The Chaplain’s Corner with Tina Fitzgerald
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to this wonderful Bishop Ryan Catholic school community. My name is Tina Fitzgerald and I come from Kitchener – Waterloo where I served as a Chaplain for three years with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and two year in our Hamilton Catholic board. I have completed my formal education from St. Jerome’s University, at the University of Waterloo and St. Augustine Seminary, at the University of Toronto. I am an active member in my parish serving as a CWL member, volunteer screening committee, Communion preparation and Eucharistic Minister. I strongly believe that our faith is something that we do. Yes, we formally learn about our faith in school and at Church, but it is only when we put our faith into action that we truly learn about it and deepen our relationship with God. I invite all people to live out their faith in all they do and to support one another in doing so. Our faith development is not something that can be solely done by oneself, but with the support and love from others, just as Jesus and His disciples supported and loved one another.
With that said, I have received a wonderful out pouring of love and support from the Bishop Ryan students and staff. We began this school year with a Mass (special thanks to Fr. Charles Galea from Incarnation Parish). drawing on the idea of living out our faith and the supporting one another in the faith journey. At the end of our Mass, we began our kick off for the our annual Pilgrimage: Walk with Christ where the students had the opportunity to support other people from other countries. Personally I would like to thank all the students who were instrumental in their support and dedication. I would also like to thank anyone who walked and took some initiative in the meaningful cause. I was very proud to see over two hundred students show their support for this cause.
Since the “Walk with Christ”, the grade twelve students have had the opportunity to experience a spiritual retreat at St. Luke’s Parish. The theme chosen for their retreat experience has been “Oh the Places you will Go”. These retreats include opportunities for the students to become more familiar with themselves, their peers and their relationship with Christ. We do a number of activities for the students to learn and to have fun in their exploration. I wish all the grade twelve students Christ’s love and strength as they will soon begin a new chapter of their life making Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School proud.
As this outstanding school year seems to be successfully moving along, we are coming up to the liturgical season of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To prepare our hearts for this joyful occasion we will celebrate the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation at school on December 6th and 8th. A number of our parish priests have so graciously offered to be with us during this time. Also, to prepare our hearts and minds for Christ, we will celebrate an Advent Mass with Fr. Dan Hinsperger and Fr. Paul Boucher on December 15th, 2011. Special thanks to all Chaplaincy team members who are helping to develop and create this Mass; it is though your support, devotion and determination that makes this season so special and successful. As we continue to prepare our hearts and minds during this season, our school has happily decided to continue with our “Christmas Miracle” program where all staff and students have the opportunity to reach out to those in our community who are in need.
Finally, I invite anyone who wishes to speak with me to call my office at 905-573-2151 ext. 3320 for any questions, comments or concerns. My door is always open for you, your daughter or son. And please remember that faith can only really be understood when put into action even in the simplest way:
Tonight ask your child, where do you think you saw God today?
I wish you all of God’s blessing as we journey together to experience Christ’s undying love for us.