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“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Please enjoy this beautiful poem by American Catholic Thomas Merton:


Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,  Skies, and be perfect!  Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,  And disappear.  You moon, be slow to go down,  This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence  Towards the four parts of the starry universe.  Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.  We have become more humble than the rocks,  More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, holy spheres,  While minds, as meek as beasts,  Stay close at home in the sweet hay;  And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.


Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our solemn valleys,  You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,  Toward the planets' stately setting,  Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

I wish each of you a blessed Christmas filled with family and friends. I hope you have time to laugh, play, relax, be filled with the spirit of this special season. I am grateful to be in this beautiful community and look forward to seeing you in the new year.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

An Advent message from author Matthew Kelly:

Too often the world we live in is cynical and skeptical and filled with negative humor, but among people of all faith, and even among those of no faith, the mood in our culture warms in these weeks leading up to Christmas. Somewhere deep inside, we all hope. The world sends us messages like, “hope is for fools,” or “don’t hope and you won’t be disappointed.” But hope is central to the Christian life.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Hope is one of those things that you can’t buy, but that will be freely given to you if you ask. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without. Hope is a thing of beauty. I hope . . .

I hope I can live up to the gifts and talents God has given me. I hope I can have the courage to be a true friend, a good father, and a loving husband. I hope I never stop striving to become the-best-version-of-myself. I hope I will continue to take time to listen to the voice of God each day. I hope I will have the courage to follow where his voice leads me. I hope we can build a world where our children can grow free and strong. And I hope we grow wise enough to realize that we have no better ally than Catholicism in achieving these hopes.

I hope . . . and that is a wonderful thing. Join me in that hope and together we will awaken all men and women to discover the incredible dream God has for their lives and for the world.” Everything we do offers people hope or robs them of hope. Our virtue conveys hope. Our generosity, kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness all convey hope to a world desperate to believe that the things God promises can and should be hoped for.

This Christmas, let us, as Christians, once again bring hope to the world in our own way and in our own place. May God bless you and all those you love


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32


Monday morning at assembly we began our celebration of the season of Advent. Our students were reminded that the liturgical church year begins with Advent, a time of waiting, hoping and preparing for the coming of Christ. We began with one of the many special Advent customs and traditions, the Advent wreath. We blessed our wreath and then prayed the prayer for the first week of Advent. I invite you to include this custom in your family tradition if you do not already do so. Here is a link to some unique Advent practices from the University of Notre Dame: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=22871. Also, please see the Advent Calendar included in your envelope for further suggestions.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

before I bake a pie or stuff a turkey next week, I want to take some time to ponder all my reasons to be grateful...

Help me remember, by name, the most important people in my life, on whom I depend for so many things, who support, comfort and challenge me, who help me make it day to day and through the night,  one day at a time...

Help me remember, one by one, all the gifts I have: the gifts of faith and hope and love, the gifts of wonder, tears and laughter,  the gifts of friendship and affection, the gifts of peace and quiet and the gift and grace of prayer...

Help me remember, Lord, all my talents and my skills: the ones I use every day, and the ones I hide from others, the ones I need to learn to share...

Help me remember what I often take for granted: my liberty and freedom, the right to speak and write and vote, the opportunity to seek my heart's desire and to go where you may call me...

Help me remember all that I've forgotten, all I should be grateful for, all for which I owe you thanks and praise...

Help me remember, Lord,  so that on Thanksgiving I'll know why I bow my head in prayer and whisper, "Thank you, Lord my God!"

I wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving holiday. I have much to be grateful for, and I say “Thank you, Lord my God!” for each of you. Enjoy your family and friends during this special time away from school.

Parent Teacher Conferences are this week. This is an important time to discuss your child’s progress and set goals for moving forward. We look forward to seeing you.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Veteran's Day
Veteran's Day Assembly

Veteran’s Day—I hope you were able to join us for our special morning assembly today in honor of our veterans. Thank you to the Young Marines Color Guard and to veteran Taylor Campbell who spoke to our students about his experience in the Army and now. Also, Veteran, Andrew Robinson, spoke with our Jr. High last Thursday. He had a special story to share and we were happy to welcome him in preparation for Veteran’s Day today.

Prayer for Veterans Day

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation, who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom...

We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war and whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day...

We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm's way: shield them from danger and bring them home, soon...

Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace...

May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us! Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!



“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Endow Girl's Group

I am thrilled that our 6th-8th grade girl’s group begins again this morning! We are so fortunate to have two loving, faith-filled teachers happy to give of themselves to our young women. Thank you Ms. Williams and Ms. Nielsen for sharing yourselves and your faith with our students and for the many extra hours you give in order to make this happen. We are all blessed by you.

This group follows a study guide developed by three Catholic women for a program called Endow: “What is my worth as a young Catholic woman?  This course explores the teachings of Pope John Paul II on the feminine genius and the authentic dignity each young woman has been given by God.  The world tries to convince young women that their dignity comes from having the right body type, hairstyle, clothes, athletic talents, or academic abilities. But in truth, they have dignity simply because they exist as human beings created in God’s image and likeness. Their intrinsic dignity is given to them freely as a gift from God, and nothing they do can ever add or subtract from this gift. Isn’t that amazing? They cherish God’s gift by choosing to live in a way that upholds their dignity.”

Please see the note from the President of Endow below and visit their website: endowgroups.org for more information.

Dear Mothers and Daughters, Sister and Friends – We are blessed as women. And our blessing contains many mysteries that God reveals to us along our journey of life and faith. I still remember my “aha” moment when I read Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Women and realized that God made every woman, including me, with dignity and worth. That defining moment over a decade ago was a revelation that moved me to help establish Endow. Since then, I have been thrilled to meet Catholic women and girls who are discovering the fullness of our faith—perhaps for the very first time. Your defining moments give me confidence that the mission of Endow is deeply relevant and desperately needed. I hope through our website you will be encouraged and inspired to continue your journey with us as you learn more about Endow and consider the wealth of opportunities to learn, and participate in our mission!

Yours in Christ,
Therese A. Polakovic
Co-Founder and President


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

TODAY! Extended School Day—Today, Wednesday, October 28th, the bishop will be visiting us.  We will have an extended day.  All students will be dismissed from the church at approximately 3:20-3:30. All parents are invited to join us!!  This is a unique and wonderful opportunity for us.

Text Alert—Hopefully, you received our school-wide text yesterday, reminding you of the extended day today. The display shows the text coming from number ‘313131’. If you did not receive this text, it is very important that you register your cell phone today as this is a critical tool we use in case of an emergency. Please follow these instructions to register your cell phone.

  1. Go to http://www.saintjamesacademy.com
  2. Click on Resources and then on Miscellaneous Forms
  3. Click on Emergency Text Messages Form
  4. Complete your information
  5. Click Join Now
Please let the school office/preschool know if you do not have a cell number that can receive texts.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Special opportunity and Extended School Day - Next Wednesday, October 28th, our new bishop will be visiting us.  We will have an extended day that day so that we can offer him a special welcome and a glimmer into our amazing school community.  All students will be dismissed from the church at approximately 3:20-3:30. All parents are invited to join us!!  This is a unique and wonderful opportunity for us.

An interesting book and review: The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 40 Characters by Michael J O’Loughlin and review by Abigail Greer

If you have not been following Pope Francis (@Pontifex) on Twitter, fear not, there is now a resource to catch you up on what you have been missing out on. To clarify, you have been missing out.” Read the rest of the review here: http://read.nxtbook.com/ncea/momentum/2015_fall/index.html#the_tweetable_pope

Gala Meeting Tomorrow - Please join Kelli Fuller for the first Gala meeting tomorrow, Thursday, October 22nd, in the parish hall at 8am. The Gala is our biggest event of the year. It will take place on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Please plan on assisting with your time, treasure and talent to help make it successful. This is a fun-filled night and assisting with this event is a wonderful way to get in your 30 hours and support SJA and all the wonderful, enriching programs we offer our students!


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

SJA Helps with Food Packaging
SJA Helps with Food Packaging

Exciting and Important: The Bishop is coming! Our new bishop, Bishop Robert McElroy, is coming to visit our parish and school on Wednesday, October 28th. He will arrive at 3pm. We would like to greet him in a special way as a school community, so we will dismiss school at 3:30pm on that day. Please make arrangements now. Much more information to follow, but please save the date and time. You are all invited to this special event!

A prayer that speaks to me of each of you:

They're all around me, Lord!
They're everywhere! 

Good people, fine people: all around me:
folks who care for others, selflessly,
with not a hint of complaint,
no expectation of reward...

So many good people, Lord,
who find their joy in giving,
who work behind the scenes, 
who do the tasks that others won't...
Good people, Lord:
already busy on their own
and yet they find the time
to reach to those in need...

Generous people, Lord,
whose very presence is a gift
and makes a difference
- long after they've gone home...

They're all around me, Lord -
good people everywhere -
and I'm grateful just to know them
and for all they give and do... 

So, open my heart today, Lord
and help me be a helper;
open my eyes to those in need
and make of me a ready, cheerful giver...

They're all around me, Lord!
They're everywhere -
and for this I give you thanks and praise!

Austin Fleming


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Angel Food Cupcakes
Feast Day of the Guardian Angels
Angel Food Cupcakes

I am torn about my lead in paragraph today! Two of our most beautiful traditional prayers have ties to today. In today’s Gospel Jesus teaches us to pray:

LK 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins,
  for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
  And do not bring us to the final test.”

And it is also the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. What a lovely day. So my decision was to mention them both:) and I believe the message is to pray and be comforted in the tradition of these familiar prayers.


Kathy Dunn & Christine Lang
Principals, St. James Academy

Kind Words About Us...

"One of the greatest benefits of a St. James Academy education is the commitment of faculty to continued personal growth."

"St. James Academy promotes a spirit of enthusiasm that fosters a sense of community thereby maintaining a strong Catholic mission."

"St. James Academy did an excellent job at incorporating a variety of supplemental texts, materials and methods to meet the needs of the students and their various learning styles!"

"They integrate Christian values into the curriculum, with an emphasis on spiritual development, positive approach to discipline and community building activities."

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St. James Academy is a private Catholic school in North County, San Diego. If you are searching for the premier preschool, elementary school or junior high school in proximity to Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, contact us today!