Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 18, 2002
Edmonton names 5 new schools
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Joseph MacNeil and Father Michael Troy's names were immortalized when Edmonton Catholic School district named two new schools after them Feb. 11.
Three other schools - St. John Bosco Elementary, Mother Teresa Elementary and Archbishop Oscar Romero Junior Senior High - were also named at a board meeting at St. Joseph's High School.
Historically, the school district uses titles of Jesus Christ, Marian titles, names of saints, significant persons who have died, or a feast day in the naming of new schools.
But this year, the names of two living persons who have made a significant difference in the community were also included.
"It is humbling to be associated with all these saints," MacNeil told the WCR.
In his introduction, newly appointed MacNeil Elementary/Junior High principal Dave Andrews told the 200-member audience MacNeil "believed in the necessity of authentic change in the Church, but was not a faddist who would accept uncritically any new idea or way of doing things."
The school will have 16 new classrooms, several portables and can accommodate 600 students. It is located at Leger Way and Leger Boulevard in Terwilligar.
Chairperson Judy Buddle told the audience when the board received suggested names, MacNeil's was on each list.
Troy, a member of the Spiritan Fathers, said he accepted his honour on behalf of all the educators he has worked with in the past.
For 32 years, the 84-year-old priest served St. Joseph High School as a teacher, coach, pastor and counsellor. The school's new principal, Helen Matsuba, said, "His influence is such that the mention of his name evokes a profound sense of gratitude from the thousands of students and colleagues whose lives he touched.
Troy sees the Holy Spirit at work in all of the people he meets.
In large part, due to his encouragement to all to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. Joseph' High has seen many outstanding leaders emerge from its programs."
Troy Junior High is located at 37A Avenue and 23 Street. It will have 14 classrooms, a number of portables and can accommodate 550 students.
St. John Bosco Elementary will be located at 161A Avenue and 76 Street. With a 500-student capacity, the new school will have 12 new classrooms, plus portables.
John Bosco was born in 1815 in Recchi, Italy. Poverty and a lack of formal education did not stop John's growth as a person and he became the town's respected acrobat and juggler. Many would assemble to witness his tricks and before each performance, he would ask his audience to join him in prayer.
God was his friend. This friendship became so powerful, John was ordained a priest in 1841 at the age of 26.
While in Turin, he taught night classes, heard Confessions and celebrated the Eucharist and provided food, shelter, education and training for the young offenders of his time.
Mother Teresa will be a replacement building for the old St. Michael site in the city centre. The new school will have nine new classrooms, with a capacity to accommodate 375 kindergarten to Grade 6 students.
Known for her charity, Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the former Yugoslavia. She left a prosperous home to serve the poor of Calcutta. For the first 19 years in India, she taught within the walls of a convent while the city's streets teemed with destitute war refugees, abandoned children and lepers.
In 1946, after witnessing Hindu-Muslim rioting, she became convinced God wanted her to minister to Calcutta's poor.
But to work outside the convent, she would need approval from Rome. After a two-year campaign, she finally persuaded the Church of the authenticity of her vision. In 1948, wearing a sari and with five rupees in her pocket, Teresa left the convent to live as an Indian among Indians.
The new Callingwood campus, Archbishop Romero Junior Senior High, is located at 69 Avenue and 178 Street. It will have 40 classrooms and open in September 2004.
Romero was appointed archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 as a compromise among his conservative fellow bishops.
Feeling helpless because he could not stop the violence in his country, Romero gave weekly homilies broadcast throughout the country, assuring the people, not that atrocities would cease, but that the Church of the poor would live on.
The Alberta government granted $35 million for the new schools.
Charolette Player was appointed principal for Mother Teresa, Louise Ripley for St. John Bosco and Mike Carby for Romero Junior Senior High.
All the schools, except Romero Junior-Senior High, are to open in Sept. 2003.