Statement Regarding Loss of an HFS Parent

May 17, 2019

Dear Holy Family Parents and Friends,

It sure is a beautiful day to end such a sad week on.  I wanted to update you on a few important pieces of information regarding the Jacques visitation and funeral.  As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

  1. Visitation – 1:00-6:00 PM here in the Holy Family gymnasium.  Please do not send your child alone to the visitation.  This will be a heavy event for our students and they will need your love and support.  We will have at least two staff members on hand all afternoon to lend support to our students if needed.  Note that it may be raining on Sunday.  It might be a nice gesture if students and parents might consider bringing umbrellas and walking people to the building so they don’t get all drenched.  Just a thought.  There is no need to coordinate this with me.  Just come as you can if it is raining.
  2. Funeral – 11:00 AM Monday at St. Agnes Catholic Church – Remember that all 6th-8th graders and their teachers will be attending the funeral Mass.  If you do not wish for your middle school student to attend, please call Mrs. Anders by Monday at 8:30 AM.  If you would like your PK-5th grade student to attend, you must sign your child out and take them with you.  We feel it is best for our younger students to be present with a parent.  We will not be sending students across the parking lot due to the large number of cars in the parking lot.  Staff will be parking on the street to leave plenty of open spots available for those attending.
  3. Luncheon – The family is hosting a luncheon following the funeral Mass.  They have invited all 6th-8th grade students and parents to attend.  We are arranging a bus.  The bus will pick up the students at 12:15 PM (or immediately following the funeral).  IF YOU DO NOT WISH FOR YOUR CHILD TO ATTEND THE LUNCHEON, please contact Mrs. Anders by Monday at 8:30 AM.  The bus will only be for 6th-8th grade students.  If you are taking your PK-5th grade student and wish to attend the luncheon, please let Mrs. Anders know for attendance purposes.  We need to have a count of who is returning the school.
  4. Funeral Dress Code – Students may opt to wear the school uniform or wear dress clothing.  The family has asked that they do not wear black.

Many thanks to all those parents who stepped up and volunteered to help cover classrooms so teachers can attend the funeral.  We are actually sitting in pretty good shape, so no further assistance will be needed.  It was so wonderful to have so many parents step up.

With all this being said, my prayers continue to go out to the Jacques family during this terrible time of sadness.  Thank you to our students and staff for being so incredibly strong and there for each other this week.  Holy Family is truly a family!

Your Partner in Catholic Education,

Steve Gromala
Principal
#CometsforChrist  

 

 

May 15, 2019

Dear Holy Family Parents and Friends,

Wednesday Blessings!  We have recently been informed of the visitation and funeral arrangements for Joe and Gabriela Jacques.  Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 1:00-6:00 PM in the Holy Family Catholic School gymnasium.  The Catholic Funeral Mass will take place on Monday, May 20, 2019, 2019 at 11:00 AM.  Out of support for the entire Jacques family and because so many of our middle school students knew and interacted with son, ‘Chip’, all 6th-8th grade students and their teachers will be attending the funeral.  IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO HAVE YOUR CHILD ATTEND THE FUNERAL, which we completely respect, we ask that you contact Mrs. Anders in the school office no later than 8:30 AM on Monday.

Students in grades PK-5 will not be taken to the funeral due to space limitations at the Church and due to their ages.  If you wish for your child to attend, we invite you to contact Mrs. Anders to let us know by 8:30 AM on Monday.  OUR PK-5 STUDENTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT.

Note that we have several staff that would like to attend the funeral, but may not be able to attend because school is still in session on Monday.  If any Virtus trained parents are willing and able to help supervise students so some staff can attend, please contact me as soon as possible.  Most of this timeframe is during our lunch periods, so we would not need assistance for long.

I have attached some wonderful resources that parents are strongly encouraged to read and discuss with their children.  Our counselor, Mrs. Cain, has also been working with middle school students about how they should appropriately respond when ‘Chip’ returns to school and how to express their condolences.  Additionally, our religion teacher, Mrs. Nicely, will be preparing the middle school students for a Catholic funeral and what to expect.  We recognize that many of our students may have never attended a funeral before.

As a school, we are working on the possibility of having grief counselors on site for visitation and will have counselors and staff available at the funeral.

Again, if you are the parent of the middle school student and do not wish to have him or her attend the funeral, please call Mrs. Anders by Monday morning at 494-1931.  If you are the parent of a PK-5th grade student and you wish to take your child to the funeral, you must call Mrs. Anders and they must be accompanied by you due to the sensitive nature of a funeral.

We would like to thank all those who are keeping the Jacques family in their thoughts and prayers.  We also thank those who are praying for our students and staff during this time of great loss.  Continued blessings to Maria and her family.

Your Partner in Catholic Education,

Steve Gromala
Principal
#CometsforChrist  

May 13, 2019

Dear Holy Family Parents and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we ask all parents and friends to read the attached statement regarding the loss of an Holy Family parent.  We ask for the Lord to show his spirit today and everyday, and we pray for the family during this time of loss.

At this time we are not aware of visitation or service times.  As that information becomes available, we will update all parents and friends of Holy Family.

Additionally, we have some great parents who are attempting to set-up a ‘meal train’ for the Jacques family.  With the generous help of Maria Havlik, a cooler will be placed on the front porch of the Jacques household located at 890 Hubbard Street in Green Bay.  If you would like to contribute a meal, please sign-up using the following Google Sheet.  Doing so will ensure that not too much food comes all at the same time.  We have also spread the ‘meal train’ out over the next month.  It is important to keep the family in our thoughts and prayers well after this tragedy.  CLICK HERE to participate.  Out of respect for the family, we ask that you place your contribution in the cooler to as not disturb them unless they are open to such.

We also would like to share that some of our parents are organizing a vigil for the family.  The vigil will take place after the band concert on Tuesday evening.  I do not have an exact location at this point in time.  All are welcome!

It is important to note that I have spoken with all middle school students.  Our fifth graders have also been informed.  We purposefully did not formally inform our PK-4th grade students.  Instead, we feel it is best to discuss this tragedy with your child in the comfort of your own home.  Our PK-4th grade students are still so young and don’t understand death like we do as adults.  I have attached some resources as well as links that you may find helpful for talking with your child.

I have to say that I am so proud of our students and staff for how they have responded to this terrible news.  The Holy Spirit is providing all of us with great strength during this time of loss.

My prayers are with the Jacques family and all those who were close to them.  Blessings to all!

Steve Gromala, Principal

 

Statement-from-Holy-Family-School-5-13-2019

Kids and Catholic Funerals:  Why They Should Go and How to Prepare

Explaining Death to Children Through Lens of Faith

Talking to Children about Death

Talking-with-children-about-tragic-events

Funeral-Etiquette