Approximately a year ago, schools and administrative sites across the Region, as well as the staff and Trustees of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools, officially launched WCDSB’s year of “Faith in Action”. This marked the beginning of the third and final year of the Board’s 2016-18 Pastoral Plan. As a culminating activity, a special cross has been making a pilgrimage from school to school.
As the Pilgrimage Cross enters the last part of the journey, we will have an opportunity to have the cross visit our Saint Anne community.
Our journey with the Pilgrimage Cross will begin November 21st with our Grade 7 students. On that day, the grade 7s will walk as a group to Shantz Park on the corner of Manchester and River Road. There, the grade 7s will receive the cross from Canadian Martyrs School and pilgrimage it back to Saint Anne school where we will begin our journey with the cross. In the afternoon of November 21st, led by the school’s pastoral team, there will be a liturgy marking this special day.
The Pilgrimage Cross will then move to the library and students from all 24 classrooms will visit the cross. Students will reflect, pray and complete activities to support this special journey.
The Pilgrimage Cross will move on Friday to St. Anne Church. On Sunday, November 25th, our school choir will be singing at the 10 a.m. mass at our church. All families are welcome to attend.
On Monday, November 26th, our grade 7 students will meet with grade 7 students from St. Daniel School to pass the cross to the remaining school prior to its final destinationwhich is our school board. What an amazing journey!
Please take this opportunity to reflect and read below the love Jesus has for all of us.
In our schools, we continually imagine our call to re-tell the story of our faith, and reflect on those experiences that significantly affect identity and community in order to offer new possibilities for both. The true encounter with Jesus can, and does, take place every day in our Catholic schools. We continually renew the promise that Jesus will be with us always as we work together to strengthen our Catholic schools as communities that exemplify, in word and deed, the good news of Jesus Christ. We find a memorable example of this encounter in the Gospel account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus nurtures his relationship with the disciples through dialogue and teaching, and restores the joys of believing through the breaking of the bread, presence, friendship, and unconditional love. In similar ways, Catholic schools have the ability to restore the joys of believing.
On the road to Emmaus, Jesus helps his disciples to understand the faith and teaches us that the art of accompaniment is about taking the time to walk alongside one another to listen, and in so doing, to transform. Each person in a Catholic school practices accompaniment by helping students realize that their own unique story is given greater meaning and purpose in knowing and living the story we share in Christ. Our faith is about an encounter with God — an incredible love story that inspires faith and joy. God never gives up on us.
The story of Emmaus recounts a very human experience. The disappointment and despair experienced by the two disciples on the road is not unlike the challenges frequently faced by young people today. The message is clear; hope, courage and resolve can be found through a loving encounter with Jesus. The Christ-centered mission of each school, by its very nature, contains a call to service in the greater community. Roman Catholic schools form disciples with a social conscience who put their faith into action. Students and staff help to promote engagement with the local and global community through their many acts of charity and by their witness to social justice and environmental stewardship.