Latest Updates

June 7, 2024

Friday, June 7, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

Only four more days left of the 2023-2024 school year! Here at Saint James Catholic School, we are as busy as ever. 

On Monday, we held Kindergarten graduation, and it was so heartwarming to see the delight and joy in their faces as they received their diplomas. The Kindergarteners sang a few songs and the song “I am a Promise” expressed our hopes for them as they learn and grow at Saint James School.

And I am learning to hear God's voice
And I am trying to make the right choices
I'm a promise to be anything He wants me to be

On Wednesday, the 8th grade class graduated, and  these words ring just as true for our graduates. We pray that they continue to listen to God’s voice in their lives and follow His call for each of them. 

Whether our students are at the beginning or end of their journey at our school, we are so proud of them. We know that they are going to make a positive impact on our world because… 

They are promises
They are possibilities
They are great big bundles of potentiality - 
To be who God wants them to be! 

Next week we are looking forward to many end of year parties throughout school. We will hold our talent show, the rising 6th graders will be sorted into their Middle School Houses, and students will also receive their yearbooks. On the last day of school, we will hold our final school mass.  It is going to be an exciting week! 

Peace and God Bless, 
Sister Kathryn Clemmer, IHM 
Principal 

May 31, 2024

Friday May 31, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

It has been a pretty normal week here at Saint James Catholic School. Students were busy working and learning as much as they could before the end of the year. They are looking forward to the many end of year celebrations that are coming up. Next week, there will be end of year ice cream socials, the talent show, and we can’t forget the Kindergarten and 8th grade graduations. Summer is getting closer and closer. Students are ready to cool down in the pool and at the beach! 

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi, which translates to the Body of Christ. There will be a Eucharistic procession on Sunday, June 2nd. All First communicants are invited to join the procession dressed in the 1st Holy Communion dresses and suits. This is a beautiful opportunity to evangelize and share the love of Christ with the Falls Church community. All are invited to join the procession.

´╗┐Prayer for Corpus Christi

Lord Jesus, you are the living bread which sustains me in this life. May I always hunger for the bread which comes from heaven and find in it the nourishment and strength I need to love and serve you wholeheartedly. 

Peace and Blessings, 

Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM

Principal 

May 24, 2024

Friday, May 24, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

The end of year countdown continues and so does the excitement at Saint James School! Today was Field Day. The students, faculty and staff had a blast with fun activities that included an inflatable obstacle course, water relays, Gaga ball, Kona Ice and much more! I was so proud of our students who showed top notch sportsmanship at all of the events. While the scores were close, only one team could win. Yellow team claimed victory today! Congratulations!  

Thank you to Coach Rogers for organizing the day, and thanks to the teachers and parents who gave their time to make Field Day a success. Thank you also to Vince Dufrane and the maintenance team for all of the behind the scenes set up. We couldn’t have done it without them! While Field Day signals that the end of the year is near, we still have a lot going on here at SJS. 

After our Memorial Day holiday, our band will perform the Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 PM in Heller Hall and Kindergarten Graduation will be Monday June 3.

The 8th grade Dance is Saturday, June 1, their breakfast is Wednesday, June 5, and Graduation that night is at 7 PM.  The last day of school is on Thursday, June 13, with dismissal at 11 AM.   

Peace and God Bless, 
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM
Principal

May 17, 2024

Friday, May 17, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

May is the month of Our Lady, and here at Saint James Catholic School we shower Mary, our mother with lots of love. On Tuesday, we gathered for a beautiful May Crowning. Second grade girls and boys dressed in their First Communion finest as they led the school in honoring Mary. Our prayer service brought to mind three famous apparitions of Mary: Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of Lourdes. In between each reflection, the choir sang hymns of love and praise to Mary, our mother.  As I placed the crown of flowers on Mary’s head, I could feel her smiling down on all of us. 

This reminded me that she is always looking out for us, and I thought of the image of Mary’s mantle. I love the image of Mary’s mantle spread wide, encompassing us all in her embrace. This image draws us in and fills us with a confidence in her great love for us. Of course, her love always leads us to her Son, Jesus. If we trust her and confide in her, she will never let us stray from the love of Christ. Especially during this hectic time of year, Mary wants us to run under her mantle to protect us from harm. She will help us make it to the end of the year safely! 

As the year winds down, I have more news to share with the community. Sister Karl Ann Homberg, SSJ will be stepping down as Assistant Principal. Don’t worry, she’s not going anywhere! She will continue in a support role to our teachers and staff, and she will continue to share her wisdom and grace with us. 

I am excited to tell you that Mrs. Melissa Manaker will be the new assistant principal! Mrs. Manaker has spent many years in the classroom and she has experience as a principal and an assistant principal. She is going to be an excellent addition to the administration, and I am looking forward to working closely with her to make our school shine! 

Peace and Blessings, 
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 

May 10, 2024

Friday May 10, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

What a week! Our Teachers and Staff were spoiled with all kinds of treats this week from delicious food, raffle prizes, cool t-shirts, and the staff favorite - massages. Thank you to all of the parents who helped make this week special for our hardworking teachers and staff. 

On Monday, the Outdoor Classroom was blessed by Father Scalia. Every time I visit this new space, my heart swells with gratitude and inspiration. Thank you to Mark Turner and Green Spur for making Sister Mary Sue’s dream a reality. It is a beautiful space for learning and growing, and it will be used and cherished for many years to come.  

Today was Spirit Day, a day to show our school spirit and enjoy some friendly competition. Classroom doors were decorated with messages like “White is Dinomite!” and “Red Rocks!” In the gym, the eighth graders danced their hearts out while the student body cheered and swayed along. Of course, there was the big Spirit Day basketball game. Eighth graders and teachers hustled down the court hoping for a victory. It was a close game, and the White team claimed victory for the second year in a row! At the end of the day, the most spirited classes were awarded the Spirit Stick. After much deliberation from our teacher judges, the Spirit Stick was awarded to First Grade and Fifth Grade! 

Thank you to Mrs. Keffalas and Coach Rogers for all of the love, time, and planning they put into this year’s Spirit Day.  After all of this school spirit, my heart was full of joy, inspiration, and gratitude for our amazing students, teachers, and school. I think it’s given us all a burst of energy to finish the year strong! 

In a special way, I want to recognize and thank our teachers who will be leaving us at the end of this year. We are grateful for their years of service and wish them the best in their future endeavors. They will be missed, and they leave big shoes to fill! 

We have only a few weeks of school left. While there are many exciting events coming up, learning is still happening. Please encourage your children to embrace all of the fun and embrace whatever learning opportunities come their way. 

Peace and Blessings, 
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 
Principal 

P.S. You'll notice a new addition to the Friday notes. The "Saint James Outdoor Adventure Challenge". There are so many outdoor activities available in our area, and we want to encourage families to go explore the great outdoors. Each week, I will highlight another exciting place to visit. Happy trails!

May 3, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

This month’s virtue of the month is Self-Control. Self control is being able to control your emotions, behaviors, and wants. It allows us to put our love of God above our love of selves. During this time of year summer excitement is building, and students are counting down the days until the end of the year. At the same, students have a month left of school, and there is still lots of learning to be done. 

Self Control is one of the most important virtues, and we practice it out of love for God. Imagine if we lived our lives being controlled by our desires - the world would be a crazy place! Because we love God and love our neighbors, we are compelled to do what is right. 

This self control will benefit students, especially with the final round of NWEA testing beginning next week. Testing will continue through May 24th. Teachers will let you know when your children are testing. This testing focuses on student growth and potential and is not about getting 100 percent. Rather, students should do their best and show what they know.

  We can look to Saint Ignatius of Loyola as a model of self control. His secret was that he prayed to God for strength. He once wrote “O Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our helplessness,  give us the sense of your presence, your love and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us.”

Have a great weekend! 
Peace and God Bless, 
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 
Principal

April 26, 2024

Friday, April 16, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

This week, we opened the outdoor classroom to our students. Each class got a tour of the space and enjoyed some time in the fresh air. In the past two days, so much learning has already taken place out there: guitars were played, books were read, math problems were solved, and so much more! 

There is something about fresh air, sunshine, and the smell of dirt and grass that wakes up the soul. Spending time outside brings an awareness of all the beautiful things that God created. Sitting around a big tree sparks a connection to the earth. Through the canopy, light and shadows dance and inspire the imagination. The blowing wind refreshes and renews. I have a feeling this is going to become a favorite place for students and teachers. Thank you for helping make this natural learning space a possibility. It is going to get a lot of use in the coming years!

I leave you with a favorite poem of mine, “Pied Beauty.” It’s about seeing the beauty in all things, especially the things that don’t seem beautiful at first glance. 

Pied Beauty 

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And àll tràdes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Blessings, 
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 
Principal

April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

Get ready to “Run for the Roses!” The Saint James Gala and Auction is upon us, and I am so excited to celebrate our wonderful school and the dedicated families and staff that make this place so special. Our students are blessed to be part of a community that provides a caring, engaging, and faith filled place to learn and grow on their journey towards heaven. 

Saint Paul speaks so eloquently about our journey as Christians. In his first letter to the Corinthians he says, “All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it. Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.” (1 Corinthians 9:23-25)

I want to especially thank the Gala co-chairs, Mrs. Taylor Draim, Mrs. Gina Steber, Mrs. Alex Guest, and the many volunteers who took the reins to get this “horse” to the finish line.  

Let’s get ready for the “mane” event. So hold onto your horses and get ready to Run for the Roses! Let’s run this race together so that our students can claim that imperishable crown! 

Today, we kicked off our Gala weekend with the student Bucket Drop. Congratulations to the students who won!

Peace and Blessings,

Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 

Principal

April 12, 2024

Friday April 12, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

Christ is risen, Alleluia, He has truly risen, Alleluia!

Happy Easter to everyone! During this Easter season the students will pray the Regina Coeli in place of the Angelus. While the Angelus calls us to ponder the Annunciation, the Regina Coeli invites us to rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection. By conquering death,  he opened the gates of Heaven where we will share Eternal Life with Jesus, his Mother, the saints, and our loved ones!

On Monday, everyone at Saint James Catholic School witnessed a historical moment as we observed another heavenly wonder, the solar eclipse. Teachers and students spent the afternoon taking in the amazing view of the moon moving in front of the sun. The students and teachers were in complete awe at this rare event. You can see photos of our students watching the eclipse on our Facebook page! 

The moon perfectly covered the Sun which speaks to the beauty of God’s design. The moon is precisely 400 times smaller than the moon, and it is 400 times closer to the Earth. It is only with these precise measurements that a solar eclipse is even possible. This is no coincidence. God thought of us at the dawn of the universe and made sure to give us signs and wonders that point us to His great love. 

I leave you with the Regina Coeli - take a moment to pray this prayer and offer a moment of gratitude for all that God has done for us. 

Regina Coeli (English)

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.

R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Peace and Blessings,
Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM

March 29, 2024

Friday, March 29, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and a Happy Easter! Today our 7th grade students so beautifully led the school in the Living Stations of the Cross. Their prayer prepared our hearts for Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection that we remember in the coming days. 

At the end of the Stations of the Cross, the choir sang “Above All “ by Michael W. Smith. I share the lyrics with you below to ponder this evening and tomorrow. I hope you never forget the love of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. 

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began
Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure what You're worth
Crucified
Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

Know of my daily prayers for you and your families. Please pray for me too! 

Peace and Easter Blessings, 

Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM

March 22, 2024

Friday, March 22, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

We adore you, O Christ and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. 

You are probably familiar with this prayer because it is the opening prayer for each Station of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross are a beloved Catholic tradition that is most frequently prayed during the season of Lent. As you pray the stations, you journey with Jesus on his path to Calvary. Each station is an intimate moment from Christ’s suffering in which we are invited to draw close to Him. 

Being this close to Christ’s suffering is uncomfortable and can fill you with sadness and grief. You might ask, “Why do you need to contemplate this suffering? Didn’t Jesus rise? Shouldn’t you celebrate? Of course you should celebrate! Life is full of moments to celebrate, but life is also full of hardships and suffering. No matter what trial you are facing, Jesus has been through it too. In the stations of the cross, Jesus suffers physical pain from his lashings, the crown of thorns, his grueling carrying of the cross, and his crucifixion. He also suffered emotional pain from false accusations, rejection, embarrassment, betrayal, fear, and heartbreak. 

In these final moments of His life, Jesus experienced every human suffering. Whatever you are going through Jesus has already been through. He understands. Turn to Him in your suffering and draw close, so that He can comfort you, heal you, and strengthen you. 

If you haven’t already, pray the Stations of the Cross this Lent. When Lent is over, remember this devotion and turn to it in difficult times. 

Peace and Blessings, 

Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 

March 15, 2024

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dear Saint James Families, 

Spring is just around the corner! The first day of Spring is on March 19th, and with it comes warmer weather. I know we are all enjoying the beautiful sunshine and breezy days. I’m sure you’ve noticed the construction of the outdoor classroom. I am excited for its completion so that students can take their learning outdoors. See the photos below of its progress!

Please note the following dismissal reminder and uniform adjustment. 

Dismissal Reminder

With warmer weather, more families are walking students home or biking with them at dismissal. 
All walkers/bikers must wait until the parking lot is clear before they leave. 
This policy ensures the safety of all students and their families. Please cooperate with our efforts to keep all pedestrians safe. 
If you are walking, you can come a few minutes later to pick up your students (3:20pm) and the parking lot will be cleared. 

Spring Uniform 

With this unseasonably warm weather, I have decided to begin Spring Uniform a little early. 
Spring uniform will begin on Tuesday, March 19th!
Students may wear shorts and no longer need to bring their sweaters/fleeces to school. If there is a colder day, please send in appropriate outerwear. 

I wish you all a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and leave you with an excerpt from the Saint Patrick Breastplate Prayer: 

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
Amen. 

Peace and Blessings, 

Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM 

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