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Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2017 is January 29-February 4. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
A breakfast prepared by our parents and organized by our Parent Volunteer Association
Our rector, Monsignor Dillon, will be having bypass surgery this Wednesday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He will be out of the office recovering for 5-6 weeks. Please keep Monsignor Dillon and the medical team that will be caring for him in your prayers.
If you would like to send Monsignor Dillon a card, you may send it to the parish office:
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
4465 Northside Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
This Thursday, a group of 30 students and four teachers will travel to Washington, DC to participate in the March for Life, an annual, national demonstration in support of the pro-life movement.
The group of high-schoolers, many members of HSP's Pro-Life Apostolate, will celebrate a Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the Verizon Center on Friday morning with Catholics from around the nation. They'll proceed to the National Mall, where they will join hundreds of thousands of people in demonstrations supporting the dignity of every human life, both born and unborn.
This marks the fifth consecutive year the school has sent a delegation of students to the March. Please pray for them!
Our team includes:
Fr. Juan Hernandez (chaperone)
Jessica Askins (chaperone)
Tommy Curtin (chaperone)
Beth Van de Voorde (chaperone)
Maria Vogel (chaperone)
Shane and Spencer Woolson
Noah and Jonah Gunderson
Anne (Meadows) Doll is a 2011 graduate of HSP, a business administration graduate from Georgia Tech, and now works as a technology consultant at Aon Hewitt.
Let’s first acknowledge this truth - your sons and daughters will learn and change and grow a ton in middle school and high school – it’s a beautifully foundational time of life. We are in a country and city where our young people are blessed with amazing educational opportunities, and you probably couldn’t go wrong with any of the schools around here. That’s why I want to speak to a few things that I think set HSP apart from them, and what helped set me apart from my peers.
First, Holy Spirit Prep gives you the ability to do it all – to be a true Renaissance man (or Anne, in my case!). I got to be in the choir, and on the soccer team, and in honor societies, and in art club, and in AP classes and more. Yes, I had to learn time management very quickly. More importantly, I gained a true love for learning, in and out of the classroom. I was gifted then with an openness to trying new things, and that persists today.
Second, I was able to form friendships with people more than 4 years older and 4 years younger than I. I wasn’t intimidated by the upperclassmen when I was a 7th-grader starting at the big kid school. And I wasn’t bothered by encouraging the younger ones once I was older. In fact, mentoring young adults became a passion of mine as a result, and remains to this day. Age barriers do not exist at Holy Spirit Prep in the way they do at most schools, which I believe was huge benefit to my growth in those formative years.
Third, and most importantly, Holy Spirit taught me time and time again the why behind our faith. There are countless routes you can take to learn more about the Catholic Church and its teachings, but they are nothing without an example to see how it is lived out day-to-day. I was able to learn why Catholics believe what we do, not because we’re told we have to, but because it is truth. I was able to see that pursuing that truth is not always an easy road – we constantly worked through the tough questions that our teachers knew we were currently asking and those we would face in the future. Going to Holy Spirit Prep did not shield me from all of the challenges and hurts of growing up. It did equip me with a deep understanding of how I could move through tough times, how I could work through mistakes, and how I could be in constant pursuit of the best version of myself.
To all the young men and women out there thinking about coming here – regardless of where you spend the next several years of your life, get passionate about your faith and how you live it out through academics and sports and arts and everything else. A school isn’t going to convince you to do great things, but if you’re up for the challenge, a place like this will definitely help you get there. I hope each of your stories get to be as colorful as mine.
Congratulations to our Spelling Bee winner, 6th-grader Raymond Cao, and runner-up, 5th-grader Vincent Casal! Raymond won in the final round with the word, "plumage".
Raymond is eligible to represent HSP at two different Spelling Bee events, the Archdiocesan Spelling Bee on January 31, and the GISA Spelling Bee on February 9.
Five adventurous girls undertook their very first silent retreat this past weekend, guided by Ms. Van de Voorde and Fr. Juan. Juniors Teci Munoz and Anamaria Duran, and seniors Isabella Esteban, Jaidy Velasquez, and Jessie Zurovchak participated in the event. The weekend retreat was based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a centuries-old and, as Ms. Van de Voorde describes it, an "ever-pertinent retreat."
The girls met throughout the day for reflections and for personal prayer, reflecting on essential truths of faith - who God is, our identity as his children, God's unending mercy, and the life of Christ. They had time for Confession, for adoration, and for meditative walks - once the rain let up.
"It's a more intensive retreat than they've ever been on," Fr. Juan said. "But they walk away with a clearer picture of who Christ is."
"It's hard, but it calms you. It's crazy how much your relationship with God can open up if you stop talking and listen," Isabella said. "It's definitely something everyone should experience at least once."
Jaidy agreed. "You realize things about yourself you wouldn't have in your day-to-day life," she said. "You don't feel like the same person at the end of it."
A silent retreat for boys is scheduled for February. Interested boys can inquire about the retreat with Fr. Juan.
Thank you to the volunteers and families who organized and attended Casino Night, supporting HSP athletics! A special thanks to the event's volunteer organizers, Michel and Billy King, whose work made the event a success.
In between rounds of poker and blackjack, the crowd of 80+ players heard from HSP's coaches, including Athletic Director Kevin Evans, about the state of HSP athletics and the program's biggest needs.
Proceeds from the event will support the needs of HSP's athletic program.
The prayer intentions below have been compiled by the volunteers of Connections for Women and Cougars Care. Please consider adding the following intentions to your prayers:
Learn what's in store for you at the Lower or Upper School! Come to one of our upcoming Open Houses during the school day: talk to students, see classes in session, and learn about all the programs and offerings we have waiting for your student on the next part of their educational journey.
If you know a family that would be a great fit for HSP, invite them to come, too!
RSVP on the Holy Spirit Prep website
HSP celebrates its third All-School Mass of the year on Monday, January 30, at 8:15am! This Mass celebrates the start of Catholic Schools Week and, per custom, will be celebrated by Archbishop Gregory. Our school community will gather in Holy Spirit Catholic Church to worship together. Parents are encouraged to attend!
Parking and Drop-Off
Drop-off for Lower and Upper School students will be at the Upper School in front of the Commons Building. Drop-off for Upper School students (including those with Lower School siblings) should be between 7:25–7:40; Lower School students should be dropped off 7:40–7:55.
Law enforcement officers will be helping direct traffic in and out of campus; they may not allow cars to turn left onto Northside Drive. Lower School students will meet their homerooms in the gym, and Upper School students will meet in their homerooms before Mass.
The Preschool will start at its normal time this morning. Preschool students are welcome to attend this first All-School Mass of the year with their families!
This day is a dress uniform day.
Inspiratio Presents The Curtins: Creating a Culture of Literature at Home
DATE: Thursday, February 2
LOCATION: Lower School Media Center
Child care will be provided.
Ever wondered how to get your kids reading at home? You know, for fun! And not just reading, but reading good books? Veteran HSP teachers Tommy and Kaitlyn Curtin will offer “Creating a Culture of Literature in the Home” as part of our Inspiratio series. The Curtins' presentation draws on decades of classroom teaching experience, independent research, and their own adventures raising children in our very modern world. Specific topics to be addressed include:
All HSP parents are invited, but families with preschool and early elementary age students should particularly consider attending.
Given the need for an accurate headcount for materials, volunteers, and food, we need to have all reservations by Wednesday, February 1.
Register for Mother and Me
Please join us for a paint-your-canvas party!! Miss Esther Francis will guide us through stroke by stroke to create a keepsake masterpiece! Light "tea party" bites and juice will be served! Each mother and daughter(s) will paint ONE canvas together (up to 2 daughters).
Cost is $60 per pair/trio. Limit of 2-3 people per canvas. Additional canvases available for $30.
If you are unable to attend, but your high school art student is interested in volunteering for credit, please contact Rebecca Bernier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6:00 - 8:30p.m.
Upper School Gym
Buy your tickets to Roma!
Help the senior class make their annual trip to Rome! Roma is hosted by the senior class, who assemble a night of auctions, musical entertainment by Lower and Upper School students, and Italian food to raise money for their capstone trip in May.
One of the most anticipated features of the evening is the Senior Servant Auction. Seniors will advertise their various talents, everything from yard work and babysitting to tutoring younger students, car washing, and house painting. Roma guests have the opportunity to bid on the seniors. Winning bidders will have a chance to utilize their Senior Servant on Senior Service Day in April. Questions? Feel free to contact Thomas Cole at email@example.com
Tickets are on sale in advance for $10 per person; $50 maximum per family. Tickets will be sold at the door for $15 per person; $75 maximum per family. Cash or check only at the door please.
Click here to register your family for the Father-Daughter Dance
Varsity girls and boys basketball continued their winning streaks through mid-January, winning four out of five matchups between January 10-20. Despite an initial loss to Heritage Academy (a winning night for JV), HSP Cougars went on to win consecutive matches against Dominion, Bethlehem, Loganville, and Cristo Rey. JV Boys played an additional game against Holy Innocents, losing by just 3 point, 65-68.
Come cheer the Cougars on at their final home game of the season! It's February 7 vs. Weber. All games start in the Upper School gym with JV at 4:30pm, varsity girls at 6:00pm, and varsity boys at 7:30pm.
This year, varsity girls soccer tryouts are on January 30, January 31, and February 1. For these three tryout days, each player will be evaluated on fitness, technical skill, and tactical skill as well as other aspects of the game. The Varsity squad will be made up of 18 players this year. Mr. Radosta will meet with each player individually on the last day of tryouts to discuss the results, provide feedback and answer any questions. Following tryouts, training will begin Thursday, February 2. We will train from 4:00 until 5:45, focusing primarily on conditioning (happy, happy, joy, joy) and then moving into game situations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For girls who are playing basketball or cheering, we will hold a tryout session for all of you once your sport concludes. Focus on your current sport; soccer will be here when you’re finished with winter athletics.
Varsity boys' tryouts have already been undertaken. The roster for this year's teams will be released on Friday, January 27.
January 27: rosters released
February 1: first day of practice
March 9-11: High school tournament in Albany, GA
Upper School baseball will hold practice/tryouts starting next week (Monday, January 30) every day from 4:00pm-6:30pm. Any students in 6th grade or above are welcome to attend.
Our first baseball contests of the season will be away games, February 27 vs. Griffin and February 28 vs Briarwood.
For more information, contact head coach Scott Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first Track and Field practice will be Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6:00am at the HSP track. If you would like to be on the Track and Field team, please report to this practice and check in with Coach Spino. The team is open to all students grades 7-12. All practices are mandatory. The schedule is as follows:
Mondays - HSP Weight Room from 3:20 - 3:40pm, followed by practice at the HSP track
Tuesdays - Practice at 6:00am at HSP track
Wednesdays - Practice at 3:20pm at HSP track
Thursdays - Practice at 6:00am at Holy Innocents Episcopal School (HIES) track; HSP Weight Room from 3:20 - 3:40pm
Fridays - Practice at 3:20pm at HSP track (unless there is a meet on Saturday morning)
Saturdays - Practice at 9:00am at HIES track
The first GISA meet will be Saturday, February 25, in Peachtree City - details to follow soon.
It is that wonderful time of year when soccer registration opens! After seeing great progress in the fall, we are looking forward to continuing to grow and shine on the soccer field this spring.
Please click the link below and register for soccer this spring:
Practice days will most likely mirror the Fall, however, the official practice schedule will be released closer to the season, when the number of teams are determined. Practices will start the week of February 13th, and will be once a week straight after school.
Games will be on Saturdays and Sundays. The CMLA season will start on the weekend of March 4th; however, as that is over our spring break, games for HSP teams will start the weekend of March 18.
We are extremely excited for this up coming season. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. We are always looking for coaches and volunteers.
House of Trent at the Lower School is hosting a Food Drive for the Atlanta Food Bank as part of their Apostolate. The drive will go from Monday, January 23 to Monday, February 6. There will be collection boxes placed around the Lower School hallways and collection bags in the classrooms.
They are collecting items such as:
This Friday at 2:00pm, 4th-8th grade contestants will meet on stage in the Lower School cafeteria to take on an incredible academic challenge, the geography bee! The winner of this bee can go on to represent HSP at state and national geography bees, sponsored by National Geographic.
HSP’s Catholic Schools Week
Media Center Book Swap
January 30, 2017–February 3, 2016
During Catholic Schools Week the Media Center is having its annual book swap. Students are asked to bring in books to swap with other students. These books should be in good condition and ones that your children have either outgrown or are tired of and would like to share with others. They should have your permission prior to bringing the books into school.
During this week, when each class has their Media Center time, the students that have brought in books to swap are allowed to select up to three books from those that have been brought in. This is an enjoyable time for all our students as they are able to ‘buy’ new books by trading in their old books.
For those students that do not have Media Center Class, the student may come to the Media Center at the discretion of their teacher.
As our senior class gears up for their farewell to HSP, we want to invite you to order a senior ad in the 2016-17 yearbook. This is your opportunity to send your seniors off with loving messages and photos that they will be able to look back on forever.
How to Order a Senior Ad
This year, we've partnered with Herff Jones to produce our yearbook, including our senior ads. You'll use their online portal to pick the size of your ad, design your ad (including photos and messages), and pay for your ad.
At the website, YearbookOrderCenter.com, you'll:
Your work will be auto-saved, and you can work on it over several sessions.
The initial deadline for ordering your senior ad is Wednesday, February 2. After the deadline, the cost of the senior ads will increase.
With any questions about ordering yearbook ads, please contact our yearbook advisor, Tim Durski, at email@example.com.
For current Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors:
There will be a presentation on Wednesday, February 1, at 11:30am in the lower library at the Upper School. Bring your lunch and find out more!
Interested in learning about Wilderness Survival, First Aid, Navigation, Mountaineering, and Horsemanship, and then putting all that into practice during a 5-day rugged excursion through the Wyoming mountain ranges this summer? Then learn about Adventure Mission Corps and how you can apply for this life-changing experience.
Download the info guide
This adventure takes place in Wyoming from July 1-July 12. Candidates will receive advanced classroom and field training prior to an excursion through the Teton Mountain Range, culminating in a Peak Ascent by foot. They are expected to participate, pray, play, and persevere.Candidates should be between ages 15-21,able to endure the physical rigors of extended outdoor activity and climate changes, and open to discussing and sharing their Christian faith in a Catholic environment.
HSP students are invited to attend (or volunteer for) Holy Spirit’s Vacation Bible School this summer from July 10-14 from 9am-noon daily. This year’s theme is “Tracking Mary: Mysteries and Messages”. Campers will get a ticket to “track” Mary all over the world. With stops in France, Portugal, Mexico, Ireland and England, campers will discover how Mary brings us closer to Jesus through the power of the Rosary. Registration will open on April 1 for campers aged 3 (potty trained) through rising sixth grade. Rising seventh graders through twelfth graders are invited to volunteer in a number of different exciting service opportunities (service hours provided). More information coming soon.
Questions or interested in volunteering? Contact Julie Buckley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Knights of Columbus Free-Throw Competition
Sunday, February 5
HSP Upper School Gym
All boys and girls ages 9-14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2017 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship. The local competition will be held Sunday, February 5, from 9:00am to 11:00am in Holy Spirit Prep’s Upper School gym. The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually, with winners progressing through local, district, and state competitions.
All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event. Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent. For entry forms or additional information contact: David Labbe at email@example.com.