Section title text:  Recent News.

Logo for the 125th Anniversary of CCSD.The 2009-2010 School Year marks the
1Mother Mary Greene, fcJ.25th Anniversary of the Calgary Catholic School District

Mother Mary Greene, fcJ led St. Mary’s School as the first teacher, principal and superintendent of Calgary Catholic School Division. She was instrumental in developing the teacher certificate program, held the first official teaching certificate issued in Alberta and helped enshrine Catholic educational rights in the Provincial Constitution that was developed during that period.

You can access the official website of the Calgary Catholic School Division's anniversary year here.

The Eucharistic Celebration opening the 2009 -2010 School Year and celebrating the Calgary Catholic School District’s 125 years was held on August 25, 2009 at the Telus Convention Centre, Calgary, and was attended by ten FCJ Sisters who were proud and happy to celebrate the fruit began by their predecessors 125 years earlier.

The theme of this Opening Mass celebrated by Bishop Fred Henry was You Are TheLight of the World which will continue to be the theme for ongoing celebrations during the School Year.

To acknowledge the place that the FCJ sisters had in founding the Catholic School system in Calgary, the FCJs in Calgary were invited to attend the Mass and were given a special place of honour at this opening celebration.  

Dr. Lucy Millar, Chief Superintendent.The Convener, Judy MacKay and the Chief Superintendent, Dr. Lucy Millar (first woman superintendent since Mother Mary Greeene), welcomed us personally and  acknowledged the contribution of Mother Mary Green and the first FCJs  to the history of  Catholic Schools in Calgary.

Both addressed the congregation briefly before the Mass begun. In her remarks, Dr. Lucy Millar emphasized the rich history that began with the FCJ Sisters and the need now to go into the future united and strong, all supporting each other and working for the same end.

The Celebration began with a moving Litany sung by the choir, as a procession of banners representing each of the 140 schools in the district moved through the auditorium. Madeleine D’Houet French Immersion School and Mother Mary Green School were among those represented in the procession.

Pictures and text from the opening liturgy.

After the liturgy of the Word,  there was a beautiful ceremony of dedication, convened by Judy MacKay in which she said:

We dedicate ourselves anew to the ministry of Catholic Education as we have for 125 years. In doing so, we invite God to help us to fulfill our vocation, as we undertake our various tasks.  Each of us has a role to play; each of us has a place in this faith community.

This was followed by prayers of the faithful read by various representatives, among whom were various chaplains, principals and  Sr. Bonnie Moser who represented the FCJ Sisters.

All  present then joined in a prayer of dedication:

Lord God, source of all goodness,
we dedicate ourselves anew to the mission of Christ….
Inflame the light of faith in our hearts and minds.
Make us more and more radiant that we may be
the light of our Lord Jesus shining in the world……
May our communities be cities of light that are seen from afar
as visible signs of God’s active work in his people.

Portrait of Mother Mary Greene and photo of her teaching certificate.It was very impressive to hear this prayer being proclaimed by the more than four thousand teachers present in the auditorium. All must have felt encouraged and supported by this wonderful statement of faith. We FCJs certainly did.

One of the hymns used in the Mass seems to sum up the theme
for this year of celebration.

We are the light,
Light of the world
Shining for the world to see!

Darkness growing eve’rywhere
Hiding in the light.
How can our hope endure this endless night.

We are the light…..

Someone calls us each by name
Knowing our disguise,
To hear and act in faith, to realize that

We are the light……..

Listen to that still small voice
Calling us to life
To make a conscious choice to live in Christ.

We are the light….
                                 (Jesse Manibussen)

As we left the convention hall singing Shine, Jesus, Shine we
joined in the general celebratory feeling of thanksgiving and hope
for the future of education in Calgary. What was begun by Mother Mary Green in such a small way has borne enormous fruit in the
lives of so many.

May it continue to do so in the future.

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