07Dec

Advent: Season of Hope

Dear Families, The Advent season is upon us, full of hope and anticipation. Anticipation of Christ’s birth. Hope for the world. It is a time full of small, quiet joys: the sounds of carols, the smell of evergreen, the glimmer of candles. It is only fitting that our virtue of the month is hope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 1817-1818, 1820) defines hope as the virtue by which we desire, “Eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit… Buoyed by hope, man is preserved from sel...

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30Nov

Advent: Season of Preparation

Dear Families, Our liturgical calendar reflects the rhythm of our universal human experience. In these closing weeks of Ordinary time, the lectionary (daily Mass and Sunday readings) direct our attention to what is commonly conceived to be the “end times”. These apocalyptic messages are not intended to secretly reveal the state of things before God returns; instead, they reveal (apokaluptein, Greek, “uncover”, “reveal”) the profound mystery that happens next in our calendar: the Incarnation. My small mind likes to reduce important lessons to a simple phrase: we are only ready for the end if we...

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29Nov

1st Quarter Academic Honors 2018-2019

To receive Honor Roll recognition, eligible students must achieve straight A’s for the Headmaster’s List, no less than a B+ for the High Honors List, or no less than a B for the Honors List. In total, fifty-seven students received academic awards.

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16Nov

Grateful for Grandparents and Veterans

Dear Families, Last Friday we held our annual Veterans' Day/Grandparents’ Day celebration. It was a wonderful and inspiring morning of fitting tributes to those who have done so much to form, inspire, and care for our students in so many ways. Our Veterans left home and safety to protect our country. They risked life and limb; some making the ultimate sacrifice-- giving their lives to preserve our freedom. We were grateful to have these living examples of self-sacrifice join us at school. To demonstrate for our students that service takes many forms and talents. These Veterans embody the less...

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08Nov

Restoring Interpersonal Communication

Dear Families, We had a solid turnout last evening at the first parent forum of the year. I also received several emails from parents indicating they regretted the inability to attend. We discussed the excerpts from Saint John Paul II shared in previous newsletters. Our context was setup by closely examining empirical data from Jean Twenge. Here are a few takeaways from our discussion: Technology - and not just the exploding use of personal mobile devices - has triggered a sustained pattern of increased levels of self-reported stress by adolescents. It may not be enough to merely remove te...

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31Oct

Meaningful Professional Development

Dear Families, A common practice in schools is to build professional development days into the calendar each year. Typically, it is a day to unveil the latest, new teaching technique; to hire the outside expert replete with buzzwords and catchphrases; or to simply catch up on grading and planning. While these are all valuable ways to spend time, and useful knowledge may be gained, they are disjointed and discrete activities. What is the purpose? What is the larger goal? Last Friday our Mount Royal staff was blessed with an opportunity to meet together and share a day of prayer and study. Plann...

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24Oct

Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence in Catholic Education

Dear Families, The most tried and true measure of success is time. This is perhaps the greatest testament to the mission of the Catholic Church. Thousands of organizations and regimes have come and gone since Christ founded his Church over 2,000 years ago. Jesus himself promised that he would be faithful to his mystical body until the end of time. Our historical moment in Catholic education is marked by decline and devastation. The statistical indicators are staggering: Catholic schools across the country are ceasing to exist, but Mount Royal Academy remains a beacon of hope for the future. 2...

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17Oct

Growing in Virtue Together

Dear Families, As we find ourselves with little more than two weeks left in the first quarter, it is amazing to see how quickly time is passing. The gorgeous fall leaves that fall upon our school campus are a reminder of God’s creation: always changing, always growing, and filled with stunning beauty. Another wonderful area of growth we have seen this fall has been the formation of our Households. Introduced in August, the initiative has a twofold goal: to promote growth in virtue and provide opportunities for fellowship. After having two official household activities so far, I can honestly s...

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10Oct

The Joy of Teaching Truth

Dear Families, I was back in the classroom on Thursday, substituting for Mr. McMenaman in our junior Morality course. We read through and discussed passages from Pope John Paul II's encyclical entitled Veritatis Splendor. My only thought after the class was, "Wow, do I miss discussing these texts with young people." I did own the fact that I came up with the idea of reading this text with this group of juniors, due in large part to their collective intellectual capacity. Tackling such a philosophical and ideologically charged text is not easy for anyone, lest an adolescent. Twenge, in her boo...

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08Oct

Creativity, Joy, & Originality

Dear Families, We have spent the past month discussing the dangers of excessive screen time, the importance of silence and reflection, and pondering the words of great men such as Saint John Paul II. Now we turn to the question: How does technology limit our creativity? How does it keep us from being the loving, innovative creatures made in His likeness and image? In their book, The App Generation (Gardner & Davis, 2013) pioneering psychologist Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences theory) notices that although, “Digital media open up new avenues for youth to express themselves creatively… an...

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