The theme of the day was gratitude.
Gathering as a school community, staff, students, alumni and special guests of St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School joined together on April 24 to not only celebrate the school’s 60th Anniversary but give thanks to their patron saint for guiding them in Catholic education for more than half a century.
“Today we say thank you, because thank you is the right thing say,” said His Excellency Bishop Douglas Crosby, celebrant of the mass.
“To St. Bernadette, your school board, principals, vice-principals, secretaries, teachers, past students who have made a difference... thank you.”
The original St. Bernadette School was built in 1958 to serve the rural areas of Dundas. By the 1980’s, the school had outgrown its four-classroom facility and a new, larger school was opened in 1991 to accommodate the growing needs of the Dundas community. But while the physical structure of the building changed, its tradition of excellence remains unscathed as the foundation for the school’s legacy, said Principal Devia Catania.
“We are here, because you were there,” she added, referencing past key members of the community who were instrumental in the school’s rich history.
Sitting quietly in the back of the gymnasium were two of those members: Sister Claudia and Sister Francis from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
“What they represent, what they’ve done… we would not have St. Bernadette,” said Chairperson of the Board Patrick Daly, noting that the Sisters of St. Joseph were the first to establish Catholic education in our system.
Bringing warm greetings on behalf of Senior Administration, Director of Education David Hansen took a moment to not only recognize those past influences but inspire the current St. Bernadette community to carry on in excellence and goodness.
“The graduates of this school have gone off and lived lives that made our world better,” he said.
“And boys and girls, you are going to follow just like all the graduates of this school are and you are going to do great things in our world. And while the first graduates of this school are 72 or 73 today you are closely connected with them – and I'll tell you why. Because just like the first students of this school you share a common bond with a beautiful, humble young woman – Bernadette – who inspired students from this school and countless people around the world.”
As a take away, Bishop Crosby encouraged students to continue leading lives of goodness, by emulating St. Bernadette’s faith.
“Remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm, go into the future with confidence.”