Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 5, 2002
Mary is school district's patron saint
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Mary, Mother of God is the new patron saint of Edmonton Catholic School district, as approved by the board of trustees at an April 28 public meeting.
For decades the district was without a patron saint. In its early days, St. Joachim was the patron saint of the district.
Individuals and groups submitted a total of 31 names to the committee.
Names that made it to the short list include St. John Bosco, who is the patron of the youth, Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, St. Th‚rŠse of Lisieux, and Mother Teresa among others.
Father Stephen Wojcichowsky brought a lot of information to the ad hoc committee about the lives of the saints.
Trustee Debbie Engel, a committee member, said she learned about her faith when they went through the stories of the saints and what they had done and how different religious orders were founded.
Mary's motherhood became the deciding factor for the committee.
"The fact that we are caretakers of the children we are serving in the district, the role of Mary as mother makes a great role model for all of us," said the trustee.
The first dogma about Mary was proclaimed by the church at the third ecumenical council held in Ephesus in 431.
She was given the title of Theotokos, a Greek term composed of two words: Theos, which means God and tokos meaning one who bears a child. By calling Mary, Theotokos, Christians regard her as the Bearer of God.
"Whenever I see the image of Mary at the foot of the cross all I can think of is the profound suffering she went through," said Engel.
"When you look at her at the foot of the cross and you're a mother - she's such a powerful role model. She's a human being born into this world like we were."
Because of that the committee decided she is the best role model for children.
"All of my self-centredness goes away when the image of her at the foot of the cross enters my mind," Engel said.
At the public meeting, Engel was asked why the committee did not choose the patron saint of the youth, St. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesian order.
Names of saints who belonged to religious orders were submitted and the committee did not want to give the impression of being partial to one, explained Engel.
The committee also discussed installing stained glass images in the four windows of the district office's boardroom.
Four significant events of Mary's life will be depicted: the Annunciation, the birth of Christ, Mary Mother of Tenderness (Mary holding Jesus) and Mary at the foot of the cross.