Faculty Staff Memo

St. Gabriel School ....... December 13, 2015


3rd Sunday of Advent

Sacred Scripture: Luke 3:11

“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”


How does my service as a Catholic educator restore hope in the world?

NCEA Weekly Reflections, Praying with you and for you as we focus on family and mission in Catholic education.

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Blessings dear teachers and staff,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and rest after this week of excitement and intense activities. As we come to the final days of our Advent preparations, I pray that a true "Gaudate" joy will bring God's blessings of peace and healing and courage we need in our preparations for Jesus to come more deeply than ever into our hearts.

I read a reflection from Bishop Robert Barron, whose Advent reflections I have been following, and he shared something that struck me deeply. He talked about the penitential dimension of Advent. He talked about needing to come to a point of awareness that we are helpless, powerless, hitting bottom, almost as an addict in a 12 step program, and know that we are truly needing and waiting for a Savior. "O Come, o come Emmanuel ... and ransom me as captive ... mourning ... " And when you are lifeless, make of your life a gift, and you will come back to life.

Then what most impacted me were his final words in this reflection, going to one last image of our Savior, as potter ... and he says, "Your life is not about you. You are being shaped by a higher power for his purposes. You are waiting for the potter to do his work." If I can reach this, then I am ready ...

Blessings of peace and goodness and courage to you and your families and loved ones,

Donna Lee

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Faculty Meeting Tuesday, December 15

JrK, K, 1st Grade Christmas Program

We will have an all school performance of the Jr K 1 Christmas Program at 8:00am. There will be an AM schedule.

Parents have been notified that VMG (Viewpoint Media Group) will be videotaping our 2015-16 St. Gabriel School performance and program events. For anyone, the cost for ordering will remain $10/DVD. If anyone would like to order a DVD, please send in a check (made out to VMG) or cash to the School Office by December 22, along with the completed form below.

Orders will be distributed through school.

DVD Order Form

Snow Days ...

In preparation for calamity days, we will use same procedure as before, please see details in the parent VB. In addition to the TV posting and voice onecall, I will be sending out one of these new flyers to all of you in Faculty and Staff and also to parents to announce school closing. Same as the email I sent out right away, and same as onecall.

December 14, 2015 - February 19, 2016

December 14

  • 7:00 pm Evening Parish Communal Celebration of Reconciliation
  • GBN Meeting 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Drama Club (Treasure Island) - Geauga Theater 2:45 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Play practice (Cinderella) Music Room 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

December 15

  • Mini Open House - NEW Families 9:00 am
  • Daisy Mtg. (Bender) 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm (Church Basement) MR1
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • 2:45 pm - Faculty Meeting

December 16

  • 8:05 am ALL School Liturgy of the Word
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Grizzly Growler (Press Club) 2:45 pm - 4:00 pm (Holiday Party)
  • Student Council Meeting 2:45 pm - 3:15 pm
  • Power of the Pen 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

December 17

  • Family Prayer after 7:00 pm Mass, Chapel
  • 8th grade girls basketball practice (Simek)
  • Brownie Mtg (Malinas) Church Basement (MR1) rescheduled from 12/16 (2:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
  • Daisy Mtg. (Coode) MPR 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Grizzly Academy 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm

December 18

  • Gr. 7 Alter Care Visit 1:00 pm

December 20

  • 7:45-8:05 St. Gabriel Parish Night Prayer, Chapel
  • Sunday evenings from Advent to Easter

December 21

  • 8:00-9:30am All School Performance of Jr K 1 Christmas Music program
  • 6:30 JrK, K, 1 Evening Performance Christmas Program, Church

December 22

  • NO Cub Care
  • NO Grizzly Academy

December 23 -- January 5 -- NO SCHOOL - Christmas Break

January 6 -- Classes resume

January 7 - Principal Parent Circle

  • 5:00pm
  • Grizzly Learning Den (new school media center)

January 14

  • 4:30-5:30 pm - PTU meeting

January 31 -- February 6, 2016 -- CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

January 31 -- Open House, 1:00--3:00pm

February 1 -- All School Career Day

February 3 -- Arts Day II

February 8 through February 19, 2016 (having an earlier time this year)

  • Cognitive Abilities Testing (CogATs) - Gr 3, 5, 7
  • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) -- Gr 1-8

Bright Spot

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I would like to mention a few very special people in our building that have managed against great odds and obstacles over the past year to remain a bright spot in the community of St. Gabriel School. They would be our Auxiliary Staff.

Without a "home", they have made "homes" amidst faculty and staff, amidst school and parish, transforming spaces no one would have considered quite possible. Repeatedly month after month hearing "almost", or "just one more thing" in response to their queries of "when? ..." would be enough to make many grown persons cry in discouragement. The goal of course has been to keep the children being served and having the support they needed, so they rise above their own lacks and needs for their sakes.

I thank them for their bravery and perseverance. I thank them for their rising in their persons and allowing us all to get to know them better, a benefit that has to be admitted of the "neighboring" experiences. I especially thank their fearless leader Nancy, working tirelessly with me to keep the boat steady,

I am hoping that coming back from Christmas break will finally be the transition into their new "neighborhood" of rooms. Yet I hope that the relationships and experiences forged from this whole journey will have made all of our lives more meaningful and fruitful, aware of who we are. I believe they have as I said, and I know that will be changed, but I hope it will not be lost, for as a successful community it is still needed!

God's blessings and peace to you all, you are such a gift, Nancy, Marge, Rick, Veronica, Andi, Kaylene, Diane, Beth ......


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Happy Birthday this coming Tuesday, December 15 to Chrissy Rusnak, Thursday, December 17 to Carla Puhalsky, and December 19 to Alicia Henrikson! Also happy belated birthday this past Tuesday, December 8, to Liz Moore!


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Let us continue to pray for each other and all of our families, as colleagues and friends, and as companions on the discipleship journey of our mission in Christ. I know there are many unspoken needs, needing big and little prayers.

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Please continue praying for parents and families in our school community needing prayers. Remember those who are suffering through loss in any way in their families. Please note all community names in the Weekly Parent VB Newsletter and keep them in your prayers.

Have a beautiful week!

I am praying for all of you, please pray for me,

Peace in the Father, love in Jesus, and courage and wisdom in the Spirit,


Donna Lee

St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School

We are being Christ, every day, everywhere, through teaching, learning, leading and serving.