Tag Archives: school

Landon the Bug Whisperer

I’m not real fond of bugs.  I can kill a big spider if I need to, but if there’s another capable party, I’ll watch thank you.  Not so for Landon!

IMG_4515Before school in the courtyard, the second graders are pretty much all on an insect hunt!  It is obvious they are in the midst of a bug unit.  Though we have yet to complete two weeks of school, they are all about the bugs.  I find Landon in the courtyard with a HUGE CICADA on his shirt.  IMG_4512He is not screaming, not squirming, not chasing other children around with it, not doing most of the things I might expect an average second grade boy to do with a large scary looking bug.  Rather, he is calmly putting it on his shirt where others are getting close up to take a good look.  If it moves he gently picks it off his shirt and moves it to where he wants it.  As he pulls it off his shirt, I’m glad to see those little pinching gripping legs are not pull threads loose on his shirt.  I’m also working hard to look very calm and asking him to not let it crawl very far up toward his face, which he seems not to mind in the least.  Right after we took these pictures, Landon points up and says, “Look there,  a moth!”  IMG_4517It was way up on the roof of the awning; yes, he has a clear dose of love of the great outdoors and the Father’s little animals.

He is a Bug Whisperer of sorts.  Calm, draws them to himself without hurting them, he enjoys them.  I won’t go so far as to say the bugs enjoy him, as I can’t read the enjoyment level of a bug, but they sure are not scared of him, or that thing would have flown, ran, bit or scratched.

There’s pretty much a room full of Bug Whisperers in there.  I went in for the photo op this morning and asked who really likes bugs.  The hands shot up everywhere, so here’s a few of them in front of the themed bulletin board.  IMG_4519Clearly Mrs. Magnuson, too, is a Bug Whisperer.  Sister Mary Maximilian collected a few specimens at the Motherhouse for the crew, but she does not get the title of Whisperer, me either.  Nevertheless it is beautiful to see the Spirits gifts in others and in His creation appreciated by his children.  Well done, Father, Mrs. Magnuson, Landon and the whole lot of you!

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Our Lady’s Rosary Makers – Not What You Think

IMG_4401Sixth graders are on fire.  They have made hundreds of cord rosaries and it appears we are still early in the process.  Eighth grade Giana Girls are also engaging in the process.  Even some fourth graders have gotten involved.  Sister Mary Guadalupe is the main instigator, and she is willing to teach a new Rosary Devotee how to tie a knot any chance she gets.

This week a small group of sixth graders came to me with a charitable request.  IMG_4397One of our kindergartners has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  The girls, some of whom have very close associations with leukemia in their own families, wanted to help that kindergartner and her family.  They’d like to market their rosaries for her.  I love how their hearts that are making the connection that we could do this to help another.  The boys will be helping, too, but this core group has a good dose of the feminine genius that we will fan into flame.  They have the green light from me to proceed with their plan.  They have a strategy for posters as well as a time and place to engage not only the school community, but also our parish and a couple other parishes.  Some have also begun to reach out to their family members.  The leadership ability of these young people is growing, as is their charity to those in need.

IMG_4402We have been communicating with the cord manufacturers to see if they, too, would like to contribute to our cause.  I’m wondering who they think is on the other end of the communique.  Sisters in their 80s are a grace for the Church (someday I hope to be one), but that is not the “Rosary Makers” of today, here at our school!

Just yesterday a few eighth graders proposed a project to promote solidarity and prayer for the same intention…more on that next week.  In the meantime, join us in prayer for that little one and her family.  Many of our children have “tied one on” literally.  May they tie Rosary knots for charity and the good of the Mystical Body with regularity throughout their lives.

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Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week – this year day 100 of school happens on Tuesday, too.  Both are big events in the primary grades.    The following display beautifully combines both of them.

img_4267It amazes me the variety of things that the children get excited about.  There’s kudos from the children to so many in our school on this wall.  We have everything represented from Father Townsend to flash cards, the Sisters to hot lunch.  Grandparent’s day is also on the wall.

Other events for the week include:

Monday –Parent and Grandparents’ Day – Come for Mass, a donut with your children/grandchildren and a program by the children.

Tuesday – Student Day – Madonna Wellness and Safety programs, Read and Feed, and Ice Cream Sundaes are in order

Wednesday – the Lord’s Day – we have Exposition after Mass and Adoration through the day with Benediction at 3:00.  We also have a vocation panel of a seminarian, novice and a Knight of the Holy Eucharist.

Thursday – Missions Day – 6th graders run a mission Carnival for the younger children which will culminate in  “Kissing of the Pig” by the teacher in whose bank the most money is placed!  Mary’s Meals is the undisputed winner as all proceeds go there.

Friday – Faculty and Staff Day – SFA (School Family Association) hosts a luncheon for all teachers and staff after the 1:30 dismissal.

We will be compiling a large cross on the wall made of contributions from all the children.  Kids come dressed in variations on the norm throughout the week, from faith based shirts to pajamas (this one took a little while to sell to me, but the kids had fun with it last year.)

We look forward very much to the upcoming week.  If children are sick next week it is not uncommon for them to be in tears as they really do not want to miss the festivities planned.  May God continue to bless our school, our families and our efforts to be conformed to His likeness.

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Jesus is the Reason

Jesus loves you, He came as a Baby to prove it, and He would eventually die on the cross to show it again.  Our program last night, A Children’s Story of Christmas, highlighted that with clarity.  The children emphasized the message with the joy and innocence of children, cute animals, A REAL BABY in a live nativity, graceful dancers, actors, and, last but not least this year, hand bells and a violin!

Beautiful Children

Cute Animals

Classical education involves beauty, truth, and a degree of timelessness.  All three were incorporated with dignity, portraying the most important message ever brought to earth.  Thank you, Miss Bohlig, who directed and wrote the play.  Thanks also especially to Mrs. Purbaugh and Miss Barry who were instrumental in helping every step of the way.  We also appreciate your efforts as parents and teachers to work with many details to make the whole play successful.


Live Nativity


Graceful Dancers

A parent sent an email this morning, illustrating that this is not done without a lot of effort!  Permission was given to quote the note anonymously:

Good Morning!  I had to send you a quick note of thanks after seeing the Christmas play yesterday.  I have to admit that after going to one of the practices a few weeks ago, I was worried about these kids pulling it all together.  I think they all did a fabulous job and it is a testament to your ability to lead them and pull out their unique sets of talent.  I can only imagine how much work this was – thank you so much for providing a great experience to the students and wonderful memories for all of their families!!

This year’s performance was definitely one of my favorites.  (and not because ________ was in it!!)  I loved that it was so simple and that the nativity was the center of the program rather than just something something touched on towards the end.  It really put me in the Christmas spirit!

Job well done by all!!  Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into this play and into these students.


Hand Bells and Violin

Another quote, “That big fellow and the twenty pound hand bell lends masculinity to the handbell choir!”


Yet another, “That was beautiful!  The last song left me with tears in my eyes!”

sisthThanks, Lord, for helping provide the talent and the guidance to put together such events in Your honor!

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Gaping Wounds

I wish this newsletter was not needed. I wish we were not prone to sin.  I wish children could easily remain free and innocent.  Strike three, I’m out.  Therefore, I write on.strike-out


Next Tuesday at 7:00.  Come please, right here to St. Peter gym.  Fr. Kilcawley will help us to know how to bandage the gaping wounds of our children, and of society.  When your child stumbles into inappropriate content in the media, handling it well as a parent has massive formative ramifications in your child’s life.  Here at school we have no less than 20 exterior doors that are locked to keep your children safe.  We have 99 computers or tablets with filtering to help keep their minds pure.  Nevertheless, we too, need to learn and know how to help foster goodness in a society that is forgetting what it looks like.

I will be there and I pray you will, too.  Parents of preschoolers are certainly not too young, nor are parents of adolescents too experienced in their parenting to benefit from Father’s presentation.

Fr. Kilcawley, the presenter for the evening, is one of our very own diocesan priests who travels throughout the country to give these presentations, as a matter of fact his assignment here in the diocese is part time, to allow him to travel to other places with this essential message.  We are blessed to have him come here, join us please.  Yes, I am begging you to come.  If we are to team together for the good of the children, this is possibly the most important meeting of the year regarding your child’s formation.

Hoping and praying you are able to join us Tuesday, October 18th at 7:00 in the gym.

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The Bishop and the Fist Bump

Bishop Conleyfist bump

What a profound divergence between those two nouns, Bishop and fist bump.  The Bishop’s presence typically brings with him an environment of respect.  We sit up a little taller, the children stand to answer the Bishop, they address him by name before they give their answer.  He walks in and the room gets quiet.

A fist bump, an action indicating friendship and informality, typically happening in a hallway or at a sports event, here at school.

In the act of Confirming the children, the child kneels in front of the Bishop, and announces his/her Confirmation name, let’s use Francis for the example here.  The Bishop proclaims, “Francis, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The children respond, “Amen.”

Pause while he anoints their forehead, then, “Peace be with you.”

The child responds, “And with your spirit,” normally shaking the Bishop’s hand.  Bishop Conley had a slight modification here.

Recently, while running, he fell and has a hairline fracture on his right hand.  Shaking hands with 116 nervous children, some of whom have killer grips in their earnestness to do well, can cause issues causing the need for modification.  So the Bishop asked the children to give him a fist bump instead of the typical handshake.  You should have seen the smirk on the kid’s faces as the Bishop instructed them.  Their smile that went with the quizzical eyes and a tilt of the head that said, “You really mean that, Bishop?”  His smile and role play of the task at hand told them, yes, I mean it.

I think Pope Francis would love the Bishop’s modification.  The children have the respect piece down, the fist bump, necessitated by the situation at hand, brings a familiarity and a friendly side to this Sacrament of the Church, which is at the same time, formal, yet brings grace to the soul which enables us to be truly joy filled and alive.

What a celebration we had for Confirmation.  The children were very well prepared with appropriate theology.  They “looked the part” with their fine dress.  They prayed often and from the heart to open the door from the inside to receive well the grace.  The “fist bump” seemed like icing on the cake to make the memorable day even more so.  May they continue to please the Lord and know a Church which has room for a “fist bump” when necessary.

In His Love,

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