School UPDATE: Wednesday, March 18

St. Mary's Families, 

Blessings to you on this Memorial of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. 

Distance Learning Day 3.  Great compliments to our faculty.  They shifted to distance learning very quickly, and they are also making time to investigate other distance learning tools and techniques.  Parents, as always, please help your students stay focused.  Login to MSP and make sure you're checking on their assignments.  Ask them how they are doing in their coursework and how they are doing IN GENERAL.

COVID-19 coronavirus.  No significant changes from the CDC since yesterday.  We are continuing to monitor closely what the CDC is saying; and we are also watching and anticipating what the federal, state and local governments are doing; both here in Colorado and in other states and communities.  CDC link is below:  

What's Next?  As we look around the country and local community, we note there are numerous institutions who are making early decisions on events that are still quite distant.  Here in town, the UCCS graduation has already been canceled.  There are several states in the process of canceling school for the remainder of the semester.  We're preparing for all eventualities, but we are making major decisions when it makes sense to do so, not before.

Campus Safety.  The cleaning of the academic campus is ongoing.  In order to ensure the school is ready for students if we are back on campus after spring break, we are completely shutting down the academic campus for Monday-Friday of spring break.  NO ONE will be allowed in the building.  Recently published research says the longest the COVID-19 virus can live without a human host is three days.  If it's on any surface for three days and doesn't find its way into a human, it dies.  On some surfaces it will die much quicker.  In light of that, in addition to cleaning the buildings, we're going to place school facilities completely off limits for FIVE days and make sure that the building is safe to occupy. 

How you can help.  Sell your raffle tickets!  Several parishes are still supporting us by sending out a raffle ticket form via e-mail or including it with their digital bulletin.  IMPORTANT:  Stay tuned for potential support requests from our families in the community. 

We've not received widespread requests for support from our St. Mary's families YET.  If we start receiving those requests, we will live out our Christian mission anyway we can.

How are your students doing?  Linked below is a letter that was forwarded to me from several of you in the community.  It was written by the 2020 Teacher of the Year for Louisiana.  Chris Dier was a senior when his high school was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.  He has lived through the experience of "losing" a senior year, a prospect that some (or all) our seniors are worrying about.  It's a good read.  Share it with your students, and then TALK TO THEM about it. 

Prayer.  If you are really starting to miss attending Mass (and I hope you are!), here are a couple of options to help keep that fire alive:

- Bishop Robert Barron is streaming his daily Mass here: 

- Fr. Kyle Ingels, former St. Mary's High School board member, is also streaming his daily Mass on Instagram.  His Instagram ID is:  fatherk 

There are other video streaming options for Mass that are easily findable online, check out one of the options listed here or find another one online. 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.

Rob Rysavy
St. Mary's High School