St. Mary's Families, 

By now you have probably seen or heard that all public school districts in the Colorado Springs area (19 school districts at last count), and it appears that all of the major school districts in Denver, will close for at least two weeks effective MONDAY, MARCH 16.   

St. Mary's High School will also close for two weeks effective MONDAY, MARCH 16.

We are taking this action out of an abundance of caution.  Prudence is one of our seven virtues, and prudence is what we are practicing here.

Perspective.  As of early this afternoon, there were 44 confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in the state of Colorado.  There was one confirmed case in El Paso county.  There were no confirmed cases in any school in Colorado Springs.  There have been no confirmed cases in any portion of the St. Mary's community.  Again, we are obviously being extremely cautious. 

As many of you know, our faculty have been planning for this contingency to ensure we continue to educate the students we are privileged to serve.  Our dedicated teachers have been preparing for this possibility for almost two weeks.  

TOMORROW, Friday, March 13, we will have school AS NORMAL.  We will use tomorrow to prepare our students for the two week closure.

I would invite you to be patient with us as we execute this plan.  This is a unique challenge in the storied 135-year history of St. Mary's High School.  There may be some bumps along the way.

As a Community we will work through this challenge to ensure that we continue to excel in the arena of Knowledge.  But while we are tackling the Community and Knowledge aspects of this situation, let's not forget to lead with our Faith.  Those three words:  Faith, Knowledge, Community, should look familiar to you. 

We will continue to communicate with you as we work together to successfully tackle this challenge. 

Finally, please pray for our school, the communities battling the virus, and all the victims of the virus.  If you have an active and structured prayer life, please continue to live that prayer life.  If you're looking for a powerful way to pray as a St. Mary's community, I encourage you to frequently pray The Memorare and ask for the intercession of our Patroness, St. Mary:  

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.

Rob Rysavy
St. Mary's High School