Mercy Peek & Ponder by Mr. McGrath

Volume II Issue 22 Sunday, February 7, 2016

Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we commit ourselves to living the Good News of Jesus through Works of Mercy. Our rigorous academic program unleashes creative energy for the pursuit of knowledge and nurtures a hope-filled vision for Catholic leadership. We live out our relationship with God by respecting the dignity of others and providing service to the global community that fosters unity, understanding, and compassion.

Upcoming Events

February 8

First Penance - St. Alphonsus, 7PM

February 10

Ash Wednesday - School Liturgy & Peacemakers (January), 10:30AM

February 12

No School for Students - Faculty Professional Development

February 15

No School - Presidents' Day

OLM Auction Update - Let's Celebrate!!

For those families who were unable to attend the Home & School Meeting on January 19, 2016 - I offer the following information:

As communicated back in the Fall of 2016, the OLM loves Philadelphia auction supported two important causes: tuition assistance & improvements to the academic program and facilities. Tuition assistance allows us to ensure that our families who hope to provide an education for their children have the opportunity to do so. Its allows us to keep our students and parents in our school, strengthening that sense of community -that is truly what we are about. Additionally, your support helps us to care for and maintain our campus and continue to provide a research-based, data-driven academic program in which the uniqueness of each child is recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated.


Total Auction Income: $129,549.50

Total Auction Expenses: $ 11,258.56

Total Auction Profit: $118,258.56

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our auction co-chairs: Mrs. Sheila Miller, Mrs. Nicole Moffa, Mrs. Danielle Moore, and Mrs. Denise Schmalbach, and our solicitation coordinator, Mrs. Bea Lemonowicz. They inspired me with their tireless dedication to our students. I would also like to recognize and thank Mrs. Debbie Collins, Advancement Director, for all her hard work.

Catholic Schools Week 2016 Recap

This past week at OLM, Catholic education has been celebrated - the Faith component, the Academic Excellence, Catholic leaders, and Service.

On Sunday: OLM began the celebration of CSW 2016 with mass at each of the legacy parishes, followed by an Open House at school. Just on Sunday ALONE, we welcomed 15 new families into the Circle of Mercy.

On Monday: Students expressed their gratitude to your parents in writing and then parents joined us at lunchtime.

On Tuesday: Six students were inducted in the National Junior Honor Society. State Representative Thomas Murt gave the keynote address.

On Wednesday: Home & School treated the faculty and staff to a wonderful luncheon. Students played BINGO with their "buddies".

On Thursday: Home & School treated the students to an amazing magic show. Student then received an ice cream treat at lunch courtesy of the teachers.

On Friday: The students, faculty and staff participated in the 4th annual THON to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund. The Class of 2016 "competed" with the faculty in a volleyball game. The Phillies Phanatic surprised us all with a visit.

On Saturday: OLM families came together for fun, community, and BINGO!

This past week, we celebrate not just the here and now, but the future, the future of our children, the future of OLM, and the future of Catholic education. We celebrate the efforts of so many who have tirelessly and selfishly make our school the place that it is! We celebrate the gentle care of our God who continues to shower us with abundant love and so many other blessings. We are OLM. We are your future.

Did you know?

Our Lady of Mercy offers a highly respected program of academic excellence that is developmentally appropriate, data-driven and research-based; is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; and is enhanced for all grades K-8 with the latest technology, fine arts, physical/health education, library, Spanish, Honors Math Program, and a well-equipped science lab which encourages active learning. Our curriculum follows the standards set by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which meet or exceed Pennsylvania State Standards. Curriculum may be defined as “all guided experience of the student under the direction of the school.” Includes all subjects as well as academic development: student’s physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth. Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School wants to help students form the right understandings, attitudes and habits not only in connection with subject matter, but also in each and every school experience. To view the content standards are for each grade; please visit the Office of Catholic Education website at: Archdiocese of Philadelphia Curriculum and Standards

Weekly Reflection: Lent is an Invitation

Lent is a season of being invited by God in a deeply personal way. “Come back to me, with all of your heart,” our Lord beckons. "We will," we respond, but we aren’t quite ready yet, our hearts are not prepared. We want to squirm, evade, avoid. Our souls not yet perfect. We are not ready for God to love us.

Yes, of course we want to have a deeper relationship with God, we tell ourselves earnestly. And we will….Soon. God calls to us again: Come back to me, with all of your heart.

Ok, ok, I really will. Just a few more things to do at work. Let me spend a little more time in prayer first. Let me get to Reconciliation. Let me clean my room, tidy my closets. Check my iPhone ….

Come back to me, with all of your heart.

It is an extraordinary invitation to each one of us. To me in a personal, individual way. God invites me to drop the defenses that I hold up between myself and God. All God wants is for me to realize that my standards, my way of judging and loving are so very different from God’s way, and so much smaller. God offers an entire Lent season, an entire lifetime, of loving me unconditionally, no matter what I have done or how much I think I have hidden from God.

From the first day of Lent, the Ash Wednesday readings make God's call to us clear: “Return to me with your whole heart.”

“A clean heart create for me, O God,” Psalm 51 offers. “Give me back the joy of your salvation.” That is exactly what our loving God wants to give us, the joy of salvation.

Look up there on the road ahead of us: our loving God is jumping up and down for joy. The invitation to us has been heard. We have returned home!

Come back to me, with all of your heart. That is the invitation of each day of Lent. Today is the day to accept it.

Virtue of the Month: KINDNESS

Our virtue of the month of February is KINDNESS. Students will learn that kindness is a gift of the Holy Spirit where one learns the quality of understanding and sympathy for those in need. It is shown in friendliness of speech, generosity of conduct, and forgiveness. Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother will be our model.

O St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows, obtain for our young people the grace of following Jesus with generosity. May they place the gospel at the very heart of their lives. May they desire to love God wholeheartedly as you did. May they especially obtain a true devotion to the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, and following thy example may we all increase in grace. Pray for us that we will be saints, so we may know the peace and joy of eternal life in Heaven.


Reading Olympics

Please have your child see Mrs. Marano, Mrs. Costanzo, or Mr. Smith if they are interested in joining this year's Reading Olympics team. There will be a Reading Olympics organizational meeting during lunch on Wednesday, February 10 in Mrs. Marano's classroom. At this meeting your child can learn more about Reading Olympics and can also ask any questions that they might have about participating in the program this year. Thank you in advance for your support of the Reading Olympics program.

Four Diamonds Mini-Thon, February 5th

The mini-thon was a huge success. We are grateful for our 5th grade who coordinated the fun and giving. Special thanks to Mrs. DiNenno and Ms. Timlin - the THON would not happen without their love and support.

We will be announcing our total money raised at morning assembly shortly. The mission collections each January on Wednesdays total over $750!

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (Middle States Association or shorter as M.S.A.C.S. or M.S.A.) is a voluntary, peer-based, non-profit association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and the proper accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary/high schools, and elementary schools in the United States and foreign institutions of American origin. Our Lady of Mercy will be re-accredited from April 10th to April 13th, 2016

Our Team

Internal Coordinators

Caroline Maher

Eighth Grade Teacher/Asst. to the Principal

Natalie Marano

Third Grade Teacher

Planning Team

John McGrath


Linda Reilly

First Grade Teacher

Stephanie Cox

Fourth Grade Teacher

Alison Dudenbostel

Sixth Grade Teacher

Carol Opdyke

Resource Room Teacher

Karen Ryan


Caroline Maher

Eighth Grade Teacher/Asst. to the Principal

Natalie Marano

Third Grade Teacher

Mercy 5K - Saturday, March 19, 2016

The 4th Annual Run is scheduled for Saturday March 19, 2016. Click here for all the information:

OLM Run for Mercy 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run
Sponsorship information is needed by 2/15. It’s not too late! Forms are available on the school website - click on the 5K sneaker!

Register now for the 5K to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount! $5.00 off 5K registration till 2/15! We’re closing in on 100 students registered!

New this year: Long sleeve tech shirts for 5K participants!
Awards for first place boy and girl in each grade! In addition to age group awards.
Post race party catered by Fireside Bar and Grille!

We are looking for 100 OLM Students to register and take part in the 5K Run & One Mile Fun Run. The first 100 students who register for the 5K run or One Mile Fun Run will receive a choice of a free "official" OLM 5K stuffed penguin or School Supply Kit Pouch (with logo) with Pencil, Eraser, and Sharpener. Let’s all run for MERCY! Perhaps, Winston will run with you!

2016-2017 Registration

Our retention rate for next academic year is 91%.

347 of the 382 eligible for registration have done so.

If you register prior to 03/31/2016, registration fee is $250 per family.

If you registered after 04/01/2016, the registration fee is $350 per family.

Our registration fees cover: the cost per student of the student information database (MSP), Religion books, certain instructional classroom supplies, and administrative fees for the operation the FACTS system. Please note, registration fees are non-refundable.

OLM Home & School News

Please save the dates for the following events!

Mother /Son Bowling: Sunday, February 21, 2016 at Thunderbird Lanes in Warminster

Father/Daughter Dance: Friday, February 26, 2016

OLM Mercy 5k Run: Saturday, March 19, 2016 for any registration questions please contact Megan Citro at

Thank you for all you do to support our Home and School Organization!


The deadline for OLM Yearbooks for 2015-2016 has passed.

Birthday Blessings this Week

Brown, Veronica E. Feb 7 - Sunday

Tallon, Kendall P. Feb 7 - Sunday

Waltrich, Margaret (Meg) Feb 7 - Sunday

McFadden, Owen Feb 8 - Monday

Cubbin, Cole J. Feb 12 - Friday

Playground at Lunch Recess

Monday, 02/08: Ms. Bordoni

Tuesday, 02/09: Ms. Duncan

Wednesday, 02/10: Mrs. Reilly

Thursday, 02/11: Mrs. Nowaczyk

Lunch Duty Sign-Up:

Two parent volunteers must be on-duty in the school yard - before the playground is open. This ensures the safety of ALL. Our active volunteer program not only provides valuable hands-on assistance through the school, but also benefits the children by reinforcing ties between the children’s individual homes as well as the community at large, and the school. The Lunch/Recess Duty Volunteer program is a great way to volunteer and become involved at the school.

Altar Servers 9AM

Monday, 02/08: Colin Hope

Tuesday, 02/09: Danny Bryce

Wednesday, 02/10: N/A

Thursday, 02/11: Bella Sapp

Friday, 02/12: Gina Princivalle