Principal Weekly Update
October 29th, 2021
Dear John Paul I Families
Next week, we will be celebrating Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) This is a Mexican event where over two days, families demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. It is a life-affirming, joyful event celebrated throughout towns in Mexico. In Mexico you would see costumes, parades and parties with singing and dancing.
Next week, the students of John Paul I will take part in a variety of activities building a stronger understanding of this cultural event.
On November 3, at 6:00 pm you can join us for our Parent Council Meeting. We look forward to working together as a learning community, making JPI a rich and vibrant school for your children. Use this link to join via Teams.
Grade 2/3 C Pumpkin Investigation
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
The month of November is one which is permeated with solemnity and deep reflection. We begin the month with All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days and reflect upon humankind’s journey to God’s kingdom. On Remembrance Day, our thoughts turn to those who have made the greatest of sacrifices to bring peace to the world. We end the month by commemorating Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide under the Stalin regime. This can be quite a heavy mindset for the month, but it provides us with good opportunities to reflect on our own lives. In 2018, Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation, Gaudete and Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad), which was a call to holiness in our lives. It is a call to us to use our unique and special gifts to live our lives with love and bear witness in everything we do. Our Religious Education Department created summaries of each of the chapters of this exhortation to help unpack its meaning. You can find them, and so many other wonderful faith resources in the Faith Alive section of our public website.
The call to serve in political office is a special vocation. On the heels of the municipal election, we are so pleased to have so many of our Board of Trustees back for another term. This Board has served as effective and thoughtful advocates and stewards of Edmonton Catholic Schools. I know that the next four years will continue to be highly collaborative, insightful, innovative, and respectful. Please join me in congratulating Terry Harris (Ward 71), Sandra Palazzo (Ward 72), Debbie Engel (Ward 74), Alene Mutala (Ward 75), Lisa Turchansky (Ward 76), and Laura Thibert (Ward 77). Ward 73 is without a trustee at this time. We will share more information regarding next steps to the vacancy as they unfold. In the interim, the schools in Ward 73 have all been assigned to other trustees as follows:
Terry Harris: St. Bernadette, St. Nicholas, St. Jerome Sandra Palazzo: Father Leo Green, JJ Bowlen, St. Dominic Debbie Engel: St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Maria Goretti
Alene Mutala: St. Alphonsus, Ben Calf Robe/St. Clare, St. Francis of Assisi Lisa Turchansky: St. Gerard, St. Vladimir, St. Leo
Laura Thibert: Cardinal Collins Clareview, St. Bonaventure, Anne Fitzgerald
November 7 is Catholic Education Sunday. The theme for the year, which is established by the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, is Catholic Education: Rebuild, Restore, Renew Together. In their letter for the day, they share that “(Catholic Education Sunday) provides us with an opportunity to recognize the vibrant faith that is the foundation of our Catholic schools and encourages us to reflect with gratitude on the countless blessings to be found within the Catholic educational community. You can read their full letter by clicking here. ECSD is very excited to be piloting a Fall Break for the first time from November 11-15, 2021. We hope that this opportunity for a break in the hectic pace of everyone’s busy lives will be restorative and rejuvenating for all.
I leave you with a final thought from Pope Francis that reflects our call to holiness: “The response of faith demands that we be active in our love for God and in our love of neighbour.” (10/29/21)
Robert Martin, Chief Superintendent
Grade 3A Monster Writing!
All Saint's Day is Our Feast Day Our Catholic Tradition
All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. All Saints' Day emphasizes the universality of the call to sanctity. If we isolate a given saint - Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Dominic Savio, Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II - they can seem so far beyond us. But All Saints Day emphasizes not only canonized saints but also all the ordinary people, forgotten to history, who God has remembered as saintly. And it reminds us that being a saint is the ordinary goal of Christian life. Everything in the Church - preaching, teaching, scripture, sacraments, the Eucharist, everything - is meant to conduce to the place where we become saints.
All Saints' Day is dedicated to the Saints of the Church, that is, all those who are in heaven.
The word saint means “holy one” and all of us are called to be holy. In that sense, this
is also our Feast Day, because we are all joined, in and through Jesus Christ, in the communion of saints.
Some holy men and women who have died in the Lord, and lived exemplary lives of proven virtue, including martyrs and those who obviously loved the Lord with all of their hearts, have been canonized by the Church. They are the Saints, with a “capital “S”. They are our models, witnesses of faith. They are also intercessors, praying for us before our Heavenly Father. This feast honours all the saints of the Church, known and unknown.
Let us look at some interesting definitions of what a saint is. A saint is a person who begins each day with these words: "May the image of Jesus radiate through me this day in each life situation." A saint is a person who prays each day that she be used as an instrument of God's love to bear the burdens of God's children. A saint is a forgiven sinner. A saint is one who makes it easier for others to believe in God. A saint is a sinner who keeps trying.
In a family that was torn apart with hostility, the father, an elderly lawyer, asked a young artist for her advice. She replied, "Here is my prescription. Unless you want to end by killing each other, someone has to say the first gentle word. And you are the one who has the least time left." The true Christian, who is called to be a saint, is always the one who says the gentle word first - the word that breaks the ice and leads to reconciliation. After all, did not God in Christ take the first step in reaching out to us with forgiveness?
A saint is the one who says the gentle word first. A saint is a letter God writes with the Holy Spirit not on paper but on the hearts of people.
I invite you today to learn more about All Saints' Day. I invite you to choose a saint, learn about their life, their conversion, their prayer life, their love of God and the neighbour. Then, pray to that saint that they may intercede before God so that you and I may grow in holiness every day. Heaven is our final destination. Becoming a saint is our ultimate goal.
Fr. Julian Bilyj
- Place Healthy Hunger order by Midnight
- Dia de Muertos school based activities
- Grade 5B Field Trip to Royal Museum
- JPI Parent Council Meeting via Teams @6:00 PM
- Hot Lunch: Carl's JR
- Picture Retakes
- Remembrance Day Celebration 10:30 AM
- Fall Break - No School