The Catholic community gathered at special meetings of the Sarnia and Kent Deaneries, recently. The Sarnia Deanery was hosted at Our Lady of Mercy in Sarnia; and the Kent Deanery met at Blessed Sacrament in Chatham.
“These special meetings were an opportunity for our schools to showcase their important work in social justice initiatives, in alignment with the Board’s Pastoral Plan,” says Scott Johnson, Director of Education.
The Sarnia meeting, which was held on Wednesday, January 18, featured presentations from St. Joseph Catholic School in Corunna and St. Patrick’s Catholic High School. Students from St. Joseph spoke about a school-wide project last year to develop a pollinator garden at the school, to attract bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds, as an act of caring for God’s creation.
Students from St. Patrick’s Catholic High School’s Social Justice Club presented on a number of issues, including water justice for all, which included a successful petition to ban the selling of bottled water at school. The group has also focussed on poverty awareness and food insecurity. One of the social justice club’s goals is to ‘think globally and act locally.’
In Chatham, members of the Kent Deanery gathered on Thursday, January 19. Students from St. Joseph Catholic School in Tilbury gave a passionate presentation about their experiences at Ashley’s Place, a not-for-profit coffee and ice cream shop in the community, which is run by volunteers. It also includes a kitchen where volunteers make meals for the homeless. Through their support for Ashley’s Place, the students are living the mission of Catholic education and the goals Board’s pastoral plan.
The UCC Cares Club is a social justice outreach the focuses on global and local initiatives. Students talked about their mission, which is to Serve Like Christ, by being servant leaders, who live out the virtues of faith, hope and charity. Events have included a clean up of the Erieau Beach, the Lancers Scare Hunger food drive, a community Christmas outreach dinner, a ban the plastic water bottle campaign and furniture donations to schools in Angola through the Canadian Food For Children CK.
“I want to congratulate our students and staff at all schools right across the district, for the tremendous work they do every day as together we live our baptismal call to be the Hands and Feet of Christ to those who need our help,” says Mr. Johnson.