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St. Gerard Majella School
A Family School

10 Carrelton Drive, Paterson NJ 07522

973-595-5640

Monthly Newsletters

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December 2006

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The season of Advent begins Sunday, December 3 and continues until Friday, December 22. It is a quiet time of joyful preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and a season to enjoy the hope that Christ's Resurrection points to.

The Advent Wreath is a circular candleholder usually decorated with pine branches. It contains four candles, three purple candles and one rose colored candle. The wreath is round because God's love has no beginning and no end. The pine branches never lose their leaves just as God cannot die, and the four candles represent the four Sundays of Advent, the four points of the compass, the four branches of the cross, and the four Gospels. One candle is lit each week in Advent, the rose colored candle being lit for Gaudete Sunday, the third one, when which we celebrate the joy of waiting on the Lord. Here is a prayer to use before lighting your Advent Wreath.

Lord God, you promise to send us joy beyond all telling. Let Your Blessing come upon us as we wait for Your promised Light to dispel the darkness of our minds and hearts. Send Your Peace into the world, and may the fire of Your Love fill our hearts and make us one with You and with each other. We ask this through the Great Light, Jesus Christ, who enlightens and encourages us always. Amen.

We hope each one of our homes will have an Advent Wreath and you will try to make time to prepare for the birth of the Christ Child in a very special way. Sunday Liturgy with your family is a great beginning and you will find the peace and strength you need to experience the joy that comes only through the Eucharist.

On Wednesday, December 6th we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas. He was a priest and bishop who was very generous to the poor. He is known by many names: Saint Nick, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas or Santa Claus. When the spirit of Saint Nicholas visits, people receive gifts that are freely given out of great love. This day at St. Gerard Majella School is children's day. Santa will visit and enjoy breakfast with the children. A special brunch will be prepared for the children to enjoy and each child's shoe will be filled with goodies as Santa leaves us. Santa will pose with the children for photographs. If you would like a photo of your child with Santa the cost is $5.00. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Wednesday evening (12/6) at 7:00 PM we invite all families to come and join us in our St. Joseph Center for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. We will have a wonderful evening of prayer, song and celebration. We ask each family to bring an ornament to place on the tree. Non breakable ornaments are preferred and will be returned after the holiday, if marked with your family name. This will be the beginning of the season that will show the true meaning and spirit of Christmas. Jesus our Lord and Savior came to bring us life and wants us to really live it to the fullest. So let us gather together and seek the peace and forgiveness we need during this season and come to know and find the good in each other. Let us open our hearts to let the new born king in at Christmas by letting each other become a part of our life and circle. Peace begins with each one of us. Let us reach out and touch someone with the love of Jesus. That is the true meaning of Christmas.

On Friday, December 8th we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The liturgy will be held at 12 noon. We hope you will come and join us in prayer as we honor Mary, our Mother, the patron of the United States. Let us ask her to watch over our country and help to bring peace to our world. Grade 8 class pictures / cap and gown pictures and any retakes are scheduled on Thursday, December 14th. Please send back any picture packages that you want retaken on that day.

Friday, December 15th, the cakes will be delivered. We will send them home when they arrive. Please be sure you check your order for accuracy, if you find a problem please write a note and we will take care of it for you. We appreciate all your hard work and support. You are helping your children each time you do these fund raisers. Special thanks to Monica Gonzalez for the great job she is doing with the orders of these fund raisers.

We will give you an up to date report on the financial side of all we are doing at our Home School meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 24th at 7:00 PM in the St. Joseph Center. Please mark this date down now! Plan to be in attendance. Your involvement in your school and in the education of your child/children should be top priority. You are their first teachers!

Our Christmas Program is scheduled for Monday, December 18th. Dress rehearsal will be at 1:00 PM for all the Seniors. The program for family and friends is scheduled at 7:30 PM. All students should meet in the center at 7:00 PM. Admission at the door is $5.00 per person.

On Wednesday, December 20th, the AAA representative will be coming to our school to do a program with the Fourth and Fifth Grades on map reading. This will have a great learning experience for them.

Our Christmas Recess begins with a 12 NOON dismissal on Wednesday, December 20th. There will be NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE! School resumes on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007.

On Christmas Eve at 4:00 PM there will be a special Family Liturgy. Please plan now to attend. Bring your children to the Liturgy each Sunday. There you will find peace and joy!

The faculty, staff and I join as one wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas filled with the spirit of peace, love and forgiveness because that is what was born on Christmas.

May the New Year bring you good health, and all Godís very special blessings.

With Love and Gratitude,
Sr. Jo-Ann Pompa, M.P.F.
Principal
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