I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. It is hard to believe that today we turn our calendars to December. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season will look so different this year. Covid does bring some opportunities to step back from the frenetic pace that has become routine in our busy lives. Focusing on quieter days with our families brings a spirit to the season that may be a welcome change.
Yesterday, we began our school celebration of Advent at our virtual Prayer Assembly with the lighting of the Advent Wreath and the singing (recording) of our Advent song. The theme, “This Is the Day the Lord Has Made, Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad in it.” will focus on the joy that each day brings, even if we are apart. This long-standing, much loved tradition is joyful and heart-warming, but so different this year. Each morning, leading up to Christmas, we will gather via zoom instead of crowded into the main hallway of the school. We will truly miss this time to be together but Advent is about waiting…waiting for Jesus. How appropriate this year as we continue to wait for our normal lives to return.
As the Covid case numbers continue to climb, we need to double down on our efforts to keep our community safe. The numbers are the highest that they have been since the virus entered our state. (418 positive cases per 100,000 people) The transmission rate is climbing too, currently at 1.2%, meaning that each infected person is transmitting the virus to more than one other person.
During this holiday season, please remember that if your child is to travel (or did travel) that they will need to quarantine for 14 days upon returning home. We need to do whatever we can to reduce any chance of exposure and we need everyone’s cooperation if we are to be successful. We want to get our older students back here as soon as we can and we don’t want to go back to remote learning for our youngest students. If the numbers continue to climb, we will have no other choice than to go completely remote. Please, let’s all work together to support one another in keeping our community safe. We can do this!
Finally, in an attempt to get our remote students together during this holiday season, we are allowed to do Masses following the required safety protocols. We can have up to 25% of the church capacity or 100 people in attendance. Fr. Colin will be celebrating Mass for our 3rd – 5th graders (students and teachers only) at 1:15pm on Thursday, December 10th. Students should arrive by 12:45pm for health screening and temperature check. I plan to read our traditional Christmas story, “The Candy Maker’s Gift” before Mass and distribute candy canes to students at dismissal. This story, read to each class, has been a long-standing tradition on the Feast of St. Nicholas. I will share it this year, before Mass, to the 3 classes attending.
The 6th-8th graders will have a middle school Mass the following Thursday, December 17th. They should also arrive at 12:45pm for the health screening and temperature check. Both weeks, the Masses will be over by 2:00pm for students to be picked up at the same time as grades K-2 are dismissed from school.
Have a great week!