Anyone who knows me well knows I love salty snacks. My appetite for salty snacks is insatiable. In accepting the invitation to write for Faithfully, I would wager that my journey as a Catholic educator is much like my fanaticism of salty snacks; I am always left thirsting for more.
My journey began at home. My parents instilled sound Catholic roots. We were a hybrid family of sorts as my mother’s family practiced in the Ukrainian Catholic tradition; Dad’s family practiced in the Roman Catholic rite. We had well-rounded faith experiences and traditions that I grew to love and yearn for after I left home. My children grew up in a small Northern BC parish. During those years I was teaching in the public school system as the advantage to attend Catholic school for my children was a 90-minute bus ride one way. However, during those years I worked alongside a wonderful vice principal who happened to be the deacon of the local Anglican parish; a drought for theology and learning about faith was non-existent.
Fast forward 20 years later, I have been blessed to teach with STAR Catholic Schools (Leduc) and it’s as if my craving won’t diminish. I am constantly seeking out ways to improve my craft; there is joy in those moments. I love witnessing others, especially students, on their journey toward Christ.
Two years ago when my superintendent came to the school to tell me that the division selected me for the CCSSA Excellence in Catholic Education Award I was so stunned I cried. Receiving recognition for a faith that I boldly and proudly share is one of my greatest treasures. Evangelization comes in many forms. It is touching that the Division claims I am influential in modelling our faith. When Administration say my work is all done in His name, I know I am at home. Catholic Education is meant for me.
In January 2019 our Division set out on our GrACE journey. Since then, I’ve lost track of how often people inquire if I am involved in GrACE because it is “perfect for you!” The legacy we have in free publicly funded Catholic Education in Alberta is undeniably one of the best gifts. Our schools are deeply faith-filled, our teachers are models of the faith; our parishes are the backbone of our faith communities. It takes seconds to share a meaningful message about our Catholic identity. Although a journey in faith requires a daily commitment, one that for me seamlessly occurs, opportunity awaits. Be bold, be brave, share your love for Catholic Education.
Yes, I’m still thirsting for more. I don’t know if it has something to do with the ‘cheezies’ I ate while writing this article, or truly I am ‘salt of the earth’; called by Christ to be salt of the earth and light to the world (Matthew 5: 13). Be influential, be an advocate, and share your story. Be a Grateful Advocate for Catholic Education.
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers