Our Catholic faith is heart of our school community. We offer our students numerous opportunities to reinforce and strengthen our beliefs through service projects and faith based activities, including but not limited to attending Mass, retreats and prayer services. Our students are encouraged to actively follow Christ while living the Gospel values.
Parents and families are invited to come and celebrate Mass with their student's class. This week on Tuesday, February 14th parents and families of our 3rd grade students are invited to attend Mass @ 8:30am in St. Michaels Church in Gibbstown. Come and worship with our students!
Catholic Schools Week (CSW) begins on Sunday, January 29th!
Visit the front page of our website and click on the list of events at the bottom of the page to see the great events taking place this week as we celebrate our Catholic School!
Martin Luther King Day, January 16th
In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Monday, January 16th our school will be closed. Below is a link with information regarding Dr. King and his legacy.
January 6th is Epiphany!
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Each year the Pope leads an Epiphany Mass in St. Peter's Basilica and people around the globe take part in celebrations specific to their region.
In Spanish-speaking countries, The Epiphany is called Dia de los Reyes, meaning "Three Kings' Day," while in Pamplona, Spain celebrates with a Cabalgata Los Reyes Magos parade.
There are several traditions and names for celebrating the Epiphany, but what is it?
The Epiphany is celebrated each January 6 and is a day dedicated to the birth of Christ, which includes a nod toward the three Kings who came to visit Him.
According to Dictionary.com , the word "epiphany" means "an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity."
Appearance is correct, as Christ revealed himself in the form of a newborn babe to the Three Wise Men, who traveled from their countries to pay tribute to the Son of God.
It is also a reference to the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. The six Sundays following Epiphany are known as the time of manifestation.
The Gospel of Matthew describes three Wise Men, named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar, who were told of Christ's birth and set off, following the Star of Bethlehem, to meet the baby Jesus.
Each king brought with him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to represent Jesus' elevated position, divine birth and mortality respectively.
Historically, Christmas was celebrated each day from Christmas Eve to the Epiphany, with January 6 being as large a celebration as December 25.
Though Protestant churches celebrate a season of Epiphany from January 6 to Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Church observes Epiphany as a single day, with some in America celebrating the Epiphany feast the Sunday following January 6.
In Spain, children believe their Christmas presents are delivered by the Three Wise Men on January 6, while in Venice, children believe "La Befana," an imaginary old woman in Italian folklore, brings gifts to them on the Epiphany Day.
An old Catholic tradition is the Star Singers, which ar groups of people who dress as the Wise Men and carry a wooden star who go door-to-door to sing and collect donations for the poor.
In Germany, if the Star Singers (Sternsinger) come to your door, they offer a blessing for your home. If you accept, they write 20 * C + M + B + 14 in chalk above your doorway. The numbers represent the year and the letters represent the phrase Chrustus mansionem benedictat , meaning "God bless this house."
In Bulgaria it is traditional for an Eastern Orthodox priest to throw a cross in a river. It is believed whoever recovers the cross will be healthy through the rest of the year, as will any who join in a dance within the river's frigid waters.
Mexico makes King's bread, called Rosca de Reyes , which has a circular shape and is decorated with figs, cherries or dried and candied fruits. In Spain, the King's bread includes baking a Jesus figurine and a bean into the bread. Whoever discovers the figurine is crowned king or queen of the celebration, while the person who discovers the bean must pay for the following year's Epiphany party.
Five facts about the Feast of the Epiphany
- The three Kings represent Europe, Arabia and Africa
- Hundreds of years ago, roast lamb was served at Epiphany to honor Christ and the Three Kings' visit
- In some European countries, children leave their shoes out to be filled with gifts, while others leave straw for the three kings' horses
- In Prague, a Three Kings swim commemorates Epiphany Day at the Vltava River
- In New York, El Museo del Barrio has celebrated and promoted Three Kings' Day annual parades for over thirty years
Now that you know what Epiphany is, and have several ideas of how to celebrate, enjoy Epiphany by honoring the birth of Christ and the presence of the Three Wise Men.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Happy New Year!
Advent Week 4
Are you ready? Have you prepared the way of the Lord? This is the last week of Advent prior to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! Over the last four weeks we have been asked to prepare for Christ's birth by preparing our hearts and our minds. The last few days before Christmas always seem to be the most frantic, as we have stated over the last four weeks, take time to be prayerful and prepare your heart and mind for Jesus' birth. Merry Christmas!
Advent Week 3
The third week of advent, Gaudete Sunday. Jesus' birth is coming. Throughout advent we have been encouraged to be prayerful and mindful of our connection with God. On Gaudete Sunday, we rejoice for the Lord will soon be born. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Advent Week 2
Week 2 of Advent is here! As we come closer to Christmas time seems to float away. Remember to take time this week to pray and reflect, and spend time with your family. Christmas will be here before we know it.
Advent Week 1
This week, we begin the journey towards Christmas. We invite all of our families to reflect on the weekly readings at church as they prepare for the birth of Christ. Remember, Stay Awake, Be Ready!
All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven. Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church. All Saints' Day is also commemorated by members of the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as some protestant churches, such as Anglican, Lutheran and Anglican churches. Generally, All Saints' Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass on that day, unless they have an excellent excuse, such as serious illness. Today, All Saints' Day is still a holy day of obligation, but only when it falls on a Sunday. Other countries have different rules according to their national bishop's conferences. The bishops of each conference have the authority to amend the rules surrounding the obligation of the day. All Saints' Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD. Boniface IV also established All Souls' Day, which follows All Saints. The choice of the day may have been intended to co-opt the pagan holiday "Feast of the Lamures," a day which pagans used to placate the restless spirits of the dead. The holy day was eventually established on November 1 by Pope Gregory III in the mid-eighth century as a day dedicated to the saints and their relics. The May 13 celebration was subsequently abandoned. In Ireland, the Church celebrated All Saints' Day on April 20, to avoid associating the day with the traditional harvest festivals and pagan feasts associated with Samhain, celebrated at the same time. Following the establishment of the Frankish Empire, and following the reign of Charlemagne, the holy day, which was already celebrated on November 1, became a holy day of obligation by decree of Pope Gregory IV and Louis the Pious, who was king over a portion of Charlemagne's former empire. Following the Protestant Reformation, many Protestants retained the holy day, although they dismissed the need to pray for the dead. Instead, the day has been used to commemorate those who have recently died, usually in the past year, and to remember the examples of those who lived holy lives. The Catholic practice however, celebrates all those who have entered heaven, including saints who are recognized by the Church and those who are not.
Holy day customs vary around the world. In the United States, the day before is Halloween and is usually celebrated by dressing in costumes with themes of death commonly associated. Children go door-to-door in costume, trick-or-treating, that is soliciting candy from their neighbors. The holiday has lost much of its connection to its religious origins. Although nearly everyone celebrates Halloween for the fun of the secular holiday, the following religious solemnity, is not widely practiced or acknowledged by most Americans unless they are Catholic. In other countries, such as Portugal, Spain and Mexico, traditional practices include performance of the play, "Don Juan Tenorio" and offerings made to the dead. All Saints' Say occurs on the same day as the Mexican "Dide los Innocentes" a day dedicated to deceased children. Across much of Europe, the day is commemorated with offerings of flowers left on the graves of the dead. In Eastern Europe, candles are lit on graves instead of offerings of flowers. In some places, such as the Philippines, graves can be painted and repaired by family members. Many of these practices blur the distinction between All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. These celebrations often blur the distinction between All Saints' Day, which is properly dedicated to those who are in heaven, and All Souls' Day, on which prayers are offered for all those who have died, but have not yet reached heaven. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead holy days extend from October 31 through November 2. It is important to remember these basic facts:
Halloween is a secular holiday that comes the night before All Saints' Day.
All Saints' Day is on November 1, and it is a Holy Day of Obligation.
All Souls' Day in on November 2, and it is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation.
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that has spread in popularity into parts of the United States and across Latin America. It is celebrated from October 31 through November 2, to coincide with both the American tradition and the Catholic holy days. Those three days are dedicated to all of the dead.to all of the dead.
Opening School Year Mass 2016
Our school community celebrated the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year with Mass at St. Michael church. It was wonderful to see the smiling faces of the students as well as the parishioners and parents who were able to join us for this wonderful Mass.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta - Canonized September 4, 2016
Welcome Back to School Prayer for the 2016-2017 School Year