As part of Catholic Education Week, the Centre-Est Francophone Catholic School Board arranged for six hundred students, teachers, administrators to visit Notre Dame Cathedral this morning. Several hundred arrived just before 9am and an equal number came at 10am.
The early arrivals took part in an exercise of following a foldout of the Cathedral and some of its striking works of art, seeking out what was peculiar about each (one of the windows with Bishop Guigues' coat of arms is short three stars on the left side; the prophet decorating the pulpit is missing a finger on his hand). The folder contains a great number of interactive features that express the worth of "Discovering Your Cathedral".
Betweeen 10 and 11 we had a session that was partly prayerful (I lead the assembly in prayer and spoke of the role of the shepherd--the bishop--in the church), partly informative (the history of the struggle by Catholic parents to have their children educated in the French language), partly testimony (a video of youngsters speaking of how their faith and learning come together in Catholic schools) and several songs expressing the spirituality of Catholic schools by a high school choir from Franco-Ouest secondary school.
Those students who had not been able to do the "spiritual treasure quest" before the assembly were able to do so afterwards. Everyone was on their way by noon. It was a happy and energizing morning.
PASTORAL LETTER ON CATHOLIC EDUCATION
This is Part 3
Excellence of Catholic Education
Catholic teachers are dedicated to providing the best possible instruction in all subject areas. Catholic schools are their own unique manifestations of Christian community, whose primary purpose is to educate children in faith and in all other subject areas.
Since each and every child is created and loved by God, each with a unique giftedness and purpose, Catholic teachers are deeply committed to providing the best quality education.
The full human potential of each and every child can only be fully realized through an education that incorporates the spiritual into all aspects of school life.
This evening I took the Ottawa River Parkway to the Island Park exit and headed for Westboro where Bishop Carl Reed (Ontario suffragan bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, with whom I have become acquainted through the Pro-Life cause) was holding the vernissage of his exhibition of photographs taken in his garden, on his pastoral journeys, recent vacations and overseas travel.
The exhibition at the Ottawa Bagel Shop (1321 Wellington Street) will run for a few more weeks. Sales will assist with the costs of his cathedral and be used in his charitable works. I purchased a few cards to send to folks for special occasions: my only concern--will the label on the back, "Photographs by the Bishop" give recipients the wrong impression?