Weekly Letter (Nov 19, ’18)

Dear Parents and Students,

As firefighters gain more ground in containing the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, more residents displaced by Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles are being allowed to return to their homes. Both fires started November 8, but authorities have not yet determined a cause.

We know that the Camp Fire was fueled by low humidity and strong winds and has destroyed over 11,000 buildings across over 140,000 acres. The entire population of Paradise, about 30,000 people, were forced to evacuate on November 9. Their  town was destroyed and nearly 1.000 people are still missing.

The Camp Fire has also ravaged parts of the Diocese of Sacramento including schools and churches. Please keep the families in Paradise and the surrounding communities affected by the fires in your prayers.

Pray also for the brave men and women who have responded to this disaster and battled the fires.

We have a short week this week, just Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday there is no school and Thursday is Thanksgiving which is not really a holy day for Catholics but maybe it should be, at least for American Catholics.

The Puritans who came to Plymouth in 1620 almost did not survive that first harsh winter. In fact, about half of them died. They were saved by a Native American named Squanto, who taught them how to hunt, fish, and grow corn.

In 1614, Squanto was taken by English settlers led by Captain John Smith and taken on a ship to Spain where he was sold as a slave. He was rescued by some Dominican friars who taught him in the Catholic faith. Squanto told them that he wanted to go back to his tribe in America so they helped him get to England, where he met John Slaney, who taught him English and arranged for him to get to Newfoundland. Squanto then served as an interpreter for the English and the Native Americans and crossed the Atlantic Ocean six times. After he came to the aid of the Plymouth settlers, helping them grow their own food, he arranged for a joint harvest feast with the local Wampanoag tribe. It was this event that is the basis of our Thanksgiving holiday. So remember, Thanksgiving was started by a Native American Catholic.

Also, remember that Monday, the 26th, is a 12:30 dismissal.

Take Care and God Bless,

Mr. David Gallagher

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