Gratitudo | SHA Weekly Newsletter | November 22, 2016 |


November 22nd, 2016, 34th Week of Ordinary Time

Gratitudo, gratitude.

In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Praise the Lord! Look at the abundance of the blessings we have been given. We have the opportunity, in all circumstances, to give thanks and praise the Lord, or to live in scarcity. As we make this choice, our students and children will be influenced. With a perspective of abundance, one is praising God, mindful, engaged in the present, humble, and without fear. Gratitude leads us to humility, and combats fear! When a heart is praising God, it has no room for negativity, judgemental thoughts, and sin.

St. Paul states, that the will of God for us is to live life in abundance, to give thanks in all circumstances regardless of whether the situation is trial or consolation. If we live life with a perspective of abundance, we will cultivate grateful hearts within ourselves, and our students. This virtue takes constant awareness. As we celebrate the coming holiday, may we be reminded of the necessity of practicing the virtue of gratitude, and live each day in abundance.

The Lord pours out opportunities to grow in faith and community through this Academy and Parish, and we are grateful for each of your presence within it.

All Academy

Christmas Market

On December 10th, The Christmas Market will take place at Sacred Heart Academy.

The gifts available for purchase at the market are gifts donated by families from the Academy and Parish. This provides a beautiful opportunity for Academy families to teach their children to give out of their own want. Please encourage your children to reflect on this opportunity, and prayerfullly consider donating one the items on their Christmas list, to the market.

The Christmas Market will take place after we celebrate St. Nicholas’ feast day. This year we are encouraging students to give like St. Nicholas and bring a gift for the market!  We ask that any donated gifts be brought to school by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd.  This will allow our elves to inventory and determine the remaining need before shopping that weekend. 

SHA Waterbottles

Sacred Heart Academy Nalgene water bottles are now available in the main office for $10.00 each. Please support the Academy and purchase one today! 


School closure for weather, etc. will be communicated via text message, and a e-mail announcment via our newsletter list.  Sign up for the text alert here.

The Advent Book Tree is Coming

The Advent Book Tree will, once again, be available throughout Advent.

Tags on the tree will have a book listed on them that comes from the wish list of teachers, and the library. Families are invited to choose books as gifts for classroom libraries, or the Academy library. Please choose your tag(s), purchase the item(s) listed, (paying very close attention to all the information given on each book), wrap the item(s) and deliver the package(s) back to the academy office by Tuesday, January 3rd. These gifts will be distributed at Epiphany. Email Meghan Power at with questions.

Handbook Highlight: What is Classical Education?

One of the additions to this year’s handbook was an explanation of what Classical Education at SHA is and is not. The excerpt below comes from a longer explantion of what we believe Classical Education is at SHA:

“1. Loving – Out of the superfluous (from the Latin super, “over” and fluere, “to flow”) love of the Trinity, man was created. By love and for love, man was made. From the teacher’s own loving relationship with Christ, flows his love for God’s fingerprint in creation and God’s very image in the children entrusted to his care. This love for God, man, nature, and art must be the primary motivator for both teaching and learning.”


Parish Family Night 

A reminder that there is no Parish Night due to the Thanksgiving Holiday Break. Please have a wonderful and grace-filled holiday!

Please join us for Parish Night on Wednesday, November 30th.  Vespers is at 5 p.m. with dinner following vespers. The parish provides the main meal and side salad. Please bring a dish to pass and own place settings. We will wrap up our three week series on True Devotion to Mary. If you missed the first two talks by Mr. Tober or Mr. Maltbie, you can find them here. Faith formation is available for all ages.  Nursery is available.

Authenticum: 12/1

We look forward to seeing you Thursday, December 1st, at Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Grand Rapids. Dr. Jack Mulder, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hope College will present our next Authenticum lecture which is titled:  The Four Last Things and the Incarnation.

Dr. Mulder will guide us in a deeper understanding of the relationship the Incarnation has with death, judgement, heaven, and hell.  A fitting lecture for Advent and a great preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord.  Dr. Mulder currently chairs the Department of Philosophy at Hope, co-directs the Initium program for new Hope faculty and serves as a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Ministry Studies. He is also the assistant director of the Saint Benedict Forum, a Catholic organization serving Hope College. Dr. Mulder writes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of religion, Catholic thought, applied ethics and the thought of Søren Kierkegaard. His new book, What Does It Mean to Be Catholic? will be published by Eerdmans in July.

This is a lecture you won’t want to miss! There will be copies of past Authenticum lectures available at the event, or you can access them online here. All adults of every age are invited. We hope to see you December 1st. Wine & Cheese begin at 6:30 p.m. and the Lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m.

All Authenticum lectures count for Catechist certification credit in the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Parish Wide Consecration on Thursday, December 8th

A reminder that after the 7:00 p.m. Mass for the Celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday, December 8th all those who participated in the parish wide Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary will make their formal Act of Consecration.  A parish wide reception will be help afterwards in the parish hall.   Please mark your calendars for the celebration of this important Solemnity.

Baby Blanket Marathon Support

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish & Academy will be sending a bus of 53 representatives to the March for Life in Washington D.C. in January. Most of the participants are the Youth and Young Adults of our Parish and Academy! This group is seeking to gather 800 Yards of donated Fleece for their 12 Hour Baby Blanket Marathon to be held on Saturday, January 7th here at Sacred Heart. The purpose of the Marathon is to raise a greater awareness for the Sanctity of Life, to assist the local Catholic HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center, and to raise necessary funding to offset the travel cost to Washington D.C. for the March. Please prayerfully consider donating yards of fleece. We NEED to start collecting now. The only criteria is that the colors and patterns are baby friendly. Donations of fleece can be left in the back of Church, or dropped off to the parish and/or academy offices. All the fleece will be used to make no-sew baby blankets, all of which will be donated to HELP! Thank you for your support!

Pray to End Aborion!

Staff members and 9th – 12th graders meet and pray at the Abortion clinic every Friday the Academy has school at 6:00 am. Please encourage your students to join us the next time we go, December 2nd!


No announcements at this time.

SHA Calendar – Four Weeks at a Glance

Events are included in the newsletter one time, from then on, they can be found below, which links to the main Academy calendar, the website calendar. The website calendar is the official calendar. Occasionally, we will list special Mass Celebrations. For a complete Parish Mass schedule, please click here. For this week’s Parish bulletin, click here.


23   No Family Parish Night
23-25  Thanksgiving Holiday Break
27   First Day of Advent
28   SCRIP
30   Parish Family Night
30   Penny Wars End


1      PTC Lunch
1      Authenticum
5     SCRIP
6     St. Nicholas Day
7     Assembly M-4th Grades
8    Parish Marian Consecration at 7:00 pm Mass, reception to follow
10    Christmas Market
12    SCRIP
14    Assembly 5th-10th Grade
14    Parish Family Night
15    PTC Pizza Lunch
15    Advent Lessons & Carols (Advent Concert)
20   Rorate Extraordinary Form Mass
20   Opportunity for Confession
21    Parish Family Night
21    SMART Aid Applications Due
22  – January 3    Christmas Vacation

Sacred Heart Academy is a parish apostolate of Sacred Heart of Jesus dedicated to assisting families, forming Catholics, and cultivating culture.