“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” – St. Mother Teresa
Continuing in my reflections on the Camino, I am struck by how the simplest of kind acts can make all the difference.
Those who know me, know that I struggle with patience. I am always in a rush. I detest waiting in lines. If it wasn’t for the golden age of podcasts and audiobooks, I would find my commute to work agonizing! And on the Camino, at least for the first 10 days or so, I always wanted to walk at a faster pace. My wife and I walk at different paces and I will admit I was growing frustrated by people passing us on the walk. My mind was still in its go-go-go mentality. One day, I told Carla that I was going to walk at my own pace and her at her pace. We would do the days journey independently. She agreed.
That morning, I started off with enthusiasm. I would see a pilgrim up ahead on the path and I would challenge myself to catch them. When I did, I would feel a sense of satisfaction wash over me. No one passed me that day. I arrived first in the town we were walking to and I felt glorious. I secured our sleeping accommodations, showered, and then went to spot along the path to wait for my wife to arrive. I basked in my accomplishment and soaked up the Spanish sun as I sat upon a large boulder. Eventually I saw Carla coming up the path.
The next day, when I woke up for the days walk and went to put on my shoe I felt a sharp and sudden pain. I looked down and saw a toonie sized blister on foot. The first blister of the Camino. In anguish I put on my shoe and each step was a painful reminder of my foolishness. I limped for 21 kms that day. And what’s more, Carla walked every step with me. I told her to walk ahead, that I was too slow, but she did not. What a powerful lesson that was for me in what it means to really walk together.
As the day’s journey progressed, the pain in my foot was becoming unbearable. When I saw a bench by an old stone building that had been there since the 1100’s, I sat down and expressed that I was not taking another step. I was prepared to sleep on the bench. To our surprise, as time passed, other pilgrims stopped at this old building. It turned out that we had, by pure divine providence, stopped at a rest stop for pilgrims run by an Italian association of former pilgrims. They came there each night, cooked dinner for the pilgrims, offered first aid, and did a foot washing ceremony.
I will never forget the one Italian women who saw me sulking with my foot exposed with my massive blister. She came to me and with a no nonsense approach told me that she could fix my blister. Before I knew it, she had a needle and thread and in an instant she had passed the needle through my blister with thread tied at each end. I looked at her in shock. Needle and thread? She said to trust her and she bandaged my foot. She told me I would be fine. That evening was filled with pasta, wine, music, and laughter. I had stopped at that building, ready to give up on the journey. I woke up the next morning renewed and refreshed. My blister no longer bothered me as the first aid did it’s job. The blister drained as I walked.
To this day, I am struck by how the kindness of others helped me journey forward. I was so focussed on myself the previous days that I was unable to show kindness to others. But at my low point on the Camino it was the kindness of others that picked me up. It was a lesson I needed to learn. It is a lesson we all need to remember. If we are focussed on ourselves, we can never have the space for kindness. So be the kindness for someone else. Walk with each other in kindness as my wife accompanied me. I promise you, you will never regret being the living expression of God’s kindness.
WALKATHON 2021 IS COMING
Our one and only fundraiser for the year is happening on May 14, 2021. The funds raised for the Walkathon will go to support making our school environment better by renovating the remaining washrooms in the school. Many parents and students have commented on how much they appreciated the newly renovated upstairs washrooms and we would love to be able to renovate the remaining washrooms!
Work is already underway to ensure that this event can be done safely within the Covid-19 guidelines. We are in need of parents to help with the planning and execution of this event. There are many jobs to be done and we need your help! I know we have many parents who can help to make this event a success! Any parent who is able to assist is please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This year we will once again use Charitable Impact to collect online donations. Charitable Impact will issue tax receipts for all donations. After Easter, information will be provided to all families about pledges and how to donate online.
A new twist for this year is that each child will receive a Walkathon Shirt for participating in our one and only fundraiser. So far, we have 6 company sponsors for our Walkathon. If your business is interested in sponsoring our walkathon at $250 please email email@example.com
CONFESSIONS MARCH 9 2021
Starting at 9:30 am with our Gr. 2 students, Catholics will have an opportunity to received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are taking all the necessary Covid-19 precautions to ensure that confessions can happen safely for all our Catholic students. Teachers are preparing students for confession in their Christian Education classes. However, as the first educators, parents are encouraged to review confession with their children and to be models of the faith. We therefore encourage parents to participate in the upcoming Days of Mercy with St. Jude Parish (see below).
ST. JUDE PARISH ANNOUNCEMENTS
– Stations of the Cross: Every Friday during Lent we are Live-streaming the Stations of the Cross at 5:30 pm. Please join us!
– Mass in the Parking Lot: Our Sunday 9 am Mass is being celebrated outside in our parking lot. You can come in your cars and tune in to 87.9 FM and follow the Mass. Only 50 cars will be allowed. Please call the parish office to register. We ask that only those from your household be with you in the car. Please make sure to wear a mask during communion.
– Our 11:00 am Mass is Live-streamed. Communion will be distributed in the parking lot following the Mass.
– DAYS OF MERCY: The Archbishop has marked March 19th to 31st as days of Mercy, in our Archdiocese, to give the faithful an opportunity to go to Confession. As such, Fr. Jun will be available to hear confessions on the following days in our church: Friday, Mar. 19th & 26th from 10 to 11 am and from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. And Saturday, Mar. 20th & 27th from 9:30 to 11 am and 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
Please make sure to call the parish office to let us know what day and time you intend to come. We ask that when you come you wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
– Tax Receipts: The tax receipts for your 2020 parish contributions as well as your Project Advance contributions have been mailed. Thank you for your generosity and support.
– Parish Envelopes: If you have not yet picked up your new set of parish envelopes for this year, please call the parish office and make arrangements to come and pick them up.
CAMBRIDGE UNIFORMS - PATRIOTS SPIRIT WEAR ORDER
Parents will have until March 12, 2021 to place orders for the Patriots Spirit Wear from Cambridge Uniforms. Click here to see the flyer. Orders must be completed online and by March 12, 2021.
To order the Light Grey Patriots Spirit Wear, please click here: https://stjudepatriotsgear.square.site/
Items available in the Light Grey Patriots Spirit Wear are a hoodie, sweatpants, sweatshirt, sleeveless hoodie, mask, and drawstring bag. The proceeds from the masks go to the Gr. 7 Farewell.
SCHOOL UNIFORMS UPDATE MARCH 05 2021
Starting March 29, 2020, school administration and teachers will be conducting uniform checks. Infractions will be communicated to families in writing and the expectation is that changes will be made by the family in order to comply with the uniform. Our goal is not to be punitive. Instead, we want to create a culture where we wear our uniform items with pride and care.
What types of uniforms infractions can be expected?
- ripped or tattered uniform items need to be sewn, patched or replaced (patches need to be discrete and blend in)
- dirty or stained items are to be cleaned and if permanently stained then replaced
- non uniform items are not permissible during school hours while in the classroom
- hair accessories are to be in alignment with the school uniform
- tights are to be in alignment with the school uniform
- the uniform is to be worn with pride – neat and tidy
- kilts are to fit properly – no higher than an index card above the knee as a guideline
How will I know a uniform infraction has been handed out?
- Your child will receive a paper uniform infraction that requires a parent’s signature
- We ask that you sign the infraction notice and send it back with your child as acknowledgment
Where can I find a copy of the uniform policy?
- Our Parent Handbook is available on the School Website under the Parents Tab or click here to read the handbook (p.19-20)
How long will you have to fix a uniform issue?
- Easily fixed items such as wearing an item that is not part of the uniform will need to be fixed by the next day and in some cases students may be asked to remove the item (i.e. wearing a non uniform hoodie in the classroom)
- If an infraction is for a kilt that is too small, we understand that it will take time to replace a kilt – in situations such as these please communicate with school administration to provide a timeline for replacement
Will there be an option to purchase gently used uniform items?
- we are pleased to announce that we will be establishing a uniform consignment
- drop-off for used uniform items that are in good condition will happen March 29 to April 2
- more information and details will be communicated in a separate letter
Are there exceptions to the uniform?
- in rare circumstances there have been uniform exceptions but each time the family has spoken with the classroom teacher and administration
- examples in the past include injuring a foot so footwear accommodations need to be made and transferring to our school and it takes time to secure the uniform
- the school works with families who require valid accommodations
Will the existing uniform schedule continue for 2021-22?
- the alternating uniform schedule of Patriots Spirit Wear and the regular uniform was created due to Covid19. Once schools return to normal operations, the uniform schedule will be adjusted accordingly. We will still have Patriots Spirit Wear days but the frequency will be adjusted.
MARCH 12TH - 3 WAY CONFERENCES
In light of recent changes to the Ministry of Education Covid-19 guidelines for schools, we have decided that our March 12 Conferences involving the student, the teacher, and the parent, will be conducted virtually.
The purpose of this conference is for teachers, parents, and students, to identify strengths and to set goals for improvement for the remaining 3 months of school. It is expected that students will wear their uniform during the virtual conference. All meetings will happen via Zoom. Please click here to schedule your appointment times.
The conferences will take place from 9am to 4pm. If you are unable to make a time on that day, you can schedule a zoom interview with your child’s teacher for a date and time that works well.
GR 6 STUDIES THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS
COVID19 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
Mar 09 – Confessions; Sushi Hot Lunch
Mar 10 – Mass; Pizza Hut Hot Lunch
Mar 11 – Subway Hot Lunch
Mar 12 – 3 Way Conferences – no in-person instruction;
Mar 15-26 – Spring Break
March 29 – School reopens from Spring Break
April 1 – Holy Thursday – Half Day
April 2 – Good Friday – No School
April 5 – Easter Monday – No School