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Weekly Update December 13, 2021

When asked the source of her joy, Mother Teresa replied: “Joy is prayer — joy is strength — joy is love — joy is a net of love. . . A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love . . . loving as He loves, helping as He helps, giving as He gives, serving as He serves, rescuing as He rescues, being with Him twenty-four hours, touching Him in His distressing disguise.” 

Third Week of Advent

In this third week of Advent, we light three candles of our Advent wreath. The third candle is the pink candle signifying “Joy” as we await the coming of our Lord Jesus. 

Lord, the good news of Jesus’ arrival brings such joy to our world!

Reach those who are lost and searching with the message of hope that we have through the Messiah.

God, allow your message of peace to bring comfort to our anxious world.

As we all go about the holiday season, let the message of great joy pierce through

all the noise and into people’s hearts.

Amen

The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. On this day we celebrate that our waiting for the birth of Jesus on Christmas day is almost over. Rose is a liturgical color that is used to signify Joy, so we light the single pink candle on the third Sunday of Advent. This candle is also known as the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. For more information on celebrating Advent as a Family, visit the Hamilton Diocese website

A Week of Joy

To keep everyone in a festive spirit, our Grade 7 students are inviting us to participate in the following Spirit Days this week:

Monday – dress like a Christmas tree day 

TuesdayJoy Day! Dress in your green and red with your favourite Christmas Sweater

Wednesday – Jersey Day 

Thursday – bring anything but a backpack day 

Friday – come to school dressed as one of the 12 days of Christmas 

Gifts and Treats

Please remember that students are not allowed to share food at any time to protect those in our school community with life-threatening allergies, and this includes special occasions like Christmas. Food treats sent to school will not be distributed and will be sent home with your child. While providing treats is not necessary, if you would like to have your child share an individual, non-edible treat with other students in the class, you are welcome to send them to school with your child.

While staff members appreciate your thoughtfulness, please know that they do not expect gifts. You may wish to consider making a donation in their name to the Halton Catholic Children’s Foundation or to Food4Kids, as these organizations support our students throughout the year.

Early Dismissal on Friday, December 17

Please note that we will be having early dismissal on Friday at 2:00 PM. Buses will be arriving at that early dismissal time. Please make the appropriate arrangements as necessary for child care.

Picture Retakes December 14th

If your child missed picture day, or you would like to have the photos retaken, there will be an opportunity for photo retakes on Tuesday, December 14th in the morning.

Kindergarten Registration for 2022-23

Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for your child and for your family! Our school offers a full-day, 2-year Kindergarten program, designed to engage curious early learners through different kinds of play, that help children learn how to reason and problem-solve as they interact with one another. For more information on registering your child for kindergarten, please visit our website here.

Rapid Antigen Screening Kits

During the week of Monday, December 13th to Friday, December 17th your child will be taking home a Rapid Antigen Screening Kit for voluntary use over the Christmas holiday.   

Rapid Antigen Test Kits

The rapid antigen screening kits have been provided by the Government of Ontario for every student who attends in-person learning at a publicly funded school.  These kits may be used by any student, regardless of their vaccination status, however, should only be used when a child is asymptomatic (does not have any symptoms of COVID-19) and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  

Please note, your child’s participation in this rapid antigen screening is voluntary and is not a required action for return to school after the Christmas break.  

Thank you for your ongoing support as we work closely with the Ministry of Education and Halton Public Health to help keep our community safe and healthy for all. 

Parish News

SAVE THE DATES!

Mary Mother of God Church is hosting four wonderful events for families during Advent and Christmas that you don’t want to miss!

THE PEACE LIGHT FROM BETHLEHEM: The Peace Light, which was lit from the grotto where Jesus was born in Bethlehem, will be burning at MMoG throughout Advent. Families will be welcome after all of the Masses the weekend of December 18 and 19 to receive a candle with Peace Light and bring it home for Christmas.

BLESSING OF BABY JESUS: Bring baby Jesus from your nativity scene at home and Fr. Jerry will bless him before you put him in the manger of Christmas Eve. The blessing will take place during all Masses on December 18 and 19.

CHRISTMAS EVE MASS FOR KIDS: 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve, we invite all children to be a part of our Christmas procession. Dress up as your favorite character from the nativity (an angel, a shepherd, St. Joseph, etc.). You will process into the church with Father Jerry and surround the manger scene on the altar while Father Jerry blesses it. This is our most popular Mass of the year. Eventbrite tickets will be available on Nov. 25, so set an alarm to get your tickets by visiting www.mmogp.ca.

All Covid safety protocols including masks and social distancing are in place. For more information email Debbie Frey at youth.mmogp@bellnet.ca. Also, visit the parish website at www.mmogp.ca for our Christmas Mass schedule.

Vacation Requests

We know that families may be eager to travel and visit family. While we certainly understand, please note that you will need to complete an Extended Absence Form (available from the office) and that any absence longer than 15 consecutive days may result in your child being demitted from our register and having to re-enroll upon your return.

Families should also consider any quarantine requirements when planning for their children to be absent from school.

While educators are happy to help support student learning, please note that they are not required to provide your child with work for the length of the absence.

Back to School

Students will return to school after the Christmas Break on Monday, January 3th, 2021.  We look forward to welcoming everyone back rested, healthy and on time at 9:00 AM.

Daily Conifrmation of COVID-19 Self-Screening

The Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID self-screening for all elementary students attending school in person. This will be in place for the first two weeks upon the return from Christmas Break (January 3-14) unless otherwise directed by the Ministry of Education.

  1. Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school.
  2. Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats: 
  • Email results to classroom teacher;  
  • Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
  • Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR 
  • Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, which your child(ren) bring back and forth to school each day (if a teacher chooses this option, this will be given to your child after the first day of school)

Thank you for your co-operation in keeping everyone safe in our community!

Merry Christmas

We would like to extend our warmest wishes to our St. Andrew community for the Christmas Season. We wish you many blessings as you spend this time with your families.

Coming Up

Weekly Update December 13, 2021