Dear HRA Families and Friends,
One week until the HRA Auction 2013! Be sure to encourage friends and family to purchase a seat for the event. We are close to a record number of guests and hope to exceed the number from last year. Please consider attending this wonderful event. The items are simply superb this year. The food and company promise to be wonderful! Call the office to secure your place. Thank you to all the parents as you take care of your discounted tuition auction responsibility. Call Miss DiCiero if you have any questions about how to fulfill your obligation.
The Living Rosary the students led this Monday after the Assembly was truly beautiful and will become an annual event! Thank you to the students for bringing your piety and fervor to this event. We began this first annual HRA Living Rosary by sending the students who would be responsible for each bead to their place in St. Dominic’s. The room was set up to simulate the five decades of the rosary. Before we began, we distributed handmade HRA rosaries to all of our new HRA students made by a loving benefactor. Fr. Augustine said a prayer and then distributed holy water over the students and rosaries so that the students would have a blessed sacramental. Fr. Augustine then began the prayer with the Apostles Creed. Alunni, Michael Rannals said the first Our Father, Super Junior, Jacob Ownes said our first Hail Mary for Faith , Junior Anne-Marie Droege, the second Hail Mary for Hope, Junior Victoria Zipay, the third Hail May for Charity, Junior Karina Biegel, the Glory Be and the Fatima prayer. Kindergartner, Carlos Stevens led the first Joyful Mystery Our Father and then ten students each stood and said a Hail Mary while the student body responded to them. I am so proud of our younger students, Second Grader, Amarisa Manuel (just baptized!), Kindergartner, A.J. Murray, Kindergartner, Cameron Montague, and Kindergartner, Belicia Manuel (just baptized!), for leading the Our Father of each decade in front of the entire school! The whole event moved me so deeply to see the love and devotion the students have for this ancient practice and their ability to pray and contain themselves in a world that tells them to rush and let noise and materialism and pleasure destroy peace and prayer and silence. May Our Lady continue to watch over us and protect our dear little brown school on Fireweed!
Tuesday was the first time that the elementary school was able to enjoy mass this year in the school Blessed John Paul II Chapel! Thanks to the Archbishop’s permission, I can ask priests to come and offer mass so that we can use our chapel. We are forced to split the masses between K-6 and 7-12 because we cannot fit the entire student body in the chapel. The Archdiocese’s newest ordained priest, Fr. Patrick Brosamer, came to offer this first mass in the chapel this year. He hopes to come several Tuesdays a month and be our regular chaplain for those days. Other priests hope to fill in the gaps. We will continue to say our all school masses in St. Dominic’s at least once a month as those communal masses mean so much to the entire student body and keep us spiritually close. Nevertheless, we are also so happy to be using our beloved chapel again. Thank you to Miss Selene Viens for coordinating the altar servers, readers, and music for the mass. Thank you to all of the faculty for helping the new students to adapt to the chapel logistics. The upper school enjoyed mass on Thursday in the chapel with a visiting Dominican priest as well.
Yukon Fire Safety came to check our fire extinguishers, batteries, and alarm systems on Wednesday. I took the opportunity to run fire drills in the Bosco and Kolbe buildings. In both buildings, the students were able to exit in under thirty seconds! They took the drill seriously and handled themselves well. I felt reassured that the students could react appropriately to a fire emergency. We also refined our drill procedures and checked the faculty and staff for preparedness. Bravo to the whole HRA student body and staff for an excellent exercise. All of our alarms and extinguishers are up to code and ready for any emergency. Thank you to Danielle DiCiero for spending the morning shadowing the Yukon team and refining the front office staff preparedness!
Wednesday, sixth grader, Jack Chennault returned to school after spending several weeks with his brother, Michael “Chip” Chennault who is recovering from Hodgkin’s disease in Houston, Texas. Jack exuberantly reported to me that Michael is planning to return to Anchorage at Christmas and that he is “70% cured!” All of HRA has been praying for Michael and this news was truly promising and thrilling. Since the start of school, each grade has been writing cards to Chip to keep him cheered and filled with the knowledge that he is in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you to the students for the artistic, clever, and thoughtful cards. The third/fourth class, the fifth and sixth graders, and the seventh graders have done a wonderful job in exercising this corporal work of mercy so necessary in an ordered society. Get well soon, Chip, and come back to us!
Former HRA parent and dear benefactor, Kelli Emili, surprised the faculty with an incredible lunch spread on Wednesday. She showered us with cheeses, meats, breads, fruits, and sweets that lasted for days. The faculty had a lovely chance to come together and visit with each other and with Kelli. I heard lots of moans of gastronomical pleasure and laughter coming from St. Jerome’s Faculty Lounge. Thank you, dear Kelli, for the wonderful lunch and your continued friendship! Any parent interested in taking care of some share hours and who likes to cook, is welcome to contact me if you want to offer a lunch during the next few months. It is a rare and treasured treat for the faculty to be so spoiled and to come together to visit.
The high school drama practices are about to begin. Thank you to directors, Mrs. Erin Furby, Miss Danielle DiCiero, and Mr. John Haggard for casting an exceptional group this year. The play will be Much Ado About Nothing, one of the most humorous of Shakespeare’s comedies. The practice schedule for October should have been sent home to the parents so that the students and parents can plan ahead for the practices. Every effort was taken to accommodate the many other obligations our busy students have. Thank you so much, Director, for the time and care you have taken. The play will be performed in January; based on the cast, it is sure to be another hit!
We are so excited about the Girls High School Volleyball Team’s prospect for this year. Karina Biegel, Anne-Marie Droege, Karina Ramos, Jessica Smith, Victoria Zipay, Monica Klump, Arianna Fouch, Sarah Lucas, Therese Knox, and Mary Tappel have already revealed what a strong and experienced team they have become. Many have practiced throughout the summer to be ready for competition this year. Good luck in your scrimmages in Talkeetna this Saturday, ladies. We look forward to supporting you throughout the season! Thank you to assistant coach, sophomore, Sang Nguyen, and HRA father and head coach, Mr. Lucas! As always, thank you to Maureen Klump for all the coordinating, driving, and supporting that you do as our unofficial Athletic Director!
I have had the privilege of stepping in to substitute classes and visit classes in the upper school this week. I am so impressed with the students’ receptiveness and work ethic and with the teachers for their creativity and caliber of assignments. The students are flourishing; their intellectual growth and their love of learning is palpable. Bravo to all! Let us keep it up and ignore the oncoming darkness. Let us keep our classrooms lit with the wisdom and beauty that radiates from the materials and discussions we enjoy with the students.!
Friday, the upper school went out in all directions to do Community Service. Mr. Haggard and I took about 18 students to pray in front of the abortion clinic on Lake Otis for Forty Days for Life. While we were there, a man and woman came out; the woman walking gingerly. It brought home to the children and me the horror of abortion that takes place day-by-day every minute of the day and that makes any former holocaust pale in comparison as the 55 million we have killed in this country mounts. As we said our rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, we all prayed deeply for the wound this country suffers and for the hope that one day we will turn from our rejection of God’s most vulnerable creation – the baby in the womb. Thank you to Mrs. Erin Furby for making all the community service arrangements and for the faculty and parents for arranging the transportation and supervision.
Thank you again to Mr. Welsh who spent two hours prepping eleven of our students for the PSAT math. I had the privilege of helping them with their reading comprehension and writing sections for the PSAT next Wednesday. I am so proud of these students for working from 6-10 P.M. on a Friday night! That is dedication and makes it a joy for Mr. Welsh and me to assist them!
What a truly wonderful week filled with laughter and learning. I pinch myself at my good fortune to work with and for the HRA family!
- Saturday, Girls HS Volleyball in Talkeetna (all day)
- Columbus Day – Holiday
- Columbus Day Drama Practice from 9-1 A.M. (St. Dominic’s)
- Tuesday, mass in the chapel if a priest is available, Thursday, mass in the chapel if priest available
- Wednesday – Grades 9-12 will take the PSAT in St. Dominic’s Hall from 9-noon.
- Thursday – the high school students meet for training for the auction at lunch
- School Pictures have arrived and will be distributed on Thursday. Retakes are on November 5th for anyone dissatisfied.
- Friday is stewardship day – school clean-up
- Saturday – Auction (high school students required to arrive by 4:30 at the Marriott’s downtown)
Wishing all of you a blessed week.
Miss Neumayr, Principal