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Dr. Elena Chermak, Director of Religious Education

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Hello! My name is Elena Chermak, and I have been at Saint John Fisher for many years, happily serving both the school and parish. I am excited to work with all the children, faculty, and staff as the Director of Religious Education for the school and parish. I am a resource person for religious education and plan the daily prayers, school masses, prayer services, and celebration of the sacraments. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, as the 2nd of 8 children, I come from a big family for whom faith is very important. I came to Chicago to earn a Master of Arts in Divinity at the University of Chicago, followed by a Doctor of Ministry degree at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake – (Mundelein Seminary). Working with your children in our wonderful faith-filled-family of Saint John Fisher brings great joy daily. I look forward to an exciting year with the students, principal, staff, priests, teachers and parents of our great community.

Christmas Eve Gospel for 2nd Grade

Posted on Dec 24, 2018

December 21, 2018

 

Dear Second Grade Christmas Gospel Parent,

          A few words about the Christmas gospel for Christmas Eve:

          We have reserved pews for the children reading the Christmas gospel. These are in the transept in the front of the church, next to the organ. Those who are in the children’s choir will participate in both the gospel and their children’s choir parts.

          The children will meet in room 112 next to the school/church foyer at 3:30 p.m., for the 4:00 p.m. mass on Christmas Eve. The 4:00 p.m. is a very crowded mass (and parking lot!) It would be a good idea for your family to arrive early to get a seat.

We ask the children to wear their "Sunday best." We have tinsel halos and shepherd head-dresses prepared for each child, which the teachers will give them in the classroom that day. The children process into the mass. They sit in the transept next to the organ console. Any child in the choir will stand in the choir area, as usual, for their singing part in the mass.

The children will process out to room 112, where they will turn in their “costumes”.  Plan to pick up your child from room 112.

Parents may sit in any part of the church.

The children are doing very well. They are great readers! They add richness and beauty to this celebration through their joy, sincerity. Their enthusiasm is infectious!

Thank you for participating in this mass.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!    

 

          Sincerely,

 

Mrs. Nash       Ms. Chermak    Mrs. Kellam     Mrs. Ade          Ms. Broncato    

 

Thanks for all your help to make the Christmas gospel beautiful!

Thanksgiving mass time

Posted on Nov 20, 2018

Image result for thanksgivingDear Fifth Grade Parent,

       Thank you for your participation in the  Parish Thanksgiving Day Mass on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Your child and the fifth graders are doing a wonderful job! Their presentation helps us to understand the importance of the first thanksgiving and the role of gratitude in our lives. Thank you for making this mass a part of your Thanksgiving day!

       The children should meet in church at 8:40 a.m. They will be seated in the front pews. To make things easiest, school uniforms are the dress code for this mass.

       We look forward to seeing you and your child on Thanksgiving morning. Thank you for your help!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Halloween

Posted on Nov 02, 2018

Halloween is a favorite day for our students

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2nd graders

From the morning P.A. Prayer:

“Today is October 31st, the Hallowed evening of the Holy day which is All Saints Day. Today is the exiting day we call Halloween.

Today we pray for all who help us to celebrate holidays and holy days, and for those who don’t have the opportunity to have candy and other things that we experience each day.

We thank God for the awesome gift of Halloween fun, and the gift of our compassionate hearts to help those in need.”

Here are some pictures to show the excitement of Halloween, and the 6th graders’ All Saints Day mass preparation:

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Our 6th graders celebrate Halloween, knowing they are preparing the All School Mass for All Saints Day on November 1st.

Sixth grade mass planning for All Saints Day:

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Litany of the Saints Practice: Their "Faith Moved Mountains."

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Halloween - 6th grade getting ready for All Saints Day Mass

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Halloween: Kindergarteners, 3rd graders, with Father Ken, and even George Washington.

A hallowed evening to all!

Tree of Life Synagogue Prayer

Posted on Nov 02, 2018

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As a school we strive to teach our students respect for people of all nationalities, religions and creeds. As Catholic Christians we join people of all faith traditions as we pray for peace and unity.

Our parish flag was at half staff following the terrible tragedy in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here is the p.a. prayer we prayed on Tuesday, October 30th:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On Saturday morning people were in a synagogue praying in Pennsylvania. They were mainly elderly people. As they were praying, 11 of the people were shot by a person who was filled with hate and anger, and who talked on the internet about harming people he disliked. The people in the synagogue were Jewish. One reason the mean person hurt them is because he disliked their religion.

Today we pray that people use the internet for positive reasons, and not for bullying or spreading hate. We pray for an end to gun violence. We pray that violent people will get the help they need, and never spread violence to others.

Our prayer is a Jewish prayer which is always included in prayers for the dead. It is a prayer first learned by our ancestors in faith.

Please listen as we pray this prayer for those who died and for those who mourn them:

Hear O Israel, the eternal one, alone, is our God.

Blessed is God’s glory forever and ever. Amen.

May we be God’s instrument of peace, help and love this day.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Confirmation Commissioning Mass November 18th 10 a.m.

Posted on Nov 02, 2018

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The Confirmation students had a great retreat with Father Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. on Wednesday, October 24th. Thank you, parents, for all the ways you encourage faith and good works in your homes.  Our partnership gives a great foundation for your children.

 Looking ahead, these are three dates to keep in mind: Sunday, November 18th at 10:00 a.m. Confirmation Commissioning Mass for all students preparing for Confirmation. Please sit in the front of church with your 8th grader and any other family members who are with you for mass.

Wednesday, February 6th at 7:30 p.m. Confirmation prayer service and rehearsal for students, parents, and, if possible, sponsors.

Sunday, February 10th at 12 Noon  Confirmation Mass for students, sponsors, families and friends. All are welcome. Bishop Andrew Wypych is our confirming bishop.  A reception will follow in Kane Hall.

Please continue to pray with and for all our Confirmation candidates.

See you on November 18th!

Ps: A few people through the years have asked for Confirmation gift suggestions for their children. While looking for a keepsake for this commissioning mass (as we had for the First Communion enrollment mass) I came across many inspiring gifts on the MinistryoftheArts site.  The artwork and sayings are beautiful. Search Teens, Confirmation, Holy Spirit.

Veterans Day Prayer Service November 9th

Posted on Nov 02, 2018

Closed Veterans Day - Tues. Nov. 11th

Our school will host a Veterans Day Prayer service November 9, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. in Church.

Veterans Day  - November 11th - is a national observance to honor America's veterans and military personnel for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good: to preserve the liberty and freedom we hold so dear. Our veterans and current members of the military safeguard the founding principles of our country.

Veterans Day started after World War 1 and continued after World War 2 to the present day. On Veterans Day we remember and honor all who served - and continue to serve - to ensure peace and freedom.

This Veteran’s day is special because Sunday, November 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the end of fighting in World War I, long ago on November 11, 1918.

Our prayer service will include prayers and patriotic observances. We will honor members of the military from various branches of the armed services.

All are welcome to Church for this prayer service on Friday, November 9, at 1:15 p.m. as we thank God for all the blessings we enjoy in our country. We thank God for all who served and continue to serve.

Please join us.

Bench Blessing

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

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You may notice a new bench at our Pre-school and Kindergartner door near Fairfield Avenue.

Today, October 12th, is the anniversary of the birth of Larry Nitsche, the grandfather of two of our students (in 2nd grade and pre-school this year) and the husband of recently retired Mary Nitsche, who taught here for many years.

Mr. Nitsche was a retired police detective and director of investigations for the corporate counsel, a veteran of the Viet Nam war, and a well-loved neighbor to all on Talman Avenue. He died unexpectedly last year on October 23rd after minor surgery. At that time, our teaching staff donated for a memorial in Larry’s name. Larry was famous for cherishing his grandchildren with his proud grandfatherly love. Larry could often be seen dropping off and picking up Franny and Charlie at school, chatting with other parents and grandparents, and happily announcing he was the Director of Child Care and Development for his grandchildren.

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We invite all to use this bench and to think of the enthusiasm of children and grandchildren, following Larry’s joyful and optimistic spirit.

Larry’s family: Mrs. Mary Nitsche; Mary Nitsche Blake, Fran Blake, and their children; Sister Jean, and faculty gathered as Father Ken blessed this bench at an after school ceremony on October 11th.

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Father Ken blessed this bench.

 

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To learn more about Mr. Nitsche, here is a link:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/larry-nitsche-vietnam-vet-ex-chicago-police-detective-dead-at-71/

Prayer Partner All School Mass Friday October 19th at 1 p.m.

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

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Logo for Prayer Partners "I'll pray for you, and you'll pray for me."

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Mass & Prayer Partner planning in eighth grade

Prayer Partners Mass – Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m.

Our school has had wonderful prayer partner activities. Over the course of their years here, students have participated at four grade levels: in two grades as older students partnering with two grades of younger students.

This year all students will have a prayer partners – extending this prayer support throughout the school. We will officially start this program with an all school mass on Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m. This mass is hosted by our eighth graders.

Yesterday I asked the eighth grade mass planners to list twenty people who are praying for them – people, who with God’s help, want the very best for them. The students listed their parents, relatives, teachers, classmates, Father Ken. Their lists could also include the Cardinal, and even Pope Francis – who pray for everyone each day.

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Who is praying for you today?

We hope this preparation reminds students they are beloved by God and all of us. We hope they realize we are all praying for them each day. We hope that partnering with their younger student will remind our eighth graders of the beauty of praying for and positively influencing people everyone: those around them in our school, and those in the larger world.

All are welcome to join us for the prayer partner mass, Friday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m.  - hosted by the eighth graders.20181012prayerpartnermeetingroleplay

Role playing how to meet your new prayer partner

First Communion Commissioning Mass October 21st

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

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First Communion Commissioning Mass

Sunday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m.

We welcome all parents and families of 2nd graders for our first communion commissioning mass on Sunday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m. mass with a reception to follow in the church foyer.

          I learned years ago that Christ is present at mass through the scripture readings, the eucharist, the actions of the priest, and the faith of the people. Together we support and encourage one another in our faith in this school and parish community. At every mass, as I see people gathered to pray, their faith strengthens my own as I hope my faith encourages them.

         We look forward to praying with all parents and their children as our second graders prepare to receive the sacraments this year. May we encourage one another in faith as help our children take this next step in their young lives as Catholic Christians - the future of our church.

Please sit with your family in the front of church in the reserved section.

 

Feast of Saint Francis

Posted on Oct 05, 2018

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Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi – October 4, 2018

Saint Francis is a beloved saint for his association with care for the earth, and reverence for all God’s creation – including pets and animals!

In the morning, Father Ken prayed with the children in pre-school – and blessed their pets.

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After school, pet and parishioners met at the bell tower for a prayer and blessing  - a tradition in honor of Saint Francis.

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We began our day with our P.A. prayer:

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is October 4th , the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy. – a famous saint known for his care for the earth and all God’s creatures.

In honor of Saint Francis who loved animals, we have our pet blessing, today, after school. All pets and people are welcome.

Today we pray for all people named Francis, Fran, Franny, or Frank, including Pope Francis.

Saint Francis loved the earth so much, and remembered everything in the world was God’s creation. Saint Francis called the sun, “Brother Sun” and the moon and stars, “Sister Moon”.

Please listen to this prayer:

We praise you, God, for all your creatures, for all animals, for pets, squirrels, and birds.

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We praise you for brother sun, who makes the day bright and radiant, and who shines on everyone.

We praise you for sister moon and the stars:
You placed them in the sky,
So bright and sparkling.

We praise you God, for Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures life.

We praise you, God, for Sister Water; she is very useful, lowly, precious, and pure.

We praise you for Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

We praise you for our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

We praise you, God, for all creation and for your never ending love for us: in all things and in all ways. Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a tremendous Thursday!

Happy Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi!

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First Communion Commissioning Mass

Posted on Sep 27, 2018

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First Communion Commissioning Mass

Sunday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m.

All second  graders and their families are invited to gather for 10:00 a.m. mass on Sunday, October 21st to formally start First Communion preparation.  The children and their families will sit together near the front of church as a group. The children will be introduced to the parishioners, who will begin praying for them. The children will receive a blessing and hear a homily directed to them. There will be a reception following mass.  This mass will provide an opportunity for First Communion families to meet and get to know each other.

Students and families from Mrs. Ade's, Ms. Broncato's, and Mrs. Kellam's classes will join with the Children's Faith Formation students in Mrs. Connolly's class to form the Saint John Fisher Communion Class of 2019.

Please save this date. We look forward to seeing you there!

Rev. Thomas J. Purtell Priest Pastor Friend

Posted on Sep 27, 2018

Our school and parish community is fortunate to have beloved pastors. We are grateful to Father Ken Budzikowski for his prayerful leadership and loving care for all parishioners, students, teachers, and parents. Father Ken sadly learned of Father Purtell’s death on Saturday, August 25th. Father Ken then set into motion a week of planning, praying and hosting the funeral of Father Purtell, including the first time visit to our parish of Cardinal Cupich who honored Father Purtell by celebrating his funeral mass.

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Father Purtell was a dear friend to our school and parish where he served as associate pastor and then pastor from 1979 – 2003. At his funeral mass on August 31, 2018, our seventh and eighth grade students attended, representing our school and all the school children present during Father Purtell’s ministry here. Our students were also the altar servers for the Cardinal at the mass. Our school and parish community was also very well represented by the many alumni who attended the wake, a number of whom are parents of current students.  Each alumnus had his or her favorite memory and story of Father Purtell.

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The wake, held at Saint John Fisher Church, concluded with an evening prayer service led by Father Ken. The service included a homily by Sister Jean McGrath, who spoke of her long term friendship and fruitful working relationship with Father Purtell throughout his pastorate. Sister Jean spoke for our entire school and parish  community as she beautifully recounted Father Purtell’s love of and influence on parishioners and the larger community throughout his many years here.

Even in his retirement, Father Purtell was famous for maintaining relationships with parishioners, friends, colleagues and former students. Father Purtell was most recently at our parish six days before he died. On Sunday, August 19th, Father Purtell baptized the daughter of one of our school’s alumnae.

We thank God for the great blessing Father Purtell was to school and parish. Father Purtell was beloved by many – his influence remains.

            Here are some pictures from the funeral, including the Cardinal’s celebrating the mass and the many priest and bishop concelebrating, and events surrounding the day.

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School and parish announcement:

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Priest – Pastor - Friend

On Saturday, August 25, 2018 we sadly announced the death of Father Thomas J. Purtell, beloved associate pastor (1979 – 1984) and pastor (1984 – 2003) of Saint John Fisher Parish.

Father Purtell was a hero in our parish school and a strong proponent of Catholic education. He knew the families and children well, as had presided over their baptisms and married many of their parents. He was a lively presence in our school and parish, and supported the teachers in their work. His encouragement was a blessing.

He will be dearly missed. His fidelity to God, his commitment to his priesthood, and his boundless love for his parishioners – many of whom he knew my name - were a great blessing.

As a school and parish community, we find solace in remembering Father Purtell knew how deeply we appreciated his presence in our lives.

Thank you, Father Purtell, for your many years of service to our Church, especially the Saint John Fisher Parish community, which you immeasurably enriched by your priestly ministry.

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Announcement to the School children over the P.A. Monday, August 27, 2018:

You may have noticed our flag is at half staff, which is a sign of respect when someone significant dies. On Saturday our country lost an important patriot –  John McCain – long time senator from Arizona. On Saturday, we also learned of the death of Father Purtell, who was pastor at Saint John Fisher for many years.  Father Purtell loved the students of our school and all the parishioners of our church. Maybe some of your saw him when he would visit our school recently.

Father Purtell may have baptized some of you, and even married some of your parents.

Please say a prayer for both these important leaders, and for their families who miss them very much. At home later today ask your parents about their favorite story of Father Purtell. We know our school now has a special saint in heaven, Father Purtell.

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Prayer from Father Purtell’s school mass on his last day as pastor:

Father Purtell, as teachers and staff members, it was been a privilege to work with you and enjoy your leadership as we built a Catholic, caring community. We are grateful for your support, your kindness and your presence. May we continue to learn from you to live selflessly for others, we pray to the Lord.

Remarks from Elena Chermak, Director of Religious Education at Father Purtell’s wake service, Thursday, August 30, 2018.

We lost one of our best cheerleaders Saturday. As I listened to your wonderful stories over the past few days, I take great solace in knowing Father Purtell knew that we loved him, as we told him and showed him in his years at Saint John Fisher, and beyond, as he maintained those friendships with us.

Father Purtell valued everyone in this church, spoke glowingly of everyone, and thought everyone was terrific.

The most important lesson Father Purell taught me to value the relationship over the situation. We could be about to start Confirmation for 120 kids with the Cardinal himself there, and even with every reason to panic, Father Purtell would walk up to me with “Hi, Elena – how are you doing? This is going to be terrific.”

He was a cheerleader to us all.

And if in the planning, if the students weren’t quite as prepared as I hoped they’d be – he’d reassure me, “Don’t worry, Elena “You don’t want them to ‘peak’ too soon.”

Add to Father Purtell’s great intelligence, fervent devotion, and boundless sensitivity, his wonderful sense of humor:

Asking the kids on the sick bench at school: “Are you sure you aren’t faking?” Reminding us on our birthdays the Nieman Marcus truck was right around the corner, and telling us about his computer skills: He taught Steve Jobs everything he knew.

One of Tom’s favorite expressions was “My didn’t we ramble.”

Yes we did, Father Purtell. We rambled brilliantly with you, and your spirit is with us always.

Thank you for teaching and loving us so consistently and so well.

And now for our prayer:

This prayer was prayed by Monsignor McElligott at countless wakes over sixty years of his priesthood. We offer this prayer for Father Purtell as we continue this practice. We purposely left a blank line in this prayer for you to offer it possibly for your loved one sometime in the future. As you do so, remember the loving kindness and support of Father Purtell and all our parish community.

As we pray this prayer, please add Father Purtell’s name as you would name call him as priest, relative, friend:

A Prayer of Remembrance

 Almighty God,

            We come to You in our sorrow for the truth which comes from faith alone, the courage which comes from hope alone, and the generosity which comes from love alone. The wisdom for our confusion, the strength for our struggles, the devotion for our sacrifice lies in You and You alone.

            We ask You now to deepen in us this faith, hope and love, and strengthen us with truth, courage and generosity so that our prayer for ________________ may come to You more pleasing and more powerful.

   We ask this through Christ our Lord.

            AMEN.

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Prayer of the Faithful from the Funeral Mass

1. As priest and pastor, Father Tom was a source of unity, strength, and kindness to thousands who were touched by his ministry. His unique ability to draw out the best in others mirrored his compassion and kindness. May we imitate and treasure the gifts he shared so selflessly with others, we pray to the Lord.

4. For the Church which Father Tom served so faithfully for fifty-seven years. We remember the parish families with whom he so selflessly shared his ministry, and especially Saint John Fisher Parish which was blessed by his leadership as pastor. May the Church continue to be a source of hope and compassion in our troubled world, we pray to the Lord.

6. For all whom Father Tom loved who have died, especially his parents, Elizabeth and John, his brothers, Jack, Jim, Bill, and all of the deceased members of his extended family. We also remember Father Tom’s classmates and brother priests, and the countless families for whom Tom was a source of healing and comfort. Together with the angels and saints, may they welcome Father Tom into the joy of heaven, we pray to the Lord.

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With gratitude for Father Purtell: - written by Sister Jean

With gratitude, we celebrate the fidelity, commitment, and love you have shared so generously through your presence in our lives and throughout your priestly ministry.

With gratitude, we bless the gift that your priesthood has been to so many in our parish community; those with whom you celebrated graced moments in their lives through the sacraments and all with whom you walked in times of great joy or difficult loss.

As you have been an instrument of God’s grace, may we who love you continue your legacy that has challenged, comforted, and called us to be the compassionate presence of God to all who have been touched by your priesthood.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

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Rev. Thomas J. Purtell

Born: February 11, 1935

Ordained: May 1, 1961

Born to Eternal Life: August 25, 2018

 

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard

what God has ready for those who love him;

Spirit of love, come give us the mind of Jesus.

Teach us the wisdom of God.

            ~1Cor. 2: 9 – 10

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Opening School Mass

Posted on Sep 19, 2018

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We were excited to celebrate our Opening School Mass on September 7, 2018. This mass was hosted by the eighth graders. We join Catholic schools throughout our archdiocese with our focus on this year's theme: We have Faith to Move Mountains. 

Welcome

1. Good morning!

Welcome to our all-school mass hosted by the eighth graders.

We welcome students, teachers, and all who have come to pray with us.

2. Today we will learn about our school theme:

Faith to Move Mountains.

We will also hear more about new and helpful friends we have in our school: our prayer partners.

3. Most important, we celebrate all God’s blessings to us: especially our faith, our families, our friends, our school and teachers, and our ability to learn.

4. This is the first All School Mass with Mr. Fornaciari. We hope our prayers and songs show our great Saint John Fisher Spirit as be begin this school year together.

5. Our gathering Song is All Things New,

 Number 450,  #4-5-0.

Please stand.

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First Reading:

A reading from the book of Exodus:

One day Moses was taking care of his father –in-law’s sheep.

Moses led the sheep along the edge of the desert to Sinai (Sign-Eye),

the mountain of God.

Suddenly the Lord’s angel appeared to Moses from a burning bush, which was on fire, but it was not burning up.

Moses said to himself, “I will go over and see why this is happening.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming near, the Lord called out to him.

Moses answered, “Lord, I am here.”

God replied, “ Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals, because the ground you are standing on is holy.

I am the God of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I am sending you to bring my people out of this country, Egypt where they are treated unfairly.

Moses said to God, ‘Who am I to go to the King and bring your people out of Egypt?”

God replied,

“I will be with you,

and you will lead my people out of Egypt.

Then you will know that I am the one who sent you,

and you will worship me on this mountain.

The Word of the Lord.

Lectionary W345, 505 Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12

Gospel:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew:

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
"Lord, have pity on my son, who suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him."
Jesus said in reply,
"O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?

Bring the boy here to me."
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.

Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
"Why could we not drive it out?"

He said to them, "Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
'Move from here to there,' and it will move.

Nothing will be impossible for you."

The Gospel of the Lord.

Matthew 17:14-20

 

Homily:

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Prayer of the Faithful

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1. For all students, that we grow in faith, work hard, and be helpful to one another, we pray to the Lord.

2. For our teachers, that they know God’s wisdom and courage in all they do, we pray to the Lord.

3. For all parents and family members, in thanksgiving for all the things they do each day to love and care for us, and provide the things we need, we pray to the Lord.

4. For Mr. Fornaciari, that he feels the support of students, parents and teachers as he uses his gifts to lead our school each day, we pray to the Lord.

5. For all who need extra help in our world: for the poor, the suffering and the lonely, and for all who come to their aid, we pray to the Lord.

5a. For all who work each day to keep our country and city safe, we pray to the Lord.

6. For all who are sick, and for doctors, nurses, and paramedics who help them, we pray to the Lord.

7. For all who have died, especially Father Purtell, and Mr. Bechina, and for their families and loved ones, we pray to the Lord.

8. Please add your own intentions in silence…….. we pray to the Lord.

Eucharistic Prayer:

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Lord's Prayer

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Sign of Peace:

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Receiving Communion:

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Explanation of theme: 

After communion meditation 1:

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1. Mountains are beautiful, awesome works of God. Mountains are important in the Bible because they remind us of God’s power and might.

2. Moses and Jesus would go to the mountains to learn more about God and to pray.

3. Throughout history and even today, people go to the mountain tops to see things in a whole new way – the beautiful views -  and to think about what is most important.

4. We will now hear about God’s majesty and mountains. It comes from a prayer Jesus knew well: psalm 122: I will lift my eyes to the mountains.

As you listen to this prayer, think about God’s help for us in all we do.

5. Imagine someone who is about to do something very difficult: like our ancestors who traveled to this land.

6. We remember God helps us in all our joys, worries and challenges: big and small.

7. Our classmate, Manny F. of eighth grade will sing this prayer, joined by member of our eighth grade class:

 I will lift my eyes, psalm 122.

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After communion meditation 2: (after the song)

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1. Mountains are beautiful and mountains can also be obstacles: things which get in our way. Imagine early travelers with tired horses and heavy wagons trying to cross a mountain. Imagine engineers who today build tunnels through mountains.

2. Our faith says we can move mountains: and we can do that, pebble by pebble each day.

3.  Our faith can move mountains in these three ways:

  1. Prayer: We start with prayer as we ask for God’s mighty power.
  1. Action: We work hard – to figure out a plan and put it in action
  1. Help: We get help from teachers, family and friends:

Our eighth grade class will present some examples using words and actions.

Eighth graders, please come forward:

After communion meditation 3:

These are three examples of prayer, action and help to move mountains:

I want to stop fighting with my brothers and sisters and be kind

1. Prayer:  I will ask God to help me.

2. Action: I will come up with a plan to say something nice to my brothers and sisters instead of fighting.

    3. Help:  I will ask my mom or dad and friends for advice.

We have Faith to move mountains

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I want to wake up on time for school.

1. Prayer: I will ask God for strength and guidance.

2. Action: I will work hard by going to bed the first time my parents tell me and by not playing video games at night .

3. Help: I will ask my parents and friends advice on how they wake up on time,  ask my parent if they’ll set an alarm on their cell phone, and remember my parent has breakfast waiting for me.

We have Faith to move mountains.

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I want to get good grades so I can use all the gifts God has given me.

1. Prayer: I will pray and ask God for guidance.

2. Action:  I will do my homework each day and be very well organized.

3.  Help: I will ask my teachers, parents and friends to encourage me. I will encourage my classmates, and get extra help from my teachers if I need it.

We have Faith to move mountains.

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We move mountains every day. As the Class of 2019, we present these 19 ideas:

(Pictures from practice:)

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To each idea please join us by responding: Faith to move mountains.

1. I can move the mountain of doubt by praying for confidence. We have: Faith to move mountains

2. I can move the mountain of insecurity by surrounding myself with people who care for me. We have: Faith to move mountains.

3. I can move the mountain of bullying by sticking up for everyone. We have: Faith to move mountains

4.I can move the mountain of procrastination by making a list of things I need to do each day, and crossing them off as I do them. We have: Faith to move mountains

5.I can move the mountain of shyness by praying for confidence and by volunteering to speak. We have: Faith to move mountains

6.I can move the mountain of negative peer pressure by praying for right judgment and acting according to my conscience. We have: Faith to move mountains

7.I can move the mountain of selfishness by praying for generosity, and then trying to be aware of how my actions and words will affect others. We have: Faith to move mountains

8.I can move the mountain of learning math facts and spelling words by praying for wisdom and, with the help of others by practicing ten minutes every day. We have: Faith to move mountains

9.I can move the mountain of needing to listen to my parents by praying for help and by doing as my parents ask - the first time. We have: Faith to move mountains

10.I can move the mountain of dishonesty by praying for courage to tell the truth. We have: Faith to move mountains.

11.I can move the mountain of not sharing my toys by praying for kindness and trying to share 2 toys a day at home and at school. We have: Faith to move mountains

12.I can move the mountain of not fitting in by praying for confidence, making a new friend, being a good friend, and remembering I have people who love me. We have: Faith to move mountains

13.I can move the mountain of following directions at home and at school by praying to be more focused and attentive, and with the help of others, to stop what I am doing and make eye contact when people are speaking to me. We have: Faith to move mountains

14. I can move the mountain of saying unkind things by praying for respectfulness. I can decide to use encouraging words. With the help of others, I can be a good example and not talk about others. We have: Faith to move mountains

15. I can move the mountain of disappointment by praying for patience and remembering that you don’t always get what you want, and that things work out in good ways you don’t expect. We have: Faith to move mountains

16. I can move the mountain of making poor decisions by praying for good judgment. With the help of others, I can weigh the pros and cons of important decisions. We have: Faith to move mountains

17. I can move the mountain of laziness by praying for energy to do activities, and by getting off electronics and making plans with friends, or help out around the house. We have: Faith to move mountains

18. I can move the mountain of knowing which high school to choose by praying for wisdom, by learning facts and skill for the entrance exam, and shadowing at schools I am interested in, and with the help of others, talking to my parents and students I know who go to those schools. We have: Faith to move mountains

19. I can move the mountain of worry by knowing God is always with me. God gave me a good mind and many abilities. I will remember to work hard, knowing I have many supportive people to help me. We have: Faith to move mountains

Our prayer, our hard work, our family, teachers, priests, principal and friends, can help us move mountains. Let’s help one another this year.

Blessing of our school's New Principal:

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Beginnings are exciting and everyone wants to do their best.

Let’s ask God to send great blessings upon Mr. Fornaciari as he leads our school each day. Please stand and raise your hands over him.

May the Lord always bless you and keep you.

May his face always shine upon you.

May you know his compassion and mercy.

May the Lord walk because you forever.

May God bless you in all that you do:

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Recessional:

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8th graders with teachers:

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Preparations:

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Father Ken:

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Back to school for teachers

Posted on Aug 24, 2018

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Teachers Institute Meetings August 17th and 20th.

Friday, August 17th

Meaningful work and enriching relationships are a secret to life.

As teachers we celebrate that we have both, and work diligently to live our vocations as teachers.

On our first day we talked about the importance of maintaining a Catholic identity in our school: through our words and actions, through the environment we present and the culture we create.

Here are some prayers from the opening days: 

We begin: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Loving God, we praise and thank you for the blessings and excitement of this day: for enriching relationships and meaningful work, and for all the promise and possibilities this new year brings. We ask for your guidance in all that we do to serve the children and families of this parish and school community. May we do our best each day to teach our students and guide them to be strong, loving, compassionate leaders of the future. We ask your help for those most in need of our prayer…. and offer our thanksgiving for our families, mentors, and all those who helped us to be in these privileged seats today.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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On August 20th, day two of our teacher meetings, we continued our discussion of Catholic Identity and talked about Catholic writers who had recently spoken in our archdiocese – whose books may be of interest to the teachers. We also considered psychologists Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg and their stages of moral development in light of our prayer and spiritual lives.

Our meeting included this prayer:

Teacher  Prayer

Gracious and All loving God, out of love for all people you spoke your Word who became human for our salvation.

May your Word transform us so that the message of your Son, our Lord, may be echoed through our teaching .

Allow us to guide the hearts of those we teach in such a way that they will enter more deeply into your way of truth and salvation.

Grant us the insight needed to lead others to know, love, and serve you.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may all those entrusted to our care become hearers and followers of your Word, so that they might help transform the world - to follow the way of life to which your Son has called us all, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. AMEN.

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We look forward to a great faith-filled, joyful, productive new school year for all.

Opening All School Mass

Posted on Sep 21, 2017

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It was a great 1st mass starting with the students’ favorite song: “All You Works of God” (#498 in the Gather Hymnal, 2nd edition) – and ending with “Go, Make a Difference” # 664. The communion meditation included the 8th graders circling the congregation.  Each eighth grader listed one thing they found “awesome”. Examples included: “Having a supportive family to go home to” , “Speaking up for a classmate”, “Helping an injured classmate get from class to class”, “Receiving the sacraments together”, “Seeing the Grand Canyon”. The entire student body - kindergarten through eighth grade- responded after every five statements with a resounding “Now THAT’S awesome”.  Through this year’s school theme, we hope the students grow in their recognition and appreciation for all the awesome gifts from God in their lives. We hope the students use these gifts to help create a just and peaceful world.

We pray that these “Works of God” – our students – indeed go and make a difference: in their classes, their family, the community and world.

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Opening school mass 2017 – 9/8/2017 at 1:15 p.m.

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Theme: Using God’s Gifts we help make awesome things happen.

Hosted by eighth graders

1. Pre-mass explanation by eighth graders

2. Welcome. Students will announce song – All You Works of God:  #498

3. First Reading of the Day – read by eighth graders:

4. Psalm: Holy is Your Name, #83: 1,2,5

5. Second reading –Reading of the Day – or Ephesians reading

read by eighth graders –

6. Gospel – Reading of the Day proclaimed by Father Ken

7. Presentation song: Immaculate Mary, #783, verses 1,4,7

8. Communion song: Taste and See, #827

9. After communion – explanation of theme by eighth graders:

10. Final blessing and closing song: Go Make A Difference, #664.

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Welcome:

Good afternoon! Welcome to our opening all school liturgy hosted by the 8th grade graduating class of 2018.

We are very excited to be in 8th grade and to be your school leaders this 2017 – 2018 year. You will come to know us as the class who is energetic, talented and helpful - positive, fun-loving and awesome.

Our theme for the school year is:

Using God’s Gifts we help make the world awesome.

 With this theme, we hope you appreciate, ever more, all God’s awesome gifts all around you: in nature, in your own abilities, in the kindness and skills of people who help you. This year we hope we think about how we can all use our gifts to help make the world awesome.

Today we also celebrate the feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Mary’s birthday!  Mary’s gift of faith gave her the courage and confidence to be the Mother of Jesus: who teaches us how to live and love and who is present to us in a special way as we receive communion.

Today we also celebrate all birthdays and the gift of life we all have, and God’s awesome gifts we see each day.

 May we use all our gifts from God to help make the world awesome.

Our Gathering Song is:

All You Works of God: #498, # 4-9-8.

Please stand.

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First Reading:

A reading from the prophet Micah: (Mike-a)

The LORD says:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, (Ef  Ra Tha)
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
From you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
Whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
(Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
And the rest of his brethren shall return
to the children of Israel.)
 

He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
And they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

The Word of the Lord.

Micah 5:1-4a

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Second Reading:

A reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (EE Fee Zhens)

Because of God’s great love for us,

we have a new life with Christ.

Even while we were sinners,

God raised us up with Jesus and gave us a place in heaven.

It is God’s gift that saves us.

We did not work for our salvation

or earn it by doing anything special.

It is God’s gift to us.

Through Christ Jesus,

God has made us new

So that we may live our lives doing good.

The Word of the Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Gospel – Matthew 1:18-23 - Reading of the Feast Day proclaimed by Father

Ken

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Presentation of 8th graders by Father Ken to the student body

Prayer of the Faithful

1. For Pope Francis, for leaders in our school, church and country who use their gifts from God to help make awesome things happen, we pray:

2. For all students, that we may recognize and use our gifts to help make the world awesome by learning, doing our homework, and by being kind, we pray:

3. For all parents, teachers, priests, and everyone who takes care of us, that they may use their gifts to help us develop our gifts, we pray:

4. For all new students and teachers, that they will feel welcome here, and make lots of new friends, we pray:

5. For people in the world who lack what they truly need and for people who are worried about their future, and for all who help them, we pray:

6. For all graduates of Saint John Fisher, may they use their gifts and all they learned here to make awesome things happen in their new schools and jobs, we pray:

7. For all babies recently born, and for all mothers who are expecting babies, may the example and love of Mary the Mother of God help them each day, we pray:

8. For all who are sick, and for all who use their gifts to help and to heal, we pray:

9. For all who have died, that they now know God’s awesome love forever, we pray:

10. Please add your own intentions in silence (count to 10 to yourself) we pray:

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Practice for Explanation of School Year Theme

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Communion Meditation and Explanation of this Year’s Theme:

Using God’s gifts we help make awesome things happen.

The class of 2018 will list awesome things we see happen in our lives.

As they do, we invite you throughout this school year to notice the awesome events and people in your lives. We hope these examples inspire you to use your gifts to help make awesome things happen.

To help you remember to make the world awesome by using God’s gifts, we will spell out the word ‘awesome’ on the bridge. On each letter, we will list characteristics we can use to help make the world awesome – by using words that start with each letter in “Awesome”.

This afternoon, we present a list of some of the actions we think are awesome.

Please respond, “Now THAT’s Awesome after every 5 students.

After all students have listed their example:

Our class has presented many examples of awesome gifts.   

Remember all you have heard this day.

Remember to use your awesome gifts from God to help create an awesome world.

Final blessing and closing song: Go Make A Difference, #664.

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Singing Practice - two of three homerooms pictured:

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Using God's Gifts We Help Create an Awesome World

Posted on Sep 07, 2017

Using God’s gifts, we help create an awesome world.

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Our eighth graders are preparing the Opening All School Mass on Friday, September 8th – The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All are welcome to join our school students and faculty for this mass at 1:15 p.m. in Church.

Our theme for this school year is Using God’s Gifts, We Help Create an Awesome World. To begin our preparations, the eighth graders responded to this question: “What would you send on a space probe into the universe to show the grandeur of God’s awesome gifts on earth?” Their responses followed the example of paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould who said he would send a recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor to show humanity at its best. I further asked the students what they would send showing God’s gifts in our school. The third question was what would they want their great-grandchildren to know about how they used God’s gifts in their lives. The eighth graders’ answers ranged from, “I’d send a recording of our school singing in church” to “I’d send a video of the sun rising over the lake.” A response to the third questions was, “A picture of me Irish dancing and achieving my goals through hard work, teaching them that they can achieve their goals through hard work." And a heart-warming response to question one was this: “I would send them to Disney World to see God’s greatness. I would then send them here (to Saint John Fisher School) because Disney is the second best place in this world.”

Now that’s a happy responsibility for all of us - faculty and administrators – to continue: to create that loving, faith-filled environment of our school.

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Our eighth graders’ list of God’s awesome gifts will form part of our communion meditation at the opening school mass. Our hope is that hearing these gifts, the students will grow in awareness and appreciation of God’s awesome gifts, use those gifts responsibly and joyfully, and grow in gratitude for God’s gifts all around them: in family, in nature, in friends.

Our daily prayer this week included the Feast of Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata (1910- 1997) on Monday, September 5th. Saint Mother Teresa’s teaching on kindness is a favorite. We prayed this prayer on Monday over the P.A.:

Loving God, help us live the message in this prayer:

May we

Be Kind……..

Let no one ever come to you

Without coming away happier.

Be the living expression of God’s kindness:

Kindness in your face,

Kindness in your eyes,

Kindness in your laugh,

Kindness in your smile,

Kindness in your warm greeting.

To the little children, to the poor,

To all who suffer and are lonely

Always give them respect

Give them not only your care,

But also your heart. Amen.

Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata, pray for us.

You are invited to the student’ Opening of School mass on Friday, September 8th at 1:15 p.m.

 

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We also hope to see you at the parish picnic: Sunday, September 10th Noon mass at Beverly Park.

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And even though it is past Labor Day – it’s still summer on the calendar.

Happy Chicago land summer!

Gifts of Wonder and Awe - Daily P.A. Prayers

Posted on Sep 01, 2017

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This year’s theme focuses on wonder and awe for all God’s creation, and our part to use our gifts wisely, diligently, and thoughtfully to help make the world more peaceful, more joyful, more loving.

            We begin each day with a student-led prayer for all students and teachers over the public address system (accessed through the school office phone). These prayers are led by eighth grade students, who mention the church’s saint of the day, or a thought from the reading of the day. We include an intention, and thank God for a specific “awesome” gift.

            We rotate prayers we would like the students to know: the Our Father; Hail,Mary; Prayer of Saint Francis; Glory Be. We end with our Pastor’s greeting: “God is good: All the time. All the time: God is good.”

            Here are the first week prayers. We thank God for the awesome gift of students, parents, families, teachers, Principal, priests, friends. 

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Saint John Fisher Daily Prayers

Wednesday, August 23rd

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 23rd, the feast of Saint Rose of Lima, Peru.

Today we pray for all people who live in Central and South America, and for all people named Rose.

We thank God for the awesome gift of flowers and trees.

Let us pray:

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and all the hour of our death. Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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Thursday, August 24th

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 24th

the feast of Saint Bartholomew – one of the disciples of Jesus. Saint Bartholomew travelled throughout India to teach people about God.

Today we pray for all people who live in India, and for all who teach us about God.

We thank God for the awesome gift of our friends.

Let us pray:

Our Father who art in Heaven.

Hallowed by Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a Terrific Thursday.

Friday, August 25th

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 25rd, the feast of Saint Louis the King.

Today we pray for all people who live in Saint Louis, and for all leaders.

We thank God for the awesome gift of our moms and dads

and everyone who takes care of us.

Let us pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a fabulous Friday.

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Monday, August 28th

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 28th , the feast of Saint Augustine a famous Bishop in North Africa.

Today we pray for all teachers and students, and for who call Saint Augustine a hero- especially the students, teachers and priests at Saint Rita High School.

We thank God for the awesome gift of our school, and for the chance to learn new things each day.

Let us pray:

Our Father who art in Heaven.

Hallowed by Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a marvelous Monday.

Tuesday, August 29th

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Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 29th , the feast of Saint John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus.

Today we pray for all our cousins, and for all who help us to know God’s way.

We thank God for the awesome gift of our Principal, Sister Jean.

Let us pray:

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and all the hour of our death., Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

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Wednesday, August 30th

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 30th. The gospel reading is about people who spread God’s Good News, and our ability to hear this Good News, about sowers and seeds.

Today we pray for all farmers who plant and harvest.

We thank God for the awesome gift of our food, and the meals we enjoy with our family and friends.

Let us pray:

Our Father who art in Heaven.

Hallowed by Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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Thursday, August 31st

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is August 31st

Today the gospel tells us God invites everyone to the feast.

Today we pray for all to feel included, and for all of us to reach out in love to those around us.

We thank God for the awesome gift of celebrations.

Let us pray:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a Tremendous Thursday.

Friday, September 1st

Good morning!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today is September 1st.

Today we pray for all workers who help us in our city and country each day.

We thank God for the awesome gift of working to achieve a goal.

Let us pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Pledge

God is Good – All the Time.

All the Time – God is Good.

Have a fabulous Friday.

 

First Day of School

Posted on Aug 23, 2017

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Elena Chermak with Sister Jean and Father Ken

When we began this school year, I was not sure if the August 21, 2017 Totally Awesome graphics were for the Solar Eclipse, or for the beginning of the First Day of School at Saint John Fisher!

Our faculty prayer service included the words from a song in our missalette: O God beyond all Praising set to Gustav Holst’s melody from The Planets, under the theme:

Gracious God: Grant us the Gift of Wonder and Awe.

We also called to mind the Pope Francis’ encyclical on the Care of the Earth: Laudato Si (“Praised Be”), remembering that caring for creation is one of the seven tenants of Catholic Social Teaching.

We welcome totally awesome students to our totally awesome school – all created by our totally awesome community: parents, parish, teachers, principal, pastor, students!

A wonderful new school year of hope and promise to all!

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Faculty Prayer Eclipse

O God Beyond All Praising

O God beyond all praising, We worship you today
And sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at every gift you send,
At blessings without number and mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you and listen for your word,
We honor and we thank you, our great and loving Lord.

Text: Michael Perry, 1982; Melody: Gustav Holst from The Planets, 1918

Let us Pray: Loving God, we ask your blessings upon us as we begin this

new school year. We thank you for the gifts of this summer: including the time to think, to read, to learn, to play, to enjoy family and friends, and to experience the glories of all your natural beauty in creation. May these past summer days of recreation give us new energies to lead our students to lives of knowledge, love, and service.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Reading for the First Book of Kings:

At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him, "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by."
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—  but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake— but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—  but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak (for in the tiny whispering sound, Elijah had experienced the LORD).

And Elijah went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

The Word of the Lord.                                   ~1 Kings 19: 9A, 11-13A

Intercessory Prayers

1. That we recognize God’s presence in the most powerful and the lowliest among us, we pray to the Lord.

2. That we may be sustained by the friendship, camaraderie, common purpose, and pursuit of excellence among our faculty and staff, we pray to the Lord.

3. That our faith may inspire and encourage one another as we pray with, and for, each other, we pray to the Lord.

4. For a fruitful dialogue among leaders to ensure respect and understanding among all people, we pray to the Lord.

5. That ours may be a peaceful world, free from war and the threat of violence, as leaders come together to solve problems with words and not weapons, we pray to the Lord.

6. That we may lead our students to care for the earth, and to marvel at all of God’s creation, we pray to the Lord.

7. In thanksgiving for the new life among us: through marriage, ordination and the birth of babies, all of which fill us with great love and blessing, we pray to the Lord.

8. For those who are sick among our school and parish families, we pray to the Lord.

9. For those who have died, who now share eternity in God’s loving embrace, we pray to the Lord.

10. For those prayers we hold deep within our hearts……..we pray to the Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Sign of Peace

Final Blessing:

Saint John Fisher Teacher Prayer

God of Promise and Possibility, give us the wisdom and strength to model your unconditional love for our students. Bless our students with strong bodies, bright minds, kind and compassionate hearts, and an infinite sense of wonder and inquiry.

May we guide our students to use their unique talents to reach out to those who might need a kind heart or a helping hand.

May all our students learn from us deepen their sense of gratitude for their unique place in creation, and prepare them to create a more just, hopeful, joyful, and peaceful world.

Thank you for the joy that our students bring to our lives.

Bless us and all we do:  this first day - and every day.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

~jam, adapted Totally_Awesome

Elena_and_Kids

Happy First Day of School!

 

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