We are one body.
Part of the Holy Family mission is to help our students value and understand the truths and ideology of the Catholic faith. We encourage families to cherish the opportunity to worship together and to provide relevant individual and community faith experiences.
We develop in our students an ability to make choices which reflect a caring attitude towards all of God’s creation. We also provide experiences and awareness of local and global community needs to motivate the children to serve others. Beginning in our K3 class, we offer guidance to help meet the emotional, social and learning needs of our students.
“One of the most amazing things about Holy Family is the confidence the school builds in students. In today’s world, it is sometimes socially challenging to be a good person and be empathetic to others…especially those who are disadvantaged. Holy Family Parish and School was a solid foundation for Catholic faith for my kids which they will always treasure.” – Holy Family School Parent
School has been in session for a couple months now. The teachers at Holy Family are hard at work, teaching and challenging the students. As a Catholic school, Holy Family knows the importance to not only challenge the students academically, but also in their faith and service. Fall is a time when many of the HFS traditions instill those important pieces of a Catholic education.
COMMUNITY: An Education that Strengthens the Heart
Holy Family is known for our strong sense of community. Over 65 years ago, it was this community that made our school a reality; today, that reality remains the same. Students, faculty, parishioners, and parents are all treasured members of the HFS community. Our parish is named for the Holy Family; we will always be faithful to the call to be family to one another. HFS have some great events during the fall that brings us together as a community.
A few years ago, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee started the “Soles for Education” walk. All the schools in the Archdiocese are encouraged to participate by raising money for their school and then gather at Mount Mary College on a Saturday in the fall to walk together. Though it is only a few years old, the walk has become one of Holy Family School’s traditions. At this event, we not only walk as our Holy Family community, but with the whole Catholic school community.
On October 31st, students, teachers, and even school parents and younger siblings, dress up in their funniest, spookiest or most creative costume for Holy Family School’s Halloween Parade.
For many years, Holy Family School Student Council hosts the Halloween Parade. It is held first thing on Halloween morning in the school gym. Each grade is invited up to the stage in the gym to show off their costumes. At the end of the parade, the student council votes on the best costumes.
“It is really one of the events that makes Holy Family School such a special place,” says past parent. “I love that everyone dresses-up and really go all out. From the kindergarteners to the teachers, everyone gets into the fun. It is really an event that brings the entire HFS community together.”
FAITH: An Education that Nourishes the Spirit
The teaching of Jesus is infused in every subject and extra-curricular activity at Holy Family School. Students are taught to be respectful, compassionate, and emphasis is placed not only on academic achievement, but moral and spiritual growth.
Our Catholic faith continues to be at the forefront of everything we do every day. No goal is more central to our mission than the faith development of our students. We live our faith through everything we do.
All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day or Feast of All Saints, is November 1st. For over 30 years, Ms. Flaminio’s 3rd graders have been selecting a saint that interests them. Some pick a saint based on having the same name while others might pick based on what that saint is patron of. They research and write a report about their chosen saint, and on All Saints Day, the 3rd graders dress up as their saint for the all school mass. After the mass, a few lucky students get to share what they learned about their saint.
It is a great tradition at Holy Family. Learning about these saints help us celebrate and honor all the saints and our faith. Plus, it’s fun to see the great costumes that the kids (and parents) put together.
Right before Thanksgiving break, HFS collects food for the needy. The students fill 100 boxes for the House of Peace Thanksgiving Food Box Program. Each box contained food items that will make a complete holiday meal for a needy family of five. The older students team up with their younger Guardian Angel and together fill the boxes with the collected food.
Holy Family School creates that balance of academics, community, and faith, not just during the fall, but continues all year long.
Students attend an all school mass once a week. Each week, students are responsible for being acolytes, servers, readers, and liturgists. They attend their mass with their guardian angel.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and our spiritual journey through prayer, penance, repentance and almsgiving. Holy Family School begins Ash Wednesday with an all school mass, which includes burying the words “Alleluia”.
Since many children around the world only have a bowl of rice to eat each day, it has been a tradition at Holy Family that the students eat a Rice Bowl lunch. There is a suggested $2.00 contribution that is donated to CRS (Catholic Relief Services) helping hands.
“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
At Holy Family Parish School the children and staff will be celebrating Lent with weekly school wide prayer services, daily reflection, and individual acts of stewardship, fasting, and prayer. During Lent, the school adds more prayer to their daily routine. The seventh grade class leads the school in a decade of the rosary after every school Mass starting on Ash Wednesday and continue through Lent.
Each year, HFS Home and School Association sponsors a Lenten Outreach program. The purpose of this is to prepare our mind and hearts for the coming of the risen Lord. During this time, the students are encouraged to be open-hearted; to live the golden rule; to consider those less fortunate; to put God first in their thoughts and their decisions.
The school community will focus on Lenten traditions of almsgiving. The students are invited to bring specific food items each week and present them at Mass. These items will be given to the Holy Family food pantry and donations will be made to Catholic Charities. This reminds our students to keep the poor in their hearts during this Lenten season.
The students will share a Rice Bowl lunch on Ash Wednesday. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray with our families and faith communities; fast in solidarity with those who hunger; learn about our global community and the challenges of poverty overseas, and give sacrificial contributions to those in need. Each student donates $2.00 for the rice bowl lunch. After the lunch, the money collected will be donated to Feed My Starving Children.
HFS’s Campus Ministry performs the Living Stations of the Cross during Holy Week in the church. All grades are involved with the Living Stations in some way. This is a wonderful presentation and all are welcome to attend.
Also, Holy Family Parish hosts fish fries for the entire community in McCormick Hall. Various organizations, including the school, take turns hosting this event.
We encourage our families to do something special during the Lenten season, to grow into a deeper relationship with God. It is a simple truth that all happiness comes from the grace of God and our relationship with Him. The greatest life-long gift we can give our children is to instill this relationship in their hearts. As a community we are very fortunate to have a Catholic school for our children to attend, where with the critical help of our families we can accomplish this task. May the spirit burn within us, all the brighter during the Lenten season, and let our light shine for all to see.
During the Lenten Season, remember to: Pray to deepen our relationship with God and reflect on what type of person He calls us to be. Fast to remove the things that get between us and God and to live in solidarity with those in need. And Give alms to our brothers and sisters in need, honoring Jesus’ call to serve our neighbors.
October is Respect Life month. The students are asked to make donations throughout the month to help those in need. It gives us a moment to reflect and know that we are all God’s children.
Items donated are diapers and clothing for babies in need, and, socks, underwear, and hygiene products for the homeless shelters
8th Grade Retreat
Each fall, the current 8th grade class take an overnight. The retreat is a powerful spiritual and team-building experience for the class. They participate in a number of group challenges, a rock climbing tower, nature hikes, small group discussion, prayer and more. Most activities are led by cool 20-something kids who share their own faith journeys and help our students process the challenges. A few activities are led by Steven and me by the teachers.
For many of the 8th grade graduates, Holy Family School has been their school for the past 10 years. These parents remember bringing their child for the first time to kindergarten, nervous of what to expect, maybe a little teary, but so proud watching their little one start their next adventure. Holy Family School is a K3-8th grade school, so it allows the older students the unique experience to be role models to the younger students. By 8th grade, these students have been guardian angels to the younger students for 5 years, they have been leaders to the rest of the school in activities like Justice League and student council, and they boost school spirit with sports and the musical. Over the years, several traditions have evolved in order to honor the students and their parents.
The first tradition is when the 8th graders celebrate their last school mass. The 8th graders are dressed in suits and dresses. They then make their final journey through the school halls to the church. The students, staff, and 8th grade parents line the hallway and applaud the 8th graders. It’s a time to recognize and honor the students for the last time.
“One of the things that has meant the most to me, and comes with a great deal of emotion, is the last school mass when the 8th graders walk through the school and all the kids are in the hallway as an honor guard, ” says Rosanne Elliott. “I think that is one of the most beautiful traditions.” Rosanne and her husband, John, had 3 children graduate from Holy Family.
After the mass, a small breakfast is held for students and parents in the cafeteria, hosted by the Home and School Association. On that same day the 7th grade parents and students prepare a dinner and program for the 8th graders and their parents in the evening. McCormick Hall gets transformed into a five star restaurant with many meaningful decorations that the kids enjoy
The 7th grade students then serve the guests, with parents helping prepare the meals and take pictures. There is also a program emceed by a 7th grade parent which talks about the class, shares memories, and the 7th grade students each take turns talking about the 8th grade students. This is a special night to reflect, share memories, and get ready for what is next.
The final tradition is the actual graduation which is held directly after the Saturday afternoon mass. The 8th graders process into the Church and the homily is directed to them. Flowers are brought to the moms and dads by the 8th grade students during communion. Then the graduation ceremony is held after mass.
“Holy Family helped mold their minds and spirits.” says Rosanne.
These traditions are just another example of what makes Holy Family school such a special place. So just like that first day, parents will be nervous of what to expect, and maybe even a little teary, but so proud watching their little one start their next adventure.
“Kid, you’ll move mountains. Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way.”- Dr. Seuss