December 2016 Newsletter

Merry Christmas
Our North County Catholic Schools are 
Filled with Christmas Blessings!
Our Catholic Schools have so much to offer our students and community, and that is especially evident at this time of year.  Students at each school in the Federation have spent the season of Advent in preparation for our celebration of Jesus’ birth. They have held food drives, “adopted” families in need with Christmas gifts, made Jesse Trees and Advent Wreaths, received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, and had many other opportunities to further develop their own personal relationships with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This environment of spirit and prayer in our schools exists throughout the year as students, teachers and parents demonstrate what it means to be communities Alive in Christ!  Here are a few specific examples:
BTC Las PosadasLas Posadas BTC
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta students performed Las Posadas, a tradition that has continued at the school and parish for years.

St Ann Food Chain
 
St. Ann School students, teachers, and families braved the freezing temperatures to participate in the annual tradition of forming a human chain to deliver Filled With Love Food Bags to the Ladies of Charity Food Pantry. This service project will help to feed over 300 families in the area this December.

CLN Reconciliation

Second grade students from Christ Light of the Nations School received the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in early December.  Earlier this fall they prepared with their classmates and friends from around North County at a special retreat day at Pallottine Renewal Center.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe School and Parish celebrated their Feast Day on December 12, and invited many friends and supporters to a special Encounter Point breakfast on December 13.  Students spoke about their experience at OLG and why they love their school and parish community.

NE Deanery Christmas Choir
The Northeast Deanery Children's Choir participated in several Christmas performances this month. This week they entertained residents of the Veterans Home with beautiful Christmas carols.  The choir is directed by Theresa McWilliams and composed of children from Holy Name of Jesus (Christ, Light of the Nations School), Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. 

As we look forward to the new year, we invite you to help us spread the good news about our local Catholic schools by joining us (and inviting a friend or neighbor) for an Open House. Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 29th and visit explorecatholicschools.com for a schedule and map.


A Renaissance for Catholic Education
Over the past several months, Archdiocesan School Oversight Committee representatives have studied many aspects of our Northeast Deanery schools, consulted with pastors and kept a strong focus on Archbishop Carlson’s vision for A Renaissance for Catholic Education throughout the Archdiocese. Through this work, they have developed some specific recommendations to assist our deanery with addressing current and future challenges. In this letter from Msgr. Rivituso you can read: 
Details of the plan will be shared at a series of meetings in January, and your input will be welcomed. The meeting dates and locations are as follows.  All meetings start at 7pm, unless otherwise noted.
  • Wed., Jan. 4 - St. Ferdinand
  • Thurs., Jan. 5 - St. Angela Merici
  • Wed., Jan. 11 - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • Thurs., Jan. 12 - Christ Light of the Nations
  • Tues., Jan. 17 - Sacred Heart
  • Wed., Jan. 18 - St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
  • Thurs., Jan. 19 - St. Norbert
  • Tues., Jan. 24 - Our Lady of Guadalupe
In the meantime, please be assured:
  • This plan would be phased in over the next few years. 
  • All schools in the Northeast Deanery will remain open for the 2017-18 school year.
It’s important to note that this planning is not unique to North County.  However, with our history of collaboration over the past several years as the Federation of Catholic Schools, we are uniquely prepared to tap into a new and innovative model for Catholic Education that will ensure that our North County community has a variety of Catholic schools that are academically excellent, affordable and accessible to families for years to come. 

Looking ahead to enrollment for the 2017-18 school year, please be sure to help spread the word about our Catholic Schools Week Open House on Sunday, January 29th - click here for a map of school locations and open house times. 

As we rejoice and celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, please keep this process in your prayers, that we may continue to work together toward A Renaissance for Catholic Education.

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Upcoming Events and Activities
Looking for faith formation opportunities or a fun night out with friends? Browse the bulletins for a wealth of information about events and activities that our parishes and schools are hosting in the coming weeks. You can access each parish's weekly bulletin online through these links.

Spread the Word! Follow our Schools and Parishes on Facebook

Many of our Federation schools and parishes are becoming more active on social media, especially Facebook.  Please consider "Liking" these pages on Facebook and sharing their posts when something may be of interest to your network!

Think about why you choose (or chose if you have alumni) a Catholic school for your children. Share your thoughts on social media or simply in conversation with friends and family members.
    And, most importantly, PRAY for our students, teachers, principals, pastors, parishioners and all who support Catholic education in our community.

    Other North County Catholic institutions are also on Facebook - be sure to follow them, too!

    Know of someone who would be interested in hearing about our Catholic Schools?  Forward this message to a friend and invite them to join our e-mail list. 
    imagesFollow us on Twitter
    Federation Receives Invitation to Apply for Beyond Sunday Grant 
    After submitting an application summary this fall, the Federation of Catholic Schools has been invited to submit more in-dept grant application narrative, the next step in applying for the Beyond Sunday Academic Capacity Enhancement grants available through the Roman Catholic Foundation. Our school principals and director of advancement are working together on the grant, which would support using Google Classrooms and Chromebooks for blended learning and differentiation.  The application will seek funding for equipment and professional development to help all teachers use this technology with confidence and creativity. The narrative is due in January, with grant recipients notified in the spring. 

    IWA Students Honor Teachers
    Several teachers from our North County schools were recently recognized at a special mass at Incarnate Word Academy. Through the Caring Hands program, IWA freshmen nominate elementary school teachers who touched their lives in a special way.
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    National Conference for Catholic Education Coming to St. Louis in April 2017
    The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) is hosting its annual conference in St. Louis in April 2017!  Catholic educators and administrators from across the country and beyond will be coming to our city for this exciting event.  Check out the welcome video that the Archdiocese of St. Louis Catholic Education Office prepared and presented at the conference last spring in San Diego. Follow the #NCEA17 hashtag on Twitter and get ready to learn about all the great things happening at the conference and, more importantly, in Catholic education!

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    Read the Good News about Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in The e-Vangelizer archive.