Catholic Education Sunday was celebrated in Alberta on November 3. The following message was read at all masses by trustees and administration.
Holy Spirit is a regional division that serves students in Coaldale, Lethbridge, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, Taber, and surrounding areas. Today, we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday. Each year we set aside this special day to celebrate the gift of publicly funded Catholic Education here in the province of Alberta.
The theme chosen by the Alberta Bishops for this year’s Catholic Education Sunday is, “Caring for the Gifts that God has Given Us.” It aligns well with our division’s new three year faith plan, “Taking Our Place at the Table.” When Pope Francis said at his installation mass, “I want to ask you a favour…I want to ask you to walk together and take care of one another,” his words spoke directly to our division. We are all called to care for and protect the gifts that God has given us and we must help our poor and the most marginalized in our community. Pope Francis’ request for a favour must be our call to action!
In Year 1 of our theme, we will focus on the Catholic Social teachings of human dignity, the common good and participation. We understand that we are “created in the image and likeness of God.” (Genesis 1:26-27). As a division we will learn about our gifts from God and acknowledge the wonder of all creation. Our call to participate will have us exploring new ideas to help shape our community and the world. Our students will make discoveries using both faith and reason.
Catholic education within the walls of our Holy Spirit schools must lead our students to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. This encounter will prepare our students to take their place at the table, where they will serve the needs of others, always focusing on the common good. In doing so, they will also recognize the gift of publicly funded Catholic Education in Alberta. They will see how our Holy Spirit schools are a partnership with parents and the church, and will become faithful guardians of Catholic Education for future generations; seeking to foster and strengthen the bonds that exist between school, home, and the parish.
As we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday this weekend, I would ask that you pray for our students, our staff and our Catholic schools as they take their place at the table. Have a wonderful Catholic Education Sunday and God Bless!