‘Inspired by Christ on a journey to encounter, nurture and serve.’
Inspiré par Dieu dans une aventure à découvrir, grandir et servir.’
Our division this year has chosen to embrace a theme that will develop and bear fruit over a three year focus. At Red Deer Catholic, we are a school board that is ‘Inspired by Christ’ as we Aspire to Excellence. Our division theme for the next three years fits under that overarching mission and invites our schools to bring the theme to life within their own school communities in the way that best meets the needs of their community.
As we allow ourselves to be inspired by Christ and inspire to be Christ-like, there is a journey that moves through encountering Christ, being nurtured by Christ, and then serving others for Christ. We will keep our division theme consistent for three years as we journey together through this movement to and continue to invite Christ to inspire our students, staff and school communities in all we do.
For three years schools will highlight our one theme of ‘Inspired by Christ on a journey to encounter, nurture and serve.’ We invite schools to allow this theme to guide their school-based focuses and goals in their own unique ways. The characteristics of Catholic education - humanness, rationality, hospitality, community, sacramentality, spirituality, justice, and tradition can be used to support this theme as schools desire based on their own school goals and needs. Our Faith theme will call us to become active welcomers: meeting people where they are, understanding their situation, seeing the world from their point of view, appreciating their contribution, and collaborating in their growth.
It may be that schools choose to focus separately on ‘Encounter’ this year, ‘Nurture’ next year, and ‘Serve’ the third year, although each of these elements are revolving aspects and each continue to be a part of each school year. It is important to choose how to allow this theme to blossom within your own schools and classrooms as you see fit, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide your activities and implementation of this theme.
As we focus on helping our students and staff to Encounter Christ, it will be important for students to encounter Christ in the Mass, and for us to share the joy of our faith, share stories of our own experiences of God, and invite students and others to share their faith. It is important to help each student discover for themselves who Jesus is, and to invite them to share their relationship with Jesus. Whether it be initial encounters with God, or simply helping students see God at work in their lives and in the world around them we will help students to personalize their own relationship with Jesus. Pope Francis calls us to a culture of encounter. He writes, “Building a culture of encounter means that we, as a people, should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning project(s) that include everyone.”
As we focus on helping our students and staff be Nurtured by Christ, it may be a time to help our students know more about the Catholic faith. A time for knowledge sharing and community building in our faith. A time for highlighting the promises of our faith, and the beauty of a life lived with Christ. We are nurtured through the Mass, through prayer, through the Sacraments, and through community. Our new theme will help us to appreciate how vitally important it is to feel we belong. Our desire is for everyone throughout our division to know in their heart that they belong to our RDCRS faith community.
As we focus on our students and staff Serving others for Christ, our school communities will highlight the importance of living out our faith by serving and helping others, especially those most vulnerable and in need. We will help our students know the reason for helping others, because it is God’s will and so we can become more holy and Christ-like ourselves. We will celebrate being the hands and feet of Christ, and help our students to grow in compassion, love and humility while strengthening the lives of people in our community and around the world. Jesus’ whole approach to teaching was marked by a deep engagement with people’s everyday lives and favoring those who most need it.
We invite you to embrace and celebrate the division theme this year, and pray for God’s blessings as it impacts the faith and lives of our students, staff and community through the amazing work that our RDCRS schools will do over the next three years of its implementation.