The Sentinel – Issue 10, Volume 16

Message from the Principal

This week we have begun our annual journey of Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas. Amidst all of the joy and activity surrounding the preparations for the season, it is easy for us to lose sight of the fact that Advent is a beautiful season unto itself.

At All Saints we have established several traditions that help to create a tone of anticipation and waiting, in essence a time during which we invite the children to prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ.

  • Advent Wreath Prayer Services ~ Every Monday morning during Advent the students will gather for prayer around three separate wreaths in each of the wings of the school as we begin our day together.
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Each of the students in grades three through eight will have an opportunity to encounter Christ in this beautiful Sacrament of healing and forgiveness. Our parish priests have scheduled sessions during the school day for each of these grade levels over the course of the next several weeks. A special opportunity for parents has been scheduled from 2:00-3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14th.
  • 4th Annual Catholic Schools Care About Catholic Charities Week ~ Through small personal sacrifices (perhaps giving up an ice cream or pretzel during lunch) we are asking that each student make a donation of $1.00. All donations will be dedicated to Christ House, a Catholic Charities Homeless Shelter, Christ House on Wheels and other Catholic Charities programs. In addition to helping provide for the poor, our students will gain a greater awareness of the needs of others right in our own diocese through participation in this important outreach.
  • Toys for Tots ~ In celebration and thanksgiving for our school’s receipt of the 2009 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award, our December outreach will be a toy drive to benefit Toys for Tots. Donations of unwrapped new toys will be collected from Friday, December 4 through Friday, December 18th. Collection Boxes will be located by the front office and breezeway as students enter the building.

Blessing the Advent Wreath
Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
He is the Savior of every nation.
Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Prayer for Advent ~ Week I
All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at His coming
and call us to His side in the kingdom of heaven,
where He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Virtue of the Month ~ Generosity
During the month of December, students are encouraged to implement the following strategies:
1) Give from your own money to help others in need.
2) Give freely of your time without expecting anything in return.
3) Ask for forgiveness when you have hurt someone and be willing to forgive them when they hurt you.
4) Offer to help someone in class each day.
5) Share your supplies with someone who forgot theirs.
6) Do something helpful for someone at home without being asked.
7) See if others want “second helpings” before taking some for yourself.
8) Let someone else in your family choose the movie or television show you will watch together.
9) Offer to help an older neighbor with a job like raking leaves or shoveling snow.
10) Let another person ahead of you get a drink first at the water fountain.

Prayer for the Month ~ St. Nicholas Prayer
Loving God, we thank you for
the example of St. Nicholas,
who fed the hungry,
brought hope to the imprisoned,
gave comfort to the lost,
and taught the truth to all.
May we strive to imitate him
by putting you first in all we do.
Give us the courage, love and strength
of St. Nicholas, so that, like him,
we may serve you through loving
our brothers and sisters. Amen.

Rainy Day Carpool ~ Revisions & Future Plans
In an effort to improve upon the rainy day dismissal process, we are implementing the following procedures beginning today.

Cars arriving in the overflow lot via the rear entranceway will be directed to park in Section I of the front lot, similar to the process used each afternoon. Once these cars are all parked, a call will be made for all remaining students in the building to exit and proceed to their cars. For this reason, teachers will not be collecting carpool numbers from cars in the overflow line.

Due to the business of the closing of a school day, any parent wishing to check out their child/ren at the end of the day must do so by 2:45 p.m. (Parent-Student Handbook, p. 23). In accordance with this policy, the office staff will no longer call students to the office after 2:45 p.m.

These are two strategies that we believe will improve the efficiency and organization of the existing dismissal process. Additionally, a faculty committee has already been at work identifying a new model to be used on inclement weather days. Once finalized and approved, this plan will be communicated to parents via the weekly letter.

VIRTUS Training ~ Required Update
Last year the diocese introduced a required annual follow up training for all parents and volunteers entitled Protecting God’s Children. This mandatory video training is specifically designed for those who have previously attended the VIRTUS seminar. The session is approximately 30 minutes in length, providing important reminders about strategies for insuring the continued safety of young people in our community.

A session for all parishioners has been scheduled for Saturday, December 5th at 10:30 a.m. in Meeting Room 1.
There will be a special daytime training for school parents on Thursday, December 10th in Father Kelley Hall beginning at 2:00 p.m. In an effort to make this training as convenient as possible for parents, it has been scheduled to coincide with school dismissal.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather, All Saints Catholic School follows the decision of Prince William County Public School System. If the county schools decide to close, All Saints is closed for the day and all related activities are cancelled. Similarly, if the county schools decide to open late or dismiss early, All Saints responds in the same manner. Note: Should the county system announce a delayed opening on a day for which a noon dismissal is scheduled at All Saints, the early release is cancelled and school ends at 3:00 p.m.

December Outreach
In celebration and thanksgiving for our school’s receipt of the 2009 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School of Excellence our December outreach will be a toy drive to benefit Toys for Tots. Please click on link at end of the newsletter for more information.


Manassas Christmas Parade
All Saints Catholic School will once again be participating in the Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 5th at 10AM in Old Town Manassas. All Saints children are invited to ride on the float. A permission slip is attached and is required for each child. Float participants need to be there by 9:15 and should be dressed appropriately for the weather.

This year our position number is 72 GREEN which puts us near Nathan’s on Mathis Ave. You may park in the lot behind Nathan’s and bring your child to the check in area by the float. However parking is limited to drop off only. Children should be picked up at All Saints by the Church immediately following the parade.

This years float is a live Nativity! We are in need of children to fill various roles. Please contact Sue Stevens at if your child would like to participate. Look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!

An Evening with St. Nicholas: Friday, December 4th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Join the 300 + people who have already RSVP’d for carols, cookies, cocoa, and a chance to help the “House of Mercy”.
Please bring a donation (or two) of new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day. Proceeds will go to House of Mercy. House of Mercy shoe donation guidelines are: NEW plain colors of tennis shoes- white, blue, black, tan, or brown. No character tennis shoes, please. Monetary donations (cash and checks) will also be accepted. Please make checks out the “All Saints Catholic Church”, and in the memo section write “House of Mercy”.

Plan on coming and haven’t RSVP’d yet? There’s still time. Visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link on the school website at We want to make sure there’s enough cookies and cocoa for all!
Donations of cocoa mix and mini- marshmallows are still being accepted. Please contact Gina Michak at (703-330-8099) if you’d like to donate or volunteer and earn “points for parents”.

Upcoming Events
Thursday, December 3rd ~ High School Placement Test
Friday, December 4th ~ 4th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation; Evening with St. Nick (6:30 – 8:30 a.m.)
Saturday, December 5th ~ Greater Manassas Christmas Parade (10:00 a.m.); VIRTUS Update Video (10:30 a.m.)
Monday, December 7th ~ 5th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation; Peace & Justice Players after school Field Trip to SERVE
Tuesday, December 8th ~ Immaculate Conception Feast Day Mass (10:00 a.m.)
Wednesday, December 9th ~ 6th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation; Band Concert (gym/7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, December 10th ~ VIRTUS Update Video (2:00 p.m.)
Friday, December 11th ~ 7th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation; Interims issued for 2nd Quarter

Blue Ribbon December Outreach ~