It is fitting that as we approach Christmas, we have several feast days associated with Mary, the Mother of God. Today, December 9 is the Feast Day of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (meaning “the talking eagle”), the first Catholic indigenous Saint from the Americas. In 1531, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego four times at Tepeyac, near Mexico City. This coming Sunday, December 12, is traditionally the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is also the Third Sunday of Advent, and Mary is in our hearts as we light the rose-colored candle, symbolizing joy. This day is also known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday.
Yesterday we had a beautiful Mass as we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Students in grades two and five attended and participated as readers and lectors. Schola students cantored and sang, and Sophia O. accompanied them on her violin. Fr. Crispin honored Mary by singing in Swahili. At the end of the Mass, Mrs. Ocampo recognized all mothers and grandmothers and a very special grandmother who has been volunteering at St. John for many years. We thank you, Venetia Halsey, and all the volunteers who care for our children. The Mass was live-streamed to all the students and parents. The recording can be found on the Parish Facebook as well as all the recordings of our monthly all-school Masses and our weekly Advent prayer services.
Next week, students in grades 3-8 will receive the sacrament of reconciliation. We will begin with a live-streamed reconciliation service at 9am on Monday, December 13. Thank you to Fr. Crispin for giving his time to meet with each of the students as we prepare for the holidays. I shared with Fr. Crispin students will be wearing spirit gear throughout the week as we rejoice and count down the days to the birth of Jesus.
We are thankful that our students are receiving their COVID-19 vaccines. If you haven’t done so, please email a picture of your student’s COVID-19 vaccination card – once they have completed the vaccination series – to Mrs. Q. In the subject line, please enter, “Student Last Name, Student First Name-Vax Card.”
We are also thinking about next school year and planning for applications, enrollment, and registration. If you know families interested in our school, let them know applications for new families will open on January 4. Current families, including those with new siblings, will start the re-enrollment process for current students and the application process for new siblings after the State of the School presentations (January 25 and 27).