Dear St. Anna Families ~
Participate in Christmas Joy!
Have you ever noticed how often we live our lives as mere spectators? With the help of the television we are able to sit back in our comfortable chairs and watch people participate in every form of life. We watch the Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics and the Red Sox. We watch news anchors argue about the outcome of presidential elections. Even at St. Anna’s we watch our pastor, deacons, and ministers carry out their duties on altars and pulpits. Last week, I was a spectator at "Jingle Jury" a magnificent Christmas musical put on by our students who always put us in the Spirit of the Season!
Then, before you know it, along comes another Advent and Christmas season. We ready ourselves once again to be spectators watching a conversation between the Angel Gabriel and Mary; watching Joseph and Mary struggle to find a place to welcome the infant Savior into the world; watching the manger, stable animals, shepherds, and sheep; watching and waiting for the arrival of the Magi as angels sing hymns of joy. As we watch the Christmas story unfold once again, hopefully we have joy in our hearts. However, might watching not be enough?
Perhaps we should turn to the Annunciation for an answer to this question: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you…Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”
I invite you to stop for a moment and become a participant, not simply a spectator. These words were meant specifically for Mary two thousand years ago, but they are “living and effective” being addressed to each of us today! We are active participants in God’s plan of salvation, not simply audience members. The Holy Spirit indeed greets us as “full of grace.” That is precisely what our own individual baptisms were all about. Divine grace was planted into our hearts on that day. Though we are sinners, we accept the fact that God looks at us with eyes of mercy, we are always ‘favored’ in His eyes!
At this very moment we all have the opportunity to conceive our Lord in the womb of our hearts. God’s Word is alive and active. This very Christmas, the Annunciation is taking place in my life today! I am as Mary listening to the intervening voice of God. I can think of no greater cause for rejoicing!
Accustomed to being spectators, we wonder, as Mary did, how this can be—especially if we are at a low point in our lives? Does God really have a new purpose for my life today? Gabriel has an answer for us: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
Let’s substitute our names for Mary’s and read the story as the “now” story of God in our lives. There is no limit to what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives, if we are willing to believe in the “impossibilities of God.” And we know that He always favors the lowly and the abandoned when He pours forth merciful love.
Being a Christmas spectator might seem like a comfortable route to take, but it is often accompanied by loneliness, depression, hopelessness, and fear. So I invite you this Christmas Day get up from that recliner of the past and let the heralding tidings of a living Christmas message captivate your heart, mind and soul! Let the power of the Holy Spirit pick you up and put you right between Mary and Gabriel at center stage of God’s glorious production of Divine Love!
A Holy, Happy, Healthy & Merry Christmas Everyone!
May the infant Savior abundantly bless you, as He has tremendously blessed me through you! ~ Father Fred
Our middle school students are again selling calendar raffles to raise money for their spring field trips to Nature's Classroom or Washington D.C.
The calendars are for January and are $10 each. You can win a different gift card each day for the month of January. You can also win multiple times. If you'd like to purchase a calendar raffle ticket- see any middle school student OR contact the office!
Please join the PTO for a fun night out and try some painting! We will be making "Let It Snow" with a snowman and a St. Anna blue and white scarf.
Spots are limited so sign up now! It's only $40!
January 13th at 7:00 at Art on the Rocks in Fithburg.... don't forget the wine...
RESTAURANT NIGHT OUT
Take a night off from cooking and join us at the Texas Roadhouse on Tuesday, January 10th. This is KIDS NIGHT so lots of fun and activities for the kiddos. Andy Armadillo will visit St. Anna's on Monday.. we will have special flyers soon but mark your calendars!!!
Just a reminder that if your child is going to be riding the bus and getting off at a friend's house- you MUST send in a note. The bus company will not allow anyone to get off the bus with a friend or at a different stop without a note from the parent. Thank you!
SUPER BOWL PASTA SUPPER
Join us on Wednesday, February 1st from 5:00 – 7:00pm in the Church Hall for our Annual Super Bowl Pasta Supper. Take a night off from cooking and spend time having a great meal with your St. Anna friends and family. Great food, Basket Raffles, 50/50 and don’t forget to get your Super Bowl Squares for $10 each from Mrs. Priddy!
The menu includes pasta and homemade meatballs, rolls, salad, assorted desserts, coffee & drinks. ** Gluten Free Pasta available upon request- when you purchase your tickets!**
Tickets can be purchased in the office- you can send in the ticket order form or just let Mrs. Priddy know how many tickets you would like.
Advanced tickets $8 adults / $7 seniors and children under 10
At door $10 adults /$9 seniors and children under 10
Basket Raffles: Italian Supper, Legos, Smore’s, Arts & Crafts, Winter Fun, American Girl, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Scratch Ticket Tree, Family Game Night, Sports, Spa, Restaurant gift certificate wreath and more!
If you are interested in helping out the night of the event, please sign up on the form. We can use lots of help again to make this night fun for everyone! NJHS students are encouraged to sign up to help also.
Don’t miss out on this wonderful event and let’s hope the Patriots can work hard and do their jobs to make it to the Super Bowl to make it that much more fun!
Athletics & Activities
BASKETBALL SEASON IS HERE! CHECK OUT THE FULL SCHEDULE OF ALL OUR TEAMS- Come help the cheerleaders cheer on our various teams.
Wednesdays from 4:00-8:00 beginning on January 4th for the 8 week program.
After School Programs
November 14- January 20
Wednesdays- Minecraft Development grades 4-8
Thursdays- Lego Club grades K-3
Fridays- Kitchen Chemistry grades 2-5
**Tuesday Mornings- Super Sports- grades 4-8 7:50-8:30 AM
**Thursday Mornings-Gym Fun- grades K-3 7:50-8:30 AM
DRAMA is Thursdays from 3:15-5:00
Choir Wednesday mornings 8:30 or church days-
New After School Programs coming soon....
January Lunch Menu
Orders can be placed until 7am on the day of the meal at www.orderlunches.com
Don't forget you can also order milk to go with home lunches- you can either order on-line or by sending in your milk money weekly or monthly to the office in an envelope marked with your child(ren)'s name. Please do not send in milk money daily- it is difficult to keep track of all those quarters in the office. Thank You.
If you need to set up an OrderLunches account- follow the instructions here!
(email us at PTO@stannaleom.org)
1/3 School Resumes
1/10 PTO Out of Dress Day
1/10 Texas Road House Night Out *Mark Your Calendar*
1/11 School Mass 9:00- Epiphany of the Lord
1/13 Early Dismissal 11:30 (Teacher PD Day)
1/13 Paint Nite Out
1/16 No School- MLK Day
1/29 Catholic Schools Week begins…. Mass 10:00, Open House 11:00-12:00
2/1 Pasta Supper
2/4 St. Paul’s Consortium Night Out for Parents
2/5 Super Bowl Sunday
2/7 PTO Out of Dress
2/20-2/24 Winter Break
3/1 Ash Wednesday
3/2 Read Across America Day
3/6 Butter Braid Sales Begin
3/12 Daylight Savings Begins
3/14 PTO Out of Dress
3/15 Trimester 2 ends
3/20 Report Cards Live at 4:00
3/23 Early Dismissal at 11:30 (Teacher PD Day)
3/24 Mass for Life grades 7 & 8
3/24 Middle School Dance at St. Leo’s
3/31 Hearing & Vision Screenings
Mrs. French, our principal, updates the blog every week with reminders, upcoming events, community notifications, and shout-outs to our amazing students!