Read the weekly newsletter from the Principal, Mrs. Judy Pappas.

From the Principal

Morning prayer at SJS is special during the Advent season. In addition to having our students as prayer and pledge leaders, students involved in the vocal and band departments feature their talents. On Monday, members of  the Bulldog chorus led students in signing “O Come Emmanuel” while ensembles from the band took their turns later in the week. Thank you to Mrs. Luehr and Mrs. McDermott for providing this prayer opportunity for our students!


~Now that WINTER has reared its ugly head, please be sure that children are dressed appropriately for the outdoors. This includes jackets (NOT just sweatshirts!), hats, ear warmers, gloves, mittens, tights for girls,… Students do go out for recess unless the temperature or windchill is below 10 degrees. Recess is a valuable time for our younger students and we don’t want them to miss it due to inadequate outdoor clothing.

DID YOU KNOW that SJS is all over social media?? Educational technologist, Miss Harter, Principal, Mrs. Pappas, and an assortment of teachers tweet several times each week! Be “in the know” and subscribe to Twitter. All handles are located on the SJS webpage, along with a link to the school Facebook page.. Subscribe to the St. James Parish handle and page, too!

~Please remember to check the SJS website frequently during these busy Advent days. All of the students are working hard in so many ways— preparing to welcome Jesus, learning and growing as fervent students, and enjoying planning and practicing for the pre-Christmas Concerts and sing-a-longs.

Sunday, December 10 Advent Lessons & Carols, 2pm in church

Monday, December 11-Children’s Rosary, 3:45, in the Chapel

Wednesday, December 20 –, Sacrament of Reconciliation,7:30pm in church. See the bulletin for alternative dates for Reconciliation services at neighboring parishes.

On November 28, 94 lunches were delivered to Catholic Charities in Des Plaines and Journeys in Palatine. Thank you for your generosity!

The next SANDWICH MINISTRY is Thursday, December 14. Bags and menus will come home today. You are invited to make 1 or more lunches to help those in need-and paper sack will do. This ministry is the perfect way to involve children in service to others!

~Congratulations to the members of the SJS First LEGO League Club members. This past Saturday Billy Beck, Aiden McLeod, Finn McLeod, PJ McLeod, Alina Michelini, Abbey Sheldon, and Ben Sheldon participated in an international competition. Their score qualified the team for the Illinois Championship in January and they received a Core Values award for the second year in a row. Congratulations, SJS Sludge Puppies!!

The Core Values award is an important achievement for the group because FIRST LEGO League Core Values are the cornerstones of the program. They are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork. Core Values include

  • We are a team
  • We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors
  • We know our coaches and mentors don’t have all the answers; we learn together
  • We honor the spirit of friendly competition
  • What we discover is more important than what we win
  • We share our experiences with others
  • We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do


Households of Faith – Pat Farrell, Director Spiritual Formation

Please now find Households of Faith in its own section under School News!  This issue is about Peace and a great activity you can do with your family this Advent to learn how to be peaceful.

SJ Parish Middle School Ensemble –Grades 6 – 8

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”    ~Leo Buscaglia

  • Rehearsals are Thursdays after school until 5:00 PM in the SJS Band Room!
  • Repertoire includes a variety of styles related to the seasons of the church year!
  • We have the opportunity to sing at the Sunday, 5:00 PM Mass once per month,
  • the Christmas Eve 5:00 PM Mass in the Parish Center, the Lutheran Home, and the Pueri Cantores Festival, and Parish Choir Concert!
  • Leadership opportunities and service hours are available to those who participate!

Contact:  Mrs. Mary McDermott,  Middle School Ensemble Director

“The soul of one who serves God always swims in JOY, always keeps holiday, and is always in the mood for singing!” ~ paraphrased from St. John of the Cross

Come join us in song!

Catholic Schools Week is just around the corner & Parents’ Club is gearing up for all sorts of exciting activity like the annual Variety Show and our first ever Daddy Daughter Dance!


It’s time for Bulldogs of all ages to show off their talent!  View the talent show flyer and talent/crew application form attached to this week’s fodder.  Don’t miss the important deadline to apply  – YOUR FORM IS DUE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19.. Parents looking for an opportunity to help with the Variety Show can do so by visiting our sign-up link:   

Be there for our first annual Daddy Daughter Dance!  Dads, be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, January 26 for a memorable night of dancing and fun! We’ve lined up two Eat and Earn opportunities to help you plan your evening.  Panera and California Pizza Kitchen will donate a portion of your bill right back to SJS Parents’ Club.  Don’t Delay! Your RSVP is due by January 12.  Tickets will not be sold after January 12.


Angels in the Classroom

Thank you for such generous gifts from the “Angels” list to our teachers!    Parents’ Club chairperson, Julie Delaney (, can help you make selections and organize your Angels gift.  Check out details of our Angels program here: Angels In the Classroom

SJS spirit wear makes a great Christmas gift! Visit our Spirit Shoppe website and purchase by December 8. for delivery before Christmas!


Parents’ Club does not meet in the month of December.  Please join us after we return from a restful break!  Our next meeting is January 16 @ 9:00 a.m. in the church basement. 

JUST COOKIES! St. James Women’s Club is holding a cookie sale after Masses on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 & 10 in the PARISH CENTER.  What a great opportunity for reticent bakers! Stock up on Christmas cookies at the sale!