November is a month where we feel a shift in the air.After the exuberance of October, with our many celebrations and our Annual Pilgrimage, we transition into the contemplation that November brings us.
There are many events and activities that will take place this month in all of our schools and sites. We begin November with All Saints’ Day on November 1. This is a very busy day across Niagara Catholic, as we also mark Take our Kids to Work Day for our Grade 9s, who will spend the day exploring future career pathways with family and friends. While the Grade 9s are away from school, our Grade 8 students will visit their future Catholic secondary schools for Grade 8 Transition Day. This is one of many activities our Catholic secondary schools plan for senior students in their family of schools to ease the transition from elementary to secondary school.
On November 2, we will once again come together in prayer for All Souls’ Day.
November 11 is Remembrance Day, and this year is particularly poignant. In April, more than 400 students and staff stood on the hallowed battleground in Vimy, France, to participate in the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. On this day, we remember the sacrifices of the thousands of young men scarcely older than our students who gave their lives in the first half of the last century, the men and women who gave their lives in wars in the first decade of the 21st century and we honour those who continue to serve. Our students will participate in a number of very moving Remembrance Day services and observances at their school and in the community.
Friday, November 17 is a Professional Activity Day for our elementary and secondary students. Have an enjoyable long weekend.
November is Fall Registration Month at Niagara Catholic. If you have a child starting school or going into Grade 9 in September 2018, or you know someone who does, we invite you to attend our Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day on November 22 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or at one of our eight Catholic secondary schools which take place between November 21 and 30. Get the dates and times for the open house at your neighbourhood Catholic secondary school here.
Also on November 22, students from our our Catholic secondary schools will participate in our annual Culture of Life Conference, a time when we reflect on the preciousness of life in all its forms.
On November 24, elementary and secondary student leaders will come together for the annual Leading Out Loud Student Conference. During this event, students are engaged by a very inspirational speaker and are given the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills.
The mission of the Diocese of St. Catharines is founded in the mission of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus states that He came down from heaven, "not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me." (Jn6:38) Jesus' mission is doing the will of his Father. This is the will of the Father, "that all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day". (Jn 6:40)
The Diocese of St. Catharines' mission is rooted in doing the Father's will by proclaiming His son to the world so that all can know, love and serve Him. This mission is lived out on a daily basis in our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions. We find clergy, religious and laity committed to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ by witnessing to His truth, justice, love and mercy. St. Catharines Diocese is where faith lives.
Pilgrims Raise More Than $160,000 for Developing World
Niagara Catholic’s 2017 Annual Pilgrimage raised more than $160,000 for projects in the developing world.
The Pilgrimage took place on October 29 in Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, St. Catharines and Welland.
During the November 7 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Superintendent of Education Ted Farrell shared with Trustees the amounts raised by each school, and the projects they supported:
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School – $20,000 (a record amount for the school)
Approximately 430 students, staff, and supporters of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School Annual Pilgrimage participated in the walk which had the theme of Two Families, One World. This is the 15th year for the BT Pilgrimage, which supports projects in the Dominican Republic.
Denis Morris Catholic High School – $15,000
Approximately 475 pilgrims from Denis Morris Catholic High School walked from the school to Market Square, where they met walkers from Holy Cross and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary Schools for Mass and a walk through the community.
This is the 24th year for Denis Morris’s participation in the Pilgrimage, and their walk was in recognition of Pope Francis’s words “Mercy is not easy … it requires courage.”
The funds raised by the DM Pilgrimage will be shared by L’Ecole Immaculee Conception in Pilate, Haiti, Wells of Hope Projects in the Jalapa region of Guatemala and local charities.
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School – $10,000
The theme of Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School’s 2017 Pilgrimage was The Future is in the Hands of You and Me.
This year, 200 Raiders walked through the streets of St. Catharines as a school, and as a larger group with students from Denis Morris and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School to support projects of the Holy Cross Fathers and Sisters in Haiti, including Regina Assumpta Elementary and Secondary Schools and the Holy Cross Elementary School.
Their fundraising also supports housing, food and medical aid for those in need.
Lakeshore Catholic High School – $10,000
The 2017 Gatorwalk had the theme Walk of Champions, and this year, more than 200 Gator staff, students and supporters took part.
The Lakeshore Catholic pilgrims walked through the streets of Port Colborne and along the Friendship Trail, raising money for their brothers and sisters in Dominica. Projects there supported included St. John’s Elementary School, CALLS Alternative Living Centre, the Portsmouth Public Library and CARE distribution Centre.
Notre Dame College School – $38,000
Where it all began! This year marked the 42nd year for the Annual Pilgrimage at Notre Dame College School, and a remarkable 900 students, staff and supporters raised $38,000 for the Annual Pilgrimage.
This year’s theme was Balancing the Scales of Justice, and focused heavily on the Catholic social teachings of solidarity, common good, dignity of the human person, dignity of work and preferential option for the poor.
The Notre Dame Pilgrims walked through the streets of Welland to raise the funds, which will be divided between Development and Peace, Yancana Huasy in Lima, Peru, and the Dominican Canadian Community Development Group.
Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School – $31,000
More than 300 Phoenix were joined by 30 staff and parent pilgrims to walk toward downtown St. Catharines in their Pilgrimage, which had the theme Where is the Love?
The funds raised by the Saint Francis Pilgrimage support Marie Immaculee School and Porte du Ciel Orphanage in Haiti, the Centre d’Esperanza and Fog Quest in Guatemala, and the Dominican Canadian Organic Farming Project in the Dominican Republic.
Saint Michael Catholic High School – $21,000
More than 450 Pilgrims from Saint Michael Catholic High School were joined by students from Saint Paul Catholic High School, walking through the streets of Niagara Falls to support their individual causes.
The theme of the 2017 Pilgrimage was Walk On, with a message to continue to walk the walk, regardless of the challenges in our lives. The funds raised by Saint Michael Catholic High School’s Pilgrimage supports the Hope for Rwanda’s Children Fund.
Saint Paul Catholic High School – $16,000
The Saint Paul Pilgrimage, held in collaboration with Saint Michael Catholic High School, raised $16,000 for projects in Haiti.
This year’s theme was Where is the Love?, and supported students at Ste. Croxi de Milot, in Milot, Haiti.
View photos from the 2016 Pilgrimage here.
Mark Your Calendars
Be sure to mark your calendars for Niagara Catholic’s 2017 Fall Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day on November 22 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. If you or someone you know has a child starting school this year, plan to attend the Open House and join the Niagara Catholic family in September 2018.
Our Catholic secondary school open houses take place between November 21 and 30. Find out why Niagara Catholic has Niagara’s best graduation rate, and one of the top four graduation rates in Ontario by stopping by the open house for the Niagara Catholic secondary school in our community.
Capital Projects Update
During the November 7 Committee of the Whole Meetings, Trustees received an update on capital projects within the Board.
The new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School opened in September 2017, and all that remains to be completed now are deficiency repairs from construction.
Work continues at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Grimsby, where a six classroom/three child-care room addition is under construction. Electrical and plumbing work is ongoing in the areas, and the building is expected to be weather-tight by the end of November.
We’ve had an incredible first two months of the school year! If you haven’t done it yet, be sure to check our Good News section of this website to see great stories on the programs and events taking place in our schools. Then check out the In the News section for media coverage of many of these stories, which is accessed through the main page.
To ensure you stay connected with Niagara Catholic news and events, please be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check our website often for updates and breaking news. It’s the best way to stay in the know.
The Niagara Catholic District School Board, through the charisms of faith, social justice, support and leadership, nurtures an enriching Catholic learning community for all to reach their full potential and become living witnesses of Christ.