School board holds opening mass

By Frank Flegel

REGINA — There is something special about Catholic education, said Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan in his homily at the mass opening the school year for the Regina Catholic School system. The mass, held Aug. 28 at Resurrection Parish, was attended by about 1,000 teachers, staff and friends. It also featured special recognition and presentation to three sisters and a priest in recognition of 50 and 60 years service to the church.

Bohan said there is something special about the schools he visits during the year. “There is a difference found in our schools compared to other schools,” said the archbishop. That difference is the way students are treated in the school system and that difference, he said, comes from the faith and the way it is practiced.

There is no one way in which each person lives the faith, he said, “but when each of us lives that faith in us we are an example of how good and how special that faith has been for us.” That, he said, makes us witnesses to Christ “and missionaries as Pope Francis continually calls us to be.”

The archbishop performed two small ceremonies within the mass: in the first he asked all to raise their hands as he blessed them as instruments of reaching out to people and in the second he blessed special shirts to be worn by kindergarten children. The Habicht family, including Malcolm who will attend kindergarten this year, mother Kyla and father Mark represented all families and children who will attend kindergarten for the first time this year.

FIRST-TIME TEACHERS — First-time teachers Chantel Brule-Cooper and Mary Alice Ennis are excited and a little nervous as they begin their teaching careers in the Regina Roman Catholic School System. Chantel will be teaching Grade 1 and Mary Alice will teach physed in Grades 1 to 8. Both received their education degree from the University of Regina. (Flegel photo)

Board chair Vicky Bonnell in her address following the mass briefly reviewed significant events of the last year including the announcement of new schools to ready for the 2017-18 school year and the re-build of Sacred Heart School.

“Increasing enrolments is good news but it also poses challenges,” she said, and the new schools will go a long way to meet the school division’s needs. She also announced that the board is initiating a visioning process this year which will involve widespread consultations.

Following mass, Bonnell and director of education Rob Currie recognized and presented prints of Regina Artist Wilf Perreault paintings to three Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM) and Msgr. Ken Miller for special anniversaries of their years of service to the church. Sisters Mel Hruska and Hilda Lang were honoured for 60 years of service and Sister Anna Aulie along with Miller for 50 years of service. Miller had also served as vicar general of the Regina Archdiocese and Sister Anna Aulie is on the RNDM leadership team for Canada.

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