On its 65th anniversary SBCS celebrated Mercy Day by inviting all the Sisters of Mercy who have staffed SBCS since 1950. Sister Dorothy Lettiere who ministered at SBCS in the 70’s shared her vocation story and her memories of Santa Barbara before the start of the Eucharistic celebration. The day also marked the celebration of the Birthday and Feastday of SBCS principal, Sister Jeanette Marie Pangelinan, RSM
The Language Arts Department kicked off the school year with their Back to School Book Fair on September 15 to 17, 2015, with a last day sale on the 18th. It was held during the middle school students’ lunch period and after classes from 3:10 to 4:00PM. Although January is the official month for the school’s yearly Book Fair during Catholic Schools Week, September is also an apt time as National Literacy Month. The books sold in this fair were left over from last year’s book fair.
“Just for the FUN of it…READ!” was the slogan written below the mustaches on the Scholastic bookmarks given with each purchase. The Santa Barbara Catholic School students entertained themselves with the cutout mustaches, putting on a character as one often does when reading a story. Other take-home goodies were Inside Out and Avenger posters.
Ms. Kristine Roxas, Language Arts Teacher for 6th grade and 7B, along with student volunteers from 6th to 8th grade arranged the books neatly into categories: $2, $3, 50% OFF, and Hardbound books for $5.
The books for sale covered a wide range of genres. For sale for $2, Classics such as Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl” shared the same space with “The Girl Who Was on Fire,” an anthology of essays about Suzanne Collin’s popular Hunger Games Trilogy, and “Goosebumps,” R.L. Stine’s iconic Horror series for children. Lois Lowry’s Dystopian novel, “The Giver,” and a compilation of Lincon Peirce’s witty children’s comic strips, “Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild” were among the $3 books.
The hardbound and newly released books were the clear and quickly sold “bestsellers.” Adding to their selling points were their halved prices for most. Angelica Gomez, a 7th grade volunteer, specified, “Teen books, Sci-Fi, and Series books” as the attention-grabbers compared to the older and History books.
The newer books for 50% off were both informational and intriguing — “Egyptian Mythology” by Donna Jo Napoli, “Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” by Rick Riordan, and Ripley’s “Believe It or Not 2015 Special Edition” to name a few. The hardbound books covered more of the Young Adult genre, such as Kathryn Lasky’s Fantasy series, “Guardians of the Ga’Hoole: The Rise of a Legend” and Rooman Philbrick’s unconventional novel, “Freak the Mighty.”
According to Ms. Roxas, the middle school students brought in the most sales. The lower grade students were able to visit the fair after classes. “I would have wanted to accommodate the lower grades however, my class schedule only permitted me on some days. However, the lower graders were able to buy after school,” she said. It can be safely said that Shannon Hale’s “Ever After High: A Wonderlandiful World” held its own among its more mature hardbound companions. Brydon Balbin, another 7th grade volunteer, confirmed the general age group of the buyers, “the 6th to 8th graders bought the most books.”
Most books were sold by the second day. The tables were bare by Friday. Ms. Roxas and the volunteers considered the fair a success. Volunteer Aliyah Bagroh justified the success with a word, “interesting,” describing the books themselves first and foremost before sales. The Book Fair was exciting and appealing to all types of readers, and perhaps turned some self-professed “non-readers” into “new-readers.” Congratulations!
To mark the 65th anniversary of Santa Barbara Catholic School (Sept. 5, 1950), and the World Day of Prayer for the Environment declared by Pope Francis, the SBCS family gathered for a special prayer service in the school’s gym, and held a tree planting ceremony in the school’s courtyard. Special guests for the occasion were Sister Bernadette Marie Leon Guerrero, one of the pioneer sisters who started Santa Barbara School and Sister Cecilia Camacho, Guam Administrator of the Sisters of Mercy.
Santa Barbara Catholic School commemorated its 65th Foundation Anniversary last Friday, September 4, 2015, with a school-wide prayer service followed by a tree-planting ceremony. Fr. Fulgence Petrie, OFM Cap. and the Sisters of Mercy officially founded the school on September 5, 1950. Sister Mary Redempta Thomas, RSM, served as the school’s first principal.
The SBCS Petrie Gym was named in honor of the school’s founder, and was where the Sisters, students, teachers, and staff gathered to begin the celebration with a prayer service, led by 8th grade representatives. Sister Bernadette Marie Leon Guerrero, former school principal and one of the seven pioneer sisters, and Sister Maria Cecilia Camacho, Guam Mercy Administrator, were in attendance. They were seated alongside Sister Jeanette Marie Pangelinan, the school’s present principal, and Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, vice principal, and were welcomed with warm greetings from all.
Ms. Bernadette Alcantara, Director of Faith Formation, opened the service with a reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes, “There is an appointed time for everything,” she read, “A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ms. Alcantara reminisced on the school’s past, the difficulties encountered by the founders including the school opening after the war, lack of funds, and typhoons which destroyed buildings, “but never our spirits.”
She continued with Ecclesiastes, “nothing is better than to rejoice by doing the best we can during life…so that God may forever by praised and reverenced,” ending on a note of praise to God, “today, at your appointed time, we feel Your love!”
“Let us together prayerfully, gratefully, and joyfully look back at these wonderful years and say, Geronimo!” Ms. Alcantara closed with this reference to the popular song of the same name by Sheppard, which played in time with the accompanying PowerPoint presentation showing past photos of former teachers, Fr. Fulgence Petrie OFM, Cap., and the Sisters with their classes. The students gamely sang along. An opportune film viewing of a cinematic “trailer” interpretation of the Holy Father’s encyclical, Laudato Si’ entitled, “Pope Francis: The Encyclical,” followed, after Pope Francis’ recent declaration of World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1.
The film, while eliciting much laughter from the audience with its portrayal of Pope Francis as a boxer preparing for battle against the climate crisis and Jesus Christ as his coach, maintains the urgent tone of the encyclical. “To change everything, we need everyone!” Pope Francis exclaimed in the trailer. Everyone prayed “A prayer for our earth,” found at the conclusion of the encyclical, before proceeding to the SBCS courtyard for the tree-planting ceremony of the Gausali.
The Gausali is a shrub endemic to the Marianas Islands and commonly known as Torch wood, as the plant’s wood can be made into torches. Its stems are usable as candles due to their flammable elements. It is also known for its attractive white flower.
Sister Bernadette Marie Leon Guerrero was invited to say a few words before the planting, and began by asking those present to make a guess of her age. Revealing herself to be 83 years old, she fondly remarked, “Even at 83 or 88, I would find a way to come back here to Santa Barbara” before proceeding to place the small plant into the ground.
As the Gausali can survive on different conditions of soil and cliffs by the ocean, Santa Barbara Catholic School has thrived on faith in the face of difficulties. Its pioneers took risks and jumped great heights when they opened the school, as seen in its humble beginnings. The school continues to soar to new heights.
Sister Maria Rosario Gaite concluded the ceremony with a loud cheer, joined by the students, “Biba, Sisters of Mercy! Biba, Santa Barbara Catholic School!”
Santa Barbara Catholic School 274 W Santa Barbara Ave Ste A, Dededo, GU 96929
tel : +1.671.632.5578
fax : +1.671.632.1414
Principal: Sr. Jeanette Marie Pangelinan, RSM
Vice-Principal: Sr. Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM