Friday Focus

January 8, 2016

Prayer--Better Than any Medicine!

I haven't been feeling too well the last few days--both physically and mentally. However, Fr. Andrews' words at Mass on Wednesday really got me thinking about things. I was reminded that:

  • I am the problem. Not anyone else. Me.
  • I need to do more as a Catholic leader. Or at least do a better job of following a Catholic leader.
  • Father's third choice--to politely get out of the way and not be a roadblock--really should not be an option for anyone working in a Catholic school.

So I felt a little better after Mass--at least mentally. As my day wore on, I looked at my calendar and was reminded that my first Hour of Adoration was at 4pm. I really wanted to simply go home and lie down, but I met Kelli and the church door at 3:55 and we went in.

It was a beautiful experience. I was able to pray individually and pray while holding hands with my wife. I got to reflect on my spiritual journey and even brought along my School of Fatih reflection to think about again (I felt so poorly on Monday that I knew I hadn't done a very good job of reflecting then). The hour quickly flew by and I felt refreshed and energized.

There are a number of teachers, school staff members, and parish office staff who have volunteered to serve an Hour of Adoration. In fact, Rita Kraft, was starting her hour after Kelli and I had just finished. Thank you to those of you who have said "yes" to this awesome experience. If you are interested in getting involved, I know substitutes are still needed. Contact Sheryl Cahoy to get on that list. Kelli and I may need you from 4-5pm on Wednesday some day!

Parish Mission Next Week

Our Parish Mission was so successful last year that we wanted to do it again this year! We're fortunate to have Fr. Stan Fortuna with us January 10-13 from 7-8pm. All of Fr. Stan's presentations will be at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Check out Fr. Fortuna at or

Free childcare will be available in the Parish Center and elementary school. We have a House Challenge in place--if each House contributes at least 6 babysitters to the cause (6 from Xavier on Sunday, 6 from Gregory on Monday, 6 from Aquinas on Tuesday, and 6 from Drexel on Wednesday), the HS will get to participate in the Movie Day during Catholic Schools Week.

Those students who work will also earn 10 points for his/her House! Any anyone--including staff--who shows up to participate in Fr. Stan's talks, earns one point for his/her House!

Make sure to check in with me to make sure I know you're there so you can get your House Point!

Budget and Wish List

Thanks for your time and attention on Monday during the Eakes presentation. I really think this process will streamline our ordering process, help our budgeting process, and eventually be very easy for you to accomplish. The first year of anything new will always have bumps in the road, but I am confident that the Eakes staff will help smooth those things out for us.

Also talking budget--one of the things I'd like to do is get you thinking about things you want or need for your programs. But I want you thinking into the future! What do you want/need in 2016-2017? I really want those item included in your budget for next year. Some of those items will go right onto our "wish list." If you have items that you'd be interested in trying to purchase for next year, add them to the Google Sheet that you were to submit last month (that's the beauty of Google--you can go back and edit your document and not have to re-send it to me or your principals!)

When requesting an item, please be as specific as possible! Use that "Notes" section on the form! I will use this information to generate our new Wish List!

Professional Development Points

Most of you have used our Google Form to document your Professional Development. We have over 660 points earned by our staff in just one semester!

Remember, full-time teachers need to earn 40 PD points over a 4-year time period. Half0-time staff need to earn 20 over those same four years. There are a couple of staff members who've already achieved their required number in just one semester and many more who are close!

The form you need to use is a Google Doc that I shared with you. It is called "PD Form for Teachers". I also generated this link for you to use as well:

CSW 2016 is quickly approaching!

Thank you to the CSW Committee for putting the week together. I know not everything is confirmed and finalized, but here is what they have put together thus far:
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Links/Tweets of the Week

Hopefully, you've found some time to complete your login and profile information to start using your SimpleK12 account. If you are having trouble getting signed up or logged on, please let me know and I'll come to you and get you hooked up!

If you remember Monday (I know that was a LONG time ago and MUCH has happened since!), I talked briefly about the SimpleK12 webinar that described how to use videos and lessons from Ted-Ed. That's the first link below. The others are tweets that I favorited over the break and wanted to share with you in this first FF of 2016.

Servant Leader of the Week

Our SLW this week is Linda Hammond. Linda was nominated by Dawne Miller, who writes:

I nominate Linda Hammond for all her work on the school landscaping. She has put in many hours of hard labor along with donating the cement table in the front of school. She is also working on the outside classroom. Linda has gone above and beyond to help our school. She also volunteers many hours of recess duties for the teachers.

Linda also just completed a long-term substitute teaching gig for Vonnie Arens as Vonnie was recovering from her broken leg.

Thank you to Linda, as well as to Dawne for nominating her..

I am out of nominations, though! Please send me any deserving students, teachers, staff members, or ANYONE you think if worthy of a little extra recognition! Please include a short reason or two of why you're nominating them and a picture is always nice to include, if possible!

Sad News about Fr. Tim Lange

Fr. Tim Lange, the longtime pastor in Stanton, has passed away at age 83.

Fr. Lange was born in Crofton, grew up in Menominee, and graduated from Yankton High School in 1950. He taught elementary music in area Catholic schools as well as private piano lessons. He has taught well over 1,000 students during his teaching career and has given an incredible amount of his time to Catholic schools.

Fr. Lange put on a $10,000 matching gift piano concert for Norfolk Catholic last year and was planning on giving another $10,000 concert on January 31. He also did matching gift concerts like this in Yankton, Stanton, and Crofton, among other places.

Please keep Fr. Lange and his family in your prayers. If you ever visit "Sewing by Beth", the owner, Beth Kunze, is a member of Sacred Heart Parish and a niece of Fr. Lange's.