Published October 10, 2017 20:59
Dear School Families,
Last week I joined my fellow Principals from the Diocese in our annual retreat. The retreat was a wonderful mix of reflection and prayer along with a healthy dose of group therapy. Sharing our stories of triumph and suffering was a chance to celebrate and comfort one another. It is always amazing to hear about the challenges school communities are overcoming. It was interesting listening to other Principals talk about their experiences and watching their body language. It was obvious to hear and see how some types of challenges brought out the best in communities and other issues brought out the worst.
We began by sharing stories of hope, joy, and triumph. Very much like our CTK community, the stories portrayed how Parish and Schools were at their best when reaching out and helping others. As individuals described responses to personal and national tragedies the Holy Spirit was evident and lit up their faces. Equally inspiring was watching when one of us spoke about working with a family to help a student overcome an academic issue, navigate a lack of resources, or work through a behavior or personal matter. These Principals couldn’t help but look determined and satisfied about tackling those difficult situations. These educator’s willingness to move Heaven and Earth to help a child was clearly visible.
Alternatively, we shared stories of suffering. My colleagues were visibly shaken as they described situations where no matter what they tried, no solutions came. Almost to the individual there were consistent themes relayed in these stories. Just as kindness and cooperation brought out the best in a community, the stories of suffering began with a lack of empathy or breakdowns in communication or cooperation. We listened to how these situations acted as a cancer within communities. Most of them started small but began to break down all that was good. We talked a lot about how we can prevent these situations. There are no easy answers but the answer is simple. We must begin with forgiveness, the centerpiece of Christ’s message.
Communities must be forgiving. Genuinely forgiving. Forgiving of slights, real or perceived, in our hearts not just our words. Not easy. Whenever I pray on “forgiveness” I always envision those people on TV who forgive a murderer. I wonder, would I be able to do the same? In reality, those extreme situations where everything stops and we check our moral compass are thankfully rare. The real challenge is seeing and living Jesus’ message on a daily basis. Forgiving the little things. Forgiving ourselves and forgiving others for those everyday insults and mistakes.
All of us are imperfect, we make mistakes. We slip up. We may by word or deed offend our spouse, a friend, coworker, a school parent, a teacher, a child, and strangers like that person who cut us off in traffic. It happens, we fall short of Jesus’ example. It takes courage to admit our fault and only then we can forgive ourselves. Just as we are also must forgive others, who sharing the same flawed human condition, make mistakes that affect us.
We are as a CTK community in a relationship with one another. Relationships are hard. They take constant maintenance. Think of this community as siblings. We are Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Find joy and comfort knowing that you are not alone. If you fall we as your brothers and sisters will be there to pick you up. But also, just like genetic siblings, we must love and forgive each other. Especially on those days when we don’t like each other. Simple but not always easy.
REQUEST FOR PRAYERS: Prayers are requested for the Great-Grandfather of Josh (Class of 2016) and John (Gr. 7) Cheshareck, who went to heaven last week and for the Great-Grandmother of Ava Galleno (Gr. 2) who is undergoing surgery tomorrow. Prayers are also requested for the fire victims in Napa and Sonoma, victims of violence, those suffering from mental illness, those who are sick, those without work, those who are hungry, homeless and for peace in the world.
THANK YOU: Thank you to the 5th and 1st Grade families for providing yummy snacks and lunch during Parent-Teacher Conferences. They were delicious!
IMPORTANT DATES AND TIMES
Wednesday, October 11: Hearing Retest
Dismissal - 2:15 p.m.
Auction Meeting - 7:00 p.m. Media Center. All welcome!
Follow us on Facebook at CTK Auction 2018
Thursday, October 12: Hot Lunch - Hamburgers – Freshly Barbequed at CTK
Final day to order Yearbooks at low price of $20.
See info below.
Friday, October 13: Dress Uniform
8:00 a.m. Mass Gr. 5 prepares
Saturday, October 14: Father Daughter Dance 5-9 p.m. CTK Gym
Remember to bring picture order form and payment.
Monday, October 16: 7th Grade leaves for Camp Caritas
Gr. 2 Sacramental Parent Meeting -7:00 p.m. in Church
Festival Meeting - 7:00 p.m. Room 222
Wednesday, October 18: Dismissal - 2:15 p.m.
Friday, October 27: Final day to purchase a Yearbook
Halloween Ice Cream Social 6-8 p.m.
Join the fun! See flyer in today’s download.
LAST CHANCE TO ORDER YEARBOOKS: Use the following link to order: ybpay.lifetouch.com Enter code: 1069318
• Today thru Thursday, October 12: $20 per book
• October 13 thru Friday, October 27: $30 per book
Yearbooks will no longer be available for purchase after Friday, October 27.
CTK SCHOOL DIRECTORY: The 2017-2018 Directories are included in today’s Family Envelope. There will be one directory per family. Additional copies will be available for $5 each.
COSTUME REMINDERS: Tuesday, October 31st, the students may wear Halloween costumes to school. Please follow the guidelines listed below:
HALLOWEEN “BOOS” AND DON’TS
• The costume must allow the child to function as a student while in class (all morning).
• Students need to wear regular shoes for the day while out at recess and PE. Shoes must be changed after the parade.
• Care is to be taken and consideration given to the ages of our Student Body. Costumes should not be too scary, gross, or violent.
• The following are NOT allowed: weapons, gory makeup, animals, scary clown costumes, or immodest clothing (no bare midriff/short skirts/low cut necklines, etc.).
• Students who do not wish to wear a costume may wear orange, black, or white colored non-uniform dress or their school uniform. Please refer to the Free Dress guidelines listed in the Parent-Student Handbook.
• Students attending CLUB CTK after school should bring a change of clothes for the afternoon.
BEGINNING BAND: Grades 4-8 Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 - 4:45 ($325 for the entire school year) Click the link to sign up: ⇨http://rebrand.ly/MTTMsurvey⇦ have questions about band? EmailMethodtotheMelody@gmail.com
PLEASANT HILL LIBRARY DESIGN CONTEST: All youth residing in Pleasant Hill or attending Pleasant Hill Schools (K-12 grades) are invited to work individually or in groups of up to four to submit a design. Students in grades K-5 are challenged to focus their design on the children's area of the new library, using media of their choice to create a visual rendering. Students in middle school and high school are challenged to focus on the teen area of the library. All submissions should also include a narrative description under 1,000 words.
One outstanding design in 5 separate age categories will be awarded, and a cash prize of $200 will be presented to their schools from the Friends of the Library. Read the complete rules and guidelines on the citywide read page at guides.ccclib.org/onebook or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Bring your submission to the Pleasant Hill Library at 1750 Oak Park Boulevard by October 31st. Flyer here: http://guides.ccclib.org/ld.php?content_id=36191783
FIRE PREVENTION REMINDERS: In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Take time today, create and practice your fire escape plan. Be sure everyone knows what to do in case of fire. For more information about Fire Prevention or developing a home fire escape plan, visit these websites:
U.S. Fire Administration
Fire Safety Video – Have Two Ways Out
****See the flyers/forms in your Family Envelope download for more information about:
PA Halloween Ice Cream Social
Home and School Connection
Hot Lunch Ticket Order Form/Milk Ice Cream Order Form