Gospel Reading

Angel Express | January 2018

Dear Parents,

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…

Spelling Bee

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 megan.wynne@stlm.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 Retreats

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,

Mrs. Kaiser
 

Angel Express | September 2017

Dear Parents,

After the flurry of busyness these first few weeks of school, we are leveling-out and sailing along. Let’s hope the sailing ahead is smooth!

I’ll be sending out an Angel Express every few weeks to keep you on top of school happenings. Here’s the latest:

Back-To-School Night

There are two evenings for Back-to-School Night. The first evening is for parents of students in grades TK – 5 and the second evening is for parents of students in grades 6 – 8. Both evenings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the church building. The dates are the following:

Wednesday, September 13th – Grades TK – 5
Thursday, September 14th – Grades 6 – 8

Looking forward to seeing all of our parents at Back-to-School Night!

The 19th Annual Fun Run

The 19th Annual Fun Run will be held on October 27th. Our kindergarten teacher, Ms. Klute, thought of the theme “Go for the Gold” and students have been encouraged to draw a picture of the theme. The entire student body will then vote on a design and its image will be put on our Fun Run t-shirts. Additionally, students are encouraged to get pledges for their Fun Run laps from family members and friends. More information on this is forthcoming.

Finally, thank you to our Fun Run Chairperson, Mrs. Sharon Romesser, for making this event happen. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Fun Run, please contact Sharon at sharon.romesser@stlm.org.

The 39th Annual Msgr. Michael Lenihan Memorial Golf Tournament

Calling golfers of all levels to sign up for the SLM Golf Tournament to be held on Friday, October 6th, 2017, at Los Verdes Golf Course. This year’s golf tournament chairs are SLM parents, Brian Albano and Phil Banfield. The golf committee has, for several years, raised lots of money for the school and we are grateful for their efforts. Please support the school and use this link to sign up or to get more information: http://www.slmgolftournament.com/

Volunteers

There are many ways to make up the required 40 parent service hours. There are fundraisers, such as the Fun Run and the Mariner Main Event that need volunteers and the school programs need Art docents, library docents, carpool supervisors, playground supervisors, etc. The quickest way to sign up is to log onto School Speak and enter your name under the area that you wish to volunteer. The link to the volunteer calendar is located on the left hand side of the page; scroll down to ‘Volunteer Calendar’, click and sign up. A chairperson or school rep will contact you with more details.

VIRTUS Certification And Fingerprinting For Volunteers

All volunteers must be VIRTUS certified. Additionally, any volunteer, such as a sports coach, who will be working without a chairperson coordinator or an SLM staff member, must be fingerprinted. St. Lawrence Martyr is conducting a VIRTUS certification session and St. James VIRTUS certification and fingerprinting sessions on the following days and times:

  • Protecting God’s Children for Adults (Original Class) from 6-9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 th in the St. Patrick and Francis rooms. Contact the parish center at 310-540-0329 to sign up.
  • Keeping the Promise Alive (Recertification) - Tuesday, September 19, 6-7:30 PM in Kavanagh Hall. Call 310-372-5228 to register.
  • Protecting God’s Children (Original Class) - Saturday, September 30, 12-3PM in Kavanagh Hall. Call 310-372-5228 to register.
  • Fingerprinting: September 14 and September 26, both 12:00PM - 7:20PM at the school (O’Gorman Center) 4625 Garnet St. Call 310-371- 0416 to register.

Yum Club

Our new vendor for hot lunches is Yum Club. You may sign up to order lunches at this site: https://yumclub.boonli.com/login. Please know that families must order lunches by 2 p.m. the day prior to the date of receipt. Parents may also choose to have their child bring a lunch from home. If any issues arise with Yum Club, families must contact Yum Club directly and not St. Lawrence Martyr School. Thank you!

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Meetings

PTO meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the school library. All parents are welcome (but not required) to attend. The next meeting is on October 10th.

Friday Mass

Students in grades 1 – 8 attend Mass each Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Parents and other family members are welcome to join us. Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students attend Mass on the first Fridays of each month.

Communications To The School

At present, most emails from parents come directly to me and while I enjoy communicating with our parent body, time does not permit me to respond as quickly as I’d like. Therefore, in the interest of time, please use the following directory of concerns and the contact person listed for a direct and much quicker response. Thank you! 

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 9.34.32 AM.png

More On Communication

In the spirit of charity, when communicating from parent to school or school to parent, it is our wish to assume that the best, most positive intentions between both parties are being made. There is not one among us who does not wish the best for the students and for each other. The missives shared or meeting discussions should be of graciousness toward one another, sharing points of view, and coming to a greater understanding of each other’s concerns.

In addition, it is important to keep information confidential. If you must share, it is our hope that your concern will be contained within the confines of family members (spouse, preferably, not children) and then directed to the source, i.e., teacher, athletic director, principal, etc. Otherwise what may be cause for little to no concern can often times transform into out of control rumors which may damage a teacher or other school member's reputation, as well as the reputation of the school itself.

Thank you for noting the responsible parties above. Please know that Mrs. Wynne and I understand very well the concerns parents have for their children and are here to speak with you should the need arise.

Sunday Gospel Reading Reflection

Matthew 18:21-35 (click here for the reading: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091717.cfm

This coming Sunday’s gospel reading is about forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone behaves poorly. God knows this, yet forgives us over and over again. In this reading the king’s actions represent the benevolence and compassion of God. He forgives the servant’s debt. However, the servant does not show the same compassion to the one who has an outstanding debt to him.

The servant's unforgiving heart speaks of our own human frailty.  What keeps us from moving beyond our anger, weakness, ego and pain to be moved to forgive those who have wronged us?  It is the humble heart that can love unconditionally…that can forgive even under the most difficult of circumstances. Jesus’ last words on the cross are the greatest example: “Forgive them for they know not what they do” ~ Luke 23:34.  We are called to emulate our lord and show compassion and mercy to all we encounter.  Difficult it is, but what would our world be without forgiveness?

May your week be blessed. May we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the U.S. who have been affected by the hurricanes and in Mexico by the earthquake. May we remember all those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks. May God show mercy on us all and may our hearts continue to be open to the grace and love of Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
Mrs. Diane Kaiser