Celebrating Catholic Education Sunday - Nov. 4, 2018

A day to learn and share the gift of Catholic education!

+ Catholic Education Sunday is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions publicly funded Catholic schools have made in your child’s education, in the lives of your family, and the growth of your community.

+ Catholic schools are 100% Publicly Funded in Alberta, which means Catholic education is free and available to all students enrolled in a Catholic school.

+ Catholic schools are a definite and positive choice for many families, and that choice is being made as enrollment in Catholic schools, including STAR Catholic Schools, continues to grow.

+ Catholic schools and Catholic education are the definition of an inclusive education, as Catholic schools enroll students of all faiths and backgrounds. Many non-Catholic families desire the environment created at a Catholic school, and choose Catholic schools for this reason.

+ The word Catholic literally means universal, and in Catholic schools students are taught to respect the diversity of others.

+ As Catholic education and Catholic schools sincerely desire to uphold the dignity of the person, that creates strengthened relationships among students and teachers, and the home and school.

+ There are a number of efficiencies found between Catholic school divisions and their sister Public boards, such as in STAR Catholic with busing agreements to provide safe and reliable transportation for students.

+ Catholic schools are thankful for and blessed with many supporters. As the conversation around public funding for Catholic education continues, we ask you to share your stories of the benefits that publicly funded Catholic education has meant for your family.

Message from Archbishop Richard Smith on Catholic Education

Superintendent’s Message

Reflecting on Catholic education, it is impossible not to find comfort in the community created when a child attends a Catholic school. From the entire school, the teachers and parents, the local parish and the many supporters that volunteer or lend their voice for the betterment of their local Catholic school, all add to the success of Catholic education. A Catholic education is one that places a genuine and direct emphasis on the dignity of the human person. Our own STAR Catholic vision statement speaks to that in the words, crafted through an in-depth conversation with our parents, staff, students, and supporters: Souls Seeking Christ on a journey of faith, learning and love.

It’s in this vision, in the true commitment to the dignity of each person, and enthusiasm shown by supporters, that students achieve and grow with excellence in Catholic schools. In Catholic schools, Christ is at the centre, permeated throughout. That means Catholic schools proclaim the profound joy found in Christ, and His divine mission for us all. It’s this focus that allows Catholic schools to open students to exploring their talents academically, spiritually, and athletically. It’s this focus that puts Catholic schools, and specifically STAR Catholic among the top schools in the province in providing safe and caring schools. And, it’s this focus that gives way to the path forward for the tremendous stories of achievement we all are blessed to share in.

When talking with other parents, fellow parishioners, community members and your elected officials, share your positive story of Catholic education and the benefit publicly funded Catholic education means to your child, your family and your community!

God Bless!
Charlie Bouchard

A Letter on Catholic Education from the Catholic Bishops of Alberta

To download the letter, CLICK HERE

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In Alberta, the yearly celebration of Catholic Education Sunday is an opportunity for Catholic schools and our faith communities to promote their important and distinctive mission.

In keeping with the theme for this year’s Synod of Bishops: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, the theme for this Catholic Education Sunday is Rejoice and Be Glad. Our theme is further inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation and the call to holiness. It highlights the important role that our schools play in nurturing the call to holiness for our children and youth. Our schools also help students know Christ through religious education, prayer, and a safe, caring school community that encourages them to discern their vocations. Pope Francis reminds young people that Jesus looks to them and invites them to journey with him. They are urged to be open to God’s plan in becoming joyful disciples.

Catholic Schools, along with the family and the parish community, support our young people in their journey of faith. Teachers, students, parents and priests together are witnesses to, and agents of, the Good News proclaimed by Jesus Christ. This faith witness is described in the apostolic exhortation as the “saints next door”. It reminds us that in every circumstance there are people of faith who inspire us to respond openly to the love of God and to serve Him generously. Sustained by such a bold vision, Catholic Schools encourage students to grow in their faith, to live its principles and to act in ways that make a positive difference in their local communities and the global community.

The universal call to holiness has particular importance in the life of a Catholic School. Catholic education invites students to respond to the personal call of Jesus to embark on a journey of holiness. They are encouraged to grow in the knowledge of how God is active and present in their lives. They are called to enter into a living relationship with God.
Catholic schools put Christ, the witness of faith, and the teachings of the Catholic Church at the centre of the educational enterprise. By placing Christ at the centre of all they are and all they do, Catholic schools make sure that a student’s journey into adulthood is also a journey of faith. A journey which recognizes that true knowledge, learning, justice, peace and human freedom are a response of love to the God who is Love.

We know that life is not without its challenges and temptations, which can distract our children and youth from responding to the call to holiness. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5:12). This scripture quote, which roots the apostolic exhortation, recognizes that there will be many challenges in the quest for holiness. However, these challenges are not met with fear. They are met with courage and an assured confidence of the abiding presence of God. It is this confidence rooted in Christian hope that guides our Catholic Schools to instill and nourish, through many learning experiences, the belief that each child is created in the image of God and with God, all things are possible.

We, the Alberta and NWT Bishops, are grateful for parents who entrust their children to our Catholic School system and for parishes that minister to them. On Catholic Education Sunday, we express our appreciation for the administrative, professional, pastoral and support staff, who are dedicated to the noble task of assisting children and youth to follow the call to greater holiness. They help students grow in the assured belief that God journeys with them.

May God bless you and continue to sustain your faith-filled mission with His grace.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Catholic Bishops of Alberta and NWT

Most Reverend Richard W. Smith Archbishop of Edmonton

Most Reverend William T. McGrattan Bishop of Calgary

Most Reverend David Motiuk
Bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton

Most Reverend Gerard Pettipas CSsR Archbishop Grouard-McLennan

Most Reverend Paul Terrio Bishop of St. Paul

Most Reverend Jon Hansen CSsR Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith