After leading a dedication liturgy March 23 at Holy Family Catholic School, students gathered around a photo of Msgr. Len Morand. The school and its chapel have been dedicated to Morand, who served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon for some 51 years before his death in 2007. (Photo by Kiply Yaworski)
SASKATOON — Students filled the gymnasium at Holy Family Catholic School March 23 to celebrate the dedication of their school and its chapel to the late Msgr. Len Morand.
Morand died in June 2007 after serving 51 years as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
Holy Family students led a Liturgy of the Word to mark the dedication. “We pray in thanksgiving for Msgr. Morand; may the memory of his service to other people be kept,” students prayed. “Keep the memory of Msgr. Morand alive in our school and may the special plaque that we display in our chapel be cherished.”
Terry Cratty, who served in youth ministry at Holy Family Parish when Morand was pastor, shared memories of his mentor and friend.
“Monsignor was the holiest and the best man that I have ever known,” Cratty told the children, who listened intently and looked at images in a slide show of Morand’s life.
“Monsignor was originally from a small community just outside Windsor, Ont. He was one of nine children, two girls and seven boys. Six of those boys became priests,” Cratty said.
“Since your school is dedicated to Monsignor, there are some very important things that you should know about him. Firstly, there was no greater advocate for youth in our diocese,” Cratty said of the priest and one-time teacher, who also worked with the Catholic board of education.
“As pastor of Holy Family, Monsignor came to all the elementary feeder schools, he came to all their sporting activities, and most importantly he prayed for all the students that were in the schools, and that was something really exciting for you, because I know right now Monsignor is praying for each one of you.”
Cratty described Morand as a man of wisdom, of prayer and of great love. “Monsignor was a good shepherd and he cared for everyone. He founded Guadalupe House, served in many parishes and in every level of leadership in our diocese,” he said. “Your school is truly blessed to be dedicated to him.”
The dedication concluded with the assembly singing the school song, with signing by school Sign Club members from Grades 1 to 3.
After the celebration, student leaders brought a gift of candy around to students in every classroom to mark the special event.