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


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.


I cannot believe that we are already are in week 5 of Lent. This is a great time to reflect on our Lenten Journeys, make corrections to our course as necessary and finish up strong with our best Lent ever.

Loving God,

You have heard my complaints, my impatience.

Sometimes I become frightened

when I move away from you.

Guide my heart back to you.

Help me to think beyond my own wants

and to desire only to do you will.

Thank you for the many blessings in my life

and for the ways I feel your presence.

Today, HFCS was blessed to have a wonderful Penance Service hosted by our 2nd graders. Our fabulous parish priests, Fr. Sleeva, Fr. Len, and Fr. John, spent the majority of the day with us leading us in prayer, hearing confessions, and being with our students. Today was the first day our 2nd graders were able to participate in an all school Penance Service. The children were reverent and glowing. I’m so very proud of each of them – and their teachers who inspire them in their faith each day. Thank you to all the parents that made the 2nd grade reception so lovely and to Mrs. Murphy for facilitating this event.

If you have not already purchased tickets for the Gala on May 6th please purchase your tickets now. They are going fast! Thank you to all our volunteers that help make this event possible.

Blessings to all of your families as we continue through our Lenten season.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren

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

Thank You Veterans

Tomorrow we celebrate our Veterans who have served faithfully for our country. We hope you will join us for Mass at 9:30 am. A small reception will follow mass for our Veterans. Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice.

Reading is so very important to all of us. We place reading and books at the centre of the curriculum here at HFCS, as children who enjoy reading achieve highly across the curriculum. Developing a love for reading is one of the most effective ways we can create a love for learning and raise attainment.

We aim for all children to enjoy reading for pleasure. Promoting a love for reading sets children up as readers for life, with all the accompanying benefits that follow. Being able to read well is a key life skill for children, whatever their background and every child deserves the chance to become a reader and have a lifetime of enjoyment.

We believe that reading is a passport to the world. The benefits of reading go beyond the opportunities offered by being well-read with a good command of english. Reading opens children up to ideas, experiences, places and times they might never otherwise experience in real life. Reading for pleasure helps us to enhance opportunities to learn about a multitude of things that may not be covered by a school curriculum. This week our Fall Book Fair opened on Monday. I hope you take a moment to stroll through the selections sometime this week and find some books you may enjoy as a family.

Just a head’s up, next week, November 16th, we will have Mass on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, November 17th. We have the opportunity to take our 4th through 8th graders to the CYT production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” and Fr. John kindly suggested that we move Mass to Tuesday, to afford the students the opportunity to see the production. We hope you will join us for Mass on Tuesday next week.

Have an amazing week, stay safe, healthy, and happy.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren

So Many Things So Little Time

We are quickly approaching the end of October, a time when orange lights and uniquely carved pumpkins decorate our neighborhoods. I was pleasantly surprised by the 5th grade today when they presented me with a very special Prayer Pumpkin. This reminds us that what may be commercially advertised as a “pagan” holiday, in truth holds its origins in the Catholic faith. There are a number of articles on the web with regards to an all but forgotten triduum of Allhallowtide. I encourage you to explore this season. Here’s a short reminder from the Irish Catholic:

“However, what is certain is that Hallowe’en as we know it developed in relation to a feast which is definitely Catholic –
the Solemnity of All Saints celebrated on November 1. There are more than 10,000 canonized saints in the Church, which means that not all of them can be recognized on a calendar of 365 days: All Saints Day commemorates all saints, canonized and otherwise.This feast was first officially established by Pope Boniface IV in 615 as the “Feast of All Martyrs”. In 840, the title changed to the “Feast of All Saints” as saints other than the martyrs were added.”

Have a safe and happy Halloween, blessed All Saints and All Souls Days, and a great week!
Pax et Bonum,
Sue Styren