Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

School's Back

08-25-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

To this day I still get a knot in my stomach and a nauseous feeling on the first day of school and the second and third and everyday thereafter. I was not the kind of child that went easily to school. That's why I find it ironic that I am pastor of a parish with a school. I always hope that the children will forgive me for being complicit with their parents in detaining them against their will. But at least, I tell myself I've helped create a happy place that makes learning fun and interesting. It's a heavy cross! So as we begin another school year I want to thank everyone who supports our school in one way or the other. I thank all of you who participate in the Arizona Tuition Tax Credit Programs. This year from your support of Catholic Education Arizona our school families received assistance from approximately $300,000 raised through CEA and additional funds are also received from a variety of other Tuition Organizations in the state. Your support enables families who otherwise could not afford the cost of tuition to send their children to a Catholic School. Also thanks to all who donated to our Computer Challenge. As a result all our students from sixth to eight grade have a Chrome Book computer and our younger students have access to lots of technology in their classrooms.

Also a great BIG Thanks to all of you who use our Food for Thought Gift Cards. Last school year you helped earn over $140,000 in profit! This has enabled us to replace the aging HVAC units in four of our classrooms and along with a grant from Our Lady of Joy Parish Social Action Committee we also replaced the Library unit and the unit in the Jr. High building. The HVAC's in all the classrooms will need replacing over the next few years (they were originally installed by Fr. Tim in the 1990's). We've repaired them as much as possible and as you may know Freon is being phased out so using it for repairs is increasingly costly. Also we were able to give back $50,000 in tuition rebates to those families that surpassed their Food for Thought minimum! In addition the profit from our Food For Thought gift card sales helps with our Art Masterpiece and Music programs as well as athletics and field trips.

So much for the "bricks & sticks" as important as that is what really makes things work is personnel. This year our Principal Dr. Vincent Sheridan begins his 25th year as principal! Strong, consistent leadership makes any institution worth its salt and Dr. Sheridan provides both. I also want to acknowledge and thank those teachers and staff who have retired: Mrs. DiMascio who served as our librarian for over 20yrs and Mrs. Jansen who taught Jr. High for the past 18yrs. Both have served us well and with distinction. May God bless them in their retirement.

I extend a warm welcome to our newest staff: Mr. Hogan Macdonald who takes over the Librarian/ IT duties, Mr. Brett Caradonna who takes over Physical Education, Mrs. Amy Hartley our newest third grade teacher, Mr. Pete Rodriquez and Mrs. Lori Garcia who will be tackling Jr. High studies. We warmly welcome back Mrs. Mary Rogucki, who in this reincarnation will be teaching one of our 5 grades. You can read their bio's on our school website. I also want to thank our Home & School Board who provide so many extras for our children's education and formation. This year the Home & School President is Mrs. Perl Dennee and our School Advisory Board, led this year by Mrs. Helen Venable continues to do the hard work of making sure our school is keeping its promise of providing a Catholic formation and an Educational environment that excels in every way.

It is important to remember that the primary purpose of Catholic schools is, well to be Catholic and form young Catholics to be solid members of the Church and good educated citizens of society. But despite whatever efforts our schools engage, the place where young hearts and minds are shaped is the family. So wherever a child is educated no school can replace the lasting and formative effects of family life. Parents emptor!

Love, Fr. John B.

P.S. Have you linked your Fry's VIP card to OLMC? Our account number is 80045. If you are having trouble doing so stop by our FFT Table after Mass or call the school office for assistance.