Family Communication (eFC) 9-29-2016

Principal’s Message

Hello! I had the privilege of spending two days last week with principals from around the Archdiocese to reflect on our schools, plan for the future, and specifically examine Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter Laudato si. Much of our conversation focused on how we support our students in developing a deep love and appreciation for God’s creation, specifically as we consider our footprint on our planet. It was a wonderful two days and I have some exciting ideas on how to move forward with this – more to come!

One of our projects this year, with the support of School Commission, is to review our safety and security plans. We have begun this process and you have probably already noticed one change: the external doors in the morning are to remain locked. When the morning bell rings, four external doors are opened by staff members who will greet students and families. When the late bell rings, the doors are closed and remain locked. Any student entering after the 8:25 bell must enter through the main office door. We are also in the process of purchasing, with the help of a very generous parent donor, eight emergency radios. These radios will be placed around our campus and will allow us a reliable communication tool in case of a significant emergency.

Thank you so much for your support of our magazine drive – our second largest fundraiser of the year. Every dollar that comes back to the school supports our instructional programs and directly impacts what happens in our classrooms. Thank you for your continued support – we are a bit behind our selling projections this year, so let’s keep on selling until the end!

Finally, if you didn’t see it in the bulletin this past week, please take a moment to read the important message from Father Oakland in this eFC regarding Archdiocesan planning for our Deanery. As he mentions, every parish in our Deanery, including Holy Rosary Parish, will be impacted by the proposed changes and this will impact our school. I strongly encourage you to review what Father shared carefully and attend one of the listening sessions to provide feedback to the Executive Committee.

A Message from Father Oakland

PASTORAL PLANNING UPDATE – A couple of times this year I have spoken about a process underway throughout the Archdiocese as we look to the future of our church. We have fewer priests and pastors than we once did, and our Catholic demographics have shifted as we have built new churches in expanding areas. The question becomes how best to promote healthy and vital Catholic communities.

As a part of the larger process, the Archbishop has asked for recommendations from each region, which is called a Deanery. Our Deanery is bordered on the north by downtown (Christ our Hope), Capitol Hill (St. Joseph), and the Mountlake cut (St. Patrick), and on the south by Rainier Beach (St. Paul) and White Center (Holy Family). Burien (Lourdes), Tukwila and Renton are in the Deanery to the south.

Some data about our Deanery:

  • 17 churches
  • 8 schools with 2,118 students (79% capacity) and 190 professional staff
  • 11 Diocesan priests, 3 externs (priests serving on temporary assignment in the Archdiocese of Seattle), 2 religious priests (Jesuits) 125 professional staff (administrators, faith formation, pastoral care, outreach, liturgy, music, facilities, etc.) who work 8 hours/week or more for a total of 99.5FTE (35 of the employees, totaling 30.5 FTE, are at St. James Cathedral)
  • 42 Masses in English with an average weekly attendance of 8,534 (October 2015 Mass counts)
  • 14 non-English Masses: Vietnamese (6 Masses—4,065 people), Spanish (5 Masses—1,480 people), Chinese (1 Mass—102 people), Indonesian (1 Mass—75 people), Lao (1 Mass—59 people)
  • Average distance between parishes (excluding Vashon Island and Vietnamese Martyrs) – 1.38 miles
  • Churches with another less than 1.0 mile away: 6

The Puget Sound Regional Council, using data from 2014, projected growth from 2010 to 2020 in our region to be 13.7%. From 2010 to 2015, halfway through that explosive population growth:

  • Registered Households and Marriages remained flat
  • Weekend Mass attendance dropped 4%
  • Infant Baptisms dropped 1%
  • First Communions rose 8%
  • Adult Converts dropped 51%
  • Funerals dropped 7%

Our region is growing – and yet our parishes are not. This is troubling. Throughout the Gospels Jesus sends out His Apostles and Disciples to share the Good News, and a great catch continues to come in. Archbishop Sartain has called us to be missionary disciples. Our faith in Jesus Christ is a gift, a treasure – one that we must live each and every day, and one, which we should be sharing with those we meet as we also seek to serve our brothers and sisters in need around us.

The question for this Pastoral Planning Process is not simply how do we serve the Catholic community in this region with 3-5 fewer priests, but how do we at the same time restructure and reorient ourselves so that we are not focused on maintenance, but upon mission, the evangelization of our city and culture.

The priests and deacons of the deanery, along with some lay staff from the parishes, meet each month to collaborate. Executive committees of two priests and two lay staff have drawn up a draft of the proposal to Archbishop Sartain for the restructuring of our deanery in light of the changing number of priests. EVERY PARISH WILL BE IMPACTED. This plan was presented at a convocation this weekend with some representatives from each parish who have met twice already for discussion and review. It will also be presented at some upcoming Listening Sessions here in West Seattle and at other locations in the deanery as we seek your input on how to best structure our churches to orient us to being missionary disciples. I can’t encourage you enough to attend one of the sessions, to hear the proposal, as it currently exists, and to share your thoughts and input for the executive committee.

The Listening Sessions are:

  • October 15th, 9:30-11 a.m. – Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • October 20th, 6:30-8 p.m. – Holy Rosary
  • October 27th, 6:30-8 p.m. – Holy Family (in Spanish).
Morning Drop Off Reminder

Please DO NOT EVER park along 42nd Avenue in front of the school during morning drop off between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Drivers should never leave their vehicles when dropping off in front of the school or in the alley. Please have your child/ren exit the vehicle from the curbside. Finally, please use the crosswalks when crossing the street. Thank you for following these procedures to keep all of our children safe.

Family Handbook

Yellow sheets were sent home to the families that have not turned in the signed front page of the family handbook. Please look for that sheet and get it back to the office ASAP. Thanks.

Eighth Grade Pizza Lunch

The deadline to sign up is tomorrow! This year there will be an online form and billing through FACTS for payment. Please sign each child up individually. Click here to order online. The deadline to sign up is Friday, September 30. The eighth grade pizza lunch fundraiser helps pay for multiple events throughout the year for the graduating class. Events include retreats, fun day, baccalaureate dinner, graduation, and the graduation reception. Thank you in advance for your support! Order for all or only the dates that work for you:

  • Friday, October 28
  • Friday, November 18
  • Friday, December 2
  • Friday, January 6
  • Friday, January 27
  • Friday, March 3
  • Friday, March 24
  • Friday, April 28
  • Thursday, May 11

Each day your child orders pizza lunch is $4.00 for one slice cheese pizza, chips, drink, and treat or $6.00 for two slices cheese pizza, chips, drink, and treat. Thank you for supporting the eighth grade pizza lunch!

Ski School

Ski school at Holy Rosary is happening this ski season! We will have a customized program created for us by MOHAN ski school, but need some input in order to get started. We will have pricing and sign up information within the next 3-4 weeks. Please take a moment to take this brief survey. Thanks!

Glow Bowl

Please join us on Friday, October 14th from 5-8 p.m. at West Seattle Bowl for the Annual Mother-Son Glow Bowl! Use this link to download the form and sign up. This year’s theme is CRAZY DRESS – so put your craziest outfits together:  tie dye, backwards clothing, sports fanatic, etc. and join us for a night of bowling, pizza, and fun!

Discovering Chess

I will be offering an after-school chess class again this year. Numerous studies have shown the positive effects of chess on learning and brain development. Players make gains in spatial orientation, pattern recognition, planning ahead and creativity. I’m going to run the class very much like last year, as my schedule is much the same. We will meet on Thursdays in my classroom (7A) from 3-3:45. The difference this year is that the cost will be $15 per month and we will be handling all the billing through FACTS. I will just keep a roster list each month, no need to send in checks. Class will start in October and we’ll run through May, but you can come anytime. All ages are welcome. Feel free to email me with any questions: Thanks, Mr. Ritscher

Development Directives

As September comes to a close, I want to thank you for responding to all our fundraising efforts. The first month back is a busy time and we throw in quite a few activities. This past weekend was the Holy Rosary Golf Tournament. Monies raised benefit the Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund. Thank you to Erik Ricard and the entire committee for planning an excellent event.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have 100% participation in all our efforts. Please, if you haven’t already; donate what you can to the ANNUAL FUND and sell/renew/donate at minimum, one magazine.

The MAGAZINE DRIVE is entering the final week. We are currently behind last year’s numbers and need a big final push. We’ve kept the best incentive until the end…ONE FREE DRESS PASS for all those who sell three subscriptions by 9 p.m. Monday, October 3.

Congrats to KINDERGARTEN for selling the most magazines again this past week. Followed by fifth grade and second grade. Who is going to win the overall Top Class prize? KINDERGARTEN is looking like a strong candidate! 100% participation, it’s for the kids!

Call For Art Room Materials

Kleenex is the perfect consistency for wiping out the lids to our watercolor trays when we are finished with the colors we have mixed. For this reason, we tend to go through Kleenex pretty quickly in the art room. If you would like to donate boxes of Kleenex to our art department, please bring them by the school office. If you are interested in donating additional materials to the art room, please contact Lacey Reuter at Thanks for your support!

Photos From Recent Holy Rosary Events

Pictures of the Golf Tournament and some CYO sporting events are posted here. Thank you to Carl Baber!


GATOR SOCCER is in full swing! The first grade South team played hard in their second game of the season, this time against St. Philomena. The Gators gave strong effort, with some great defensive stops, continued to improve on their passing, and scored their first goals of the season. Everyone is excited for the next match! The seventh and eighth grade girls’ team kept their unbeaten streak alive with a 6-1 win against a tough Sacred Heart team. This year we have multiple teams embodying the spirit of CYO Sports by welcoming teammates to the Holy Rosary teams from: St. Bernadette, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Francis.

CROSS COUNTRY I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance,” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Dear Cross Country Parents, I was thrilled with our first cross country meet this year! We had a great turn out on such a beautiful day! It was good to see that there was a wave of orange flying across the finish line! I’m so proud of you Gators!

A couple of very important items:

  • If your child did not participate today they MUST run in the meet this coming Sunday in order to participate in the championships – this is one rule I can’t bend.
  • The race on the 2nd, next Sunday, is at 3:15pm – plan on being there at 2:45, there will not be a course walk through. **There is an away Seahawks game at 10:00am, so you can watch it this time.
  • I will need 3 volunteers for the meet on the 2nd,   I will send out the sign up as soon as CYO sends it to me.

The race results are not available yet, I should have them by Tuesday and I will send them out. I didn’t get to see the finish of most of the races but overall the Holy Rosary kids did extremely well. Please remind your child that they only saw half of the competition on Sunday, there will be twice as many kids at the championship meets on the 9th and 16th.

Dates to remember:

  • Tuesday September 27th – We have individual and team pictures next Tuesday for GRADES K-3. These are being done by Lysen photography. Chuck Lysen has sent out a separate email regarding pricing. Bring a $20 check or cash, there is no makeup opportunity.  These are great photos! Make yourself a note and make sure your child is prepared. COME TO PRACTICE IN YOUR ORANGE SHIRTS.
  • Sunday October 2nd – 2nd Preliminary meet 3:15 p.m. Woodland Park (arrive by 2:45).
  • Tuesday October 4th – Individual and team photos for grade 4-8. COME TO PRACTICE IN YOUR ORANGE SHIRTS.
  • Thursday October 6th – Team BBQ directly after practice, 5pm, at Lincoln Park. Parents, each child will receive a medal for participating (and these are nice, engraved medals!). Please take the time in your schedule to celebrate your children’s success with cross country this year at our team BBQ. Bring a side dish to share, we will have burgers, hot dogs, juice, water and plates/napkins.
  • Sunday October 9th – K-3 Ribbon race, 1 p.m. Woodland Park. This is the championship race for K-3. Every child gets a ribbon for crossing the finish line. We will hold practice for K-3 on Oct 11 and 13, so please continue to send your child! Final practice for all kids is Thursday Oct 13th.
  • Sunday October 16th – 4th-8th grade championship race. 1 p.m. Woodland park

THAT’S A WRAP. I hope you are all enjoying the season so far. Please send me any feedback you may have. I, and all the coaches, really enjoy working with your kids! Run far, run fast, run hard! Coach Charise.


MERCY FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER – Give Drink to the Thirsty. As Pope Francis said in his recent encyclical Laudato Si, “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” (30) During the Month of October, we look for ways in which we can provide the poor and those in need with access to this basic right, which supports health care, agriculture and industry as well. We must also not take for granted our own access to safe drinking water, looking for ways to reduce our own consumption of this precious resource of the earth. Click here to download the Mercy Of The Month.

Community Notices

KENNEDY CATHOLIC OPEN HOUSE – You are invited to the Kennedy Catholic High School Fall Open House on Wednesday, November 2 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call Clare Spano, Admissions Assistant at (206) 957-9723.

INGRAHAM HIGH SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT is on November 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ingraham Library. This informational session is designed specifically for families thinking about enrolling in public school for the first time. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and students to visit Ingraham and learn more about our academic offerings, student life and athletics. No need to RSVP for the event. Call Mary Smith at 206-252-3888 with questions.

Upcoming Dates To Remember
  • 10/1 – Italian Dinner
  • 10/7 – No School – Archdiocesan Teacher In-Service
  • 10/14 – Mother-Son Glow Bowl
  • 10/14 – Closing assembly for Magazine Drive
  • 10/17-28 – IOWA fall testing window
  • 11/11 – No School – Veterans Day (B.A.S.E closed)
  • 11/21-23 – Parent/Student/Teacher conferences (school not in session)
  • 11/24-25 – No School – Thanksgiving break