Last week’s From the Desk of the Superintendent had an almost exclusive focus on Catholic Education. The threat is still very real but after returning from another successful Blueprints Retreat, there is renewed hope because of the quality of Catholic educators throughout the province. It doesn’t hurt to spend some quality time with David Wells, who always lifts your spirits. He will be with us here in Holy Spirit to start off our 2017-18 school year and for those who have not had the pleasure to hear him, you are in for a real treat.
What I neglected in my last post, I want to address today and it centers on celebration. While we have ample opportunities to celebrate throughout the year, it seems that from the month of May forward, we ramp it up! On Monday we begin with our traditional First Nations Feather Blessing and Metis Sash Presentation Ceremony at Catholic Central High School. It is always a highlight for me to share in this tremendous honor with our aboriginal students and families. We are so blessed in our Division to have the guidance of Elder Peter Strikes With A Gun who leads this special ceremony.
The Feather Blessing and Metis Sash Presentation Ceremony lead into our first two high school graduations of the year. Both Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge and St. Michael’s School in Pincher Creek host their graduation masses, ceremonies and banquets this weekend. It is a little bit of driving to attend both but, so important for me to be able to bring greetings and celebrate with our graduating students and families. Please keep our students and their families in your prayers this coming week.
Last week we honored our latest Excellence in Catholic Education Award winner, Lorelie Lenaour and this week we celebrate our Edwin Parr Award nominee at a banquet in Taber. The Edwin Parr Award recognizes outstanding first year teaching. This year, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division is pleased to support Caitlyn Kasprick as our representative. Ms. Kasprick, a teacher at Father Leonard Van Tighem School will be the toast of the evening along with other nominees from Zone 6.
On Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees host their annual Long Service Awards. The evening begins with a mass (our Catholic tradition), followed by the awards and concludes with a social. Beginning at the 5-year mark, all staff are recognized for continuous service on five year intervals. In my travels, I’ve not witnessed a more robust long service program and so I want to congratulate the Board for their commitment to this recognition. I highlight this fact because often we believe that our norm (how we do things in Holy Spirit) is “the norm” around the province and country. I understand that not all recipients are able to attend and so for those who won’t be there I just want to thank you for your years of service and commitment to Holy Spirit Catholic School Division.
Finally, the last celebration I want to acknowledge is Mother’s Day. To my own mom, to my wife, the mother of our two grown children and to all the mothers in our communities, I want to wish you the very best. There is nothing closer to God’s unconditional love than that of the love of a mother. And so from all the daughters and sons out there we ask for God’s blessing on our mothers. May we always love them deeply, cherish their life and honor their memory.