St. Mary's Families,
Everything we do at St. Mary's begins with prayer, and today those are prayers of gratitude. Please pray with us:
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.
- VICTORY! Today, for the first time since March 13 we held in-person classes on campus. That is an answer to prayer and a cause for celebration.
- MORE PATIENCE. Part of our intent for today's activities was to test and improve our procedures so when we come back with our full-time hybrid schedule next week we are even more prepared. Thank you for your patience while we continuously work through how to safely and effectively deliver to in-person instruction in these unusual circumstances.
How You Can Help.
- PERSPECTIVE. A few of you communicated to me that you are disappointed we're not fully in-person. A few of you communicated to me that you are disappointed we're not fully remote. Here's the data.
-- As of yesterday approximately 0.18% of COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. occurred in people under the age of 25 (291 total deaths in an age group population of 103,000,000+). There were a total of 30,703 deaths from all causes in this age group. This would suggest we can safely return to full-time in-person instruction.
-- Throughout the pandemic, 80% of COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. occurred in people over the age of 65 (approximately 130,000 total death in an age group population of 55,000,000+). Given we have staff members in this age group, the data would suggest a conservative return-to-school approach.
-- The mainstream media is reporting on many different studies about COVID-19 safety. Rather than rely on media interpretations of data, we're using the actual data and recommendations from the Word Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The WHO recommends 1 meter (3 feet) as the safe social distance guideline. The CDC recommends 6 feet as the safe social distance guideline. Inside 6 feet, the CDC recommends masks; outside 6 feet the CDC says schools may consider masks. We're in masks 100% of the time (it's required, but we had already decided to make masks mandatory) and we are keeping 6 feet of social distance, which is a more conservative approach than both the WHO and the CDC.
- MASKS and DISTANCE. We saw some very creative and clever masks today. We did NOT see any inappropriate masks. As a reminder, if you're NOT SURE if your mask, t-shirt, Snapchat post, Instagram picture, text message, etc. is appropriate, it's NOT. When there's doubt, there is no doubt... The students also did a pretty good job at keeping their distance. The hallways are the biggest challenge for this.
- SPEAKING OF MASKS... Stay tuned for some potential updated mask guidance. There is a growing body of research on the effectiveness of the different types of masks (surgical, cotton, neck gaiters, bandannas, N95 masks, masks with valves, etc.). Some of that research is clear (masks work), some of that research is less clear (some masks work better). When valid and reliable research guides us in a different direction, we will inform the community and adjust our procedure(s) accordingly.
- STUDENTS for your positive attitudes and willingness to be flexible today!
- STAFF for your tireless efforts to make today possible!
- As always, part of staying healthy is staying informed.
Daily Mass readings and Saints of the Day.
Today is the Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe. As we suffer through the sacrifices we are asked to make individually, take some time to read about a priest and martyr who, in 1941, while imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, volunteered to die in the place of a man he did not know.
Deacon Rob Rysavy