St. Francis Academy
1601 Central Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087

Tel. No. (201)863-4112
Fax No. (201)601-5905


December 2015


“What good is it that Christ was born 2000 years ago if he is
not born now in your heart?”
– Meister Eckhart

Dear Parents,

As I write this letter on the Feast of St. Andrew, evangelist, martyr, fisherman, brother of Peter, the season of Advent is in full swing at St. Francis Academy. The eighth grade has attended Mass this morning, preparation for the Ring Ceremony and the Christmas Concert are underway, and we begin our Christmas Novena today.

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena is also known as the Christmas Anticipation Prayer and is prayed 15 times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew until Christmas. That may sound excessive to you but your children will tell you it is so easy, five times in the morning, at lunch and at the end of the day. The children know this is a powerful novena, God is listening to them and many of their prayers have been answered. This lovely prayer is a way to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, to leave the commercial aspect of the holy season behind and prepare our hearts for Christ’s birth. Won’t you please join your precious children in praying for a miracle. I have prayed this novena for many years with the children of St. Francis Academy and my novena requests have been answered. This year I am praying for Kaycy Rivera and her family, that God will shower graces and blessings upon them. Here is the novena prayer:

Hail and blessed be the
hour and moment in which
the Son of God was born
of the most pure, Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and
grant my desires through the
merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His blessed Mother.


Last year Santa sent three elves to watch over our Christmas preparations, I wonder how many will arrive this year? The elves can be problematic as sometimes we can’t find them. But the children always seem to know where they are located and whether or not they’ve moved. The elves help us to remember to be kind to one another during Advent. On the last day of school the elves are always spotted in the manger in our chapel adoring the baby Jesus. From the blessing of the candy canes on the Feast of St. Nicholas to the trip to Radio City, from the lighting of the Advent wreath to the Christmas Concert, from the Toy Drive to the Blessing of the Manger, from the sublime to the ridiculous every activity helps us to prepare our hearts for Christ’s birth so we may say together, Come, Lord Jesus!

Peace & Blessed Advent,

Ms. Deborah Savage

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