Your support of our Parish enables the roles that I play in the broader community. One of the investments of time and finances deemed important is working with youth at the local high school. It is a challenging role but very rewarding. I am increasingly involved with conversations, plans, and programs being unfolded at West Carleton Secondary School to create safe space for all in the student environment and assist with bullying prevention and suicide prevention. These are challenges facing every school in our city and we should applaud the efforts at West to create such a great community for students!

Next week I will spend a fair amount of time focusing on the youth ministry of this parish in the broader community and I thought I’d tell you a bit about what is going on…

On Monday I will spend a full day in training with various staff members from WCSS at the Sources of Strength Training Event. This amazing anti-suicide program works to connect peers with trusting adults in the school community. I will be participating in a variety of training activities and community building activities for the remainder of the school year with the students and staff of WCSS. I am honoured that the school administration considers me as a candidate for the team and I am looking forward to supporting this program at the school and also using the knowledge in all of my youth connections in our community. For more information on the Sources of Strength methodology and program please click HERE

On Wednesday I will start the day at the Annual Spiritual Care in Secondary Schools meeting. This is an opportunity to connect with the other spiritual care support workers of many different faiths and talk about what is going on in the over 18 OCDSB high schools that we have a presence in. For information on the program click HERE

Wednesday afternoon I will be presenting at the West Carleton Secondary School Staff Meeting. This provides me with an opportunity to introduce myself to their faculty and let them know what services I offer for the school, students, and for the staff. I am the only member of the WCSS team that can offer confidential support to teachers who may be facing their own struggles in the day to day challenges of being a high school teacher so it is important that the staff are reminded of my role in the school.

So that is an update! It is a blessing that our youth and local high school are deemed important to our parish and that there is a commitment amongst our parishioners to support my time in reaching out to youth in our community in unique ways (… and of course for helping make muffins at exam time!).

My role at the high school is one in which I am mindful and respectful of the vast diversity of faith understandings, cultures, orientations, and realities amongst our youth… it is wonderful to be part of this!

Pastor Monique