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Articles on this Page
- 12/01/17--08:37: _Look Up
- 12/05/17--09:28: _Royalettes Dance at...
- 12/08/17--13:02: _A Long Blue and Gra...
- 12/13/17--07:12: _Seniors Win UVA Bus...
- 12/15/17--05:45: _It's beginning to f...
- 12/19/17--06:03: _Lending a Helping H...
- 12/22/17--11:45: _Sights and Sounds o...
- 01/04/18--18:27: _PTO Regional Commun...
- 01/05/18--16:18: _New IHM Convent Alt...
- 11/21/17--06:28: _A Thanksgiving Message
- 12/01/17--08:37: Look Up
- 12/05/17--09:28: Royalettes Dance at Regional Competition
- 12/08/17--13:02: A Long Blue and Gray Line
- 12/13/17--07:12: Seniors Win UVA Business Case Competition
- 12/15/17--05:45: It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
- 12/19/17--06:03: Lending a Helping Hand for the Season
- 12/22/17--11:45: Sights and Sounds of Christmas
- 01/04/18--18:27: PTO Regional Communities Take Off
- 01/05/18--16:18: New IHM Convent Altar Blessing
- 11/21/17--06:28: A Thanksgiving Message
THOUGHTS FROM OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL, JOSEPH VORBACH:
I parked my car at school this morning just before 7 a.m. As I headed toward the doors at the Trinidad Street entrance to the school, I heard footsteps behind me and I held the door for a student and her mother who were hurrying into the school. As we got into the hallway, I noticed how quickly the mother and daughter were walking and said, "You guys are on a mission," and they said they were trying to get to Mass on time. A moment later, three young ladies in the junior class went running by, said good morning, and said they too were going to Mass. At this point, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I'd forgotten about First Friday Mass in the student chapel and I was heading for my office with my breakfast in hand. But the image of students and parents running to Mass was too much. I went to Mass, drawn by the thought of a mom and daughter and a group of classmates who'd obviously made plans to get to Mass together on this Friday morning.At the beginning of the year, Bishop Burbidge encouraged all of us to "look up" -- to look to the Lord. Yesterday, I looked up and saw this spectactular sunrise over the school. Today, I was drawn by others to head to the chapel and look up.
Congratulations to O'Connell's Royalette Dance Team who earned 1st, 2nd and 3rd place team awards, as well as several individual honors, at the Dec. 3 Dance Team Union Regional Competition held at Fairfax High School. The event brought dance teams from a number of high schools around the area, including Brooke Point, Chantilly, Centreville, Dominion, Fairfax, McLean, Oakton, Paul VI and Woodson.
As a team, the Royalettes earned 1st Place in Varsity Team Performance, 2nd Place in Varsity Jazz, and 3rd Place in Varsity Pom. In addition, members of the team earned recognition individually:
Junior Solo (ages 13-15)
1st Place - Gaby Dominguez '20
2nd Place - Audrey Gaskins '21
Senior Solo (ages 16+)
3rd Place - Haley Breaux '18
4th Place - Erika Williams '18
7th Place - Julia Stievater '19
8th Place - Katarina Visek '18
Junior Duo (ages 13-15)
1st Place - Angelina Lucchetti '20/Sophia Maceo '20
Senior Duo (ages 16+)
1st Place - Erika Williams '18/Haley Breaux '18
2nd Place - Gaby Dominguez '20/Julia Stievater '19
"I couldn't ask for a harder working team," said Head Coach Chrissy Salvador. "Each competition is a stepping stone towards Nationals. We just competed two weeks ago, and with our seniors in New York for the Macy's Parade, plus the Thanksgiving Break, we made last minute modifications. These girls stepped up, and we couldn't be happier with the results they so deserved."
What's next for the Royalettes? A very busy basketball schedule, along with preparations for the East Coast Regional Championships and the UDA National Championships at the end of the month.
Find out more about the Bishop O'Connell Royalette Dance Team at www.bishopoconnell.org/dance.
Pictured above: The Royalettes with their awards.
Pictured below: The Royalettes posing with their friends from the Paul VI dance team.
Congratulations to O'Connell seniors Grace Cook, Caroline Hanson, Harrison McBride, and Taylor Rooney on winning the "ENACTUS at UVA" High School Case Competition earlier this month. This annual competition is hosted at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and includes teams from throughout the Commonwealth. ENACTUS stands for "ENTrepreneurial ACTion U.S." and it's main purpose is to encourages innovative thought in high school students to solve complex business problems in creative ways. For the competition, the students were given a specific case outlining a local business' current problem. They were asked to devise recommendations and then present their ideas to a panel of judges which included the owners of the business.
The students are all members of Bishop O'Connell's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club. "I am so proud of this team," said the club's moderator, Mrs. Marie O'Malley. "Their solution to the problem was all their own, their presentation was very professionally done, and they answered tough questions from the business owners without hesitation."
Ten juniors and seniors joined a handful of O'Connell faculty members at the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree project in Arlington. This program works with the community to provide Christmas presents for local families who are struggling financially. Last Friday was the program's distribution day, and O'Connell students worked from noon until 7 p.m. to help sort and organize the gifts, before helping parents carry out their families' gifts.
"The best part for me was when I saw the joy of the people receiving presents," said senior Andrew Oliveros. "When other people are joyful, that brings me so much joy, too."
"This project is one of my favorite group service opportunities," added O'Connell's Christian Service Coordinator, Kathryn Haas. "Seeing the reaction of the parents receiving the presents for their children brings a great deal of perspective to all of us who participate."
Wishing all our families a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year...and sharing a few holiday treats from our students!
Enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the Advent Season at Bishop O'Connell, with music ("O Magnum Mysterium," by Ivo Antognini) performed by the O'Connell Singers:
In an effort to build up the larger school community, the Bishop O'Connell PTO has organized smaller "regional communities," focused on family fellowship, service and just plain fun!
The geographical regions are designated using the initials from the school's name: Bishop Denis J. O'Connell:
Region B - Arlington, McLean, Great Falls, Washington DC north of the Anacostia River and Montgomery County.
Region D - Alexandria, Fort Belvoir, Washington DC south of the Anacostia River, Prince George's County and Charles County.
Region J - Fairfax County south of I-66, Falls Church south, Prince William County and Stafford County.
Region O - Falls Church north (22043, 22046 zip codes), Fairfax County north of I-66 and south of Route 7, Loudoun County and beyond.
Serving the Homeless
Most recently, "Region J" families held a service project focused on feeding and serving the homeless in the local area. On Dec. 27, members of the community put together care packets and lunch bags ahead of time and then began the very cold day at Franklin Square Park in Washington, DC. They finished the day at the Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter to share the abundance of food they had collected and prepared.
Earlier in December, "Region D" families got together to ring in the holiday season with a cookie party in Old Town Alexandria and a viewing of the annual Holiday Boat Parade on the Potomac.
Coming Up Next
Families in "Region O" – Save the Date – On Sunday, Jan. 28 a service project is planned at the Virginian Continuing Care Retirement Community in Fairfax. Two hour volunteer slots will be available in the morning and afternoon, with the opportunity to gather for lunch as a community in between the two times.
Stay tuned for more regional community events, and feel free to contact the PTO (email@example.com) if you'd like to get involved. For more information on PTO activities, visit www.bishopoconnell.org/pto.
View photos from the Dec. 27 service event below or by CLICKING HERE. Out of courtesy and to preserve the dignity of our homeless brothers and sisters, their pictures are not included in the photos below from a wonderful day supporting Jesus.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL, JOSEPH VORBACH:
As we began the New Year this week, I had the privilege of being involved in something new and special at the IHM Sisters new convent. Bishop Burbidge dedicated the altar in the Sisters' new chapel during a special Mass. The process includes the anointing and incensing of the altar by the Bishop. Because the chapel is small, we were all very close and thus able to be very connected to what was transpiring.
The Bishop anointed the altar by making the sign of the cross with oil over the altar stone and then over each of the four corners of the altar. He then rubbed the oil over the altar to ensure the entire surface was covered. As a first time observer of a Catholic rite like this, I found myself reflecting on the importance of each step in the process. Ultimately, the dedication reflected the importance of the altar to our Faith.
It was a special moment for many reasons. Our Bishop--whose connection to the IHM Sisters goes back to his own days in grade school--spoke with great respect and admiration for the Sisters' devotion to their vocations. In their beautiful new convent, the IHM Sisters of Bishop O'Connell gathered around the altar of the most important room in their home. At the beginning of the New Year, a new chapel was dedicated and the moment was an opportunity to appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of hundreds of IHM Sisters who have served the Bishop O'Connell community over the past 60 years.
As we move forward in 2018, focused on the development of a beautiful new wing of our school at the site of the original convent, we look forward to the day when Bishop Burbidge will join us in the new chapel at our school, a beautiful sign of our Catholic identity emerging toward Trinidad Street, to dedicate the altar there.