Autumn Is Upon Us

The weeks since the first day of school have flown by. Our hope is that you remain safe and well, and that you are weathering the autumn chill. What wonderful weather we had this weekend for the Hawktoberfest. Thank you one and all for making it an amazing Saturday to remember. The planning committee headed by Heather Morgan, and all of the great volunteers as well as the Knights of Columbus did a fabulous job. Thank you all so much for your gifts of time and talent.

Speaking of the Knights of Columbus, the St. George Parish Knights, surprised us with a wonderful donation for our SUCCESS program this morning. The Student Council gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of our school. Our SUCCESS program is well on it’s way to meeting our goal. Thank you all!


God of all seasons, we thank you for Autumn.

We thank you

for the touch of coolness in the air that gives us a new burst of energy,

for the coloring of trees that shows the creativity of the Divine Artist,

for the falling leaves that reveal the strength of the branches,

for the hues of fields that bring peace to our souls,

for the smiles on pumpkins that bring joy to children,

for the fall harvest which that brings us gratitude for the bounty of our land,

for this change of seasons that reveals the circle of life.

God of all seasons, as you transform the earth, transform us by your Spirit.


— Rev. Doug Leonhardt, S.J.

Have a blessed week.

Pax et Bonum,

Sue Styren

Principal, HFCS

Faith In Action

Last week I was in Boise attending Principal meetings, touring other Catholic school campuses, and virtually attending the Catholic Educators Conference. The week was filled with information, collaboration, and creative new ideas on challenging ourselves to be ministers in our communities. The keynote speaker, Juliana Stanz, message was moving. Start with Jesus, start each moment with that conscious awareness of Jesus. It seems so simple, yet how often is it overlooked.

“Evangelization happens in one-on-one moments that are not planned or scripted. We might not be comfortable thinking that evangelization happens outside the parish, but it does, and it should! Evangelization aims at transforming hearts (internal change) and the world (external change). Too often, people think that going door-to-door and preaching on street corners are the only ways we can evangelize. But there are many ways that Catholics can evangelize. In Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul VI writes that evangelization includes the following: • catechesis • preaching • liturgy • sacraments • popular piety • witness of the Christian life • mass media • personal contact Evangelization seeks to transform the world one person at a time. You might be asking yourself, Where do I start with evangelization? You begin with yourself and then move to those closest to you, such as your family and friends.” – Juliana Stanz

From Bishop Peter Christensen in his opening prayer:

I will lead the blind on a way they do not know;
by paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will turn darkness into light before them,
and make crooked ways straight.
These are my promises:
I made them, I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)

We can evangelize through our active participation in our faith communities. Through our participation in HFCS and parish activities and by volunteering. The model of faith in action is a wonderful gift with which to provide our children.

October – Month of the Rosary

I always look forward to the month of October – for so many reasons. Where I grew up, it was the best time of the year, warm east winds would blow across the beaches, which meant family time outside. But more importantly, and even more memorably was that October was the month of the Rosary. Together, my family would gather, kneeling around my parents room, the family statue of the Virgin Mary prominently placed, and we would pray the Rosary. It’s one of my earliest memories and one of my favorites. 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 At 6 pm from October 1 through the 31st, the program is sponsored by Relevant Radio. United in prayer, we can gather to support all human life.

SUCCESS: Partnership in the Future

At Holy Family Catholic School, the term SUCCESS takes on a new meaning. Sure, we are looking towards the success of the scholarship program, the opportunity for all students – no matter the ability to pay – to be able to take advantage of a truly Diocesan Catholic education. But there’s more, to SUCCESS. 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 as they venture on to higher education and their place in our state, the country, and the world. 

I was perusing The Catholic Book of Character and Success recently, while it was written in the 1930s by a wise priest, the principles he outlines provide a practical guide to true success and lasting happiness. He guides us in a way to approach decisions by which we can live our lives more nobly. How to tell the critical difference between pleasure and happiness; and how to strengthen your will to ensure that you always choose the good. He outlines how to maintain a healthy mind, resist temptations, grow temperate, practice fortitude, and think kindly of others. He even explains how to accept criticism graciously and how to develop the kind of confidence that is not rooted in pride, but is the necessary foundation for any life that will be productive and holy.  We enjoin you to think kindly and nobly as you discern contributing to the SUCCESS program.

We hope that while you take time to rejuvenate this weekend, attend mass, and forge strong family bonds, that you think of HFCS 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.

Join us at St. Thomas on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at either the 8 am or 10 am mass. Students in uniform will earn a Free Dress pass to use on the day of their choice. Please keep those members of our HFCS family that are ill in your prayers.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3

God bless you and keep you safe.

Sue Styren

Principal, Holy Family Catholic School

It’s All About the Children

“Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mk 9:37

All week I was thinking about this blog. I had other things on my mind … the school, our students, testing, accreditation …. the list goes on. However, this quote kept coming to mind, even when I was sleeping it seemed to seep into my dreams. What was it that God was trying to get me to see. I prayed and searched my thoughts regarding how God was trying to direct me. And then while I was in Mass today, listening to the Gospel, I realized it was everything.

God was trying to tell me, Sue, it is ALL about the children. Our SUCCESS programs allows us to provide a quality Catholic education to ALL the little children that seek it in Coeur d’Alene. The ones that can afford it and the ones that cannot. Our scrip program allows us to work towards lowering tuition, if we all “buy” into the program. In this state the cost to educate a child is over $10,000.00 a year – private or public. Tuition provides only part of that. Students that cannot pay are subsidized by our SUCCESS program. We make up the deficit by utilizing the scrip program and other fundraising activities throughout the year. It is ALL about the children. What we can do for the least of these children – we do for GOD.

This applies to so many of the decisions we make for the children in our community. Please join me in ensuring that ALL our children are protected, provided for, and allowed the opportunity to participate in a faith-filled, quality Catholic education. Join us in SUCCESS.


Happy Birthday Mother Mary

This morning we were blessed to have Fr. Len from Pope St. Pius X here on campus to serve mass at 9:30 am on the green. Our fabulous choir performed for the first time today, and with only one formal rehearsal, they were great. Thank you so much to the families and parishioners that continue to join us on Wednesdays for mass. I had the privilege of visiting the primary classrooms this morning and was delighted to see our first graders handmade birthday cards for the Blessed Virgin. As Fr. Len reminded us all at mass, we are one family in Christ, with Mary as our heavenly mother. As such it is so important that we treat each other with love and kindness as Christ asks us – to love one another. This community in Christ is what will sustain us throughout our lives.

Speaking of community, St. Thomas the Apostle parish has reached out seeking people to help straighten up the pew missals and Mass cards after each Mass at St. Thomas. This would be a great service opportunity for children and their parents to help one of our supporting parishes. We are extending this invitation to our HFCS families to stay a couple minutes after Mass to help straighten up. This is a great, age appropriate way for the children to help and serve, giving them an opportunity for personal investment in their home parish. If you are a parishioner for St. George or Pope St. Pius X take a moment after mass to see if there is some way you too may be of service for your parish. Together we can make our Tri-Parish community beautiful.

Volunteering is a special gift we can all give our communities. God has provided each of us with special talents meant to be shared. HFCS will be recruiting volunteers in the coming days. As parents we are asked to give 30 volunteer hours a year in support of school projects. Some families give in excess of their required 30 hours – God bless you! Start thinking about where you might share your talents. Here’s a short list of some areas in which you and your family can be of service this year:

  • Morning/Lunch Recess Duty
  • Office Help
  • Primary school classroom aide
  • Grandmother Program (fostering literacy in the primary grades)
  • Scrip Sellers (at your home parish)
  • Volunteer Appreciation Coordinator
  • Writing Grants
  • Accredidation team member
  • Kitchen Aide/Support
  • Success Phoneathon
  • Auction Support
  • Athletic Director
  • Volleyball Coach
  • Basketball Coach
  • Cross-country/Track Coach
  • Vacuum – Classrooms, Hallways, Offices, and Library (1x a week)
  • Cleaning Restrooms (1x a week)

See something that intrigues you? Give us a call, we’d love to discuss how we can team together to make HFCS better and better every year.

Pax et Bonum.

Sue Styren

Principal, Holy Family Catholic School

Golf Tournament Success

Thank you to Lee Lamb and her amazing crew of volunteers who put on the successful Golf Tournament Friday, August 20th. I had planned to attend; however, God had other plans yesterday and unfortunately I missed it. We had a great turn out and I thank everyone that participated. What a wonderful way to begin the new school year activities. Next week our amazing staff will be in the office attending training workshops, getting their classrooms ready, and collaborating. Wednesday finds our team at Pope St. Pius X attending mass and a retreat led by Fr. Len McMillan. As you know, if you listen to his podcast, Wresting with God, he’s an amazing speaker – we are all excited about this faith-filled day. We will round the week out with Faculty Meetings on Thursday and more tech training on Friday. I’m working on our Return to School Policy, and will be providing more information soon. Stay safe and healthy as we continue through the end of summer and enjoy an wonderful new year at HFCS.

Blessings to all our families in our Tri-Parish Community!

Learning About Christ

“Christ is at the center of everything we do at Holy Family Catholic School, from starting and ending our days in communal prayer to exploring how our Catholic Faith reveals itself in all subjects through the works of the great heroes of our faith, saint scientists, and faith filled literature. Learning about Christ and cultivating Christ-like leaders in our students and staff makes Holy Family a unique and precious gift to our Catholic parishes and our community.”

Mrs. Styren – Principal

Welcome Mrs. Sue Styren – Principal

It is a true privilege to serve the Holy Family Catholic School community and to continue my career in Catholic education. I’ve been working as an educator for over 20 years, 15 of those years in administration. Along my professional journey, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to expand my understanding of the faith and grow in communion with my fellow Catholics.

I found an interesting article in the Harvard Review on the type of leader that can have a positive and long lasting impact on a school. The founding families of HFCS were those types of leaders, architects of the future, not seeking notoriety for themselves but focused on making a long lasting impact on the community, on the world, in Christ’s name. They started Holy Family twenty-five years ago and built a school where lives could be transformed. I look forward to working with our supporting parishes and the families of HFCS where we can come together to provide a faith-filled quality academic foundation for our children.

I encourage you to visit Holy Family Catholic School. Join me on a journey to rejuvenate the ONLY diocesan Catholic school in North Idaho after this lengthy pandemic. Let’s honor the traditions of the founding families by fortifying our children’s faith and attaining academic excellence.

Pax et Bonum,
Mrs. Sue Styren, M.Ed.
Principal of Holy Family Catholic School