that reality may be understood
On November 15, 2016, the students in Grades 4-8 performed a musical cantata in celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The project actually started quite simply, with Fr. Geoffrey and a few staff brainstorming about creating a production to celebrate the jubilee year, but in true St. Charles style, it grew quickly. Soon SCCS was reaching out to Sr. Lesley and Imee at House of Peace, Steve Denby and his Bisons Men’s Choir, Msgr. Buyachok, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, the local Archbishops….well, to make a long story short – it was huge!
The project was rife with symbolism. For example:
- The beautiful arched ceilings of the cathedral symbolized the little bridges that were built from one community with another throughout the project, like one heart string at a time!
- The script enabled children teach while the Friends from House of Peace, a multi-faith organization, lead the gathering in prayer.
- A dramatic moment was when the men walked into the Church, and joined the children’s choir, emphasizing leadership by example.
Attended by over 800 people from all three dioceses and beyond, the event was a truly memorable occasion. To see a full length video of the production, please go to: https://vimeo.com/194291166/f1f227da4d
Excerpt from the Program notes to the Cantata to Celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy:
November 15, 2016
What a whirlwind this year has been! Last November on this date I was in the Vatican attending an Education Congress together with over 1000 other school leaders. At the conclusion of the congress, His Holiness, Pope Francis, reminded us that Catholic schools are to be Christ-centered communities where students can encounter transcendence and genuine relationships. With that in mind, he shared his hope that our students would get beyond our walls and mingle with people as “it is from the peripheries that reality may be understood”. He ended his talk by imploring those of us working in schools to make the jubilee year really count in our school communities.
And so we did.
Tonight culminates a year of students, K-8, going outside the walls of comfort and interacting with others in a genuine exchange: We stepped outside the boundaries of our Archdiocese, outside of our neighborhood. We joined with people of different generations, different faiths, and different cultures in a meaningful way. We learned diverse music, created holy doors and spent time in this architectural masterpiece. We interacted with the poor and the homeless. And with each new challenge, the students who began the journey as followers, have gradually became the teachers and the leaders.
It is with that foundation of enriched experiences that they, with youthfulness, joy and enthusiasm proclaim the gift of mercy.
God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14). … Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
— Easter Urbi et Orbi message on March 31, 2013
The present is wonderful, and the future looks bright.
Dr. Anne Penny, Principal