Please see Important Message from Father Jim
We are a Catholic community committed to developing educational opportunities in the context of Gospel values, where students' gifts and talents are celebrated and nurtured through lifelong spiritual and personal experiences.
Our school community has chosen Saint Nicholas the Wonder-Worker as a Patron saint for Jean Vanier Catholic School. We have a few evident reasons for this.
Firstly, since our school embraces both English and Ukrainian programs of studies we are in need of a Patron both irrefutably significant for both Roman Catholic and Byzantine rites. St. Nicholas, also known as the Bishop of Myra, is perfectly congenial and pertinent in this sense.
Secondly, St. Nicholas is well known by his patronage of children, sick, afflicted, suffering, and disabled people. He is a prompt healer and a true consoler. This ability of him coincides perfectly with our school mission as Jean Vanier’s followers. We also would like to be sweeteners for those who are in need, especially disabled people. (We even have already done some significant things like raising money and now we might just make it more purposeful). For instance, our students will be able to try themselves as little St Nicholas’s helpers for L’Arche community.
Next, St. Nicholas is the Wonder-Worker and this works perfectly with the younger students. It will be easy to convey Catholic values through active participation in miracles happening in our life.
Furthermore, since St Nicholas day is venerated in Roman tradition on December 6 and in Ukrainian tradition on December 19, we might combine our regular Christmas concert with the celebration of St. Nicholas day. In this context we will have an excellent opportunity to share with others the beautiful Ukrainian tradition of Sviaty Mykolai.
Jean Vanier Catholic School opened in 1974. It was named in honour of Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche movement, and the son of former Governor General of Canada, George Vanier. In 1964 Jean Vanier, a philosophy teacher and theological student, decided to share a home in the village of Trosly-Breuil, north of Paris, France, with two mentally challenged men. In welcoming them, he wanted to give them a home where they could live in dignity and grow in every spiritual and human dimension. At that time it was not foreseen that a worldwide movement would develop from the tiny home that he had christened L'Arche, or "the ARK". L'Arche is now a network of more than one hundred communities in thirty countries, inhabited by people with disabilities and their caregivers. Their goal is to achieve a sense of community and dignity not possible within an institution.
Jean Vanier Catholic School was named in honor of Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche and the son of former Governor General of Canada, George Vanier. Jean Vanier, humanist, philosopher, theologian, man of letters is first and foremost described by his companions as a man with heart, a man of compassion. He is a passionate advocate for humanity and truth.
Jean Vanier is a philosopher, writer, religious and moral leader and the founder of two major international community-based organizations, L’Arche, and Faith & Light, that exist for people with intellectual disabilities. The 135 L’Arche communities in 33 countries and 1,600 Faith & Light communities in 80 countries are living laboratories of human transformation. In and outside of these organizations, he has spent more than four decades as a deeply radical advocate for the poor and the weak in our society.
While the progressive disability movement speaks mainly about tolerance, rights and normalization, Jean Vanier has shaped a distinct way of thinking that builds on those minimum standards of a civil society while inspiring us to transcend them. He invites us to recognize the profound gifts and lessons that people who have been rejected by society can offer when they are properly supported and included. (From his website www.jean-vanier.org)
To learn more about Jean Vanier's amazing life and work, visit the following websites:
- L'Arche Canada Homepage
For inspirational messages, please click on the following link:
When I pause, I put myself in a new or different environment.
When I pause, I create spaces–or sanctuaries–where renewal is born.
When I pause, I allow my soul to savor, relish, value, honor, welcome, see, celebrate, wonder, and to experience grace.