Letter to the ND Community
April 3, 2020
Dear Notre Dame Family,
Mrs. Lenihan, our Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, has a tagline at the end of every email she sends to teachers and staff that states: “Stay strong, Notre Dame!” Parents, students, faculty and staff, as your President and Principal, we could not be more proud of you for “staying strong” in this difficult time. As leaders of the Notre Dame community, the message we would like to convey to all Notre Dame families is that Notre Dame High School will “stay strong” now and into the future thanks to the dedication and teaching of our faculty, the resiliency of our students, the determination of our parents, and the persistence of our board and leaders as they navigate the school in these times. We truly understand the meaning of Notre Dame as Family First and community that truly cares for one another.
Next week, we will enter into the most sacred week of the liturgical calendar. As we begin this unique Holy Week, let us remember Church is not a building; it is a community of faith that transcends walls. As Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” We can and will celebrate a Holy Easter outside the walls. The article, Holy Week at Home
, has some creative ideas to help you celebrate Holy Week during this time of social distancing. We are blessed to celebrate the Triduum liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter with our Bishop, who will livestream these celebrations. Click Here
for times and how to tune in to liturgy.
You recently received communication about The Days of Caring that will take place next week, April 6-8. On each day, we will challenge the Notre Dame community to stay strong by performing acts of caring. We encourage all families to have conversations about the ways you can show the true Notre Dame spirit of service. The highlight of the Days of Caring will be the Wednesday Mass of Holy Week celebrated by our Chaplain, Father Jason at 10 a.m. This mass will be livestreamed and Father Jason will offer a message of hope prior to the start of mass for our entire Notre Dame family. Teacher’s office hours for Wednesday, April 8 have been adjusted to 11 a.m. through 2 p.m., which allows Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff to attend Mass and pray together.
Many families have inquired about the date Notre Dame will return to campus. The dates Mrs. Barlow and I publish are provided by the Superintendent of the Diocese of Trenton in consultation with Governor Murphy. We are scheduled to return to school on Monday, April 20. We expect Governor Murphy will provide additional guidance in the upcoming days. Notre Dame continues to monitor this situation on a daily basis and is in constant communication with the Superintendent of Schools.
For our seniors and senior parents, please stay patient. Our hearts break for you, your anxiety, and feelings of loss. We are praying for you in a special way. We hope to come back to campus to enjoy the year-end traditions and ceremonies that you have been dreaming about since your freshman year. If, however, we are unable to return to our loved campus, rest assured we are actively planning creative ways to honor our seniors, embrace your spirit, celebrate your accomplishments, and most importantly thank you for the blessings you have given us over the past four years.
Notre Dame family, please know that our prayers are with you each and every day. May God keep you safe and healthy.
Kenneth Jennings Joanna Barlow