January 29, 2021
Happy Friday! I feel like every single week that we accomplish is a reason to celebrate still being together and healthy. This past weekend we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, one of our patron saints. St. Francis de Sales is my personal favorite saint. I believe this love for St. Francis and his idea of “gentle strength” came from my roots here at St. Anthony’s as a student in the 70’s and 80’s. I then attended Padua Academy where our school motto was “softly but strongly.” Upon graduation, I decided to attend Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (currently De Sales University). It was there that my love for our patron saint grew even deeper. I found that he was a man very ahead of his time. He was very well spoken and well versed, and his quotes often struck me as having a counseling background. He urged us to have patience with ourselves and to be kind to ourselves and others. He practiced and preached about the “little virtues”. They include honesty, acceptance, generosity, humility, gentle strength, kindness, patience, simplicity, liberty of spirit, joyful optimism, interiority, courage, acceptance, and stewardship. His messages were simple, are still very relevant today, and are easily shared with our students. Check out some of his illustrated quotes on our Facebook page. Follow us at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School Families, Alumni & Friends.
Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service: This Sunday, January 31st marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. Information for the week was sent home already and has details outlined for each day. Despite our unusual circumstances this year and our limitations for pep rallies and celebrations, we still have a fun week planned for all. We will highlight our faith component with a school wide prayer service (via the PA system). We are once again reaching out to the local St. Patrick’s Center for our service component. Please remember those canned goods. We will be accepting them all next week, and I assure you that your contributions are very much appreciated. Should you wish to send in a monetary donation instead of canned goods, feel free to send that directly to the main office with cash or a check made payable to St. Patrick’s Center. Here are just a few highlights of our week. Students may wear their gym uniforms or school spirit wear that entire week. Sneakers are the required shoe each day, for safety reasons. On Monday we will honor our entire staff with a Staff Appreciation Day. Thank you in advance to our Home and School Association for sponsoring a lunch for our staff. On Tuesday, we will have pajama day and a school-wide Bingo for all. On Wednesday, we celebrate our 100th Day of School and Student Appreciation Day. The Kona Ice Truck will be coming to give our students a special treat. Thursday will be Spirit Day. Mrs. Orensky has activities planned in the gym for individual classes to attend. Friday will be Dress Down Day. Again, sneakers must be worn for safety. On Friday at 2pm we will have an 8th Grade Students Versus Parents Kickball Game in the field (weather permitting). Please stay tuned for a School Messenger, should that activity have to be canceled. Grades 4 through 8 will be attending that game, so be sure students are dressed appropriately to be outdoors. We are looking forward to this special week. I am a firm believer in Catholic education. In the past 20 years, I have seen the fruits of our labor. With the help of parents (the first teachers for our children), we send children out into the world. They return to us as adults (parents), and we are so proud of our graduates. They go on to do great and meaningful things.
Knights of Columbus Vocation Essay Contest: Once again, our students participated in the Annual Knights of Columbus Vocation Essay Contest. We were happy to learn that we had a winner from each grade that submitted essays. Our winners are as follows: Congratulations to 6th Grader Natalie Krevchuck, 7th Grader Patrick McLaughlin, and 8th Grader Giada Brown. Your essays were very well-written! Our winning essays will be eligible for the State Finals competition.
Lent is approaching! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by this year. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th. Our schoolwide theme this year is “OUR JOURNEY TO THE CROSS.” This theme was chosen by students, and I think the use of the word “journey” is very appropriate at this time. We all seem to have been on one interesting journey this past year. With its struggles, we have seen a lot of blessings. With division in our country, we have seen great unity within our school community. We have witnessed love, inclusion, and compassion in our school. While sharing great losses this year, we have grown closer to each other in support and sympathy. With sickness in our families, we have grown to appreciate our health, even if it is not optimal. With job losses, we have stretched our resources to be sure everyone who wishes to attend our school is able to do so. During Lent, we will remember the great sacrifices Jesus made for us. We will talk about Jesus’s “journey” to the Cross and the significance of what that means to us as His believers. Despite limited access to the church, we will still be able to have Stations of the Cross; a long tradition here at St. Anthony’s. More details will follow as we get closer to that time. We do not plan to mix any grades. Everyone is still learning in their one homeroom cohort. Typically we would attend church as a large group. This year we may have to do Stations one class at a time or outdoors if weather permits.
2021-2022 Reregistration has begun! Thank you to those who have already sent in your reregistration within the past 48 hours. The sooner we can plan for next year, the better off we will be and the more programs we will be able to offer our students. Please be sure to send in all reregistration paperwork by next week, as we will open registration to new students at that time.
NOON DISMISSAL February 12th and School Closed February 15th! Please mark your calendars for February 12th and 15th, as we will not have another Tiger Talk! prior to those dates. We have a noon dismissal that Friday. NO AFTER CARE WILL BE PROVIDED. School is closed on Monday, February 15th for Presidents’ Day. Enjoy that long weekend.
COVID Precaution Gratitude: I just want to take a quick moment to thank you for your continued diligence and focus on our school priorities of masking, screening, handwashing/sanitizing, and distancing. We appreciate you keeping our school community safe and having children stay home if they show any cold or flu symptoms. Your individual efforts are allowing us to remain fully in-person. In my recent interview with Tim Furlong at Channel 10 News, I did brag about all of you. Unfortunately, the segment was focused on vaccinations, so my praise and shout out to our school families did not make the cut. Know that your efforts have really paid off this year. In a very unsettled and anxiety-provoking time, it is very nice to be able to come to work feeling safe.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Please stay safe and be well. Once again, I would like to thank you for the gift of your precious children. Thank you for trusting us to “nurture them academically, spiritually, and emotionally, assisting them to lead enriching and fulfilling lives” as our mission states. As Catholic school educators, we are “Called to Serve” and I can’t imagine any other place I would rather serve every day. I look forward to a time soon when we are all back together face-to-face. Our teachers have started receiving invitations for their COVID vaccination, so I am filled with hope.
“Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.” Pope Francis