Religious element of Catholic education focus of presentation to school board

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education met at Ecole St. Anne School gymnasium on Monday night./Michael Oleksyn

The religious aspect of Catholic education is a key component and works hand in hand with the educational portion.

That’s according to deacon Harold Salahub, who outlined some basics of the relationship during a delegation to the regular meeting of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education on Monday.

Salahub acts as the Coordinator of Religious Services in the division and director of education Lorel Trumier said they’re grateful to have his theological training and understanding.  

“He helps us support our students and our staff from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12. He is one of those people that really just try to support us to take us to where we are at in our faith dimension and that’s the perfect kind of blend that we need,” Trumier said.  

“Some of us understand our faith deeply and some of us are discovering it and some of us are discerning it and that’s the natural process of having faith.”  

Salahub said what makes Catholic schools different include providing an environment, which enables students to build and deepen their relationship with God, foster an academic culture aimed at the pursuit of truth and actively promote growth in virtue. He said faith permeates every aspect of education and how the division meets those goals. He gave a brief overview on a number of subjects, including Catholic signs and symbols, student faith development, staff faith development and community connections.  

Catholic signs and symbols included items such as the prayers throughout the day.  

The student faith development aspect includes a Religion class with a new program for Grades 1 to 7 and 9 and credits available in high school. The division is also developing classes for Grade 8 and Kindergarten.  

Staff faith development includes the Opening Mass, which was done virtually in September and other faith development opportunities for staff. To focus on the seven Catholic teachings teachers are asked to report on social justice actions or projects. According to the report, during 2018-2019 there were 3,900 Catholic social teachings in the division and 2019-2020 was set to better that number before the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The community connection involves acts of charity in the division and includes collections of things like clothes, food items and charitable donations.

The summary explained that the division is distinct, focuses on permeating faith by focusing on students, staff and community and values Catholic Education.