April 7, 2020
Dear St. Joseph School Families,
I want everyone to know how proud I am of all you are doing to keep the learning going. We’re not only continuing our “school” learning, but we’re learning so much about life in this very different world right now. To our kids, our parents, our teachers…BRAVO!!!
We have entered the holiest week of our Church year, aptly named Holy Week. With Palm Sunday behind us we journey on in the final days toward Easter. This week the 8th grade would have prepared the Reading of the Passion to present to our students and would have presented the Living Stations of the Cross to their parents and the parish community. I know they would have done both in a wonderfully reverent and prayerful way. I pray that they will do both in their hearts this week. On Thursday our school tradition would have been to celebrate the Seder Meal together, the meal that we believe Jesus celebrated with his family and friends the night before he died. While we truly miss these prayer times together, we know that God brings every one of us together. As a family that believes in the power of God and prayer, we know that He will bring us through this difficult time.
Starting Thursday evening Churches throughout our area and the world will be observing what is called the Triduum…Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. On Thursday we celebrate the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders (the Priesthood). Friday, we will observe the death of Jesus on the cross. If you ask your children why it is called “Good”, they will tell you, that Jesus died so that we could live…to forgive the sins of the whole world. Holy Saturday brings with it the blessing of the new fire, using the candle that will be burned for every Baptism throughout the year to remind us that Jesus is indeed the Light of the World, just as we are called to be. The holy water is also blessed to be used in Baptism and for blessings as we enter the Church and as we leave our Churches. In keeping with this, Holy Saturday usually welcomes others through Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
Finally, Easter arrives to bring us the New Life that Jesus came to bring! Hopefully, our prayers during this time for all who have passed on to God’s kingdom, for all who are ill in our hospitals and homes, and for all who are struggling to move through this time will bring comfort to all. May we find the joy of this Easter season with our families and in our neighborhoods (with appropriate distancing).
Please turn to God in these celebrations being live streamed from many of our parishes. Find their websites and schedules for these (stjosephchurch.org, catholicwindham.org, blessedsacramentct.org, stpatrickcathedral.org and many more). We use our deices for everything else, may we use them for prayer.
Bishop Cote and our Superintendent, Mr. Fiore, have both asked that we observe our Holy Week and Easter celebrations safely; and that we observe the week after Easter, starting on Good Friday, as our vacation week. I have asked the teachers not to post new assignments during that week. Students are welcome to submit assignments should they choose to do so and to work on longer term projects at their discretion and that of their parents. We always expect that students are reading on a daily basis, as we all should. Please take this time to be with your families (safely), and to continue to pray for an end to this difficult time.
Once again, I am truly grateful for all of our parents and teachers as we continue this unprecedented teaching/learning time. I want our 8th Graders and their families to know that we intend to celebrate your graduation when the times and circumstances allow us to do so. Our diplomas have been ordered and our caps and gowns will be as well. Class of 2020 shirts are also being ordered and prepared by Mrs. Bentley. Eighth graders will be working on their class banner in pieces and it will come together as a very special quilt when they have completed the pieces. What a wonderful opportunity for our families to be a part of this yearly graduation tradition by working with their 8th graders. Materials and ideas will be provided.
I will be at school on Thursday from 7:30 until 10:30 for those who wish to drop off work. This is a drop-off only. The next pick-up/drop-off will be announced once we know the next school closing/opening schedule. For those who ordered from the Gertrude Hawk fundraiser, it is being delivered on Wednesday and you will be notified of its arrival.
For those concerned about scheduled field trip, unfortunately they are being cancelled at this time. You will be contacted with further information if payment was made.
Happy Easter to everyone! All of our families are in my prayers. Please keep me in your prayers as we are all in God’s loving hands.