This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.

Latest Message & Reflection from Sister Johnellen

Tuesday, June 2

Dear Parents, Board of Directors, and Extended SCA Family,

So much is going on around us and it can lead us to a feeling of sadness, or loss or failure or anger. I ask that we all STOP and BREATHE and call ourselves and others to turn to our God with hope and courage.

We experienced the protesters of Anaheim last evening marching on Harbor and passing us at St. Catherine’s. They were peaceful and our police were respectful and TOGETHER I believe we made a difference. Everyone counts and I trust when we risk the TRUTH and acknowledge the presence or our GOD, change for the good can happen.

"Blessed are the peacemakers," the Lord taught us in The Sermon on the Mount, "for they will be called children of God."

And so, seeking to grow in faithfulness to the Lord, we set about making peace, working for its fruition in every dark corner of the world.  

And as in all our work for the Kingdom, we begin with prayer, praying that God's peace may touch all places where violence seeks a foothold.

I share with you the following prayer for reflection during your “pause” moment:

Dear Father,
You who sent your angels to herald your Son’s coming with cries of peace, hear our cry now that your peace may touch all corners of our world. Peace to the smallest child, still in the womb. Peace to the most vulnerable of our elderly, who long to see your face. Peace to the migrant fleeing war, persecution, hunger and poverty. Peace to the citizens of those nations to which migrants flee. Peace to those touched by violence and disaster, by storms and quakes and droughts and floods, who struggle to find safety and mercy in the very world you made for us. You who called all peacemakers blessed, help us forge peace in your name. peace among nations. Peace among neighbors, peace among families. When we look back on this time, may we recall it as the time we all heard the angels’ cry, and worked together to reveal that peace to all. A peace worthy of God, born into the world. Amen.

Know of my love and prayers each day for you and your family!
May you be safe and well!
Your,
Sister Johnellen

Monday, June 1

Dear Parents,

We are coming to the end of our school year! This year will be forever embedded in our memories as a year for everyone to learn, and grow and accept, and forgive, and love in a special way.

During this time of Pentecost I share this prayer reflection for you to use during a pause moment:

The Holy Spirit embodies the life force of the universe, the power of God,
the animating energy present in all things and captured by none.
On this great feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit of God, I invite you to pray with me:

May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit bring fire to the earth so that the presence of God
may be seen in a new light, in new places, in new ways.

May our own hearts burst into flame so that no obstacle, no matter how great, ever obstructs the message of the God within each of us.

May we come to trust the Word of God in our heart, to speak it with courage,
to follow it faithfully and to fan it to flame in others.

May the Jesus who filled women and men with his Holy Spirit fill the world and the church
with new respect for all people’s power and presence.

Give me, Great God, a sense of the Breath of Spirit within me as I…(State the intention in your own life at this time for which you are praying.)
Amen.       Pentecost Prayer by Joan Chittister, OSB

Thank you so much for joining me for our ZOOM Chat last Tuesday. It was good to be with you even at a distance. I will be ZOOMING with you once during June, July, and August and any other times that might be needed to keep you updated with St. Catherine’s.

We welcome Parent and students of Grades TK - 7 home to St. Catherine’s on either June 4 or 5 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM, to bring the books and Chromebook and charger and musical instruments and anything else you have that belongs to the school.
Could we ask that you please place the Chromebook and charger in a plastic bag that you use to store items. One that can be zipped closed.

There will be staff to direct you when you arrive through Cypress gate.
We ask that you remain in your cars with the exception of your son who will pick up items with his name.

We invite our 8th graders to come to school with your parents in your cars on Saturday, June 6 at 10:30 for a celebration of your Graduation. Please wear Alpha Uniforms as we have a special celebration for our graduates. Please remember that if the 8th graders do not have their Alpha Uniforms, please come by school before June 3rd to pick them up. The office is open between 9:00AM and 3:00PM.

Today we are filming a virtual tour to show you the changes that we have already made at school to protect against COVID19.

LET US PRAY TOGETHER FOR THE FOLLOWING FAMILIES:
Nunez, Nuno, Orozco (Pedro), Orozco (Diego), Orozco (Andrew, Dominic, and Matthew), Ortiz (Joshua), Ozkaya, Perez (Pedro), Perez (Aidan A), Perez (Aidan M), Poe, Pohl, Porras, Putra, Rahman, Recinos, Rivera,  and Roca.

Stay well….praying for each of you!
With a loving and grateful heart-
Your,
Sister Johnellen

Monday, May 25

Dear SCA Parents and Staff,

I want to share with you a sadness for St. Catherine’s….Ms. Kathy Willey, our beloved teacher and friend of 13 years, will be retiring at the end of this school year. We are happy for her and wish her a wonderful new journey, but we will truly miss her! We will have a “Ms. Willey Day” after we begin the new school year so that we can all be together to thank her. If you wish to send her a thank you card, please send it to school and I will personally see that she receives it. We promise her our love and prayers always!

Also moving on is Andrea Bacilio, Assistant Admissions Director. Andrea has been travelling a great distance to work and serve at St. Catherine’s, and has found work closer to her home. We are very grateful for all that she has given to the SCA Admissions Department, and don’t want her to leave, but understand the travel was a burden for her. We wish her well in her new job and promise her love and prayers. We will also celebrate Andrea after we get back into school.

The following is a reflection from Father Richard Rohr, Franciscan:

“Over these past several months I have witnessed many examples of this restraint, which Bill McKibben calls love. While the lives of our elders, our vulnerable, and essential workers are at stake during the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of millions of us across the globe have been restraining ourselves at home, choosing not to do many things for many weeks in order to protect those we love (and those others love as well). Surely the earth is breathing a sigh of relief for our reduction in pollution and fossil fuel use. This “Great Pause,” as some are calling it, gives me hope that we will soon find it within ourselves to protect our shared home, not only for our own sake, but for our neighbors across the globe, and future generations.”

We welcome you home to SCA on June 4th or 5th, between 10:00AM and 2:00PM. We are asking Parents of Grades TK - 7 to come to school with your son in your car on whichever day you choose, and bring the books, and Chromebook and charger, and musical instruments, and anything else you have that belongs to the school.

Could we ask that you please place the Chromebook and charger in a plastic bag that you use to store items. One that can be zipped closed.

All of your son’s items in the dorms will be outside for you to pick up, and outside of the locker room. The teachers will be at tables marked with your son’s homeroom and you will leave your books and Chromebooks at that table and pick up awards for the year and things left in the classroom.

We ask that you remain in your cars with the exception of your son who will pick up items with his name.

We invite our 8th graders to come to school with your parents in your cars on Saturday, June 6 at 10:30AM for a celebration of your Graduation. Please wear Alpha Uniforms as we have a special celebration for our graduates. If the 8th graders do not have their Alpha Uniforms, please come by school before June 3rd to pick them up. The office is open between 9:00AM and 3:00PM. Parents are invited to take pictures, but must do so from your cars. The school will also be taking photographs and will live stream the celebration for our boys in China and Mexico and any others who cannot be presents. Photos taken by our photographer will be provided for you at a later date. There will be staff present to show you where to park your cars.

Please remember our ZOOM Chat this Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00PM. If you didn’t receive our ZOOM invitation, please call the office on Tuesday before 3:00PM.

With regard to the Raffle. Thanks to all of you who have turned in your tickets and money. If you still have ticket stubs with the money, please bring them to school by June 1, from 9:00AM – 3:00PM.

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me by phone. I try to be available at all times, unless I am on the phone with someone else, at which time I will return your call ASAP. 

God’s special blessings!
With a very loving and grateful heart-
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Wednesday, May 20

My dear parents and friends of SCA.

Happy Wednesday and Thursday to each of you! I pray your days are answering your needs and surrounding you with a sense of peace and gratitude!

Following is a reflection for you to use when you have a pause moment with your God:

May the Wellspring of Compassion be opened in you
as you reach out in care.
May soothing words find a home in you.
May tenderness bless you
as you reach out to comfort
body, mind and spirit.
In the midst of fear and frustration
May Courage be given you.
When difficult decisions confront you,
May Wisdom inspire you.
May Patience keep vigil with you and
Peace of Mind calm you.
May your heart find a song to sing
even when you are weary.
May abundant Love lift you
and gratitude bless you
as you live the mission
of care entrusted to you. Amen.

On June 4th and 5th, between 10:00AM and 2:00PM, we are asking our families whose boys are in Grades TK - 7 to come to school in your car on whichever day you choose, and bring the books and Chromebook and charger and musical instruments and anything else you have that belongs to the school.

Could we ask that you please place the Chromebook and charger in a plastic bag that you use to store items. One that can be zipped closed. They will be cleaned and made ready for the new school year. 

We want you to feel welcomed home, as we have missed you so much and want to be able to end this year with a thank you and a blessing.

All of your son’s items in the dorms and the locker room, will be outside for your son to pick up. The teachers will be at tables marked with your son’s homeroom and you will leave your books and Chromebooks at that table and pick up your son’s awards for the year and things left in the classroom as well as any medications. We will have staff members placed in the school yard area to assist you and to give clear directions. 

We ask that you remain in your cars with the exception of your son who will pick up his items.
We invite our 8th graders to come to school on Saturday, June 6, at 10:30AM ( this is a change from our last newsletter). We invite them to wear their Alpha Uniforms as we have a special “ Graduation” presentation for them with their diplomas as they leave their alma mater at the conclusion of their 8th grade year. Parents are invited to take pictures, but must do so from their cars. The school will also be taking photographs and will provide you with them at a later date.

Those 8th grade parents who have their son’s Alpha Uniforms at School, can pick them up anytime after Memorial Day. Just call the office between 9:00AM and 3:00PM and let us know when you will pick them up and we will have them ready for you.

I am inviting you to a ZOOM Chat about all the above information , and also, our plans for our August opening of school for the next school year. The date for the ZOOM is Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00PM, and I will send you an invitation with the ZOOM link. The military, coach, band, music, and a couple of teachers will join us to answer any questions you have. I hope you can join me/us so that we can hear the information together.

Monday, May 25th is Memorial Day, a holiday, and we will have classes that day.
A friend sent me the following today and I send it off to you with a smile!

NOT EVERYTHING IS CANCELLED
“Sunshine is not cancelled; spring is not cancelled; love is not cancelled; relationships are not cancelled; reading is not cancelled; naps are not cancelled; devotion is not cancelled; music is not cancelled; dancing is not cancelled; imagination is not cancelled; kindness is not cancelled; conversations are not cancelled; hope is not cancelled.”
We can get through this together!!!

With a loving heart, continuous gratitude, and always Prayers,
Your, Sister Johnellen

 

Monday, May 18

Dear Parents and Friends of St. Catherine’s,

The weeks are moving by very quickly as we look to the end of this school year.
You continue to be in my prayers and the prayers of our Sisters each day for your good health and your good work.

Could I please ask for your prayers for Mrs. DeFranco who said goodbye to her father and sent him off to Heaven today.
Her dear mother and her entire family would be grateful for your prayers.

Our phone blast tonight was very lengthy and I want you to be sure and have the information, so I am including it in our message for this Monday.

Classes will end on June 3rd. The last week of school traditionally was field trips and class games and clean up and awards assemblies and Graduation and June Drill, so we decided to do what most of the other diocesan schools are doing.

The teachers are setting up parent conferences with you and your son for either June 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. If you have had ZOOM meetings with your teachers already, your teachers might not call you for an appointment. Some of you have already shared how you feel your son has done with the distance learning.

June 4th and 5th, between 10:00AM and 2:00PM, we are asking you to come to school with your son in your car on whichever day you choose, and bring the books and Chromebook and charger and musical instruments and anything else you have that belongs to the school.

Eighth graders can keep their Chromebooks or bring them to donate to someone else.
Directions will be provided to delete the Google Management System.

Boys in other grades, please return your Chromebook and chargers and they will be cleaned and made ready for next year. Could we ask that you please place the Chromebook and charger in a plastic bag that you use to store items. One that can be zipped closed.
 
We want you to feel the welcome home you will receive on June 4th or 5th, from 10:00AM – 2:00PM, whichever day you choose. We have missed you so much and wanted to be able to end this year with a thank you and a blessing.

All of your son’s items in the dorms and the locker room, will be outside for your son to pick up. The teachers will be at tables marked with your son’s homeroom and you will leave your books and Chromebooks at that table and pick up your son’s awards for the year and things left in the classroom as well as any medications. We will have staff members placed in the school yard area to assist you and to give clear directions.

We ask that you remain in your cars with the exception of your son who will pick up his items.

We invite our 8th graders to wear their Alpha Uniforms as we have a special “ Graduation” presentation for them with their diplomas as they leave the gate on Resh Street. Parents are invited to take pictures, but must do so from their cars. The school will also be taking photographs and will provide you with them at a later date.

I am inviting you to a ZOOM Chat about all the information I shared, and also, our plans for our August opening of school for the next school year. The date for the ZOOM is Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00PM, and I will send you an invitation with the ZOOM link. I hope you can join me so that we can hear the same things together.

Only 3 weeks until the school year ends, so please encourage your sons to do the best they can to finish off this school year. Please keep checking Gradelink and listening to the directions of the teachers. The teachers are able to see when Gradelink is checked, also.
 
A reflection for you during your pause time with our God: 
Pray the following prayer as one, then pray it leaving off one word at a time.
Be still and know that I am God.
Then: Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know that I
Be still and know that
Be still and know
Be still and
Be still
Be

I invite you to repeat this prayer several times throughout the day. I guarantee PEACE from our God.

Another phrase that helps me throughout the days is: What would Jesus do? How would Jesus respond? How does Jesus show love? Am I grateful for all I have been given?

Know you are loved very much!
God bless you and wrap you in peace and joy.
Your grateful,
Sister Johnellen

Wednesday, May 13

Dear Families and Friends of St. Catherine’s,

We are moving right along and I continue to be grateful for your support and your willingness to walk this journey with the teachers and staff!
Just a reminder with regard to the Raffle that is happening. Thanks to all of you who have turned in your tickets and money. If you still have ticket stubs with the money, please bring them to school any day – Monday – Friday from 9:00AM – 3:00PM. We will have a live streaming drawing on June 12, 2020 at 12:00PM pacific standard time. Thanks for helping the school by selling your tickets. If you have any questions about the raffle please call Mrs. Alicia De La Luz at 714-585-3055.

Let us remember the following families in our prayers:
Kenny Guan, Antonio Guerra, Damian Guerra,
Elias Guerrero, Elias, Emanuel, and Evan Guerrero,
Andres Gutierrez, Ian Havill, Tylor He, Santiago Hecht,
Joseph Henderson, Oscar Hernandez, Ernesto Herrera,
Samuel Herrera, James Howard, Connor Johnston

I love this reflection from Joyce Rupp and hope you can spend some time with this, or whatever you wish, in being present to our God.

Seeing Beyond the Familiar
It is easy to seek God in the bliss of peaceful relationships;
in the familiar comfort of worship, prayers,
the Sacraments, and the satisfaction of successful living.
If I only look for God in the good things of my life,
I will miss many facets of this sacred presence.
I need to focus on the unwanted,
the uncomfortable, and the unexpected parts of my life
to learn that God is there, too.

Today: I look for God in unexpected situations.

You are ALWAYS in my prayers and the prayers of the Sisters!
Have blessed days and stay safe and well!
Your loving and grateful,
Sister Johnellen           

Monday, May 11

Dear Families and Friends,

Happy Mothers’ Day “Monday” to all of our wonderful Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers, and those who have been like mothers to you.

I hope and pray you had a special day! It was good to see many of you at the Mothers’ Day Muffins and blessings drive by yesterday at St. Catherine’s. Your Sisters were happy to honor you with a little muffin and a big blessing! May the blessings continue throughout your days ahead and your life. God has chosen you for an incredible task…to teach the children love and mercy and forgiveness and compassion. You prepare them for their life journey. Please know that our God walks with you giving you all of the strength and compassion you need to make joyful and tough decisions. Thank you for who you are and all you do!

Your Dominican Sisters prayed specially for all, and blessed the Mothers from afar who were unable to come by to see the Sisters in the morning.

We begin classes again tomorrow and the teachers continue to work very hard to give you their best. Boys learn differently and teachers teach differently especially during this COVID 19 time. Only 4 weeks until the school year ends, so please encourage your sons to do the best they can to finish off this school year. Please keep checking Gradelink and listening to the directions of the teachers so that this distance learning opportunity can be the best it can be.

We are working on preparing the school for our August beginning. I will be inviting you to a ZOOM meeting to share our plans and to hear from you as to your own recommendations.  We are confident that all will be well and good! We continue to rely on the Power of our God.
I prayed the following prayer at our afternoon Chat last week and thought you all might appreciate having the words for your “God-time” reflection.

Footprints in the Sand
One night someone had a dream that he/she was walking along the beach with the lord. Across the sky flashed scenes of  life. For each scene, he/she noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him/her, the other belonging to the Lord.
When the last scene of  life flashed before him/her, he/she looked back at the footprints in the sand, and noticed that many times along the path of  life there was only one set of footprints, and that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of  life.
This was a bothered, and forced a question to the Lord about it. Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most, you world leave me.
The Lord replied, my precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. during your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Have blessed days!
With a loving and grateful heart –
Your,
Sister Johnellen

Sunday, May 10

Dear Families and Friends of St. Catherine’s,

Thank you to those who joined me for an afternoon chat this week. Some suggested a follow up chat around how we are planning to secure the school and ready it for our boys return on August 24. We are putting together a plan and have good thinking, wisdom and advice. We are following the guidelines of our State and our Diocese and will share that with you soon. I will let you know when we will have our next chat. Stay tuned.

God’s special blessings on all of our dear Mothers as we celebrate you on Sunday!

I hope we will see you at our school entrance gate located on Cypress Street on Sunday, between 10:00 and 11:00AM, as we honor our wonderful Mothers and Grandmothers!

Following is a special prayer for our Mothers. Let’s all pray it and ask God’s loving peace and joy for our Mothers.

We pray for moms who are raising their children at this time.
Grant them wisdom and joy as they teach Jesus to their children.

We pray for older moms whose children are grown.
Grant them joy and satisfaction for a job well done.

We pray for new moms experiencing changes they could not predict.
Grant them rest and peace as they trust you for the future.

We pray for pregnant women who will soon be moms.
Grant them patience and good counsel in the coming months.

We pray for moms who face the demands of single parenthood.
Grant them strength and wisdom.

We pray for moms who enjoy financial abundance.
Grant them time to share with their families.

We pray for moms who are raising their children in poverty.
Grant them relief and justice.

We pray for step-moms.
Grant them patience and understanding and love.

We pray for moms who are separated from their children.
Grant them faith and hope.

We pray for moms in marriages that are in crisis.
Grant them support and insight.

We pray for moms who have lost children.
Grant them comfort in the resurrection of Jesus.

We pray for adoptive mothers.
Grant them joy and gratitude for the gift you have provided.

We pray for girls and women who think about being moms.
Grant them wisdom and discernment.

We pray for women who desperately want, or wanted, to be moms.
Grant them grace to accept your timing and will.

We pray for all women who have assumed the mother's role in a child's life.
Grant them joy and the appreciation of others.

We pray for those who are grieving the loss of their mother.
Grant them comfort and hope in Christ's resurrection.

We pray for all of our St. Catherine’s Moms, Grandmothers, and Godmothers,
Please help them to feel the prayers offered for them by our Sisters and Staff, and help them to know how much they are loved.

Closing Prayer

Lord God, we thank you for the gift of motherhood. We thank you for the many examples of faithful mothers in scripture, like Sarah, Hannah, Lois and Elizabeth. Hear now the first names of the women who have inspired us by their motherly examples ... (we each name our mother or guardian) . . . We are mindful of all these women, and especially Mary, who had the courage in faith to say "yes" to your calling. This Mother's Day we ask your blessing on all mothers, living and deceased, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Have a beautiful day!
With a loving and grateful heart –
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Wednesday, May 5

Dear Family of St. Catherine’s,

This is going to be a very short message with a fun attachment! Please click the youtube link ( skip the ads if you are able) sit back, and enjoy some fun that will make you smile. When I feel a little droopy – not too often, but once in a while – I turn to Mary Poppins. She always makes me smile and has been known to cause me to sing and dance. I invite you to do whatever you wish during the song as a family…hold hands….dance in a circle….laugh out loud….whatever, and enjoy!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks4u1NFV4eQ
 
God is with us each moment! We have a fantastic school community and we are truly blessed.
May you find the blessing in this day!
 
I look forward to our coffee chat at 3:00PM tomorrow, Wednesday. Thanks for calling in! If you still wish to join, please let Jesenia know: office@stcatherinesacademy.org
 
Topic: Coffee with S. Johnellen
Time: May 6, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Please check your email for the Zoom meeting informtation.
 
And on this Sunday, Mothers’ Day, I ask our God to bless all moms living on Earth and living in Heaven with special love and gratitude for all of the blessings they are for all!

The Sisters invite you to drive by the gate on Cypress Street, between 10:00 and 11:00AM, and see the beautiful poster that S. JoAnn has prepared for Mothers. Moms will be given a muffin and a blessing from the Sisters.

God’s blessings and much love and prayers-
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Monday, May 4

Dear Parents, Board of Directors, Staff, and Friends of SCA,

May our God bless this new week for you so that you will experience a sense of peace and joy.

This is such a challenging time for so many and varied reasons. The teachers are struggling to be all they can for the boys and to help you out as much as they are able. You are challenged daily because your schedules have changed and shifted and you have gained the title of teacher assistant. I am so sorry for all of you and realize how very difficult this time is. If only there was a quick answer – possibly Mary Poppins snapping her fingers and making everything return to the good we knew. But we know that sacrifices must be made for the sake of the whole. There is a much bigger picture we are faced with so that everyone can be safe and well. I promise to continue to pray for you and I ask our God to help us to find the good in all of this.  God is walking with you through all that you are doing to partner with the teachers for the benefit of your boys. As I always say…your reward is eternal and I pray you will feel some of that reward here on earth. What positive changes has this time caused in our families and school? How can I refrain from judging and putting myself first? We always tell our boys it is not about “me”, but about the other, and then we ask “What would Jesus say or do?” The question is asked and we have to find the answer. I am so sorry for any way I have let you down and not been who you needed at the time. I love each of you very much and hope to help all of us through this time.
 
We ask for your prayers for the father of our Sister Cheryl, who completed his journey on earth and entered into Heaven. He was 99 years old and his beloved wife died a year ago December. Even if expected, it is still so very hard to say goodbye. We are grateful for your prayerful support.
 
For our raffle, please turn in your tickets & money by May 29, 2020. We are extending deadline because of all that you are working on.

Drawing will be held live via Facebook at 12 noon on June 12, 2020.
Any questions call Alicia De La Luz 714-585-3055 or email: development@stcatherinesacademy.org
 
I hope you are feeling the prayers that are being offered up for you and your families.

Please join me in praying for the families of the following boys:
Michael Corrigan, Adrian Cuevas, Delbert Dai, Nathan De Souza,
Leonardo Diaz, Sean Din, Juan Echeverri, Jorge Elias, Dominic and Rudey Enriquez,
Avelino Fernandez, Robert Galvan, Jose Gama, Diego and Emmanuel Garcia,
Enrique Gilardi, Kyle Godwin, Emmanuel Gomez, Marte Gomez, Pablo Gonzalez,
Keali’iwai Gonzalez, and Oscar Gonzalez
 
Thanks to all who are joining me at 7:00PM Mondays through Thursdays for story time.
I wish I could read the stories in person, but am grateful for the technology that allows me to pop into your evenings.

And parents….I am inviting you to an afternoon coffee chat with me this Wednesday, May 6 at 3:00PM to share all of the good that has happened in your families during this time of “staying home”! I will send you the ZOOM invitation tomorrow.
 
A reflection for you to bring you peace:
 
How easy to believe that I am an instrument of your love
when my life is going well, O God.
How difficult to believe this when my life seems to be going nowhere, or
is filled with many concerns and activities that wear me out.
Yet, you greatly desire to proclaim your goodness
through every part of my life, no matter what the situation is.
 
I do not need to have good feelings in order to be
an instrument of your love.
I do not need to always feel satisfied with what I am attempting to be and
to do in order to be a disciple of yours.
It is the intention of my heart that makes the difference.
Deep within I long for you and I give myself to your cause.
I place my heart in yours and enter as fully as I can
into your loving embrace.
 
I am a messenger, ready to tell of your enormous kindness and mercy.
I will trust in you.
I believe that those with whom I live and work
will see your love shining through all I am and all I do.
It is your radiance within me that will transform the bits and pieces
of my life into a tapestry of ardent devotion.
Thank you for being present in my life and for calling to me
with your gracious voice of unconditional love.
Amen.

With a loving and grateful heart –
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Thursday, April 30

My very dear Parents, Staff, and Friends of St. Catherine’s Academy,

You were each celebrated  in my prayers to our St. Catherine of Siena on her feastday and our feastday! I hope you felt the prayers. I am attaching a little information on our wonderful saint with a reflective prayer for you.

Catherine was born in 1347, as the 24th  child in her family. 
As a youngster, she was noted for her joyful spirit, and also her
great spirit of prayer. When still quite young, she became 
associated with the Dominican Order in Siena. As she grew, she 
became a significant reformer in our Church, at a time when there 
was a split between “two popes”, one in France and one in Rome.
Catherine as a young woman entered the world of “politics” 
speaking fearlessly about the need to end this division, and through 
her constant determination, eventually brought a healing and peace. Because of 
her influence and writings, she was eventually named a 
“Doctor of the Church” – not common for women in the Church.
She also tirelessly attended to the needs of the sick and the poor.

I invite you to pray these intercessory prayers about Catherine, which seem to apply so perfectly for our time that is challenging us now . . .

In a world of sorrow and suffering, Catherine preached compassion, may our preaching nurture compassion;
In a world of greed and destruction, Catherine preached peace, may our preaching nurture peace; 
In a world of confusion and doubt, Catherine preached truth, may our preaching nurture truth;
In a world of ethnic and religious hatred, Catherine preached love, may our preaching nurture love.

May your prayer time bring you peace!

I am attaching the latest letter from our Superintendent of the Diocese of Orange Catholic Schools, which is very positive and hopeful. VIEW HERE

It is what we have been waiting for as we look to the next school year!

We will be opening on our scheduled date of August 24! We will make our school ready from all of the guidelines that will be given, and will continue to be safe for our boys. We are so blessed with our facilities and our beautiful and extensive plant so that we can orchestrate distance and safety.

Please know that I miss all of you very much and hold you in prayers throughout each day. I am going to name families in each of my letters so that we can all pray specially for each other.

For today, please pray for the following boys and their families:

Dorian Aleman, Cayden Allen, Moses Amaro, Alec Anderson, Bryce Barajas, Peyton Beck, Jesus Beltran, Sean Bernales, Gagan Bevil, Christian Blan, Nathan Blanco, Maxwell Bland, Dylan Boyd, Jorge Burillo, Ivan Cardenas, Iker Casarin, Boaz Chen, Ken Cheng, Justin Cheung, and Max Chyczewski.

Keep safe and well!
God’s special blessings and much love,
Sister Johnellen

 

Wednesday, April 29

Dear Families, Board of Directors, Staff, and Friends of St. Catherine,

The Easter Season is still alive and well and the Alleluias are ringing loud and clear. I hope they ring within you as well. Although we are in the midst of COVID19, it is very important to focus on the blessings this season brings to us. Springtime has happened and the flowers are bright and colorful.

We can become tired of sheltering in place and the limitations placed on our activities. At times the situation is frustrating and annoying and we may be tired of those we are sheltering with. This calls to look around at the beauty and goodness of each person and be grateful we are well. We pray for those who have died as a result of the virus and the sadness of those infected. I feel so sorry for those who cannot visit those you know who are sick. This is a tremendous cross to bear! With all of that being said, we join in prayers of joy and hold everyone close in compassion and acceptance. We will get through this and we pray we will be better because of it.

I was recently struck by a commercial thanking our nurses, doctors, and medical teams who are staying in the hospitals to give life to the sick. Their request in the commercial was for us to stay in our homes to secure life for them.

I share with you the JOY of April 29th!

We celebrate our St. Catherine of Siena, the patroness of our wonderful academy.

She is a Dominican Saint, a doctor of the Church, special friend of Jesus, and mentor for us all!

Catherine is known to have had a loving relationship with her God from the time she was 5 years old.

She maintained this relationship and dictated her conversations with Jesus. Catherine’s faith was strong, persevering, and deep.

Through her writings, we can learn how to strengthen our own faith, especially during this time of pandemic COVID19.

I share with you one of her prayers/conversations with Jesus.

Be my companion through the darkness of the night.
You are here, you who by your very presence can reveal
the light in every darkness,
can teach us how to turn every darkness into light.
Send your light to dispel the night,
to give sight to those of us who walk blindly on our way,
and who journey without knowledge of you and your love.
You have loved me even before I existed,
and knowing this, I can place my trust in your love
and set aside every fear. Amen

I have emailed a picture of St. Catherine of Siena for you! She is holding onto our world. I pray she enables a cure for the virus and teaches us how to love our world which God created.

Feastday Joys and Blessings be yours!
Please remember to pray for St. Catherine’s Academy tomorrow specially!
Love you much and pray for you each day!
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Monday, April 27

Dear Parents, Staff, and Friends of St. Catherine’s,

In case some of you missed the Sunday evening phone blast, I want to repeat something I shared with you. Sometimes it is easier to read than to hear.

I want to share with you that today when I was praying for all of you I was deeply moved by the sacrifices you are each making for your children. Some of you are teachers and are trying to teach your classes through distance learning and still help your own children who are learning at home. Some of you are without work and are worried about how to take care of your families. Some of you have kept your jobs and busnesses and are reaching out to help others who are in need. Some of you are taking care of ailing parents and relatives and doing so with deep love. I was truly moved to tears of gratitude for each of you and asked God to hold you close and give you all of the energy and wisdom you need while loving through each moment of each day.

We truly believe our God is with us throughout this pandemic and trust that we will be taken care of each step of the way. We would love to have answers about future weeks and months, but that is where our faith comes in. When things are going well, we don’t necessarily rely on faith, but it is when times are difficult that we reach out and hold God’s hand. My prayer included much prayer for you individually as I looked through our St. Catherine’s Family Directory, so you can be sure you were all mentioned.

I say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful parents and guardians you are!

Let us pray for each other every day! Close our eyes and picture each other as we pray!
 
I send you the following reading from Scripture written and prayed nearly two thousand years ago.

May you find some “pause time” to sit with the Lord and be filled with his energy and love.

Prayer:   1 Thessalonians 5:11 – 25

Encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do and God would have you do. We ask you to respect those who are laboring among you in the Lord, and to show esteem for all with special love on account of their work and ministry. Be at peace among yourselves. 

We urge you to admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good both for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and will also accomplish it.
 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Praying for you each day and loving you through each day!
With a grateful heart –
Your,
Sister Johnellen

 

Thursday, April 23

Very dear Parents, Board of Directors, and Friends of SCA,
 
Our first school week of classes after our Easter break is over and Friday is a “catch up” day for all of our boys and teachers!

Please accept my deep gratitude to you for your positive notes and praise for our teachers and the staff who are holding SCA together.

We are all being stretched and we try to remember that. Everyone is trying to live in collaboration, acceptance, willingness, and open to change.

This is such a hard time, and the more we are living in it, the more difficult it can become. Soooo we have to build our positive energy to ward off feeling badly and negative. I keep saying to myself….”I am trying hard to do my best”, and “God is walking with me”. We realize we can’t please everyone even though we are trying. Please know that, and let’s work hard the next 7 weeks to feel success and give it the best we can – on both sides! As the teachers keep saying….we can do this!
 
Yesterday was Earth Day and I have a beautiful YouTube to share with you. It is entitled “Turtle World” by Uriel Dominguez and it runs 8:32 minutes. There are others listed so be sure you watch this one. It would be great for the boys to see, also, and discuss with you what they have learned from it and how to better honor Mother Earth each day.
 
Following is a reflection that you can use in your “pause” moments:

Leaning on the Heart of God
I am leaning on the heart of God.
I am resting there in silence.
All the turmoil that exhausts me
is brought to bear on this great love.
 
No resistance or complaint is heard
as I lean upon God’s welcome.
There is gladness for my coming.
There is comfort for my pain.
 
I lean, and lean, and lean
upon this heart that hurts with me.
Strength lifts the weight of my distress.
courage wraps around my troubles.
 
No miracle of instant recovery.
No taking away of life’s burdens.
Yet, there is solace for my soul,
and refuge for my exiled tears.
 
It is enough for me to know
the heart of God is with me,
full of mercy and compassion,
tending to the wounds I bear.   –Joyce Rupp

God’s special blessings on each of you each day!
We thank God for all of the good we receive each day.
May you be well and safe.
With a loving and grateful heart – your
Sister Johnellen

Wednesday, April 22

My dear SCA Families and Friends,

Happy Earth Day!  We celebrate our Mother Earth and show gratitude for all that has been given to us from our God through Mother Earth.

Let us all be conscious to be kind to all of our Earth, and to have a peaceful and kind attitude towards each other.

I am going to walk lightly as I cross the school yard or walk through Mother Pia’s Park this day as I am walking on life. Below the concrete and black top is a living earth…dirt and grass and plants all supporting us. I want to be grateful!
 
This was sent to me from one of our parents, Daphne – Adam Scott’s Mom, and I am sharing with all of you!
 
"Rivers do not drink their own water; trees(