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Archive for the ‘November’ Category

November is a month that is associated with remembrance and memories.  According to the Cambridge Dictionary, remembrance is the act of remembering and showing respect for someone who has died or an event.  It is also a memory of something that has happened in the past.

As we move into November we have three celebrations that take place right away.  On the first is the Solemnity of All Saints Day. It is celebrated by Catholics all around the world and connects us to the communion of saints.  We look to the Saints, we celebrate their lives and ask them to pray for us. Mary, also known as St. Mary the Virgin, is our patron Saint and on this day we can ask for her help in bringing our prayers to God. The next day, the second, is All Souls Day where we remember all those who have died but may not yet be in heaven.  We pray for them and ask God to take them to heaven. On that day please take a moment and say a prayer in memory of a friend or loved one or say the prayers on the prayer cards below.

On November 3rd, we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday in Alberta.  The theme from our Bishops this year is to be “United in Prayer and Grateful for Catholic Schools”. It is a reminder for us to celebrate Catholic Schools in the province and to be grateful for the gift of publicly funded Catholic education. Archbishop Smith, on behalf of all Alberta Bishops has shared a short, three-minute video message regarding Catholic Education Sunday. Please click on the Video Link to view the message.

On November 11th we remember our veterans from the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War who sacrificed for us so we could enjoy our freedoms and live in peace. To honour these men and women, we wear poppies as a symbol of remembrance and freedom. As we pause in our minute of remembrance on the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month, let us not forget to pray for the men and women who have served, those who have died in service and those who are currently serving in our armed forces.  Please come join us for our Remembrance Day Celebration on the 8th at 11:00 in the gym.

Sometimes our lives can become so busy that we do not take the time to think about those who have gone before us.  Take some time on the 1,2,3 and 11 to pray, reflect and remember.

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November is a special time of year for me as it brings back memories from my childhood.  As a member of the Melfort 171 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, Remembrance Day was not a holiday where I got to sleep in like my friends. Our squadron attended and participated in the celebrations in the surrounding areas. I also spent many cold Saturdays leading up to Remembrance Day selling poppies on behalf on the Royal Canadian Legion. Wearing a poppy is a way to honour and remember Canada’s Veterans.

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance for our veterans from the First and Second poppyWorld Wars and the Korean War who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. To honour these men and women, wear your poppy from the last Friday in October until November 11. This year’s Poppy Campaign has a new digital poppy that can be found online at mypoppy.ca. Donations for all poppy sales go to support veterans and their families.  This month, we are asking students to share their time and what better way could they do this than by attending our local Remembrance Day Services at either the South Pavilion (9:30 – 11:30am) or the Cenotaph (12:00 – 12:30pm). On the 11th day on the 11th hour of the 11th month, let us remember those who have served,those who have died in service and those who are currently serving in our armed forces.

Another time during the month of November for remembrance is at the start of the month.  With all the candy and commercialism of Halloween, we can forget that “All Hallows Eve” is the eve of festival of All Saints Day. On November 1 the Church remembers every Saint known and unknown.  We ask the Saints to pray for us so that we might be with them someday. The next day, November 2, is All Souls Day where we are remembering all those who have died.  Please take a moment and say a prayer in memory of a friend or loved one.

 

O Lord, please grant eternal rest unto (name).

Let Perpetual light shine upon him/her.

May the soul of (name) and of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

Amen.

 

 

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According to Mirriam-Webster for students, remembrance is the act of remembering or something remembered, such as a souvenir, that serves to bring mind. November is a month where we turn to remembrance and that is what we are doing here at FLVT.

We start the month with the Solemnity of All Saints Day on November 1. It is celebrated by Catholics all around the world and connects us to the communion of saints.  We look to the Saints, we celebrate their lives and ask them to pray for us. On All Saints day take a moment to pray to St. Kateri, our FLVT patron saint to intercede on our behalf.

St. Kateri@1x

The next day, November 2, is All Souls Day where we remember all those who have died but may not yet be in heaven.  We pray for them and ask God to take them to heaven.  Students will be creating “In Loving Memory” poems for those loved ones who have died and they will be displayed on the prayer board in the gathering space. On November 2 please take a moment and say a prayer in memory of a friend or loved one.

O Lord, please grant eternal rest unto (_____name_____).

Let Perpetual light shine upon him/her.

May the soul of ( _____name_____) and of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

Amen

On November 5th, we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday in Alberta.  We need to remember to celebrate the fact that we are one of three provinces that have publically funded Catholic education. With the recent controversy in the news regarding the health and wellness curriculum, it is important that we as Catholic school supporters become informed about the issues. Our Catholic schools are a gift to be celebrated.

On November 11th we remember our veterans from the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War who sacrificed for us so we could enjoy our freedoms and live in peace. To honour these men and women, we wear poppies as a symbol of remembrance and freedom. As we pause in our minute of remembrance on the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month, let us not forget to pray for the men and women who have served, those who have died in service and those who are currently serving in our armed forces.  Please come join us for our Remembrance Day Celebration on the 8th at 10:45 in the gym.

remembrance day

During the month of November there are also events going on where people can take part as their way of honoring or remembering someone.  All of our male staff members are participating in Movember to raise awareness of men’s health and to help raise money for our advent project Mission Mexico.  We have a dedicated FLVTMen page where donations can be made. Students will also vote for the best or worst mustache and at the end of the month, we will draw names from those who have voted or donated for the opportunity to win a prize and/or shave some staff members’ heads. For some of our staff members, they are participating in Movember as a way to remember a loved one. For me, I am going to honor my Uncle Don who passed away this Saturday by participating in World Kindness Day on the 13th and Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 24th. My Uncle Don was the kindest man I know and this is the perfect way to remember him.  How are you going to honor your loved ones this month?

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In the Alberta Education Business Plan the Minister of Education articulated goals for the province. Our Holy Spirit board then set strategic priorities that aligned with the Business Plan. For our FLVT Improvement Plan, we chose the following three priorities to focus on that aligns with the Board’s direction:
1. Staff and students will grow in their faith and experience the richness of Catholic Education.
2. All students will develop literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare them for a changing future.
3. First Nations, Metis and Inuit students will achieve equitable educational outcomes.

Within those priorities, we created goals to move the school forward. This month I would like to highlight the work we have done with our first Van Tighem Virtue. After our kickoff in September students and teachers focused on the Honest Virtue. It is tied to the Catholic virtue of Prudence. Prudence allows us to reason and apply that thinking in order to determine the honest or proper action in each situation and to choose the correct means of achieving it. It is prudence that guides the judgment of conscience and allows us to choose to do good. Each class was asked what being honest meant and what behaviours would demonstrate it. They worked on this as part of their weekly classroom meetings and then all responses were put together into a Wordle. If you are not familiar with Wordle, the size of the word is proportionate to the number of times it is mentioned. The following is how our students articulate the Van Tighem Virtue of Honest.

all-areas-honest

Being honest means telling the truth at all times. This is applied to ALL AREAS of the school. Approach all situation with honesty, even if mistakes have been made. Admit it when you do something wrong. Be responsible for your own actions.

 

classroom-honest

In the CLASSROOM, students decided that being honest means doing your own work. Keep your eyes on your own test. Own up to mistakes concerning your work. Be responsible for your learning and your behaviour. If you ask to leave, go where you say you are going. Do what you are supposed to be doing. Ask if you don’t understand something. Pay attention. Follow the classroom rules and procedures.

 

hallway-honest

While in the HALLWAY, students decided that it is important to say sorry or apologize if you bump into someone. When working in the hallway, stay on task. Walk quietly so you don’t disturb other classes. Take turns and be respectful coming in and out at recess. Go outside right away and on time when it is recess. If someone drops something, pick it up and return it to them. Help keep the hall clean by using garbage cans and return found items. If you damage something, tell someone.

 

gym-honest

One thing that many classes agreed upon was that being honest means to follow the rules of the game while in the GYM. When you are tagged or hit, own it. Be a good sport. Play fair. Use equipment properly and if something breaks, report it to a supervisor. Be respectful in the change room.

 

outside-honest

Respecting the rules of the playground demonstrates honesty while students are OUTSIDE. Take turns on the playground equipment. Follow the rules of the game. Play fairly. Listen to the supervisors. Come in on time when the bell rings. Use the crosswalk when leaving campus. Respect the environment and use garbage cans. Even if you accidentally trip or hurt someone, own it. When problems arise outside with other students, tell the truth to solve the problem.

Our students came up with excellent examples that articulate the Honest virtue. Having the Wordles and statements posted around the school will help our community to remember how we demonstrate the virtue and will remind us of the correct behaviour to choose as we try to follow the example set for us by Jesus. If you want to learn more about the content of the FLVT Improvement Plan it is on the agenda for the November Parent Council meeting on the 9th at 7:00 pm in the library. I look forward to seeing you.

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In the Alberta Education Business Plan the Minister of Education articulated goals for the province. Our Holy Spirit board then set strategic priorities that aligned with the Business Plan. At FLVT, we chose two priorities to focus on that aligns with the Board’s direction: 1. Catholic Identity and 2. Preparing Students for their Future

Within those priorities, we created goals to move the school forward. This month I would like to highlight what we are doing to enhance our Catholic Identity. Our theme for this year is a Horizon of Hope. We are using Pope Francis’ statement as a guide where he challenged us to be lights in the darkness:

“Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to
be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect
every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love,
is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy
clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope” Pope Francis

With this in mind we have two main areas of focus under Catholic Identity. We are asking our community to be beacons of hope by focusing on an attitude of Gratitude. The staff was given gratitude journals to start the year and teachers have chosen to incorporate journals, compliments, trees, and chains into their classrooms. When you walk around the school you will see bulletin boards in the halls and classrooms expressing the attitude of gratitude. Every morning we gather as a staff for a meeting and prayer, and this year, our staff prayer is taken from Joyce Meyer’s devotional The Power of Being Thankful. During advent we will be creating an advent calendar for the school that does not contain chocolate, but does contain gratitude activities.

The second area of focus came as a result of analyzing our junior high Bullying and School Safety Tell Them From Me Survey results, and feedback from staff and parents. A safe school environment is critical for students’ learning and well-being. As a result, we will be focusing on implementing the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program at the school. The program is backed up with over 35 years of research and is designed to improve peer relations and make school safer, more positive places. Goals of the program are to reduce existing bullying problems, prevent the development of new problems, and create better peer relations at school. On November 12 and 13 the whole staff will be in serviced on the program by Karen Kondor who runs Find Your Voice Consulting. Schools are safer when school staff, students, parents, and communities work together.

We are looking for a parent to be a member of our Coordinating Committee. Information on the duties are included in the newsletter and we would require that you attend the training on the 12 and 13. Please contact me if you are interested in being a part of this exciting program.

Coordinating Committee Responsibilities

Find Your Voice Consulting

OLWEUS Program Information

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Remembrance in November

Generally when we think of Remembrance Day we are remembering our veterans from the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War who sacrificed for us so we could have freedoms and live in peace. As we pause in our moment of remembrance let us not forget the men and women who have served, and those who continue to serve our country during time of war, conflict, and peace.

I am a huge Amazing Race  fan and this summer the Canadian version of the show had a moving episode called “Lest We Forget”. The episode took place in Normandy, France. I became emotional sitting on my couch as I watched the emotions and tears of the Canadian racers who visited the Canadian War Cemetery.  As they visited the Cemetery the racers delivered the symbol of remembrance – a poppy – to a solider.  The pit stop for the race was Juno Beach where the racers were greeted by Canadian War Veteran Jim Parks and host Jon Montgomery. Juno Beach is where almost a thousand Canadians were injured and 340 soldiers lost their lives as part of the Allied liberation of Europe on D-Day in June of 1944.  It is a proud moment in our Canadian history.

We are fortunate in Canada that we live in a peaceful country far from the horrors of war. But this past October, we were initiated into experiencing what other countries have been through.  Within a couple days the Cenotaph, our Parliament Building, and three of our military personnel were attacked in Ottawa and St. Jean-sur-Richelieu. Lest we Forget Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who died in service in Canada.

Source:

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/a-day-of-remembrance

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