Red Deer area schools mark World Catholic Education Day

Students at Red Deer's St. Martin de Porres School form a solidarity circle around West Park Lodge and bless its residents.

Students at Red Deer's St. Martin de Porres School form a solidarity circle around West Park Lodge and bless its residents.

June 1, 2015

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools celebrated World Catholic Education Day May 14, where students and staff learned about how we are all one family in the world.

This year's theme was solidarity, which is one of seven major principles of Catholic social teaching.

Every year, 40 days after Easter on Ascension Thursday, Catholics throughout the world give thanks for Catholic education with the celebration of World Catholic Education Day.

The entire school division started the day with a teaching liturgy to guide staff and students to understand that Catholic social teachings are an essential element of the Catholic faith.

Then each school spent time completing its own solidarity activities.

Schools joined hands in solidarity to teach students about building a community that empowers everyone to achieve their full potential. Examples from the day included:

St. Martin de Porres School formed a solidarity circle around West Park Lodge to give blessings to residents and a class visited with the seniors.

Holy Family School created a school-wide solidarity circle in its field.

École Mother Teresa School students joined together to form a solidarity peace sign.

Maryview School sang the rosary, while planting flowers in the school's Mary garden.

St. Teresa of Avila School classes created quilt squares to be put into a school-wide solidarity quilt.

One hundred students from École Secondaire Notre Dame High School participated in the March for Life in Edmonton.

To teach students about supporting others in need, schools raised money for non-profit organizations and prayed for individuals throughout the world.

Activities during the day included:

St. Matthew Catholic School participated in a schoolyard clean-up and a barbecue fundraiser with donations going to the Mountain Rose Women's Shelter.

École Mother Teresa School hosted a hot dog sale to raise funds for Nepal earthquake victims and a bake sale to purchase clothing for the homeless in Sylvan Lake.

St. Patrick's Community School mounted a solidarity flag mural in the school hallway for classes to gather around for liturgy. Each flag in the mural was created by a student.

St. Elizabeth Seton School and Holy Family School hosted a "lunch with a bunch," where parents and community members joined students and staff for lunch.

St. Gabriel Learning Centre had a potluck luncheon, where students and staff shared cultural dishes from the Netherlands, Uganda, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Scotland, Sweden and Canada.

Montfort Centre (division office) participated in a potluck luncheon where staff visited with each other, after a liturgy lead by LeeAnn Arsenault, faith permeation lead teacher.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools' hope is to help students and staff learn about each of the seven themes in Catholic social teaching and transform the world through the application of these principles.

Our hope is that students will seek the common good to achieve their full potential as persons and to become all that God intends them to be.

(Haleigh Packer is communications coordinator of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.)