December Newsletter

Advent Prayer

 Lord God,
only you can see into my heart and know
that under all the busyness of my life,
there is a deep longing
to make this Advent one that welcomes you
more deeply into my own life.

My heart desires the warmth of your love
and my mind searches for your Light
in the midst of the darkness.

Help me to be a peacemaker this Advent
and to give special love to those
who disagree with me.
Give me the strength and courage
to forgive those who have hurt me.
Help me to free my heart
from the prison of my anger and hurt.


Advent is a Latin word that actually means “coming.” In the Christian church, advent is time of preparation and waiting for the birth of Jesus. Advent officially begins four Sundays before Christmas; this year advent begins on Sunday, December 2.

So how can you celebrate Advent? One way is to buy or make an Advent wreath to lay on your table. An Advent wreath typically consists of greenery with four candles, three purple and one pink.

Each candle on the Advent Wreath has a specific meaning:

  • Candle one (purple) represents hope. It is often called the prophets’ candle.
  • Candle two (purple) represents peace. It is often called the angels’ candle.
  • Candle three (pink) represents joy. It is often called the shepherds’ candle.
  • Candle four (purple) represents love. It is often called the Bethlehem candle.
  • Many advent wreaths also include a Christ candle in the middle of the wreath.

Epiphany is celebrated in Canada on January 6 each year. It remembers the three wise men’s visit to baby Jesus and his baptism, according to events in the Bible.


Christmas Angel Tree Drive
Saint John Paul II and St. Anthony Daniel Parish would like to invite all families to experience the true meaning of the season by participating in the St. Vincent de Paul “Angel Tree Campaign”. If you wish to participate in our Saint John Paul II “Angel Tree Campaign”, please send in a new, unwrapped gift or gift card by the morning of Friday, December 14th, 2018. Each child or family making a donation will place an angel on our tree and their gift under the tree. When the gift is brought in, your child will get the opportunity to decorate an angel at school for our tree.


Memory Tree
The memory tree will return this year. Students are invited to come up to the tree by the chapel and write a message on an ornament to a loved one spending Christmas in heaven. Ornaments will be available starting Monday December 10.


Christmas Concert
Our Primary Christmas Concert will be on Thursday December 20th from 9am to 10am. The doors to the gym will open at 8:45am. Please limit the amount of family members to two per child as we have many people to accommodate in our space. There will be benches at the front for you to sit and watch and take pictures when your child is performing. We are looking forward to a great show!

Umbrella Skill for December ~ Self-Compassion
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is a skill and takes practice! Self-compassion is:
-The care we offer ourselves when we make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, or come short of a goal we were hoping to achieve
-Honouring our own humanness and accepting that in life, sometimes we are at fault, and that this is what it is to be human
-Kindness, care, warmth, and understanding (instead of criticism) toward oneself when faced with shortcomings, inadequacies, or failures

Research Based Outcomes of Self-Compassion
1. Improves well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, connection to others, self-confidence, curiosity, gratitude and optimism
2. Reduces anxiety, depression, stress
3. Reduces perfectionism and shame
4. Increases our desire to learn
5. Increases feelings of competence and ability to complete tasks
6. Lowers our fear of failure, and makes us more likely to persevere and try again
7. Allows us to take greater responsibility for past mistakes and a gives us a greater disposition to apologize


Safe Schools – Winter Days
With the winter months approaching, winter safety is an important consideration. Children should always come to school dressed appropriately for the outside each day. Even in extreme cold when they might be kept inside, there is always the consideration of coming to and from school as well as the risk of an emergency procedure where we have to evacuate the building. When the snow hits the ground, students are going to be tempted to play in it. There will be no throwing snow or ice. Snow must be left on the ground. Students should also follow the direction of the supervision staff about playing on snow piles. Sometimes these piles will be deemed off-limits.  School winter safety policies are designed to protect everyone on school property from injury.  During periods of severe weather your best sources of information about possible school closing and/or school bus cancellation is the School Board Website or a local radio station.


SJPII has a Recycle partnership with Terracycle and Febreze
SJPII Eco team participates in the free recycling program for air and home care products and packaging. As a Public Drop-off Location for the Air and Home Care Recycling Program our whole community can contribute to collecting and sending in the waste to divert going to the landfill. This way we can collect more air and home care products and raise more funds for our school!!


Pages from the Learning Commons (library)
The OLA Forest of Reading program books have been purchased and will be ready for the start of the program in January. Thank you to school council for sponsoring the program this year. Each year the Ontario Library Association promotes the Red Maple, Silver Birch and Blue Spruce reading programs. Red Maple is offered for grade 7 & 8 students while Silver Birch is for students in grades 4 to 6. Blue Spruce is offered for Kindergarten to grade 3. Complete details to follow in January. The official website is


Grade 1 Skating Program
The Grade One and the Grade 1/2 classes have had the opportunity to go skating at RIM Park Arena through the Learn to Skate Program at the KW Skating club. The students have been developing skating skills that will teach them how to skate. Even though our beginner skaters are falling down as they learn, they get back up with smiles on their faces. Our stronger skaters are gaining strength and speed as they move around the ice. These children have shown GRIT (i.e., school theme for November) and perseverance during this program. Thank you to the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who have taken the time to help tie skates and cheer the students on.


Boys Volleyball Team
Congratulations to the boys volleyball team who battled during the regional tournament, finishing second place overall in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for the 2018 season. Excellent playing and sportsmanship was shown by our teammates: Evan A, Diego A, Ethan F, Thomas K, Spencer M, Ben M, Cole N, Ruben R, Ethan S, Steven T, Andrew U, Gavin V, John Paul W, Cooper S and Matthew M. Thank you Mr. Perkins and Miss Freiburger for coaching.


Girls Basketball Team
Thank you very much to the intermediate girls who represented the SJPII community in basketball. The girls showed hard work and dedication throughout the season. Our team was: Claire G, Emersyn A, Ariana V, Lauren S, Alyssa R, Eryn S, Meghan W, Emma M, Anna G, Hope G, Emma P, Gaby R, and Elizabeth U. Thanks Miss Bell for coaching and Mr. Kelly for your assistance.


Cold and Flu Season
Please use discretion in keeping your child home to recover if they are ill. A child who is coughing, wheezing, vomiting or with fever is not in a state to learn and risks infecting others. As well, if your child is well enough to attend school, they should be well enough to go outside at recess in supervised areas. Please be sure to continue to encourage your children to wash their hands frequently. Good hygiene is the best preventative measure. Also use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or your elbow if without a tissue.


Parking Lot Procedures
No one would disagree that student safety is the single most important priority for all of our students here at Saint John Paul II. Please review the parking lot procedures and inform anyone (grandparents, friends, neighbours, etc.) who drop off your child in the parking lot before school or picks him/her/them up after school. The only vehicles that are allowed to enter the parking lot at Saint John Paul II are: OWL daycare staff, OWL daycare parents, Saint John Paul II staff, and WCDSB personnel. All of the aforementioned people will have a parking pass that will hang from their rear-view mirror or a sticker on their windshield. Staff members who are on morning and afterschool duty, will be looking for these passes on vehicles. Those vehicles that do not have passes will be asked to turn around and exit the parking lot. Please be respectful of this policy and understand that our yard duty teachers, who patrol the lot before and after school, have your child’s safety and best interest at heart. It is our moral imperative to provide a safe place for our students each and every day they come to school. Thank you for helping us keep our kids safe.


Please visit the EQAO Website: for parent resources and sample Language and Math Questions. Our Grade 3 and Grade 6 students will write EQAO from May 21 to June 3.


Looking Ahead
Dec 4 – This Is Me / Umbrella Project Assembly
Dec 4 – School Council meeting, 6:30pm in learning commons
Dec 5 – Grade 4 Bible Celebration, 1:30pm
Dec 7 – PD Day
Dec 14 – Pajama Day ~ Rays Day
Dec 18 – Advent Liturgy
Dec 20 – Early Years and Primary Christmas Concert
Dec 21 – Last day of school before the Christmas break|
Dec 25 – Merry Christmas
Jan 1 – Happy New Year
Jan 7 – First day back after break


St. Anthony Daniel Parish Update

RCIA: For those interested in knowing more about the Catholic faith, have questions or are interested in becoming Catholic. Sessions are on Wednesdays at 7 PM in the Marian Room.

CWL: Christmas social Thursday, December 6 at 6 PM starting with Mass. Pot Luck to follow. Please bring new or gently used kitchen items for donations to the Anselma House.

St. Vincent de Paul:  Christmas Hamper collection. Dec 8 and 9 there will be envelopes in the pews for this special collection.  The next meeting for St. Vincent de Paul will be Monday, December 10 at 7:30 PM in the PLC.

Save the date – Ministry Retreat: The Annual ministry volunteer retreat will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 9 AM-1 PM. Anyone who volunteers within the parish is invited to attend.

John B. Miller and Friends:  Join us for an evening of Songs of Advent and the Birth of Jesus on Friday, December 7 at 7PM.  Show is an hour.  Donations accepted.


Stanley Park Community Association Update

Hat/Mitten and Scarf Drive:  Collecting these items for the Salvation Army.

Bonus Adult Fitness Classes – Free!!!  In December, SPCC is offering free adult fitness classes:
Dec 4 – 7 to 7:50 pm Yoga
Dec 5 – 5:30 to 6:20 pm Fitness
Dec 7 – 9:15 to 10:05 am Fitness
Dec 10 – 9:15 to 10:05 am Fitness
Dec 13 – 6 to 6:50 pm Pilates
Dec 14 – 9:15 to 10:05 am Fitness

Breakfast with Santa!  Saturday, December 8 from 8:00 – 11:00am.  Enjoy a fantastic Pancake Breakfast and get to know your neighbours!  Community members of all ages welcome!  Visit with, and get your picture taken with Santa! Enjoy the crafts, games, and so much more!  Cost: FREE!  On-line registration has begun! Reserve your space now. Code: 24963  Adults must accompany children.  We will be accepting donations to our hat and mitten tree.

Christmas Cookie Exchange: Wednesday, December 12 from 3:00 – 4:00pm.  Bring some of your signature cookies to exchange and sample with others.  Swap some recipes, enjoy some coffee & conversation, and go home with new cookies and a collection of great new ideas for Christmas baking.  Cost: FREE   Register now to reserve your spot. Spaces are limited.  Code: 28997. All Participants should come with 20 home made cookies and a container to bring them home.

Trim the Hat and Mitten Tree: Help decorate SPCA’s hat and mitten tree with hats, gloves, and scarves!  Drop off your new items and we will hang them on the tree located in the lobby of the Stanley Park Community Centre.  We will be collecting items until December 13.  All items will be donated to the Salvation Army.


Centerville-Chicopee Community Centre Update

2019 Winter Newsletter: Winter program registration is now open.

Public skating:

Gingerbread Party: Wednesday, December 5 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM or 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM.  Cost: Free!!  Registration needed.