Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With a few weeks remaining in 2020, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support and encouragement. Starting March 2020, our school has faced numerous unexpected challenges; from the sudden declaration of a global pandemic, government-mandated school closure, to the rapid adaptation to online learning, we as a community have faced many unknowns and rose to the occasion by remaining true to our desire of “igniting the saint within”.
In the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year, our newly appointed PEC Chairperson, Mr. Franco Caligiuri, stated “[his] ultimate goal for SFdS is to create an environment where people would volunteer out of inspiration, rather than obligation.” In light of the Public Health mandates this year, the situation presented a perfect test setting to solicit inspired volunteerism. To our delight, we witnessed many blessings. With concerted and collective efforts by families and staff alike, our school has been able to implement the “School Restart Plan” in September and have kept our children healthy in mind, body, and spirit, as we attempt to instill in them the core values of faith, learn, achieve, mercy, engage and serve. Many parents stepped up to demonstrate fundraising leadership which has culminated in raising approximately $15,000 to date (from late October to December). Our educators and staff have dutifully accepted the additional responsibilities to maintain a COVID-free learning environment for both in-class and online learning students.
This year has helped us realize that our community is built on individuals who are willing to say “yes” to the call for service. We also learned that our community is only as strong as the individuals willing to contribute towards the collective goals. To reiterate our theme of this year, let us “walk with Jesus, our living hope”. Let us take this opportunity to reflect on what we can do to better our community and how we may become a shining example of Catholic faith to radiate light into the darkness cast onto society by the pandemic.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who have demonstrated their servant leadership (in no particular order): Mrs. Samantha Coletta, Mrs. Emma Tones, Mrs. Sonya Szpyra, Ms. Elizabeth Lee, Mrs. Denise Valdecantos Sayo, Mrs. Teresa Dolmat, Mrs. Darlene Witham, Mr. Kenny Costa-Correia, Mr. Jon Geronimo, Mr. Lem Bawagan, Mr. Youjin Inn, and - in fact - each and every member of the SFdS School staff. There are also countless others quietly demonstrating daily grace. Our sincere thanks is extended for your contribution to foster a safe and positive learning environment for our students. We also ask you to keep our front-line worker parents in your prayers, as they tirelessly work to aid those afflicted with COVID-19.
Most importantly, we would like to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. While the pandemic is a regrettable fact, it has also given us a much-needed pause from daily chatter and allowed us to focus on what is most important in our lives. As we observe this particular Advent season, we reflect on what it means to follow Jesus' steps. May we keep each other in our prayers and extend a helping hand to those in need. Thank you once again for your continuing support and fortitude. We wish you a safe Christmas break filled with many blessings and look forward to invigorating community spirit in the coming year.
Fr. Mario Marin (Pastor)
Mrs. Irene Wihak (Principal)
Mr. Franco Caligiuri (PEC Chairperson)