Mr. Lyall's Line May 18, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

This will be my last article here at St. Pats, and I really want to thank all of you for the last ten years.  I have truly enjoyed my time here, and feel blessed to have been a part of this parish and school.  I am amazed at the multiple things we have accomplished and am very proud to have been a small part of this community.  I do appreciate all of the good wishes and heartfelt words that many have shared.  You all mean a lot to me, this school and community will be forever a huge part of my career and life.

 

I have driven over 300,000 miles in the last 10 years and spent over a year of time driving back and forth.  Please do not get me wrong, I do not regret a mile or minute.  I even discovered that my vehicle had 10 bumps on the steering wheel, to which I used them to frequently pray the rosary on my trips. My prayer has always been for all of you and the success and health of every student and their families.  I will continue to keep St. Patrick parish and school in my prayers.

 

I have made many friends here.  I will always value our friendships.  I am so happy to have been here and relish all of the lessons I have learned and gained from all of you.  Thank you.

 

May the coming years at St. Patrick be filled with an abundance of blessings and good times.  You all have a true gem in this parish and school that shines brightly as a beacon of faith.  Please remember that in the days to come.  You really can/do make a difference in the community and diocese.  Thank you for ten wonderful years.

 

May God bless each of you and keep you from harm.  I will miss St. Pats!

 

St. Patrick...pray for us.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall 

 

  

Mr. Lyall's Line May 11, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

May has arrived.  The warm air does not remind us of May, but Nevertheless, it is here.  Hopefully, we will start to see some of those May showers.  I will continue to pray for moisture.

 

With the arrival of May, many events accompany these days.  Confirmation, field trips, promotion, testing, and end of the year meetings are all scheduled for this month. Please let all of these fine young people know how proud of them we are for this strong choice in their faith. Next, 8th-grade Promotion is scheduled for May 17th at 7:00 P.M. in the Church.  Please join me in congratulating our 8th graders.  We truly are proud of each of them and all of their accomplishments.  This class truly has demonstrated the meaning of being fine young men and women.  I am very proud of them and wish each of them well.  Lastly, I want to remind all of you to talk with your teachers if you need to find out what students can do for the summer.  Each of us is glad to help promote learning over the summer.

 

Happy spring...happy May!  It is a busy one.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall    

 

Mr. Lyall's Line May 4, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

Well, May seems to be moving rather quickly.  Before we know it we will be eating our picnic lunch on the last day.  Before I jump too far ahead, we still have many learning opportunities taking place in these final days.  The diocesan assessments in Religion and Technology are still underway.  Students still need to focus on these important checkpoints from the diocese. Also, students need to complete projects and study for the remaining classes and tests.  Additionally, the students are participating in so many activities outside of school.  Be sure to check the calendar for your student, as many great things are planned at all grade levels.

 

It is not too late to sign up for some summer learning at our Beyond the Bell Learning program.  Classes are available June 18th through the 21st and July 30th through Aug. 2nd.  Each session is $100.00.  Please call the school office for registration information.

 

Congratulations to our second graders as they received their first Holy Eucharist on last Sunday.  May they all enjoy God's abundant grace through the Eucharist.  Many Blessings to the entire second grade.  By the way, I loved all of the banners that each family made.  They were beautiful.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line April 27, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

As Catholic parents, we know that the soul is the only part of our child that will live forever but sometimes we put off nurturing it in favor of more immediate priorities.  Yet, it's important to build good spiritual habits while children are young, so they are ingrained into adulthood.  Consider these ideas for raising a strong healthy soul in your child's body:

 

Feed the soul like you would the body. Spiritual nourishment comes from attending Mass every weekend, receiving the Sacraments, and daily prayer.  Encourage prayer as a family, too.  

 

Educate the soul. Denying a child a proper academic education is unthinkable, so make sure to provide ample opportunities to learn about our faith through religious education programs.  Whether your child is in Catholic School or the parish school of religion, give religion homework the same priority as any other essential subject.

 

Show by example.  When we teach our child to ride a bike or tie their shoe, we do so by showing them how.  Make sure to also show your child ways to live the faith.  Discuss what you do to keep your own soul healthy and strong.

 

Daily exercise is key.  One only gets better with practice.  Make sure your child practices his faith every day.  Prayer and service to others are two everyday habits that start in childhood.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line April 6, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

Happy Easter to everyone!

 

The Easter Vigil is the "Mother of All Vigils."Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times. Easter is the celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian:  Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the resurrection:"If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith." (1 Cor 15:14)

The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day. In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.

 

The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East." The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ. It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time and lit for all liturgical celebrations.  

 

May the risen Lord bless us in these holy days of Easter.

 

In other news, please turn in your registration forms for next school year.  We are planning the budget and need that information as soon as possible.  If you need another registration form, please check your e-mail or call Tammi in the office.  Thank you.

 

Thanks for the great response to the online shopping program we have started.  This is yet another way the school can benefit from you doing online shopping, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for your support.  If you need more details please call Tammi Osner in the office.

 

We are truly blessed this Easter season.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line March 29, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

HOLY WEEK

 

On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week, with the greatest tragedy and sorrow of the year.

Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem is only one side of the story.

 

By now many of the Jews are filled with hate for Our Lord. They want to see him stoned, calling Him a blasphemer, especially after offering proof of His Divinity during a winter visit to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication.

 

After this, Jesus went to Perea, where he was summoned to Bethany. There he raised Lazarus from the dead, a miracle which wins Him such renown among certain Pharisees that they decided finally to end His life.

 

Jesus took refuge at Ephrem returning six days before Passover to Bethany, triumphantly entering Jerusalem. That evening, He leaves Jerusalem and returns Monday. He spent time with Gentiles in the Temple, and on Wednesday left for the Mount of Olives. Here he foretold the apostles the events of the next several days, including His impending death.

 

He returned to Jerusalem on Thursday, to share the Last Supper with His apostles. He was subsequently arrested and tried. He was crucified at Calvary on Friday, outside the gates of Jerusalem.

 

He was buried the same day, and arose three days later, on Easter Sunday.

 

All of this is done by our Lord for forgiveness of our sins, and for life everlasting with Him.

 

God so loved us, that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us so that our sins may be forgiven.

 

May the blessing of this Lenten season and the Easter message bless each of you during this Holy time.

 

With You in Christ,

 

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line March 15, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

First, I want to thank the many individuals who put together the St. Pats Dinner and Raffle.  The countless hours of preparation and hard work for our parish and school are truly a gift of the Holy Spirit.  I am so impressed by the efforts.  Thank you for the gift of your time, talents, and treasure.  I assure you that your effort does not go unnoticed and we appreciate all that you do.  Every penny raised will directly help our parish, students, and school.

 

Next, I want to thank everyone for their generous contributions to the Drexel Fund.  We raised $1,000 this year.  That is fantastic!  This money assists all Drexel schools in the Diocese, as well as St. Patrick. I certainly hope that your support of the Drexel fund continues for the benefit of our Catholic School.  Thanks for your donation.

 

Spring break is March 19-23rd.  I hope you enjoy this time off with your families.  Please be careful if you are traveling.  See you on Monday, March 26th.

 

If you did not have a chance to conference with your child's teacher, please make sure you contact them to accomplish this task.

 

Lastly, please send your pre-registration for the 2018-2019 school year in as soon as possible.  Thank you. 

 

May God continue to bless our efforts during this Lenten season

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line March 2, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

March is here!  With the start of March comes many activities and opportunities for all of us to participate. 

First, the St. Patrick Dinner and raffle will be Sunday, March 11th.  Raffle tickets went home with students earlier in the week.  Please keep selling those tickets for some really great prizes.  The students really do a fantastic job each year doing this.  We offer them some very nice incentives, which they truly enjoy and deserve.  Thank you to everyone who works diligently to make this a huge success.

 

Our 2nd graders will receive the sacrament of reconciliation on Sunday, March 4th.  Please pray for these students as they learn more about fully participating in the sacraments of the Church.  We are proud of you, second graders.

 

The Valley 9 Music festival will be held here at St. Patrick on March the 6th.  This is a day filled with beautiful music, both vocal and instrumental.  Come enjoy the talents of many students across the entire Valley 9.

 

March 8th our students are performing, The Mystery Club, a short play at Kingman High School at 6:30 pm.  Cost of the play is a free will donation.  Please come support our students with this performance.  They have really worked hard and you will be in for a very nice treat!  

 

Spring pictures will be March 13th.  Please see the handbook for appropriate attire

 

Conferences by request are on March 16th.  Please call the office if you would like to schedule a conference with one or more of the teachers.  Teachers will also be contacting some of you as well.

 

Spring Break begins March 16th after conferences.  Classes resume on the 26th.

 

March 29th marks Holy Thursday.  We once again will be hosting a Seder Meal for the entire School.  It is a 12:30 dismissal, and a dress-up day for the students.  Good Friday we have no school, as well as Easter Monday.

 

As I said, many opportunities for everyone to participate in activities this March.  I hope to see you at every event.

 

May God abundantly bless you and your family during this Lenten season.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line February 15, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

This week marks the start of our Lenten season.  I was reading an article in preparation for Lent and have decided to share some prayer ideas for this season.

 

Pray for Transformation

 This Lent Most people have never prayed a prayer of transformation. Too often when we pray, we pray for tweaking. We want God to tweak this and tweak that. Let’s be honest. We don’t necessarily want our lives transformed. Transformation may seem attractive in a moment of blissfully holy idealistic exuberance or at a moment of crisis, but the everyday reality is we like to distance ourselves from the inner work required to bring about such a transformation.  Sure, we want some tweaking, but not transformation. This desire for tweaking is selective and selfish, while transformation is total and selfless.  We  pray for tweaking—and then we wonder why God doesn’t answer our prayers. The reason is simple: God is not interested in tweaking. God is in the business of transformation. He wants to turn your life upside down, which as it turns out is right side up. If you want to see something incredible, start praying for transformation. That’s a prayer God will answer.

 

Lenten Prayer for Transformation

Loving Father, I invite you into my life today and make myself available to you. Help me to become the-best-version-of-myself by seeking your will and becoming a living example of your love in the world. Open my heart to the areas of my life that need to change in order for me to carry out the mission and experience the joy you have imagined for my life.  Inspire me to live the Catholic faith in ways that are dynamic and engaging. Show me how to best get involved in the life of my parish.

Make our community hungry for best practices and continuous learning. Give me courage when I am afraid, hope when I am discouraged, and clarity in times of decision.  Teach me to enjoy uncertainty and lead your Church to become all you imagined it would be for the people of our times.  Amen.

 

Lenten Prayer for Ash Wednesday

God of goodness and mercy, hear my prayer as I begin this Lenten journey with you. Let me be honest with myself as I look into my heart and soul, noticing the times I turn away from you. Guide me as I humbly seek to repent and return to your love.  May humility guide my efforts to be reconciled with you and live forever in your abundant grace.  Transform me this Lent, heavenly Father. Give me the strength to commit myself to grow closer to you each day.  Amen.

 

Lenten Prayer for Sundays during Lent

Heavenly Father, as I enter another week of my Lenten journey, guide me to the path that leads to you. Fill my heart with gratitude, patience, strength, and peace as I strive to become the-best-version-of-myself, honestly admitting my shortcomings and sins.  As I renew my resolve each day to become a better person, let me hear your voice in the deepest reaches of my heart. Give me rest in you.  Help me to accept others, showing them your great love instead of casting judgment.  Stay with me through the busy days this week and remind me that when I need comfort, solitude, wisdom, or guidance, I can always turn to you.  Help me develop discipline and generosity through fasting and almsgiving, and come closer to you through prayer this Lent. In your name I pray, Amen.

 

I hope that you find this information useful this Lenten season.

 

May the sacrifices we make during this Lenten season lead all of us closer to God!

 

With you in Christ,

 

Mr. Lyall

 

 

 

Mr. Lyall's Line February 9, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

I recently read an article on prayer.  I thought I would share a few things I got from this article.

 

We have all had times of great wonder during which we experienced God’s presence: a sunset, a piece of music or a baby’s smile. If we are willing to see and to listen to life around us, we will experience God speaking to us through the wonder of His creation in all its forms.

 

Often our understanding of prayer can be too narrow and can exclude everyday experiences because they don’t fit our definition of what prayer is or is supposed to be.

 

If prayer is an activity that nurtures our relationship with God, then, if having a cup of tea with a friend nurtures this relationship that is prayer. If sitting still in a park or garden feeds your soul that is prayer. Listening to music, assisting at children's liturgy, coaching a team, can all be prayer.

 

We may have stopped praying because our “old” images of God are no longer valid and we have no “new” images to replace them. If we try to figure out who God is before we pray, we might never pray.

 

If we wait to pray till we have the right words, we might never pray. The longer we wait to pray the more we leave God “in the Church” or in a “Religious Ceremony” instead of in a relationship with us.

 

I found these words to be intriguing, true, and inspirational.  I pray you find some of the same things.

 

On Thursday St. Patrick hosted the County Spelling Bee.  The schools represented, St. Patrick, Cunningham, Kingman, and Norwich had ten representatives, 5 students in Division B and 5 students in Division A.  The Division A winner goes on to represent Kingman County in the State Spelling Bee.

 

              The winners in Division A are: 

              1st - Sukesh Kamesh   KEMS

              2Nd – Izabelle Youngers   KEMS

              3Rd – Noah Wendling    KEMS                       

 

              The winners in Division B are:

              1St – Lucas Hageman  St. Patrick's

              2Nd – Sierra Valentine   KEMS

              3Rd – Kaitlyn Hennessee  Cunningham

 

The student representing Kingman County in the State Spelling Bee is:  Sukesh Kamesh from KEMS

 

Thank you to all of the students who competed.  It was an honor to have all the students in our school.

 

Have a very blessed weekend.  Don't forget to pray!

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line February 2, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

This week has been a huge celebration of our Catholic School.  The many virtues, values, and faith-filled reminders I have witnessed during this week have been truly a blessing.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful Catholic School and Diocese.  I would like to thank the Student Council and their sponsors for sponsoring all of the events and activities this week.  I am truly proud of St. Patrick Catholic School and all that it represents.

 

I would like to thank each and every person who supports our mission here at St. Patrick.  Thank you, parents, grandparents, parishioners, teachers, students, and all stakeholders for embracing our faith and providing for each of our needs.  We are truly blessed.  You do make a difference.  Our students also thank you!

 

Catholic schools benefit all year long from the religious guidance, prayers and support parishes provide. Many parishes join in the National Catholic Schools Week celebration by devoting a Mass to Catholic education. 

 

A central aspect of our Catholic school is learning the importance of service to others. When students take part in service activities they demonstrate the values and faith gained through Catholic education. Our students truly shine with this endeavor.

 

By focusing on faith, knowledge and service, St. Patrick prepares children to use their God-given talents to the fullest later in life.  

 

So, this week is truly a celebration of everyone coming together to increase our faith.  We are truly blessed to have a Catholic School, we are truly blessed to have a Diocese that supports all of the schools.  We are truly blessed to have Stewardship guiding our lives.  Our faith is important and here at St. Patrick we recognize that daily.  Thank you for all of your time, talents, and treasure.  We could not do it without you!

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

 

 

Mr. Lyall's Line January 26, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

Is it warm or is it cold outside...?...welcome to January weather.  As I have mentioned in the past, it is always better to have layers of clothing that can be removed rather than not having enough.

 

The colder weather has also brought illness.  The entire school was disinfected on Saturday to help from spreading more illness.  If your child is ill, has a fever, and is exhibiting signs of the flu, please keep them home.  This round of the flu has had symptoms that suddenly appear, and students are sick to their stomach.  Students are contagious for 48 hours, and should not be here at school.  Experts are even saying that a persons breath can spread this strain of the flu.  Hand washing and being vigilant and proactive are still the best ways to combat the spread of the flu.  Thank you for helping us keep the spread of the flu and illness in check.

 

Congratulations to our St. Patrick Catholic School Spelling Bee Participants!  They are:

1st Grade: Paisley Gonzales, Isabelle Kaufman, Hunter Stasa

2nd Grade:Finley Maloney, Logan Birkenbaugh, Andrew Ziegler

3rd Grade: Michael Harbert, Kevin Kaufman, Brian Fairchild

4th Grade: Sean Kostner, Dawson Wood, Hope Hughes

5th Grade: Lucas Hageman, Claire Birkenbaugh, Avery Mertens, Emma Harden, Sophia Kaufman, William McBeth

6th Grade: Valerie Weninger, Peyton Eck, Claire Meng

7th Grade: Victoria Tetrick, Ashton Thimesch, Peyton Thimesch

8th Grade: Lauren Theis, Coye Stucky, A. J. Weninger

 

            Winners       Division A                     Division B

                             Ashton Thimesch         Lucas Hageman

                              Victoria Tetrick              Dawson Wood

                              Claire Meng                  Hope Hughes

                               Peyton Eck                   Brian Fairchild

                            A. J. Weninger              Claire Birkenbaugh

                          Valerie Weninger  Alt.    Finley Maloney Alt.

 

These students will be representing our school, Thursday, February 8th @ 10:00 am in the Kingman County Spelling Bee here at St. Patrick's.  Congratulations!

 

This Saturday starts Catholic Schools Week.  We are so blessed to have our Catholic School.  We are also grateful to everyone who gives of their time, talents, and treasure in support of what we do.  Our school is outstanding, thank you for your support and efforts on our behalf.  A list of activities for our celebration is attached to this week's POST. Don't forget to sign-up for the Grandparents' Luncheon next Friday.  I hope to see all of you there.

 

What is National Catholic Schools Week?

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2018 is January 28 - February 3. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2018 is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. 

Have a blessed week!  Thank you again for all you do to make our Catholic School a wonderful place to pray and learn.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall 

Mr. Lyall's Line January 19, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

With the bitter cold temperatures, I just want to remind everyone to make sure your students are bundled-up when they come to school.  The temperatures do change rapidly, however, it is always better to have too much clothing, rather than not enough.

 

I do want to say a special thank you to everyone who donated to the hat and mitten tree this year.  All the items were delivered to the shelters on last Friday by our 8th-grade class, and everything was well received.  I am certain that your generosity has benefited hundreds of people.  Thank you for making this a huge success for those in need. 

 

The St. Patrick Spelling Bee will be January 24th in the school cafeteria.  There will be, as always two divisions.  Please come and support our super spellers as they compete for a spot in the Kingman, County Spelling Bee.  The County Bee will be here at St. Patrick as well on February 8th at 10:00 am.

 

This weekend and next we will be filling the Bierock orders that were placed.  Please come and pick them up on Saturday after you have been notified.  Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this delicious event.

 

Catholic Schools' Week begins with Saturday evening mass on January 27th and ends on Friday, February 2nd with our grandparent's luncheon.  A list of activities will be coming soon, as well as sign-up sheet for the luncheon.  The theme this year is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.  Please join us in celebrating our wonderful Catholic school.

 

Have a wonderful weekend as I hear the warmer weather may bless us this weekend again.

 

May God continue to abundantly bless all that we do.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

 

Mr. Lyall's Line January 12, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

The basketball tournaments are in full swing for our 7th and 8th-grade boys and girls.  The teams are currently doing very well.  Good luck Crusaders!  You make us proud.  

 

Many students, particularly at this time of year experience a period of basic winter doldrums.  Homework is a hassle and can become a struggle.  Here are some tips to help end some of these doldrums and create a homework-friendly home to sidestep some of the big obstacles parents and children face. Try these 7 tips to get started:

 

1. Feed your child's tummy and brain. I am dutiful about making sure my son is sent off to school with a good (some days only OK) breakfast because I know how important a full belly is for learning. After school a full belly is important too and not one filled only with sugary pantry items. A hungry child or one crashing from too much sugar is not a child eager to do his or her homework without a struggle.

 

2. Allow lots of fresh air and play time first, but no screens. After a long day at school, many children need time to unwind. I have found that by allowing a lot of play time but absolutely zero screen time my son will play more, and get to his homework without struggle because he's had a much-needed break from learning. Often my son will go straight for his homework to get it out of the way but on days when he doesn't the only rule that is not negotiable is zero screens before homework.

 

3. Have a designated place for all school things. No need for it to be fancy, the same spot by the door is perfect. Your child needs to be able to find the homework that needs to be done easily when it's time to get to work.

 

4. Have a designated place for doing homework. No need for a special room, just a spot that your child uses every day. Have everything your children might need within arm's reach so that when they are ready to sit down and do homework they don't start wandering about and getting distracted by everything else that is not their homework.

 

5. Clear your schedule if possible. Be available when they are doing their homework. You may need to be right there next to your kids helping, or nearby in case an issue pops up but try your best not to be unable to help if they need it.

 

6. Stay calm so your child will too. If your child has hit a roadblock attack the issue as a team. If you are frustrated, that will make the whole situation worse. Homework is something many children have daily and keeping the experience as pleasant as possible will help make this daily activity smooth sailing.

 

7. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Cranky kids are often tired or hungry. If you have given them a good healthy snack and they are still cranky, the next step is to take a good look at their sleep. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention school-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep each night. Your child may need even more.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line January 5, 2018

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

I hope that everyone enjoyed their time together during this holiday season.  I certainly did.  I would also like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who generously gave to our hat and mitten tree.  We collected many items that will benefit many people. Those items will be delivered by our 8th-grade class next Friday.  I am certain our students will benefit from this experience.  

 

Please make sure your students are prepared for the winter weather with hats, gloves, and coats.  If the weather allows they still enjoy getting a break outside.

 

Have a Blessed New Year.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line December 15, 2017

Mr. Lyall's Line
 
This week we were treated to a very nice Christmas program at the high school.  Thank you to all of the children, Mrs. Tonya Kiley, Mrs. Danna Hernandez, and Aidan Hill.  The music and singing were beautiful.  It truly bolstered my Christmas spirit.

Don't forget that you still have time to donate hats, gloves, mittens, socks, and scarfs to our donation tree here at the school.  Thank you to everyone who has participated. Please consider helping if you have not done so, as your gifts warm the needy in many ways.

As the third week of advent quickly approaches, I have an explanation of the third week for you and your family.  I hope you have tried a couple of the activities and suggestions, as they are fantastic ways to learn about Advent and prepare for Christmas.

Gaudete Week

Our week begins with “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin.  It comes from the first word of the Entrance antiphon on Sunday.  The spirit of joy that begins this week comes from the words of Paul, “The Lord is near.”  This joyful spirit is marked by the third candle of our Advent wreath, which is rose-colored, and the rose-colored vestments often used at the Eucharist.

The second part of Advent begins on December 17th each year.  For the last eight days before Christmas, the plan of the readings changes.  The first readings are still from the prophecies, but now the gospels are from the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke.  We read the stories of faithful women and men who prepared the way for our salvation.  We enter into the story of how Jesus' life began.  These stories are filled with hints of what his life will mean for us.  Faith and generosity overcome impossibility.  Poverty and persecution reveal glory.

Preparing our Hearts and asking for Grace

We prepare this week by feeling the joy.  We move through this week feeling a part of the waiting world that rejoices because our longing has prepared us to believe the reign of God is close at hand.  And so we consciously ask: 

Prepare our hearts 
and remove the sadness 
that hinders us from feeling 
the joy and hope 
which his presence 
will bestow.

Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle.  Three candles, going from expectation to longing, to joy.  They represent our inner preparation or inner perspective.  In this world of “conflict and division,” “greed and lust for power,” we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy.  Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say,

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 
     my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

Each day this week, we will continue to go through our everyday life, but we will experience the difference our faith can bring to it.  We are confident that the grace we ask for will be given us.  We will encounter sin - in our own hearts and in our experience of the sin of the world.  We can pause in those moments, and feel the joy of the words,

“You are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

We may experience the Light shining into dark places of our lives and showing us patterns of sinfulness, and inviting us to experience God's mercy and healing.  Perhaps we wish to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week.  We may want to make gestures of reconciliation with a loved one, relative, friend or associate.  With more light and joy, it is easier to say, “I'm sorry; let's begin again.”

Each night this week we want to pause in gratitude.  Whatever the day has brought, no matter how busy it has been, we can stop, before we fall asleep, to give thanks for a little more light, a little more freedom to walk by that light, in joy.

Our celebration of the coming of our Savior in history, is opening us up to experience his coming to us this year, and preparing us to await his coming in Glory.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come and visit your people.  
We await your coming.  Come, O Lord.

This week our teacher feature is on Margaret "Pidge" Wolfe.  She has been a classroom para with us for four years.  Enjoy!

Teacher Feature: Margaret "Pidge" Wolfe

Hello everyone, this is Margaret Wolfe (Pidge) I have been a para here at St. Patrick's school for almost 4 years now. God Blessed me with this job when I was needing a job change, and everyone has made me feel welcome. I love working with all of St. Pat's students and teachers.  I'm married to my best friend Joe Wolfe. We have 2 grown children, 1 granddaughter, and 3 grandsons. Our granddaughter and her husband will be having our first great-grandson at the end of March. I'm a very blessed Wife, mom, and grandma. Hope you all have a happy 2018! 

Have a wonderful weekend...may blessings to you and your family this Advent season!

With you in Christ,

 

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line December 7, 2017

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

Well, the weather outside has finally decided to get colder.  I enjoy the colder weather as it reminds me of Denver.  Now if we could get some of the needed moisture, that would be great.  I will continue to pray for the much-needed precipitation.

 

Last week I included a Week One Advent Activity.  I hope some of you tried it with your family.  This week I have 10 activities that will help any person choose what they would like to do for the season of Advent.  I hope you try a few, maybe even all of them.  They truly are great activities to prepare for the birth of our Savior.

 

Inline image 1

Speaking of Advent, please do not forget to donate hats, gloves, mittens, scarfs, and socks to our tree this Advent.  Last year your generosity was overwhelming.  Your gifts directly benefit the people of Kingman and Sedgwick Counties. We appreciate everyone who has already given and hope that we all can participate in warming the needy at this time of year.

 

May God Abundantly bless you and your family this Advent season.

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line December 1, 2017

Mr. Lyall's Line

 

The end of this week marks the start of Advent.  What a beautiful time of the year.  In preparation for this season, I thought I would share an activity each week that truly helps us understand and celebrate this season.  These are activities I have done with my own family and students in the past.  They seem to really help prepare for the true meaning of Christmas.

 

A Message from Isaiah Bookmark

 

Activity Objective

 

To remember a verse in Isaiah that helps us celebrate Advent

 

Lesson Outcome

 

The young people will be able to identify the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.

 

Materials:

Strips of thick paper

Markers or crayons, pens or pencils

 

Take a few moments to share with the young people the idea of the Jesse tree and what it represents to us during Advent.

As a group, read aloud the verse in Isaiah from which the idea for a Jesse tree originated. (Isaiah 11:1)

Give each child a strip of thick paper. As you do so, ask the young people to share what the verse means to them.

Ask the young people to write the verse from Isaiah on their strips of paper to use as bookmarks.

When they have written the verse, invite the young people to illustrate their bookmarks, perhaps with an image of an event leading up to the birth of Jesus.

When the young people have completed their drawings, invite them to share what event they chose to draw and why.

Suggest to the young people how they might use these bookmarks so that the message on them remains special to the Advent season. Perhaps the bookmarks can be used during this time of the year, in books used during times of celebration, and so on.

 

I hope you try this activity.  It certainly has been a good one for my family as we start Advent.

 

Don't forget that we are collecting hats, gloves, mittens, scarfs, socks, and the like for the poor and homeless.  We really had an outstanding showing last year, and I am hoping for the same this year.  Last year your donations helped well over 200 people, and I know were very much appreciated.  Please send all sizes from youth to adult.  Help us warm the hands and hearts of the poor.

 

This weeks teacher feature is on Melissa Tetrick. Enjoy!

 

May God Abundantly bless your Advent preparation!

 

With you in Christ,

 

Mr. Lyall                     

Mr. Lyall's Line November 10 2017

Mr. Lyall's Line
 
Another chilly week.  I have seen a lot of red faces and fingers coming inside after recess.It never hurts to have gloves, hats, and a heavier coat.  Layering seems to be the best practice for the students.  It is easier to remove a set of gloves that to be without.

Again this week I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping with the new dismissal procedures.  We seem to be dismissing students at a faster pace than in previous years, and the safety feature is truly paramount.  Thank you for having patience and expressing your kind words as well as your concerns.  We want everyone to be safe.  Thank you.

I would like to thank everyone who helped make the Denim and Diamonds Dinner and Auction a huge success.  We had a full house and I believe everyone had a really good time.  Again, we are truly blessed by the numerous individuals who set-up, organize, and participate in this auction.  Every penny raised assists the entire school and church community.  Thank you for your generosity.  We appreciate everyone and their willingness to help.

We are getting ready to do our Hat, Mitten/Glove, Scarf and Sock Tree again this year.  This directly benefits our community and beyond.  Thank you for helping us warm many people in these cold months.  

Just a reminder that we are having another "clean the school day" on Saturday, November 18th, from 9:00 to 11:00.  The altar server retreat ends and coincides with our clean day start time, so if you have an altar server that you need to pick-up, please stay for a little while and help us clean the school.  This is an excellent way to share your stewardship.  The more people we have the faster we can accomplish our tasks.  Please consider joining us.  You can sign-up through the Sign-up Genius.  We hope to see you there.  This truly is a great way to have fellowship and help the entire school.
 
This weeks teacher feature is focused on Jeralyn Hill.  Jeralyn is our Art teacher and shares her many talents in multiple ways here at St. Pats.
 
In this month of many thanks, I pray for multiple blessings for every person in our school and parish family.  We are truly blessed!

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Lyall's Line November 3, 2017

Mr. Lyall's Line
 
Happy November!  The air is definitely getting cooler and fall is upon us.  I really do enjoy this time of year.  It reminds me of home.

I want to say thank you to everyone for helping make our new dismissal procedure a huge success.  Thank you too for your patience, as we work out the kinks.  This plan was put in place for the safety of the children.  We have had a few close calls in the parking lot and this seems to have solved our concerns.  I know everyone would agree that we need to do whatever is necessary to keep everyone safe.  On the first day, dismal of everyone took approximately 15 minutes.  The next day we were finished in around 9 minutes.  It seems that things are moving very nicely.  The line of cars did appear a little daunting, but it moved very quickly. Please know that we appreciate your helpfulness and kindness with this change.

This week is the last excerpt from Father Kemberling's article. It is a treasure.

Treasure  

Treasure

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Lk 12:34).

Treasure is everything that God has given to us; it’s not just the money that God provides. It’s the food. It’s the shelter. It’s the clothing. God has given them all to us as a gift. Now in our society when we’ve become “self-sufficient,” meaning that we’re more than self-sufficient, we can start thinking: “I’m providing for myself. I’m making that money happen. I’m earning the salary. I’m paying the bills. I bought all of this stuff.”

 

What do I mean God gave it to you? Well, God gives us our every breath. God makes everything happen to enable us to have our job, our health, and the ability to keep the job we have. God has created the economy and he blesses us. I believe this. God bless America! God has blessed America. I believe that when we get rid of our greed and look with humility and thankfulness at all that God has given us, we will realize how incredibly blessed we are in this country, and that God keeps on blessing us. We have so much in comparison to other countries.

 

When we look at treasure as a gift of all the things that God has given us, we need to remind ourselves that what God gives us is not our own. It belongs to God. He gives it all to us.

When you give ten percent back, that’s tithing. What a great idea the tithe is! In the Old Testament, everybody knows that you give a tithe and we’ve heard about that, but do we remember how it gets used? The tithe is given to the Levites. Now there were twelve tribes, and tribe of Levi was one of them. All except the Levites got land. Well, how are they going to have a farm? How are they going to raise food to feed themselves? How will they live if they don’t have any land? They are given some cities, but they are given no land. How can they survive? God told Moses that the people, the other tribes, would provide for the tribe of Levi by tithing. They would give their food to the Levites and that’s how the Levites would survive.

 

What kind of a system would be developed to implement this? The Levite tribe provided the priests. To be a priest you had to be in “perfect” condition. You had to be male, and you had to be between the ages of twenty-five and fifty. If you had a broken finger or a bad eye, you couldn’t be a priest. If a person was spotless, unblemished, male and a Levite, that person would become a priest. The priests offered sacrifices and also helped run Israel. They had the responsibility of collecting the tithe. After all, they had to feed mom and dad and sister and brother. The people would bring the tithe in so it could be used to feed everyone.

The Levites also were required to tithe and this tithe provided for the poor. In the Old Testament, the poor were directly provided for in the year of jubilee. It was the time when debts were forgiven, land was returned (that is, rested: no planting crops), the prisoners and slaves set free. There was a prohibition on interest and on taking collateral for loans from neighbors. (Foreigners, yes. Neighbors, no.) There was an obligation to tithe. Even in the fields, there was a tithe, the poor were allowed by law to glean them.

 

The third section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church focuses on the “Moral Life and the Ten Commandments.” The seventh commandment, “thou shall not steal,” is all about stewardship and you might be surprised at what the Catechism has to say about private property and about having an obligation. Private property is not an absolute. The goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. We can own it. We’re allowed to own what we need for ourselves, but there’s also an obligation to others outside of ourselves and our privacy. It has to do with justice and charity. When we do not give our money to the poor, we are stealing from them.

 

That’s what the Catechism describes. We have an obligation to the poor, and where do we find it? In the commandment “thou shall not steal.” There’s one other place that treasure and stewardship is mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is in the fourth section, the one on prayer. In the Our Father, we say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We have an image of God providing us everything we need. Remember, this is about treasure. God gives us everything we need.

 

In addressing the issue of helping the poor, the Catechism talks about the parable of a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. (See Lk 16:19-31.) There he is at the gates of the rich man and he is covered with sores which are licked by the dogs. The rich man eats splendidly every day and poor Lazarus longs to eat the scraps that fall from the rich man’s table. One day the poor man dies and is immediately whisked to heaven in the arms of Father Abraham. Sure enough, the rich man dies and finds himself in torment and flames. He looks up and sees Lazarus in the arms of Abraham and calls out, “Father Abraham, send Lazarus down here to give me some water.” Father Abraham says, “No, Lazarus is not coming to give you any water. You were well off in your life and now you suffer, whereas poor Lazarus was poor off and now he’s found consolation.” He says, “Besides, he can’t come down to you and you can’t come up to us. There’s a chasm between the two.” Then the rich man says, “Well then, send him to my family. I have five brothers. Tell them so that they don’t end up in this terrible place like me.” Father Abraham says, “Look. If they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe if someone rises from the dead” — a reference to Jesus, rising from the dead.

 

What does that story tell us? The rich man is not condemned for being rich. He is condemned for not caring for the poor. You see, God gives us everything we need to live. God even gives us the portion –– the tithe –– to be given back to him. People tend to think it’s theirs and they tend to keep it for themselves. It isn’t ours. It belongs to God. “Give us this day our daily bread” applied to Lazarus. God gave Lazarus his daily bread. The problem is he didn’t get it. The rich man kept it for himself. That’s the problem of poverty in the world. The rich keep the tithe for themselves and don’t feed the poor. “The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus tells us. (See Mt 26:11.)

 

So when we have poverty in our midst its proof that we’re not treating the treasure that God has given to us with the respect that God expects of us. The tithe, that ten percent, isn’t ours. It is to be used to take care of the needs of the poor. The rich man would not have even noticed the scraps that fell from his table. He probably wouldn’t have noticed if he had given the first and best ten percent to Lazarus. Do you think the rich man would have ended up with less? God would have given the rich man even more. You will find out that God loves a good steward because he can trust him. What happens when you are trustworthy, or you’re in charge of something, and you find someone who is trustworthy? Do you give that person less or do you give that person more? You give more of course, or you take on more. God will give you more. He’ll give you more to manage. You know what? You don’t have to give all that increase away. He just says give ten percent of it away. So you get ninety percent more. You think, well, I’ll tithe again. God will again give you more.

 

That’s what God does. It is amazing. I’ve watched it happen. You will not end up with less. You’ll end up with more. Lazarus would have had his stomach full. The rich man would have had just as much food on his table and would not have noticed any lack. In fact, he would have had more food on his table. In that sense, we need to talk about treasure and how the tithe worked in the Old Testament. First of all, the tithe is not leftovers. You can’t look at everything you have and then say, “OK, whatever I can spare and whatever I can do without I give to God.” That’s not it at all. It needs to be an action of the first priority. It is the first fruits of the harvest. It’s not after sweeping up the grain bins that you figure out what you’re going to give to God. It is the first thing that is picked.

 

There’s a story of a village where a missionary came and talked all about tithing. A little boy went fishing. When he returned he came and knocked on the door of the missionary and said, “Here’s my fish.” The missionary asked, “Where are the other nine?” The boy said, “They’re still in the river. I haven’t caught them yet.”

 

He gave his first fish! This is a great story about trust. He trusted that God would provide and give him those other fish. It should be the same with us. We need to give the first tenth to God knowing that the other nine are in the river. God will give them to us. Can we do that? It was what was expected of the Israelites. They gave the first fruits to God, not knowing what the rest of the crop would bring.

 

When the Israelites offered a lamb for sacrifice, they didn’t pick out the blind and lame one. They didn’t ask, “Which lamb can I do without?” They found the prettiest, the most beautiful, and the healthiest one-year-old male lamb without blemish, the best one. That’s the one that was given to God and by God as our sacrifice. So it is in stewardship spirituality when you’re looking at treasure and it’s time to tithe we need an attitude change. We need to give not what’s leftover but what we have now. We give to God in thanksgiving for what God has done. We give our first and our best.

 

My personal practice is to get ahead of my tithe. I like to give more at the beginning of the year than I do at the end of the year. A lot of people catch up at the end of the year. I front load the year. I think that if God’s going to really bless me, he might really surprise me. I don’t want to find out I’m behind in my tithe when he is blessing. It’s an attitude change I made in myself because then I’m always looking for the blessings of God. I find out that God has already blessed me. I don’t look for some sort of extraordinary way God has blessed me. I start appreciating the ordinary blessings that I have and I’m grateful.

 

That’s what it does for me personally when I’m ahead of my tithe. I keep giving. I keep challenging myself saying, “OK, maybe I can give more.” When I just keep giving more I find out more keeps coming in. Try it. You’ll find out. You cannot outdo God in generosity. You cannot. Try it. Try giving half of it away and see what happens. You’ll get it all back and more. That’s just how God works. It’s amazing.

 

I hope you enjoyed this series of articles from Father Kemberling on the spirituality of Stewardship.  I have found them very rewarding and thought-filled.  

 

This weeks teacher feature is on Michael Marks.  Michael teachers Religion and the Social Sciences in grades 6, 7 and 8.  He is also the Communications Director for the school.

 

Happy November to all of you.  I have many reasons to be thankful for all of you!

 

With you in Christ,

Mr. Lyall

Mr. Bob Lyall