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Weekly Family Newsletter

JANUARY 29, 2016


Greetings Families, 


Today we said farewell to Father Patrick. We celebrated Mass together and gave Father Patrick a number of gifts to remember us by.   He taught us all the "Hippo Song", we gave him a tree painting with our thumb prints as the leaves, and surrounded him and sang "God's Circle of Love", which I have include below.      


God’s Circle of Love

In God’s circle of love we hold onto each other;

I can see God’s love through you.

In God’s circle of love we learn to love each other;

Each of us is special,

In God’s circle of love.


Oh, Father Patrick did you know that you are very special;

You’re so special to us all.

Oh, come if you will to our circle of love;

Each of us is special in God’s circle of love. 


Many Blessings Father Patrick! Until we meet again!   

Fr. John's Weekly School Chronicle

This week we have been busy saying “goodbye” to Father Patrick. As I reflect back on the more than three years we have been together and he has served our community, the greatest compliment someone gave us was saying that “the team was being broken up.” As the first day that Father Patrick was in our parish came to an end, I told him I was going for a bike ride. He asked if he could join me. Out north of town along highway E, I blew a bike tire and got a flat. As I was standing over my bike changing the tire, I looked over at him and reportedly said something like, “Am I not the pastor and you the associate? What am I doing changing my bike tire?” In truth, I have felt more like we were a team than I the pastor and he the associate. As teammates we worked together, served together, ministered together, biked together, and most importantly became friends together. We have both learned from one another.

One of my favorite pictures that was displayed on the picture boards at Father Patrick’s farewell events is of him preaching at a Mass and I am sitting behind in the presider’s chair listening to him preach. It has been a blessing for me to hear my friend preach – to hear of his stories of faith, childhood, new discoveries, mistakes, and joy in being a priest. For Christmas he gave me a book titled The Joy of Being a Priest. For me and I know for many of you, the story about the joy of being a priest is Father Patrick’s story. Thank you Father Patrick, my brother priest and friend, for sharing your story with me and with us. Ad multos annos.

Soup and Pie Social this Sunday

January 31 from 11:00am – 2:00pm at Saint Patrick School. Enjoy some camaraderie with our students and their families over a hearty bowl of homemade soup.  Feast on many flavors of pies while visiting our pre-school through eighth grade classrooms. Meet our dedicated teachers and learn more about our Catholic education that nurtures the minds and souls of our children.  All our welcome and tours are available.


  • ·      1/31 Soup and Pie Social 11am – 2pm

    ·      2/1-2/5 Catholic Schools Week

    ·      2/1 Out of Uniform: Sport Theme Day

    ·      2/2 K-8th field trip, Pinz in Oakdale, 10:30am-1:00pm – Out of Uniform, dress for activities, permission form available on Sycamore

    ·      2/3 Mass @ Immaculate Conception in New Richmond, dress in uniform

    ·     2/4 Late Start (Late Start child care forms available on Sycamore), 10:40am; Out of Uniform, Comfy-Cozy Day

    ·    2/5 Uniform Day Plus – pay $1.00 to wear a hat; Family Lunch 11:45am-12:30pm; Students vs Staff volleyball, 2pm

    ·     2/7 All School Hospitality after all Sunday Masses

    ·     2/11 3rd grade Field Trip

    ·     2/16 4th grade Field Trip

    ·     2/18 Parent-Teacher Conferences

    ·     2/18 – 2/23 Scholastic Book Fair

    ·     2/23 Parent-Teacher Conferences

    ·     2/25 Family Science Night, 6-8pm

    ·     4/2 Gala

Perceived Limits and Boundaries

In his broadcast homily of the Mass last Sunday January 24, Fr. Jim O’Shea related the story of three soldiers in World War II. In a skirmish in the French countryside, one of the men was killed. The other two sought to give him a proper burial, and came upon a rustic church with a walled-in cemetery. Going inside, they met the parish priest and asked if they could bury their friend. The priest replied that unfortunately, only baptized Catholics could be buried within the walls of the Catholic cemetery. The two soldiers were very disappointed and the priest did not want to disappoint them further, so proceeded on that if they went just outside the walls, they could bury him there. So they did.


The two men returned the next day to pay their respects but could not find their friend’s grave. Very worried, they reentered the church and inquired of the priest as to the whereabouts of their friend. The priest explained, “Last night after we buried him, I went to sleep and I couldn’t rest. So I got up. I went out, and I simply moved the walls, to include your friend.”


A little creativity, a little restlessness, and a little hard work. Perhaps that which we perceive to be impossible or unattainable changes when we stop viewing things only through our limited human eyes and hearts and behold through Jesus Christ’s. 


(Homily story attributable to Phyllis Koss, retired Saint Patrick School 2nd grade teacher, semi-retired church and school webmaster. No longer able to attend Mass so receives communion in her home, who always gives so much more than she receives.)

Women of Grace

Women of Grace, February 6, 2016
Optional Prayer
8:15 AM Morning Prayer and Divine Chaplet (Year of Mercy) in chapel upstairs (optional)

Regular Meeting/Gathering Time 9 - 1030 am
9:00 AM Start time - Gather to Socialize in lower level of church 

9:30 AM Prayer and Reflection on readings of the weekend, also discussion on your favorite saint.  Bring your thoughts, ideas, questions, etc.  Looking forward to the discussion!
10:30 AM Closing Prayer. Feel free to stay and socialize afterward. Coffee, tea and water provided... bring a friend and a treat to share!! Hope to see you there!


There are many more activities upcoming for this dynamic group. Check out the “Document” on Sycamore entitled “Upcoming Women of Grace Opportunities”. Documents can be found in the left tool bar: click on “School” and Documents will then show under that drop down menu. 

Blankets for a Brighter Day

On Wednesday, February 3 during Catholic Schools Week, students will be participating in a service project – Blankets for a Brighter Day – with their Spirit Families. If you want to learn more about this organization founded by two Saint Patrick Alumni, click here: Blankets for a Brighter Day. If you would like to make a monetary donation to this service project (fleece tie blankets for patients at Children’s Hospital), you may bring a check or cash to school – any amounts will be gratefully accepted, but in no way is it EXPECTED for families to contribute financially. 

Volunteer Spot(light)

We have MANY service opportunities available for our school family quickly approaching.  We count on the commitment of everyone to help make all of these activities/events run smoothly.  We appreciate each and every one of you!  The following activities are available for sign up on Volunteer Spot. 

·         Soup & Pie Social - Help to serve the soups & pie on Sunday, January 31stWe also need MANY pies donated for the event.

·         Hospitality Sunday at Church – Sunday, February 7th for ALL School Families.  Help us wrap up Catholic Schools Week by providing and/or serving refreshments as a thank you to our parish after Sunday masses.

·         KC Fish Fry Dessert Donations – Fridays, February 12th, 26th and March 18th

·         Meals for Parent-Teacher Conferences – Thursday, February 18th and Tuesday, February 23rd.  Please consider preparing meals for our dedicated teachers during conferences.  Let’s show our staff how much we appreciate all they do! 

·         Scholastic Book Fair – February 17th through 24th.  Please consider helping with Set-up, Selling books, and/or Tear-down of this awesome program for our students and school.  The fair will run during the school day and on the evenings of conferences.

·         Can Crushing at Church for 6th & 7th Grade Families – need crushers starting February 27th.  

Family Science Night 

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: LEAD would like families to save Thursday, February 25, for our second Family Science Night which will be held at Saint Patrick School. Students in K-8 are invited to attend along with their parents. Science Mini-Workshops will be set up in classrooms with experienced presenters, and students will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on Exploratorium. The evening will go from 6:00-8:00 PM. Please plan to join us! More information and a registration form will be coming soon.


Also, we are looking for science presenters and helpers for the evening.  If you have a science interest you would like to share with our students please contact Mrs. Bekkum at: with the topic and grade level in which you are interested. If you would like to volunteer to help in any other way on February 25 please contact Mrs. Bekkum and let her know. Thank you!

Recycle Your Cans

Saint Patrick Church accepts CLEAN beverage cans for recycling in the lower level parking lot. Drop off your bagged cans so that 7th and 8th grade students can crush them to earn money for ELC, the annual field trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, MN. Thank you! 

2016 Saint Patrick School GALA Classroom Projects

We have a wonderful tradition in our school where each grade teams up with their teacher and class representative (families and anyone who can help) to create a project that will be auctioned off at our annual gala. These exciting projects are special and meaningful to each specific grade and do very well to help us raise money for our school. Some grades have annual projects they work on, like a quilt or scrapbook. Other grades create new projects each year. For example, 2nd grade parents built a beautiful wooden, outdoor cooler stand complete with beverages and bottle cap mosaic that the students created. Kindergarten finger painted two canvas prints. In the past we've had hand-tiled fire pits, custom bookshelves, cooking experience, etc. The sky is the limit on what you can create! Please talk to your class representative and teacher if you have an idea or would be willing to help with a project. 


All gala projects will be due by Thursday, March 24th.  If you have any questions regarding these projects, please contact Emilee Wagner,  Thank you for planning ahead!


March 1 Submission Deadline – Box Tops for Education

It’s Box Tops submission time again! Turn in your Box Tops before DATE so they can be included in our school’s April check – it’s our last chance this school year to earn cash for our school. All Box Tops turned in after this date will go toward next fall’s check



If your student is late to school – after 8:45am – you must sign them in at the office. Without your signature it is considered an unexcused tardiness. 

Save the Date - April 2nd, 2016: Saint Patrick School Gala


Upcoming Middle School
 (Grades 6-8) Youth Events/Dates:

Middle School Youth Ministry

Calling all Middle School students: come join the youth group THIS Sunday, January 10th at 5:00pm. This is a fun time with friends while growing in your faith.  We start at 5:00pm by making dinner together in the kitchen at Church and conclude by 8:00pm. 

Extreme Faith Camp

Extreme Faith Camp is an exciting week-long summer camp in Rhinelander, WI from Monday, June 13 - Friday, June 17  for middle school students and high school leaders filled with a ton of activities including: swimming, kayaking, high ropes course, crafts, rock climbing, giant water trampoline, water skiing, paddle boarding, speakers, and praise and worship time.  Plus small group faith sessions, service work, daily Mass, Reconciliation and Adoration.  You’ll find an EXTREME adventure of a lifetime!  Information and registration information can be found on the Youth Ministry page or on the Youth Ministry bulletin board at Church.  Please contact Tricia Pieper at for questions.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, February 10th. 


Upcoming Middle School Youth Events/Dates:



Sunday, January 10th  – 5:00 – 8:00pm

Saturday, January 23rd  – 5:00 – 8:30pm

Saturday, February 20th - 5:00pm-8:30pm

Saturday, March 19th - 5:00pm-8:30pm


Sledding Party and Winter Games

Saturday, February 27th - 1:00pm - 5:00pm


Extreme Faith Camp Registration Due

Wednesday, February 10th


Extreme Faith Camp

June 13th - 17th


Phone    715.386.3941    
Fax        715.386.9453  

Saint Patrick School            

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We welcome families from all religious, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds, who desire an exceptional education. 

“We never want money to stand between a family and giving their child a great education.”


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