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School UPDATE: Friday, May 29
School UPDATE: Friday, May 29
St. Mary's High School
Friday, May 29, 2020

St. Mary's Families,

I know it's Friday, but please take a few minutes and read this e-mail.  Lots of updates today.  Read through to the bottom to find some cool accolades for St. Mary's...

Daily Mass readings and Saints of the Day.  What are you reading and who is your hero? 

- SENIOR MASS.  It is looking like we are going to have a senior Mass at 10 am on Friday, June 19, at Holy Apostles.  The response to the senior parent survey has been positive so far.  Each senior will be allowed to have a maximum of two guests.  Senior parents, check your e-mail for a note from me yesterday that includes a link to the survey.
   -- Several senior parents asked:  If we can have a Mass with seniors and two guests, why can't we have a graduation with seniors and two guests?  The answer is:  We're not legally allowed to have a graduation with anyone other than the seniors.  The governor has not budged on this.
   -- It was suggested that we make a separate request and ask the governor to approve a variance just for St. Mary's to have guests present at our graduation given the likely small size of the crowd.  That question was brought up previously by schools even smaller than St. Mary's, and what all of the high schools in El Paso County were told was requests for variances outside of what the governor has authorized will be rejected without consideration at the county health, county commissioner, and governor levels.
   -- There is a process for graduations, there is a process for Masses, and the processes are different in ways that do not seem logical.  Like the other schools in El Paso County, we are adhering to the government-mandated process. 
   -- As an aside:  As the parent of a graduating senior, I am VERY grateful that we can have any kind of graduation for our seniors.  The ability to conduct any kind of in-person graduation ceremony was very much in doubt for a long time.  I am even more grateful our seniors can have a senior Mass with guests.

COVID-19 coronavirus.  
   -- Good:  The curve is flattening, and the number of new cases in the US is trending down
   -- Bad:  There are more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US, and we had more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday (May 28).   

What's Next?  
- GRADUATION.  We are still on for a seniors only graduation at The Grace Center at 10 am on Saturday, June 13.  The event will be livestreamed.  You can get to the livestream here:  
and/or here:
- CEREMONY HEALTH SCREENING.  The state is requiring all the seniors participating in the graduation to complete a personal health questionnaire the day of the ceremony.  We will send that questionnaire out prior to the ceremony.  If a graduating senior reports having any of the common COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the ceremony (that two week clock starts TOMORROW), per the governor's instructions, that student will not be allowed to participate.
- REMINDER.  Public health officials are planning on observing our graduation.  Schools that do not adhere to the government guidelines for graduation ceremonies will be reported to the governor.  The governor indicated that if schools do not adhere to the restrictions, he will cancel all remaining graduation ceremonies in the state. 

How You Can Help.
- ROSARY FOR LIFE.  On Monday, June 1, at 10 am there will be a Rosary on the public sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood on Centennial southeast of the Planned Parenthood at 3480 Centennial Blvd.  St. Mary's parent Mary Simmons is coordinating our

Students for Life club participation.  St. Mary's parent Michele Mason is the Colorado Springs 40 Days for Life coordinator for this effort.

More Accolades.   
- BEST OF SPRINGS.  For the SIXTH consecutive year, St. Mary's High School finished in the top 3 high schools in Colorado Springs.  We picked up our third Bronze Award this past week to go along with three Gold Awards in the last half dozen years.
- BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.  Retiring girls basketball coach MIKE BURKETT also brings home a Bronze Award as one of the top three coaches in Colorado Springs.  Furthermore, FR. JOE DYGERT was the Silver Award recipient for high school teachers in all of Colorado Springs.  Congrats to the entire St. Mary's community, and a special shout out to Coach Mike and Fr. Joe!
- SCHOLARSHIPS.  The class of 2020 has earned an amazing total of $13 million-plus in scholarships so far.  Many of our students have earned multiple scholarships to multiple colleges. 

Personal Note.
- ORDINATION.  The permanent deacon candidates were informed yesterday we will be ordained on June 20.  The ceremony has been moved to St. Dominic (it's big, more room for social distancing).  We expect we will be able to have some guests, but we do not know how many yet.  We will almost certainly be able to have our wives there, and probably our children as well.  Those of us with big families may have to choose which of our children can attend if guests are limited to very small numbers.  Three months ago we were planning an ordination that would likely max out the 1,400 person capacity of Holy Apostles.  Yesterday I found myself hoping that all my children will be permitted to attend.  Seniors and senior parents, I feel your pain.  

- MEMORIAL DAY FOLLOW UP.   During every May that we've lived in Colorado Springs, our family has made the trek up to the USAFA Cemetery on Memorial Day to pay our respects to the veterans (some of them my classmates) and family members who have found their final rest in that beautiful location.  There are quite a few that we visit, and below is a picture of two with whom we always spend some time.  On the left are tw

o markers.  General Curtis LeMay and his wife.  Gen LeMay is one of the most famous Air Force generals to ever wear a uniform.  To the right, just a step or so away, rests Janet Rae Robinson and her mother.  Janet, the daughter of a sergeant, died at the age of two on the day after Christmas in 1965.  I would guess there were very few people who ever knew Janet.  Unlike Gen LeMay, she was not the subject of books and movies.  She was never awarded medals for heroism in combat.  There are no myths or tall tales that surround her fabled military service.  And yet there she is, side-by-side with a larger-than-life legend for all eternity.  I'm always struck by the inequality of their worldly existences, and equally inspired by the deep equality of their eternal existences.  No matter how differently it was that they lived, they both had a profoundly equal experience at their death. 

Prayer.  Please continue to pray with us this summer:

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