WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ
Ukrainian Catholic Bishop David Motiuk led the Divine Liturgy to start the school year for staff of Edmonton Catholic Schools.
Educators need to share their faith with those under their spiritual care within the schools, the Ukrainian bishop of Edmonton said at the opening Divine Liturgy of Edmonton Catholic Schools Aug. 30.
"Jesus entrusts us with this wonderful gift of faith not so that we keep it for ourselves but so that we share it with all that are entrusted to our care," Bishop David Motiuk told hundreds of school employees gathered at the Winspear Centre for the annual event.
"Parents, who are the first educators of their families, have graced us with this beautiful gift of their children so that they may not simply learn the ways of this world but the ways of faith, the ways of God," the bishop said in his homily.
Motiuk presided at the Divine Liturgy assisted by Archbishop Richard Smith and Archbishop-emeritus Joseph MacNeil. Communion was given according to both the Eastern rite and Latin rite.
Smith led the renewal of commitment of teachers and support staff.
"Will you respect and honour the trust given to you by parents to serve and care for the students in your schools?" he asked.
"We will," the employees replied in unison.
Prior to the liturgy, superintendent Joan Carr reminded employees of Edmonton Catholic Schools' theme for this school year: Life of Grace-Ministry of Hope.
"Each of us is called to be a minister of hope which can be expressed as seeing with our hearts," she said.
"We can define hope as our basic conviction of what the future will be, by opening our hearts to the promise of God."
Carr paid tribute to the soon-to-be-ordained Auxiliary Bishop Greg Bittman, a product of the Catholic school system, and presented him with a chalice on behalf of the staff.
Bittman received a standing ovation.