“Reconciliation includes anyone with an open mind and an open heart who is willing to look into the future with a new way” – Chief Joseph
The recent news reports of the unmarked grave of 215 children at the Kamloops residential school site is deeply saddening. Knowing that the Catholic Church played a large role in the residential school system and operated the Kamloops residential school makes it even harder to accept.
There are several big ideas I wish to emphasize with our parent community.
The definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Imagine what it must have been like for the First Nations people. A foreign government forces their children into a residential school system that was specifically designed “to remove and isolate children from the influence of their home, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate into the dominant culture.” Being a father of 3 children, it is so hard to imagine the absolute horror I would experience if I went through this. If we can imagine how we would feel if this happened to our family, it creates empathy and understanding. That is a very important step towards healing.
We need to be better educated on the history that shapes our community, our province, and our country. While it is great that the revised curriculum values First Peoples Principles of Learning, many of us are not well educated with respect to First Nations history. With modern technology at our fingertips, we can all do a better job of learning. As a staff, we will be undertaking professional development on the subject of First Nations in Canada and British Columbia. If you do not know much about First Nations, a good place to start might by taking a course on Indigenous Canada by the University of Alberta for free on Coursera.
The Catholic Church has long promoted evangelization. Last week I wrote about the scripture passage to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” I think part of the problem is how people interpret this line. Some people believe that to evangelize is to convert another person to ensure that they think and believe what they believe and if they resist, then they are condemned or forced into conversion. There are many examples in the history of the Catholic Church that highlight this dangerous ideology. However, Pope Francis in his work Evangelii Gaudium instructs us that it is not by conversion but by attraction that we are to evangelize. He reminds us to “let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another.” Pope Francis communicates that we must genuinely respect and value the different religions, cultures, and worldviews that exist in our world. For example, if we want to show our respect for another culture we can demonstrate that by learning and listening. In learning about First Nations Worldviews, I was struck by the Inuit’s emphasis on “unity through collaboration.” This is so similar to when St. Paul instructs his followers that they are one body with many members that need to work together. How much suffering in this world could be eliminated if we focused on our similarities as opposed to our differences?
I should like to conclude with offering a prayer intention that we prayed as a staff together:
We pray for the families and the generations of First Nations people that are experiencing grief and loss as a result of the residential school system and its horrifying legacy. We ask that God grant them peace and comfort in these times of grief and sadness. We ask that God continue to strengthen the will of those who work for truth and reconciliation.
We pray for ourselves that we are mindful of our own biases and prejudices. We ask God to help us see each person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of respect and dignity. We ask that God always show us the way to kindness and acceptance.
We pray to the Lord.
Resources for this reflection:
EVERY CHILD MATTERS
On Monday, students were given stickers to wear on their uniforms to highlight that Every Child Matters. To learn more about this important movement, please visit orangeshirtday.org
PATRIOTS CLUB MAKES SOLAR OVEN S'MORES
CAMBRIDGE UNIFORM - DISCOUNT WEEK
Please read the Cambridge Uniform Letter here.
It is recommended that your uniform orders are placed by:
June 30th – New Students
July 10th – Returning Students.
There is a 5% discount on all orders placed online from June 21st to July 5th, 2021.
PAYMENT WITHDRAWAL SCHEDULE
The following payment schedule is in effect.
- June 01 – Activity Fee ($75 per student) + Emergency Fee ($10 per student)
- July 01 – First month’s tuition or Full year’s lump sum tuition for 2021-2022
SCHOOL SUPPLIES LIST FOR 2021-2022
The school supplies list for next year is available to purchase at School Start now. Please select your child(ren)’s grade for 2021-2022 to purchase the supplies directly from them. It will be delivered to our school late August.
To view the list, please click on the desired grade below:
COVID-19 DAILY SYMPTOMS CHECK
This is a reminder that parents need to take the time to do the Daily Check every day. It is important that we remain committed to taking our COVID-19 procedures seriously. Click here to access the form. You will no longer need to provide the child or parent’s name on the form.
Complete Daily Screening
All Walkathon money is due to the Office. Thank you
June 6 – First Communion for Gr. 3 Students at 2pm
June 8 – Hot Lunch – Pampanga’s
June 9 – Hot Lunch – Pizza; School Mass Gr. 4
June 10 – Hot Lunch – Subway; Dress as your Favourite Book Character; Confirmation Gr. 7 at 6pm
June 11 – Sports Day – Noon Dismissal
June 13 – First Communion Gr. 2 @ 2pm and 4pm
June 15 – Hot Lunch – Riz Sushi
June 16 – Hot Lunch – Pizza; School Mass Gr 3
June 17 – Hot Lunch – Church’s Chicken; Confirmation Gr. 7 @ 6pm
June 18 – Gr. 7 Awards Ceremony and Farewell
June 22 – Hot Lunch – Pampanga’s
June 23 – Hot Lunch – Pizza; School Mass Gr. 2
June 24 – Hot Lunch – Subway
June 25 – Last day of Class for Students – Noon Dismissal