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Mrs. Hartnett writes,
Happy New Year to all of you! My very best wishes to you for a wonderful year, filled with all good things. May God’s blessings be rich in you and in all those whom you love.
A new year is such a gift to us all. Turning that last calendar page is a physical reality of “out with the old, in with the new,” New Year’s resolutions, newfound optimism and hope. It is quite a wonderful feeling to sense that, with the arrival of the new year, all good things can be possible and all options can still be on the table. Our dreams can still come true.
We need to remind ourselves, however, that we don’t need to wait until Jan. 1 to get that same feeling of wonder and possibility. Thanks to a loving and forgiving God, we can have it always. If only we are wise enough to recognize and to embrace the powerful gift of forgiveness, we can start anew each moment. Forgiveness can offer us an important opportunity to learn valuable life lessons, to discover who we are, what we fear, where our power comes from, and the true meaning of love of God and love of neighbor. We can then use the love of God to embolden us to constantly live a life in His service and of service to those around us, and we can surround ourselves with the optimism and the hope that only God can provide.
And so, with that in mind, I wish you Happy New Year two weeks ago, yesterday, this morning, tomorrow, forever.
WINTER TERM EXAMS
Please be aware that the Junior School will have a one-day official exam schedule in the winter term. Form II has a Science final exam and a History final exam, and Form I has a Geography exam. The exam date is Thursday, Feb. 18, and the exams will be in the morning. As in the fall, the boys will be free to leave as soon as their exam(s) is completed. The day following exams, Friday, Feb. 19, is a grading day, and no classes are held in the School. The exact exam schedule, including start and end times, will be made available to you in the newsletter on Jan. 22, but it is a good idea to have the day in mind as the term unfolds.
JANUARY PARENT CONFERENCES
The January parent/teacher conferences will all be held on Friday, Jan. 22. Sign-ups will be available on PTC Wizard, the link to which will be found on the Priory website. PTC Wizard will open for sign-ups on Jan. 11 at 9:00 am and will close at noon on Jan. 21. Please be reminded that teachers will be located in both the high school and the junior school buildings and therefore, it is a good idea to allow a bit of extra time between conferences if you are moving back and forth between the two buildings.
OUR CLOTHING DRIVE
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your typically generous but truly overwhelming response to our Christmas clothing drive to support the immigrant communities of Catholic Family Services Southside. The enormity of your donation necessitated two large vans just to transport it all. I had known that a number of the satellite agencies have had to close due to lack of donations, making food and clothing issues more acute than ever before. One can then only imagine the joy, the warmth and the comfort that came in the form of shoes, boots, towels, sheets, coats, blankets, shirts, and pants, and even a number of stuffed animals to warm a child’s heart. Once again, you have seen Christ and you have been Christ, and your kindness and generosity are truly limitless.
(l-r:) Santa's elves Christian, Tommy, Carson, and Luke help to load the trucks with donations for Christmas.
YES, WE ARE A BOXTOP SCHOOL (AND A PRINTER AND TONER CARTRIDGE SCHOOL AS WELL)
Priory families are all reminded that we will gratefully accept any of those pink "Boxtops for Education" coupons that you may find on products that you buy. Each coupon is valued at only 10 cents, but the collective value from all of our contributions can, and does, have significant impact. Just clip them and send them in - we will literally take them off your hands!
Thank you again for sending in your printer and toner cartridges, whose recycling makes another significant impact. Thank you, thank you!
JUNIOR SCHOOL MOTHER/SON MASS AND LUNCHEON
Hopefully, all Junior School mothers and sons have received, and responded to, their invitations to the Junior School Mother/Son Mass and Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 16 The morning will begin with Mass at 11:00 a.m. in the Abbey Church and is followed by lunch in the boys' dining hall. RSVPs are requested by Jan. 11.
If you have not as yet sent back your reply, I encourage you to do so. This is truly a wonderful event; I hope to see you there!
THE SECOND JUNIOR SCHOOL MIXER
On Friday, Jan. 29, the Junior School will hold the second of its three planned mixers for the year (a third is scheduled in early May). The mixer begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. I can assure all Junior School parents that the mixers are well chaperoned by a group of Priory faculty and administration, as well as high school parents; additionally, we are assisted at the mixer by high school Student Council representatives who operate the soda stand. Tickets cost $10 in advance (these are sold before school and at X period here in the Junior School during the week immediately preceding the mixer). Exact change is appreciated. Tickets are also sold at the door the evening of the mixer. These are also $10.
I remind all parents who may be aware of young ladies who are coming to our mixer to let them know that we do have a dress code for our visitors: for young ladies, modest attire would require no inappropriate clothing, no tank tops or spaghetti straps, no excessively short skirts or shorts, no ripped or marked-up clothing, and no exposed midriffs. The operative word here is modesty. The dress code is strictly enforced, and admission to the mixer is contingent upon proper attire.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEE
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Jan. 19, 20, and 21, the first rounds of the National Geographic Geography Bee will begin. All Form I students are eligible. The event will be held during X period, beginning that Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday and Thursday or until a winner is identified. The winner will then proceed to the next round of the competition, which involves a written test at some point in the near future. The test, provided by National Geographic, will determine state competition status.
FORM II CAMP ONDESSONK
This notice comes far in advance, but I do want to alert all Form II families that Camp Ondessonk will occur on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, April 10, 11, and 12. Much more information will be coming your way but, in the meantime, please do put this in your calendars.
Greetings Form I & II Parents,
I hope you are planning to join me at Xanadu on Saturday, Feb. 6 for what promises to be an amazing evening filled with great items and great fun. To make it easier to attend, we’re offering online registration this year.
The Junior School Xanadu Liaisons, Beth Blessing, email@example.com and Jennifer Lane, Jennifer@familylane.com will be happy to help coordinate Form tables. Please email them if you would like to sit with your Form parents. Or, if you would prefer, on the back of the invitation or where indicated on the online site, there is a space for the names of those with whom you’d like to sit. Simply write in "seat us with Form I or II parents."
Xanadu is an evening that celebrates all that is good about Priory, and I heartily encourage you to attend. I can assure you it is an evening you don’t want to miss.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I look forward to seeing you at Xanadu!
Xanadu 2016 Chair
Xanadu Volunteers Needed
Forms I & II Mothers Needed
There are two special opportunities for Form I & II mothers to help with Xanadu Set Up. Form II Moms are needed to help skirt tables on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Corley Gym. Form I mothers are needed to help set the tables in the Multi-Purpose Gym on Friday, Feb. 5 at 11:00 a.m. Please come as your schedule permits, stay a little or stay a while.
General Xanadu Set Up – Thursday & Friday, Feb. 4 - Feb. 5, 2016
It takes many volunteers to make Xanadu happen. Adult volunteers are needed for set up on Thursday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb. 5 in the Corley Gym, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Thursday) and 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Friday) The Mothers’ Club will provide lunch both days. If you are new to Xanadu, set up days are always fun and a great way to meet other Priory Moms. Please come as your schedule permits.
Xanadu Night – Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
Xanadu volunteers are needed to help with coat check, check in, silent auction sections and item distribution at the end of the evening. Training is available to go over these simple and fun duties. Box dinners and bid numbers are available to those volunteers who would like to work the entire evening. Shifts are also available for those who are unable to volunteer the entire evening.
If you would like to volunteer for any of these jobs, please email Mary Rhodes, email@example.com.
Xanadu Vineyard Vines Shopping Event — Jan. 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
If you’re looking for something to wear to Xanadu or want to pick up something for your son, join us at Vineyard Vines in Frontenac Plaza on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Receive 10% off on your purchases. In turn, Vineyard Vines will donate 10% of its proceeds to Priory. Friends & Family welcome.
|Monday, Jan. 11
||Conference sign-ups open
|Saturday, Jan. 16
||Junior School Mother/Son Mass and Luncheon
|Monday, Jan. 18
||Dr. Martin Luther King holiday - no school
|Tuesday-Thursday, Jan. 19-21
||National Geographic Bee
|Thursday, Jan. 21
||Conference sign-ups close
|Friday, Jan. 22
|| 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
|Friday, Jan. 22
||the next News 'n' Notes
|Saturday, Jan. 23
||5:30 p.m. onward
||Father & son banquet (MAC)
|Friday, Jan. 29
|| 7-9:30 p.m.
||Junior School mixer
|Saturday, Feb. 6
||6 p.m. onward
|Monday, Feb. 8
||Faculty Professional Day - no classes
“Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus; and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters in life. At points, he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew, and through this, throw him off base. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast and decided not to be compassionate by proxy. Rather, he administered first aid and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, because he had the capacity to project the ‘I’ into the ‘thou,’ and to be concerned about his brother.
I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, ‘I can see why Jesus used this as a setting for his parable.’ It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 feet above sea level. By the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the day of Jesus it came to be known as the ‘Bloody Pass.’ And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over at that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking, acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to lure them there for a quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite and the priest asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to ME?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: ‘If I do NOT stop to help this man, what will happen to HIM?’" Excerpt from the sermon I Have Been to the Mountaintop, by Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered April 3, 1968, the day before Dr. King’s assassination.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968), was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. A Baptist minister by training, Dr. King became a civil rights activist early in his career, leading the Montgomery bus boycott and helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, raising public consciousness of the civil rights movement and establishing Dr. King as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, Dr. King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.
Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, Dr. King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.
Thank you to all of you for your many kindnesses to all of us in the Junior School and for your unfailing support of the boys and the School. We are lucky, blessed, and grateful.
Diana B. Hartnett
Director of the Junior School
Saint Louis Priory School