Sunday, October 28, 2012

Human Velcro

I learned this weekend and saw what "human velcro" is. One of my teachers and myself took eight students to the Diocesan Youth Fest in Tucson. After lunch they had a room full of inflatables for the kids to burn off some of their energy. My students were anxious to do the "Human Velcro" inflatable.

One puts on this heavy suit that is all velcro on the outside.

You run on a large inflated balloon and then jump up onto the end wall that is all velcro. You hope you stick! Some students stuck so much they needed help to get unstuck to get back down again.

There were 400 Jr. High and High School students from all corners of the Diocese at the Youth Fest. Fr. Greg Adolph,  pastor at St. Andrew's Parish in Sierra Vista, gave the keynote address about Padre Kino, the first missionary in northern Mexico and southeastern AZ. He planted the seeds of Catholicism in the Diocese of Tucson.
 Great bunch of kids who enjoyed the day!

The chaperones from 7:30am-7:15pm.

The trip to Tucson took an hour and a half so one has a chance to see the students from a different perspective-a more relaxed atmosphere and they tend to share more of their thoughts. I drove the boys to the Youth Fest. Shortly after leaving Sierra Vista all vehicles have to stop at the Border Patrol checkpoint. One rolls down the window, takes off the sunglasses and I always greet the Border Patrol and tell them to have a nice day. They see me and say ok, keep going. The 6th grade boy sitting in the front seat by me says, "Boy, that must make you feel special." I said, "What?" "He didn't ask you if you were a regisetred U.S. citizen. "  "Oh, do they always ask you that?" "Yes, Sister."
On the way back the same boy said to me, "You are so lucky. You always have something to wear and never have to think about it as you always wear the same thing. You really are lucky also because you always have a Halloween costume to wear!" I had no comment to that. He is new to our school so I am sure he has been observing very closely us Sisters. Sort of like what we did when we were in a Catholic grade school and wondered if the Sisters had hair and what color it could be under the wimple and veil.

Fall does come to the Southwest-our temperatures are cooling down to about 58 degrees in the early morning hours and highs in the 80's only. Parents are taking their children to the pumpkin patch. Great time to have a Harvest Breakfast! The PTSO-Parent Teacher Student Organization held their annual Harvest Breakfast on Sun., Oct. 28th. Those who signed up to cook were in the kitchen at 6:00am-surprisingly it was mostly men chefs!
Even the pastor, Rev. Ariel Lustan,  got up early to mix the scrambled eggs.

I taught some 4th grade girls how to roll the plasticware into the napkin for the customers.

They were good students and celebrated when they were done.

We have a very active Student Council at All Saints Catholic School. They got the students and teachers involved in Say No To Drugs Week. Each class had to weave with red ribbon onto the school fence the following:
Each class took their turn and were quite industrious at it.

Then it was "Wear Pink Day" at school in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was  a treat to see the bright colors on the playground that day.

Now the next week of school we will celebrate Halloween and All Saints Day! Yes, we will be singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" as the students march into the Mass on Nov. 1 all dressed up as saints. Many of the seven newly canonized saints will make an appearance that day. We are so blest at All Saints Catholic School!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Arizona Rosary Celebration

The 2nd Annual Rosary Celebration was held at St.Augustine's Cathedral in Tucson on Sat., Oct. 20th. Sr. Carol and Elizabeth Bowers, one of the 6th grade students at All Saints Catholic School, helped to lead the 3rd decade of the rosary.  A religious Sister and a student introduced each decade and a priest or deacon prayed the decade.

Elizabeth and her mom, Rachel, who is a teacher at All Saints Catholic School. She is one of three teachers from All Saints in the RCIA program. Sr. Carol is the proud sponsor of two of the teachers.

The Cathedral was packed with people from all over the diocese. Before the ceremony I had time to take pictures of some of the beautiful statues of some modern day saints.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calutta

St. Mother Katharine Drexel

St.  Juan Diego

Our newest saint-Lily of the Mohawks -  St. Kateri Tekawitha

Next up-is Youth  Fest for all teens of the Diocese of Tucson.  Sr. Carol, Rachel and Elizabeth will be at this too with other students from All Saints Catholic School.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Farewells, Celebrations and a Hike!

Farewells, celebrations and a longggg hike are all part of Fall Break - a week that is quickly ending all too quickly.
Let's rewind the week ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Saturday, the 13th-was time to experience a Filipino birthday party of one of the choir members in the Saturday night choir I sing in. Here is the main course:

It took all day to roast the pig. The finishing touches was to get the skin crusty! This was done in the backyard of their home in the city.

Do you feel sorry for this pig?

Have you ever looked a pig in the eye? 
Would you be able to take a slice out of him and eat it?

Before the Filipino celebration we had.............................


It is the 95th anniversary of Our Lady's appearance at Fatima in Portugal.
At noon the church bell rang 13 times for the Angelus. All were outside to pray the angelus and then begin the procession.

Parishioners came from St. Andrew's Parish and Our Lady of the Mountains. The rosary was prayed in Spanish and English.

Father Ariel and Father Marcos,along with Deacons Bill and Reynaldo  were present for the celebration.

Friday was a sanity break from school. I had planned on being in school one day by myself with no one to bother me so that I could collect all the evidence needed to prove the Self-Study book written for our accreditation visit in February. ( The book should be going to print the first week of November! WHEW!!!)

My mistake was putting an ad before Fall Break in the newspaper, online and parish bulletins for a 7th and 8th grade teacher for which I need to hire by the end of October. Usually only a few people answer my teachers' ads. This time I had at least eight prospects. So lots of impromptu interviews, passing out applications, answering their questions and in between I did get most of the evidence collected and filed and found out what I still need from the teachers. My secretary and I worked together Wed. and Thurs. as she is new starting the last week of September. After spending Monday-Thursday in school I knew I could not sit at my desk one more day.  I needed the great Arizona outdoors.

I found a very good hikng partner-the first person who can walk faster than me.
We did a 12 mile round trip hike of Carr Canyon about 8 minutes from school. I had hiked it once under a full blue moon. It was different doing it totally in daylight.
I don't know how high up we were but I could see the dirt road winding down below that we had followed to get this high.

A wall of rocks held in by a mesh fence was on the road we hiked too.

Our green hills from the monsoon rains are now gone with the monsoons ending about the 2nd week of September. There will be a few rains during the winter but the green hills won't come back till the 2nd week of June when the monsoons start again.

To my surprise towards the end of the hike I saw five horses on the hillside. I don't believe they were wild as there was a  fence at the very bottom of the field by the road we hiked on.

I don't think they will get fat eating off of this hill.

This week we had two farewells. Neither of them were welcome and one was very sad.
Thursday night, my PTSO Officers (Parent-Teacher-School-Officers), along with Fr. Ariel and myself went out to eat to say good-bye to the Glandon Family. They were leaving Fort Huachuca and heading to Fort Hood in Texas for a new job. These are some of the hardest working PTSO officers I have ever had and  a rare  group where we all had fun together at the planning meetings and the events themselves.
Their daughter Kiara came to our Camp Franciscan at our Motherhouse this past June. We had a very cold yard sale at the Glandons to raise money for our plane tickets. We pray that they will come back some day to Sierra Vista.
This is the story of our school-a very mobile student and teacher population because of our Army Base that employs about 10,000 people-army and civilian.

 A very sad farewell was to the Border Patrol Agent who was killed by friendly fire as the three agents on horseback checked out a tripped sensor at about 1:00am in the middle of the desert in Naco, AZ - five miles from the Mexican border.
The funeral took place at the Mormon Temple less than a mile from our school.
As Sr. Anna and I went past the Mormon Temple the morning of the funeral around 7:10am, there were already about 20 Border Patrol horses in the parking lot and many Border Patrol vehicles.
The funeral took place at 10:00am with about 1,000 people attending.
I came down the road again at about 9:20am. I had to stop on the road as the procession of Border Patrol Agents on horseback was coming towards me. Two fire trucks held up a U.S.flag over the road as the horses went under the flag followed by a wooden wagon carrying the wooden casket of the fallen Border Patrol Agent. His horse came behind him-riderless with the stirrups turned backwards. It was a very sad day for our city and for all Border Patrol Agents.
It's a sight I won't ever forget.

Friday, October 5, 2012

St. Francis of Assisi - a Great Role Model

All Saints Catholic School celebrated St. Francis Day in many different ways!
Each class at All Saints chose their patron saint for the year.Michele Elliott's class of 1st and 2nd graders chose St. Francis of Assisi. To celebrate the feast they did what he probably would do if he were alive today. They collected a wagon load of supplies for our local animal shelter. The offering was pulled up by the students at the outdoor Mass on St. Francis of Assisi Day, October 4th.

Fr. Ariel receives the offering of doggie bones, doggie beds, cat food etc.

During the Mass the faculty and students paid tribute to the Franciscan Sisters who serve at the school and
 Our Lady of the Mountains Parish.

 Sr. Mary Ann, Sr. Anna, Sr. Carol and Paco that Sr. Carol babysat during the Mass.
Flowers and cards were presented to the Sisters by the students and Paco looks on.
At the Mass parishioners, parents, students and neighbors of the school had their pets-dogs, cats, birds, turtles, hamsters, grasshoppers and horses-with them as the blessing of animals took place after the Mass this year. They had their own chorus that often competed with the children's chorus. At times some of the animals were so loud they had to be separated from the rest and sat out on the sidelines till the Mass was over.
At last, the final blessing, (for people) was given and then Fr. Ariel proceeded to bless all pets.
 One of the more obedient dogs that came for a blessing.

 Turtles in a comfy box!
Our neighbors brought their 2 horses and 4 of their 6 dogs. ( They didn't have enough hands to bring the other 2 across the road.)
In the afternoon the students played bingo and enjoyed ice cream sundaes.
 I believe he is asking for 2nds on the ice cream. Can you blame him?
 The Knights of Columbus donated 50 stuffed animals for our bingo prizes.

The day after St. Francis Day was Nerd Day!
I never saw such "nerdiest students" in my life. They had eveyone laughing as they got out of their cars this morning and came in to school. The parents enjoyed seeing the nerds as much as everyone else and the students were so proud of their "nerdy outfits"  One boy who won the #1 nerd in his class proudly announced to his class-"I am the Nerdiest One in here!!!"
Take a look at some of our self-made nerds-----

Jaime,with the red shirt, would point out to all his nerdy bowtie with a little calculator in the center. Notice the pens in the pockets.

A family of nerds

The winning nerds from each class-PreSchool 3 year olds through 8th grade.

 The winning nerds jumping for joy!!!

Sunset over our church and school on Friday, October 5th to end a very busy week!

The week also had a sad note and brought us all to pray for the Border Patrol Agent who was shot and killed not far from our school and church in Naco, AZ. The funeral is Monday at the Mormon Church next to our school. There will be a salute to him by the Border Patrol riding on horses to the church, since he often rode his horse while on duty. May his soul rest in peace as we bow our heads in prayer for him and his family.