The Sentinel – Volume 11, Issue 14

Living Stones on the Pathway to Heaven…

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.

v  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.  There, the students and faculty participate in age-appropriate prayer services through which the children learn more about the tradition of the Advent wreath and meaning of the season.

v  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.

v  5th 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.

v  Toys for Tots ~ All Saints Peace and Justice Players will be conducting an Advent toy drive for Toys for Tots.  We are seeking donations of unwrapped toys for all ages. Collection bins will be located by the front office and in the breezeway. Toys will be collected from Wednesday, December 1st through Wednesday, December 15th.  Thank you for your generosity.

And speaking of new beginnings. . . .Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Tessier on the birth of their son, Mark Joseph.  Mark was born on Tuesday afternoon and weighed in at 9 lbs. 1oz.  Both the baby and Mrs. Tessier are doing well and the family is celebrating the addition of their seventh child.

Mr. Tessier will be out on leave through the next week.  While he is away, Mrs. Helmick will serve as substitute teacher for his religion classes and Mrs. Lewis will coordinate the rehearsals for the upcoming Christmas Pageant to be performed by the 6th grade theater arts class.

This week I would also like to share with you the news that Mrs. Laird, our new music teacher, is also expecting a child.  Unfortunately, these early weeks of her pregnancy have proven to be quite difficult, requiring that she be at home and resting.  For this reason, she will be on leave at least through the Christmas holiday.  While she is away, Miss Dalusung, our former music teacher, has graciously offered to prepare the Kindergarten, fourth, sixth and eighth grade classes for the Christmas Pageant scheduled for Thursday, December 16th.  Additionally, Miss Dalusung will coordinate the music for our school Masses and rehearse with the Schola on Wednesday afternoons following dismissal.  Mrs. Stevens, Director of Extended Day, will serve as the substitute teacher for the remaining music classes. I wish to also thank Mrs. Carol Rice for coordinating the music for the Evening with St. Nicholas Prayer Service that will occur on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the church.

We look forward to the annual Christmas Pageant that will be performed by the Kindergarten and students in the fourth, sixth and eighth grades on Thursday, December 16th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Activities Center.  The following is an excerpt of a letter from Mrs. Laird distributed to sixth grade parents during the month of November and pertains to those students who have been assigned roles for the pageant.

I am writing to ask for assistance with the costumes for the upcoming Christmas Pageant on Thursday, December 16th.  The costumes for character roles do not need to be elaborate- in fact, we would prefer the costume to be simple.  As long as the audience can perceive the character your child is portraying, whatever they wear will be perfect.  Readers and soloists are to wear black pants and shoes with a solid color dress shirt.  Production staff members are to wear all black.  We would also appreciate any help from parents who may be able to assist in costuming other students.  While we do have some costume pieces available, we would like to reserve these for any student who may be unable to obtain a costume.

Students in 4th and 8th grades are asked to wear their winter uniform, including ties.  Students in the Kindergarten are asked to wear “dress up clothes” in bright holiday colors.

Blessing of 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.

Amen.

A 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, forever and ever.  Amen.

Virtue of the Month ~ Generosity

During the month of December, students will be encouraged to implement the following strategies:

A.       Give from your own money to help others in need.

B.       Give freely of your time without expecting anything in return.

C.       Ask for forgiveness when you have hurt someone and be willing to forgive them when they hurt you.

D.       Offer to help someone in class each day.

E.       Share your supplies with someone who forgot theirs.

F.       Do something helpful for someone at home without being asked.

G.      See if others want “second helpings” before taking some for yourself.

H.       Let someone else in your family choose the movie or television show you will watch together.

I.         Offer to help an older neighbor with a job like raking leaves or shoveling snow.

J.        Let another person ahead of you get a drink first at the water fountain.

Prayer of the Month ~ Prayer of St. Nicholas

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.

NJHS Operation Turkey Yields Nearly 1000 lbs of Food!

Our annual food drive to help the homeless at SERVE was a great success yet again.  Thanks to the generosity of our students, members of the NJHS loaded nearly 1000 pounds of donated food items into a truck for delivery to SERVE.  Through this outpouring of kindness, the students and families have united their efforts in truly making a difference for those without food in our community.

Manassas Christmas Parade

All school families and friends are cordially invited to march with our school float in the annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 4th.  For more information, including a permission slip, please see the flyer distributed earlier this week.

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.

All Saints PTO 2nd Annual “Evening with St. Nicholas” ~ Friday, December 3rd.

Join us this Friday, December 3rd for an advent prayer service beginning in the church at 7pm.

Refreshments and photos (bring your own camera) will follow in the gym.  Please note: The line for photos will close at 8:20 p.m., sharp.

Please consider donating new shoes in honor of St. Nicholas and his feast day.    A “procession of shoes” will take place during the prayer service.  Monetary donations will also be accepted.   (A box for monetary donations will be in the gym.)

Proceeds 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.

Can’t make it to the event?   You can still make a donation by leaving it at the front desk, Attention: Gina Michak.

For planning purposes, please visit the “Evening with St. Nicholas” link at www.allsaintsvaschool.organd RSVP now!

*We still need help with clean up, as well as a few helpers to assist St. Nicholas before and during photos.    Thanks to all who have donated cookies/cocoa.  Those donations can be dropped off at the front desk on Thursday, December 2, or no later than Friday morning.

Contact Gina Michak at (703-330-8099) or ginamichak@gmail.com with questions or if you’d like to volunteer and earn “points for parents”. ***    Food donations also earn you points!

The PTO looks forward to seeing you on December 3.

Volunteering at All Saints

Are you missing out on volunteer email updates to find out about the latest volunteer opportunities?
If so, contact our Volunteer Co-Coordinator, Angela Slater, at schoolvolunteers@allsaintsvaschool.organd you will be added to our email update list.  Do you have questions about volunteering, points for parents, upcoming school events?–We now have Volunteer Coordinators to answer these questions and help connect volunteers at All Saints.  Please feel free to contact Angela Slater, Volunteer Co-Coordinator at the school volunteer email above.

Square 1 Art

Square 1 Art Orders have all been distributed.  If you have any questions regarding your order, please contact Kerry Balagtas at 703-365-7327 or Kerryb17@verizon.net.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 2nd 8th Grade High School Placement Test

Friday, December 3rd 3rd Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation (9:30 a.m.)

Noon Dismissal ~ Professional Development

2nd Annual Evening with St. Nicholas (church/7:00 p.m.)

Saturday, December 4th Greater Manassas Christmas Parade

Monday, December 6th 4th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation (9:30 a.m.)

Uniform Committee Meeting (PLC/7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, December 7th SCA Representatives to Visit Paul VI Options Program for Check Presentation

PTO Executive Board Meeting (PLC/7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, December 8th Feast of Immaculate Conception Mass (10:00 a.m.)

Thursday, December 9th Enrollment Management Team Meeting (Art Room/7:00 p.m.)

Friday, December 10th 5th Grade Sacrament of Reconciliation (9:30 a.m.)

2nd Quarter Interims distributed to students

Peace & Justice Players Presentation (PAC/2:00 p.m.)