Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving at All Saints Catholic School

A short week in school before Thanksgiving but a busy one!

We had a procession of food on Monday to our parish hall where St. Vincent de Paul packed over 60 food boxes for Thanksgiving for families in need. Each class filled at least one brown shopping bag of food for the food baskets. Parishioners donated turkeys, pies, celery and rolls. Our parish hall was transformed into a store. Students ate in their classrooms or outside that day-they loved the change.

Tuesday was our Thanksgiving meal for students, parents and grandparents. We served about 175 dinners. Our chef lives down the road from us and donated his time. Turkeys were cooked, dressing and gravy made, buns and pies were baked and the cranberry sauce was sliced. It was truly a Thanksgiving feast. Parents helped to serve and we had a great clean up crew of staff, parents and 7th and 8th grade students. It was truly a community event!  We had food left over which we took to the Forgash House for abused women.

Before the dinner grades 5 and 6 had a class Mass with Fr. Ariel to celebrate their patron saint-Martin of Tours.  Every class selected a patron saint and Fr. Ariel on the feastday of the saint or close to the date has a Mass for that class in their classroom. It is a beautiful experience for the students and teacher. We are grateful that Father "A" takes such a strong interest in our school.

Wednesday we have dismissal at 11:30am to allow families to travel for Thanksgiving. Being a military town most families travel back to see their families.

Apple or Pumpkin? With or without topping?

Men at work-maintenance, chef, grandparent

Serving is done, time to eat before clean up-
L-R: Business Manager, Principal, Pastor

Happy Thanksgiving from All Saints Catholic School at Our Lady of the Mountains Parish!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King, Bread Sunday, SOS Sunday, Bake Sale Sunday

This was a very busy weekend at our parish. We celebrated the Feast of Christ the King and the last time of saying the Mass the way it began after Vatican II in 1967-a historical moment for the Church today.

Besides this our parish celebrated Bread Sunday. At each Mass different types of bread were brought up at the intercession time. It was said what kind of bread and what country or nationality it represented and then to pray for this country. For Africa an empty basket was brought up because most people in Africa have no bread and we are to be bread to them. We need to nourish them.

This was also the 3rd Sunday of the month and SOS-Save Our School was started. I went to all 5 Masses this weekend and had students at each of the Masses to be the ushers to take up the 2nd collection for our school. Our school choir also sang for the first time at the Sunday Mass at 9:30am. One older woman told me that it brought tears to her eyes to hear and see the children sing as they did.

Because of the Feast of  Christ the King, our pastor, Fahter Ariel had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament before each Mass and invited people to stay after Mass or come early for the next Mass to spend time in adoration. I set a record for myself-4 expostions and mini-benediction in one weekend. Also, I had to get my choir to sing O Salutaris in Latin when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed at the end of the 9:30am Mass. We did not practice this as we did not know this was happening. Thank goodness, the parishioners chimed in and helped carry it.

The people have been very generous with their money and their comments about hearing the children and seeing them.

After each of the Masses was also the parish bake sale. Everyone was to bake something and then buy something. I baked chocolate chip cookies and they were gone right away.

Now I don't think we could have added one more thing to this weekend of Masses!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mountains Have Seasons

It is amazing to see how mountains change with the seasons.You would think that mass of rock would stay the same.

As we drive to and from school it surprises us to see the changes in the mountains, especially on the top of the mountains. We have seen the mountain tops go from green after the monsoons, to a patch of burnt yellow in Fall when the bushes change colors, to a white frosting on the top when we had rain down below but it was colder up there and the mountains were frosted with snow.

The wildlife continues to surprise me here.Saturday I was walking behind school when right in front of me were 2 deer and 2 baby fawns. They stared at me and I back. But they did not look like Wisconsin deer-there were too much of a dark gray color and they looked different. I thought perhaps they might be antelope but no they didn't look like antelope. I was disappointed I didn't have my camera with me to catch their surprise look at me. I was as surprised as they were.

That night I was reading the AZ Highway Magazine that our maintenance man shares with me and there I found my answer-AZ has mule deer. Called so because of their tall ears that are shaped like mules. That is what I saw then-a family of mule deer. I hope to get their family photo soon for all of you to see as I will be taking my camera with me from now on when I take a walk in our school neighborhood.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Saints Day Celebration at All Saints

When your school is named All Saints you have to celebrate all day this holy day. We started our celebration first thing in the moring. Almost all the students and teachers came dressed as saints. Seeing that the day before they were all in their Halloween costumes and ate lots of candy that day and night I wondered if we would have much of a turn out for the Saints Celebration. I was shocked to see such beautiful, original costumes and the studnents knew their saints. All students lined up outside of church and processed in singing-"When the Saints Go Marching In". The church was full of parents and parishioners. In Fr. Ariel's homily he had the students talk about the saints. It was fascinating and heart warming to hear the first graders and Kindergarteners name their saint and the older students too weren't afraid to dress up.

It was a great family affair as many grandparents helped to make the costumes and were proud to do so. I believe the best was a 3rd grade girl who came dressed as St. Philomena with a crown of flowers on her head and an arrow since she was shot 3 times with it and then drowned with an anchor and her grandfather made her a very authentic anchor. My favorite though was 3 year old Carlos who came dressed as St. Joseph; he carried a white gladiola and a baby Jesus. He had the biggest smile.

Pope John Paul II even came for the celebration and he wore his white robe and skull cap all day. He was missing the red Pope shoes, however.

In the afternoon all students in the cafeteria gathered in the cafeteria to play bingo and get a delicious homemade sundae with all the  toppings. Many students took their bingo cards up with them to get the ice cream so they wouldn't miss a number.

We had lots of thank yous from parishioners for the beautiful display of saints. They said next year to let them know and they can come to school and help make the saints costumes. I already made a note of that.  Enjoy the saints as they were so proud to get their picture taken.
Happy All Saints' Day!
Pope John Paul II

St. Barbara is in red, Mary in blue-twin St. Mary's.
A proud St. Philomena

St. Joseph & Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pope John Paul trying to help 4 year old Martin who was not winning.

St. Therese of the Little Flower is thrilled to be out of the cloister to try her hand at bingo & she did win!