St. Patrick High School has a chapel. It is sacred space in the school used for class masses and prayer services, for quiet reflection, and for fellowship. Prayer is an integral part of the life of St. Patrick High school. As a faith community we support each other through prayer, in both times of sadness and joy. We also pray for the needs of others; in our families, community and our world.
We gather as a faith community at various times throughout the year. We celebrate school-wide masses for Thanksgiving, Advent/Christmas, and Easter. We also have special liturgies such as Stations of the Cross, during Holy Week, distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, and a memorial service on Remembrance Day. Additional "optional" masses are held during the lunch period during Advent and Lent. Parents are welcome to attend all school masses and liturgies.
St. Patrick High School is guided by the Catholic Social teaching that helping the poor and the lowly is a DUTY, in our mission to be Christ's body in the world. We support a wide range of charities and organizations, from local to global. We sponsor a foster child and family, both in India, through our annual Shrove Tuesday breakfast, and Christmas Cheer becomes a school project that also sparks some fun competition between classes! Our excursion to Dominican Republic, every second year, provides participants with a first-hand experience of what it is like to live in 3rd world conditions.
Parish & Diocesan Liason
Chaplaincy plays a key role in linking students to the "wider Church" through parishes, diocesan events, and even to the world-wide Church. Students are also encouraged to use websites such as the site of the sites of the local diocese (www.dotb.ca), the Canadian Bishop's Conference (www.cccb.ca) and the Vatican (www.vatican.va). In the photo above, students are excited to welcome the World Youth Day cross in January 2002, on its cross-country tour before finally arriving in Toronto for World Youth Day in July 2002.
A key role of Chaplaincy is to provide students with counselling surrounding issues of faith, life issues, and crises in their lives. The Chaplain directs students to other resources available in the community, when professional counselling is required.
St. Patrick High School provides opportunities for students to retreat from the activities of everyday life and participate in retreats for different age levels. A school-wide 24-hour "ThinkFast" retreat is held to raise awareness of social justice issues, while at the same time, raising funds for the poor. We also promote the Diocesan Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) 3-day retreat, which is designed to help seniors in high school discern life choices rooted in faith. During Holy Week students take part in "Stations of the Cross" with characters being played by other students.
Part of the Chaplaincy program is to respond to crisis situations that impact the school community or individuals within it. Response can consist of prayer, prayer services, referral to social agencies or services, support groups, to mention a few. The Chaplain also serves as a link to services such as the school's lunch program, and St. Vincent de Paul food hampers (from St. Agnes parish depot). The Chaplain is NOT a professional counsellor and therefore referal to specific, professional counsellors is a key role.