Seton School Schedule:
- Monday, March 16 – All Students are to do a Home Retreat (more info in the Message from March 15th)
- Tuesday, March 17 – Distance Learning begins (Teachers will be contacting their students with their plan of action during our school closure)
Notes to our Community
April 24 Message from our Seton Director
Dear Seton Community,
If you are Irish, you have probably heard that on the funeral mass days of souls faithful to Him, God often makes it rain. I expected rain on Thursday for Joe Gregory and on Friday for John Kohlhass, and sure enough…it rained each day. The Seton community has so many wonderful people that set wonderful examples. In a day and age when vices and bad examples seem to gain the lion’s share of attention, it seems fitting to look a bit more closely at the great examples of these two men of faith.
The Gregory family was the first I got to know from the Seton community. They were very welcoming to the Pennefather clan. The taco nights with Pictionary games at their home, with all the Gregory children and some of my siblings, are some of the fondest early memories I have of Virginia.
At that time Joe was no more than five or six. He was joyful, energetic and had just the right amount of male mischief that God intended all boys, that would later grow into “car guys,” to have. Joe’s good character and faith seemed to grow in his years at Seton. He was always bright and his brightest move was Melanie. I still remember their wedding.
In his homily, Fr. Roos did a beautiful job of explaining the profound example of true marital love reflected in Joe and Melanie’s commitment to God, their children and each other. The Sacrament of Marriage’s greatest blessing and challenge is that as two become one each cross carried by one spouse is also carried by the other. Pope St. John Paul II emphasized during his papacy that marriage was about sacrifice and commitment to the other. In my life’s experience, I have never witnessed a greater example of faithfully carrying a heavy cross than the example of Joe and Melanie.
John Kohlhass was a soft spoken and selfless man. When I coached a baseball team at Seton over a decade ago, Mr Kohlhass provided the best player (his son John), pitched some batting practice and helped coach when he was available. John also would willingly drive to far off destinations, shuttling players to games and back to Seton.
As a struggling sinner I always look at the passing of holy souls from this life to the next as inspiration. If I am to share in the goodness of Joe and John again, I must strive to be better and earn a spot in the Father’s house mentioned in the gospel. I know we all need to continue praying for both men and certainly for their families, but I frequently saw both Joe and John at daily masses and in confession lines, and I know the Good News is truly good. God does not turn away souls that are humbly seeking Him.
My greatest personal regret of this pandemic situation is that these two Seton families could not have the supportive throngs of the Seton faithful present at their funeral masses. Let us continue to support them in prayer. Also, if you have not yet donated to the young Gregory family, there is Go Fund Me information on the Seton website.
The teachers and students seem to have started back to the online learning nicely since the end of our Easter break. As a school we will continue to work week to week and hope that something changes to allow us to celebrate some of our special end of the year activities.
Take Care and God Bless-Bob
April 20 Message from our Seton Director
Dear Seton Community,
Welcome back to Seton online learning today. The faculty and staff have been praying for all of you and hope you each had a blessed Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday.
Over the break we had a virtual meeting to discuss how best to end the year. The faculty felt that it would be unwise and unfair to have final exams. In all non-dual enrollment classes (some dual enrollment classes are required to have finals by our college partners) there will not be a final exam because of the stress and unfair burden it would place on students.
Both students and teachers have done a wonderful job of working together to continue the learning process in our classes. The academic work will continue until May 15th. Teachers will tie the year together by either an open notes assignment, paper or project. Though May 15 represents the end of active academic class work, all academic work should be completed and turned in by May 22nd, unless the teachers works out something different with their particular classes.
Parents I would like to thank all of you for the wonderful support you have given us during online learning. We respect your role as the primary educators and ask for your further assistance in encouraging your children to finish out the year working hard.
Please pray for the repose of the souls of John Kohlhass and Joe Gregory. Both were outstanding men. John was a past Seton parent, baseball coach and a current Seton grandparent. Joe was a student at Seton, faithful husband to Seton graduate Melanie Jones and a current Seton father to Jack.
Take Care and God Bless-Bob
Resource List from the Guidance Office
Click here for a list of resources links put together by the Guidance Office with suggestions and ideas for your family to consider during this time of online learning and separation. Ranging in topics from academic, faith, online programs and outdoor activities, there is something for everyone.
We pray everyone is continuing to stay healthy and well. We miss seeing the smiling faces of our students in the halls of Seton and pray you and your family will find joy even in the midst of your trials.
May God bless you,
Mrs. Montavan and Mrs. Guyant
March 23 Message from our Seton Director
I am still feeling good about life due to being involved in such a wonderful community. Virus or not, the Seton families keep persevering in faith.
Yesterday I listened to Fr. Huggins homily over his podcast. He emphasized that God grows and expands our spiritual lives and faiths when we trust in Him through challenging times. This certainly seems like one of those challenging times, and if we trust we will experience spiritual growth.
The governor of Virginia has put out a confusing statement that said all public schools are closed for the remainder of this school year, but that he would reevaluate in thirty days.
Our approach at Seton was to get online classes running without missing a normal school day and reevaluate after two weeks. Due to hard work on the part of faculty, staff, parents and students, we were able to achieve that goal. Now we will just pray that God somehow saves Easter.
At our last online faculty and staff meeting we agreed that we would have our scheduled Easter Break (from end of online school day April 8 to the start of school day April 20). We can continue the learning process online, and I appreciate the patience and understanding that we are all extending each other during this time of learning a new system.
It is important to remember that a Loving God is in control of all things. I encourage all Seton families to embrace these last weeks of Lent by observing the government asked quarantine and praying. Please discourage gatherings and sleep overs by students to unite the sacrifice of self-imposed isolation to the fears, struggles and deaths experienced by people all over the world. Ironically, I was told St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of quarantine. Perhaps Our Loving God recognizes we all need to rediscover the goodness within our own families.
We recognize that because of the changes imposed by the state of Virginia our plan has changed. Also we have realized that some students need items from Seton, and we are opening the school from 9 to 11:00 am tomorrow. We ask that only students needing materials for online academics come to the school. Only one student will be allowed in the old building and Corpus Christi at a time. Students should let the Seton staff managing the process know which building they need to enter and then wait in their car until instructed to enter the school. Please call me to notify me of your intention to enter the school tomorrow or if you need to schedule for a different day.
Take Care & God Bless,
March 17 Message from our Seton Director
Dear Seton Community,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. What a wonderful day one for all of us. Students, parents, counselors, staff and teachers have really embraced together the first day of our shared new learning adventure.
Seton is really a community much like its founder. As Mrs Carroll has always done, the Seton community trusts in God and keeps working at its daily duty with a smile. I am so impressed with everyone.
Mrs. Montavon sent out an excellent letter detailing things to keep in mind about caring for ourselves and each other spiritually, mentally and physically. The Department Chairpersons provided great guidance to the faculty within their departments (Mr Heisler encouraged the History Department to pray to Joseph of Arimathea, and we did).
The tech staff has worked unceasingly to bring teachers up to speed (I am their biggest challenge) on tools to keep students learning. We all owe a great deal to Mrs. Tina McIntyre, Mr. Vincent Terreri, Mr. Ben Ceol, Mr. Philip Ashton and Mr Brian Rogers. They are fielding many questions from teachers and students about glitches and answering them with insight and patience.
The faculty have been putting in a lot of hours into learning the technology. They have also put together assignments and Juno Pods, everyone’s new favorite term. Tracking a thread that teachers are using to collaborate, it is great to see all that is being accomplished and the vibrant camaraderie.
Students you have really been fantastic. We teachers appreciate all of you that quickly reached out when online quizzes or assignments were not working for you. Your work ethic is very reassuring to us and your parents. I know it inspires the faculty to keep preparing material for you to tackle.
Please do not hesitate to give us input about what is working and what is not working. We are all working to serve you. Your success spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially is the primary concern of each Seton staff member.
A great start, but we all need to keep working at our roles each day going forward.
Take Care and God Bless-
PS-I am asking each Seton family to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each day in the three o’clock hour for Jesus to keep us safe and help in His merciful love to bring us closer to Him, which will bring us all closer to each other as a community.
March 17 Message from our Guidance Director
As we day by day adjust to the many changes we are experiencing, I wanted to reach out to all of you.
First of all, I want you to know I am available via email while Seton is closed. If you or your child need me to call, just let me know in your email and I will respond as soon as I am able to do so.
Secondly, I want to acknowledge that change can trigger anxiety and stress for adults and children. We are in a time of unprecedented change and “unknowns”. Please think about the last time you were on a plane and they did the safety briefing, and travelers with children were told “in case of emergency, put on your mask first, and then assist your child.” It is important as the adults in our families that we are taking care of ourselves and modeling a positive attitude to our changed circumstances.
Being home together may be a blessing that weeks ago you had wished for with everyone’s busy schedules with work/school/homework/church/
–In stressful times, experts say that it is vital to keep to a schedule as much as possible. Each family is different, but if you can provide some structure for your family it will be very helpful to your children. For example, eating meals at the same times you did before, having a regular “school” study time during the day, designated blocks of time to pray, and specific time to play outside and relax. Perhaps you might also need to add blocks of time, with Dad at work and Mom at work, for those of you trying to work from home. Some families actually find it helpful to post the new schedule for everyone to see. Perhaps, consider having a daily/or weekly Family Check In –a SHORT family meeting to see how everyone is doing, any issues that need to be discussed, and end with something positive like a joke-a-thon or a family game or movie together.
–Exercise is very important for positive mental health and a great stress relief. There are many online free exercise programs you can explore for your kids or perhaps exercise together as a family for fun! Spring is here–while we can and with safe social distancing, go for a walk in the neighborhood, ride bikes, or go for a hike.
–Pump Me Up Dates w Mom/Dad–set aside a once a week time to spend 30 min. individually with each child to see how they are doing, encourage them, let them know what you see positive in their character (focus on the positive!) and share how specifically you are praying for them (positive things).
–Thinking of others is also a helpful way to redirect anxious thoughts. Brainstorm what your family could do to support elderly or health compromised individuals in your neighborhood. Could your kids go sing to them outside their window? Could they rake their yard? Could you do grocery runs for them? All our kids know how to write encouraging notes for Spiritual Bouquets…how about having them write notes to hospital staff nearby? Or call a local senior center and “adopt a grandparent” to write to or call/skype/facetime with? Maybe draw pictures, write uplifting quotes or make posters to encourage the senior citizen staff/residents? Remember our low income brothers and sisters and gather around the kitchen table and decorate 3 x 5 cards and take them to your county’s emergency food distribution and have the cards included in their meals? Or, maybe have your kids go through their clothes and toys and see what they can give away.
–Music can also have a positive impact and a calming effect. Perhaps have gentle classical or Christian music playing softly in different parts of your house.
–Let the creativity flow. Let the kids plan (and cook a meal), let them build those fun giant pillow forts, let them plant seeds in the backyard for a flower garden (quick go buy seeds/bulbs now before everything closes) or maybe this is the time to paint that bedroom or have the kids reorganize their bookshelf.
–Our kids are disappointed about fun things that have been cancelled or postponed–sports, clubs, play practice, perhaps their outside job. Acknowledge that disappointment and loss and then help them see “the glass half full, not half empty” and help them see something good about the situation. Gratitude is often the opposite of disappointment, maybe you might make a family Gratitude Jar that each night all family members write one thing they are thankful for from that day on a slip of paper and add it to the jar. On Sunday during your previously regular Mass time, empty your Gratitude Jar and have fun reading what everyone wrote.
–Additionally, below are two links with some helpful information to assist families in dealing with stress or anxiety regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The first link takes you to a document that contains specific guidelines in dealing with the new virus as well as how to ease children’s anxiety by “Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection…” The second link directs you to a video from Divine Mercy University also containing information and techniques to consider in helping our children deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
Many things are out of our control right now, but there are things that we can control. Keep up your prayer life, think of ways to positively support your family’s needs, and consider how we can be a blessing to others.
I already miss seeing all the students…so if they are bored, they can also send me a shout out hello at email@example.com. I would also love to hear from you about things that are “working for your family” and/or ways you are serving others.
Rest in peace trusting our Heavenly Father is in control of all,
Link 1: www.nasponline.org/resources-
Link 2: YouTube gm7gb7SIYvo
March 17 Message from our Dean of Students
Dear Seton Community,
It is with heartfelt joy, in the position of Dean of Students, that I make the following suggestion:
Let us, each day, make a sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving. It will take 15-minutes; it is personal to you; but it will drive anxiety and fear away, while strengthening each of us, so that when we meet again (hopefully, on the 30th of March!) we will be a stronger and more faithful community than ever!
1) Each night, begin with a short prayer to the Holy Spirit to open up your minds and hearts to all He has worked in your life that day. (I like the following: “Come Holy Spirit; possess my mind and my heart so that I see more clearly how You have loved me today.”)
2) Spend 10 minutes writing down all the things that happened that day for which you are thankful. Yes, writing them down; the physical practice of writing it out and seeing the words means volumes to a person’s heart! There is no need for speed; be specific. If you run out of time; that is a good thing – it will give you something to look forward to tomorrow.
3) Reread what you have written, aloud if possible; preface the items of gratitude with something along the lines of “I praise you Lord, because you…” And then end the items with “And so Jesus I trust in you.” (For example: I praise you Lord, because you gave my family the joy of eating green pancakes for breakfast, and so Jesus I trust in you.”)
The physical participation of the writing and the vocal reading powerfully impress upon the heart the truth of what you are saying.
If you do not think this is for you…I didn’t either when it was first recommended to me. But I decided to give it a try, and it is amazing! If we all do it, we will return more full of love and gratitude than when this break started!! Not a bad way to be united during Lent as we prepare for the Triduum.
Tim Heisler – Dean of Students
March 15 Message from our Seton Director
As the students do their home retreat on Monday, I thought it would be beneficial to provide them the scripture passage with reflections accompanying each scene from John’s Gospel (linked below). (to follow this link; highlight the link address, right click over highlighted material click “copy” then open a new page in your web browser, in the address bar right click again and select “paste and go to…”)
I hope that these meditations are helpful and lead to a spiritually productive day. It will be uplifting to know that all of you will be praying a Rosary at some point during the day, participating in penitential work in your family community, and that we will all be united as a prayer community in praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during the the three o’clock hour.
Please be assured of the faculty and staff’s prayers on Monday as we prepare for the academics that will take place over the next two weeks.
Take Care and God Bless- Bob Pennefather
March 14 Message from our Seton Director
Dear Seton Community,
As Catholics we know that each cross allowed by God and nobly carried leads to a type of Resurrection. Currently our country and world struggles with the cross of the Coronovirus. It is up to us as a community to nobly carry this cross and to help others in our Seton family to deal with it as well.
With the well being of our community and with confidence in our faculty, students and their families to respond accordingly, we are suspending school at Seton for the next two weeks. This means that after the Talent Show on March 14, all activities at Seton will be cancelled for two weeks. Only faculty and staff given specific tasks by the school administrators are to come to Seton during this period. I look at this situation as an opportunity for us to explore new ways of approaching the learning process and think that our students will learn some valuable lessons that will help prepare them for their futures.
Monday was meant to be our yearly retreat day. I would like each Seton student to have a home retreat. This would include reading the passion account in John 18:1 to John 19:42 and reflecting on Our Lord’s passion. Also to pray a rosary during the day, avoid screen time during the retreat, working around the house as a charitable act and to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00 as the conclusion of the day of reflection. Teachers will be at school from 9:30 am to at least 2:00pm going over online tools. Students that could not get their books on Friday should drop by the school on Monday to retrieve them.
Tuesday would mark the resumption of academic work. Teachers will be in touch with their students to explain the approach that they will have in each individual class. Jupiter Ed has different ways to set up quizzes, tests and to turn in assignments.
Teachers are being encouraged to use their creativity in order to convey material. In some classes teachers may elect to have their class over streaming platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This is going to be a challenging period and teachers, students and families will need to be patient and understanding with each other.
As a community of faith I think that we need to actively look to help any family that may find itself with a member that becomes sick from the virus. If you find yourself in this circumstance, please call me at my home number (703) 594-2850 and we will come up with a plan of support.
Also I encourage families where both parents work, and neither can work from home, to seek out nearby Seton families that might be able to incorporate another student into their daily academic work from home.
Thank you for your understanding of this tough decision.
May God Bless You and Your Families and Keep Our Seton Community Safe,
Ways to stay engaged with your faith
Vatican Grants Emergency Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Chaplet
Click here for the information.
Prayer Guides, Online Masses, and More from the Arlington Diocese
Let us pray for those whose health is impacted and for the welfare of the many people whose lives are affected.
The Arlington Diocesan offices have provided the following Prayer for Healing.
Novant Health UVA Health System Is Prepared To Care For You
We are taking action and preparing to care for patients infected by the virus, which is now called SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that it causes – COVID-19. Thank you for reaching out and asking how you can help and support us! You can assist us by helping us message the following information to family, friends & neighbors and employees.
- The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has a public helpline for questions about corona virus: 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343). Community resource specialists are available to answer questions from the public and in English or Spanish.
- At this time, please do not call Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket and Prince William Medical Centers for general information and inquiries regarding coronavirus. Our team members are focused on providing the best possible care to our patients and we are not resourced to take general calls from the community about COVID-19.
Before you go to the emergency room
- Call your primary care provider to discuss your concerns
- Try our new coronavirus assessment tool, now available online. Think you or a loved one might have the coronavirus? If you’re not experiencing a life-threatening emergency, then try our self-guided assessment that uses CDC protocol to determine if you should seek care. Visit NovantHealthUVA.org/Coronavirus to take the assessment. Note: This assessment is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms or emergencies.
- Visiting an emergency department with no symptoms will only further one’s risk of exposure and put a strain on resources for those who need it most.
- Individuals who have no symptoms will not be screened and should stay home.
Patients are encouraged to sign-up for MyChart
- MyChart is a secure, online health management tool that connects you to your personalized health record – from anywhere, at any time. This will enable seamless communications between you and all of your care providers. MyChart also enables you to stay in touch with your doctor – regardless of whether you are at home or traveling.
- With MyChart, you can conveniently:
Email your care team directly; Request prescription renewals; View laboratory test results; View your recent practice visits; and Access personalized