January 23, 2015

Dear St. Finn Barr Parents:

Every year at this time, I like to share a “Litany of Welcome” ( As we kick off a very exciting and event-filled Catholic School’s Week this Sunday, I am always reminded of how proud I am to belong to a community of families, teachers, staff, and students who are committed to living the Gospel values within a culture that says, “Welcome!”

Litany of Welcome 

Who are you? Are you divorced? Are you married with kids, worrying for them and committed to their welfare? Are you married for the second, or even third time? Are you a single parent struggling to make ends meet? Are you gay or lesbian? Well, whoever you are, you belong to us because you belong to Christ. Christ is the host here today. Christ sets this table of Word and Bread. And Christ welcomes all.

Are you lonely? Are you a widow? Are you a single man or woman who would prefer to have a spouse? Are you disabled or disfigured? Have you run out of luck? Are you living with shame? Have you been a prisoner? Well, whoever you are you belong to us because you belong to Christ. Christ is the host here today. Christ sets this table of Word and Bread. And Christ welcomes all.

Are you a newcomer here? An immigrant maybe? Are you from another faith tradition? Are you full of doubt today, like Thomas? Has it been a while since you darkened the doorway of this church? Or are you a regular here, full of faith and enthusiasm for the parish? Well, whoever you are, you belong to us because you belong to Christ. Christ is the host here today. Christ sets this table of Word and Bread. And Christ welcomes all.

All people of good will are welcome here: that’s the really good news!

If you’ve been away, you can come back; if you’ve been living in darkness, you can come to light; if you haven’t been able to believe without seeing him, look around you: the Body of Christ has come to Mass today. Sinners are welcome. Saints, too. Everyone is welcome to come to Christ: My Lord and my God, indeed.

God Bless,

Mele Mortonson 


January 23, 2015

Catholic Schools Week kicks off this Sunday, January 25th and ends on Friday, January 31st. This is an important week to celebrate Catholic education around the world under the theme: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, Service. At St. Finn Barr, we will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with special events every day of the week!  

·      Sunday, January 25th: Fishers of Men

o   10am Family Mass

o   11am Reception/Open House (11am-12pm)

o   11am Book Fair grand opening *Goode Hall

·      Monday, January 26th: Shamrock Spirit Day

o   Green & White spirit dress

o   Pep Rally @ 1145am (Schoolyard)

o   12:30pm Dismissal (faculty to AMDCS Professional Development)

·      Tuesday, January 27th: Mix & Match/Crazy Hair Day

o   Lunch photo booth (TBD) hosted by student council

o   $1 per photo

·      Wednesday, January 28th: Celebrating Generations: Grandparents Day

o   Full Uniform Dress

o   930am Grandparents Day Prayer Service

o   1030am Grandparents reception in Goode Hall (students with GP may attend)

o   Science Fair 1pm-230pm (Parents/Guests welcome!)

·      Thursday: Peace Parade: We are Called to Serve 

o   Full Uniform Dress (walking shoes)

o   1130am Peace Parade through Sunnyside neighborhood with ARHS Marching Band à signed permission slips required to participate

·      Friday: Pajama Day

o   Treat surprise (Student Council will distribute at end of day)

Three cheers for the Men’s Club! Thank you to our dedicated Men’s Club members for arranging for the pick up of 250 banquet chairs from the Marriott Marquis. We’ve been praying for a replacement for our beloved (and heavily used) set of chairs for some time now, and it happened….Hip Hip, Hoooray!!

The Shamrock Gazette Winter Edition is now available, online here or in print in the school lobby. Students in grades 4-8 will be using this issue for reading practice in their language arts classes next week – we are so proud of our journalism club students and appreciative of their moderator, Mr. Mike Saccone (Gregory ’15).  

In Memorium: Condolences

Our PE teacher Octovio (JR) Pablo’s family suffered the sudden loss of his 8 year old nephew Christian Dalugdug over the Christmas holiday. Please keep JR, Christian’s parents Jeanella and Aaron Dalugdug, and the entire family in your prayers as they mourn his loss.

Friends of St. Finn Barr News:

Anonymous Donation Update: I mentioned $8500 donation that was recently received from a Friend of St. Finn Barr – even more good news! The donor’s company is matching the funds with an addition $6000…bringing the total donation to $14,500….wow!! The additional $6,000 will be used towards much-needed updates to our technology infrastructure. We are so blessed. 

Rankin Trust Grant: 7th graders and their parents are all ready for the first St. Finn Barr Yosemite field trip during the first week of February. Thanks to the generosity of the Rankin Trust, we have received a contribution of $14, 298.30, covering 90% of the cost of the trip!

San Francisco Marriott: Thanks to a request by Senior Administrative Assistant Claudia Coleman (Nicole ’16), the San Francisco Marriott has donated 250 banquet chairs to our Parish! The chairs even came in a beautiful shade of Shamrock Green – we will all get to enjoy them soon at Off to the Races on Saturday, February 7th.

Book Fair Online Option: One of the most exciting events of Catholic Schools Week is the Book Fair – this year, we will transform one area of the lower hall for the week into a space for students to purchase books, posters, and reading accessories. This year, we’ve added the online fair component, which will run from January 18th –February 7th.  This is a great way to invite friends and family who don’t live in San Francisco to participate (St. Finn Barr receives a scholastic credit for library books & other learning supplies based upon the total sales of the book fair).

All online orders ship directly to the school for free AFTER the online fair has ended.

Link to Online Fair 

(teachers may sign in here and create their wish lists)

School calendar: Thank you for your feedback in how we can support families in planning for days off/minimum days. You will now be able to see the major calendar dates through the end of the school year on our online calendar. If you look at the calendar with your smartphone, be sure to follow the link to see dates through June 2015.

Choice Lunch Notice Effective March 1st: We recently received notice that Choice Lunch will be implementing a 5% price increase beginning March 1st (approx. 25 cents per lunch) in response to rising food costs. This works out to 25c-30c per lunch.

Off to the Races is set for Saturday, February 7th. The parent information packet is available in the news section of the website, outlining details for parents to plan participation, both through fundraising contributions and volunteer hours. This festive evening for adults is not one to miss!!



1.25                Catholic School’s Week Kickoff: 10am Mass &Open House


1.26                Minimum Day 12:30pm dismissal


1.31                 Zydeco Dinner Dance (Parish Event)


2.6                  Archdiocese of SF Faculty Development Day – No Classes


2.7                  Off to the Races (Parent Event)


3.2                  WASC Holiday – No School