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Chief Superintendent's Message - November 2021

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 

Matthew 5:9 

All Saints' Day is Our Feast Day

The month of November is one which is permeated with solemnity and deep reflection. We begin the month with All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days and reflect upon humankind’s journey to God’s kingdom. On Remembrance Day, our thoughts turn to those who have made the greatest of sacrifices to bring peace to the world. We end the month by commemorating Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide under the Stalin regime. This can be quite a heavy mindset for the month, but it provides us with good opportunities to reflect on our own lives. In 2018, Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation, Gaudete and Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad), which was a call to holiness in our lives. It is a call to us to use our unique and special gifts to live our lives with love and bear witness in everything we do. Our Religious Education Department created summaries of each of the chapters of this exhortation to help unpack its meaning. You can find them, and so many other wonderful faith resources in the Faith Alive section of our public website.

The call to serve in political office is a special vocation. On the heels of the municipal election, we are so pleased to have so many of our Board of Trustees back for another term. This Board has served as effective and thoughtful advocates and stewards of Edmonton Catholic Schools. I know that the next four years will continue to be highly collaborative, insightful, innovative, and respectful. Please join me in congratulating Terry Harris (Ward 71), Sandra Palazzo (Ward 72), Debbie Engel (Ward 74), Alene Mutala (Ward 75), Lisa Turchansky (Ward 76), and Laura Thibert (Ward 77). Ward 73 is without a trustee at this time. We will share more information regarding next steps to the vacancy as they unfold. In the interim, the schools in Ward 73 have all been assigned to other trustees as follows:

Terry Harris: St. Bernadette, St. Nicholas, St. Jerome
Sandra Palazzo: Father Leo Green, JJ Bowlen, St. Dominic
Debbie Engel: St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Maria Goretti
Alene Mutala: St. Alphonsus, Ben Calf Robe/St. Clare, St. Francis of Assisi
Lisa Turchansky: St. Gerard, St. Vladimir, St. Leo
Laura Thibert: Cardinal Collins Clareview, St. Bonaventure, Anne Fitzgerald

November 7 is Catholic Education Sunday. The theme for the year, which is established by the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, is Catholic Education: Rebuild, Restore, Renew Together. In their letter for the day, they share that “(Catholic Education Sunday) provides us with an opportunity to recognize the vibrant faith that is the foundation of our Catholic schools and encourages us to reflect with gratitude on the countless blessings to be found within the Catholic educational community. You can read their full letter by clicking here. ECSD is very excited to be piloting a Fall Break for the first time from November 11-15, 2021. We hope that this opportunity for a break in the hectic pace of everyone’s busy lives will be restorative and rejuvenating for all.

I leave you with a final thought from Pope Francis that reflects our call to holiness: “The response of faith demands that we be active in our love for God and in our love of neighbour.” (10/29/21)

Robert Martin, Chief Superintendent

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