On a December evening a couple seeks a place to rest, as the young woman is with child. An innkeeper turns them away and as it grows cold and dark, it looks as though they may not find comfort for the night. But, they carry on and find a humble resting place. Their long journey is over as they are invited to stay in a tiny stable. And there, amongst the animals, Christ is born.
As Christmas approaches, we are reminded of the story of Christ’s birth, but of the many lessons from it that of the innkeeper is an interesting one to consider. Joseph and Mary are turned away, told there is no room at the inn.
What would happen if we all had the same answer to others in need?
When there is a need, do we simply say there is no room, or do we, as the stable owner did, open the door?
In STAR Catholic, the concept of social justice and the act of giving is critical to the development of our students, and is embraced by our staff and our Board of Trustees.
Though there are many examples of our classrooms, our schools and local communities coming together to open the door for others, a recent example saw our whole school division step up.
Catholic Social Services held Uplift: Day of Mercy, in October. The event supported the needs of those in the poorer sections of the Archdiocese who were struggling and were able to get a little relief in the form of coats and clothes for the winter, or haircuts and family portraits for those who simply couldn’t afford a basic expense that many of us take for granted.
STAR Catholic took this event as an opportunity to collectively open the door and went to work collecting necessities, including coats and hoodies. Division-wide the donations were overwhelming and helped make that event a success, as STAR Catholic provided the most donations of all partnering organizations.
Another example is one STAR Catholic’s Board of Trustees continues to support. The gift of Catholic, publicly-funded education isn’t accessible in all parts of the country. To help in making Catholic education available across the country, the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) established an endowment fund to help fund Catholic education where it is not publically funded in Canada.
Our Board collects money at each Board meeting for this cause and at its annual Reflection Day. To begin the school year, staff are encouraged and generously donate to the Toonies for Tuition campaign, which is also supported by STAR Catholic Grade 12 grads.
CCSTA established this Endowment Fund in 2005 to assist students in Catholic schools with their tuition costs in provinces with limited or no public funding, and STAR Catholic is proud of the donations received throughout the Division and honoured to assist in providing Catholic education to students and families throughout Canada.
These are only a couple small examples from our STAR Catholic community, but as we see from the stable owner, small gestures can mean the world.
In this Christmas season, may the Holy Spirit inspire you and your family to be that stable owner for someone else or find that stable owner when you yourself are in need.
On behalf of STAR Catholic School Division and its Board of Trustees, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools has more than 3,900 students in 11 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin.