May Crowning

Dear HFCS Families and Friends,

It is a Catholic tradition to honor Mary, our Mother, during the month of May by placing on her statue a crown of flowers. This lovely devotional ceremony is a favorite tradition at Holy Family Catholic School. The May Crowning gives the children an opportunity to especially honor the Blessed Mother of Jesus, and to give thanks to her for bringing our Savior into the world.

The May Crowning service was led by our soon-to-be graduating eighth graders and our wonderfully blessed second grade class, most of whom have just received their 1st Holy Communion. The crowning ceremony takes place at Mass today, where a special statue of Mary was placed adjacent to the altar for the occasion.

Each child in the school had the opportunity to place a flower in front of Mary; and two eighth graders were selected to place the crown of flowers on Mary’s head. This year, that honor went to August Anderson and Sophia Muehlhausen. Their essays on Mary were beautifully written and were selected by the faculty to represent the school today.

The gymnasium was filled with parents and community members and we were blessed to have Fr. Arogyam as our celebrant. Many thanks to all the parents and students for their lovely flowers presented to Mary today and their help in this celebration. Congratulations to all of our students that have received Sacraments this Spring!

O Jesus, Divine Master, I thank and bless Your most merciful Heart for having given us Mary most holy as our Mother, Teacher and Queen. From the cross You placed us all in her hands. You gave her a great heart, much wisdom and immense power. May all mankind know her, pray through her! May all permit themselves to be led by her to You, the Savior of mankind! I placed myself in her hands, as You placed Yourself. With this Mother I want to live now, in the hour of my death, and for all eternity.


This week has been filled with excitement. Thanks so much to PIE and our school parents that have been spoiling the faculty and staff during this Teacher Appreciation Week as well. Everyone has been enjoying the treats and treasures you have provided.

In addition to May Crowning and Teacher Appreciation week, the staff has also been celebrating two very special occasions among the staff members. Mr. McDonnel is engaged to be married and will be wed this coming July. And we have all been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mrs. Taylor’s baby boy, Oliver, who will be born very soon! We wish them all much happiness and joy.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Principal, HFCS

Message From the Principal – Building a Community of Faith

Dear HFCS Families & Friends,

The homilies this weekend and today reminded me that there are many ways Christ asks us to serve communities. As we serve others we grow closer to Christ. There are great opportunities through our parishes and outlying communities for adults and children to come together in faith. Please be sure to read your parish bulletins regarding retreats, classes, and summer camps/workshops, etc.

Thank you again to all our amazing volunteers, I am continually blown away by the support of our HFCS community and our parishes. This weekend the Knights of Columbus from Pope St. Pius X generously donated over $1300.00 to the school from the Fr. Rasley Breakfast. The prayers, support, and assistance we receive from our parishes is tremendous. We are truly blessed in Northern Idaho to be part of such a rich Catholic culture. Holy Family Catholic School continues to flourish for our children and our families and it is due greatly to our amazing community that supports us with their talents.

“May God give you, for every storm, a rainbow, for every tear, a smile, for every care, a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends a faithful friend to share, for every sign a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.”

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Principal, HFCS


Ps – Don’t forget to purchase your Gala Tickets soon – they are selling fast!

Message From the Principal – Subtraction, A Path to Holiness

Dear HFCS Families and Friends,

Today at Mass Fr. Len asked us to think about how subtracting things from our lives may be the road that leads us to holiness. It made me think of that saying – Less is More. Filling our lives of less worldliness and more opportunities to connect with service in our communities, prayer, and family.

We are asked to reflect, today, upon the witness of Judas. Use him as a source of meditation and self-examination this Holy Week. What is it in our lives that we desire more than our Lord? What temptation clouds our thinking and leads us to choices that will hinder our relationship with God? Jesus should be our focus especially this very Holy Week.

My divine Lord, You and You alone must become the focus of my life. You and You alone are of the greatest value in life. Help me to shed all earthly desires in life so that I will not fall into the temptations that lead to empty promises and so that I will embrace the true and fulfilling promises that come from You. Jesus, I trust in You.

This past week, HFCS finished up the final pieces of our Accreditation. We will hear the official word sometime in late June or early July. However, that being said, the school rated highly effective or effective on all of the factors of accreditation. Which means we are accredited as we move forward. I want to thank our fabulous faculty/staff, wonderful parents, and amazing Parents in Education as well as our Advisory Board for their contributions and support. It was truly a team effort and I look forward to working with the Strategic Planning committee as we begin planning for the new year and beyond.

Speaking of the new year, we have a new middle school teacher we will be bringing on board this fall, Meghan Sanchez. She has gone through two interview cycles, her references are of the highest caliber and she is excited about teaching Social Studies and religion to our middle school students. I know you will love her as much as we do! We are scheduling multiple interviews for the many fourth grade candidates that have applied. We will keep you posted. I am excited about the wonderful candidates that have applied thus far. Mrs. Teresa Sanchez has been a great 4th grade teacher and we are sad to lose her – but it makes finding a fabulous teacher to replace her that much more important. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to pop by my office, email, text, or call.

Please watch your email in the next few days for Parent Teacher Conference signup links. Conferences are scheduled for April 26 – 28, 2023.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Principal, HFCS

Message From the Principal – Perseverance

Dear HFCS Families & Friends,

This week I am at the NCCE (Northwest Council of Computer Education) Conference in Tacoma with a few of our faculty members. The title is a little misleading – it really should be for Educators using Computers. We will be here through Thursday and if today is any indication of the amazing sessions that they will have, we are in for a great week of inspiration and tools to bring home to our HFCS team. It is wonderful to get the opportunity to collaborate with other educators and administrators that are looking at ways in which we can inspire all of our students to do their very best and achieve their goals – spiritually, academically, and physically. We are able to attend this conference by the generosity of grants the school has received due to the impact of COVID on our schools. We will be back on campus on Friday – ready to share all we’ve learned.

During our lunch break, I took a moment to YouTube today’s Gospel. John 5:1-16. It’s always interesting to see how the scripture is interpreted by various people. The theme for today stood out for all – perseverance. The crippled man at the well, persevering to seek healing for 38 years. And Jesus’ compassion for this man in his hour of need. Perseverance is one of those important life skills that we need to encourage our children to pursue. Life can be hard. But with a strong faith in Christ, He will come to our aid and guide us.

That is why we should humble ourselves and be contrite in our hearts, that we may embrace wholly the love that God has always generously poured down upon us. Let the spring of God’s living water continue to wash over us, encouraging and inspiring us to live our lives in the best way possible, to do what He has wanted us to do.

As we move through the 4th week of Lent, encourage your children to persevere through those difficult moments – a challenging math assignment, a friend – that may be distracting them, an essay they can’t find a way to start, a prayer that feels too difficult to memorize … perseverance will be rewarded. They will find joy in the accomplishment of a job well done.

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Principal, HFCS

Message From the Principal – Silence is Golden

Today’s readings and Gospel could not be more meaningful. Words, we use them everyday. Our children use them, sometimes words we wish they would not use, other times words that bless our being. The readings caution us to avoid needless words. We should limit our words to those that are true, to those that are kind. Our lives are filled with words. Conversations with friends, family, co-workers, clients, children and those we read on the news and social media explode through our days.

This Lent, let us not miss those important opportunities for silence and contemplation. Periods of silence help to create havens where we can prepare to fully hear God’s word. This season of Lent gives us an opportunity to tune out the noise and embrace moments of silence, resting in God’s Holy Word.

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy Kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,

your heavenly Father will forgive you.

But if you do not forgive men,

neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”



Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message From the Principal – Lent – The Power of Positive Prayer

Dear HFCS Families,

My first year as a Catholic Educator I taught third grade. As we moved closer towards Lent, I struggled with how I would prepare my students for this important Liturgical Season. I settled on preparing for the Tridium as an athlete prepares for competition. Hence stepping up our prayer life, almsgiving, and sacrifice. In order to make this more appealing to my third graders, we took a look at the positive side of all these faith workouts. Hence, I get to spend more time chatting with God! I get to help others! I get to do something nice for someone else! Putting a positive spin on the season worked not only for the Lenten Season but it carried over throughout the rest of the year. Parents, as the primary educators of our children, have the noble duty to help build that personal relationship with Christ for our families. I encourage you to team up as a family and develop your own positive Lenten Workout to make this Lent your best yet.

Tomorrow, we will all begin our Lenten journey of 2023. Let us all take this time to prepare ourselves for that journey. A road map, if you will, guiding us through increased prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving. If you don’t have a plan, it is hard to reach a goal. And in so doing become closer in our relationship with Christ.


Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message From the Principal – Happy St. Valentine’s Day

Dear HFCS Families,

Thank you to all the families that turned out for our Annual Parents’ Night Out last Saturday evening. And special thanks to Deacon Chris and Mary Stewart for their workshop: What I’d tell My Younger Self. It was an amazing evening of faith, fun, and community. Thank you also to our amazing chef’s that entered the Chili Competition. I’d love the recipes for all six entries – they were great! 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, A Night on the Red Carpet, 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, Saturday, May 6th.

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. We are offering a class Monday, February 21. 2023 at 6 pm in the HFCS Library If you would like to register, please registration on the website.

We look forward to the remainder of our school year and have begun planning and preparing for 2023/2024. 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.

Let us pray: Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Saint Valentine, advocate and protector, pray for us.


Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message From the Principal – How Will They Know We Are Catholics?

Dear HFCS Families,

Today at mass the Homily focused on: How do we show we are Catholic – in our actions, in how we live our lives, in how others perceive us. Is it evident that we are Catholics – called to do Christ work here on earth? It’s not the first time I was humbled by God’s word. The truths that God has revealed to us make up the foundation of our lives.

It can be difficult to see through the challenges of the modern world and focus on the teachings of Christ in our lives. But as we do this, we help model for our children the rich experience of living a truly Catholic way of life. There are many ways to express our Catholic faith. These include prayer, looking to Mary as our model of faith, Eucharistic Adoration, devotions to Mary, the saints and angels, reading sacred scripture, visiting the stations of the cross, observing the many symbols and rituals that comprise the Catholic faith, and in how we treat those we encounter daily.

Dear Father in heaven, living source of all that is eternal in us, we come to you and plead with you to strengthen the gifts you have given us. Grant us the light of life in which we can walk in spite of the many burdens and uncertainties of our earthly life. Protect us from deception and disappointment. Strengthen our hope for your steadfast, firm, and eternal rule in us, in many others, and finally in all people. Amen.

With Christ in our hearts, we look forward to the remainder of our school year and begin planning and preparing for 2023/2024. 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 below, please be sure to read through it.

I want to also thank our PIE volunteers, Student Council, students, families, and teachers for an amazing Catholic Schools Week last week. God bless you as we move closer to Lent.


Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.

Message from the Principal – Walking in Faith

Dear HFCS Families,

During Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, we celebrate what makes our Catholic schools special places of learning, faith formation and growth. Each day, we recognize a different member of the Catholic schools “family.” Last week, you should have received an email describing our “Help a Hawk” Pledgestar drive this week. If you missed it – or put it off – please take a moment – review the email, see the flyer in today’s Family Packet or see the information below – and join us in helping all our HFCS Hawks have the best opportunity for quality education. If you have any questions, please contact Lee Lamb.

Today, we honored our priests and clergy. We were so blessed to have our priests, Fr. Len, Fr. Arogyam, Fr. Remi, and Fr. Anthony all concelebrating mass. Joining our priests were Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, Mother Kathryn Joseph and Sister Gabriel, and Missionaries of Charity, Sister Isave and Sister Maxmilina. Deacon Chris and his wife Mary also joined us for mass. The priests and nuns joined the children in the Commons for lunch and community. It was a beautiful morning and afternoon. Thank you so much to the many community members that joined us for mass and our amazing Student Council that hosted mass today!

Part of why I am a Catholic school educator is that I’m a product of Catholic schools. I actually attended Catholic schools from 1st grade through high school and even into graduate school courses. My son attends Catholic school, my sisters, parents, nieces, nephews, and cousins all have received a Catholic school education, for which I feel immensely blessed.

Catholic school teachers are called not only to the profession but to be ministers of the faith. All great teachers want to meet their childrens’ academic, social and emotional needs. But we have another level as Catholic school teachers: we’re also trying to meet their spiritual needs. We’re trying to help them encounter God throughout the day, to know that they are wonderfully made and that God wants them always to be Christlike. So we really, truly walk by faith.

It is this engagement in inspiring our students to experience Christ in their daily lives that will bring about true wonderment in our children. Please join us as we continue to analyze our school community and investigate how we can create a better Eucharist Centered school in which our children will grow and thrive. Please take a moment to complete the surveys (links provided below) that will help us assess our school and identify areas of growth and improvement. Thank you to all those that have already begun responding.

Almighty Father,

You sent forth your Son as a beacon of hope for all people.

As Teacher, he has given us the prime example of the importance of education.

As disciples, we look to him for inspiration and strength.

Thank you for the many sisters, brothers, priests, and laypeople who have dedicated their lives in service to our Catholic schools.

Thank you for the teachers and administrators who sustain our schools today.

Thank you for the parents who have given support and witness to the importance of Catholic education in their daily lives.

Thank you for the students who work hard to further their education.

Bless Holy Family Catholic School and the many people who advance our mission.

May our building be a home for those who seek to grow in faith, knowledge, and service of others.

May our community always support one another and exhibit hospitality to newcomers.

Fill our minds with knowledge and wisdom.

May our understanding of the world help us to grow in appreciation for it.

Fill our hearts with gladness.

May we always turn to you in times of need.

Fill our hands with the tools we need to serve others.

May we show them your unceasing love through our actions.


Pax et bonum,

Sue Styren, M.Ed.