As we begin week 10, we are called to both GRATITUDE and REMEMBRANCE.
On the heels of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our many blessings, including the amazing start to our academic year and the incredible weather we experienced (until Oct 23rd that is!). We rejoice in the accomplishments of our students and the joy that resonates in classrooms throughout the schola. Anyone who has heard our adhoc Barbershop Ninetet (as they call themselves) singing in the hallways cannot help but smile!!
One of the immense blessings for me this past month was the celebration of Mass at Evanston Summit Retirement Community. As part of the Dying To Meet You project in our diocese, this community was selected to represent the vulnerable in our midst who often do not have access to a full Sunday Mass experience. Our senior choir was chosen to participate because of our focus on beauty. The goal was to elevate the Mass to the best it can be. Mr Edwards led a small contingent of the senior choir (due to space limitations) and the result was incredibly beautiful. What a gift our young people are!
Our staff met on the 23rd for a full day of professional development at Mount St Francis Retreat Centre. We began the day with Mass, followed by 5 separate sessions and a lovely lunch! It was a wonderful opportunity to come together without the stresses of the day to day and dig deeper into the significance of classical education and how we can best help the students in our care. I am grateful for each member of our team.
As we begin Allhallowtide today, we remember our loved ones who have passed before us, rejoice in the saints who are already with our Lord and pray for all the souls still in purgatory, awaiting purification.
On Friday, Novmber 10th during morning assembly, our community will take a moment to remember those who sacrificed for our freedom. All are welcome to join us.
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, Lest we forget - lest we forget!
- Rudyard Kipling
My early morning drives to the schola are usually filled with thoughts of the day ahead - meetings to prepare for, calls to make, people to talk to - an array of the important and the less important. The start of the academic year, while exciting and filled with promise, also brings added responsibility with myriad details to attend to.
A few weeks ago, I was startled from my driving reverie by an incredible sight in my rearview mirror: a gorgeous September sunrise. Calgary skies often treat us to beautiful colour palettes both morning and evening, but this was particularly spectacular and it took my breath away. I was instantly pulled from the mundane toward the divine.
That sense of awe and wonder, and inevitable gratitude, forms part of what keeps me here at SJCS. Our mission is to cultivate Wisdom and Virtue through the understanding of all that is true, good and beautiful. We strive to present Truth and Goodness to our students in a beautiful way, pulling each of us toward the divine. Beauty is found not only in God's works of nature but also the works of man that reflect His infinite beauty. We endeavour to share some of these most beautiful works, in the form of classic literature, art and music.
Pope Benedict once wrote, the via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty, is a privileged and fascinating path on which to approach the Mystery of God. What is the beauty that writers, poets, musicians, and artists contemplate and express in their language other than the reflection of the splendour of the eternal Word made flesh?
Our staff, new and returning, are so pleased to welcome our students to what promises to be a great year ahead. Tutors, entrusted with the task of cultivating wisdom in our students and helping them grow in virtue, are excited to share their knowledge and passion for excellence.
Please pray for this academic year with me, either by joining the SJCS Prayer Guild, participating in our Friday morning Rosary or simply popping in to assembly on any morning!
Let us be grateful for the beauty that surrounds us and may God bless our schola.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)