School mascot with text

St. Mary's Families,  

LOTS to share today.  As always, please read CAREFULLY.  

Saint Francis of Paola, pray for us.
- More about St. Francis (another hermit!):  
- Daily Mass readings:    

- SENIORS (and senior parents).  As we said yesterday, distance learning is now extended through April 30.  That is having a domino effect impact on senior activities.  This is not a surprise.  We remain committed to our seniors, and we are committed to delivering the "Big 3" for seniors:  retreat, prom, graduation.   

COVID-19 coronavirus.  
- Yesterday, 1 April, there were over 1,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19.  That places it as the #3 cause of death yesterday after heart disease and cancer.  There is an expression (erroneously attributed to Mark Twain) that says, "Lies, dang lies, and statistics." 
- That expression does NOT apply here.  As we've been saying, COVID-19 is SERIOUS, these numbers should get your attention, but let's still keep it in perspective.  Stay home, stay healthy, practice social distance, wash your hands.  You know what to do, just keep doing it.
- Don't forget:  Our Faith will keep us connected during this time of separation; and in that faithful "togetherness" we will emerge from this, and we will be better for it.    

What's Next?  
- BE PATIENT.  This may be hard to believe, but it has only been THREE WEEKS since "distance learning" became our new favorite expression.  It was on Thursday, March 12, shortly after our girls basketball team won their state quarterfinal game up in Denver, the announcement came down that schools were going to close.  St. Mary's DID NOT close, we are ADAPTING rapidly, and it's hard to believe it has only been 21 DAYS since the world changed.
- So...  As additional guidelines come down from the government, we're implementing plans we've previously drafted in anticipation of those changing guidelines.  Again, be patient as we ensure that changes to the way we do business are logical, realistic and ready to be clearly communicated.
- ***STUDENTS***  Speaking of distance learning.  The document emailed from our very own Mr. Dusty Campbell with some helpful strategies for distance learning.  It's just a single page, but we should charge a thousand dollars for it because it is priceless.  Print it out right NOW and tape it on the wall next to your study spot.  Read and heed, you'll be glad you did.
- PAY ATTENTION to school communications about NEXT WEEK'S SCHEDULE.  We've been listening to feedback all along, and some of the recent feedback has included requests to recover some of our DAILY ROUTINE & STRUCTURE, and to prioritize "LIVE" interactions with teachers each week.  Mr. Hyland, Mrs. Sanzo, Coach Malloy and our faculty have been working hard on those changes and there are some updates coming.  Spoiler alert:  find your alarm clock, display an American flag, and polish up on your Pledge of Allegiance...
- SCHOOL MASS.  We're working with our school chaplain, Fr. Brian Roeseler, and our theology department head, Fr. Joe Dygert, to record a daily school Mass that we can post online.  Most days that Mass will be recorded in their chapel in the rectory at Corpus Christi.  We intend to have one Mass per week in the school chapel.  I would encourage you to "tune in" to those Mass recordings.  Those of you that are already watching a daily Mass online that know it isn't the same as personally participating in Mass, but it is CALMING and BENEFICIAL.  

How you can help
- GET THE WORD OUT.  I received this message from Diane Torrence and Trish Faber:  "We are opening the Divine Redeemer Food Pantry on Monday (6 April), from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. It is open to ANY community member in need of food during this critical time, and will be open on a 'drive thru' basis. No one needs to get out of their vehicle, just pop open their trunk or back seat and we will put in a bag of food (or two if needed)."  Diane, Trish, THANK YOU for serving our community.  Now, St. Mary's families, if you or anyone in our community you know needs some food assistance, here is an opportunity.  LET PEOPLE KNOW.
- Almost forgot...  RAFFLE TICKETS.  Students, we need you.  Use those mad technical communication skills you have and support YOUR school.  And when you do that, please know you have my gratitude (and you have a very good chance to have your name drawn for a Dutch Bros gift card as well...).  

How are you doing?  
- Hey, seriously, how is your stress level?  Our nation, our state, and probably most of you personally, have been through worse; but that doesn't mean this isn't a challenging time.  That said, embedded in EVERY challenge is always an OPPORTUNITY.  Go back and read that first chapter in the Epistle of St. James; we are supposed to "consider it all joy" when our faith is tested.  In that testing we receive perseverance, and while we're persevering we're supposed to ask for wisdom.  Do both.  Embrace the goodness that comes with perseverance, and pray for wisdom which God will give you "generously and ungrudgingly."   

- When was the last time I said THANK YOU to all of you for being members of the St. Mary's Family?  Please stay strong, and please know I am GRATEFUL for each and every one of you. 
- While I'm saying thank you to you, please remember to say thank you to our amazing teachers.  This pivot to distance learning had a MASSIVE impact on them, they are working long hours to keep our learning momentum.  THANK YOU teachers!!!  

Prayer.  Please give us 20 seconds of your time RIGHT NOW and pray with our community:  

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