Dear HRA family and friends,
I do hope that you all enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving meal with friends and family. What an important day to step away from the hubbub and simply be present to one another.
This past week was a quick one as it was only three days. Nevertheless, it was packed with great events.
The high school enjoyed a two day retreat with Lumen Christi students. The Dominican Sisters of Nashville were simply wonderful. Their meditations on the Year of Faith and the importance of our saying yes to God’s call were just what the young people needed to hear. I thank all of our students for presenting themselves to the Sisters and to each other with such maturity and kindness. I was very proud of how our students represented HRA. Thank you to Lumen Christi High School and Mr. Bob McMorrow for hosting us and for coordinating the visit from the sisters. Thank you, also, to Mrs. Kathy Tappel who coordinated the food for the girls day at the Holy Spirit Center. Thank you to the parents who supplied lunch foods and delicious lasagnas for the day. I know the Chennaults, Jemmings, Tappels, and Ramos family in particular helped. Thank you for the unsung parents I have left out. Thank you to Archbishop Roger Schwietz and priests, Fr. Paul Raftery O.P., Fr. James Barrand, Fr. Leo Walsh, and Fr. Tom Lilly for volunteering their time to say mass and offer confession and adoration time for the boys’ and the girls’ retreat. Thank you to Mario Bird for speaking to our young men about how to be a good Catholic man. Finally, thank you to my colleagues Mrs. Furby, Mr. Bolin, and Mr. Welsh for helping me to chaperone the retreats. What a blessing for the students to take some time for spiritual reflection.
I understand that Miss Theis’ third and fourth grade class had a wonderful trip to UAA to visit the labs as they have been studying a bit of chemistry. Thank you also to our wonderful substitute, Mrs. Verbout, for returning to fill in for Miss Theis on Wednesday.
A great big thank you goes out to the parents of kindergartner, Tadeo, Mr. and Mrs. Yabyabin for surprising the faculty with a veritable feast on Tuesday! Mr. Yabyabin arrived with platters of shrimp and cold cuts, water, bubbly fruit drinks, pie, chocolates, fruits, and breads. Thanksgiving came early to us and the faculty was nothing short of touched and thrilled by this wonderful surprise. Thank you, Tadeo’s parents, for thinking of us and for giving such a treat to the faculty!
Please forgive the administration for being unable to send the mid-quarter grades home on Wednesday. We had a struggle with the Xerox machine and were unable to complete the reports in time. On Monday, your child will bring home the mid-quarter grades, retake pictures if taken, Scantron results (only 7,8,9), financial statements, share hour updates, and December calendar. Thank you for your patience. Technology is simultaneously a blessing and a curse sometimes!
You will notice the the door handles on either side of the Kolbe Building have been replaced. Now you must turn the handle rather than simply pulling on the doors. We thank Mr. Pope and Mr. Tobia for continuing to move us forward in our efforts to be up to all the fire code expectations.
A big thank you go to the students and faculty for fundraising so well in November. Mr. Shaut challenged the student body to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The students responded by raising $1200.00 in one week. The kindergarten and the first and second grade won pizza parties for being the two leading classes in this effort. Bravo. Mr. Shaut and the fifth grade also raised $347,00 from the school for Bean’s Cafe and all took a field trip to Costco to purchase goods to help with the Thanksgiving weekend. All these efforts to help our fellow man instill in the students a lifelong understanding of the kind of Catholic compassion and care we are called to. Thank you to Mr. Shaut and all the faculty for continuing to instill these virtues in our students as they prepare to be good citizens of the world and holy saints ultimately!
Bravo to Mr. Austin Welsh and Mr. Louis Bolin who led our upper school in an all-school seminar. We read and wrangled over the meaning of the Flannery O’Connor short story, “Enoch and the Gorilla.” Gradually, through excellent Socratic questioning by the teachers, the students began to gather that Enoch was without virtue as he lived in a world that lacked kindness. It was a treat to watch the students laboriously struggle to discern meaning using all of the reading comprehension and logic skills they have been learning. Activities like this confirm the importance of classical education in truly forming fine minds eagerly searching for the truth. Well done Mr. Welsh and Mr. Bolin!
One last note of thanks to senior, Natalie Chennault, who baked Thanksgiving cupcakes for the entire upper school. Her thoughtfulness at this busy time reveals how ready she is to graduate shortly from HRA and begin to transform the world. Thank you, Natalie.
- High School mass on Tuesday and Elementary Mass on Thursday in the chapel at 10:10 A.M. All are welcome.
- High School Spirit Day on Thursday, November 29th. The theme is “twins.”
- Advent begins this coming weekend and Mrs. Pearce will unveil the nativity scene she and the students have painted onto the front windows of St. Dominic’s Hall. Enjoy the stained glass reminder of the Christ we eagerly await each year. Baby Jesus will be added (colored in) when the Christmas season begins on December 24th.
- High School Dance “Snowcoming” from 7:30-10:30 P.M. Saturday, December 1 Grades 7-12 only. Guests must be cleared by the faculty.
Miss Neumayr, Principal