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2021 District Opening Mass
2021 District Opening Mass
<h1>2021 District Opening Mass</h1><p>On August 27, Calgary Catholic School District trustees, administrators and staff came together virtually for the district’s annual Opening Mass to reaffirm and expand their faith. The Most Reverend Bishop McGrattan presided over the online celebration pre-recorded at St. Michael Catholic Community while Board Chair Mary Martin and Chief Superintendent Dr. Bryan Szumlas shared closing remarks of faith, hope and love. This school year, we continue our exploration of our rich three-year faith theme, focusing on the second part: “Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13).</p><p>As this day is also the memorial of St. Monica (mother of St. Augustine), her feast day was also celebrated and woven into the messages from Bishop McGrattan. In his homily, the Bishop reminds us that in Catholic education, “It’s not so much what we teach as how we teach it.” St. Monica instilled in her son a great example, a witness that teachers and all staff can aspire to. She often mentioned to St. Augustine that “the love of Christ must always urge us on.” As we continue building Calgary Catholic Together, we can start the new school year full of optimism and secure in the knowledge that we are resilient and can overcome any obstacles that may lie ahead.</p><p>Last school year was an extraordinary one, but one personified by faith hope and love. Together, we managed to stay strong through our faith, overcoming our fears; united in our hope to inspire and believe in each other and our students; and being selfless, loving witnesses of Christ to those in our communities. As we prepare for the journey of a new school year, in addition to being guided by our faith, we are also called to give our very best every day to those we serve.&nbsp;</p><p>You can watch the Opening Mass below.&nbsp;</p><figure class="media"><oembed url="https://vimeo.com/592571711/3a161ec634"></oembed></figure>
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Saint of the Month

St. Jerome was a Christian convert who became a priest. St. Gregory of Nazianzen commissioned him to revise the Latin text of the Bible. He also wrote and translated works of history, biography, the writings of Origen and more. St. Jerome died in 419 and is a Doctor and Father of the Church. He wrote, “If the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others. . . how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?”

Symbols of Our Faith

Christians adopted the anchor as a symbol of hope, as anchors symbolize safety in navigation. The anchor is also included as a symbol of hope in Hebrews 6:19 which reads, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain.” The one in which we place our hope is Christ, who is the unfailing hope of all who believe in him.

Prayer of the Month

Lord God, fill us with your Spirit and call us to be witnesses of your abiding love in our classrooms. Strengthen our faith and fill us with joyful hope that we may walk always on the path that leads to you. Open our eyes to the beauty, gift and strength of each student and help us encourage their growth in mind, heart and soul. During this year of St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family and patron of the universal Church and of Canada, we also ask for his intercession. May his prayers and the example of his life draw us closer to Jesus that we may do all for the praise and glory of your name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Share Goodness

Pope Francis invites us to celebrate September 1 as a World Day of Prayer for Creation. We can extend this into a Season of Caring for Creation all the way up to October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the ecology and the environment. Share your goodness by practicing good stewardship over things such as water. Reduce your use of plastic and paper. Get outside and celebrate the beauty and diversity of creation.