Dear HRA families and friends,
The HRA students came back to school after Easter vacation refreshed and ready to soar through the fourth quarter this week. We have been blessed with many moving events in the last few weeks. Perhaps the most moving, however, was a surprise letter from Rome sent to third grader, Mikael Hilario! During the days leading up the the Papal Conclave, Miss Theis’ third and fourth graders each adopted a cardinal for whom they planned to pray. Young Mikael chose Cardinal Burke who is an American cardinal who resides in the Vatican and served Pope Benedict XVI as the Prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the second highest ranking American in the Vatican. Over the Easter break, a letter arrived at HRA for Mr. Mikael Hilario. Upon his return on Monday, Mikael opened a letter from Cardinal Burke in which he thanked Mikael for his prayers. In gratitude he had included a beautiful blue beaded rosary blessed by Pope Francis I the very first evening of his Papacy! Mikael very generously allowed me to read the letter to the school assembled Monday morning; then, he showed the student body the rosary. What a truly beautiful gift and what a privilege for us to have this sacramental, blessed by our new Pope, in our midst. We are honored and so very proud of our Mikael and all the other students who wrote so lovingly to their cardinals! Thank you, Miss Theis, for connecting our students to the Universal Church! Check out Mikael’s article in the Catholic Anchor!
At the Monday, April 8th assembly, we were also privileged to have the Dimond High School Jr. ROTC flag detail come to demonstrate the proper handling of the United States Flag and the Alaska flag. One of the young men, Andrew Helzer, is the son of one of HRA’s original founders. It was a treat to have him be a part of this time. They spoke to the whole student body and then took some students out to demonstrate the proper putting up and taking down of the flag. Their visit has prompted our fifth graders, whose particular job it is to put up and take down the flag each day, to now go out in fours in a single file and be even more regimented in their conduct as they handle the flag. Thank you to father and former military, Mr. Gonzalez for arranging this event.
I have been able to spend weekends at three of the Catholic Churches in the area. I reported that I was able to go to S.E.A.S. for the weekend of masses with the help of the Klumps and the Biegels to spread the word about HRA. Since then, I visited Our Lady of Guadalupe masses on the weekend of April 6th and 7th with the assistance of the Lastimoso boys and the Williams family. I met wonderful families and was warmly welcomed. The following weekend, I went to St. Patrick’s to all the masses accompanied by the Tappel family and the Lucas family. Again, it was a treat to meet the parishioners and tell them about our wonderful school. I hope to visit St. Andrews several times this summer as well as Holy Family Cathedral and St. Benedict’s. Thank you to all the wonderful families who so graciously have their children put on their uniforms and who represent the schools so well! I am truly grateful. The fruits of my visits are already evident!
- Evangeline Dooc has received an award of $500.00 tuition towards her continuing Catholic education from the Catholic Daughters of America for her application/essay and letters of recommendation from her pastor and a teacher. Congratulations, Evangeline!
- Michael Tappel was selected as one of the 550 semifinalists (out of 3900 candidates) to advance to the final round of the 2013 United States Presidential Scholars Program Competition. Though he did not win the award to go to Washington D.C. and take his teacher (me!), his semi-finalist placement is a high compliment indeed.
- Michael Tappel was among 25 students to receive a $4,000.00 award from the BP Principal Scholarship to be paid towards his college tuition. Congratulations, Michael!
- Jacob Owens received Honorable Mention for a poem he submitted to the Anchorage Daily News for the April Poetry Competition. Way to go, Jacob!
- Michael Lucas is the State Championship wrestler in his weight and age category for Alaska! He won in three categories of wresting: graeco, freestyle, and folkstyle. He won twenty matches and lost none. We are so very proud of you, Michael!
Thank you to the first and second grade class for delivering 398 cans collected in the first 100 days of school to F.I.S.H. Thank you for stocking the shelves and helping those less fortunate receive the food they need! Thanks for coordinating and helping them accomplish this Miss Verreux and Mr. Jason Fouch!
Mr. and Mrs. Shaut have been offered the opportunity to pay down on debt from Mr. Shaut’s illness this past summer. Log onto youcaring.com if you or a friend want to help them in their efforts. The hospital has cut their costs in half if they are able to pay it off. I know that the Shaut’s have put off adopting their two children because of their recent setbacks and are anxious to resume bringing their children from Nicaragua.
THE YEARBOOK HAS ARRIVED AND IT IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! Please order your copy at the school office for $55,00 before they are all gone! Bravo to Mr. Welsh and his excellent student staff (Natalie, Chennault, Jamie Cookson, Karina Ramos, Richard Maloy, Sang Nguyen, Jacob Owens, and Michael Tappel).
Sacraments of Initiation
Congratulations to our First Communicants, Maria Koop, Giovanna Mercurio, Justin Acosta, Joshua Fouch, and Miguel Garcia. Congratulations also to Justin Klump who made his Confirmation with Fr. James Barrand as his sponsor. What a very special season it has been to go mass and witness these fine HRA students receive yet another Sacrament to bring more grace into their lives. May the Eucharist and the descent of the Holy Spirit fortify you in mind, body and spirit, ladies and gentleman. You are called to be nothing less than saints! I was especially proud to see that thirteen of our high school students came to support Justin as he completed his Sacraments of Initiation. That kind of school support is what makes HRA such a special place!
Stay tuned for my next blog in which I will tell you all about the Open House, Junior and Senior Theses Presentations, Greek and Roman Festival, the May Crowning, St. Cecilia’s Day, Etiquette Afternoon, and College Decisions from our seniors. I will include upcoming events to prepare for as well.
Thank you for your patience as my blog has been silent for the last few weeks. There have been many visitors interested in enrolling in the school as well as the many activities listed above that have dominated my time and energy. Nevertheless, it is a true joy to write to you and tell you how well the school and the students are doing.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal