Learning to live mission
At Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy in Camrose, Alberta, students are developing an awareness of the needs of others
Sarah Fergusson (Gr. 10)
"I practiced and practiced until the song was perfect. I had chosen to sing "When You're Smiling" by Louis Armstrong. The song always seemed to make others smile. It's very fulfilling to be on stage and watch people below smiling and sitting in awe because I showed immense confidence and got over my stage fright. So by having the talent show to raise money for families in poverty, it was helping me personally and we were helping them financially and giving hope back to their society."
R-L: Carly Russell and Tyler Samms (Grade Two) with classmates performing for the talent show.
Mate MacKenzie (Gr. 5)
"At first it didn't go so well with the auditions. I fumbled and kept doing the same moves over and over again. Then I went to my ballet instructor and asked her if she could help me with my performance. I asked if she could help me put together a show. She said, "Of course!" I practiced after school for many days and hours until I got good at it. Then I performed and it went really well. I got a lot of compliments from people and I felt really good."
"I think it's more important to care about the poor than about me because I have what I need and they don't... I think all of our school is happy for what we did to help the poor."
Jessica Howes (Gr. 3)
Scarboro missioner Beverley Vantomme answers questions after she and husband Ray gave a Powerpoint presentation about mission among the people of Malawi to students at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy. Canmore, Alberta.
Serious counters L-R: Grade Two students Dameon Hoyme and Tyler Samms.
L-R: Lynn Mutseka, Reese McKinley and Cheyenne Hoyme fundraising for Christian Child Care International. Coordinating teacher Lynette Brossart writes: "These children are not only examples of wonderful service work, but they are also in our Missions Club. Their hearts are really in it, to follow the path to Jesus."
Teacher Lynette Brossart displays a Lego village built by students at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy in Canmore, Alberta.
This village represents a village that was ravaged by the tsanami and for which the students raised funds to help rebuild.
When Scarboro missioner Beverley Vantomme wrote us about Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy in Canmore, Alberta, she said it was a "special school that is really living mission."
"What a lovely school, teachers, kids and atmosphere," Beverley wrote. "They are active in their service work all over the world, and this is just a small school of 350 kids, spanning Grades 1-12."
Among their many projects, the students have raised funds for the victims of the tsunami, for poor families locally, and for two children in Malawi. Beverley and Ray Vantomme, also from Canmore, were first missioned to Malawi in 1996 and have continued to share this journey with their home parish.
Lynette Brossart, a teacher who coordinates the school's projects to help the needy, invited Beverley and Ray to return to the school the next time they were home from mission and give a follow-up presentation.
Lynette, a cousin of Scarboro missioner Fr. Frank Hegel, also held a "Missions Club" meeting recently at which interested students came together to discuss and share stories about the school's past fundraising projects and to organize their 2006 Lenten project. From this meeting Lynette gathered the comments that accompany the photos in this feature. Together they give a glimpse of Ray and Beverley's visit this spring as well as the school's 2005 Share Lent talent show and fundraiser for DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE.
First it started when you paid one dollar for an audition. Then if you made it you practiced for about a week at home. Then at school we ran through the whole show. At night people came to see the show and watch all the talented kids!
Nicole Melzer (Gr. 3)
Did we ever get a warm welcome from everyone and even the youngest students had profound questions: 'Isn't it hard to live in Malawi where people are so poor? Don't you feel sad?' This was from a litle girl in Grade Two.
Scarboro missioner Beverley Vantomme
It made me feel nice to help others. At the end I was amazed to find out how much money we raised!
Tyler Fulton (Gr. 3)
I like helping others and making them feel like a part of a family!
Dali Holloway (Gr. 3)