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Principal's Notes

Principal's Notes

Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of man’s most excellent and creative activities, for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings. ~ Catholic Schools on the Threshold of the Third Millennium
February 27, 2019
Morris Catholic is full of activity during these last weeks of winter.  Although some Winter teams continue with their seasons, on Friday we start spring sports.  Preparations for the musical will soon be in full swing.  The Robotics team is preparing for their upcoming competition.  Our singers had a wonderful experience at Lincoln Center.  Soon we will enjoy our Spring Gala.   The list goes on.  In a few days we will reach the mid-point of the third quarter.  By Tuesday morning all grades will be updated, giving you an opportunity to take the academic pulse of your sons and daughters.  Please be sure look at Powerschool during this time.
I want to address a few notable points of immediate concern.  The first regards the temperature in the building.  I also want to make you aware of a surprise holiday coming up this Friday.  You’ve probably heard about this already, as it has been greeted with plenty of joy! 
Temperatures at MC
Our heating in some classrooms has been inefficient as of late.  The building has two different heating systems, one steam and one hot water, both united by one boiler.  The newer of the two, the hot water system (corresponding with the newer part of our building) has deteriorated where the coils meet the boiler, limiting the amount of heat that is radiated.  We have had three companies examine this and are gauging the scope of the project.  We are mapping out a solution, which will be costly and may take some time.  Some classes have been moved to warmer classrooms.  Students are allowed to wear MC sweatshirts in the building for the time being.  I will update you as repairs progress. 
State Champions!
The Girls’ Indoor Track team had great success this winter, taking the State Championship.  In honor of their victory, school will be closed this Friday, March 1st.  We’re proud of their accomplishment and all the hard work that got them there.  Go Crusaders!
Winter One Act
Join us this Friday and Saturday for our Winter One Act Production of Russo’s Italian Restaurant.  This short play has been written and produced by our third and fourth year Theater Studies students, who regularly put on an excellent show.  We wish them well this weekend.
We have a new member of our staff.  Mr. Andrew DeCicco has joined our Physical Education team.  He has years of experience both as a teacher and coach.  Please be sure to welcome him to our community.
I look forward to seeing you in the coming days!

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia

Principal's Notes

Teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You as You deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing I am doing Your Will. St. Ignatius of Loyola
December 31, 2018
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
These days of Christmas break give us all valuable moments to share with family.  Hopefully, students have relaxed and refreshed, even amidst Christmas preparations, practices, and studies for exams.  We return to school on Thursday and jump right into our exam period.  Below are some notes regarding the first days back.
Our Return to School
Classes resume this Thursday, January 3rd.  School begins at 9:00 AM.  Buses will run on their regular schedule.  Faculty will hold a meeting from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM.  Students are welcome to arrive at their normal time.
Elective exams will be held from January 9th – 14th.  These will be given during regularly scheduled classes.  Our core subject exams begin on January 15th.  Exams days are as follows:
January 15th
English and Social Studies
January 16th
Math and World Language
January 17th
Theology and Science
Exam Day Schedules
Students should arrive by 7:55 AM.  Exams begin at 8:05.  Each exam is two hours long.  Students may bring work or reading to occupy their time should they finish their exam early.  They may not use electronics during this free work time.  

We will have a thirty-five minute Commons between exams.  Student may eat, study, or visit with a teacher during this break. The cafeteria will serve light fare. Students with extended time will have an opportunity for lunch at 11:05. The cafeteria will be serving.

Those who do not have a second exam will be dismissed at 10:05 AM (should they have extended time, they will be dismissed at 11:05 AM). Students taking both exams will be dismissed at 12:40 PM. Those who remain for the second exam and have extended time will be dismissed at 1:35, or when they are done, should they finish after that.  All exams will be finished by 2:35 PM.

Buses will depart at 1:00 PM during these three days. 

Should your son or daughter need to miss school during the exam period, they will be required to bring in a doctor’s note in order to make up the exam.  Please contact me directly if, for some reason, you are unable to provide such a note.

Right to Life
 Among the vulnerable for whom the church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us.  Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Ever since the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, millions who have worked to support the rights of the unborn have gathered yearly in Washington, D.C., near the anniversary of the ruling.  Morris Catholic students are again to make this pilgrimage of sorts to our nation’s capital on January 18th, where they can participate in the National March for Life.   Bus transportation will be provided.  While in Washington, students will see tens of thousands gathered from around the country, many young high school students like themselves, to participate in a non-violent protest in support of the sanctity of life.  The March begins on the National Mall, will stop by the steps of the Supreme Court, and may end with a visit to a local congressman.  Participation is an educational experience in itself.   Joining many others supports their resolve in this justice issue and helps them better understand the governmental process.  Those who wish to join for the journey should see Ms. Drew or myself.
Welcome to our New Music Teacher
Over the last several months we have conducted a search for a new music teacher.  We have hired Ms. Kimberly Hooey to take on that role.  She will begin with us on January 3rd.  Please be sure to welcome her to our community.
We are grateful for an excellent 2018 with you and look forward to a wonderful 2019 ahead.  Thank you for all your support of our Morris Catholic community.  We are grateful for all of you.  Wishing you a Happy New Year!


Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia

Principal's Notes

Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. ~ Yogi Berra
October 9, 2018
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
I hope you had a restful long weekend. Following a strong first month, we enjoyed a well-deserved break.  We closed last week on the Feast of St. Francis with a beautiful Mass with Bishop Serratelli.  That evening Freshman parents came together for some wine, cheese, and good conversation. This past Saturday our football team defeated Montclair Immaculate by a score of 50-39 in what turned out to be one of the greatest games in MC football history. We now move into our second full month of school.
College Visits, Testing, and West Point
This Wednesday our sophomores and juniors will sit for PSAT testing. The results are a valuable barometer of a student’s expected score on the SAT.  The nation’s highest achievers will receive scholarships and recognition. 
Seniors are given the day to make college visits and work on applications.  Our freshmen take the opportunity to engage in some experiential education with a visit to West Point. Whether your sons and daughters will be testing, preparing for college, or visiting West Point, please encourage them to take the most out of the day.
Progress Reports
All grades will be updated as of this morning.  Please be sure to look at Powerschool during this week to assess your son’s or daughter’s progress for the quarter.  Students who have a 79 or below on their progress reports will receive a report home with teacher comments.  This is a good time to take the ‘academic pulse’ for the quarter.
Afternoon Academics
Today we start our Afternoon Academics Program.  This service helps students who are in need of additional support in Math, English, World Languages or Study Skills.  Sessions are held from 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM, Monday through Thursday.  Mr. Frank DiFalco coordinates the program.  He will have subject area tutors available who will also offer regular homework monitoring and teacher communication.  The cost of participation varies, depending on the week one begins and the number of days per week one attends. Please let me know if you have any interest in this program.  If your child is currently in need of extra support or simply would like to strengthen his or her abilities, I strongly recommend participating.  Feel free to contact me or Mr. DiFalco should you want to learn more.
Admission to a Highly Selective College Night
This Thursday we will host an evening with a panel of admissions officers from a variety of highly selective colleges.  The night helps students to get a sense of what these schools are looking for and plan for the future.  Please make some time to attend with your child. We will begin at 6:30 PM in our library.
I look forward to seeing you in the coming days.  

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia
Upcoming Dates
October 10
College Visits, Testing, and West Point
  • Seniors have a College Visit and College Application Day;
  • Sophomores and Juniors have PSAT testing and then regular classes;
  • Freshmen will be on a field trip to West Point.
October 11 Panel on Admission to a Highly Selective College - 6:30 PM
October 14 Morris Catholic Sunday Open House
October 18 Sophomore Retreat
November 1 Mass for the Feast of All Saints 9:30 AM
November 1 Senior Picture – Following Mass
November 2 End of the First Quarter
November 13 Early Dismissal and Parent-Teacher Conferences


Principal's Notes

Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators…. The family is the first school of the social virtues. ~ Gravissimus Educationis – A Document of Vatican Council II
September 17, 2018
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
We had a full week and a full weekend at Morris Catholic.  Many were on campus over the last three days enjoying a variety of events.  Our ninth-grade students stayed the night on Friday, taking part in movie night and some midnight dodgeball.  The boys set up tents in our courtyard, where they slept.
We continue our year’s theme of ‘We Believe’!  This gives us the opportunity to articulate and strengthen what is most important in our community.  We believe in our families.  Parents are the first and most important teachers of children.  Their work is lifelong.  We, as teachers and administrators, are grateful to participate in and support this great work.  Our relationship with you is essential to us.
Please take a few moments to read through the items below.
Back to School Night
This Thursday, September 20th, we host our Back to School Night.  Senior and Freshmen parents are asked to arrive at school by 5:45 PM.  We will hold meetings for parents of both of those classes at that time.  All Sophomore and Junior parents are asked to arrive by 6:15 PM in order to register and pick up their son or daughter’s schedule.  A General Assembly will be held at 6:30 PM.  The evening’s schedule can be found below.
Student Handbook
If you have not already done so, please be sure to read through our Student Handbook, found on our website at . You will also find a form there acknowledging your agreement these guidelines to our community life. Today is the due date for these forms, so I ask that you please return them at your earliest convenience.
France Anyone?
During the last week of our school year we will provide Alternative Learning Days.  These will include a variety of potential excursions.  One such experience we will offer is a trip to Paris and Lourdes.  All students and their parents are welcome to join us for this trip to France.  We will depart on June 13 and return on the 22nd.
Today, Monday, September 17, we will hold a Student Meeting for MC’s trip to France this year. All interested students are invited to Room 218 during Commons Period. Those who are unable to attend should see Ms. Capuzzi. À bientôt!
Standardized Testing 
Last year we transitioned from Aspire testing to the MAP, designed by NWEA. MAP has been used successfully throughout the country to assess student achievement and help to plan for student growth. I had became familiar with this test through its use in the Archdiocese of New York.  It has also been used  successfully in a variety of states to improve student learning.  The MAP will be given to ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders three times each year.  English and Math teachers will have students take it during their class time.  Teachers will receive direct information regarding what their students have mastered and what they should learn next.  This assessment will be given three times per year.  Increases in learning will measured each time it is given.  Results are returned to teachers within the week.  This will allow us to more effectively use testing data to individualize our instruction for each student.  Parents will also receive information on their child’s progress.  We will be giving our first round of testing in the coming weeks.  Please encourage your sons and daughters to do their best on these.  Good information will help us.  Ms. Maria Mendoza will be the director of our MAP testing.  Do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions about the MAP. 
Gathering Contact Data
I would like to ask that all enter contact information in a Google form that can be found at the link below.  This will help us to update our emergency alert system, Alert Solutions. We recently made changes to PowerSchool which require that we re-enter all our contact information in the Alert Solutions system.  Here is the link to the form: .
We are entering our second full week of school.  This first month can take all our energy as we accelerate into the year.  We will have three four-day weeks that follow.  These will help us all catch our breath.  I look forward to seeing you all at Back to School Night!

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia
Upcoming Dates
September 17 Paris – Lourdes Trip Meeting – Any student interested in traveling to France in June with Morris Catholic is asked to attend this meeting.  Those who cannot make it should see Ms. Capuzzi.
September 18 Student Activities Fair – Students will have time during Commons to see the various clubs and activities that are available at Morris Catholic and sign up for them.
September 20 Back to School Night – Our Back to School Night begins at 6:00 PM for freshmen and senior parents.  Sophomore and junior parents begin at 6:30 PM.  Please arrive 15 minutes early to register and pick up your schedule.
September 24 – 27 Spirit Week! – We will have a series of TAG days during this week.. Watch for each day’s theme.
September 27 College Night – Over 140 college representatives will be on campus that night. It is a good opportunity to see what schools are out there. Students from all schools are welcome.
September 28 No Classes – We will not hold classes on this day.  Teachers will have a professional development day.
September 29 Homecoming – The whole family is welcome to join us for the festivities.
October 4th Feast of St. Francis – Mass with the Bishop – Bishop Serratelli will celebrate Mass with our community on the Feast of St. Francis.  All families are welcome to join us!  Mass begins at 9:30 AM
October 4th Freshmen Parent Social – We will hold our Freshmen Parent Social on the evening of the Feast of St. Francis.  All Freshmen Parents are asked to attend.  Please bring your favorite bottle of wine.  We will provide the cheese.
October 5 No Classes – Professional Development
October 8 No Classes – Columbus Day
Student Affairs
The Activities Fair will be held during Commons on the 18th in the cafeteria. All students will have the opportunity to sign up for a club. Club Members from each club will be available to answer questions and encourage membership. We have well over 30 clubs - something for everyone! Please encourage your child to GET INVOLVED!
MC Leads will be having a meeting on Sunday, Sept 23rd from 2 to 4 in the Library.
Ms. Kathy Smith
Dean of Students
Back to School Night – Morris Catholic High School
September 20, 2018
5:45 PM Registration for Freshmen and Senior Parents Front of Library
6:00 PM Senior Parent Meeting Library
6:00 PM Freshmen Parent Meeting KPAC
6:15 PM Registration for Sophomore and Junior Parents Cafeteria
6:30 PM General Assembly Cafeteria
6:45 – 6:55 PM Period 1 Classrooms
7:00 – 7:10 PM Period 2  
7:15 – 7:25 PM Period 3  
7:30 – 7:40 PM Period 4  
7:45 – 7:55 PM Period 5  
8:00 – 8:10 PM Period 6  
8:15 – 8:25 PM Period 7  
8:30 – 8:40 PM Period 8  

Principal's Notes

Ancora Imparo (Yet, I am still learning) ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti, age 87
September 10, 2018
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
Last week we embarked on our school year.  It was a warm one!  A great thanks for all your support throughout.  As we worked to make the classroom temperatures a little more tolerable, classes were moved to air-conditioned areas when possible.  This week's weather promises to be a little easier on us. Although rainy, temperatures should only reach the low eighties.
We want to congratulate our Football and Girls’ Soccer teams for two strong wins this past weekend.  We look forward to many more.
Underclassmen Portraits
Today and tomorrow we will be taking underclassmen portraits. This will occur during their regular Physical Education or Driver’s Education periods.  All paperwork was sent home.  Please just have them bring in whatever might be necessary.  An extra moment for personal grooming may be helpful.
Student Handbook
Please take a moment during this coming week to read through our Student Handbook, found on our website at . You will also find a form there acknowledging your agreement these guidelines to our community life.  The form should be signed and returned to us by Monday, September 17th, at the latest.

The dates below may be helpful as you prepare your calendars for the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing you soon here on campus. 

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia
Upcoming Dates
September 10 -11 Underclassmen Portraits – Make sure students are well dressed and groomed.  We will be taking portraits on these days.
September 11 9/11 Memorial Service – We will hold a 9/11 Memorial Service at 10:05 AM on Tuesday.  All are welcome to join.  The ceremony will be held in the front circle beneath the flag.
September 14 Our First H Day – Classes begin at 8:30 AM on H days.  Students have an opportunity for just a little more sleep, but should be sure to arrive on time.
September 14 Freshmen Lock-in – The entire freshmen class is asked to stay from the evening into the morning.  We will enjoy a night of activities.  This will include an outdoor movie, dodgeball, and camping on campus.  Do you have a tent to lend?  We could use some.
September 14 Morris Catholic Movie Night – We will be showing a movie outdoors on the upper soccer field.  All students are welcome to come out and join us!
September 20 Back to School Night – Our Back to School Night begins at 6:00 PM for freshmen and senior parents.  Sophomore and junior parents begin at 6:30 PM.  Please arrive 15 minutes early to register and pick up your schedule.
September 24 – 27 Spirit Week! – We will have a series of TAG days during this week. Watch for each day’s theme.
September 27 College Night – Over 140 college representatives will be on campus that night. It is a good opportunity to see what schools are out there. Students from all schools are welcome.
September 28 No Classes – We will not hold classes on this day.  Teachers will have a professional development day.
September 29 Homecoming – The whole family is welcome to join us for the festivities. 
October 4th Feast of St. Francis – Mass with the Bishop – Bishop Serratelli will celebrate Mass with our community on the Feast of St. Francis.  All families are welcome to join us!  Mass begins at 9:30 AM
October 4th Freshmen Parent Social – We will hold our Freshmen Parent Social on the evening of the Feast of St. Francis.  All Freshmen Parents are asked to attend.  Please bring your favorite bottle of wine.  We will provide the cheese.

Principal's Notes

Monday, September 3rd, 2018 – Feast of St. Gregory the Great, Labor Day
Scientia Caritatis Christi

Dear Morris Catholic Families,
Happy Labor Day! I hope you are enjoying this traditional last day of summer vacation. It is, however, time to begin.  Tomorrow we embark on the 2018-2019 school year.  I ask that we welcome the more than one hundred new ninth grade students to our community.  We also have many tenth and eleventh graders who are new Crusaders.  This will be our largest student body in the last ten years. 
Although we have grown a little, we continue to remain focused on developing the gifts of each individual in our school.  The year's overall theme is ‘We Believe’.  We begin each day and year with the belief that our students possesses an infinite value.  Each has the Divine spark within them.  Our work is to appreciate that value and help them develop their gifts, both known and hidden.
As we prepare for tomorrow, I want to share some information that will help make for a smooth start.
Getting to School
Students should arrive by 7:55 AM for the start of school.  Those who are on campus before 7:45 AM should go directly to the cafeteria. Buses depart school at the end of the day, between 2:45 and 3:15 PM. Any concerns about busing schedules should go to Mr. Daniel Montgomery, who will be our new Director of Transportation. His email is . Students who drive to school and park on campus must register with Ms. Kathy Smith. Please be sure to see the handbook about our driving guidelines. 
On the First Day
We have an R day schedule tomorrow.  This means that students will visit all their classes, in order, periods one through eight.  A list of class locations will be available on the front bulletin board, close to the Main Office, and on Schoology.  Schedules are available on Schoology and will also be given out during the first period.  Teachers will allow students enough time to find their classrooms and adjust to a new schedule.  Information regarding class organizational requirements will be covered during these initial meetings.  Guidance will be available throughout the day to answer any questions that students may have.
What to Wear
Students will dress in fall common attire this week.  They may wear their polo shirt or oxford.  They may choose either the blue or khaki pants or the walking shorts.   All should have the appropriate shoes.  Friday is our first Formal Attire Day. Please be sure that your sons and daughters are ready to go with their blazer and button-down oxford.  Should you have any questions or concerns about uniforms, please contact Ms. Kathy Smith, our Dean of Students, at
Our senior class traditionally receives a new locker as they start their final year.  All seniors will receive their locker information during their first period class on Tuesday morning if they have not picked it up already. 
In Case I Forgot…..
Our Crusader parents always seem to be there to help their children!  When students forget items such as lunch or after-school attire, parents often bring these in during the school day.  While I appreciate this concern, I do ask that we limit such visits to critical needs.  We want to foster a greater sense of self-reliance in our students.  If they forget items, they will be ok for one day.  They may, on occasion, borrow money from the Main Office to ensure that they have a good lunch. 
Drinks During the Day
We want students to hydrate.  They are allowed to carry water with them throughout the day.  It should, however, only be water.  They may carry a clear plastic water bottle or a ‘Swell’ type of container.  They may refill these reusable containers in the cafeteria between classes, during Commons, at lunch, or at the end of the school day. A fountain with filtered water is available there.  These reusable bottles are, frankly, much better for our environment than the disposable, prepackaged ones. 
Students will not be permitted to carry containers of coffee or other purchased drinks (other than water) during the school day.  In the morning, these must be consumed in the cafeteria.  If students arrive at school with such drinks, they should enter through the cafeteria doors.  Students entering the main doors with such drinks will be asked to dispose of them. 
This Year
We will continue to focus on our Writing Initiative.  Last year we incorporated more analytical writing in our Social Studies, English, Theology and Science classes.  This year we will refine our program.  This emphasis will also be layered  with a concentrated focus on Close Reading. At times, the teaching world can find itself caught up in a multitude of initiatives, all valuable, and lose focus on the essentials. Analyzing texts and using strong source works in support of a thesis, however, remains a foundational skill that prepares students for further studies. 
This is the inaugural year of the Albertus Magnus Institute for the Biological Sciences. That’s a mouthful.  We just refer to it now as AMI.  A number of 9th and 10th graders currently participate in the program.  A special curriculum has been designed for these students, which includes courses in Genetics, Faith and Science, the History of Science, AP Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biomedical Ethics.  They will also enjoy summer experiences, such as internships, that will enhance their understanding of the biological sciences.  We have seen the need to develop such a program, offering an opportunity for vocational discernment and Catholic formation for those considering health care professions.  In the near future, we will develop a similar program for students considering careers in physics, engineering, and environmental sciences. In order to emphasize our new initiative, we will focus on the theme of Faith and Science throughout the year.
New to Us!!!!
We are happy to introduce several new faculty members who have joined our team.  A full view book with some background on these teachers will come home soon.  Please welcome them to our community.

Ms. Valeria Cascio Spanish
Ms. Carolina Grau Spanish and English
Mr. Sami Wakim Chemistry
Ms. Dinora Nati Physics, Chemistry
Ms. Kristina Scudese Biology, Physics
Mr. Dan Coviello Physical Education
Ms. Tracy Witko Music
Mr. Christopher Brizek Social Studies
Mr. Max Drake Computer Science
On Friday of this week we celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Families are welcome! Please join us at 9:30 AM.  It is a great way to start the year.
I am looking forward to a great first week and wonderful year with all of you!
Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia

Children must be able to play, study and grow in a peaceful environment. ~ Pope Francis

June 15, 2018

Dear Morris Catholic Families,

We are now truly in the last days. Our seniors enjoyed a beautiful Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation Ceremony last Thursday. They are no longer in the building. Our juniors now have the opportunity to take on leadership and begin to set the tone for the year to come. I have asked all our students to ‘stay the course’ and finish well for year. We just have a little more to go. There are ten official school days left, and four more before exams.

Second Semester, Final Quarter, Exams
Exams make for a significant portion of a student’s grade. They account for 20% of the semester. Each of the two quarters make up the other 40%.  Students must earn at least a 70 on either the final exam or the fourth quarter in order to pass for the year. They must also pass the second semester in order to pass for the year.

On June 20, we begin three days of core subject exams.  Our first are Math and World Language. Students should arrive by 7:55am and be in their classroom before the 8:00am bell. Should a student miss an exam, they will need to doctor’s note, unless the absence has been pre-arranged and approved by me.

Light fare will be provided in our cafeteria on these days. Students may wish to bring their own snack. There is a half-hour break between exams when students may eat, study, rest, or visit with an available teacher. Students must remain in the first exam for the full two hours. All extended time students will be dismissed after 80 minutes if they have completed their exams.

Last Days
We have two half days on June 25 and 26.  Regular classes will be held on these days. Schedules are on Schoology. June 27 is reserved for make-up exams. A number of families have communicated with me that they had long ago planned to vacation on these days and will not be in attendance. If your child is unable to be in school because of previous plans, please let me know in advance with an email and phone call, or, alternately, with a hand-written note.

Lost and Found
There are many items that students have left behind this year.  These are all in large bags close to the cafeteria. Items that are not claimed will be discarded by June 25.  

Next Year
Below you will find a list of key dates for 2018-2019.  I thought you might find this helpful in your planning.

We’re looking forward to a great finish! I hope that Morris Catholic has been that peaceful environment Pope Francis speaks of in the quote above.  


Sincerely yours,

Mr. Robert A. Loia


When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. – Billy Graham
February 28, 2018
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
I hope this week has started well for you.  Spring is attempting to break through, but I am certain we still have some wet and cold days ahead.  Students and faculty are advancing through the ‘longest time’ in our school year. It is the longest uninterrupted span of teaching time which comes during our still-dark months, making it even more challenging.  We generally find that students struggle to stay focused during these days.  Please help them to stay the course.  As the new life of spring approaches, perspectives improve and energy increases.  Hang in there; it’s coming.
Progress Reports
Report grades were gathered on Monday morning. All information in Powerschool is currently updated. Please be sure to look at your son or daughter’s current standing in their classes.  Should you need help getting into the system, reach out to their guidance counselor.  Parents will receive a hard copy of a progress report should a student’s grade fall below an 80 in any subject.  These are not official grades, but a mere taking of a student’s academic pulse. 
Service Day at Morris Catholic
This Saturday is Service day at MC.  We ask that students and families that are able come join us to help care for our home at MC.  Alumni are also welcome.  Many hands will be needed to clean floors, work on special projects, and help the Sisters at the Convent.  Please sign up at .  I thank you in advance for any time you might offer.
A Day of Prayer
This coming Friday, March 2nd, we will take the day to pray as a community.  Please join us for a ‘Day of Prayer’ through the celebration of the Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and Stations of the Cross.  All parents are welcome to participate in the morning 7:20 AM Mass held in the St. Joseph Chapel.  There will then be exposition and adoration throughout the day.  We will hold a special adoration time just for parents until 8:15, after which all are invited to stay for coffee in the library.  Students will participate in adoration throughout the day.  This Lenten Day of Prayer will end with Stations at 3:00 PM.
A Black History Month Celebration
The African American story is woven throughout the fabric of American history.  It continues to unfold.  Our celebration of Black History month went exceptionally well.  Last week we hosted a speaker, Mr. L. Londell McMillan, who engaged our juniors and seniors by sharing his experience and wisdom.  Our Multicultural Club continues to bring energy to this month’s educational programs.  The Film Club presented a nicely developed short film relating to Black History. 
Kids and Screen Time
On February 20th Dr. Matthew D’Urso and Mr. Robert Flynn offered an informative presentation to our parents on young people and technology use, sharing recent research and practical suggestions.  If you were unable to attend, you can find their slides at the following link: .  Feel free to ask me or any guidance counselor questions you may have about the presentation.
Enrolling your Child for 2018-2019
We have emailed the link home to enroll your son or daughter for the following school year.  Please be sure to complete the registration process by March 9th
I want to let you know that I will be off campus for a period of time.  I will undergo a medical procedure this morning that will keep me home for a little more than a week.  I do ask that you keep me in your prayers so that I might return swiftly. 
I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks!
Sincerely yours,
Robert A. Loia

Christ’s work isn’t understood, Christ himself isn’t understood, if one doesn’t enter His heart full of compassion. This is what pushes Him to stretch out His hand to the man sick with leprosy, to touch him and to say to him: “I will; be clean!”  Pope Francis, February 11, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018 ~ Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Dear Members of the Morris Catholic Community,
I hope that you have enjoyed a restful weekend.  I write to you on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, celebrated on the 11th of February each year.  Mary is the Patroness of Morris Catholic under this title, and so this is an important feast for us. 
It was nice to see a number of our parents during the girls’ basketball County Tournament game this weekend.  The team will go on to the semi-finals of the Tourney, taking on Chatham this coming Friday evening at CCM. 
Ash Wednesday
Lent begins this Wednesday.  Families are welcome to join us as we celebrate Mass together at 9:30 AM.  A special invitation goes out to all grandparents.  We will hold our special reception for them in the library following Mass.
Parent Information Evening – Kids and Screen Time
So, what are the effects of all this screen time and how should parents manage it at home?  The use of technology by our students has increased exponentially over the last decade.  Most teens would find even a short separation from their smart phone stressful.  While these new technological tools offer significant opportunities for learning, we all question how much screen time is valuable and healthy for students.   What are the consequences of technological ubiquity for our children and how do we best parent in this environment?
Join us as we explore this important topic on Tuesday, February 20th, at 7:00 PM.  Clinical child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Matthew D’Urso, and Mr. Robert Flynn will present on current research and offer practical recommendations.  We will meet in the library.  Please make time to attend this parent information evening.  
Long, Long Weekend
Students will have a little mid-winter break as this week ends.  School will be closed on Monday, February 19th, in honor of our Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays fall in February.  We will also not hold any classes on February 20th, when we will observe our Bishop’s Holiday.  When the Bishop celebrated Mass with us earlier in the year he announced that the students could be off on a day of the administration’s choosing. We decided to lengthen this already extended weekend. We are grateful to Bishop Serratelli.
Courses for Next Year 
The pre-registration process has begun. Guidance counselors will be meeting with your son or daughter over the coming weeks to solidify their course selections. As parents and teachers, we appreciate that our students are gifted in their own ways.    We want your children to reach for the possibilities that will challenge them.
Students will bring home a course pre-registration form that you should work on together. Once you have signed the form, it should be returned to the guidance counselor for final approval.  All forms should be returned by March 8th
Service Day – March 3rd 
The Parent Board at Morris Catholic is sponsoring a “Service Day at MC”.  The purpose of the day is to help Gus and our maintenance team do some Spring-cleaning throughout the school.  As you know, the MC team works extremely hard to keep the school clean and in good order, but some projects just need some extra hands.  The Parent Board has asked for a list of such projects that we can work on during “Service Day at MC”.  Activities will include cleaning, working at the Convent, organizing, and possibly working on the fields.
We are reaching out to all families and groups at MC (sports teams, theater boosters, sports boosters, peer ministry, student counsel, etc.) as we believe this would be a great service program.
Please set aside Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 from 9:00 AM-12:30 PM.  A subsequent email will be sent out with a link to help you sign up.
I want to thank all of you for the prayers and good wishes I received during these recent days.  They are much appreciated. Please continue to keep all those in our community who have been touched by health issues in our prayers. 
I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.
Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia
Robert A. Loia
Morris Catholic High School
200 Morris Avenue
Denville, New Jersey  07834
Phone: 973-627-6674, ext. 112
Fax: 973-627-7269
Cell: 973-567-0787

Scientia Caritatis Christi

'Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'  Matthew 25
Principal Notes
November 19, 2017
Dear Morris Catholic Families,
This last week at school has found us between seasons. Many students sought out things to do as the academic day ended.  Our winter sports season, however, begins tomorrow.  Practices will be scheduled throughout the afternoon.  There will be no practices from Thursday through Sunday in order to observe the Thanksgiving weekend.  Hopefully you will enjoy some wonderful family time in the coming days.
We held Parent-teacher conferences this past Thursday.  Over one thousand meetings were scheduled for nearly two hundred families.  All went smoothly.  We thank all those that were able to come in and touch base with teachers. 
Conclusion to Fall Athletics – Achievements and Celebrations
Yesterday two of our student athletes participated in the final event of our fall athletic season.  Kate McAndrewand Kevin Mulligan ran in the prestigious Meet of Champions, a Cross Country race that gathers all the best performers from the various groups.  It is an honor for Morris Catholic to have representation at this event. Their coaches say of both of them: “They are such hard workers and exemplify the Crusader spirit.” 
Kate won the Cross-Country State Championship last Saturday for non-public group B.  Our Boys’ Soccer team, which we have all read about, also brought us through a fantastic season and finished with a State Championship.  In order to celebrate both achievements we have declared a holiday.  School will be closed on Monday, November 27thin honor of these Morris Catholic victories
Morris Catholic Boys' Soccer - Non-public B State Champions - 2017
Kevin Mulligan and Kate McAndrew ran in the Meet of Champions yesterday.  Kate is the State Champion in Cross Country Non-public B.  
Trips Abroad
A parent and student meeting was held this past week for all those interested in joining this summer’s Mission Uganda trip.  Thanks to all those who participated!  Should you still wish to travel to Uganda this summer, please let me or Ben Duphiney ( know as soon as you can.  Students who are unable to travel but who want to support the effort are also welcome to join the Uganda Mission Club.  A team effort will be needed to make this a success and change the lives of Ugandan students.
Would your son or daughter like to celebrate Easter at the Vatican, walk in the steps of St. Francis in Assisi, appreciate the Renaissance art in Siena and Florence, read the ubiquitous Latin inscriptions found in these cities, or simply enjoy Italian food and culture?  Morris Catholic students are welcome to participate in an Italian Experience program during Easter break.  A strong meeting of interested students was held this past week.  There will be a meeting for parents of student travelers tomorrow, Monday, at 6:30 PM in the library.  Parents are also welcome to come along for the journey. Learn more at this link on our website: .
Need a Wreath or Poinsettia?
The Parent Board is still selling these beautiful wreaths at a reasonable price. All funds raised will be used for the needs of the Morris Catholic community.  Please support the Parent Board and purchase a wreath or poinsettia.  Sales will close tomorrow evening at 11:59 PM.  You can make your purchase by going to the following link: .
Purchase a Wreath or Poinsettia
Tuesday and Wednesday of this Week
On Tuesday Mr. Randall Wright will bring his Marine Biology students to study Island Beach State Park, a ten mile stretch of preserved coastline and barrier island just south of Seaside Heights.  Parent chaperones are welcome to attend.  Please speak to Mr. Wright for details. 
On Wednesday we will have a special schedule.  School will dismiss at 12:10 PM.  All eight periods will meet that day, so they will be brief.  This gives teachers an opportunity to touch base with all their students before they depart for the holiday.   Lunch will not be served.  Thanksgiving break will begin after all classes meet.  Students should make arrangements to depart from the school grounds once school is finished.  We will not have after-school supervision. 
We will celebrate Mass together at 9:30 AM on Wednesday.  Families are welcome to join us.  A special invitation goes out to all young alumni who are in the area.  Please let them know if you are in contact with them.  An alumni reception will follow in the library. 
The quote at the start of this letter is from today’s Gospel.  In reading it, I thought about our work here at Morris Catholic.  As parents, our children are gifts that we have been given in trust.  As teachers, we share in that work of developing them with you.  I daily think about this trust we have been given with each of them.  We also want them to realize that they have gifts that are given, some which are apparent and some that are still hidden within them.  Morris Catholic is a place for them to develop.  We want them to change the lives of others as they leave our home here and immerse themselves in the world.  Our small Crusader community, however, is a place where they can begin to practice that type of giving in smaller ways so they can eventually take on great responsibilities.  I don’t mean this in a secular sense, as in having successful job promotions, although that is important.  I think of this more in terms of a disposition of being for others, doing for others, and giving for the good of others.  Morris Catholic students are great because they learn to give.
We return from our break on Tuesday, November 28th. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia
Morris Catholic High School
200 Morris Avenue
Denville, New Jersey  07834
Phone: 973-627-6674, ext. 112
Fax: 973-627-7269
Cell: 973-567-0787

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.  She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire…Wisdom 6

Principal Notes
November 13, 2017

Dear Morris Catholic Families,
We have brought the first quarter of our school year to a close.  The conclusion of the fall sports season is also upon us. Our teams have taken us on a great ride.  Volleyball worked together to achieve their best season in our history.  Both Girls’ and Boys’ soccer have found great success, with our boys winning the State Title for the first time in twelve years.  Kate McAndrew has won the State Group title for Cross Country, and both she and Kevin Mulligan move on to the Meet of Champions next Saturday. 
Athletics at Morris Catholic help our young men and women develop their gifts.  This happens in other arenas also.  Ms. Bauer and Ms. McMurray helped our students put on an excellent performance of ‘You Can’t Take It with You’ this weekend.  Laughter filled the KPAC.  At least three of our young men earned their Eagle Scout award this fall, and more are moving on towards it.  Jonathan Beddow completed his project right on our campus, developing an outdoor garden and picnic area close to the track. 
International Trips
This year Morris Catholic will look to offer an opportunity for students and families to travel together to both Italy and Uganda.  Some may wish to take both trips!
Last summer senior Ben Duphiney visited Sr. Cecilia, a Little Sister of St. Francis studying at Assumption College for Sisters.  Her convent is in Uganda, and her community operates a school for girls, an orphanage, and medical facility.  All have great needs. While there he taught and worked with the young children at the school.  This summer he hopes to bring more students with him in the hopes that the wider Morris Catholic community can collaborate in this mission.  Rising juniors who are interested must travel with a parent.  We will host a meeting this evening to go over basic information for those who have a serious interest.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM and will be held in the library. 
For those who appreciate Italian, Latin, or Renaissance Art, or simply want to deepen their faith, they might consider the Italian trip which Mr. Mariani has been planning for Morris Catholic.  During the Easter break students will have the opportunity to visit Rome, Assisi, Siena, and Florence.  Parents are welcome to join.  I plan on accompanying students for this trip.  A meeting for parents will be held on Monday, November 20th, at 6:30 PM for all those interested in attending. 

Parent Teacher Conferences
We will hold our conferences this Thursday.  If you have not yet been able to sign up, please be sure to go to our link and set up your meetings.  Some teachers may have limited availability at this point.  Should you find yourself unable to schedule appointments, please reach out to the teacher through e mail to set up an appointment for another time. 
Classes will dismiss at 12:00 PM on Thursday.  Conferences will begin at 2:20 PM.  
Important Alerts
We use Alert Solutions to send out important alerts.  I will test our communication system tomorrow, Tuesday, at 4:00 PM.  Please be sure to update your information in PowerSchool if you do not receive a notification. 
The quote that started this letter is found in this past Sunday’s Mass readings.  In reading the passage I thought of our educational endeavor at Morris Catholic.  We are, first and foremost, trying to help our students seek and perceive Wisdom.  As our teachers go over their subjects with students, they work at trying to help them see and look for the bigger picture. This is ultimately more important to their life than just their preparation for college success or the work they might perform soon after they graduate. In all our interactions with them we want them to be receptive to Wisdom, which is their most important learning. 
I look forward to seeing you at conferences later this week.
Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Loia



I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly….John 10:10


September 21, 2017


Dear Morris Catholic Families,

Our first few weeks have been excellent. Much has already happened, and there is more to come. September is full of activities. The seniors were commissioned as we celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit. We held our first Town Hall. Our Activities Fair has taken place. Many of our students gathered for a Movie Night. Fall athletics are off to an excellent start, with both Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer making a bid for an exceptional season. Life is exciting and full here at Morris Catholic!


Much more is to come, beginning with this evening’s College Night and moving into tomorrow’s Bishop’s Mass. Please take a look at the items below and mark dates in your calendars.


College Fair Tonight

This evening, September 21st, we will hold our yearly College Fair.  Over 140 colleges will be represented, offering our students an excellent opportunity to learn about what schools are out there and their requirements for admission.  The fair begins at 6 PM and ends at 7:30 PM.  All are welcome, including students from other schools.


Mass with the Bishop

Tomorrow, Friday, we will celebrate Mass with Bishop Serratelli. It is a blessing to have him here with us. Families are welcome to join us for our Eucharistic celebration, that will begin at 9:30 AM.  


Coffee House

We will hold our first Coffee House of the year tomorrow evening, Friday, September 22nd. These gatherings offer our students an opportunity to share their musical, dramatic, or lyric talents, appreciate one another, and to simply have some healthy fun.  Fifty to eighty students usually join us and parents generously provide an array of tasty snacks.  Your sons and daughters are welcome to join us from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM for this event


Back to School Night

On Tuesday, September 26th, we host our Back to School Night.  Senior and freshmen parents are asked to arrive at school by 5:45 PM.  We will hold meetings for parents of both of those classes at that time.  All Sophomore and Junior parents are asked to arrive by 6:15 PM in order to register and pick up their son or daughter’s schedule.  A General Assembly will be held at 6:30 PM.  The evening’s schedule can be found below.


No Classes on September 29th!

Faculty will hold a retreat on Friday, September 29th.  We will not have any classes.  There will, however, be a football game that evening, preceded by a tailgate (thanks to our Student Council).  Please join us for a great night.  Student spectators will be wearing white and donning face paint. All are welcome to join.  Our freshmen will hold their lock-in that night.


Knowing our School Handbook

Attached you will find a Contract of Acceptance of the Morris Catholic High School Handbook for this year.  If you have not already done so, please take some time to read through the handbook, found in the "Parents" tab on our website.  The contract attests to our partnerships with regards to these policies and norms.  A copy of the handbook can be found below and is also posted on our website.  Please return this to Mrs. Fitzgerald in the Main Office by October 2nd.  

Click here to access the handbook form.

On Tuesday, we held our Clubs and Activities Fair.  Students were enthusiastic about getting involved in an activity they feel passionate about.  It was a successful event.


I look forward to seeing all of you next Tuesday.


Sincerely yours,


Mr. Rob Loia



September 19, 2017

Dear Morris Catholic Freshmen Families,

Our ninth grade lock-in takes place on the evening of Friday, September 29th, into the following Saturday morning.  The goal of our time together will be to help our students continue to develop strong relationships and to help them incorporate more fully into our community life.  We will share in fellowship, foster friendships, and strengthen our community…. all with some good fun.  

Students who are not involved in athletics should check-in at the library by 5:00 PM.  Those at games or practices should come once their activities are done.  

On the agenda for the evening are dinner at the tailgate, attendance at the football game by House and a workshop.  In the morning we will celebrate Mass, eat breakfast, and participate in a workshop activity.  

Please have your son or daughter bring the following:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow

  • Toiletries

  • Towel

  • Athletic wear (for sleeping)

  • Optional spending money for the game

  • One snack item to share with ten students


In addition, please let us know if you have a 4-8 person tent that your son or daughter could share with other classmates.  Sleeping quarters will be separated by gender.  With good weather and camping gear, one group will use the interior courtyard and another the track area.  

Pick-up will be on Saturday morning at 11 AM in the back parking lot.  The cost of our event for each student is $10.  Please have your son or daughter bring in a check with the attached permission form by this Thursday afternoon.   

You can access the permission form here.

We look forward to a great time.  Do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.  


Sincerely yours,

Mr. Rob Loia




September 14, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians of the Class of 2021,

We would like to extend an invitation to join us for our Freshman Parent Social, sponsored by the Morris Catholic Parent Board. The Social will take place on Thursday, October 5th from 7:00 - 8:30 PM in the MC Library and Writing Center. 

The evening will offer an opportunity for get to know other Freshmen parents, school administrators, and teachers.  Please join us for a night of fellowship and conversation!  We only ask that you bring your favorite bottle of wine to share.

Please click here to RSVP by September 28th to confirm your spot.  Our event is for parents only.

We look forward to seeing you all!

Mr. Rob Loia