interested in teaching at our school someday. While I am still ascertaining which teachers will stay and those who may not return to HRA next year, I wanted to take the opportunity to meet with prospective teachers who could help HRA continue her strong classical, Catholic tradition. I was overwhelmed by the breadth and depth and holiness of these young men and one woman. Any one of them would add immeasurably to the school. When I do know my current teachers’ plans, I will invite some of these potential teachers up to visit the school in April and perhaps teach a class or two to determine their eligibility and introduce them to the students. My hope is that you parents realize how carefully and zealously I search for the best and the brightest and most virtuous teachers to inspire your children.
In leaving for a week and accomplishing so much (including the blessing of spending three nights with my parents), I want to assure you that the school incurred only a very small expense for the rental car and gas. The flight, lodging, and food were taken care of for me. A special thank you goes out to a thoughtful donor who sent me with some spending money with which I was able to buy some books for school and a few meals at airports. Bless you, my anonymous donor!
MARCH IS HERE: Thank you to Miss DiCiero for preparing and sending home the March calendar and explanatory notes. As you will notice, March is an incredibly busy month! You may always check the online calendar for any changes or updates.
ADVERTISING AT ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Thank you to the Klump and Biegel families for donating your children to help me begin our new enrollment recruiting at SEAS parish this weekend. We’ve enjoyed a lovely weekend of meeting and greeting SEAS families after each of the masses. Thank you Juliana, Karina, Reagan, Justin, and Monica for wearing your uniforms and supporting the school’s marketing efforts!
- Fr. Scott Medlock, from St. Patrick’s Parish will visit the school and spend the day visiting with me and observing classes. He wanted to visit since he missed the Priest Luncheon. Welcome Fr. Scott!
- Re-enrollment is currently going on. Please be sure to go on Sycamore and re-enroll for the 2013-14 year. You will receive a $100.00 discount up until March 15th. Expect a call from me in the near future to encourage your re-enrollment!
- LATIN EXAMS – Grades 7-11 students will be taking their Latin or Greek exams this Tuesday. This is a competition for the students to see how they can score nationally and internationally against other Latin and Greek students around the world. Best of Luck Knights!
- Mr. Fleming will be on campus for his Safe Environment talks to each grade throughout the day on Wednesday. Parents are welcome to sit in and lesson. Parents always reserve the right to remove their children and discuss these sensitive topics with their own children.
- Deacon Ken Bolin will be ordained on Thursday, March 7th at Our Lady of Guadalupe! Our high school choir has volunteered to help sing in the choir and perhaps sing a special song in honor of the occasion. All are welcome to join this historic event of ordaining a former Anglican!
- Friday, some of the theology faculty and Miss Neumayr will go to Lumen Christi to meet with all theology teachers in the diocese as well as Archbishop Schwietz and Fr. Tom Brundage to discuss the Cardinal conclave and ways to bring this historic time into focus for our students.
- Grades 6-10 will make their Science Project presentations to their teachers for a grade this Friday. We want the projects to be ready for the Science Fair to be held on March 14th in St. Dominic’s.
- Donor, Mr. Dick Armstrong, will visit the school for a special presentation to the school on Monday, March 11th. He will also give two presentations to our elementary and high school respectively on his trip to Antarctica! All are welcome to join us at 8 A.M. for the assembly and the talk immediately following in St. Dominic’s.
- Student Presentations for the upper school will take place from March 19th – March 22nd. Sign ups will be available next week.
Have a blessed week!
Miss Catherine Neumayr