Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed a glorious Easter. With the Resurrection, God promises that the covenant with the people, his promise to care for us will extend to all humankind. This joyful liturgical season of Easter extends all the way to Pentecost and yesterday, we also celebrated Mary, the mother of God. The children processed in and surrounded the statue of Mary with their flowers. Eighth-grade siblings, Sam and Ava, crowned Mary with beautiful crowns made of fresh flowers by Mrs. Miller. Scola led the students as they raised their voices in praise of Mary. Fr. Paul, who is filling in while Fr. Crispin is away, blessed the students. To top off a great morning, I later came across the preschoolers, singing and praying as they brought their flowers to the courtyard statue of Mary. Do I have the best job or what?
I am blessed also to be surrounded by amazing teams of colleagues and volunteers. The auction team, led by Andrea Marquez, Karen Bombino, and Kristen Capka and supported by all of you, did an incredible job of helping us ensure that next year, we can offer a just and fair salary to our teachers. I am very grateful to them for their hard work and to all of you who supported the auction. The auction proceeds are such a huge part of the operating budget, comprising about eight percent of the revenue, revenue that is used to pay those salaries and benefits, purchase instructional programs, keep the lights on, etc. On behalf of all of us, I sincerely thank you. This year’s auction grossed $490,346–almost $100,000 more than 2018. Fund-a-Need exceeded $148,000 including two large matching gifts totaling $45,000. Corporate matching has not yet been reported, so this total is expected to increase. Over $50,000 came in through sponsorship and cash donations which allows us to not only hold the event at Fremont Studios, but to direct more of the evening’s proceeds into the school operating budget.
You can see how each and every purchase and donation adds up, as do all the volunteers hours, which are priceless. Karen Bombino’s words, “I am super happy,” are quite an understatement. We are totally thrilled!
This weekend, at all Masses, students from the second grades will receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist. Today, Fr. Paul came to visit them in class and heard about their excitement. Congratulations to the second grade students, and Mae, Zachary and Ian who were baptized and received Eucharist and Confirmation at Easter, and to you, parents.