Superintendent's Weekly Update

Our Superintendent, Pamela Guilbault, shares words of encouragement, messages of faith, and more in her weekly message.

May 9-12

Christ reminds us this week very simply that he is the Good Shepherd. He knows us deeply, intimately, and loves us - without question. This is the reason for his Easter sacrifice, and the gift of eternal life. He reiterates that we know his voice, and no matter what our circumstances, we place our trust in Him alone. His mercy abounds. AMEN! 

Finally,  as Gospel Witnesses we are given an example as Christ the Good Shepherd, to care for one another especially those who are marginalized, oppressed, or silenced. 

 

Message Archives

May 2 - 6

We truly begin to see the first effects of spring as the sun warms the earth. Green shades colour dry grass, and the leaves bud on tree branches, and the ice melts on our lakes.

This week, in three simple words, Jesus invites us, as shepherd leaders, to live lives that are stepped in his example, and to "feed his sheep." Let us, as Gospel Witnesses, love one another with the love that Christ shows for us. 

 

April 25-29

Divine Mercy Sunday has a beautiful connection to our continuing Easter celebrations during this Spring season. 

Mercy is the salvation promise that Easter provides, and we are  reminded of Christ's Easter gift of mercy and redemption when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, "forgive us our trespasses (sins)." What makes the words more powerful, is our understanding that His mercy is limitless. This is the unconditional love of the Trinity. In return, Jesus asks us to, "forgive those who trespass against us." 

As Gospel Witnesses, we are called to love others unconditionally as God loves us, granting grace, being merciful, and just as the Earth renews in Spring, the Holy Spirit will renew our lives.  

April 4 - 8

As we near the end of our 40 day Lenten journey, let us remember the unconditional love waiting at the cross. He beckons us to come forward from the "desert" which encompasses the burdens we carry or the struggles we face, and turn to Him.

Through his sacrifice, our Easter promise is enlivened. As  Gospel Witnesses, this is the foundation of our Catholic Christian faith, and our hope springs eternal. Amen. 

March 28 - April 1

As we continue our Lenten journey this week, let us immerse ourselves in the understandings from the parable of the the prodigal son. It is a picture of God’s love for us as His children. We are blessed because God’s love for us does not depend on our faithfulness; it is unconditional. He loved us while we were still sinners. God is still our faithful and loving Father. 

We are also reminded that everyone is equal in His sight — sinners saved by God’s grace, and His children.

Ultimately, Jesus asks us to "love one another" (John 13:34)  with the same love that He shows us. This is our mission as Gospel Witnesses. 

March 21-25

Our Lenten journey continues as  the warmth of the sun melts the snow, and hints of spring appear, and we make our way closer to Jerusalem.

This week, the mercy of God is evident. It is as clear as the beginnings that mark the rebirth of Spring. Just like the fig tree in the Gospel of Luke, our lives, or parts of our lives  may too be dormant. We may be slumbering, going through the motions, and simply not using the fruits of the spirit which Christ gifted us in ways that serve others and better ourselves as Gospel Witnesses. However, God shared his mercy unconditionally on Good Friday on the Cross. He is God of "second chances", and through Him we have a new beginning to use the gifts we are given to share the love that He so freely gives to us. 

March 14-18

We continue to see the ravages of war in Ukraine. We are called as Gospel witnesses to lead by example, praying for global leaders to end this conflict, for their decisions to be filled with wisdom and prudence and for protection of all human life.

We pray for an end to the suffering of those displaced, their loss, deprivation and fear. We pray for their courage and resilience. We pray for justice and we continue to pray for reconciliation and peace. 

AMEN

March 7 - 11

s we celebrate the first sunday of lent, consider the escalating international conflict, and reflect on our lives, the messages from the Book of Deuteronomy, the Psalm, and Gospel are especially relevant.

The prophet Moses describes how an entire nation praises God for their deliverance from tyranny, while the psalmist sings out a prayer for God's continued protection. We can relate to this today as we see nations at war, or face uncertainty in our lives. We may feel helpless, or unsure as to what we can do or where to turn. Yet, scripture reassures us of God's power and dominion. We see this promise realized through Jesus. I love this Gospel, because it is so relevant to our modern lives.

Jesus, in the desert, is completely vulnerable, just as we are today, He encounters evil, in the form of the same temptations that we grapple with today - to fully place our trust in God or to reject Him.

Today, let us live as Gospel Witnesses following His example, trusting with confidence in God's word and protection always. 

February 28 to March 4

This past week our world has been called to the brink of crisis in yet another way, as conflict in Europe escalates and NATO involvement increases, and as we have learned in our study of virtuous leadership, we are called with prudence and courage to join in solidarity for democratic ideals. We are also called to pray unceasingly for the citizens of Ukraine, the  safety of the soldiers fighting in the conflict, a peaceful resolution and the healing between all nations of our world. 

Novena for Peace in Ukraine

Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Ukraine.

Please protect and send aid to those in Ukraine and all who are at-risk.

We pray for peace - we pray for all who are working towards it and for all who are in danger from this conflict. 

We pray for an end to violence and war - we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this.

Lord God, please help those in most need of thy mercy.

Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Saint Joseph, Protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church, pray for us!

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, may your kingdom reign in Ukraine and all the world.

February 21-25

Our Gospel this week (Luke 6: 27-38) centres around love, where Jesus asks us to respond to difficult people and situations in ways that are transformative rather than fracturing.

Jesus' words  compel us to reflect on our society: the social, political and economic factors which cause divisions.

In our commitment as Christians, we are called to bring life: to serve, pray, sacrifice, and forgive others, especially those who disagree, criticise, blame or are angry with us. This is not an easy task, but as He gazes at us from the cross, the unconditional love that he shares inspires us to live out the Gospel, for the love we share will be, "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."

February 14-18

The beatitudes of today's Gospel also speak of this life giving spirit that comes from building our lives around the commandments and virtues of our faith. The beatitudes are a transformative teaching from Jesus that asks us to reflect on what brings us validation, gratification, and motivates us to act. 

Do we rely on God or do we rely on the world to "fill us?"

Jesus speaks of the eternal joy that nourishes us when we root our words and actions: humility, kindness, justice, service, firmly around Him. Discipline is foundational to Discipleship so it is not always easy, but is it permanent.

In the Gospel, Luke goes on to warn us that we will inevitably encounter woes in this world,  because rewards of the world: popularity, riches, power are ephemeral. As Gospel Witnesses, our faith in Christ's promise of eternity and his love for us alone provides us with our strength to exemplify the beatitudes.

Reflect

God places people and situations into your life for a reason—to teach a lesson of some kind. You may be in someone’s life right now having the same impact.

Lord, every moment is an opportunity to teach and to be taught.

Guide our lessons and actions to be rooted in you.

Open our minds to always emphasize you.

Give us the wisdom to learn from mistakes

to lead better lives—but most importantly, to live as a witness.

Amen.

February 7 to 11

The Gospel inspires us with the power of God. Peter, a fisherman, is frustrated with his weakness, his inability to fulfill his purpose. Jesus, however,  uses Peter's weaknesses as an opportunity to build his faith and glorify God.

As leaders, parents, staff, community members, and students, we are all similar to Peter. We have flaws and weaknesses that can divide and isolate us or bring us together on our knees.  Jesus saw past the flaws, into the potential of every person He encountered. As Gospel witnesses, we are called to do the same. We glorify God when we look with love beyond our own, and others shortcomings, to share grace, extend mercy and bring hope and celebrate joy. 

“There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally.”

– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

January 31 to February 4

When we read the Gospel of Mark, it is easy for us to place ourselves in the boat with the disciples as the storm rages around us. 

Let us consider the storms of life in 2022: illness, economic and financial uncertainty, isolation, loss, family separation, political and ideological conflict, anxiety, burnout, racism, and multiple other divisive elements that rage. However, Jesus stands before ALL these  storms, championing us, with his firm:

"Peace, Be still, and all is calm."

What a reminder for us today. What we can control is limited, but for God, the Alpha and Omega, nothing is impossible. As Gospel Witnesses, let us share this message with our staff, students, families, and community, that our Lord will calm the storms of life and bring peace. We need faith, not fear. 

Consider this: 

"I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time."

-Pope Francis

January 24 to 28

Scripture this weekend deeply resounded with me. Particularly, St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians caused me to reflect on our role as Catholic leaders in the current time. I read through the scripture multiple times placing myself in the space (as best as I could) of: 

  • students
  • administrators
  • teachers 
  • support staff 
  • Indigenous families
  • English Language Learner families
  • individuals struggling with differing COVID ideologies, 
  • families facing financial difficulties 
  • individuals battling illnesses or grief
  • families who are blessed with abundance

We all belong. We belong to the school community, the division, and the Body of Christ. Our unity depends on each member at Lakeland Catholic to feel like they belong, know that they are part of the community where they have been called, and that their contributions are unique and matter. As leaders, it is up to us to create spaces and opportunities for this to happen. We are together in the Body of Christ.

May God bless you this week.

Amen. 

January 10 to 17

I hope you have all had an opportunity to disconnect for at least a few hours, and nourish your heart, spirit, mind and body with non-job related activity, as last week proved to be filled with much hustle and bustle to prepare for the student's return.

We heard how the past week was filled with gratitude for the gift of time, as well as the currents of anxiety regarding uncertainty around what our staff may be facing in the uncertainties of the upcoming weeks. As I reflected on our current context, today's Gospel, and baptism, Fr. Rene's words were deeply impactful as more than ever, we are longing for hope. Baptism and the living water of everlasting life gives us this hope. Today's Gospel reminds us that we are Children of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, gifted with unconditional love, and we are never alone, in any circumstance. 

This gives us hope. 

Amen. 

January 3 to 7

May you be blessed on the Feast of the Holy Epiphany. As we look into the new year, especially during this time where we long for new beginnings, more pandemic, more restrictions,  and uncertainty seems to be a script that continues to replay, but the Epiphany offers us hope. The magi followed a star, and despite their uncertainty in the journey, they held fast in the faith that they would one day meet the Messiah, and all their struggles would be overcome. We too must keep this faith. Today, now, in our daily walk, we  may encounter so many personal and professional challenges; but when we rely on our faith, our family and our colleagues, we can and will overcome any adversity.  This is like the Magi: they traveled in community, they relied on their faith, and they humbly accepted their journey, knowing that at the destination they would be rewarded. 

I share with you this Feast of Holy Epiphany prayer (from Concord Pastor)

 

O Magi,

were you confused?


Did you wonder 

if you'd taken a left for a right

or misjudged the bright star's GPS?


Was it all a big mistake?

Could this really be the street? 

the place? 

the door?

 

The light spills into night, and beckons, calls:     

"This way! Come this way!

Let go your thoughts of

what should be or might have been, and

open up to what is here,    

to where he is and dwells, he

whose light and presence warm    

this chilled and darkened night!"   

 

Teach us wisdom, Lord:

open our eyes to your star above

and our hearts to your glowing presence

living within us, around us

and just across the street,

lighting the paths we walk each day, 

lifting us up, out of our darkness 

and to your radiant, holy face... 

 

Protect us in the dark of night,

shine bright upon us while we sleep

that awake, we might keep watch with you

and asleep, rest in your peace... 

Amen.