School UPDATE: Saturday, March 14

St. Mary's Families,

Several items for you on this Saturday.

Theater.  As most of you probably know, it is with great disappointment that we canceled the remaining performances today and tomorrow of our Spring Musical.  I extend my thanks to our Theater Director, Noel Jenkins (SMHS '11) for proactively honoring our AMAZING senior actors last night instead of waiting for the planned final performance on Sunday.  Noel's foresight is representative of the kind of prudence and leaning forward thinking we are seeing throughout the St. Mary's community.  

Spring Break.  March 23-27 is still scheduled for Spring Break.  I would encourage everyone with travel plans to monitor very closely the travel guidance and cautions we are seeing across the country.  You may have seen late yesterday the Department of Defense banned ALL domestic travel for DoD personnel AND their families for the next two months.  

After Spring Break.  The current plan is for school to resume on-campus classes on Monday, March 30.  That could change, but that is our plan as of TODAY.  For those families that travel outside the local area for Spring Break, we have no self-quarantine requirements for those families AT THIS TIME.  

All Masses Canceled.  As a reminder, all public Masses are canceled throughout the entire state of Colorado.  Priests are required to celebrate Mass, but for now they will have to do so in private.  Furthermore, please continue to SUPPORT YOUR PARISHES.  If you are a parishioner who drops an envelope in the collection basket on Sunday, please drop that envelope in the mail instead.  The parishes, like St. Mary's High School, are going to need your continued generous support.  

Sources of Information.  Rumor control occupies a fair amount of the school staff's time right now.  We are working diligently to ensure our communications (e-mails, website, social media) are accurate.  I would respectfully invite all of us to exercise prudent skepticism toward things we hear about St. Mary's that come from ANY OTHER SOURCE.   

Local Area Concerns.  You probably also know that here in Colorado we have our first fatality related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.  Yesterday it was reported that an 80 year old woman with underlying health conditions in addition to COVID-19 had passed away.  She died here in Colorado Springs, so suddenly this may feel a little more real.  While we are taking all necessary and prudent COVID-19 precautions, let's not forget there are other things that can hurt us.  In the last year for which they have data (2018), the Center for Disease Control reported the following causes of death in Colorado:
- Flu.  577 deaths (we have the 2nd LOWEST rate of flu deaths in the country)
- Suicide.  1,282 deaths (we have the 6th HIGHEST rate of suicide in the country)
- Accidents.  3,049 deaths
Again, the COVID-19 coronavirus is real and it is serious, but it's not the only thing that can hurt us. 

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!  Here is your daily reminder to join us in praying The Memorare: 

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