Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
United in Prayer and Grateful for Catholic Schools
Catholic Education Sunday is an annual opportunity to celebrate Catholic schools in the province of Alberta. Publicly funded Catholic education is a gift that we acknowledge with deep gratitude and embrace with unwavering resolve. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide faith-based education to more than 180,000 students in Alberta and for the teachers, administrators, parents, students, priests and parishioners who are committed to Catholic Education.
The Alberta Bishops’ commitment to Catholic education is resolute and we are actively working and advocating to ensure the future of Catholic education. One year ago, we announced the formation of GrACE (Grateful Advocates for Catholic Education), a joint initiative with the Catholic School Trustees and Superintendents that will unite, engage, educate and communicate on behalf of Catholic education throughout the province of Alberta. Since that announcement, GrACE groups have been established across our province and these grassroots movements have begun the vital work of prayer, dialogue and action. Community engagement sessions have been widely attended and this reflects the Catholic community’s proactive advocacy and engagement on behalf of our publicly funded Catholic schools.
Everyone has a role to play in Catholic education and this includes each of us. Keep our Catholic schools in your prayers that God may lead them in faithfulness, wisdom and charity; get informed about the issues; and commit to the work of advocacy to sustain their future. We invite you to become a positive voice in this conversation. Your involvement will support the many parents who see religion and the Catholic faith as an integral value in the education and formation of their children.
The Bishops of Alberta are encouraged by the active response of our Catholic community in past decades and today to the support of this ministry of the Church. The future of Catholic education will be supported by your prayers, involvement, and advocacy. Just as the Christian community at Colossae was advised by Paul to, “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2), we too, live in gratitude for our Catholic schools and are called to vigilance and prayer.
We are encouraged by the GrACE initiative to organize a Prayer Novena that will unite our Catholic parishes and schools in a spirit of devotional prayer to further our commitment to Catholic education in Alberta. Let us petition the Lord to direct our actions by His inspiration, and support them by His aid, that every prayer and work in our Catholic schools may begin with His grace and be completed in His service.
May all of our efforts unite us and strengthen our ongoing commitment to Catholic education. We extend to our Catholic school communities our prayers and blessing for offering this Novena and celebrating Catholic Education Sunday.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Catholic Bishops of Alberta and NWT
Most Rev. Richard W. Smith
Most Rev. David Motiuk
Most Rev. Paul Terrio
Most Rev. William McGrattan
Most Rev. Gerard Pettipas CSsR
Most Rev. Jon Hansen CSsR