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Posts Tagged ‘Social Justice’

In the early weeks of December, it sure did not feel like we were approaching the holidays, but with the snow that has arrived the last couple of days that sure has changed.  I’m hoping that it wasn’t my “Let it Snow” earrings that I wore at the start of the week that brought on the snowfall.  Today, on red and green day, I decided not to wear them just in case as I didn’t want to add to the poor road conditions with families preparing to travel to be with family to celebrate Christmas.
We have been preparing for the Christmas season through our weekly Advent celebrations, prayer, and giving of ourselves by doing good works. Staff has been performing acts of kindness for others during the month of December. Our school community has also been doing activities to raise funds for charity: $1050 for Mission Mexico and $695 for Streets Alive Mission. Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make our social justice projects successful. While the focus can be so much on what we are getting for Christmas, remember that St. Francis said that “it is in giving that we receive.” God gave us the gift of Jesus. What can you do for others this Christmas season? I challenge you to perform one act of kindness over the Christmas break.
Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May you have a blessed, relaxing and safe holiday season surrounded by friends and family. We will see you back here on January 8th.

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God Bless
Denise Kobza

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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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Happy New Year! Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year for us.  It is a time of quiet, joyful preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We can lose our roots and get lost in all the hustle, bustle, and commercialization of the Christmas season, and are so busy preparing our homes and ourselves that we forget to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Jesus. For all of the Christmas cheer and joyful celebrations, this time of the year can also be one of the loneliest. What if you do not have any family around? What if you do not have any friends in your life? What if you cannot afford even the tiniest gift? What if you do not have a home? If we are serious about rooting the Christmas season is Christ, we must be willing to be Christ for those who need Him most.

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This Advent season we are going to be Christ for those who need him most by supporting a local cause: Streets Alive Mission.  Streets Alive is dedicated to bringing hope to those who have none by building relationships with the disenfranchised, through a variety of volunteer driven programs.  So often with social justice projects, we bring items but do not really think or learn more about the people we help.  This year, with our Rooted in Christ theme, we are going to ground ourselves by learning about the work of Streets Alive Mission by having them come in and educate us about the work they do. The staff is going to be going to the Streets Alive Mission on Friday as part of our retreat day so that we can see first hand the work that is done.  Each week at our Advent Celebrations, we are asking students to bring in different items that the Mission requires to do their work: dark colored socks, waterproof gloves, and toques or hats; and men’s underwear and jeans. More details on the project and items can be found in the newsletter.  For more information on Streets Alive Mission please visit their website.

If you can’t make our celebrations, please try to make it for the last day of school where staff serves hot chocolate and candy canes to students and parents as they enter the school in the morning.  It has become one of my favorite traditions here at the school and is a wonderful way to start the last school day of the year. If I don’t see you at one our celebrations this month, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

Resource:  Jesus Daily by Aaron Tabor, MD

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December Newsletter

It’s hard to believe that we have reached December, Advent, and a new liturgical year.  December is a short month that is packed full of activities.  We can get caught up in the craziness and commercialism that is Christmas. It always amazes me to walk into stores on November 1 and see the Christmas section going up as the Halloween section is being taken down. Advent is supposed to be a time of quiet, joyful preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. As I am writing this, I am looking forward to starting my preparations by attending the Women’s Advent Retreat at St. Martha’s Church this weekend. This is my third year attending and am looking forward to the fellowship of women from Lethbridge and surrounding areas, the fabulous food, and time to experience and reflect on the theme: Spending TIME with Jesus. If you have not attended the retreat before, I invite you to think about attending next year.

 

As for the school preparations, we are going to be celebrating the theme of Walking Together through Advent.  Each weekly celebration will focus on Hope, Peace, or Love. We are working on a social justice program to raise awareness about cancer and to support cancer research through donations. Students are able to donate at the weekly advent celebration.  Our grade 9 students are doing morning prayer during Advent and will be creating prayers that reflect our theme. When you are in the gathering space look for the bulletin board display that will be put together that will illustrate how we are Walking Together through Advent.  We are going to be adding to this bulletin board throughout the year.

 

We have a couple of special events going on in December that I hope to see you at so please mark them down in your calendars.  Our school celebration this year is Christmas at the Fort.  It is on December 11 and runs from 5:30 – 7:30. This event is for the entire school and includes activities, such as, cookie decorating, making snowflakes, going on hay rides, learning about First Nations culture, caroling by the fire, and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa. The next school event takes place on Sunday December 14 at 4:00.  We are working with the Hurricanes to have a School Rocks Night. There are 14 other schools in Lethbridge participating and we are hoping to sell as many tickets as possible so we can fill a section full of red and black Hawkwear. This event is not only build community but also acts as a fundraiser for us as we receive money from the Hurricanes for every ticket sold. Money raised from this will go to meet our fundraiser target for school activities and clubs. Finally, we invite you to come into the school on the last day as the staff serves hot chocolate and candy canes to parents and students. It has become one of my favorite traditions here at the school.

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