By having fun together
The SCCS community celebrated Catholic Schools Week from February 8-13. The theme of the week was “Catholic schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service”.
The week began with a prayer ceremony that included giving thanks for this great school community and for the people who have throughout the ages and do currently to make it the wonderful place that it is.
Then, the fun began. The K-2 students went bowling, celebrated 100 days. The Grades 3-6 graciously accepted the fact that it was too cold for the outdoor field trip that was planned and happily spent a day of reading, watching movies, playing games and eating treats instead.
The Grades 7 and 8 students went off to winter camp for three days.
Grade 1 teacher Mrs. Sherlock summed up the week of events beautifully:
“Watching our students throughout the week was a validation that our students are wonderful examples of faith and leadership to our greater community. And that is part of what makes St. Charles Catholic Schools Week festivities memorable.”
On Friday when the students had the day off from school, the staff gathered at St. Mary’s Academy where they joined together with all the other Catholic schools in the city. The 500+ participants began the day with a Mass celebrated with Archbishop Gagnon. Ken Yasinski was the keynote speaker on the theme of intentionality of living a Christ-centered life.
SCCS Altar Servers enjoying a special opportunity with Fr. Paul to learn more about Father’s vocation and the Mass.
The staff and students are being treated to intimate class Masses on Tuesdays and Thursdays this year, thanks to Fr. Paul.
The practice of having Masses at school began 5 years ago with Fr. Glofcheski. At first, masses were offered in the school chapel and then changed to the practice of celebrating Masses in classrooms. Staff, students and Pastor alike found these intimate settings to be highly rewarding and an opportunity to grow in community and faith. Even the altar servers were treated to a special Mass of their own after which they were able to have a Q & A session with Father about his vocation, parts of the Mass, symbolism, and a sharing of why they wanted to become altar servers!
Fr. Paul is using the book “Fifty Masses with Children” by Sister Francesca Kelly as he travels through the school. This book is also being used for school-wide Masses this year. Published in Ireland, it can be obtained through Amazon.uk.
Staff Faith Development Program Travels to the Archdiocesan Offices
On November 20th, the staff of SCCS visited the Archdiocesan Offices, the hub of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. His Grace, Archbishop Richard Gagnon, led the 25 adult educators through a dialogue about the power of prayer. After sharing an overview of what prayer is, how Christian prayer differs from other faiths and offering some concrete examples, His Grace then led the group into the Chapel and together we prayed the Divine Office.
The afternoon ended with a tour of the facility led by Robert Praznik, Director of Education.
Throughout the year, the staff will be visiting various locations within the Archdiocese and experiencing the different prayers styles offered within the charisms of the religious institutions. Our next trip will be to visit St. Mary’s Academy where we will be introduced to the charism of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
Staff Faith Development Program
On October 23rd, the staff of SCCS visited the Atrium at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church where the catechesis of the Good Shepherd is offered. Maureen, the parish catechetical coordinator, gently led the 25 adult educators through the parable of the Good Shepherd, using little figurines, and biblical readings in the style used with children between the ages of 3-6. Then the group was invited to explore the centers available throughout the atrium, including a diorama of the Sea of Galilee, a little prayer corner, and a child-sized altar, complete with vessels and vestments.
This catechesis style was developed by Sofia Cavalletti and her Montessori collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, in Rome in the 1950’s. It has been offered in various parishes in both the Winnipeg and St. Boniface Archdiocese.
Every year, the staff at SCCS take the time to develop their own faith. This year the focus by staff is the development of personal prayer lives. At the induction ceremony at the first school Mass, each staff member received a copy of “With Open Hands” by Henri Nouwen. This little pocket primer begins with the story of a woman learning to shift from living with clenched fists to living with open hands – a concept on which the staff will be reflecting throughout 2014-2015.
Throughout the year, the staff will be visiting various locations within the Archdiocese and experiencing the different prayers styles offered within the charisms of the religious institutions.