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“Jesus is the Frozen Son of God”

In the kindergarten classroom children labored to haul in the empty fishing nets as though they had been there all night long.  Oh, did they look tired as they acted out the scene, then Jesus asked them to cast out their nets again, and then came the big catch.  As they processed the Gospel scene, Mrs. Colson asked the children why it turned out differently this time. 

“Jesus made the fish,” one fellow said.

“Jesus works miracles,” another added.

“Jesus is God,” said an enthusiastic voice.

And then, “Jesus is the Frozen Son of God.”  Mrs. Colson and I did a very fine job suppressing laughter as we looked at one another with puzzled expressions.  Mrs. Colson tried a couple probing questions, and twice more clear as a bell he said, “Jesus is the Frozen Son of God.”  Well, I reckon it is awfully cold out….but I don’t quite get that one.  As all good kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Colson began weaving her way back to where she needed the lesson to go.  Meanwhile I had a few moments to try coming at it from a kindergartner angle…..sounds like…let me think.

“CHOSEN Son of God”.  OK, yes, I blurted it out and we nodded and moved on.  I’m not sure whether the child was intending to say, “Frozen” or there’s always a strong possibility of a speech issue.  The “ch” sound is a seven year old sound; as I recall, many of these children are still 5.  No wonder he didn’t have it quite right.  In his mind he may have been saying “Chosen”.  Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and enjoy solving the little riddle before us.

 Just today I was recalling the story to a couple who is touring the school. Brian had a similar story which was just as delightful. He told of a group of preschoolers acting out the nativity story.  The three kings brought up their gifts. The first brought his gift and proclaimed, “Gold!”

The second exclaimed “Myrrh!” as the gift was presented. 

The third laid his gift at the manger saying “Frank sent this!”

 Don’t you love the little ones!  Some of us are blessed with five year olds, year after year!  God be praised.

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St. Peter School – New Graphic Flier

As we look to preschool and kindergarten signup, Sister Mary Angela and Brenda Shields flew with this task to help promote our school!  Well done!  Thank you!  – SMMichael

St. Peter Info flier2019 final

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Reverse Road Rage

Recently I was on 50th Street approaching Old Cheney from the south.  I braked to slow down and absolutely nothing happened; I did not slow down, but rather slid into the intersection amid oncoming traffic.  Two very fine drivers skillfully and successfully maneuvered around me, and left me THANKING GOD PROFUSELY.  I thanked Him for making them good drivers, protecting the likes of me, and preserving me from the many inconveniences that come with getting a car fixed.  I thanked Him over and over again.  After telling a few others about the incident and thanking Him again, it occurred to me, without that mishap many acts of thanks for pretty normal things would have gone undone.  Gratitude helps me remember God’s sovereignty, His Providence, my fragile nature and it makes me more civil.  Later when someone turned in front of me, my comment was, “Yes, me too, buddy.  God bless you.”  The civility society needs begins with me, and with you and with each of us.  Its roots are in Christianity and knowing we are sons and daughters of a Loving Father.  Lord help me see that in every child and adult I meet today.

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Locks, Lights, Out of Sight.

This is what your child will hear next Wednesday morning when we do our first updated lockdown drill of the year.  Actually, what they will hear is:

“This is a drill.  Lockdown.  Locks, Lights, Out of sight.  This is a drill.  Lockdown.  Locks, Lights, Out of sight.”

srp_posterAs one of the first grade teachers told me when she was practicing with her students, “I asked them, ‘What’s my job?’  They said, ‘Locks and lights.’  ‘What’s your job?’ ‘Out of sight.'”  It’s a simple thing that, like fire drills and tornado drills, will go a long way in preparing the students in the unlikely event that we would need to do the real thing.  Unfortunately, in our world, this is something for which we need to prepare them.  But it doesn’t have to be big and scary.  Rather, it’s one more way that we can prepare their “muscle memory” by practicing.

So, what can you do at home?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Have an open discussion (age-appropriate) about how your child feels about the lockdown practices that the teacher has done in the classroom already.  Ask, “How do you feel about this?  Do you feel safe at school?”  Then let them lead.  You don’t need to plant ideas by asking, “Are you scared?”  Sometimes we, as adults, are more concerned because we think of all the potential things that could happen.  Children think like children.  Take the lead from how your child is feeling and respond accordingly.
  • In November, we included a link for the children’s book, I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared! by Julia Cook.  If you have a younger child (PreK-2nd grade), you I'm not scaredmay want to discuss some of the concepts that are well-presented in this book.
  • If your child is concerned, share general safety guidelines that we use all the time with children:  look both ways before crossing the street, wear a helmet when biking, during a fire crawl low in smoke, etc.  These are all ways that we practice staying safe.
  • Finally, remind your child that God, our loving Father, always keeps them in His loving care.  He also sends His angels to watch over us.  We pray the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass every day, asking his protection.

We anticipate that this drill will be just one more standard procedure that will take place in our standard routines and procedures.  Our teachers are well-prepared and we want your children to be so also.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Sister Mary Michael or me.

In the closing words of the Divine Office that the Church prays every night:  “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.”  Amen!

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It is a Simple Little Graphic

but it tells a story.  I have many friends in LPS and you may note they do well, better than the State in every grade in both categories. 

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LPS and State data taken from Lincoln Journal Star, Saturday, December 22, 2018, page 1ff along with measures from the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) site and NSCAS (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System) proficiency standards which vary for each grade and subject matter.  The percentages illustrate the children who score as proficient in the state standards for Lang Arts and Math.  

I trust you will keep reading.  Between our teachers, our parents, our school and our curriculum we are doing well.  I am very proud of our school and the academic achievement of our children.  I am also very pleased with their knowledge of Jesus and His Church and their practice of virtue which will serve them very well also!

I am not a promoter of frequent testing.  Every day that you test you are not teaching, unless you use a formative assessment (which some of our teachers do) but standardized testing is not formative.  Students are not given the luxury of seeing what they got wrong and why, which is key to formative assessment.  Another caveat to be included is that students with IEPs were tested and included with our scores while I’m uncertain of the LPS inclusion policy.  We also test in several other areas but these are the two with consistent proficiency measures in NSCAS.  

So, although I am not a promoter of frequent testing, you as parents need to know our children are thriving academically; may they do so spiritually also and especially!  If you are interested in the details behind the numbers, I would be glad to share further in person or via email.  This little graphic took a number of hours to put together based on where LPS got their numbers and the comparable places from our standardized testing.  In the end we were able to arrive at the same ruler and present comparable data.

May the Good Lord continue to enable us to thrive, and may He especially enable the students who did not make the proficiency cutoff to learn well and enable all of us to know our great  intrinsic value in the eyes of God!

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Fear Not!

What would you do if an angel appeared to you?  Most of us like the idea of having a tangible sense of the spiritual world, but in all honesty, would we be ready to face an angel?  In the Scriptures, whenever an angel appeared to a human being, the message always started with, “Fear not.”  In today’s reading from the Book of Judges, we hear how the mother of Samson explained the appearance of an angel to her: “A man of God came to me;
he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed.”  Do we really have a sense of what it means to be in the presence of such holiness?DSC_0003

Yet, it is precisely because we are so unworthy that the angels proclaim, “Fear not.”  God, although He is infinite majesty and glory, loves us so much that He does not want us to fear the presence of holiness.  As some of the saints have proclaimed, “He is madly in love with us.”  Such madness led Him to lower Himself even further and actually become one of us.  And so that we would “fear not,” He even abased Himself to the point of coming as a helpless baby.  Who could fear that?DSC_0093Our children did a beautiful job on Tuesday of sharing this message of love with all who came for their Christmas program.  In a world full of so many fears, anxieties and challenges, the message of Jesus this Christmas remains the same, “Fear not.”

Fear not to give Him your worries and anxieties, but to be like little children.

Fear not to offer Him your heart and ask Him to rule more fully there.

Fear not to just be present to Jesus, without having to “do” things for Him.

DSC_0113May this Christmas and the coming new year be filled with the peace and joy that only our Savior can give!

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Fear not to trust in His deep and personal love for you.

 

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Faith – the Currency of Heaven

Father Doty used this line in a homily last week.  It was about the time Sister Mary Angela’s mom was dying.  Her mom was a woman of faith; a simple woman and probably one of the most hardworking women I have ever known.  Sister Mary Angela is the youngest of 13, not counting two who died at birth and three more who were miscarried.  The Rosary was a part of daily life, “Like it or not” as Sister Mary Angela recalls as a child, “we all prayed it together every night.”  And Sister’s mom was not just a one-Rosary-a-day woman.  When I think of how many times she must have prayed to our Blessed Mother, “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” it must have been millions.

Faith is the currency of heaven.  She had a lot to bargain with.  We figure she wanted to die on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, being so devoted to Our Lady.  But then there is the Sacred Heart and First Fridays which she also loved.  Only Monda could die on a First Friday after 4:00 making it the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception.  God has His fingerprints all over her passage to eternity.

We go today, Wednesday, to lay her tired body to rest, but her spirit surely soars.  She not only loved Our Lady, but was kind to those in need, was anointed shortly before death, AND RAISED 13 CHILDREN.  Now that’s a nice load to take to the Lord along with her faith.

Here’s her holy card.  She drew and painted the picture on the front. 

Monda

The photo is from her 90th birthday celebration back in May.  And the Rosary prayer, which the family approved by popular acclamation, describes her beautifully.

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Monda, put a good word in for us, will you?  May the Good Lord bless you and your family, especially today as they lay your body to rest.

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