Dear Saint Mary’s School Families,

I am happy to announce that Mr. Brandon J. Hess will serve as Interim Principal of Saint Mary’s School. Mr. Hess arrives on campus tomorrow, October 3, and will begin to introduce himself to our faculty and families.

Brandon Hess is a career educator. He taught English and coached soccer at local public schools, and served in school administration at middle schools and high schools in Henrico County and Fredericksburg. He founded LaunchEd, a company which provides instructional support, technology and professional learning opportunities for educators on the national level.

Brandon received degrees in education and educational leadership from James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University. His wife teaches at St. Bridget Catholic School, where Brandon has also served as chair of the School Advisory Board. You can see Brandon and his family at weekend Mass here at Saint Mary’s parish.

I am delighted that Mr. Hess is willing to provide outstanding leadership to the Saint Mary’s School Community during this time of transition. In coming weeks, I look forward to sharing information with you about the progress we are making in our search for a permanent principal for our school.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Hess into our school community. I know that you also will join me in thanking Robin Rooks for her dedicated work as “Teacher in Charge” during the past few weeks, along with all of our faculty members who do outstanding work on behalf of your children on a daily basis.

May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.

In Christ,
Fr. Michael Renninger



Please visit the school calendar regularly for the most up-to-date information as times and dates may change.


Friday October 5th – TONIGHT PTO Fall Cookout
Monday October 8th – Professional Development Day – No School for students
Wednesday October 10th- School Mass
Wednesday October 10th – School Picture Day
Thursday October 11th – Vision Screening for grades 1, 2, 5, 7, and New Students


Fall Cookout Need To Know:  The PTO is looking forward to seeing you tonight at the Fall Cookout!

A few notes:

    1. Please Park away from the playground if possible. Especially away from basketball hoops.  The side of the gym will be blocked off- please obey cones and signs!
    2. The event entrance is the gym door on the far side of the school building!
    3. Don’t forget to bring some cash for the 50/50 raffle and the delicious 8th grade dessert fundraiser!

Morrissey’s barbecue and a great time with good friends is just a few hours away!

School Pictures:  School Pictures (individual and group) will take place on Wednesday, October 10th.  Children will wear their uniforms – not PE uniforms – and boys will wear long pants. Click HERE for an order Form or HERE for web order.

I’m looking for two more volunteers to help with photos from 8am – 11am. Please email Heather at if you are available to help.

NEW –  Go Forth 5k Wrap Up:  A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in, sponsored, volunteered for and otherwise made the fifth annual Saint Mary’s Go Forth 5k such a fantastic event. From packet distribution to prizes, to the food table and water stop, to timers and the people who help set up and clean up, to photographers and course marshals – and of course so many walkers and runners and cheerers-on – our community comes together for this race in such a supportive way to celebrate the spirit of Going Forth to love and serve the Lord.

Our presenting sponsor this year was Short Pump Orthodontics; Dr. Erika Sachno and her staff have been part of the Go Forth 5k every year we’ve had the race.

Gold sponsors were Shana Branch, Realtor with Rashkind & Saunders (the Branch family); Teeth by Talton (the Talton family); and Dyer Immigration Law Group (the Dyer family)

Silver sponsors were RedRidge Pet Market (the Dan family); Goldfish Swim School (our neighbors at Gayton Crossing); Nick Abbate and Knights of Columbus/The Abbate Agency; and LeClairRyan (Steve Faraci’s law firm).

Bronze sponsors were James River Irrigation (alumni Muldowney family); Bushin Martial Arts Academy (the Nguyen family);  TrueTimber Arborists (the Turner family); Diamond Springs Water; Endorphin Fitness; Fleet Feet Richmond; Riverside Outfitters (the Turner family); Wash Your Way RVA (the Koehler family); Springfield Veterinary Center; TNT Automotive Leasing (alumni Guzman family); and Gayton Crossing neighbors the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.

Jennifer Janus
Parent and Development Coordinator

Volunteer Information & Virtus Update:  Field Trips and Volunteer opportunities are coming up and I want to make sure that you are ready and you have met the volunteer requirements. ALL volunteers must have attended a VIRTUS session AND be up to date on reading the monthly VIRTUS bulletins.  Also, please visit our school website to read up on the other requirements to volunteer. Please click HERE to register for an upcoming class.

If you have any questions, please contact Heather at

Save the Date High School Night: We would like to invite our middle school students and their parents to our annual High School Information Fair to be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6:30-8pm in the Upper Commons of our Church.  Print this flyer for date, time and visiting school list HERE.

NEW –  Vision Screening:  “Looking” For Volunteers  Our annual vision screening for students in grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and new students in 1-8 will take place on Thursday, October 11, 2018.  We are blessed to have Dr. Patricia Daylor, from Family Vision Care of Richmond, who generously volunteers her time each year to come and conduct our screening.  If you are looking for a way to help our students and make a difference in our school, please consider volunteering from 8:00am-11:00am on the day of the screening.

We need a minimum of 4 volunteers in order to conduct the screening, so we are counting on you!!  No prior experience is necessary, so please call the clinic at 741-8790 if you can help.

Thank you in advance for all you do!!  Dawn Farrey and Lisa Thesier

NEW – TRUNK OR TREAT: Costumes, Fun, Candy, Games & Movies!!! Click HERE for the full details.

PTO Newsletter: Please click HERE for the FIRST edition of the PTO Newsletter.  Welcome Back from your PTO!

Monarchs of the Month: Our Monarch’s this month appreciate the culture and personal history, and the perspectives of others.  They show empathy, compassion and respect.  They act to make a positive difference in the lives of those around them and the world.

First Grade = Trinity Lilly and Emery Cibulka
Second Grade = Hannah Dan and Emily Brown
Third Grade = Gianna Skaik and Bella Carver
Fourth Grade = Noah Thoene or Tracy Headen
Fifth Grade = Mallory Billiet, Anna Riesser, and Anna Gibrall
MS 6th Grade Thomas Gasperini, 7th Grade John Babik, and 8th Grade Alice Joss.

Congratulations to all our Monarch’s!

NEW – SCA Charity:   The SCA chose the Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti as the school’s charity for the year. One of our recent graduates, Eve Maddock, is working on a project at Saint Gertrude’s to help raise funds for the girls’ area of the orphanage. This part has been neglected compared to the boys’ area.   Please feel free to share this video at with your students for more information.

NEW – Saint Gertrude High School:  Invites you to their annual Open House on Sunday, October 14 from 1 PM – 3 PM. Hear from Head of School Renata Rafferty, learn more about their NEW Flexible Tuition Program, take a private tour of campus, and discover what makes their academic, athletic, and arts programs truly amazing. Register at For more information, contact Meredith McNamara at 804-822-3941 or



Monday Prayer Group:  “Come start your week with prayer! Join your SMCS community every Monday in the side Chapel after drop off for a time of communal prayer. Let us come together to strengthen our community by inviting God into our midst. All you need to bring is a Rosary and a smile. We hope to see you!”


Church Events:

“Middle School Rally”  (grades 6-8) Sunday 10/21. It is a fun, faith-focused, field-trip day. There’s a dynamic guest speaker, fun activities, inflatables, games and crafts. We will also attend mass together. This is a great community experience shared among the middle school youth of our diocese.   Registration is OPEN! Space is limited. Email Laura or visit for the YOUTH registration form. Early bird price ($40) expires after 10/5. $50 through 10/12. Bus leaves ParkNRide at 8:30 on 10/21.  Submit registrations to Laura ( Chaperones are also needed.

“The King’s Singers – GOLD” A Christmas Concert Friday, December 7, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. St. Mary Catholic Church  Tickets:  $40 per person Acclaimed for their life-affirming virtuosity and irresistible charm, two time Grammy and Emmy award winning The King’s Singers are in global demand. Come celebrate 50 years of amazing musical heritage with their special anniversary performance: GOLD.

For concert info and tickets, visit or call the Parish Office at 804-740-4044.  We expect a sellout, so get your tickets now!

“Are You Interested in Becoming A Catholic?”  
If you have never been baptized, if you were baptized in another Christian denomination and would like to become Catholic, or if you were baptized Catholic, but never received the Sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation, you are welcome to join our RCIA Inquiry Process.  For more information, call Sr. Pat at 740-4044, ext. 13, or go to our parish web page, and click on “Interest in Becoming Catholic


Helpful Links:

Volunteer for Carpool Duty
Volunteer in the Lunch Room
Painless Fundraising
Flynn O’Hara Uniform inform