Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 5, 2010
School to be built on Rock of Peter
Teacher and student both chose St. Peter as the name for planned Spruce Grove School
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
SPRUCE GROVE - The new Catholic regional high school here will be built on the Rock.
Not the rock of Newfoundland or a rock on the earth, but the Rock of Peter.
Evergreen Catholic Schools broke ground for St. Peter the Apostle Catholic High School June 29, the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, and superintendent Cindi Vaselenak is pleased about the choice for the school's name.
"I love the Scripture around the name," said Vaselenak. "Peter, upon this rock, we will build your Church. I love that we will affectionately call the school, The Rock."
The school's name was chosen by a contest involving members of the Catholic communities of the school district - Hinton, Devon, Westlock, Spruce Grove and Stony Plain.
People submitted 67 possible names for the school. Evan Baldry, a Grade 5 student from St. Marguerite School, and Chad Boyko, a social studies teacher from St. Thomas Aquinas School, submitted the selected name.
The new high school will stand 550 metres from Holy Trinity Church. Planned to open in September 2012 or the spring of 2013 at the latest, the school will be built with a capacity for 1,100 students. Depending on population growth, about 850 students are expected when the school opens.
ALWAYS AT THEIR SIDES
When asked why he chose to name the school after St. Peter, Baldry said, "I think the school should be named after him because he was a close follower of Jesus and he will always be at our side, just as Jesus is."
On his application for the name selection process, Boyko wrote, "It is said that the Lord chose Peter to be the rock of his Church, the vicar on Earth, the head and prince of his apostles, the centre and very principle of the Church's oneness, the source of all spiritual powers, and the unerring teacher of his truth.
"The Catholic school is the foundation, the rock, the disciple, the vicar, the leader or head of, the core, the centre of oneness, the connection, the source of spirituality, and the teacher of living a life within the faith."
Archbishop Richard Smith blessed the site of the new regional high school and, along with other trustees and politicians, helped break ground on the project.
"Our Catholic faith is not something that we invent or we make up as we go along. The Catholic faith is received from age to age, and it's handed on into the future," said Smith.
"That receiving and handing on takes place foremost in the family, it takes place in the parish, but it also takes place within the Catholic school."
A Catholic school not only indicates excellence in education, but it's also designated as a place where the faith is handed on, and the students are formed into lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Alberta government recognizes that population growth across the province has resulted in greater infrastructure pressures, and in response announced funding for 14 new schools in Alberta this year.
Education Minister Janice Sarich, a former Edmonton Catholic school trustee, said schools are the hubs of a community, places where friends and families gather for special events.
Gerald Bernakevitch, board chairman of Evergreen Catholic Schools, said both Spruce Grove and Stony Plain are growing communities, and places where parents want to raise their children.
Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston noted the city's population has grown by 6,000 in the last five years. Eight per cent of the population - about 2,000 - are children aged four years and under.
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