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St. John the Baptist
Catholic School
12319 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20904 | 301-622-3076

Principal's Note 2/1/22

SJB Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

St. John the Baptist has been celebrating Catholic Schools Week with activities each day. We had SJB Spirit Day on Monday. Today students wore colors in celebration of Lunar New Year and played Black History Month Jeopardy to celebrate the start of Black History Month.

Tomorrow we are highlighting our Catholic identity with an outdoor presentation and procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Candlemas. Further below is an explanation of what is happening on Wednesday, and further below is an agenda for the week.

Covid-19 Rapid Tests Are Going Home Today

We are sending each student home today with a Covid-19 rapid test kit (two tests), and we are sending each student in grades 4-8 with a new facemask (N95).

The school picked up the tests and masks last week from the county health department for distribution to families.

Positive Cases Update 

Covid-19 cases in the school have dropped steadily over the past few weeks. There were four students out of school last week due to positive test results for Covid-19. There has been one student out for the start of this week due to a positive Covid-19 test that was taken last week.

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Tomorrow we will be celebrating the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and Candlemas. Since we have never done this before, we asked Mrs. Morris to write an explanation:

Candlemas Day is another name for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Forty days after His birth, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification and dedication as prescribed by the Torah.

The Gospel of St Luke says: “When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Him up to Jerusalem, so that He could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord’” (Lk 2:22-23). 

Simeon, a just and pious man, who awaited the Messiah and looked for the consolation of Israel, was inspired to come to the temple. He held baby Jesus in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word. For my eyes have witnessed your saving deed, displayed for all the peoples to see: A revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel” (Lk 2:29-32). 

Simeon, thereby, announced that the Messiah has come not just for the Jew but the gentile; not just the righteous, but the sinner.

So the Presentation is a proclamation of Christ — Messiah and Priest, Lord and Savior. He is the light who came into this world to dispel sin and darkness. For this reason, traditionally at least since the seventh century, candles have been blessed at Mass this day that will be used throughout the year, hence coining the term “Candlemas.” 

As part of our Catholic Schools Week activities, we will observe this Feast Day tomorrow, February 2, at 10:30. Father Nathanael will bless our classroom candles and will lead us in prayer and show us how the Blessed Sacrament is presented in the Monstrance. After this, Father will lead a procession through the school with students who are receiving a sacrament this year. He will stop at each classroom to bless those students and teachers. We will conclude the Feast of the Presentation observance with Adoration in the church.  

Pope Pious VI says, “If Jesus were actually visible in church, everyone would run to welcome him, but he remains hidden in the Sacred Host under the appearance of bread, because he is calling us to faith, that we many come to him in humility.” 

The Blessed Sacrament is the ‘Living Heart’ of each of our churches and Catholics and other Christians around the world participate in this special way to worship.

Catholic Schools Week 

Tuesday, Feb. 1

Lunar New Year

Black History Month Jeopardy, 1:45 pm, grades 1-8

Wednesday, Feb 2

Candlemas and Blessed Sacrament Procession 10:30-11:15 am

Adoration for Grades 5-8 from 11:15-12:15 

Thursday, Feb

Pizza Lunch for all in the gym (times staggered)

Bingo begins at 1:30 pm in classrooms, with prizes

Friday, Feb 4

Roll Out of Bed and Read Day—kids out of uniform

Reading activities in classrooms in morning

Foul-shooting contest in gym at 11 am

Half Day Dismissal at 12 noon

After Care from 12 to 4 pm


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