Recently East Central Alberta Catholic School Division (ECCS) hosted its annual Mission and Ministry Day. The divisional full day faith event is facilitated to help foster and enrich our spiritual journey in loving and serving God. ECCS has developed a four-year faith plan based on the divisional touchstone which reads, “We teach; we share; we learn; we care. Growing in Christ believing that we can make a difference.”
The focus of our year one faith plan is the beginning of the touchstone, “we teach.” During this year, we focus on answering God’s vocational calling to be authentic Catholic educators. The scriptural foundation for the school year’s faith focus is from Romans 8:28, “we know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” What a relevant scriptural passage this is in kicking off the four-year faith initiative! We extend to Father Moses of Blessed Sacrament Church in Wainwright, as well as Father Christopher at St. Mary’s Church in Provost, a sincere thank you for wonderfully celebrating our opening liturgy.
Educating within a Catholic school is a God given vocation, a calling, and not just a job. God has given each of us unique abilities, talents, and gifts that we are summoned upon to give freely and to teach the Good News as Jesus Christ did. What a beautiful and tremendously magnificent responsibility this is. Every day we receive the greatest gift, that being the children of God, to which we are called upon to educate, love, care for, and to build God’s kingdom.
Often, the best professional development and faith enrichment comes from those that we work with daily. Every person has a story to tell and we wanted to capture the unique and sometimes challenging faith journeys travelled in answering God’s call to be Catholic educators. With this in mind ECCS along with Dr. Annicchiarico as our guest speaker, facilitated a day centered around the power of story telling. The telling of personal faith stories takes courage. Three administrators and two senior administrators shared their personal testimonials of being called by God. Three story telling topics consisting of being “Called,” “Blessed,” and “Entrusted” were delved into by our presenters. Each testimonial was incredibly personal and each resonated in different ways. All the stories touched upon the truths of humanity, being sinners, facing struggles, enduring hardships, and ultimately finding joy and peace in recognizing and responding to God’s call!
After each testimonial staff members were provided with guiding questions that helped to foster further story telling. The stories told were authentic, sometimes emotional, and there seemed to be a general mood of sincere joy and gratitude. Stories have the power to unite us and they bind us together as witnesses of God’s love and mercy. Heartfelt story telling is a remarkable way of passing on the truth and wisdom gained along our life journey. At the end of the day, we realized that we are all wonderfully created and uniquely gathered to vocationally answer the call of God. We are so very blessed to be a part of His plan.
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers