Dear Saint Mary’s Families,

What a treat it was to experience snow in December!  The snow did wreak havoc with a couple of events and those have been rescheduled.  The information about those changes is below.

Please plan on attending the Launch Event for the Saint Mary’s Go Forth! Capital Campaign on Monday, January 8th.  Exciting things are in store for Saint Mary’s and we look forward to sharing the plans with you.

Last week I mentioned some family podcasts we enjoy.  This week I want to share with you an episode of a podcast that is new to me – Messy Parenting: Catholic conversations on marriage and family.  While the lives of Mike and Alicia Hernon look much different than my own, I enjoyed and appreciated hearing about how they bring prayer into their day-t0-day lives in Episode 80: Making Room for Jesus.

Jenni Ellis


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

Monday, December 18 – Middle School Exams (Parents of 7th Graders please note: 7th Grade Students will remain in school after exams.  They will stay for the Christmas Program Practice from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m.  They will need lunch for this day.)
Monday, December 18 – Junior Kindergarten Christmas Program at 8:45, Voices of Christmas Program 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th, Grades at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 19 – Middle School Exam Make Up
Tuesday, December 19 – Christmas Luncheon from 10:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Advent Prayer Service at 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 20 – Tuesday, January 2nd – Christmas Holidays, School Closed
Wednesday, January 3 – School Opens, School Mass at 9:00 a.m.
Monday, January 8th – Saint Mary’s Go Forth! Capital Campaign Information Meeting & Launch Event at 7:00 p.m.

LAST CHANCE – Wise Men’s Purse: The Wise Men’s Purse is a community collection that will be distributed among Saint Mary’s Catholic School faculty and staff in celebration of Christmas. This collection is a fair and equitable way to share the generosity of many, and to do so in a manner in accordance with the giving policies set forth by the Diocese of Richmond. While individual classroom teachers are readily identified by students as “their” teacher, each teacher is supported by colleagues who create a loving and caring team. It is the PTO Board’s desire to acknowledge the contributions each faculty and staff member makes to the success of every child at Saint Mary’s.

Participation in Wise Men’s Purse is voluntary. Donations may be made online or by check sent in to the office labeled Wise Men’s Purse between December 4th and December 17th.

Saint Mary’s Boy Scout Troop 737:  Need to plan for dinner?  Saint Mary’s Boy Scout Troop 737 will be holding its First Annual Brunswick Stew Sale, which has been rescheduled to this Saturday, December 16th.  Stew will be sold from 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  at Wembly Pool.  Wembly is located at 1311 Gaskins Road (across the street from Kroger).  Stew will be sold for $9.00 per quart.

Christmas Luncheon: Join your child and the St. Mary’s school community on Tuesday, December 19th for a fabulous feast. Be sure to order by December 15, 2017.  Please note our special Christmas Luncheon schedule:

10:50 – 11:15am – Second & Third Grade
11:15 – 11:40am – First & Fifth Grade
11:40 – 12:05pm – Kindergarten & Fourth Grade
12:05 – 12:30pm – Middle School

When you arrive, pick up your tickets in the main office, go into the cafeteria and find your child’s table.  Tables will be marked.  Your child will come to the cafeteria to meet you.

Monarch of the Month: This month our monarchs critically appreciate your 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 you and in the world. Congratulations to our Open Minded & Caring Monarchs of the Month!

First Grade – Reagan McGinnis, Natalia Skaik
Second Grade – Madelyn Winschel, Rennie Yeh
Third Grade – Chance Green, Tracy Headen
Fourth Grade – Christian Ashby, Grace O’Leary, Saran Nguyen
Fifth Grade – Kyria Martinez, Hanna Dickerson
Sixth Grade – Caring-Pierce Moten, Open Minded-Ryan Nyguyen
Seventh Grade – Caring-Grace Edwards, Open Minded-Grace Rooney
Eighth Grade – Caring-Nina Earle, Open Minded-Brian Slifka

Musical Monarchs:  The students are challenged to “sing like they mean it” during Mass.  When a child is spotted by Mrs. Taylor, our music teacher, or another teacher that student’s name is entered into a drawing to be recognized as a Musical Monarch for the month.  This month we are recognizing:

Reagan Core – First Grade
Daniel Christian – Fifth Grade
Jane Whitaker – Seventh Grade

NEW –  Saint Mary’s Go Forth! Capital Campaign Information Meeting & Launch Event:  The Go Forth! Capital Campaign will provide the funds to renovate our elementary school wing classrooms and offices, remodel and increase security of the school entrance, and to convert our library into a state-of-the-art library and digital media learning center. The campaign will also increase our school endowment fund to better position our school for the future.

Please join Father Michael Renninger, Finance and Development Director Gregg Kamper, and Jenni Ellis at an informational meeting on Monday, January 8 at 7 p.m. in the St. Mary Church Upper Commons. We’ll present the most current plans and timeline for the renovation, answer your questions and launch the campaign to renovate and revitalize our school building.

Saint Mary’s Catholic Church Service Information:  All are welcome to join the St. Mary’s community for Mass this Christmas.  Please see the Christmas Mass ScheduleThere will be NO Sunday MORNING Mass on Christmas Eve, December 24.

Save the Dates for Upcoming PTO Events: 
Tuesday, January 9th – Family Night at the Ice Skating Rink at West Broad Village
Saturday, January 13th – Saint Mary’s Band Concert
Tuesday, January 16th – Chipotle Spirit Night from 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 27th – Dad’s Chili Cookoff

Saint Mary’s Christmas Band Concert:  The concert has been rescheduled for Saturday January 13th, 3:00p.m. at Benedictine College Preparatory, 12829 River Road, Richmond VA 23238.  Come enjoy Christmas music played by our beginner and concert/symphonic bands and led by Mr. C, our new band instructor.

NEW –  Richmond Diocesan Safe Environment Victim Assistance:  Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal.  Richmond Diocese provides our community with victim’s assistance coordinators that are available to provide support for victims of child sexual abuse and their families.

Coordinator-Maryjane W. Fuller
Catholic Diocese of Richmond
Office of Human Resources
7800 Carousel Lane
Richmond, VA 23294

Helpful Links:
Volunteer in the Lunch Room
Painless Fundraising
Flynn O’Hara Uniform information