Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, September 23 2018

I Choose Happiness

This week we had the opportunity to find out what it means to be Made for Happiness. God gave us the free will to think our way in or out of any situation. William Shakespeare once said “Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” If this is our philosophy, then every situation can bring us closer to God. If that is how we think about it. Knowing that you have every opportunity to make the choice to be happy is part of God’s plan. The little decisions we make every day, the milestones we cross, the people we raise up, the words we choose; can all bring us closer to God. When we listen to the Gospel during Mass, we cross our mind, our lips and our heart. Everything we think, everything we say and everything we feel. When we listen and act this way, we can really be open to God’s perfect love.

The virtue that always makes me think about happiness is Acceptance.  Acceptance is not to be confused with approval.  When we trust and accept, it means we do not doubt our circumstances.  That old “everything happens for a reason,” and we are supposed to think our way into a better situation for ourselves.  We do not run away or continually search.  We handle it with grace.  This can be very difficult.  People will disappoint you and mistakes can become huge problems that are very scary to tackle.  But we are never alone. It is amazing to see the help that is given through the Holy Spirit when we stay strong and prayerful.  We must remember to be grateful.  Not just for the gifts and the good times but for the constant opportunity to struggle and to be challenged.  Through the challenges, we break down and then grow; so we can become stronger of spirit.  It is the acceptance that we will always be given a path to the light.  That we will always have the power to pray and we will never be alone. Life is good. It is more than good, it is beautiful and that makes me happy.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

From the Principal, September 16 2018

Thank you to Catholic Charities

This week many of us attended the “Back in Black”- Faith in Action Fundraising Dinner for Catholic Charities. It was a beautiful evening hosted by Father Joe Krupp and Father Tim McDonald. We are so grateful for Catholic Charities and the way they support catholic schools. At Sacred Heart School and we have a Vision: Students are balanced: Confident of mind, academics and faith. We have teachers who form the students in academics and we all work to form the students in faith but we need Catholic Charities to guide us on forming their minds. Every Friday we have Mr. Marshall, our school counselor from Catholic Charities, to share his expertise. He focuses his efforts on the challenges that any of our students are facing. He knows to pull the new students aside and really talk to them about transitioning. He knows to team build with our 5th/6th graders because they can be pretty insensitive. He knows that second grade boys want to win at all costs and he explains how it feels to be on the losing side. He knows that when little girls form a club, other little girls feel isolated. He makes a difference that we can not measure but the impact is felt in the culture of trust that is created. Marshall is able to see the day through the eyes of the students and meet them to talk about ways to stay positive and joyful.

“A school’s mission is to develop the sense of the true, the sense of the good, the sense of the beautiful.”     Pope Francis 2014.

This is not an option for a Catholic school. It is our Mission to be the Light of Christ and to grow in confidence. We are so grateful for Marshall and Catholic Charities who help make this happen. Thank you for helping us to form loving disciples of Christ.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, September 9 2018

We celebrated Mother Teresa of Calcutta on Tuesday, September 5th.  What a beautiful way to begin the school year.  She gave us such wonderfully simple ways to become a saint.

“Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness.”

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.”

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

-Mother Teresa

 

 

 

This Week in Prayer ~ Act of Love

O my God, I love you above all things with my whole, whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of those whom I have injured.

Amen

 

We are praying for protection from our guardian angel and we ask for strength, and encouragement. We are thankful for these power gifts that help us do God’s work.

Prayer to Our Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

To whom God’s love commits me here,

Ever this day, be at my side,

To light and guard, rule and guide.

Amen.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, September 2 2018

 

Children Are Special Gifts

The school is filled with children again. Parents are falling into a routine. Father Todd has blessed the classrooms, playground, gym and offices. The students are smiling and the teachers are in control of the learning and classroom management is working. We are off to a very good year. But let’s face it…children are noisy, energetic and dirty. They have trouble keeping their hands to themselves, interrupt, get distracted, whine and want to be the boss. At the same time, they are also observant, extremely loving, complementary, interested in everything and easy to teach.  They’re kids. They are not adults. They do not think like adults and they most definitely do not act like adults. That is why they are so special and they need to be treated that way. When we talk to kids, it is better if we remember to put ourselves in their shoes first. Children are so fresh from God and they have a lifetime ahead of them. They are learning and growing every day.

The world is a mysterious place and even I have trouble making sense of it all. Imagine if you have only been here for 5 or 10 years. They truly have just so much to learn and they will experience many, many things for the very first time. Let’s do our best to set them up for success. Expect them to be frustrated and to struggle. Prepare the day with structure but learn the words that get them on the path to Christ’s love. Learn the language of virtue when they misbehave. Remind them, that they are God’s special gift to the world and they are made to shine in His light. Remember that obedience, meekness, self-control, respect and courage are the Steps to Sainthood. We can build our children up and raise them to the next level by giving a positive message and by being their mentors. Children are God’s gift to us. Let’s see the world from their vantage point as we guide them. Let’s humble ourselves and let God in to the way we discipline.

 God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, August 26 2018

Let’s Begin the Year with Confidence

It is a new school year! Time to get back in the groove. It is so fun to see all of the excited kids jump into a new school year and bring their A game. With a little help from Moms and Dads, who buy everything we need, get us on a routine and pack our healthy lunch, the students are ready to roll. School is their job and they are good at it. I challenge you to stop by Sacred Heart School any time and see if the kids are on top of their game. You will find them engaged in class discussion, working hard on assignments and proudly explaining the finished product. I know, this may sound a bit exaggerated but Sacred Heart School is special. The students from preschool to 6th grade are amazing kids and they are working every day to be the light of Christ. Challenges are met with enthusiasm. Struggles and failures are explained as growth in virtue. School makes sense. A little prayer, a little fun, a little more work and a lot of joy. That is God’s formula and we are blessed to be the people who can share it. The goal is confidence. The mission at Sacred Heart School is to be structure and diligent so we can graduate students who are confident: balanced of mind, academics and faith. How do we make students confident? First, we have to gain your confidence and theirs. We do that by being purposeful in our planning all year long.

Confidence is having faith in someone. Self-confidence is trusting that you have what it takes to handle whatever happens. You feel sure of yourself and enjoy trying new things, without letting doubts or fears hold you back. When you have confidence in others, you rely on them. When you have confidence in yourself, others can rely on you. Our confidence comes from God. We look to God for all things and we trust that his love for us will bring us all closer to Him. So everyday the teachers and everyone involved at Sacred Heart set out, with purpose, to reach our mission. It is simple and God has given us the map to success. So let’s work together this year to always be the light of Christ. To trust and love each other as we strive for confident and balanced students.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, August 19 2018

Why Do I Forget to Pray?

Prayer is huge. It is the most important thing you can do every day. I pray a lot! Life has humbled me to my knees and I have been lost and scared. Really scared. So scared that I cannot sleep, cannot eat (who am I kidding, I overeat), cannot find happiness and I am panicking. Life is that scary for all of us at some point. That is when we take a huge breath and ask for help. I have prayed so hard that I promised God I would say yes to whatever He asked of me. He asked some very uncomfortable things, but He and I were having so much conversation that I had a calm, confident, blind faith. Prayer is what guides every part of my life now. There is still an infinite amount of studying and life’s journey is sure to continue to be challenging but, prayer will get us through everything that frightens us.

And yet, two weeks before the school year begins, a chaotic season; the time when prayer is needed the most for guidance and I forgot to pray. I have been going to bed and realizing that I have not even said “Thank you Lord” today. Why? It is not some philosophical answer about the human spirit or negative behavior. I just didn’t make it a priority when I was looking at the to do list. I simply forgot to put it on the list. Maybe this happens to you too. So here are some great reminders for all of us.

¨ “Be constant in prayer” so that spiritual grace gifts and love will abound in the church (Romans 12:6-13).

¨ “Pray at all times in the Spirit… with all perseverance” so that we will be protected from powerful satanic attack, and the gospel will be proclaimed accurately and boldly (Ephesians 6:10-20).

¨ Pray about everything in order to be relieved of troubling anxieties and allow the God’s peace to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6-7).

¨ “Continue steadfastly in prayer” for the sake of remaining spiritually alert and seeing the manifold grace of God that prompts thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).

¨ “Pray without ceasing” in order that there will be unity and love and appropriate submission and patience and joy in the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18).

¨ “Always… pray and not lose heart” so that we receive what it is that we desperately want and need from God, whose heart is to give his elect justice (Luke 18:1-8).

Adapted from Crosswalk.com “Why do I forget to pray”

 

School News:

¨ The trees in the front of the school were removed this weekend. The building and grounds committee and I determined that the trees were no longer healthy and should be replaced with smaller ornamental trees. We are excited to expand the habitat in the front of the school with some new landscaping.

¨ Our Back to School Open House & BBQ will be Thursday, August 23 beginning at 5:30.  All are welcome to come see the new playground and updates to our school.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, August 8 2018

Why Is Waiting So Hard?

Patience is a virtue. Yes, and most of the time I understand that, but other times I am ready to crawl out of my skin. We often have our own agenda for the day. We have deadlines that need to be met and problems that need to be solved.

The world expects results and we are expected to achieve them. “Time is money.” The phrase was coined by Benjamin Franklin in his Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748): Remember that time is money. He that idly loses five shillings’ worth of time loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea. It is not always about money but we feel the pull. The strong pull that we should be doing something productive. Then, the dog pees on the carpet, the package you need didn’t come in time, your presentation won’t load, traffic, you’re waiting for an answer. The word “patience” is derived from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer, to endure, to bear. Understanding the depth of the word tells us much about the nature, meaning and necessity of the virtue of patience. Patience can be felt on many levels. It is true that we can use our self-control or give in to the situation and learn to laugh about it. But how do we work on truly finding a balance in our lives and not get frustrated when we can’t control the pace of the day? I struggle with this and found this passage on Father Joe’s twitter page:  “Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.” Henri Nouwen- Internationally renowned priest and author.

God help me to trust You in all parts of the day. Even the parts that drive me a little crazy.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin, Bulletin July 29 2018

Why Summer Reading Pays Off Year-Round

Attention parents: even though summer is almost over, it’s not too late to help your child become a better reader before the new school year begins. Summer is an important time for students to keep reading and improve their language skills. If your child hasn’t been reading regularly this summer, they may be in danger of the “summer slide”—a decline in their reading ability.  However, this “summer slide” can be avoided by ensuring that children are as engaged as possible in whatever they choose to read—just as long as they’re reading every day.

The best ways to keep your child from becoming a “rusty reader” over the summer are:

  1. Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.
  2. Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys basketball, agree to take them to the local court if they do their “daily reading.”
  3. Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.
  4. Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids to an aquarium, con sider reading a book about fish or the ocean with them later that day. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.

There’s still time for kids to pick up a book this summer. Take your children to your local library or bookstore and let them pick out a book they’re going to love today. They will be better readers tomorrow for it. (Adapted from Ed.gov/Home Room Why summer reading pays off year round).

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, July 22 2018

What Is My Purpose?

Let’s Face It….We all need a purpose.  My purpose is not same as yours.  The need for purpose is one of the defining characteristics of human beings.  We need to know that we are working for something important.  Our purpose is as individual as our fingerprints and it is what makes us unique.  Living the life that God has intended and talking to God every day, is the best way to fill our basic need to be appreciated, respected and useful.  It is truly awesome to stop for a minute and think about our special purpose.  Each and every one of us has unique gifts that belongs only to us.  They are our charisms.  A charism is an extraordinary power given to individuals by the Holy Spirit to live life as a follower of Christ.  Because they are freely given by God, they cannot be earned and they are not to be used for personal gain.

What is your charism? Perhaps you have the ability to make friends easily or you can jump right into a project and help get it finished.  Perhaps you have the gift of leadership or organization.  Maybe making music or planning events is your skill. Each of us has our own charism.  Special gifts that are to be respected.  As we grow closer together, and closer to Christ, my hope is that we all see our beautiful gifts, in ourselves and in each other.  Charism can be hard to see; it will require some quiet conversation with God.  What is my purpose?  Help me to find my gifts and to bring me closer to You.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal