October 2, 2015

Dear St. Finn Barr Parents,

Although campus is relatively quiet at the moment, to call today the end of an exciting week at St. Finn Barr would be an understatement! The week began with another joyful St. Finn Barr Festival on Sunday, a wildly green-tinted Spirit Day Monday, and the kickoff to the Kindergarten touring season -- it all came to a finale this morning with the schoolyard transformed into our own animal sanctuary for turtles, dogs, cats, and birds alike during the Blessing of the Animals.

I have always been struck by the powerful school spirit that emanates from our tiny space in the Sunnyside hills. As Father mentioned at Sunday’s homily, St. Finn Barr is “small but mighty!” Sometimes that spirit appears as a sea of green at sporting events, or parents who sport Shamrock spirit wear well beyond school events. This week though, I witnessed several quiet acts of Shamrock spirit around campus. On Sunday, besides the sweat and long hours that went into making the festival a success, I saw smiling parents cheering on children in carnival games, putting the extra effort into making them feel like champions. On Monday, it was the loving energy organized by the student council leaders to create a memorable pep rally for their schoolmates. In the first grade, it was the loving hug from one friend to another after an injury on the schoolyard. In fourth, it was the sweet “Goodbye! Hope to see you soon!” of the class as a guest student left her campus visit (Her response? “Wow. It felt good to be treated with respect”). In the 3rd grade, there were the stories of service & kindness that the students shared during a discussion of how we can emulate Jesus’ love (“When my great-aunt was sick, we welcomed her to our home because when she is around kids she smiles.”).  

Part of what I am most proud of about our community is that our school spirit is about more than just the sea of green (although that is so much fun!)…it is about working together to build a community where children can practice kindness, joy, and love each day.

God Bless,

Mele Mortonson


Sunday 10am Family Mass & Men’s Club Pancake Breakfast: Please join us this Sunday at 10am for Family Mass, followed by another fun and festive pancake breakfast hosted by our Men’s Club….I look forward to seeing you there! Students who attend Mass are welcome to wear free dress to school on Monday.


Sibling Applicants for K: It is that time already! If you have a child who will be ready for Kindergarten next school year, please notify the school office and we will send you an application for enrollment. Siblings have first priority in our school and your applications will help us plan to welcome new families.


Festival...Wow! What more is there to say?!!! There are far too many people to thank for another successful event – HIP, HIP, HOORAY!! for all of those who committed such loving energy into celebrating our Feast. It is always a pleasure to witness the unification of the parish and school, including past and present members of both, through this awesome event.


Our Development Assistant Marilyn Nepomuceno has begun to upload Festival photos being sent her way to our SmugMug gallery.  Below is the link.  Please email her at for the password, or if you have more great photos to share.


Friends of St. Finn Barr Day: Oct. 20 Mark your calendars! If you, a coworker, or a family member would like to visit our school for Friends of St. Finn Barr to talk to our students about a professional, personal, or spiritual experience, please don’t hesitate to sign up! In years past, we’ve had the SFFD Chief, SFPD Chief, Supervisors, attorneys, engineers, librarians, etc. All are welcome to share!  Please refer the attached flyer for details.


7th Grade Phantom of the Opera: Thank you to Monique Alonso for coordinating the recent 7th grade field trip to the Phantom of the Opera. To learn more about the field trip, refer to our website under “News” or “Academics” --> Learning Excursions:


USF Parenting Symposium: The 2nd Annual USF Parenting Symposium is this Saturday for parents, teachers, principals, clinicians and medical practitioners! We have parking on the hilltop, although we end at 1pm, your permit is good for all day for $5.00! We have seven workshops to choose from this year at the USF Parenting Symposium on Saturday, October 3rd on the Lone Mountain Hilltop "Connecting with Kids in the Digital Age."

Here are a few of our featured presenters and topics:

Ashanti Branch - Ever Forward - featured in the recent movie about boys and men, "The Mask You Live in."

Girls Leadership Institute

Kidz off the Gridz

Messy Parenting

Arrowsmith Learning Program

Body Image & Self Esteem in the Digital Age

To learn more and view all workshops, registration is open and online:




Sun 10.4                    10am Family Mass & Pancake Breakfast


Mon 10.12                 Columbus Day – No School


Thurs 10.15              Picture Day



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