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Our Faith

Chaplain Message for September 2021


Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!  We are blessed to be back in the building and are hopeful that we will share in many good days together.  We feel the hustle and bustle of our St. Mary's community slowly returning with an undeniable upbeat energy felt in the hallways and classrooms.  And with the return of sports and clubs, and possible field trips on the way, it feels like our "normal" is on the horizon. 
What that said, we are still living in a pandemic and adjustments are continually being made for our health and safety.  As we reflect on the past year and the restrictions that continue to take place this year, may the lessons learned stick with us, such as valuing what's most important in life: our health, caring for others, and our relationship with God. We have learned so much about resiliency and overcoming hardship, which will only serve us well in the future. 
With this new school year upon us, let's pray:
Loving God,
Thank you for bringing us together to begin the school year in the building.  We ask, Lord, for our staff and students to feel Your presence so that they may recognize Your daily blessings and see all of the good this year has in store for them. We pray for positive attitudes as we experience uncertainty and possible changes.  May we take comfort in knowing that what is uncertain to us, is certain to You.  May we not lean on our own understanding but acknowledge You and You will direct us. (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Thank you, Lord, for our St. Mary's community. May our students feel welcome, safe and ready to learn, while using kind words and kind actions throughout the year.


We pray this in Your holy name. Amen.



Have a wonderful start to the year, St. Mary's!  


God bless you,


Ms. Skiba

Last year's YPI results:
Our YPI (Youth Philanthropy Initiative) is a project covered by our entire grade 9 class. This project is orchestrated out of an organization in Toronto and is carried out in schools across Canada.  Students select a local charity to research and then are expected to present their findings to their classmates in a visual and creative way. Of course the students learning about their chosen charity is first and foremost, but an added bonus of this project is the $5,000 cheque given to the winning group for their charity. This year, due to Covid-19 and the extensive needs of all charities, YPI agreed to allow schools to assign more than one winner and split the money.  The winning groups this year are (in no specific order):
Ewan MacLeod representing Chapman House - Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce
Daniel Gils-Johnson representing Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre
Wyatt Garren representing WES for Youth
Avry Metcalf representing Habitat for Humanity
Each charity was granted $1,250 thanks to the great work done by their representative student.


Though a different Virtue is focused on each month, these Virtues are part of the entire school year and are experienced and discussed in a natural and teachable moment kind of way.  With staff and students making connections, to, between and among these virtues whenever the situation may arise.

Perfect Love

Religion and Family Life Curriculum Grade K - 8

Catholic educators recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children in the areas of faith and morality. Faith formation begins very early in a child’s life through the experiences and life lessons that are taught at home, as well as through the local parish faith community. As educators within Catholic schools, we have the privilege of supporting and complementing this formation.
  Discerning Believers/un croyant formed in the Catholic faith community who celebrate the signs and sacred mystery of God’s presence through word, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
  Effective Communicators/un communicateur, who speak, write and listen honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
  Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinkers/un penseur réfléchi et creatif who solve problems and make responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good.
  Self-Directed, Responsible, Lifelong Learners/un apprenant à vie who develop and demonstrate their God-given potential.
  Collaborative Contributors/un collaborateur who find meaning, dignity and vocation in work, which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
  Caring Family Members/un membre soucieux who attend to family, school, parish and the wider community.
  Responsible Citizens/un citoyen responsable who act morally, seek and grant forgiveness and promote the sacredness of all life.

“When we graduate a student,

 we don’t ask, “What did you learn?” but “Who did you become?"

 ~ Sister Clare Fitzgerald ~