Monday, 16 January 2017

Altar'd in Faith

I have the pleasure of working in a Catholic school division. In the province of Alberta, we are very fortunate to have fully funded Catholic schools. This blog is not going to be about the history or politics of Catholic education, but the fact that it exists sets the context for it.

For the past number of years in Elk Island Catholic, our superintendent, Mr. Michael Hauptman (@Mike_Hauptman) has introduced different faith themes that have formed the focus of our faith development. In year 1 it was Mission:Possible, year 2 featured Mr. Potato Head and a theme of Many Parts, One Body in Christ, and last year featured the question, "Where is Jesus?" with the answer, "Right Here, Right Now!"

This year, the theme focuses on the question, "How are we altered?" The answer...we are:


The altar is a central location in the Catholic church. It is the location where the bread, the Eucharist, transforms into the body of Christ. A body of Christ that nourishes our soul. Over the course of the year, students will be taught and will gain a better understanding of this most critical part of our Catholic faith. I for one am very excited.

Developing our theme has been supported by guest speakers that are brought in to share their knowledge. This year, staff of EICS were blessed to have the knowledge, humour, and faith of Father Leo Patalinghug. From Baltimore, MD, Fr. Leo has started a movement to bring families together through food. He is "master chef" who hosts his own cooking webshow "Meals Before Grace" and has even beaten renowned chef Bobby Flay on his Food Network Show, "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".

For Fr. Leo, using food and family meals is a time to share and to grow as as a family and as Christians.

St. Martin's will be looking for opportunities to break bread together and grow as a school family. If you have any ideas or would like to help us throughout the year, please feel free to contact me. We can certainly use as much help as we can get to make this year an absolutely amazing one.


So, I began to write this much earlier in the year and as happens, things got super busy and I have not found the time to finish it. But, alas, here I go.

St. Martin's mixed things up this year and had supper together as part of our meet the teacher event. It was more of a welcome back to school event and we were very excited that students and staff were able to work together to prepare a meal and share it with our families. It was great to see students chopping vegetables in order to make our turkey soup. We had over 100 students and parents attend and this type of event will certainly feature next year when we welcome families to St. Martin's for 2017-2018.

But, the year is not over yet and we are always looking for ways to get together as a school community. The next opportunity will be January 27. As I have mentioned in the past, I have found a new love of board games. My cousin Heidi would never believe it because she used to thump me at Monopoly so often that I swore I would never play again! But, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan (Catan), and Pandemic have changed my mind. I love interacting with my family and friends while playing board games. We will be hosting a family game night on the 27th. Please check out our RSVP page at ( and we hope to see you on the 27th!

Also coming up in February, we are hosting a Winter Family Dance. We are still working on the details, but DJ Rudy will be spinning some tunes for us on Thursday February 16. It should be a great evening, so please mark your calendars.