3rd Week of Advent – Be the Light of Christ

Dear HFCS Friends and Families,

As we begin the third week of Advent with love for our Lord Jesus Christ, please join us in prayer to request the intercession of St. Lucy as we celebrate her feast day today …

Saint Lucy,

whose beautiful name signifies light,

by the light of faith which

God bestowed upon you

increase and preserve His

light in my soul

so that I may avoid evil and

be zealous in the performance

of good works,

and detest nothing so much as

the blindness and the darkness

of evil and sin.

Obtain for me, by your

intercession with God

perfect vision for my bodily eyes

and the grace to use them for God’s

greater honor and glory

and the salvation of souls.

St. Lucy, virgin and martyr

hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.


As we continue through the Advent season, preparing ourselves for the celebration of Jesus’ coming at Christmas, we are invited to avail of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. There are numerous opportunities for individual Confession, and times are listed in the parish bulletins. Through participation in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ coming at Christmas. Our students in Grades 3 through 8 will have the opportunity to participate in a beautiful Reconciliation Service later this week. We are grateful to all of our priests who will join together to provide our children with the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. We hope as a family, you will continue to avail yourself of this beautiful Sacrament throughout the year.

With the upcoming hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, the house to decorate and presents to wrap, it is important, as Catholics, to remember that Advent should be our focus. It is a difficult season to celebrate because of the commercialism of the secular world in which we live. At this time, we keep in mind people who are less fortunate in our community and the world. Thank you for all the donations we have received for the Food Drive and the coins collected by 2nd grade for the St. Vincent de Paul Warming Center. Our hearts are full as we look at the generosity of our HFCS community. –

Don’t forget … our Annual HFCS Christmas Program. This year we will gather together on Friday, December 16th at Pope St. Pius X for the 6 pm Concert followed by Cookies and Crafts with Santa. There is no charge for this event – donations are accepted at the Cookies and Crafts with Santa. Students in grades 5 through 8 should arrive at 5:30 pm, students in grades 4 and under should arrive no later than 5:45 pm. Children should be dressed in their Christmas best – Santa hats, scarves, etc. make great additions.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

2nd Week of Advent – Joyfully Awaiting Christ

Dear HFCS Friends and Families,

As we begin the second week of Advent with joy in our hearts please join us in prayer to St. Nicholas as we celebrate his feast day today …

Good St Nicholas,

Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus.

Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.

Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer.

Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to be kind and generous of heart to all, especially those who are alone, financially poor and fearful.

May our celebration of your feast lead others to see the true meaning of giving and receiving and to guide all people to

the greatest of all gifts, even Jesus Christ, prince of peace and child of Mary, Our Lord and only savior.


We are quickly approaching our Annual HFCS Christmas Program. This year we will gather together on Friday, December 16th at Pope St. Pius X for the 6 pm Concert followed by Cookies and Crafts with Santa. There is no charge for this event – donations are accepted at the Cookies and Crafts with Santa. Students in grades 5 through 8 should arrive at 5:30 pm, students in grades 4 and under should arrive no later than 5:45 pm. Children should be dressed in their Christmas best – Santa hats, scarves, etc. make great additions.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message From the Principal – All Saints & All Souls Days

“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.” (CCC 1)

Dear HFCS Families and Friends,

Thank you to our 4th grade for creating our Ofrenda display to remember our family and friends that have departed this world. We join together in this season to pray for all souls.

Thank you also to our 2nd and 8th graders for the amazing Saints presentations that they have shared with us this week. It reminds us that God has created us all to be saints as we move forward in life. There’s a lovely artistic depiction of this at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. In the Saints niche to the left of the main altar is what appears to be an unfinished homage to our Saints … one singular niche is empty while all the others are filled with Saints. The empty niche is there to remind us that we all have the opportunity to be Saints – its the choices we make as we move through life that will determine if we are able to fulfill God’s plan for us.


Have a safe, happy, and prayerful 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


Message From the Principal – Family SUCCESS Together

Dear HFCS Community,

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Luke 8:21

How does this happen? It happens when we “hear the Word of God and act on it.” It’s that simple. Fr. Len in his homily at our school mass today helped us to understand more fully the Mass. As he explained it, in the Gospel – we stand – to indicate that we are entering into a covenant with God. We are invited to enter the family of Jesus in a deep, personal and profound way as we listen to the word of God and then act on it.

When God speaks, His words are powerful and transforming. And acting on His words will change our lives.

At Holy Family Catholic School, we are a family and we have the opportunity to act as a family in support of one another as God asks us to do. The SUCCESS program helps to ensure that everyone in our family may have the opportunity to avail themselves of a Diocesan Catholic education if they so wish – no matter the ability to pay. Success is building the foundation on which our students, our children, can become the moral and ethical leaders of tomorrow. Success is our stepping stone to the future and investment in children and their contributions to our world and our communities.

We hope that you think of HFCS during your family prayer and how your gift of time, as a volunteer, and treasure, donating to the SUCCESS campaign will strengthen our community and become an investment in our childrens’ future.

Lord, I accept Your invitation to become a member of Your intimate family. May I hear Your voice speak and act upon all that You say. Jesus, I trust in You.


God bless you and keep you safe.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren


Tuesday, Feast of Saint John Chrysostom – Thought for the Day

Saint John Chrysostom, the heat of your words burned so hot that you were persecuted for your ardor. Inspire all Christian preachers to light a fire of faith in their congregations, without fear for their own reputations or of recrimination.

Saint John suffered for his zeal. He was exiled by civil power in an age when correct theology was understood as a form of patriotism, and heresy as treason. He crossed the civil powers of his age, did not back down, and paid a severe price for his fidelity. When Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204, they stole John’s relics and carried them back to Rome. In 2004 Pope Saint John Paul II authorized the return of some of John’s remains to the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch in Saint George Church in present-day Istanbul, John’s own episcopal city.

Prayers Requested – FR. Riffle Joined Our Father In Heaven August 16th

Tuesday, August 16th, Fr. Riffle passed and joined our Heavenly Father. Fr. Riffle was a great supporter of Catholic education. We were blessed to have him visit our campus last winter. Students may remember this joyful elderly priest, who while using a walker and on oxygen, took the time to visit students, tour the school and provide the school with a generous and unexpected donation. He was excited about the joy he saw in our students and the faithfulness they exhibited when talking with him. He was also a great supporter of our Chapel relocation effort. I’m only sorry he will not be here to see it completed.

Please join us in prayer for the peaceful repose of his soul. And if you are able, join us for his funeral mass to be held at St. Pius X on Tuesday, August 23rd at 10 am. Bishop Peter will preside.

“Eternal rest, grant unto the Departed O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

God bless you.

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.


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