I hope that your New Year is off to a great start! I pray that you and your children have remained healthy. The flu this year has been quite nasty. The teachers and staff continue to encourage the students to wash their hands and use hand-sanitizer throughout the day. We ask that any students who are exhibiting flu symptoms remain at home. Stay well!
Our school has had and will have much going on during these first few months of the year, so I will get right to it…
Student qualifying representatives from each class competed in the annual SLM Spelling Bee on January 10th. Two students will be competing in a championship round this week. Those students are Payton Hofilena (4th Grade) and Adrian Vilca (3rd Grade). The SLM Spelling Bee Champion will then compete in a local spelling bee and the winner of that round will enter into the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We congratulate all of our Spelling Bee qualifiers and wish Payton and Adrian well!!
The SLM Spelling Bee contestants are the following:
1st Grade - Miranda Vilca & Chelsea Volkman
2nd Grade - Mercury Cox & Brendan Rivas
3rd Grade - Cate Cansino & Adrian Vilca
4th Grade - Payton Hofilena & Madison Viera
5th Grade - Brooke Banfield & Kaelyn Hanson
6th Grade - Jiselle Lime & Aleyna Pirie
7th Grade - Davide Ciuffoli & Auburn Thomas
8th Grade - Devan Cornelio & Karma Sarni
Progress Reports - January 25th, 2018
Grade 3 - 8 progress reports will be posted online on January 25th by 5 p.m. Please be sure to check the status of your child’s progress. For any issues logging into Gradelink, please contact Mrs. Wynne at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also as a reminder -- if you have any concern with grades, curriculum, discipline, teaching methods, etc., please speak directly with the teacher. Thank you!)
Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Information Night
Can you believe it is already time to think about 2018-2019 enrollment? This coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 6 p.m., we will be holding our annual TK/K Information Night in the parish hall. We feel that the best kind of interest comes from referrals by you -- our parent body. We encourage our families to “talk-up” what you love about SLM to your friends and family and invite them to join us on January 24th.
Catholic Schools Week (CSW) - January 28-February 2, 2018
The Mass to kick-off Catholic Schools Week is on Sunday, January 28th, at 11 a.m. All SLM families are encouraged to join in on this school-wide, archdiocesan-wide event to celebrate the rich heritage and continued excellence of Catholic Education, in particular our very own St. Lawrence Martyr School. Students should show their school spirit by wearing their First Friday uniform. During the remainder of the week, the students, faculty and staff will be participating in many activities to celebrate our Catholic school. A schedule of events for CSW has been posted on School Speak.
CSW BBQ and Open House - January 28th, 2018
After the Catholic Schools Week Mass on January 28th, the school will hold its annual Open House. School families are invited to come visit the campus and their child’s classroom. We encourage our families to extend the invitation to their friends and family members, especially to those interested in sending their children to SLM School. In addition, our PTO will be holding a barbecue simultaneously during Open House. Feel free, either after or before visiting the school to stop by and grab something eat!
Much thanks to Gerry Lomas, PTO Chair, and our PTO members for organizing the barbecue!!
Scholastic Book Fair -- January 23rd - 28th, 2018
“Paws for Books” Book Fair by Scholastic Books will begin this week on Tuesday, January 23rd. Students will have an opportunity to preview the fair and create a “wish list” of items prior to sale days. Then during sale days, each grade has a time during school hours to visit the fair and purchase items. Parents and other individuals may also purchase books at the fair after school hours (check School Speak for the schedule). The fair will also be open on Sunday, January 28th, after all Masses and during Open House.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Holly Nilson, Melanie Muhl, and Maria Tymick for their time and energy in organizing this terrific fundraiser!
W’s China Bistro Restaurant Night Fundraiser - January 29th, 2018
Join us for our next Restaurant Night on January 29th, at W's China Bistro between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. If you plan to dine in, you may make reservations (which is highly recommended) by calling 310-792-1600. 15% of all food and beverage orders, including take-out, will go toward St. Lawrence Martyr School. Flyer must be presented to the server. (The flyer may be found on School Speak.) The address to W's China Bistro is 1410 PCH, Redondo Beach.
A big thank-you to Jeff Vicario, 3rd grade PTO rep, for organizing our Restaurant Night Fundraisers!
Mariner Main Event (MME) - March 17th, 2018
Mark your calendars for our biggest fundraiser of the year, our Mariner Main Event -- March 17th, 2018. This year’s theme: “Shamrocks & Gold”. Look for more information coming from our MME Chairperson - Jamie Cary or co-chairs - Robin Lomas and Jenna Cox. Also check out the MME Facebook invitation at by clicking here.
Valentine’s Day & Ash Wednesday
This year, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day, February 14th, 2018. For this reason, the students will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 13th, a day early. Your room parent will send more information about your class Valentine’s Day activity. On February 14th, we will begin our Lenten Journey by attending Ash Wednesday Mass at 8 a.m. Parents are invited to attend this liturgy as well.
Cornerstone is a 26 hour spiritual renewal retreat. There are two separate retreats, one for men and one for women. Individuals must be 21 years of age to attend. The retreats provide an opportunity to reflect, renew and strengthen your faith while meeting other men & women in our SLM Faith Community.
The women’s retreat is planned for February 2-3, 2018
The men’s retreat is planned for February 16-17. 2018
For more information about Women’s Cornerstone, please contact Robin Lomas at 310-748-7443
For more information about Men’s Cornerstone, please contact Deacon Jim Egnatuk at 310-990-7311
Gospel Reflection - Mark 1:21-28
Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said,
"Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him."
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
In this passage, Jesus continues to preach to crowds and the people are astonished by his words, and by his authority. Jesus’ teachings are different; they are counter to what they’ve learned, primarily his teachings on love, forgiveness and their place in God’s divine plan. In this particular passage, the people witness Jesus’ power and authority over evil. This is the first time they’ve witnessed a person teaching with authority on behalf of no one but himself. The scribes teach on authority prescribed to them through Jewish tradition. Jesus teaches with authority from God.
There are several stories in the gospels that show Jesus’ authority over things, such as calming the wind and the sea (Mark 4:35-41), the forgiveness of sins (Mark 2:10, and in this passage, over evil. Jesus’ divine authority brings him in direct conflict with worldly authority and this ultimately leads to his death. However, even in Jesus’ death his authority reigns; he has purchased eternal salvation for us and for all people.
So what does this mean for us? We can ask ourselves, what sin or habit plagues us? What do we bring into our lives that keeps us from truly loving, forgiving and being a people of God? Is it resentment, jealousy, obsessions over people, things, work, sex, alcohol, technology, etc.? We cannot truly be free to be who God created us to be or to experience the richness of God’s grace until we are released from those bonds. Jesus wishes to use his authority to help us, to heal us and to show us his love. To begin, we must recognize those sinful areas of our lives and seek forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Only then can we be transformed through the divine authority of Jesus.
Let us pray for ourselves and the world, that just like the people in this scripture passage, we recognize the power of Jesus' authority. Let's pray that we will be in awe of his authority and desire our lives to be in alignment with it. May we seek to be people of strong faith, good deeds, compassion, forgiveness, peace and love; if for no other reason then let's proceed in this manner because our children and their future need it.
Richest blessings to you in the New Year,