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Marinate in God

Take your heart and let it marinate in the words of God: “I have called you by name, you are mine. … you are precious in my eyes, and I love you.” (Is 43)

Chaplaincy
Notes from the Chapel
                                                                                                Go to the Chaplaincy website: www.sta-russell.com and click on the Chaplaincy link
 
 
The End of another School Year
 
Thanks be to God—it’s June!  A lot has happened this year, and our St. Thomas Aquinas community has made a huge difference in the world.  Together we gave 4,200lbs of food to the Good Neighbour’s food bank in Embrun, visited with the seniors at the Osgoode Care Center, gave over $12,000 to families in our local community for the Christmas Angel Program—and all of that before Christmas!  And it doesn’t end there—a generous donor to the STA chaplaincy program* made it possible for us to send $1,000 to the Philippines in order to have a roof rebuilt for a poverty-stricken family there. Donations to the chaplaincy program make it possible for us to reach out and impact even more people in need!

On Shrove Tuesday we made pancakes for the entire school population of 600, and then collected $5,135 during our Lenten coin drive!  With this outstanding fundraiser we were able to build four wells for the rural poor in India through an amazing organization called SOPAR, and then we sent a donation to ‘water for South Sudan’ which is the organization that inspired this project.  A special congratulations goes out to Kate Lamothe, Emma Pascoe, Kaylee Toth, Haylee Seguin and Haley Welch for their inspiration and commitment to this amazing social justice project!
 
I also had the blessing of leading 6 of our students on a mission trip experience to the Dominican Republic during March break this year.  We had an amazing experience at the orphanage there, and created many meaningful relationships with the “pequenos”.  Conor Veinotte, Kelsey Angel, Cassie Racicot, Hollie Berkers, Julieanna Mawko and Isabelle Sabourin were incredible ambassadors of STA and showed everyone the caring and generous nature of STA students.  Way to go team!
 
And of course each of our activities are made richer and more complete when we celebrate them in the context of our faith!  Mass in the school chapel is a weekly occurrence on a rotating schedule, as is our presence at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish down the road.  And we always make time to celebrate as an entire school community, like when we have a school-wide prayer service or mass every month in the atrium.  And with Confessions, prayer, retreats and other faith opportunities in the midst of our studies we have truly lived up to our motto: “Faith Seeking Understanding.”
 
And now it’s time to breathe, take in a little R&R, and enjoy the summer!  To all of our staff and students, I will continue to pray for you during the summer and may God bless you always!
 
Yours in Christ,
 
Chris Vonesch
Chaplaincy Leader
 
*tax-deductible charitable donations to STA chaplaincy can be made through CDSBEO.  Please contact me if you would like to set up a monthly donation!
What is Catholic Education all about?
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Gr. 8 Pilgrimage
Our Grade eight students take time each year to visit the Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha, Canada’s first aboriginal Saint. This is a powerful opportunity to grow in faith through the age-old tradition of pilgrimage!

It is believed that since Kateri’s death, many miracles have been performed through her intercession.

Have you ever thought about becoming a saint? Becoming a saint means loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. If you do this, you will become a great saint just like Kateri Tekakwitha!
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Catholic Education Week Celebrations
Thank God for the gift of Catholic Education! At a time when Catholic beliefs are not culturally acceptable, we have an incredible gift and opportunity in our hands. During the first week of May every year we celebrate Catholic Education, and enjoy many activities as part of the celebration. We start off the week with an opening Mass in Kemptville with students and teachers from every school in the school board. We are blessed to enjoy a special mass, sometimes with Archbishop Prendergast, celebrating the gift of Catholic Education as a school community.
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Pro-Life issues
The march for life is an opportunity to raise our hearts and our voices for the rights of all human beings regardless of their age or health, celebrating the dignity of each and every human being. But its special focus is the rights of the unborn. Taking part in this public demonstration is a way of standing up for the rights of those who are not able to stand for themselves—and it is a lot of fun and a rare opportunity!
Marinate in God

Take your heart and let it marinate in the words of God: “I have called you by name, you are mine. … you are precious in my eyes, and I love you.” (Is 43)

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Senior’s visit at the Osgoode Care Center
Each month our students have the opportunity to visit with 100 elderly residents at the Osgoode Care Centre, located on Snake Island Road, outside of Metcalfe. The date for this month is Wednesday, November 25. Our youth participate in activities and games with the seniors, and engage them in one-on-one visits.

Visits to the Osgoode Care Center are open to all students at STA, so come out and enjoy the fun with our elderly neighbours!
Catholic Education

Catholic Education is a holistic education designed to form and inform students, mind, body, heart and soul. It is committed to excellence as it invites students to respond in the context in which they live in the light of their faith. Catholic education is dedicated to ensuring that students reach their full potential so that there is success for all.  This desire is expressed well in the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations where the vision of the learner is:
The student on a journey toward graduation from a Catholic school will be:
·         A discerning believer formed in the Catholic Faith community who celebrates the signs and sacred mystery of God’s presence through word, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
 
·         An effective communicator, who speaks, writes and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
 
·         A reflective, creative and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good.
 
·         A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who develops and demonstrates their God-given potential.
 
·         A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work, which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
 
·         A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish and the wider community.
 
·         A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life.
 
Chaplaincy Files
 Gr 8 - Kateri Tekakwitha.doc
St. Kateri pilgrimage - Permission form
Department Web Pages
Chaplaincy Contacts
+ Mr. Vonesch, Chris
Click on name to see details.
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