Sister Mary Sue Carwile, IHM

Principal, St. James Catholic School

Latest Updates

October 15, 2021

Friday, October 15, 2021

Dear Parents,

This week some of our students in grades seven and eight were inducted into the Saint James Catholic School Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. The ceremony stresses the characteristics of the members of this society: Intellect, Leadership, Service and Character. Our guest speaker, Mrs. Natalie Keffalas, personalized this important event as she spoke about the above traits and how to develop them now, in the high school years and into adulthood. She spoke of her experiences as a Saint James student, and later a DJO student, as times to grow in all of these areas that will assist each student in the development of a healthy and productive future. 

Last Friday, we held our student Government elections. Congratulations to all of the students who participated and will continue to give service and leadership to our school. Special congratulations to our elected officers and representatives and to our NJHS Officers.

Today we had an all school Mass. At the end of Mass, we installed and thanked all of those students who have taken on a special role of service this year: Student Council, Safety Patrols, Choir and National Junior Honor Society members. 

Next Week: BAZAAR TIME!     

May your weekend be a blessed and peaceful one!

Sister Mary Sue

October 8, 2021

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dear Parents,

Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Rosary.  We prayed the Rosary together as a school in the form of a “Living Rosary” at 1:30 PM in BLot. Praying the Rosary in this way allows us to enter fully into the prayer by becoming actual “beads” along the way and putting our whole selves into the action of the prayer. I was so proud of our students as they reverently prayed together for our families, our church, country and world.

Thank you again to Sean and Denise Mullin and their team for planning and executing the successful Nun Fun Run. The Saint James Parish and School support of our IHM Congregation is indeed a heart-warming gift to us.

Today we had our Student Government Election speeches. The students’ speeches and their demeanor were both so impressive. Equally impressive was the attention and respect given by each member of the student body as they listened to their classmates. I was happy to announce the student government officers for the 2021 – 2022 school year.

Congratulations to these students and to the all students who ran for office!    

Soon the Bazaar will be upon us! White Elephant, here we come! Please check out the newsletter for details of the White Elephant item drop-off. Thank you to Julie Marx and her team for pulling this all together! 

May your long weekend be a blessed and peaceful one!

Sister Mary Sue

October 1, 2021

Friday, October 1, 2021

Dear Parents,

The final results are in for our Read-a-Thon and we topped our $50,000.00 goal! Thank you to Bethany Scully for all of her efforts to make this a success, to our students, who supported this by reading and finding sponsors and to, our parents, for your constant and continued support. Sister Kathryn and I can taste the Reddi Whip pies already!

Tomorrow is a great day for Saint James Parish and School! We will begin the day with our Annual Nun Fun Run! Thank you to all who were able to support this fundraiser that assists our retired and sick IHM Sisters in Camilla Hall, our IHM Nursing Home in Pennsylvania. The weather looks promising for an enjoyable quick run or walk in the morning! Thank you to Sean and Denise Mullin, who organized this event! Following the Run, we will have our annual blessing of our pets at 9:30 at the corner of Spring Street and Park Avenue. Be sure to come to the Parish Picnic from noon to 3:00 PM! There will be plenty of fun, food and entertainment for everyone! I am looking forward to seeing you there!

A note about pick-up: due to the many cars this year, the parking lot fills up quickly. Many are parking on the street and picking up the children. While this is not the best solution, for now it is permutable. PLEASE walk to the parking lot to gather your child/children and walk them to your cars. Please be especially careful if crossing the street. No child will be permitted to walk to the car outside of the parking lot without someone to supervise the walk. Also, in B lot, when the children begin to come out of the building, please move from the Gym sidewalk to the parking lot in order to make room for them. We are allowing these changes to try to avoid staggered dismissal as we had last year. Thank you for your vigilance as we maintain a safe environment for our children.

Enjoy your weekend! I hope to see you tomorrow.


Sister Mary Sue 

September 24, 2021

Friday, Setptember 24, 2021

Dear Parents,

October will soon be upon us! With that comes news of our Annual Bazaar.  I am happy to report that we will be having a modified in-person Bazaar. Typically, we have started our White Elephant collection over Columbus Day weekend.  Due to the need for Heller Hall to be used as a lunchroom, we do not have the space needed to store those magical discarded items. In order to make this the “Best Modified Bazaar” ever, we are making a calendar change. You may have noticed that Friday, October 22, is a no school day. This will be a teacher retreat day. In addition to this day off for students, Thursday, October 21, will be an ASYNCHRONOUS SCHOOL DAY: the teachers will post work for the students on Schoology. This will allow the volunteers to work sifting through the items dropped on Wednesday night and Thursday and set up for the Bazaar for Friday and Saturday. Please note also, that October 29 is a Diocesan Professional Development Day for Teachers as well, so the students will have off.

As we look to November, we will have parent conferences in person, on Thursday, November 11, all day, and on Friday, November 12, beginning at noon. Information on signing up for interview times will be coming. We are also going to take a “pause” day on November 29 and have another asynchronous day. This is to allow people to travel with less stress and return to in-person school on Tuesday rested and ready to go until Christmas break. 

The PTO will be sending home information regarding the Bazaar, particularly about the drop off process and times for the White Elephant. Please do not call the office for this information as we do not have it yet.

A new NJHS Induction date will be announced as we need to make some adjustments due to space.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Sister Mary Sue

September 17, 2021

Friday, September 17, 2021

Dear Parents,

This week we closed out our Back to School Nights for our Middle School. I would like to thank all of our teachers and staff who prepared our Back to School Nights. It was great to see all of you again in the school. Thank you to YOU, our parents, for your constant support as we work together in the education of our students.

We also had the restart of band and choir this week! What a delight to hear music in our halls again. As I walked in from a rather rainy dismissal yesterday, I was thrilled to hear the choir singing one of my favorite hymns, The Servant Song.

Sunday is Catechetical Sunday. This day has been established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and honors those who teach our Catholic faith to our children. Our teachers and catechists, from both school and PREP, will be recognized and held in prayer at the noon Mass. Please join me in a prayer of thanksgiving for their generosity on our students’ behalf.

This week we celebrated the feast of Our Mother of Sorrows.  Mindful of the sufferings that our Lady embraced for us all and our salvation, we honor her with this title. I would like to close with this prayer:

Mary, Our Mother of Sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping. We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you. We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you. We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion.

Your deep sense of the abiding presence of God within strengthened you on your journey. Teach us this truth, Dear Mother of God and our Mother, that we are not alone in our journey. Guide our hearts to find within our deepest selves and in one another the abiding presence of the God of love. Amen.


Sister Mary Sue

September 10, 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow we remember in our hearts and prayers the tragic events of September 11, 2001. I am sure that all of us remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the terrorists’ attacks on our nation. This morning, we gathered as a school in B Lot to honor with prayer and remembrance those who lost their loved ones and those heroes, many giving their lives, who rushed in to assist those in need. Our fifth grade has the honor of raising our flag each day. After the B Lot ceremony, they processed to the flagpole and stood at attention as the flag was raised to half-mast. We then proudly recited our Pledge of Allegiance to our flag.

This morning we also celebrated our opening School Mass, asking God’s blessing on our year and on our nation.

Next week we will begin Scantron testing for Grades 3 through 7. Your child’s teacher will let you know each grade’s schedule. The testing runs through October 1. Back to School Night for Middle School will be on Wednesday, September 15. Grades 6 & 7 will meet at 7:00 PM and Grade 8 will meet at 7:45. This will be in Heller Hall. Band will return to Saint James School this week as well!

Tonight is family Fun Night in B Lot! I hope to see you there!


Sister Mary Sue

September 3, 2021

Friday, September 3, 2021

Dear Parents,

Top on my list of thank you’s today is to all of you for your patience on Wednesday when we had our unexpected early dismissal. Your patience and support filled my heart with overwhelming gratitude for each of you. I would also like to thank our teachers and staff who jumped into action to assist in making sure our students were sent home safely. Knowing how dangerous the storm proved to be, I am very grateful that we missed it. We remember in our prayers all those whose lives have been forever changed by the suddenness of this tragic event.

Our Back to School night for grade 5 will be moved to Tuesday, September 7, at 7:00 PM in the classrooms.

The Middle School Back to School Night will be held on Wednesday September 15 in Heller Hall. Grades 6 & 7 will be from 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Grade 8 will begin at 7:45. 

Be sure to mark on your calendar the PTO Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, September 8, at 7:00 PM, and the Family Fun Night, next Friday, September 10, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Sister Mary Sue 

August 27, 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021

Dear Parents,

As we close out our first week of school, I would like to thank you for your support and patience during these beginning days.

This coming week is a busy one for us! Back to School Nights on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be an exciting time for us all.  On Monday, the PTO will host a Virtual Back to School Night beginning at 7:00 PM. Please look for an invitation and a link to this meeting. On Tuesday, Grades 1 through 4 will have their meetings in their classrooms, so please report directly to the classroom. Due to space, we ask that only one parent per room attend and please wear a mask.  On Wednesday, Grade 5 will meet in their classrooms at 7:00 PM and Grades 6 & 7 will have their meeting in Heller Hall from 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Grade 8 parents will follow in Heller Hall at 7:45. Again, please only one parent and please wear masks. We hope that these meetings are informative and helpful for you as we work together in this sacred ministry of educating your children.

Other events this week are Fall Pictures on Thursday, September 2. We will also welcome back our band Teacher, Mrs. Susan Findley, for Band Demonstrations for any interested students. More information will be coming home.

May God bless us all abundantly in the year to come!


Sister Mary Sue, IHM


August 20, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to a new school year! Despite the many challenges we face and a few unwelcome surprises that greet us throughout the day (like floods throughout the school this morning), I am hopeful that this year will bring with it God’s many graces and the support of one another as we continue to join together in this most sacred endeavor of educating our children in faith and in knowledge. I firmly believe that we are here together this year, at this time, as a school community, because God has called us all to be united in the building up of His kingdom.

I would like to welcome back to our school community the families who are returning. We are so blessed to have you back! We are also welcoming a number of new families and students. It is our hope that you will be able to feel at home soon!

I am so grateful for the many people who have made our school the welcoming and safe environment that it is. We are truly blessed here with all those who come together to ensure that we have what we need for the coming year.

I would like to extend my gratitude to:

 Father Scalia and our priests for their wholehearted support of Saint James School;

Our tech team who continue to keep us updated and patiently sort out all of the technological glitches that befall us

 All of the teachers and aides for their dedication and passion that they bring to the classroom each day

Our maintenance crew who work endlessly to keep our school safe and clean

 Our office, nursing, cafeteria and daycare staff who never stop looking after all of the hidden needs that arise for everyone

 Our Saint James PTO for all they do for the school community of Saint James

These coming weeks will be busy ones for us. Our Back to School Nights will be a bit different this year. On Monday, August 30, we will have a Zoom General Meeting with the PTO Board, Sister Kathryn Teresa, our new Assistant Principal and me. On Tuesday, August 31, Grades 1 –4 will have their Back to School Nights beginning at 7 PM.  Grades 5 - 8 will have theirs on Wednesday, September 1. Back to School Nights will be in person and grades 1 -5 will meet in the classrooms. Grades 6, 7 and 8 will meet in Heller Hall. Due to distancing, we ask that only one parent attend in each classroom and in Heller Hall. Please do not bring children and a mask must be worn. We hope that this is an informative and helpful night for you as we work together in this sacred ministry of educating your children. 

I am excited and anxious to have everyone back and to begin a new school year next week.

May your weekend provide time for you and your families to celebrate one last weekend before school starts! Be assured of my prayers.


Sister Mary Sue

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