December 18, 2022 - The Fourth Sunday of Advent

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The Fourth Sunday of Advent - The Week of LOVE!

In our last week of Advent, we are invited to experience the love of Christ, as well as share that gift with others. It is love that brings Jesus into our world and it is love that transforms our being.

Sacred Scripture invites us to unpack this understanding of God's love through looking at it with the joy that it brought Mary! With haste and with eagerness, Mary set out. “I must tell, I must speak to someone. Elizabeth, yes. Elizabeth will understand. The angel told me that she, an old woman, would have a child. That seems crazy, but nothing is impossible for God. I must go and be with Elizabeth. I must have a woman-to-woman, mother-to-mother encounter with her.

It is the beginning of God’s great plan to bring salvation and wholeness to the world. God’s own Son is preparing to come and live among us as a human being. He will be like us in every respect except in his freedom from sinfulness and its source, our fears and insecurity. As we celebrate our way through the Christmas season, let us not forget what it is really about: the coming of God among us to show us the greatest love that can be shown, the laying down of one’s life for one’s friends. Let us to look forward to the life of Jesus, a life lived totally in love that will end in suffering and death as the way to glory and everlasting life. Christmas might seem a strange time to be thinking of the suffering of Jesus. But Jesus’ life is to be seen as a seamless robe: birth in poverty to death on a cross as the essential way to new life and glory. We celebrate his birth because of the triumphant victory of his death.

He emptied himself for the love of each and every one of us and God has raised him to the highest heavens.

May the love and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ reside in our homes and hearts.

A Message from Father Jim

One of the gifts within our Church is the ritual that is such an integral part of our worship. I say this because literally every gesture that we undertake or participate in, from the beginning of the Liturgy to the end, bears a significant meaning.

The goal of all sacraments and all sacramentals, is to draw us deeper into the mystery of God, and to grow into deeper relationship with our Creator. When you enter the nave of the Church, you dip your finger into the holy water font and make the sign of the cross. Small thing right? But, we are reminding ourselves at that moment of the cross that our Lord endured for our salvation. At the same time, we remember the waters of baptism that allow us unity with Christ. That in Baptism we die with the Him but that we also share in the resurrection to eternal life. Then we may bow or genuflect when entering our pew. We acknowledge publicly that this is the God of all Creation, that there is no god greater than the God we worship. Friends, we have barely arrived at the Church and already we have entered into some significant gestures that assist us in preparing for this remarkable moment in time.

I have always had a fond respect and regard for the rites and rituals that we participate in while preparing for and celebrating the Holy Mass. As a priest, there are things I do during the Mass that for sure help me to enter more deeply into this sacrifice. When I receive and offer the gifts on behalf of the worshipping community, when I genuflect after praying over the bread and the wine during the consecration, when I, as energetically as possible, endeavor to engage our parishioners in the responses to our prayers. These are beautiful moments that help me go deeper into the celebration of the Holy Mass. Rite and ritual seem to be an integral part of who we are, as created human beings.

Many of us grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada, an almost cult-like following on Saturday evenings. For those of you who have already raised your families, I am sure some of you would say, well, Saturday was for grocery shopping. Friday was some form of fish for supper, Saturday morning was for watching cartoons and after school was a time for getting your homework done before supper (so you could do what you wanted after supper.) We all have our rituals and traditions. When I get up in the morning, from my first prayers, to the moment I walk into the parish, my rituals likely do not vary even five minutes from day to day. My get-up time may vary, but what I do after that is remarkably consistent.

In the three years I spent serving Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis and Ponoka, I averaged fifty thousand kilometres per year, within a thousand kms each year, for all three years. In the nine years I served St. Theresa/Corpus Christi parishes in Mill Woods, I averaged twelve thousand kilometres per year, varying by no more than a thousand kilometers per year. All this to say, my ministry and the way I went about it would have some variance for sure, but there was no question about the consistent ritual and practice of it.

The place I wish to get to in this conversation is this: What do you and your family do at this time of year, as a family tradition that if it varied, family members would not be happy about? What are those things you and your family engage in year after year, decade after decade, which assist in making your Christmas celebrations joyful? I encourage you to reflect on these perhaps small, but significant and meaningful events in your families. Why are they important to you and yours? Why is it important that you continue to include them in your celebration of the Christmas season? A particular Mass that you attend on Christmas Eve, the type of meal you serve on Christmas morning and/or Christmas day, the protocol for unwrapping presents... (We always got to unwrap one present on Christmas Eve after we came home from Church. It was invariably new pajamas or socks or the like, but hey it was still wrapped so it qualified as a present. Yeah!)

I hang my hat on an attitude of gratitude often, in much of what I say and do. I encourage you, during this final week of Advent, to focus on the rituals and traditions in your families. Speak with your families about them. Help the young ones appreciate the gift that these traditions are for you and yours. My friends, these practices, rituals, and traditions are what help us to celebrate this coming season with true joy and grateful hearts. We all have much to be grateful for. The traditions and rituals of the Church helps bring us closer to God. The traditions and rituals within our families help bring us closer to one another. We are a people who thrive on ritual. We are a people who thrive on relationships with one another.

Blessings and happy final week of Advent,

Father Jim

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Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours!

12 Day of Christmas #SILCFAM

Basket of Blessings

Thank you to those who have donated!! You are change makers! There is still time to help us reach our goal...

This advent EICS is continuing to partner with Catholic Social Services to support women and children in Lurana Shelter.

Lurana is a 21 day domestic abuse emergency shelter. The women and children who stay there have nowhere else to go. Their home is unsafe. They may have left their home with only the clothes on their back. They need the staff in CSS’ Lurana shelter to help them heal.

When they arrive at Lurana CSS staff will give them a bedroom to stay in. Staff will also provide them with a Basket of Blessings purchased by the students, teachers and parents of Elk Island Catholic School Division.

With your donations staff will purchase an adult basket and/or a children’s basket(s). Each basket will be tailored to the specific needs of women and children as they enter Lurana shelter.

Our SILC Goal is $300 (3 baskets)

St. Isidore (SILC) Team link

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Be on the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee

Have your say in the world of education! SILC is seeking 3 high school (grade 10-12) students who would like to meet with our Superintendent, Mr. Paul Corrigan, to engage on a variety of issues. Meeting will begin in January!

If interested, please send an email to Mrs. Melnyk expressing your interest! Open to all SILC/Chesterton students!


Young Authors' Conference - Grades 4-9 **Save the date!

Are you interested in writing? Story telling? Or love to read and write? We will be sponsoring a student from grades 4-9 to attend the Young Author's Conference (YAC) in April. We will pay for your registeration as well! If you are interested, please send an email to Mrs. Melnyk - expressing your interest. Thank you!

Conference slated for Saturday, April 15, 2023 in Sherwood Park, Alberta

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Semester 1 Deadline Fast Approaching

Are you hoping to finish your high school course for semester one? Are you taking another course semester two? If so, these deadlines are IMPORTANT for you!

All students who are wishing to complete their course in Semester 1 so they can have the necessary prerequisite for Semester 2 MUST complete course work by January 17/23.

Again, this is ONLY for high school students who are working in Semesters.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your teachers.

Diploma Exams begin Thursday, January 12th and your Semester 1 marks are due this week!

See the calendar at the end of the newsletter and write your Diploma Exam Dates down!

Please check PowerSchool to keep tabs on your marks. Teachers will place a temporary "0%" in when your work has not been handed in and is overdue. It is so important to attend to your learning on a regular basis.

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It's never too early to prepare for your Math 30 Diploma Exams in January!

Here you will find some local Math 30 Diploma Prep courses. Everything you need to know to prepare yourselves for the Diploma Exam.

Math 30-1 Online Diploma Preparation

Math 30-2 Online Diploma Preparation

Elementary Classroom

Hello from Mrs.Oikonen!

Wow- we will be starting our short week 16 of online learning which is also our last few days before Christmas break! I wish you all a joyful and blessed Christmas Season! Christmas break begins on Wednesday Dec. 21 and classes will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

1. I am really looking forward to viewing our 2nd Annual SILC Virtual Christmas Presentation on Monday at 1:00pm. We have a lot of awesome performances and presentations ready for your viewing pleasure! Please feel free to share our google meet link, with family and friends! Please send me an email if you would like to share the link and I will share it with you.

2. On Tuesday, we will have our last meet of 2022. We will be having an online Christmas party at 9:30am- 10:30am. This is for all grades. Can't wait!

Here is what we will be doing this week!

December Calendar

Grade 1 Newsletter Grade 4 Newsletter

Grade 2 Newsletter Grade 5 Newsletter

Grade 3 Newsletter Grade 6 Newsletter

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Off Campus News...

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The Staff of 2022-2023

The Staff of 2022-2023:

Principal: Mrs. Tracy Melnyk

Assistant Principal: Mrs. Melissa Damur

Chesterton Headmaster: Dr. Gerard McLarney

Creative Director, Chesterton & Chaplain : Mrs. Justine Wright

Secretary: Mrs. Natalie Mangatal

Family Wellness Worker: Katy Parsons

Inclusive Learning Facilitator: Mrs. Shari Morin

Mrs. Christy Oikonen - Elementary (Grades 1-6)

Mr. Daniel Hughes - Jr / Sr Social Studies -

Mr. Brandon Geiger - Jr / Sr Science & Math -

Mrs. DeeDee Perrott - Sr. Science & Chesterton

Mrs. Eva Fung- Sr Math

Mr. Matthew Bennett - Jr High

Mrs. Katarina Urdova - Chesterton Math -

Mr. Brett Fawcett - Chesterton and Religious Studies -

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OLPH Parish Corner

Stay connected. Our parish makes it very easy for us all to attend. See the links below:

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Important Dates to Remember...

  • December 19 - SILC Virtual Christmas Concert @ 1:00pm

  • December 20 - Last day before Christmas Break

  • December 21- Januray 3 - Christmas Breal

  • January 4 - First day back from Christmas Break

  • January 12 - English 30 Diploma Exam - PART A @ 8:45 am

  • January 13 - Social 30 Diploma Exam - PART A @8:45 am

  • January 17 - Semester 1 Course Marks are Due (for semestered students)!

  • January 19 - Math 30 Diploma Exam - 9 am **Bring your scientific calculator

  • January 20 - English 30 Diploma Exam - PART B - 9 am

  • January 23 - Social 30 Diploma Exam - Part B - 9 am

  • January 24 - Biology 30 Diploma Exam - 9 am

  • January 25 - Chemistry 30 Diploma Exam - 9 am

  • January 26 - Physics 30 Diploma Exam - 9 am

  • January 27 - Science 30 Diploma Exam - 9 am

  • January 30 - PD Day - Schools closed to students

  • January 31 - First day of Semester 2

  • February 9 & 10 - Schools Closed for Teachers Convention

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Follow us on Social Media

Want to stay connected?

Follow us on Twitter at: @silc_eics

Facebook: @StIsidoreEICS

Instagram: @silceics

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