Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This weekend we begin Catholic Schools Week, an opportunity to celebrate the good news of our Catholic education ministries.  You’re invited to join in the many activities of the week.  Most notably there will be an open house today (Sunday, January 27, following the 11:30 Mass) from 12:45 until 2:00 pm.  It will be a great opportunity not only for prospective parents considering giving their children the great gift of a Catholic education, but for all our parishioners to   explore and experience the tremendous academic excellence being offered to our children and pre-teens and, all the more important, the various ways in which we partner with parents to integrate our Catholic faith into all aspects of the curriculum.  The preschool,  elementary, and middle schools are all participating   in the open house this afternoon.

A special thank you to Ms. Julie Sperrazza, one of   our kindergarten teachers for speaking at all of the masses this weekend.  Julie is just one of the talented and gifted faculty and staff at Franciscan School.

Beginning in August, the preschool will offer a new class to respond to the needs of our parish community. Depending on the birth date of the child, sometimes one either just misses the cut off for kindergarten or may make the cut off, but is not really ready for the rigor of a full day kindergarten program. In response to this need, St. Francis of Assisi Preschool will offer a Preparatory Kindergarten class. This class will run from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday. In addition to the continued emphasis on   improving developmental skills in all five areas of a child’s development (Spiritual, Social, Emotional,  Cognitive, and Physical), increased focus will be given to developing the fine motor skills needed for forming letters and numbers; the skills needed for successful reading such as letter and phonemic awareness; and the skills needed for future success in mathematics, such as number sense, beginning awareness of money, and the basics of computation.  If you have any further questions about this program or would  like to visit the preschool, please contact Cathy Ashton at cathy.ashton@stfrancisraleigh.org or 919-847-8205×240.

You’re also invited to join in our Catholic Schools Week Mass this Wednesday, January 30 at 9:00 am in the church.  We’re fortunate to have as our presider and homilist the Minister Provincial of the Franciscans of Holy Name Province, Fr. John F. O’Connor, O.F.M.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark