Recently renovated, our school chapel is open daily to all students
and staff. It is located in the heart of the school on the first floor
near the main office. Students have the opportunity throughout the year to
gather for our teaching masses, liturgies of the word, spiritual talks and
prayer opportunities. The chapel can be reserved by all teachers for class
prayer and reflection in accord with Chapel Use Guidelines.
Board Spiritual Theme
The current spiritual theme for the
Ottawa Catholic School
"Sent to be the Good News" enables our staff, students and community to dig deep in the Gospel to make real and meaningful connections with our everyday lives. The theme is inspired by the following passage:
This passage calls for us to bring the Good News to all learners and their families, and to rediscover and deepen our commitment to the gift of faith in our lives. We look forward to showcasing the ways in which our staff and students connect with this spiritual theme.
The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. Gospel of Luke, 4:14-20
At Frank Ryan Catholic Intermediate we incorporate the liturgical year of the Catholic Church into our school year. Practically this means opening our school year with a mass, giving thanks to God for all we have during Thanksgiving, remembering those who have given their lives for us on Remembrance Day, preparing our hearts for Jesus’ birth during Advent, Celebrating the Birth of our Lord during Christmas, marking our foreheads with ashes on Ash Wednesday, practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, alms-giving and fasting during Lent, having a passion play during Holy Week, celebrating the
Resurrection of our Lord at Easter time, praying the rosary during the month of May and closing our school year with a final liturgy. We also connect certain activities with the seasons such as making Christmas Hampers during advent for families in need in our school, collecting food for the poor during Lent or Christmas caroling for seniors before Christmas.
Don't Throw That Christmas Tree out Yet!
Did you know
that Christmas does not end on Christmas Day, but actually starts on Christmas
Day? As a society we have tended toward the commercial and away from the
spiritual. Nowhere is that more true than in regards to Christmas. Many stores
have Christmas decorations up even before Halloween decorations are down and
many plead with stores to wait until after Remembrance Day to put up Christmas
decorations. After months of Christmas songs playing ad nauseam through store,
elevator and radio speakers, many are sick of Christmas by time Christmas comes
around. Then on Boxing Day the Christmas Tree (which has been up for months as
well) is tossed to the curb along with mounds of wrapping paper and discarded
gift packaging. But here’s the thing: we need to be careful we don’t toss out
baby Jesus to the curb as well. Independent of the noise, the business and the
hype, Jesus is born in stable to parents of no status in a place of no regard. He
came so that we would have life. He wants to enter our hearts and our houses.
This year, put up your Christmas tree a little later and keep it up a little
longer. Let Christ’s birth be the start of a celebration, not the end of it!!!
Do you know why
we celebrate Shrove Tuesday (a.k.a. Pancake Tuesday, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, a.k.a.
Fat Tuesday)? Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent. Traditionally
Catholics would fast from all meat and dairy products for the duration of Lent.
The ingredients of pancakes: eggs, butter, milk and sugar would not be consumed
during Lent. Thus pancakes are kind of like a ‘last meal’ before the serious
work of Lent began. Stay tuned next week for an explanation of Ash Wednesday
and of Lent!
From Dust we Came and to
standards, Ash Wednesday is rather a strange day. Catholics gather on this
first day of Lent to pray, reflect and mark their foreheads with ashes. What
does it mean? Lent is supposed to be a time of reflection, preparation and
repentance. Ashes are an ancient sign of repentance – people would rub them on
their faces and hair to show how sorry they were for their sins. Today we mark
only our foreheads, but for the same reason. Ashes also symbolize our humble
origins and our fragile nature – God created us out of dust and one day, when
we die, we will return to dust. We are called to put God first in our lives.
Let us begin Lent with good hearts, hearts that are willing to look at those
things we need to change or improve in our lives. Amen!
The role of Catholic
School Chaplaincy is to provide faith leadership inspired by the Gospel of
Jesus Christ in a spirit of hospitality, solidarity and respect for all.
Our services include:
- Daily prayer for staff and students.
- Liturgical celebrations in keeping with the liturgical
- Communal prayer and reconciliation services.
- A vibrant youth group that meets weekly.
- Field trips to enhance faith life of students.
- Service and social justice opportunities for students.
- Spiritual retreats for students and staff.
- Faith development workshops for students.
- Faith leadership workshops for staff.
- Character formation and religious education resources for Our school's current Chaplaincy Leader is
- Pastoral counseling & coaching for students, staff and
- Coordination of school-wide social justice initiatives and
The chaplaincy office
is located around the corner from the main office and is open every Tuesday
& Thursday (and every second Monday) between 8:00 am - 2:30 pm.
available outside regular office hours upon request.
About our Chaplaincy Leader
Father Zenon Hentosz
The Chaplaincy Team Leader facilitates the Christian life of the school in a very concrete manner by being available to students, staff and parents so that all may participate in developing the faith dimension of our school community. Personal and Christian development will be provided through interviews, discussion groups, peer ministry, class visits, social action projects, communal prayer and retreats. This approach is designed to provide students with concrete experiences that promote gospel values such as service, community, family and servant leadership.
Youth group is a club within our school that meets every week at lunchtime. We gather in prayer, plan good works and activities that help others in our school and in our community and support each other in our faith lives. Some of our activities have included: a trip to St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, excursions and sandwich making to and for Shepherd’s of Good Hope, Christmas caroling at Villa Marconi, helping the veterans at the Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Center, Faith Mentorship Day, Youth Ministry Institute and fundraisers for those in need. Our purpose is to learn how we can make our world a better place by putting our faith into action following Catholic social teaching and the precepts of the Gospel.
Three Pillars of Lent
During Lent Catholics are asked to do three things, together which form the three pillars of Lent. They are: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This is done in many ways – we have a special prayer service on Ash Wednesday, we pray in our classrooms and we pray with our families at home. Students are encouraged to fast in many ways: perhaps by giving up some foods or T.V., IPOD or Internet for some time each day and replace it with something that helps their relationship with God like prayer, rosary or Scripture reading. Finally, students have been asked to practice alms-giving and can do so by sharing the resources they have and donating to a food bank, giving of their time or helping out at home. What can you do in your family?
Easter – Christ is Risen from the Dead
Throughout history one of the scariest things a human being could contemplate was death. In fact, in many periods of history death was omnipresent. Even today death can be a scary prospect for many. For Christians, however, with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this has all this has been changed. Jesus suffered, died and was buried for our sake – He paid the price for our sins and opened paradise for us – life with God for all eternity. Then he rose from the dead, conquering death with His own death! This is the good news! Death no longer can hold us from being reunited with God for all eternity!