Category Archives: Faith Life

If I Were Shakespeare, This Would be a Couplet

Good morning, Oki, Bonjour and Konnichiwa Catholic Central Community.

Thanks to Mrs. Hartman and “Cougars With Quills” for inviting me to submit a blog post on the occasion of my graduation from Catholic Central.  Shakespeare liked to end his Acts with a beautifully succinct couplet – two lines that effectively summarized the preceding events.  Would that I had Shakespeare’s talent.  This one is going to be a little longer.

I have been a teacher for longer than most of my students have been alive.  That truly is the definition of life-long learning.   After that length of time, one should have managed to internalize a few lessons. 

The first lesson, to use the words of the writer Robertson Davies, is simply this:  It does no good to be afraid.  In other words,  Be Brave.  Anxiety is not the same thing as fear; anxiety is nature’s way of telling us that we need to be prepared because something unique or new or unexpected is happening.  Anxiety will remind you to make some preparations, to ask for advice and to proceed with a degree of caution.  Fear is different.  Fear paralyzes our will and prevents us from action.  So I say again – Be Brave.  Don’t be afraid to fail, to make mistakes, to look foolish.  Try new things.  Stand up for what you believe.  Speak out when you see injustice.  Take on challenges and try something new even if you don’t know the outcome.  At CCH, you are part of a community who will support you,  and I hope we’ve taught you a little about the importance and power of prayer.  The Universe was designed to work.  Don’t be afraid to discover all its infinite possibilities for you.

The second lesson: Details matter.  When we talked to you about “striving for excellence” or being held to a higher standard, we were talking to you about the importance of paying attention to details – or recognizing that “good enough” is not enough.  (If you were at the closing Mass, you can insert the Van Halen and M and Ms story here.)  So – when I made your lives difficult over things like hats, and cell phones, and dress code, and being late – it’s because I want you to be more than just “good enough”.  It is a competitive world out there and the fine details matter – like saying “Please” and “Thank-you”, cleaning up your table in the cafeteria, being on time, being respectful during prayer or moments of silence.  When you pay attention to those details, you show your best self. 

The last lesson:  Everyone you meet in your life has something to teach you.   That means that every person you meet has a gift for you and, in return, you are teaching others, whether you realize it or not.  Ideally, it’s a positive lesson – someone models for you an action or says something wise and memorable.  Sometimes, it’s a negative lesson- one that leaves us thinking, “I’ll NEVER be like that”.  Either way, everyone you meet can teach you something,  and, by the way, I mean – meet face-to-face- not through (anti-) social media.  If you recognize that everyone has a gift for you, then you will automatically treat each person you encounter with respect and compassion.  You will see that every person is truly a potential teacher and student, and you will be more likely to grow from your experience.  One of the most cherished memories I will take of my years here at CCH are the many  gifts and teachings I have received from the students I encountered every day. 

Like the graduates, in September I’m going to be in a new place, surrounded by a  different culture, hopefully learning a new language and taking the first steps on the next part of my life.  Thanks to the CCH community, I can do that without fear, with a focus on excellence and with a lot of gifts that I know will help me on my journey.  I hope you can all say the same, when it comes time for you to move on from CCH.

May the Lord bless you and keep you all, safe in the palm of His hand.  You have made 37 years seem like a couplet.  Thanks.  It was fun.

  • Carol Koran

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It’s Heart Day! Give Blood.

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day one may associate with bestowing friends and loved ones with colourful paper valentines, cheap candy, chocolate and flowers. Valentine’s Day, of course, is named for Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr, who, as legend has it, married young couples who were in love before they went off to war, which was frowned upon by the church and army at the time. However tragic or romantic (depending on your view), his selflessness has lived on to today.

Although not many of us can attribute our legacies to marrying kids hyped on dopamine and serotonin, we can put ourselves out there as well. How about saving a life? Here’s your chance: the CCH Blood Drive. Throughout the whole month of March, students have the opportunity to compete between all the Lethbridge high schools to see who can donate the most blood for Canadian Blood Services. There are a few restrictions, however. Legally, only students aged 17 or older can give blood, but that doesn’t mean the blood drive is limited to them!

Student Council has been working on some excellent posters to hang around the school to get the word out. The Wellness Committee will also be talking with various classes about the cause, encouraging people to get involved. Everyone knows some adults in some way or another, and if they give blood on account of CCH, it’s another token towards our winning, but more importantly, toward helping people out and saving lives.

On March 8th and March 15th, Canadian Blood Services will be coming to Campus East’s cafeteria, and any student can learn what their blood type is, and how rare it is. This is open to anyone at all, so don’t be afraid to get your finger pricked; it’ll only hurt a little bit.

For more information on the Blood Drive, you can contact Mr. Perron, the orchestrator of this event. To make an appointment to give blood, students, parents, and teachers alike can contact 1-888-2-DONATE.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Many things come from your heart, including love, but more importantly, blood goes through your heart, (and your whole body, really!) and when it comes to a choice between a cartoon character saying something cheesy on a card, or saving someone from certain death, which would you pick? As the Canadian Blood Services say, “It’s in you to give.”

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Emily Borthwick is a grade ten student at CCH. She enjoys reading an odd mix of dystopian YA books and classic books, as well as writing sarcastic comments into her presentations and then editing them out because she knows she can’t write things like that. Her favourite things about CCH are the quarter system and her teachers.

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CCH People to Know – Mrs. Spearman

Although my time so far at CCH has been short, it is clear to me already that there are certain people here who every student should get to know. Mrs. Spearman is absolutely one of those people! I first met Mrs. Spearman when I was involved in Santa’s Anonymous during the first quarter and she kept me connected while I was unable to attend the weekly meetings at the East campus. All through Santa’s she continued to check up on the students at the West campus who were a part of the club to make sure that we knew where we needed to be and what the next event was. Even though we had only met a few times for Santa’s Anonymous she always remembered the students who had come together for Santa’s and that made me feel a little more like I belonged in my new school of CCH.

Mrs. Spearman always had a smile on her face and every time she saw a student she recognized in the hallway she said hello and asked how they were doing. The atmosphere on the West campus was one of my favourite parts of taking classes there and Mrs. Spearman’s friendliness added a huge amount to this atmosphere of an overall calm and close knit community. She was always up for friendly conversation and it made me feel like I had someone to talk to should I ever have a need for this connection.When I think about Mrs. Spearman, two parts of Catholic Central’s creed as defined by the school website come to mind: to be a community of welcome, and to be a community of service. Mrs. Spearman helped me to feel welcomed as an individual and showed me what it meant to use our time and talents to help others in need both through Santa’s Anonymous and the help she gave to the teachers at the school.

She was always popping in and out of classrooms helping teachers to get things printed and copied, so that the students didn’t have to lose valuable teaching time because the class was short a few note packages. It really was a bit of a mystery to me how she could be in and out of so many classrooms and help so many teachers all day long, while still having the energy to say hello to every student she knew as she passed by them in the hallway. My first few weeks at the West campus would have been a lot different if Mrs.Spearman hadn’t been there to make me feel welcome and updated on everything I felt like I was missing at the always bustling East Campus. For that reason and many others Mrs. Spearman is an important person for all students, especially grade 10’s and Westsiders, to get to know.

~ Hannah

fullsizeoutput_14a4Hannah Couture is a grade ten student at CCH. She has a love for reading good books and for writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her analyzing music and watching Montreal Canadiens’ games on TV. She’s brand new to CCH, but so far her favourite thing is Flex time and being in the Honours classes.

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Christmas in the City

Christmas in the City of Lethbridge is an exciting time for students to take a break from their everyday lives, and take part in celebrations in their community that only happen at this time of year.

Among other things the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is having a winter light festival from December of 2016 to February 2, 2017. There will be over 96 000 lights on display, and a concession will be on location serving hot chocolate, beaver tails (a fried bread snack), and other seasonal treats and beverages. Hopefully the first year of lighting up the garden is a success and the tradition will carry on in Christmas seasons to come.

If you’re too cold to brave the weather of the light festive, the Galt Museum is offering a Christmas card building workshop. You can use archival photos, scrapbook paper, and other supplies to make beautiful holiday cards on December 7th.

If you’re still eager for more, consider purchasing tickets to go and view the play TINSEL at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. Tinsel is a comedy and song piece put together and performed by New West Theatre. It runs nightly at 7:30 from December 12th until December 31st.

Our school schedules can make the Christmas season a busy time and we often forget to visit with our family and friends under the pressure of our school responsibilities. The events above are all great ways to support our city’s culture and are opportunities to rebuild those connections we may have been neglecting. Christmas is all about the spirit of the season, making connections, as well as connecting to God. Weekly advent masses are available at multiple churches in the city on both Sundays and Saturdays, so don’t forget to keep Jesus in your thoughts as you celebrate Christmas in the city.

  • Hannah

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Hannah Couture is a grade ten student at CCH. She has a love for reading good books and for writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her analyzing music and watching Montreal Canadiens’ games on TV. She’s brand new to CCH, but so far her favourite thing is Flex time and being in the Honours classes.

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Where did the Spirit go?

Religion. What is it? Is it some class you’re forced to take? Or just another class to take and easy to ditch out on?

Where did our spirituality go? We get so caught up in our daily lives, going to school, playing sports, doing art, chilling out with friends or just working, it’s so easy to forget the little things. We forget to stop and take in the moment. To be thankful that we breathe and are able to eat and have a roof over our heads. It’s time to stop and think about the ones who influence your life, whether it’s your family or friends, God, or even teachers. When is the last time you were truly thankful for everything they have done for you?

When the word “God” is said, what comes to your mind? Catholic, Hindu, Baptist, Muslim or even an atheist– what is your perception of “God”? Where does your spirituality stand as of today? Are you close to God, or far away? In today’s chaotic life, do we leave enough room for God to embrace us?

As a high schooler at Catholic Central, I ask myself “Where is the true spirit of Catholic Central?” Morning prayers are filled with long silences as the teacher preaches on, some students may snicker, waiting for the “chore” to end. Do you listen to the words in a prayer? It doesn’t matter what faith background you come from, if you allow yourself to listen to the words, they are a blessing of the day. Feel honoured that your teacher wants you to have a blessed day. When Mr. Spiess does his legendary prayers, he prays with his whole soul and heart, and that right there is beauty in itself: blessing and wishing all of his students well throughout their daily lives; we should feel honoured that someone would care so much. The passion he has for his spirituality shines in his prayers. Do we truly listen to our teacher with open hearts and minds?

In this chaotic high school life, isn’t it okay to just allow yourself to listen? To become one with that peaceful silence? I have seen many people afraid and almost ashamed of the spiritual side of Catholic Central, to listen and embrace all the words that are spoken. To allow themselves to be silent and listen, this is where most find God. Silence can be your greatest enlightenment.

Here at CCH we take such pride in our sports and fine arts that sometimes we forget the simple thing that brought us together here in the first place: our God. Having masses before a big game settles the moment and allows everyone to remember that we are all the children of God here to come together to celebrate what we love and take pride in. We are all here to learn and shape ourselves in his image. Take pride in bowing your head before a big game, or before you step onto the stage. We are a Catholic community after all so take some pride into it!

Do you ever look up at the sunset, all those beautiful colours and the shape of the world, even the smell of the morning dew in the fall? It’s so peaceful and still. It’s a feeling of complete warmth and comfort. That’s my association of what God is. It’s what I feel in my heart is true. We all get so caught up in life that we lose touch with that side. Smell the flowers and take it easy. Embrace every moment you have on this world. Allow yourself to be calm and silent; it’s as simple and easy as the wind’s breeze. Be respectful, and don’t forget why you came to Catholic Central in the first place. Embracing the spiritual side of yourself can give you peace and calmness in the chaos of the world . Remember, everyone has a different view of God. It could be the sunset, or the compassion you see in others. Just take the time to connect to your roots, and to be grateful for everything you have in life. You are perfect and you are beautiful in every way. God has a voice and it’s through his people. It’s through YOU.

So to all my brother and sisters, just sit and listen. Only then is when you will truly hear God.

  • Tristen

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Tristen Cook is a grade twelve student at CCH. She is constantly on her feet, busy with school and working full time. When she does have spare time she enjoys meditating and reading. She also enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and exploring. Her favourite thing about CCH is the teaching staff. They’ve treated her like family and made her feel like she’s at home.

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