Living in the Word of God - Archbishop Richard Smith has released a pastoral letter to the Archdiocese that will provide special focus for our faith community over the next 5 years. It is deeply grounded in the words of Pope Francis, ""These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus: to listen to the word of God, and to put it into practice. This is the Christian life – nothing more. Simple, simple." (Homily at Daily Mass, September 23, 2014)
You can read the pastoral letter, watch a video titled Archbishop Smith's Pastoral letter in 60 Seconds, and find other resources at http://caedm.ca/Letter
Holy is Thy Name –Each of the names of schools and buildings in Edmonton Catholic Schools has a special significance. Our District Archivist, Helen, Scarlett, has done an amazing job of revising the book Holy is Thy Name – Honouring the Namesakes of Edmonton Catholic Schools, which was first produced in 2006, and creating a beautiful digital format. This book proudly shares the stories of our rich Catholic heritage. You can view it by visiting our website at https://www.ecsd.net/AboutUs/catholic-identity/Pages/Holy-Is-Thy-Name.aspx
Dinner and a Course Winners – There are so many opportunities for us to grow in knowledge of our faith. We were pleased to offer 5 bursaries to staff to participate in Dinner and a Course at St. Joseph's College at the U of A. Congratulations to Kelli Lavigne, Ann Hammond, Gloria Cabase, Gloria Antipan, and Laurie Wojcichowsky whose names were drawn to receive the bursaries. If you are interested in registering for the course, the information can be found at http://www.stjosephs.ualberta.ca/en/AcademicProgram/DinnerAndCourse.aspx
Ecumenical Learning Opportunities – Pope Francis has shared that "Christian unity is an essential requirement of our faith, a requirement that springs from the intimacy of our being as believers in Jesus Christ" (10/11/2016). The Archdiocese extends the following invitation to attend a session on Why the Reformation Still Matters:
Join us for this special presentation marking the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Why does it still matter? Find out with Dr. Brad S. Gregory, an award-winning professor of church history at University of Notre Dame and author of The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. His lecture is free, and all are welcome. Come to All Saints Anglican Cathedral, 10035 - 103 Street, Edmonton, on Friday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation is jointly sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, the Edmonton & District Council of Churches, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.
The 28th annual Ecumenical Mission of Strathcona County will be held from October 15th -18th. It will be led by Archbishop Bolen of the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina. The brochure for this opportunity can be found at by clicking here.
Catechetical Sunday, October 1 – Our call in Catholic education is to help others to come to know and love Christ. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared resources for celebrating Catechetical Sunday, a day that celebrates this calling. The theme this year, Missionary Disciples in the Vineyard of the Lord, focuses on four topics: catechists are called to be missionary disciples, facilitate encounters with Christ, accompany others, and live in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. The resources are found at http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/office-for-evangelization-and-catechesis/4757-catechetical-sunday-2017.
Welcome Back to Our Regular Calendar Schools –Today, our regular calendar schools returned to class. I was able to go visit our 5 new schools as they opened their doors to students this morning. We are so excited to have Bishop David Motiuk, Christ the King, Corpus Christi, Father Michael Mireau, and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Schools join our Edmonton Catholic Schools family. I look forward to visiting our newly opened St. Margaret Centre For Diverse Learning later this week.
We Are Growing! This is definitely an exciting year of growth for us! I am pleased to share with you that, as of this morning, we have a record 42,683 students registered in Edmonton Catholic Schools! We are so delighted that the demand for the excellence that is to be found in Catholic education, an education that is rooted in Jesus, is growing in our city.
Lumen Christi Catholic Education Centre – At their June 20 Public Meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to rename the Catholic Education Services building to Lumen Christi Catholic Education Centre. This beautiful name, which means Light of Christ, will be a beacon to all, proudly proclaiming that Jesus is at the heart of all that we do. We look forward to having Bishop Gregory Bittman join us on Tuesday, September 12, to lead us in Eucharistic Liturgy, followed by a blessing of our building with its new name, and our new Edmonton Catholic Schools sign.
Ukrainian Canadian Heritage Day – September 7 of each year marks Ukrainian Canadian Heritage Day in Alberta. This day was instituted by unanimous vote in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to encourage the recognition of Alberta's Ukrainian-Canadian Heritage by all residents of our province.
These earliest settlers in our province "have contributed immensely to the Province of Alberta, initially through agriculture, forestry, railways and mining and subsequently to Alberta's government, civil society, industry, economic advancement and prosperity;" and "should be recognized specifically (for) bringing their wheat grains with them from Ukraine and developing the "Red Fife Wheat" that is grown throughout Alberta, contributing to Alberta's rich cultural heritage through the arts, including choral and instrumental music, folkloric and performing dance, fine art, fibre art, literature, architecture, libraries, museums and archival collections and cuisine, and helping to build our roads, railways and infrastructure in Alberta's national parks." (Bill 26 Ukrainian Canadian Heritage Day Act, 2016)
We look forward to seeing all the #ECSDawesome learning that takes place to honor Alberta's Ukrainian-Canadian Heritage!
We always think of the school year as starting in September when the students traditionally returned to class. Times have certainly changed, and the middle of August finds the school year off and running for many of our staff and students!
Welcome Back to Our Year-Round Schools –August 11 was the first day back for the students of St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Alphonsus, and St. Catherine, our year-round schools. Today marks the first day of class for their students. I visited each of these schools this morning; it energizes me to see the joy and enthusiasm of students and staff alike as we start a new year of learning and growth!
Head Custodian Meeting – Our head custodians will gather together on August 22 to learn about improvements in our operations and procedures, as well as to continue their learning in areas such as Occupational Health and Safety. Their leadership in ensuring that our buildings are clean, safe, and healthy is so greatly appreciated!
Administrative Support Kickoff – Representatives from each of our schools will gather together on August 25 to learn about what's new in a variety of areas such as technology, financial procedures, and transportation. It is always a joyful gathering that is filled with excitement!
Opening Leadership Meeting – August 24 also sees our District and school based leaders gathering together to dialogue on the goals and key strategies that have been set forth in our District Plan for Continuous Growth (2017-2020) and to celebrate the Eucharist as a community of Christ. It is so powerful for us to ground our plans for the year with the roots of our faith.
School Opening Mass – Christ is found at the centre of Catholic education. To gather together as a community and sit at the Lord's table, remembering the gift of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, is an incredibly important way for us to begin our school year. Just a quick reminder to staff that we will be holding our School Opening Mass simultaneously at four parishes this year on August 31 at 8:55 am. Staff can click on the portal banner to see which parish their site is to attend. For those who wish to experience Divine Liturgy, you are welcome to attend St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral with Bishop David Motiuk.
Have a wonderful summer! What a wonderful year of teaching and learning that we have had in Edmonton Catholic Schools. I have heard countless examples of #ECSDawesome in our school communities that range from learning experiences to social justice projects to celebrations. As we say our final farewells to our students of this year, it is an excellent time to pause and remember those first days of September so that we can reflect on all the growth that has happened over these past 10 months.
Have a restful and rejuvenating summer!
Our year-round schools' first day of class is August 14, and our regular calendar schools' first day of class is September 5.
School Opening Mass for staff is August 31; see you then!
Cappies: Congratulations to all our staff and students for an excellent theatre season! The amazing productions from our high schools only happen because of an unbelievable commitment on behalf of the staff and students involved. The season culminated with the Cappies Gala at the Citadel Theatre last weekend. Those receiving special recognition at the gala were as follows:
Costumes — Fashion Studies Students of Blessed Oscar Romero High School for Village of Idiots
Ensemble in a Musical — Flotsam and Jetsam of St. Joseph High School for The Little Mermaid
Female Vocalist — Glynnis McCrostie of Archbishop MacDonald High School for Kiss Me Kate
Male Vocalist — Navneet Chand of Archbishop MacDonald High School for Kiss Me Kate
Lead Actor in a Play — Max Hanic of J.H. Picard High School for Othello
Grade 10 Top Critic — Beylul Ariay-Dirrar of Archbishop MacDonald High School
Grade 11 Top Critic — Madeline Newman of Archbishop MacDonald High School and Mary Frank of J.H. Picard High School
Top Critic Team — Archbishop MacDonald High School
National Aboriginal Day, June 21: In 2009, June was declared National Aboriginal History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. This provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Aboriginal communities and their promise for the future. Here are some of the events you will see happening across our District on this important day:
- Edmonton Catholic Schools, APTN, and others, in partnership with the City of Edmonton, will host 2017 National Aboriginal Day at Victoria Park on June 21, 2017. Visit http://aboriginaldaylive.ca/edmonton/performers/ for the schedule and performers.
ECSD has 10 schools participating in the event on the 21st of June and one school at a special event on the 23rd at Victoria Park.
- St. Thomas More will host their first Pipe Ceremony on June 21st . The host Elder will be Francis Alexis.
- High School teachers are participating in a partnership Social studies PD session hosted by LSE and LSI on the 20th.
The Catholic Dimension: The Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association (ACSTA) works hard to ensure that they are doing their utmost to celebrate, preserve, promote and enhance Catholic education in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon. They are very excited to share their summer 2017 edition of The Catholic Dimension.
As their main publication to their stakeholder base, as well as the public and Catholic community, The Catholic Dimension (a twice-yearly publication) gives a good insight into the on goings of member boards, as well as what the ACSTA executive team and staff are up to. You can access the publication at
School Fees: We are now in the midst of reporting our proposed school fees to the Ministry of Education. Once those fees have been approved, parents can expect to see fees schedules posted on school websites. We will have more information to share as the government process unfolds.
Reconciliation in Education Day: The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has highlighted the importance that all Canadians understand the implications of the historical oppression of our indigenous peoples. It is through this building of understanding that Canadian society will be able to have true reconciliation with our indigenous peoples and move forward in creating stronger relationships for a better Canada. ECSD has partnered with the City of Edmonton and others to support the many activities that have taken place across the city this past week as part of Reconciliation Week. June 2 is Reconciliation in Education Day, and Edmonton Catholic Schools' Indigenous Learning Services is proud to host the Métis Nation of Alberta's President Audrey Poitras to deliver a keynote address to students reflecting on the experiences of Métis people during the Residential Schools era. You can find more information at https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/schedule_festivals_events/trc-closing-events.aspx .
The Governor General of Canada's Sovereign Medal: Congratulations to Dan Alba, Assistant Principal at St. Martha. Dan was nominated for this prestigious award by a student for going above and beyond supporting him while he was ill, and Dan received this award from Hon. Lois Mitchell at a ceremony this week. In the words of the student's family, "It's time we tell everyone how wonderful he is." Dan is the first teacher to ever receive this award. Well, done, Dan. You are #ECSDawesome!
All City Music Performances: Our All City Junior and Senior Bands, as well as our All City Choir are in the midst of spring concert season. Congratulations to all our students for their commitment and dedication to this music enrichment opportunity. Special thanks go out to all our staff who have dedicated their time and talent to providing this exceptional opportunity to our students! Visit our website to learn more and to see the performance schedule. All are welcome! https://www.ecsd.net/parentsstudents/studentresources/pages/ecsd-all-city-band.aspx
Board Retirement Function: Tonight, our Board of Trustees will celebrate the 75 staff members who are retiring from service to the students and families of Edmonton Catholic Schools at their 6th Annual Retirement Gala. Please join me in offering our deepest gratitude to our retirees for their commitment and contributions to ensuring that our students are nurtured and experience an education deeply rooted in Christ!
Metro Athletics All-Star Awards: The following ECSD students and staff were recognized at the Metro Athletics All-Star Luncheon for their outstanding contributions to school athletics in the 2016-17 school year:
Metro Athletics Girls Volleyball
Marina Culo - J.H. Picard
Jenae Eisler – St. Francis Xavier
Natasha Nguyen – Louis St. Laurent
Metro Athletics Boys Volleyball
Ryan Kortbeek – Archbishop MacDonald
Jared McFadyen – J. H. Picard
Ituriel Mora-Aguilar – Blessed Oscar Romero
Coach of the year for Division 3 – Rose-Marie McGee – Blessed Oscar Romero
Metro Athletics Football
Peter Adonri – Holy Trinity
Avery Aloneissi – Archbishop O'Leary
Jared Cleave – St. Francis Xavier
Coach of the year Gilfillan division – Matt Wojcicki – Holy Trinity
Metro Athletics Girls Basketball
Mataya Baldwin- Holy Trinity
Abby Bruyer – Louis St. Laurent
Ashton Wentland – Austin O'Brien
Metro Athletics Boys Basketball
Peter Adonri – Holy Trinity
Adrian Dario – Archishop O'Leary
Geoffrey James – St. Francis Xavier
Quinn Rossman – J.H. Picard
Coach of the year Division 3 – Marianne Darlet – J.H. Picard
Congratulations to all recipients and to their teammates for a great year. We also wish to acknowledge and thank our many coaches, staff sponsors, admin teams, Metro Athletics Office staff, and Metro Athletics executive, who provide and support these great athletic opportunities for our students throughout the year. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.
Superintendent's Awards of Excellence and God Is Love Awards: I had the privilege of hosting the 28th Annual Superintendent's Awards of Excellence, which included the 3rd annual conferring of the God is Love Awards, last night. Our students were honored for such things as their dedication, perseverance, service, and commitment to evangelization. As always, it is inspiring and uplifting to see the truly humble way that these amazing students make this world a better place! Thank you to all of the staff who have played a role in the nurturing of all of our students, and special thanks to those staff members who nominated students to receive these awards.
Canadian Association of Principals Distinguished Principal Award: Please join me in congratulating Terry Volk, Principal of Bishop David Motiuk Catholic Elementary/Junior High School. Terry has been named the recipient of the Canadian Association of Principals Distinguished Principal Award. Terry is being honored for her demonstrated commitment to creating experiences that benefit students and teachers, her dedication to her own professional growth and that of others, her service to the community, and her philosophy of learning which has translated into innovative programming.
We are proud that Terry's ongoing pursuit of excellence has led to this well-deserved national recognition.
ATA Council for School Leadership 2016-2017 Distinguished Leadership Award.: Please join me in offering congratulations to Wendy Robinson, Kyle Porter, Dale Astill, Tisa Haesch, Eugenia Kowalczyk, Elana Simington, Brad Koshka, and Jennifer De Stefanis-Dimas for being recognized as among the most forward thinking and innovative leaders in the province! The Council for School Leadership shares that "these individuals are considered role models in a vibrant network of educational leaders with the confidence and capabilities to lead innovative change for 21st century learning." Their exceptional leadership is greatly appreciated not only by their schools, but by our District as well!
Education Week: May 1-5 is Education Week. This celebration of the role that education plays in our communities was established by the teaching profession over 75 years ago. The theme for this year is Learning is a Journey. You can learn more about Education Week and find resources and activities on the ATA website: https://www.teachers.ab.ca/News%20Room/IssuesandCampaigns/Pages/Education-Week.aspx
Hats on for Mental Health: One of the simplest acts that we can do for someone who is faced with a challenge is to stand in solidarity with them. Hats on For Mental Health Day, May 3 this year, provides us with the opportunity to foster a culture that helps to end the stigma that people who live with mental illness are faced with. It is estimated that 60% of people with mental illness will not seek help because of this stigma. For more information and resources, visit canwetalk.ca.
36th Annual Ben Calf Robe Traditional Pow Wow: Edmonton Catholic Schools is very proud of the amazing celebration of indigenous culture that takes place each year at the BCR Pow Wow. This year's event takes place on Saturday May 13 from 1-10 pm at the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, 11000 Stadium Road. All are welcome and admission is free, but bring your own chairs! For more information, contact Rhonda Metallic at 780-471-2360.
New Evangelization Summit: St. Anthony's Parish in Drayton Valley invites you to join them for the New Evangelization Summit on Friday-Saturday, May 12-13. Together they will join 26 host sites across North America and link into the main conference in Ottawa! Come and be inspired by top speakers from across North America including: Bishop Robert Barron, Sister Miriam James, Michael Dopp and many more.
To register visit https://www.newevangelization.ca/ . When you select your location, be sure to select "Drayton Valley, AB."
For more information or for help registering for the conference, contact Ashley at the parish office at 780-542-5254 or email Ashley.Rhyno@caedm.ca .
CWL Edmonton Diocesan Convention: I would like to offer my best wishes to the women of the Edmonton Diocesan CWL as they prepare for their annual convention this weekend. The CWL is a vital partner in Catholic education, and their support for our District as a whole and the schools in their parishes is greatly appreciated!
Newman Theological College Faith, Fitness and Fun Run/Walk: Another one of our valuable partners is NTC. They are play an integral role in the formation of our teachers through the Master of Religious Education program, as well as through the many Certificate courses they offer. You can have fun and support their good work by participating in their annual fun run!
You are invited to join us for the 12th Annual Faith, Fitness & Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 27, on the grounds of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College, 10012 - 84 Street. Enjoy scenic views of our river valley on your chip-timed 10K run, 5K run or 3K walk -- and support the seminary and college at the same time.
To register, please visit https://www.events.runningroom.com. Registration fee includes T-shirt, hospitality, prizes & fun, plus games and activities for children. For more information, visit http://caedm.ca/funrun or email FunRun@caedm.ca.
Summer Social Justice Curricular Workshop Opportunity: Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, in partnership with the Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees Association, invite you to apply to participate in a second workshop for the Development of Curricular Resources on Global Social Justice Issues. This workshop, facilitated by Development and Peace, will take place at St. Mary's University in Calgary from July 4-7th, 2017 to produce global resources that are faith based, aligned with Alberta Education curriculum, cross-curricular and accessible.
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada and the ACSTA invite you to apply for this opportunity if you are looking to learn about and support education on social justice issues, to contribute to the social justice ministry of the Canadian Catholic Church, and to access an opportunity for professional development alongside a team of like-minded individuals.
ACSTA_CCODP Curricular Workshop Opportunity.pdf
Red and White Day Poster Contest: In honour of Canada's 150th Birthday, Edmonton Catholic Schools is sponsoring a poster contest for our students. The winning posters will be printed and shared with all of our schools for Red and White Day, May 30, 2017, the 150th day of the year. Grand Prize winners will receive a ROOTS Canada sweater and a Canada 150 colouring book. Runners-up will receive a colouring book. Details on the poster contest can be viewed here https://ecsd.net/staff/canada-150/Pages/ECSD-Poster-Contest.aspx. The deadline for submissions is April 28th.
A Lenten Reflection: Sacred Heart Parish in Wetaskiwin invites you to join them for a special Musical Lenten Reflection on Palm Sunday, April 9, at 4 p.m. Enjoy inspirational music and reflective readings on the theme of peace. Music by the St. Nicholas Mandolin Ensemble and Guest Choir of Edmonton. Sacred Heart Church is located at 5113 - 49 Avenue, Wetaskiwin. Everyone is welcome; food bank donations gratefully accepted.
Outdoor Way of the Cross: The Outdoor Way of the Cross is an ecumenical prayer event commemorating the suffering and death of Jesus. It is a time to notice how the gospel values of Jesus are important to individual and social life today. People of all faith traditions are welcome. Participants should dress for weather conditions with good footwear, but the two-hour 1.5 kilometre walk is reasonable for most ages and levels of fitness and ability. Light refreshments are available after the final station. Free street parking all around start location. For more information please call 780.466.6327 (evenings) or 780.218.6989, or Facebook Event page "Good Friday Outdoor Way of the Cross" (https://www.facebook.com/events/263869870718322/ ).
Holodomor Awareness: The Holodomor National Awareness Tour is a project to raise awareness of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine carried out in 1932-33 by the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin, which resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. The centerpiece is the Holodomor Mobile Classroom (HMC), a 40-foot RV customized to educate and engage students and the public about the Holodomor. The mobile classroom will be in Edmonton and area during the week of April 17-21. It will spend some time at the Legislature earlier in the week, and then will be at Austin O'Brien Catholic High School on April 20 and 21 where it will be used by the students of AOB and of St. Brendan to enhance their learning. Visit https://www.holodomortour.ca/ to learn more about this engaging program.
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