St. Mary's School
Saturday, April 25, 2020
As I'm sure you are aware, Governor Baker announced that students and teachers will not be able to return to school buildings for the remainder of the school year. The past six weeks have been difficult for all of us, but I want to thank all of you - students, teachers, and parents - for handling these unprecedented times with patience and grace. I want to reassure you that our teachers will support you as we continue with remote learning for the rest of the year. We love seeing our students in our classrooms and hallways, so knowing we will not be together before our last day in June is especially difficult.
We are working to finalize plans for the upcoming May Crowning and, looking ahead to June, celebrating the achievements of our students and teachers and providing closure to the school year on June 12. And as our eighth graders prepare to graduate in early June, we are working out the details to honor their accomplishments and commitment to St. Mary's School as they prepare for the next step of their journey in high school. Please keep our eighth graders in your thoughts and prayers as the end of the school year approaches. Again, this has been difficult for all of us, but I imagine it has been quite a bit more difficult for our eighth graders who have not had the chance to be together during these final months of their time at St. Mary's.
Please know of our continued gratitude for your support and partnership, and of our prayers for the health and safety of you and your families.
Mr. Christopher Beza
In This Issue
Sunday Mass at St. Mary's
Third Sunday of Easter
CARES Act Petition
Resources for Supporting Your Children
Sunday Mass - All Are Welcome
Tomorrow we celebrate the Third Sunday of Easter. We hope you will join Father Shawn as he live streams Mass from St. Mary's Church at 10:00 am on Sunday, April 26. The live stream will be coordinated through Zoom and can be accessed by clicking this link. The link to the live stream can also be accessed on the home page of the parish website (www.stmarysmelrose.org).
Third Sunday of Easter
As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?" ~ Luke 24:28-32
As the two disciples were traveling on the road to Emmaus with Jesus, they did not recognize him at first. Perhaps it was because of their sadness after the death on Calvary, or maybe it was their own weakness that prevented them from recognizing the Lord. Even as Jesus explains the Scriptures to them, they remain oblivious to his presence. It is only in the breaking of the bread, the celebration of the Eucharist, that their eyes are opened and they see him.
How difficult it is for us to not have the opportunity to go to Mass each Sunday and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus. We know that we are able to make a Spiritual Communion in these times of social distancing, but sometimes it feels that it does not compare to the physical reception we are all accustomed to. Knowing we have received Jesus into our physical body, and so into our hearts, is a great source of comfort and affirmation of our faith.
Yet I am reminded of Christ's words in the Gospel of Matthew..."Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." In these times, I am challenged by the following questions. Do we recognize Jesus among us in our own homes? When we sit down and break bread together as a family, do we invite him to our table? And as we continue to cope with the stressors of this difficult time, do we offer our joys and frustrations to Him, asking him to walk with us on the road?
I imagine it's a work in progress for most, if not all of us. In his book With Burning Hearts, author Henri Nouwen shares a reflection that I have found to be a good reminder. "Every time we invite Jesus into our homes, that is to say, into our life with all its light and dark sides, and offer him the place of honor at our table, he takes the bread and the cup and hands them to us saying: 'Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is my blood. Do this to remember me.'"
Your Help Is Needed - CARES Act Petition
As Governor Baker considers the use of Coronavirus Economic Relief Funds for schools in Massachusetts, we hope you will join us by signing a petition (link below) requesting that Catholic schools receive equitable participation in the distribution of federal funds within the CARES Act.
During the past four weeks, our teachers and hundreds of other Catholic school teachers within the Archdiocese of Boston have been connecting with students and caregivers through remote learning environments where a sense of community and faith-filled learning continues at home. Catholic schools, as well as their dedicated teachers and students, deserve equal participation in relief funding opportunities.
We are grateful to the Lynch Foundation for working directly with Governor Baker, Secretary Peyser, and Commissioner Riley to assist Catholic schools with accessing their fair share of these funds.
To ensure that Catholic schools receive equitable consideration within the April 27 application, we hope you will complete and submit the Private School Support in CARES Act petition today.
Sign the petition to Governor Baker by clicking here: https://forms.gle/SbQLsZx9fLxRcTXM7
Thank you for your help with this important effort.
Resources for Supporting Your Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Below please find a list of resources you may find helpful as you support your children through this difficult time.
- Dr. Ashley Miller, Helping Children and Teens Cope with Social Isolation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
- Psychology Today, How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus
- Dr. Nancy Rappaport: What Cancer Taught Me About Navigating a Pandemic
- Dr. Robert Brooks: Resilience in the Face of COVID-19
- National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19
- Joanna's Place: Tips to Help Families through the Coronavirus Crisis
Please let me know if the current situation is causing your family financial hardship. We have resources for emergency financial aid through the Catholic Schools Foundation. We know some of you are concerned about loss of wages and ability to pay bills. We share your concerns. If you need assistance, please be in touch with me.