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Posts Tagged ‘conduct’

Mary our Model for OLA


Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in his plan of salvation. She trusted him in spite of her nothingness because she knew he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her. Once she said ‘yes’ to him, she never doubted. She was just a young woman, but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

At our Professional Development Day on December 3 we spent some time looking at our code of conduct and have decided that, as we are Our Lady of the Assumption School, we should be looking towards Mary as our model of conduct.  The dogma of the Immaculate Conception tells of that Mary was born without sin and lived a life of holiness full of grace.  Who better to try to emulate than Mary, the first and best disciple. 

Mary’s life was not always easy but it was her faith and belief in God that allowed her to continue on, even when she was suffering. Mary was open to God’s will and said yes to being the mother of Jesus.  The angel Gabriel told her that her Son would be the Savior. Imagine not knowing what the child of God would be like?  How would Joseph react to the news? Would her parents and neighbors gossip about and scorn her, a pregnant and unmarried woman? How hard would it be raise a son knowing that he would be criticized and crucified for our salvation? It took courage for her to trust God even when things were uncertain.

Mothers are models of love and while Mary loved and looked after her own child, she also demonstrated love for others throughout her life.  When the angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was pregnant, even though Mary was pregnant herself, she quickly made the trip to go help her. During the wedding of Cana when the wine ran out it was Mary who went to Jesus and asked for His help. Mary follows Jesus’ command to love others as she selflessly loved her family, friends and neighbors.

As we start a new year, let us give thanks to Mary for without her there is no Jesus and no salvation for our sins. This year, let us try to follow in Mary’s footsteps by being open to God’s will, trusting in Him and loving God and others. Two things we can do each day are to take some time to thank God for the blessings he has given us and to continue to share our blessings with others. I am thankful for all our families who brought in socks to support our Advent campaign.  It is just another example of how generous our school community is in Sharing their Bounty with others. Your efforts will bring comfort to others throughout the coming year. The school community is already following Mary’s example and doing things for others without expecting something in return.  I challenge you to try to do this on a daily basis in the coming year. It is a huge task to strive for and we can pray to Mary our mother to intercede on our behalf. Have a blessed and safe holiday.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • Mary, you obeyed the call of God. Teach us to listen.
  • Mary, you carried the sacred in your words. Teach us to respect life.
  • Mary, you loved and followed your Son, Jesus. Teach us to live in love as Jesus commands.
  • Mary, you called Jesus to help others at Cana. Teach us to reach out to others.
  • Mary, you stood at the foot of the cross. Teach us hope, even in darkness.

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We officially kicked off our Van Tighem Virtues with our student retreat and guest speaker Alvin Law on September 21. It was an amazing day where students made pledges to put their best foot forward, talked about our Virtues, and participated in two sessions with Alvin. Thank you to all the families who stayed after the BBQ and listened to Alvin’s inspirational message. This day was the culmination of a year of planning by our committee in working towards revising our code of conduct.  We also received student input through the Tell Them From Me Survey, parent input at parent council meetings, and central office input from Joann Bartley our Director of Religious Education.

Our Faith Theme for this school year is “Rooted in Christ” with a focus on Scripture.  As our Van Tighem Virtues will guide our code of conduct, we have rooted it in Jesus’ words to us: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” John 13:34.  With Joann’s help, we also tied each Van Tighem Virtue to the cardinal and theological virtues of the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that a virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good. It allows the person to not only perform good acts, but to give the best of himself (1803). To help remember our Virtues we have used our HAWKS name as an acronym. The following is a list of virtues, a description, and the linked Catholic virtue:

Honest – I am sincere, truthful and trustworthy.  (Tied to Prudence)

Accepting – I accept that everyone is unique and made in the image and likeness of God (Tied to Fortitude)

Wise – I speak up for myself and others even when it may not be popular (Tied to Justice)

Kind – I treat people with dignity and respect all rights and property.   (Tied to Justice)

Spiritual – I follow the example Jesus taught us in the way I think, speak, and act.  (Tied to Charity)

These virtues will permeate the culture of the school and we will be working towards developing a deeper understanding of them and how they will guide our conduct. Throughout the year at class meetings and assemblies, students will be discussing each Virtue. They will be also be articulating behaviour expectations for all areas of the school and a variety of areas that came up as areas of concerns in our surveys:  classroom, hallway, outside, and gym.  By the end of the year we will have completed common expectations for each virtue.  We are also working on developing student conduct guidelines, consequences, and procedures. To find out more about our progress with our virtues, I invite you to come to parent council meetings as we look to parents to advise us on their perspective.

To read more about the Virtues in the Catechism click the following link: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm

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