Celebrating Our Students

Dear HFCS Friends and Families,

A parent recently inquired, “My child keeps talking about Hawk awards; what are they?” When students are observed demonstrating the Schoolwide Learning Expectations, they may receive a Soaring Like a Hawk recognition card that looks like an oversized business card. Students bring the card to my office and place a ticket in a special jar. Each month a ticket is selected. These students’ are announced, and they are awarded a prize.

Now you might ask, what are the Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLE)? Every morning our students recite the school pledge that embodies our SLEs. In brief, students are expected to be Christ-centered, active learners and empowered disciples, living the school mission at all times. I am delighted to announce that many students receive Soaring Like a Hawk recognition each month. I am so proud of the amazing ladies and gentlemen our students are growing up to be as they represent themselves and our school throughout the community.

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2023 is Academic, Faith, Leadership, Value: Catholic Schools Always Reaching Higher. Across the nation, Catholic Schools will celebrate during the week of January 29. Our school has seen increased enrollment over the past two years; we have been a stronghold of academic and Catholic education for over 25 years! We hope you will join us in celebrating all of our Catholic schools and pray for their continued growth and commitment to quality Catholic education. Watch the bulletin for more information regarding Catholic Schools Week @ HFCS. Please join us in praying that we may continue to spread the Word of Christ through our actions and our devotion to our children, who are the future of the Church.

Living God, open our eyes and grant us the wisdom to discern your presence.

Thank you for never leaving us alone.


Pax et bonum,
Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message From the Principal – Finding Rest in God

Dear HFCS Families,

I am so grateful for our families here at HFCS and our extended families through the the many parishes here in Northern Idaho. We are truly blessed to be able to work and worship together. I start every day looking at the Daily Reflections published by Dynamic Catholic. Today, the post shared “Remember: Your Heart is Made to Rest in God..” It’s a busy week this week – and yet taking time to find rest and reflection in Christ is so important. Please feel free to stop in the chapel and spend a moment with Christ as you pick up or drop off your children. Your heart will truly find respite in God.

As we end each school day, our students rush out to meet their families in the carline, there’s an outpouring of joy to reunite with family members and share their day. Sometimes, that rush can be a little overwhelming for the little ones and in addition, safety precautions may not be being met as they should. To attend to that need, we would like your assistance.

  • Students will enter cars only from the curbside
  • Parents, please do NOT exit your vehicle
  • Students entering vehicles from in front of the school will enter only with Staff supervision.
  • Parents – please be keenly aware of other vehicles and individuals. Vehicle speed in the parking lot should be less than 5 miles per hour

If you have other family members picking up your children, please provide them with the information shared above please. Please plan to join us for our Eucharistic Procession and Rosary on Friday this week. See the flier below.

Thank you to Gprep for coming to visit our 5th – 8th graders this afternoon!


Have a blessed week.

Pax et Bonum,
Sue Styren

Message From the Principal – Family Rosary Time

I always look forward to the month of October and we are nearly there! October, as you may know, is the month of the Rosary. When I was a child, my family would gather together to pray the Rosary. It’s one of my earliest and favorite memories. Please join all our HFCS families this month, to pray the Rosary. I invite you every night in October to join us for the Family Rosary Across America, the program is sponsored by Relevant Radio. United in prayer, we can gather to support all human life.

Next week is Hawktober Spirit Week – leading up to our Hawktoberfest on Saturday, October 8th. Students participating in the theme for the day may be in Free Dress – as long as it matches the theme. Free Dress regulations apply. If you have questions please reach out to your homeroom teacher or the office.

We have a number of ways parents may be involved at school, last week we sent home a volunteer form. We hope that you will consider serving at an event, on campus assisting, or on one of our committees:

  • Advisory
  • Safety
  • Finance
  • Facilities
  • Wellness
  • Advancement

Have a blessed week.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren


1st Day of School 2022 – Message From the Principal

Dear HFCS Community,

What a great first day of school we had today! Our students are smiling, happy, and prayerful. Who could ask for anything more. Our teachers are working hard preparing lessons, learning new technology, and working harder than ever to ensure our children are getting the best Catholic education we can provide.

A special thank you to our Parents in Education (PIE) committee for the welcoming signs this morning and the reception following mass. I know their smiling faces really helped me to face the anxiety of the first day of school – I know it helped many of our new families feel at home as well. Thank you to Lee Lamb for her beautiful yard decorations and photo opportunities that greeted our families as they came to school this morning.

And of course, thank you to our priests that celebrated mass with us today – Fr. Len and Fr. Sleeva. It means so much to our children to be able to participate in mass with their classmates, teachers, and families. We know you have busy schedules and the fact that you take time out for us is priceless. Fr. Anthony and Fr. Remi, who were not able to join us for mass today, took time to come bless our completed outdoor classroom at the Back to School Bar-B-Que last week and came by later this morning to see visit and see how the students’ first day of school was going. Thank you to all our priests for their selfless devotion to their parishes and our school. We appreciate you and are blessed to have you in our community.

Our Student Council will be leading morning opening Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. With such a talented crew of students it is sure to be an amazing year. They are a great team filled with school spirit and energy. We are lucky to have such a talented crew to lead the student body. We gather at 8 am in the gymnasium – feel free to join us in prayer if you are able.

A few reminders as we begin the new school year:

  • Mass will be on Tuesdays @ 10:30 am, parents and families are welcome.
  • Friday Openings will include either a decade of the Rosary or Chaplet, again families are always welcome at our openings.
  • Fridays are Spirit Days, students, faculty, and staff are welcome to wear their spirit T-shirts and jeans. Once a month we will have free dress Friday – see school calendar for dates – usually the last Friday of the month.
  • PE starts September 14th. We have a new PE teacher joining us this year, Anna Taylor. Mrs. Taylor comes to us highly qualified with a number of years in Catholic Education. Please join me in welcoming her to the family. PE shirt may be worn under the school shirt for ease of changing. Girls may wear their PE shorts under their skirts/jumpers as well.

Thank you to all our families, staff, teachers, and priests for making our first of day school fabulous. Let’s continue the year with joy, peace, and love of Christ.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren


A Note from the Principal

Dear HFCS Families & Friends,

It’s so hard to believe it’s already the middle of August and that school will be starting in just a few weeks! We hope your family makes the most of these last days of summer vacation.

We have an important change to our school schedule this year. To honor a request from our priests, weekly Mass will now be held on Tuesdays at 10:30 am. We hope you are able to join us for worship during this new day and time.

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Lawrence McDonell to our faculty as our new music teacher! He comes to us from the Seattle area originally; however, today he is an active member of the St. Thomas the Apostle parish and music ministry. He’s a music major and has taught at Catholic schools in the recent past. His energy, youth, and musical talents will surely bring joy to our students as they progress in their personal musical skills and appreciation.

If you have not taken year 1 SAFE ENVIRONMENT course with the Diocese of Boise – PLEASE be sure to register for the class being offered August 26th at HFCS. Parents may not volunteer on campus, go on field trips, etc. unless they have take this course. Additionally, each year you need to update your Safe Environment course work on CMGConnect.org. For more information please reach out.

Don’t forget, our School Supply Drop-off and Back to School BBQ is scheduled for August 30 from 5-7:30 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet and welcome our nearly 40 new families to HFCS! Hope to see you there!

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren


I hope this note finds you and your family doing well and enjoying our warmer weather. A special good luck and best wishes to our graduating class of 2022. I’m sure our graduates are busily getting ready for their new adventures at high school – we wish them the very best and hope they come back to visit us and share their many successes.

We were blessed the last week of school to have a little more than a dozen of our graduates who have just completed high school come to visit us and take part in the traditional Graduation Walk. These wonderful ladies and gentlemen shared with our students their future plans, the importance of the education they received at HFCS contributing to their success in high school. My eyes filled with tears when Mrs. Bukowski’s son shared his advice for success to our students, “Always keep Christ at the center of your life.” God bless these young people as they pursue college, the military, and entrepreneurship. And thank you for sharing time with us.

A team of HFCS educators just returned from New Orleans where we spent the last 5 days collaborating with teachers from all over the world. It was an amazing whirlwind of discovery at the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), made possible through grant funding. We are excited to share what we learned and open discussions on how we can continue to improve student learning, support social and emotional growth, and empower our children to be Catholic leaders as they move forward in life. It was a blessing to see Mass being held at the convention center Sunday morning when we first arrived to gather our badges. A little unconventional setting for a well needed opportunity to gather with other Catholic educators at ISTE.

You are all in our prayers as we move through this lovely summer.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren


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

One of the most treasured traditions at Holy Family Catholic School is the ritual of honoring Mary the Mother of God with May Crowning Mass. May is the month traditionally dedicated to the devotion of our Blessed Mother. This event celebrates and recognizes Mary as Queen of Heaven. All students are encouraged to bring flowers tomorrow for Mary.

This year May Crowning will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at HFCS. The second grade class will lead the Mass presided by Father Sleeva and attended by the whole school, many parents, and parishioners. The Mass includes a procession of our second grade First Communicants dressed in their Communion attire, as well as First Communicants from other grades, and the crowning of The Blessed Mother with a floral wreath by our eighth grade crown bearers, Amelia Dach and Ian Rocha. Mary is crowned to symbolize the dignity and beauty God bestowed on her as our Heavenly Queen and Spiritual Mother. A reception for our First Communicants and 8th graders will follow in the Commons.

Congratulations to all of our students that have received their First Holy Communion. We pray for your journey in faith and celebrate your milestone. We are thrilled to have a few students making their First Communion, tomorrow during our May Crowning Mass. Blessings to all our families during this holy month of May.

Missoula Children’s Theater is in full swing. Students will be working on the production all week. We hope you will join us for one of the two performances at the end of the week, Friday and Saturday, more information can be found below.

Thank you again to all our sponsors and volunteers that helped to make the Auction a fabulous success.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.


Congratulations to our 2nd graders that recently made their 1st Eucharist! Over the course of the next few weeks, our sweet 2nd graders will be receiving their 1st Eucharist. We are so excited for them and pray for them all. On May 18th we will celebrate as a school with our May Crowning. God bless you all on your personal faith journeys.

The Annual HFCS Gala and Auction is this coming Friday. Have you taken a moment to browse the class projects on display in our foyer – and the Pre-Funk Silent Auction tables? There’s some beautiful items to get your bidding excitement going this week. I hope you will be joining us for this fabulous community event. Thank you to our Auction Committee, Chairs and Volunteers, who have been working tirelessly to bring back this in-person event for all of us. They are an amazing team who have accomplished a tremendous feat!

Thank you as well, to our Healthy Hawk Week Committee for their stellar job putting together a week filled with wonderful presentations and activities to keep us all healthy as we move through spring and into summer. Does your family have a favorite healthy recipe? Make sure to send it in by Friday – the student with the winning recipe will be allowed to join our fabulous Kitchen Team and prepare the meal for the school.

Healthy Hawk Week Agenda

  • Monday, May 2nd: Hydration
  • Tuesday, May 3rd: Healthy Habits
  • Wednesday, May 4th: Mental Health
  • Thursday, May 5th: Healthy Eating
  • Friday, May 6th: Exercise

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Family & Community Building

Thank you to all the families that turned out for our Annual Parents’ Night Out last Saturday evening. And special thanks to Fr. Len McMillan for his mini-retreat on Grit and Sacrifice. It was an amazing evening of faith, fun, and community. If you were not able to attend this year, I hope you will be able to join us next year. This spring, our Annual Gala and Auction, Denim and Diamonds, is shaping up to be another opportunity for parents to join together for a fun evening in support of the school. I hope you’ve made space on your calendar to attend.

Part of what makes HFCS so special is the parent volunteers that turn out to help in a variety of ways throughout the year. In order to volunteer, adults are required to take the diocesan sponsored Safe Environment Course. St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is offering a class Wednesday, February 23. 2022 at 5 pm in the Mission House. If you would like to register, please reach out to: [email protected] Registration is also available on the CMG Connect website.

We look forward to the remainder of our school year and have begun planning and preparing for 2022/2023. Please be sure to reach out to the office with any questions you may have regarding applications for new students and registration for returning students. More information can be found by clicking here.

Exciting plans are underway with regards to the feasibility of a Northern Idaho Catholic High School here in Coeur d’Alene. We invite you to come hear more about this endeavor and ask questions the afternoon of February 22, 2022 at 3:15 pm in our HFCS gymnasium. Please RSVP if you plan to attend, by clicking here.

Prayer for Community

Embracing Father,
You grace each of us with equal measure in your love.
Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply,
so that we can create
peaceful and just communities.
Inspire us to use our creative energies
to build the structures we need
to overcome the obstacles
of intolerance and indifference.
May Jesus provide us the example needed
and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey.


Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren