April 6, 2015

Lenten adventures at Edmonton's St. Mary School continued to build in anticipation of Holy Week and will culminate at our New Life celebration April 10.

Over the past 40 days, the school has put on a large number of events to involve students, staff and the community in the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Lent is a time of prayer; a time for self-reflection and self-sacrifice. It is a time to look within ourselves, choose areas of our lives to improve and make a commitment to become better Christians.

The Grade 2 community trekked through a spring snowfall to St. Thomas More Church for contemplative prayer and reflection.

Our social justice initiative again took us to international destinations. Lenten donations were used to support farmers in the Global South through Development and Peace.

This initiative grew throughout our Lenten journey. We transformed the practice of our faith by working to experience God's call to love one another and serve as stewards of the earth.

Grade 5 students kickstarted each day by focusing our prayers on Development and Peace. We demonstrated solidarity with farmers by planting tulip bulbs that will be donated to neighbours.

We welcomed Val Merchant and Sylvianne Perry from Development and Peace who coordinated grade level in-services challenging us to be sowers of God's love. We learned that each of us can make a difference.


Focusing our efforts on a common Lenten project inspired members of our community to examine our lives and to reflect on the blessings God has bestowed on us.

St. Mary School in Edmonton went all out to make Lent 2015 an experience of prayer and both education and fundraising for social justice.


St. Mary School in Edmonton went all out to make Lent 2015 an experience of prayer and both education and fundraising for social justice.

Our efforts towards social justice challenged us to be thinkers. Sometimes it seems we cannot do much to bring justice to the world. But during Lent, we gained awareness of what goes on in our community so we can look deeper and raise questions.

Our Lenten social justice project successfully moved beyond mere charity to promoting genuine social justice.

Children brought coins every day for the classroom jars of hope. Their families were urged to take note of luxuries they may take for granted by adding a quarter for each TV, cell phone, computer, bike or bed in their homes.

To date our school-community project has raised almost $2,000 for our peers in the Global South.

More than 320 students, parents, teachers, special guests and staff attended our third annual Lenten Prayer Feast in the gymnasium where we prayed and shared in a special lunch.

We were risk-takers by stepping out of our normal lunch time to become more aware of what is happening in our own community and in the world.


As participants in fasting, we gained a greater appreciation of the food that nourishes us, we are more aware from where food comes and we are more mindful of those who are hungry.

During our Lenten journey, events were planned to ignite the spirit of Christ in the children through community prayer, music, intimate classroom celebrations and meditation on Scripture.

Our hope is that by exploring their faith, the children will be led to pose questions, discuss the events of Holy Week and see how the school activities are connected with parish events during the celebration of the paschal mystery.