Saint Patrick School

The Shamrock 10.31.19



Fri., Nov. 1
9AM, All Saints Day Mass, Join Us!
10-11:30 AM, Living Saints, Parish Center, Please Visit
2:30PM Rosary, Church
Pie Orders Due

Tues., Nov. 5
6:30PM, Parent PTO, School Library

Fri., Nov. 8
No Afternoon Busing (Lowell Half Day)
9AM, Mass, Join Us!
2:30PM Rosary, Church

Looking Ahead
Thurs. & Tues., Nov. 21 & 26
Parent Teacher Conferences

Lunch Duty
Nov. 4-8
Young, Zimmerman, Ziolkowski

Nov. 11-15
Volunteer Needed, Zull, Albert (K & D)

Nov. 18-22
Andrews, Anleu, Baker

Nov. 25-26
Bearup, Bennett, Bernreuter


From Fr. Tom

I have been presenting to each grade a lecture regarding the Mass.  I have split my lecture into two different talks. The first talk begins with a discussion on the architecture of the church and then follows the movements and prayers up to the homily.  This includes the prayers that I say in preparation for the Mass - my vesting prayers. I am giving this talk in the church and allowing the kids to ask questions as we go. The second part of the talk will focus on the Mass from the preparation of the altar until the final blessing.  I am sharing all the private (secret) prayers that a priest is instructed to say along with a detailed explanation of my actions at the altar. My hope is that this will help make the Mass more understandable and that the kids will come to appreciate all that is happening during this holy sacrifice.  If any of you would like to attend, contact the school secretary and ask about my schedule for these talks.

Part of my instruction to the kids will be an explanation of Mass offered ad orientem (to the east).  During a Mass offered ad orientem, the priest faces the people while in dialogue with them and faces God when offering prayer on behalf of the congregation.  You notice this most dramatically during the Eucharistic prayers. The priest stands united with the people as he offers prayers on their behalf to God.  Everyone in the church is facing the same direction and is united in the common procession toward God present in the tabernacle. This posture helps to demonstrate the sense of harmony that exists when a faith community gathers together to worship God.  I will begin to offer Mass ad orientem on each First Friday during the 9 o’clock Mass starting in Advent.

Did you see the Faith Magazine article featuring our amazing principal?  We are so blessed here at St. Patrick Parnell to have Scott Czarnopys leading our school.  He has fought hard to make sure we have ample space for our kids to use during the school day.  I am happy to announce that the contract for construction of the two additional classrooms was signed by Bishop Walkowiak.  The excavation will begin soon. We also must replace one of our large heat exchange units on the rooftop of the multipurpose center.  These projects are possible because of your generous financial support. I so appreciate your continued support - without your offertory giving, we would never be able to tackle such imposing projects.   

Let us continue to pray for one another - oremus pro invicem 

Spirit Wear

Order Form

The St. Patrick Spirit Wear Online Store is open through Nov. 7th, in time for gift-giving and winter sports-boosting.  Delivery is expected Nov. 19 and orders can be picked up in the school office.  Order now to support St. Patrick athletic programs and show your school pride!

No Bus

On Friday, Nov. 8, all students need a ride home from school.  There is no bus for afternoon pick-up on Friday, Nov. 8.

Parent PTO Meeting

Hello parents!  Please join us for a PTO meeting this Tuesday, November 5, at 6:30 pm on the school library. We will be discussing our upcoming pie assembly event and all of the details along with it! Snacks and childcare provided, always a great time! God bless,  St. Patrick PTO

Classroom Building Project

All the approvals needed to begin the classroom building project have been completed.  Soon the area will be cleared and excavation will follow. The area will be fenced in and we believe there will be no interference with normal school operations (recess, car line, etc...).  The project is expected to be completed this spring and we will plan to move into the classrooms as soon as possible. Please remember that proceeds from the festival auction will be used to replenish the cost of the project in lieu of having a major fundraiser or capital campaign. I continue to ask for volunteering and participation in our annual auction.  Thank you all for continued patience and support as we continue to improve our school!

Author Visit

Mark your calendars...Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Author Amy Young will be at Saint Patrick in the afternoon. This special visit is open to students in grades DK-4 in the gym.  She will read one of her books, do a drawing demonstration, and answer a few questions.  We will do pre-orders of her books that she will also autograph. The order form will go home in The Shamrock soon. 

Drop Off, Pick Up, Absences

If you are dropping off a student late (after our start time of 8AM) or picking them up early (before dismissal time of 3:15), a parent must come in and sign the child in or sign the child out. Frequently, children come in on their own and may or may not be recorded properly for attendance. 

For safety and security reasons, DK kids coming in at noon, need to be accompanied by a parent, not dropped off at the door. 

Finally, if your child will not be in school, please call or email the school office or the teacher so we can account correctly for the student absence.  Tardy and Absent appear in students' permanent school record.

Thank you for helping us maintain a safe, secure, community-oriented environment.

Pie Orders


Saint Patrick's annual pie sale has begun! On November 23rd a multitude of volunteers will gather in the Parish Center to make delicious apple, blueberry, and cherry pies. Our pies make excellent gifts and are always a welcome addition to any Holiday gathering. The pies can be frozen for up to six months, which makes them perfect for Easter as well! The pie sale is Saint Patrick PTO's major fundraiser helping us provide funds to the school for quality educational enrichment including technology tools, classroom supplies, and field trips. In keeping with the spirit of giving, you may purchase pies for donation to Flat River Outreach Ministries, a local organization that serves the Lowell Community.

Orders Due – November 1, 2019. Please mail or drop off orders in the school office or drop your order into the collection basket at mass. 

Pick Up Dates – November 23rd (Parish Center 4pm-7pm) or November 24th (Parish Center 9am-1pm) 

*F.R.O.M.  Pies delivered by volunteers

Outside Recess & Cold Weather Gear

Lunch recess is almost always outside.  Please send your children to school beginning now with appropriate outdoor gear - winter coats, hats, gloves and boots - labeled with their names.  It can be chilly out there, but it is a good educational boost for the kids to get outside in the fresh air.  If they are warm and dry during an active outdoor recess, they are ready for afternoon academics.  Thank you.

Car Line

Please note that there is NO ENTRANCE on any drives off of Parnell during morning drop off and after school dismissal. These drives only serve as exits for student safety and efficiency.

The only vehicles that can enter off of Parnell are for preschool pickup and DK drop off (late morning).

Please communicate this to any other family members who may pick up/drop off during the school year.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Protect Young Eyes

Recommended reading for weekly tips for online safety.

Digital Trends Newsletter

Traveling Crucifix

Traveling crucifixes are again making their way around the families of our school this school year.  Our focus this year will be praying for the needs of our community, including an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life and other prayers that are added to our Book of Intentions.  You can find this book in our lobby.  Please feel free to come in and add your prayers to the book yourself, or send your prayers to Mrs. Gasper ( to be added to the book. 

The purpose of the Traveling Crucifix is to encourage our school families to pray together as a family.  This crucifix is offered to help serve as a visible reminder to pray together as a family for our school community’s intentions along with your own family’s intentions and as a reminder that the Mass does not end with the closing prayer.  Feel free to let your children see and hold the crucifix, even young children if supervised, making sure they treat it respectfully, like all sacred objects. Along with the crucifix, daily vocation prayers will also be included to use with your family if you so choose. 

Even if you do not have the traveling crucifix at your home, we encourage you to add our school community’s prayer of intentions to your own prayers.

Thank you for joining us in praying for the needs of our community. 

Adopting the Trinitarians

This year, St. Patrick School is embarking on a new relationship with the Trinitarians of Mary.  Looking for ways to grow in our mission “to know God, to love God, and to serve all,” we discovered that the charism of their order was a unique fit with the practices of our school. (Each religious order has a unique spiritual gift, or charism, that they use to renew and upbuild the Church.)    

The order was founded in 1992.  In 2004, the Trinitarians of Mary began a monastery in Lowell, Michigan.  Their congregation is called to:   

  • Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and Marian Devotion
  • Practice a life of prayer and penance:  through prayer for the conversion of sinners (world) and the sanctification of priests
  • Dedication to the spread of the truth through the support of the Catholic priesthood and the Church

Through our participation at Mass, the rosary, and First Friday Adoration, we form a special partnership in prayer.  We will continue to find ways to further embrace and incorporate their charism as we welcome their presence within our school family.  

Choose Respect

Choose Respect Flier

Welcome back to a new school year!  A school-wide program being implemented this year is centered on respect.  Our school rules will focus on treating people, places and things with kindness.  One way to do this is to adopt a common language to teach our school-wide expectations for showing respect to self, others, and our surroundings, and so fulfill our Mission Statement - "To Know God, To Love God and to Serve All."  We hope you will find the useful ways to reinforce the concepts at home.  Please read the Choose Respect flier and introduction letter for details.

Money Handling Procedures

Money Handling Instructions

For easy reference, the recently adopted money handling procedures for school and parish events are linked, above.  Please plan ahead, thank you.

Sports Booster Pizza Fridays!

Order Form

The St. Patrick Sports Boosters will be holding Friday Pizza lunches beginning September 6 and ending on December 18 (15 weeks). Proceeds will go to the Sports Boosters to help fund athletics at St. Patrick School.  

We will be using Smart Tuition this year. You will see charges monthly.  If we have a snow day on a pizza day, we will move that pizza day to a different  day. (Notice will be given.)

Volunteer Commitment Sign Up

Sign up

Please sign up for your volunteer commitments if you have not already - we thank you for your help.

Each family, as agreed when registering for the 2019-20 school year, is required to assist with community service and fundraising activities for our school.  This list includes a variety of activities that are needed for our school to continue to support current programs, fulfill its mission, and remain viable.  Events are "works in progress" and any changes to this list will be communicated as quickly as possible. Activities are available on a first come, first served basis. If you have a skill or interest you would like to share instead of something listed, please give the school office a call. We welcome your ideas and interests.  Your commitment will be confirmed in September; more specific information about the events will be provided by the Coordinator as the date approaches.

Families with children in grades K- 8 are required to sign up for 2 events.
Families with children in Preschool and K-8 are required to sign up for 2 events.
Families with only Preschool and DK children are required to sign up for 1 event.

Please help us by selecting and signing up now for your service commitment in the upcoming school year.  Thank you!

Lunch Duty

2019-2020 Lunch Duty Schedule

Families in K-8 have a lunch duty commitment.  We need your assistance in order to have safe, organized and fun playground time.  Generally your commitment is 1 week each year.  If you are unable to do lunch duty during your assigned week, you can switch with other parents for a schedule that works better for you; you can contact lunch subs (see list, $8/day).   We are asking if possible, please work your lunch duty and also please consider making yourself available to sub for others.  If we can add your name to the sub list, even if it is just one or two days a week, please let us know.  It is a great way to see your kids during the day, bring them a special lunch, meet their friends and get some playtime for yourself.
Questions, contact the school office, 691-8833. Thank you for helping!

Lunch Subs
Jennie Clevenger 616-644-3251, T & Th only
Nikki Bernreuter 616-648-4419, 616-897-9858
Bonnie Kelly  914-419-6874
Deb Baker 616-734-7370
Jill Foss 890-8431, Th only
Vanessa Tessmer 250-1816, M only

2019-2020 St. Patrick School Calendar

2019-2020 Calendar

Subject to change, this is the calendar for 2019-2020, to date!

West Catholic High School

Admissions Calendar

Catholic Central High School

Admissions Calendar

Catholic Central Discovery Day- Nov. 3rd


Franciscan Life Process Center

Attention High Schoolers! SOMETHING TO SAY "YES" TO
Nov. 15-16, Jan. 24-25, Feb. 28/29

Theology of the Body (TOB), is an awesome way for all of us to understand God's plan for the living of our Sexuality.  These three sequenced retreats include unique, fun experiences that are grounded in solid Catholic teaching and take place on the Franciscan Sisters’ farm in Lowell.  Students in grades 10 - 12 are invited to join us Nov. 15-16, Jan. 24-25, Feb. 28/29. Cost: $125. Please go to for more information.

Natural Family Planning
Nov. 25, 6:30PM, Grand Rapids Campus

Interested in learning about natural family planning (NFP)?  A Creighton Method Introductory session will be offered on November 25 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Franciscan Life Process Center, Grand Rapids Campus, 654 Davis Ave. NW Grand Rapids 49504.  This 90-minute session introduces its uses and application.  Please contact Georgia Schmitz, BSN, CFCP, RN at to register.

Virtus Training

Please register using the link above and sign up to take Virtus online!   You no longer need to attend a live session.  Just register on Virtus website, sign up and complete the online class.  All parents of St. Patrick School children need to take this class. Dave Faber, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Grand Rapids, outlines safe environment policies and practices in the Diocese in this update. We appreciate your commitment to Protecting God's Children.  

529 Tuition Savings Accounts for K-12

More Info

A tool for saving for college has been expanded to elementary and secondary education.

Through 529 plans, investments grow free of federal taxes, and withdrawals are free of federal taxes when spent on qualified education expenses for elementary, secondary or higher education. Parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles and anyone interested in helping provide for a child’s education may contribute.

Transparency Dashboard for School Financial Highlights & More

Transparency Dashboard

For information on Financials, Student Achievement, Perception Surveys/Goal Setting, see the Transparency Dashboard, posted on the school website, in the Parents & Students menu.

Uniform Provider

Order How To

Saint Patrick School's uniform provider is Flynn O'Hara - PARENT PORTAL .  You are not required to buy from the provider. However, anything listed on the site is part of our dress code in case you need a visual reference. In addition, the company will embroider our school logo for any items purchased.  For future reference, a link to the portal will be on our website.

Friday School Rosary

The school students gather in the church every Friday afternoon that school is in session to pray the Rosary  (except during Lent when we pray the Stations), at 2:35PM.  All are welcome to join us in this devotion to the Blessed Mother.

First Friday Adoration

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament  follows 9AM Mass until 4PM on every First Friday of the month.   Adorers are need for one-hour time slots and each hour requires at least 2 adorers.  To schedule your visitation hour please call Beth Zambon at 874-7572. All are most welcome to participate in the veneration of the Sacrament of Divine Love.  “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me; let him drink who believes in me. Scripture has it ‘From within him rivers of living water shall flow.”’ ~John 7:37 

Tuition Savings

Benefit is a free iPhone and Android app that allows you to shop at places like Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and many more, while giving up to 20% of every transaction back to your SMART tuition account, other designated tuition account or to general tuition assistance. Just shop as usual and when it comes time to checkout, use the Benefit app to purchase a digital gift card to redeem instantly.  For instance, buy $100 of Gap merchandise, and $8 (8%) goes back to your SMART tuition account, a designated tuition account or general tuition assistance.   It doesn't cost you a dime beyond what you were already going to spend.  It's raising funds without fundraising! 

Download the app and select your school as your chosen beneficiary to start saving or giving today.

For more information go to Feel free to forward this email to family and friends. The more people who participate, the more you earn!

Did you know that with a little planning ahead, SCRIP can lead to big tuition savings?  Last year, participating St. Patrick families saved a combined total of $5000 on their annual tuition costs!  SCRIP is a program where gift cards or gift certificates are purchased and used for the full face value and a percentage of the face value is credited to a specific child’s tuition account. SCRIP can be used at participating grocery stores, gas stations, retail stores, fast food, full service restaurants, etc. Friends and relatives can also purchase SCRIP and apply their proceeds to a specific child’s tuition account. 

Here’s how it works: Sign up for the SCRIP program at St. Patrick School and designate the tuition account for the proceeds to be applied. Place an order by Monday – either online or by dropping the order form and payment off, and orders are sent home on Thursdays.  If SCRIPNow! is used online, SCRIP can be used within minutes. Now you can take your gift cards or certificates and use them as cash wherever you shop.  For more information, or to register an account, please contact Kara Schut at 517-881-4091 or  To sign up online, please visit   The St. Patrick School enrollment code is D65LF3L2184

Stay Connected

Take the extra step and stay connected with all things Saint Patrick School. Our Social Media presence provides the most up to date information on school happenings, pictures of students during the school day and also a look into the thoughts of your principal! Please take the time to follow us at:




Catholic Schools- Diocese of Grand Rapids

Classroom Websites

Mrs. West    Mrs. Kevic    Mrs. Gasper    Mrs. Markules Mrs. Remington  Mrs. Leckenby   Miss D'Aurora  Mrs. Ward  Middle School Home Page   Mrs. Gwisdalla  Mrs. Krebill


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