Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 18, 2000
WCR Letters to the Editor
Education can reduce the effects of poverty
I would like to clarify some statements mentioned in the Dec. 4 WCR in the article "Children in poverty: a national scandal" regarding St. Patrick School.
While poverty is a factor at St. Patrick School for some families, it does not affect our entire school population, as we have a varied range of socioeconomic income levels.
Where you perhaps notice the greatest effects of poverty is at the entry level to school. This is where the biggest discrepancy exists. The children of families affected by extreme poverty often lack the skills found among children of affluent families.
For instance, such children may not have been exposed to literature before, or have been read to on a regular basis. Also, these children may not have had the same opportunities to use pencils, crayons and scissors to build fine motor coordination skills.
Another common deficit is in the area of language skills, particularly found among children who spend a lot of time watching television alone. These problems, though of great concern, are not exclusive to our school.
High needs schools usually have a higher rate of absenteeism and students who arrive to school late. We encourage all of our children to come to school, no matter how late they are. We're glad they're here! Children enjoy being in school and participate actively in the many extracurricular activities provided.
St. Patrick School provides a high protein snack program in the morning for all our students, as good nutrition enhances better learning.
Is there any one "quick fix" to reduce the effects of poverty for some children in schools? Complicated problems usually require several strategies and long-term efforts.
However, we believe one of the strongest tools we have available is education. Education creates windows of opportunities and offers freedom of choice. It nourishes our social, emotional, academic and spiritual well-being.
Our parents at St. Patrick School are part of a strong, vibrant community who work closely together to support the best learning environment for their children.
St. Patrick School
Political leaders must walk path of the Beatitudes
Results of the recent federal election clearly indicate our desperate lack of Christian values in electing our leaders.
Perhaps, assassination of character during the campaign numbed minds from voting for a leader who is rooted in wisdom, justice, integrity and Christian values needed today to lead a confused broken world.
Stockwell Day's respect for his expressed Christian values reflects the wisdom and maturity needed today for sound leadership.
To mention a few points:
Where there is no rootedness in sound Christian values, people become restless. We need not only to hear but heed God's word.
- God expects reasonable service not constant work, but work, pray and play. A day of rest for worship and family is needed to be energized, where possible.
- Respect for life from the womb to the tomb is not one's choice but God's choice, to earn everlasting life in heaven.
- Today, a Metropolitan Church in Toronto is expecting to marry gay people, contrary to God's laws.
Furthermore, we desperately need leaders who will walk the path of Beatitude.
"I was hungry, you gave me to eat. I was homeless, you provided shelter. I was elderly and ill and you supported me financially and holistically."
God says: "As long as you did it to one person you did it to me and will be richly rewarded."
Will our leadership today reflect this positive attitude of the Beatitudes?
Sr. Elizabeth Elniski
A detailed program of pro-life action
It is refreshing to see many pro-life initiatives going on in the Edmonton Archdiocese, all over Canada and all over the world. The outstanding leadership of the world's greatest religious/political leader, Pope John Paul the Great is wonderful indeed.
Furthermore, it is great to see Archbishop Thomas Collins install a regular pro-life Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, mother of the Americas, in honour of our unborn sisters and brothers on Dec. 12.
And by God's grace we have a new pro-life educational outreach group up and running at Edmonton's downtown Grant MacEwan Community college for the first time in history, with 25 brand-new members including an executive made up of a German Protestant president, an Italian Catholic vice-president and a Bahai secretary-treasurer with yours truly as the advisor.
As the pope himself said on Feb. 14, Catholics must never accept defeat in the struggle to protect human life from the moment of conception to natural death. The pope said this at a Vatican conference marking the fifth anniversary of his marvellous encyclical The Gospel of Life.
On the surface, we may have been dealt a very bad result in the recent federal election, with many pro-death MPs elected, especially in Ontario and Quebec.
The new Catholic president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, is personally opposed to abortion. His bold, brave and beautiful daughter, Ana Cristina Fox, calls abortion "murder." Apparently the Mexican pro-life movement is rallying around her wonderful leadership.
Once again the Irish (priests, religious and laity) may have to save the situation in Canada and Europe as they have time and time again throughout history.
Now it looks like Canada needs to be entirely re-evangelized with Gospel values, especially regarding the sacrosanct family. Send your cheque to your local pro-life pregnancy centre like Birthright or Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre or pro-life groups that are preaching to the unconverted or those indifferent to the abortion holocaust.
Get rid of soul-destroying Planned Barrenhood-style sex education in our publicly-funded schools and educate our youth in the wonderful values of chastity, the age-old virtue of purity.
Teach the most up-to-date methods of natural family planning in every parish, which I am told is 97 per cent effective instead of abortifacient artificial birth control which is rightly banned by Holy Mother Church.
And ban school dances (St. John Vianney). Amen.