Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, February 23, 2020

Sock drive for the adult men and women the capuchins serve at Solanus Casey.

The 4th-6th graders are taking a pilgrimage to the Solanus Casey Center on March 17th with Father Todd. We are collecting donations of adult socks to take with us.  Socks can be put in the baskets at either entrance of the church or dropped off to the school until March 15th.  Thank you so much for your support.

The Solanus Casey Center in Detroit, built in 2002, continues a long legacy of compassion and caring, begun by Blessed Solanus Casey and continued by thousands of caring people, like yourselves, who wish to be enlivened by faith and to spread the love of God to everyone.

The Solanus Casey Center is a tribute to Blessed Solanus Casey and an opportunity for all of us to explore the richness and diversity of our faith in a loving and merciful God.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, February 16, 2020

Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because he gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you have. Thank him for everything, because everything is good.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

 

When we forget to thank God

Gratitude is so simple. We are beginning a closer look at the virtue of gratitude during morning prayer. Our theme for the rest of February is to thank God for everything. The students have an easy time thanking God. They are grateful for friends, family, freedom, school, Catholic faith, snow days, etc. They are generally happy children who have wonderful families. These children have been blessed.

Yet, there are many times throughout the day that feelings are hurt or the teams are not fair. The work is too hard or I just don’t feel good. The bus ride was too long or I really don’t like English language arts. So and so has better stuff than me or they are given more attention than me. My mood has completely changed and I am not happy. I pout, because the world is not fair and my needs are not being met. Generally, once this mood is in place, it is difficult to change our mind. There really is a simple solution to all of this despair. The answer is too look on the bright side. Realize that things could be so much worse. But unless I really practice gratitude, it is harder than you think.

Gratitude is so basic, yet so necessary. Gratitude places us in correct relationship to God. We take a step closer to God every time we force our brains to recognize that God is trying to reveal Himself in certain parts of our lives. It is easy to be grateful when we win or we are having fun. It is really hard when we feel embarrassed, unworthy, unloved, disappointed or overwhelmed. Gratitude is the antidote to pride. Our pride has been injured. It feels bad. It is in this darkness that we must recognize God’s presence in everything. Pride comes before the fall. That is why we are called to be grateful in our misfortunes. God is omnipotent and all good, so we trust and love Him. We praise Him. We thank Him. For everything!

God is good. All of the time. All of the time. God is Good!

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, February 9, 2020

How do we teach children to be courageous?

Courage comes from the Latin “cor” which translates to heart. My heart. My very unique story, that comes from my heart. It is rooted in love. Courage is a misunderstood word in today’s culture. It is not a conquering of fear in order to win. In fact, truly courageous people feel fear right along with their courage.

Courage is very personal. It begins in a place of vulnerability that is scary, uncertain and exposes our soul. In our lifetime, we will be vulnerable, it is a fact. We cannot avoid illness, public speaking, disappointment, rejection, admitting defeat, death, heartbreak: the list goes on. Life is full of devastating pitfalls. These events leave us exposed and show our true self to the world.  Vulnerability can happen when we least expect it; a devastating diagnosis, an unexpected breakup, a past sin exposed for the world to see, being assigned a task we know we are unequipped to accomplish. These moments of uncertainty are very difficult. We feel raw and we want to cover up, to tuck in, or to run away. We can feel very alone.

The fear of not being able to handle the uncertainty or judgement is frightening. Being vulnerable is so uncomfortable that we can find ourselves making decisions based on our ability to control the situation. As Catholics, we know that we are never completely in control. God is God and we are not God. It is in these moments that true courage exists. When we examine our heart and find that we are enough. When we take stock of our soul and feel it being pulled back to God through His mercy. It is in being courageous and working through these events that we can feel the most alive and feel true joy.

How do we continually live with courage? It is facing our vulnerability with grace and mercy. It is as simple as opening our heart and finding our blessings. People who have the courage to be grateful when they are the most vulnerable are living with their whole heart. They are living with hope. They are comfortable in the uncertainty and can find joy in all situations. This is true courage.

But how do we teach our children about true courage? No one is giving out awards for humility. Courage itself is misunderstood. That is why teaching our children that they are enough to God and that true courage cannot always be seen is our job as parents. What we are after is children who take risks, can handle failure and have the courage to be grateful through all of it. Show up, trust in God, rely on the Holy Spirit and find joy.

Courage is knowing your own heart and leading with love.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, February 2, 2020

Bless all Catholic school teachers and help them to nurture the faith of our children. Give them the wisdom to pass on their own knowledge and experience and show our children your love. Amen.

 

During Catholic Schools Week, the students shared many experiences that brought them closer to God as they promoted the school they love.

Parish Day –  We celebrated an all-school Mass- the students were lectors, servers, and greeters. Our staff and families volunteered in the kitchen to cook breakfast for the parish. This morning felt special because God’s grace was with us. We also added a bake sale sponsoring the 5th/6th grade trip to Mackinac Island. With this many moving parts it is easy to feel overwhelmed or nervous but we just felt joy. Joy as the students prepared to read. Joy as we worked together to prepare a meal. Joy as we celebrated Mass together.

Community Day – The whole school prayed special prayers for all that serve or community or who need the extra help of God’s presence through difficult times. Baskets of appreciation were delivered to community members who help our school. The students loved seeing the gratitude on the faces of the people who received a basket.

Student Day – The day was spent celebrating the blessings that each student brings by being an important member of our school. The 5th/6th graders cooked lunch for the students, we wore Sacred Heart shirts and watched a movie in the gym at the end of the day.

Nation Day – We said a special prayer for our God founded nation. We prayed for our government leaders to feel the Holy Spirit and open their hearts to the great worth of human life and human freedom. All students watched a video about important events in American History.

Vocations Day – The students heard from Deacon John and Father Todd about their call to vocation. They told personal testimonials that helped the students to understand the beauty behind being called to do God’s work. Student from Siena Heights University Women’s Soccer Team came to SHS during the week to talk to the students about faith and the blessings of attending a Catholic University to play sports. A huge thank you to the Soccer Team. The students also made Rosaries in art class to take home.

Faculty, Staff and Volunteer Day – We all came together to have lunch and share how blessed we feel to work with people who respect, support and pray for each other. We feel the purposeful weight of educating our students and we are so grateful to have the support from each other. We finished the week with the 5th/6th grade service project of cleaning the Hudson Food Pantry and then sharing dinner and some fun together.

 

It truly was a memorable and spirit filled week. Our hearts are bursting with God’s love and we our more aware of our abundant blessings because of it. Thank you for all of your support!

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin, Bulletin, January 26 2020

Sacred Heart Families,

What does it mean to be a Catholic school? Sacred Heart School is different. We are a private school that can set our own culture, academics and policies. We are free to serve the Hudson community with obligation that does not come from the government. It comes from an obligation to serve families and to provide the best customer service to our students and parents. We use the resources from the Diocese of Lansing and our accreditation from Michigan Association of Non-public schools to stay excellent. But more importantly, we are free. Free to educate and grow the students in the teachings of Jesus. We are a virtue based school and we use the language of virtue as our discipline policy and student growth model. Our students are challenged to grow in mind, academics and Catholic faith and our parents can trust that their children are growing closer to God in the actions they see modeled by the teachers and staff at school. Bishop Boyea writes “A Catholic education is among the best gifts parents can give their children. By making a Catholic education your priority, you witness to your children that your faith is the basis on which you make decisions for their well-being, and you demonstrate that the Lord is the center of your lives and the foundation on which your home is built….Grounded in strong and obvious Catholic identity, each of our schools is committed to developing the whole person, nurturing successful students who also are faithful followers of Christ and servant leaders in their communities.” You have an excellent Catholic school available to you. Sacred Heart is solid and we are collaborating with parents and experts to continue to impress on all levels.

The following thank you note was recently written by a Diocese of Lansing principal who spent two days at Sacred Heart as part of our accreditation process. “I thank you for the Catholic school culture that is evident in every part of your school. It is clear that there is great love for God and for each other. The genuine care and support of each other is something visitors to your school feel during their time with you. In a world where that is not necessarily the norm, it’s very gratifying to sense the strong presence of Christ working in and through all of you. May God bless you as you bless others.”

Catholic Schools Week is a time to celebrate all that makes a Catholic school special. Each day next week is dedicated to a group of people who ensure the success of our school. The students will have a chance to see how blessed they are by the loyalty of these people who believe in offering an education that is centered on Christ.

Please continue to pray for us and we will continue to pray for you.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Sacred Heart School

Students are balanced: confident of mind, academics and Catholic Faith.

Serving the Community. Teaching our students to live and model the Catholic faith. Reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus. Remaining structured with the purpose of graduating students who are prepared to persevere.

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, January 19 2020

Confidence without grace is just pride

We can only see the world through our own eyes. I can put myself in your position but I will never see the world quite the way you do. You are unique and you have your own thoughts, opinions, experiences that cannot be duplicated. It is important to think about how different we all are because something as simple as disagreements and differing opinions can lead to a deadly sin. We have to be very, very careful. “It was pride that changed angels into devils, it is humility that makes men as angels” St. Augustine. We cannot let pride get in the way of our path to God.

Pride has been called the sin in which all others arise. It is an excessive belief in one’s own abilities or one’s own opinions. The reason pride is so slippery in our spiritual growth is because living in a way that uses our gifts and strengths builds confidence. It takes courage. We are called to achieve and use our gifts to be useful and productive. How do I do important work without becoming full of myself? How do I surround myself with other people whom I do not agree with or even find dim? Here is the test. Pride lacks grace. We have to ask ourselves where Jesus is in all that we do.  I am guessing if we have to ask we already know the answer. Nowhere. Achievement should glorify God.

There are times when we need extra courage or a stronger skill set to do our job or to achieve a goal. Good old competitive spirit and confidence can get us through. Hard work does pay off. This is not only healthy but it is bound to bring us happiness as we work for something. Hard work leads to dignity and a perspective that makes us grateful to be alive; to be able to count our blessings. True greatness is Divine. But greatness without God is pride and it is sinful. St. Francis de Sales says “the proud man who trusts in himself has good reason not to attempt anything. The humble man is all the more courageous because he recognizes his own impotence. The less he esteems himself, the more daring he becomes because he places his whole trust in God.”

Achievement should be celebrated! Just remember to invite God to the party.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Sacred Heart School

Students are balanced: confident of mind, academics and Catholic Faith

Serving the Community. Teaching our students to live and model the Catholic faith. Reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus. Remaining structured with the purpose of graduating students who are prepared to persevere.

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, January 12, 2020

Humility Gives Us Strength

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.  -St. Augustine

Humility is the foundation for all spiritual growth. It is our willingness to build all thought based on the truth. In morning prayer, we talked about humility and how to be humble. What is humility? It is definitely not about lacking confidence or being weak. It is an obedience and reverence to proper authority. It is an understanding that we have an infinite amount to learn and we are willing to be enlightened by all that we encounter.

We have so many examples in the world, even as children, where humility is not being considered. Much of our struggle with humility comes from desire. Desire to be honored, revered, loved. We see people enjoying these things and we think happiness in not possible unless we are one of them. But most of the struggle with humility comes from our personal fears. Fear of being humiliated, forgotten, wronged, ridiculed, unloved. The fear that others will be chosen and I, left alone. The fear that others will gain esteem and I will be unimportant.

It is easier to be humble if we start with God’s unwavering love for each of us. The students are familiar with the knowledge that God has made each of them to be special and perfectly ready to be drawn back to Him. They know that the person standing next to them in prayer is as special as they are and this makes humility possible.  The reason humility is an essential building block for all growth is that humility is truth. Truthful humility gives us strength because it sets our soul firmly in God’s hands. Our worth does not come from an award or opinion; an achievement or praise. Our worth comes from the truthful actions we take every day that only God can truly see. I asked the students a very silly question. I asked how many of them tried to lie to God during prayer. Have you ever tried to persuade God to your side of the story so you could continue your lie? Of course, they looked at me like I had lost my marbles. You would never attempt to fool God in prayer because He already knows. He already knows that you have sinned and He still loves you. But when I asked if we had tried to justify our behavior by telling a friend our side of the story, they knew what I was getting at. Telling a friend our troubles can calm our emotions but it is not getting to the truth of the situation.  So, in order to be humble we must pray. Prayer gives us the truth and the dignity to handle our truth. Prayer gives us the power to develop empathy and consider other people as we grow. It is so simple and pray is the answer. God will always give the best advice.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Sacred Heart School

Students are balanced: confident of mind, academics and Catholic Faith

Serving the Community. Teaching our students to live and model the Catholic faith. Reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus. Remaining structured with the purpose of graduating students who are prepared to persevere.

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, December 22 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

This week, we had a team from the Diocese of Lansing representing Michigan Association of Non-Public schools at Sacred Heart for an on-site visit.  Every 5 years, we are evaluated on 73 benchmarks for school excellence and 2019-2020 was Sacred Heart ‘s year for a review.  During the last month, the team reviewed over 400 of our documents and they have recommended us for accreditation. They genuinely enjoyed their visit to our school and felt we were a gem in the Diocese of Lansing.  The team was very impressed with the Catholic identity and love they felt from our staff and students. Our students were complimented on their excellent behavior and kindness to each other. We are grateful to our families for raising such wonderful kids!

Our Christmas Program was really wonderful! The Church Hall was absolutely packed and we used every chair in the building. Sarah Martinez directs every part of the production and teaches the students all of the music. It was obvious from the quality of the performances that she had the students very well prepared. Thank you to her sister, Rebecca Shields, who spends many hours of her busy schedule helping Sarah. We are very blessed that these talented women lend their skills to Sacred Heart school. Thank you to all of our parents and families who practiced with their children and came to the performance.

It has been a wonderful first half of the year.  We wish all of you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Sacred Heart School

Students are balanced: confident of mind, academics and Catholic Faith.

Serving the Community. Teaching our students to live and model the Catholic faith. Reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus. Remaining structured with the purpose of graduating students who are prepared to persevere.

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, December 15 2019

Sacred Heart Families,

 

The school kids are learning about the coming of Jesus at Christmas with our Jesse Tree in the hallway. In the morning, we focus on one bible story that prepares our hearts for Christmas. One of the ornaments we attach to the Jesse Tree is the Tablets of the Torah. When God gave Moses the ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, it was a covenant for the Israelites and they are still God’s law for us today. The Ten Commandments show Catholics how to live a life of love. The first three commandments show us respect and love for God. The last seven show us how to love and respect ourselves and others. While the ten commandments show us how to live, they also show us all of the ways we can sin and our need for a savior. We cannot be out living our lives and avoid all sin. Following the commandments and living within this covenant is not possible unless we have Divine intervention. We need help.

 

That is why Jesus is the best gift you can receive at Christmas. God sent us his son so we can have an example of how to live God’s law perfectly, exactly the way God intended. Jesus came to rescue us. God knew that we could not follow the commandments alone, so he did it for us. That is why we pray to avoid or to be forgiven for sin. We have all of the help that we need to live our covenant with God. The birth of Jesus is our truth, our breath and our hope that we will be connected back to God.

 

When we trust in the work of Jesus, God sees us as perfect because we are given Christ’s perfect love. As we wait for Christmas, it is a great time to think about how hard life would be without Jesus. How lonely we would feel when we sin or when we are in despair. Jesus is our answer and our guide to true love. Jesus comes to us at Christmas and we have every reason to celebrate. Our savior is born!

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Sacred Heart School

Students are balanced: confident of mind, academics and Catholic Faith.

Serving the Community. Teaching our students to live and model the Catholic faith. Reflecting the unconditional love of Jesus. Remaining structured with the purpose of graduating students who are prepared to persevere.

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, December 8 2019

Advent prayers for your family

During Advent, reflection and prayer help us to maintain awareness of God’s mercy towards us. In this time of Advent, let us remember that mercy comes with love and solidarity. Prayer helps us to remember to spread God’s love as we wait for the birth of Jesus.

Prayer for the Advent Wreath God the Father, who sheds light on the world, Give us strength in this season of Advent. Prepare us to be better Christians. Let the Holy Spirit give us courage and guide us in our actions and our prayers. Lord, we ask you to make your son Jesus our example and inspiration. Let the Virgin Mary accompany us and carry us in her arms. And let the saints be our fellow travelers on the way to your mercy. We ask you for all of this with open and willing hearts. Amen

The liturgical year begins with Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas. It is a season of preparation, waiting, and anticipation. Christmas is both a feast and a liturgical season. Each day of the Christmas season renews the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

WEEK 1:  Light one candle and sit for a moment in silence. Christ our Light, Shine in our lives with hope and promise. Give us right vision so that we remain attentive to this holy season. Remind us to look for you in small acts of kindness and love. We await your coming with wonder. Amen.

WEEK 2:  Light two candles and sit for a moment in silence. Christ our Hope, Illuminate our hearts with your grace. Enlarge our vision so that we recognize our kinship with all of the people of the world. Help us to give to others in ways that meet their deepest needs. We await your coming with gratitude. Amen.

WEEK 3:  Light three candles and sit for a moment in silence. Christ our Joy, Brighten our homes with your presence. Clarify our vision so that we might see you in the people we cherish. Make every holiday activity an opportunity to spread your light and love. We await your coming with delight. Amen

WEEK 4:  Light four candles and sit for a moment in silence. Christ our Peace, Glow brightly in each moment. Enlighten our vision so that we see beyond the trappings of the holidays. Relieve us, if just for a moment, of our worries and stress. We await your coming with serenity.

Amen.

Anne Atkin, Principal