Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

On Thursday, October 4, 2012, St. Francis students and families will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, our school’s patron saint.  This yearly tradition not only honors the vocation and compassion of St. Francis, but celebrates our school’s desire to live his mission of prayer and peace.


Celebration Schedule

Our Feast Day events will begin with the celebration of Mass at 9:30 am at Santa Clara de Asis Church with Fr. Joe Nettekoven as our celebrant.  All families are invited to attend.  Following Mass, all students will return to their classrooms to resume a regular morning schedule.

The “Blessing of the Animals” will take place in the afternoon followed by regular day dismissal.  At 2:00 pm, Student Council members, Principal Tom Waszak, and pastors from our three parishes will lead our community in this special celebration.  This event is open to students, parents, family guests and invited media only.  Please see below for more guidelines.


Blessing of the Animals Guidelines

St. Francis loved God and his fellow man, as well as all of God’s creatures.  For this reason, we plan to   celebrate his feast day with a “Blessing of the Animals.”  Therefore, please note:

The “Blessing of the Animals” is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 4th from 2:00-2:30 pm.  Attendees for this special gathering should begin arriving, with or without pets, between 1:40-2:00 pm.  Please enter through the side gate and move to the athletic field area.  You do not need to obtain a visitor’s pass for this occasion.  You will be able to join your children once the ceremony is under way.

Weather permitting, we will gather on the grass area of the field, or on the black top under the lunch table shelter should there be light rain or drizzle.  Designated areas for each class will be marked, and we ask all pets be kept out of that space.

All animals must be brought to school on leashes, in cages, or other types of pet housing/containers respective to your pets.  Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six (6) feet in length with someone who is capable to control the dog.  Also, please be prepared to clean up after your pet should the occasion arise.  Should weather become a factor, we will attempt to carry out the blessings in the respective classrooms following the same schedule.

Please note that if blessings take place in the classrooms (due to rain), only live pets that can be contained in cages/terrariums will be allowed.  We must follow our preferred safety precautions.  Therefore, non-caged animals will not be permitted in the classrooms.

Students who have no pet(s) or who own a pet that is too large for transport, or may have tendencies to become nervous or agitated around other animals and/or in a crowd, may bring one small stuffed animal or a picture of a pet for a blessing.  This applies to both outdoor or indoor blessings.

Dismissal for the day will begin once the “Blessing of the Animals” is concluded.  We will follow rainy day dismissal procedures wherein all students must be picked up from their classrooms.  Students with parents in attendance must check in with their teacher before leaving campus.  PreK students in attendance must return to their classroom for usual check-out/sign-out procedures.

Please be aware that parking will be at a premium and plan accordingly.


MEDIA NOTE: Members of the media need to RSVP by calling the front office at (714) 695-3700 no later than 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 4th so that special parking arrangements and visitor passes may be prepared.  On the day of the event, attending media should check into the front office between 1:00 and 1:30 pm to receive their passes.


Please take a moment to view previous Blessing of the Animals celebrations as featured by the Orange County Register:

Click to view last year’s article


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St. Francis of Assisi School held their annual Winter Sports Awards Night, where athletes in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade were each recognized for their contributions to an outstanding basketball season.  Four teams participated, including Girls Varsity Basketball, Boys Varsity Basketball, Girls B Basketball, and Boys B Basketball.  The Girls A Basketball Team came in third place in Orange County for the Parochial Athletic League’s Large School Division, and the Boys B Basketball Team went undefeated.

In addition to each player being awarded a certificate, several players were acknowledged as Most Outstanding Offensive Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Improved Player, and others received the Coach’s Award.

For Girls A Basketball, with Coach Pete Toomey, special recognition went to:

Katie M for Most Improved Player; Andrea H for Most Outstanding Defensive Award; Morgan M for Most Outstanding Offensive Player; and Katie C for Coach’s Award.

For Boys A Basketball, with Coach Don Hester, special recognition went to:

Connor M for Most Improved Player; Corey K for Most Outstanding Defensive Player; Will H for Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and Nathan H for Coach’s Award.

For Girls B Basketball, with Coaches Jeff Christiansen and Doug Goodkind, special recognition went to:

Caroline W for Most Improved Player; Erica P for Most Outstanding Offensive Player; Ashlynn W for Most Outstanding Defensive Player;  and Sydney L for Coach’s Award.

For Boys B Basketball, with Coaches Joe Mauthe and Brett Caya, special recognition went to:

Brandon L for Most Improved Player; TJ M and Nick M for Most Outstanding Defensive Players; Reilly C for Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and Lucas A for Coach’s Award.

Principal Tom Waszak and  Athletic Director Debbie Handy praised the students for their great effort, balancing schoolwork and team responsibilities, with a great attitude. They also acknowledged the important role of coaches and parents to provide students with an outstanding athletic experience.

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Dear St. Francis parents,

Wow! What a week! Open House, Catholic Schools Week, and the Auction Dinner Dance all within seven days! The response by parents at all three events was outstanding! Open House drew 90+% of our families along with 60 new families representing approximately 100 potential students, the majority entering preschool and prekindergarten in the fall. Catholic Schools Week highlights include school mass, vocations talks by Fr. Joe and Fr. John, blessing of the throats, and the parent volunteer breakfast hosted by St. Francis faculty and staff. The weeklong activities culminated with the 14th annual Auction at the Disneyland Hotel.

A sell out crowd of over 300 St. Francis supporters enjoyed an evening filled with special recognition, great items to bid, a lively oral auction, dinner and dancing. It was truly a celebration of community. Final numbers are not available at this time but my intuition and that of others in attendance predict a very successful auction. I am humbled by the large number of families who generously supported the auction by attending and bidding on silent and oral auction items, and by donating auction items. Our auction co-chairs Jennifer Bush and Rosanna Medina, as well as the many volunteers, are to be congratulated for an outstanding evening of fundraising.

The highlight of the evening was the special recognition honoring Fr. Seamus and Laurie Wayre Schoenke. In honor of Fr. Seamus’ devotion and passionate support for St. Francis of Assisi School the St. Clare Center will be renamed the Fr. Seamus Anthony Glynn Center. The Fr. Seamus Anthony Glynn Center will be an enduring reminder to the St. Franics community of Fr. Seamus’ extraordinary contributions to the school. Also unveiled at the auction was the inaugural presentation of the Distinguished Parent Service Award. Mrs. Laurie Wayre Schoenke was named the first recipient of the award for her exceptional record of generous and selfless service to the school community. The resounding ovation received by both award recipients displayed a heartfelt appreciation for their extraordinary service and passion for St. Francis of Assisi School. Fr. Seamus and Laurie Wayre Scholeke are wonderful examples of the Christ-like servant embodied by our patron, St. Francis. We are grateful for their loving care and generosity!

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Dear parents,

Thank you for making Open House a wonderfully successful day.  My hope was to celebrate our students and our school, and aside from a windy start, the day surpassed all of my expectations!  The success of Open House was possible due to the dedicated efforts of every segment of our school community.  It starts with parents who provide their children with the gift of a Catholic education.  Next are the teachers and staff who partner with parents on the journey through childhood and adolescence.  The formation process is not complete without the connection to the parish.

Over 90% of our families attended, visiting classrooms displaying student work and talking with teachers.  Our pastors were a visible reminder that our community is built on a faith foundation.  Open House also provided a connection between our present, future, and past.  There were an impressive number of alumni who came back to visit with teachers and fellow graduates and an equally notable number of new families visiting our campus.  I know that our visitors were impressed by what our school can inspire kids to become.

The time and dedication put forth by our school community was evident in every corner of the campus.  There was an outstanding display of student work and talent in the classrooms.  The St. Clare Center summarized the highlights of the St.Francis experience including academics, activities, and parent support groups. Parent volunteers were everywhere serving as greeters, tour guides, and stocking tables with goodies.  This was truly a team effort and a wonderful display of our generosity and school pride.  I was very proud of our extraordinary display of achievement and community.

Open House was a remarkable day and a true indication of what our school can accomplish when we work together!

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Dear parents,

Catholic Schools Week at St. Francis unofficially began last week at the general parent meeting and continued through the weekend as St. Francis families spoke at the parish masses. At the general parent meeting members of the St. Francis staff presented data about several academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs illustrating student learning and personal development. The results affirm that St. Francis is fulfilling its goal to educate the whole person and we’re doing it very well!  This is accomplished by incorporating our school-wide learning expectations – form students who are faith-filled Catholics, responsible citizens, active life-long learners, and confident communicators – into all of our programs and activities. Programs are only as good as the people who implement them so credit must be given to the faculty, staff, and parents who work collaboratively to educate our students in a nurturing and supportive environment.

I look forward to seeing our families at Open House on Sunday, January 29, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  We also expect to see many new families visiting St. Francis. Let us celebrate our students and our school and welcome new families to St. Francis!  Bring friends, neighbors, and relatives to share in the experience!  A complete list of Catholic Schools Week activities taking place at St. Francis is included in this newsletter.  Please join us if you can.  This is your school community!

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During Catholic Schools Week there will be several events representing our commitment to faith, academics, and service.  Please join us for our festivities:

Sunday January 29 – Open House

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.   Wear Mass uniform!

Monday January 30 – Our Community

  • Jeans Day for students who wear Mass uniform at Open House
    • Free dress appropriate shirt/blouse.
  • Community Service Chains Displayed in St. Clare Center.
  • Toilet Paper Pyramid Contest
    •  All Toilet Paper sent to Catholic Worker.
  • Community Clean Up
    • Students will participate in cleaning up our local East Side Park and recycling on campus.

Tuesday January 31 – Our Students

  • Jeans Day
    • Free dress appropriate shirt/blouse.
  • Lunch Treat
    • School will provide Otter Pops at lunch
  • Movies and Popcorn in the Afternoon
    • Need to contact your room parent to provide popcorn treats.
  • No Homework
    • No homework assigned to students this evening

Wednesday February 1 – Our Nation

  • Special Community Prayer Celebrating Our Nation
    •  Peace, prayers, and scout leader presentations
    •  Franciscan Awards for January
  • 9:30 a.m. Mass at Santa Clara de Asis – Fr. Mike Celebrant
    • FIAT Awards after Mass
  • Students may wear red, white and blue accessories  with their  Mass uniform
  • Students will bring in hand sanitizer, chapstick, and gum to be sent to troops.
  • Valentine’s for Vets mailed.

Thursday February 2 – Vocations

  • Split assembly schedule (K-4 & 5 – 8) TBD

Friday February 3 – Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Faculty hosted volunteer appreciation breakfast
  • 9:10 – 9:30 a.m.  Blessing of the Throats

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On November 1, All Saints Day, third grade students shared their knowledge of a favorite saint with parents, grandparents and one another. Dressed as the saint, each student told a favorite story or recalled something important about a saint they love or a new saint they have learned about this school year. The morning was festive, joyful and a great reminder to all in attendance of the communion of saints who guide us each day. Thank you to the parents of 3A and 3B for providing treats and drinks for the fellowship after the saint reports were given. This activity culminated in the students’ participation in the all school Mass at Santa Clara de Asis Church. The students demonstrated their understanding of the teachings of the Catholic faith by their participation in this wonderful day.

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