Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first,

also went in, and he saw and believed;

for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Greetings Waterloo Catholic Community –

Over the course of the past few weeks, myself and others have used the word “unprecedented” many a time.  Our reality both locally and globally is unlike any other that we have ever known.  It has coincided for us as Christians with the season of Lent.  On this Holy Thursday unlike any other, as  we prepare for the Holy Triduum, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on how perhaps God is opening the door to us seeing how our current suffering is mirrored by that experienced by Jesus as He journeyed to the cross on Good Friday.  These have not been easy times for anyone and so we have no doubt turned to our faith for solace and inspiration.  And perhaps, as people of faith, on some level, we realize it is not so unprecedented after all.

This was another landmark week for us at Waterloo Catholic.  We are coming to the conclusion of our first week of full Educator-led distance learning.   There have been heroic efforts by so many in our system to bring us to this week, which by any measure, should be applauded.  I have previously spoken about my immense gratitude for our principals, computer technicians, program and student services staff, and all those who brought us to a remarkable state of readiness for this historic week.  Today I take a moment to celebrate and single out all our teachers and students.  It was a brave leap this week.  And possibly you may feel that the learning or experience was not all that you might have wanted it to be, but I sincerely thank and applaud you just the same.  Educators and students alike took a courageous step in these uncertain times and sought to create a meaningful connection, grounded in care and focused on reconnecting with the familiar. For that, I thank you.  We know it was not easy.

We hope that for most it was a positive experience.  That the door was opened to some learning, but more importantly to restoring the strong bond between child and educator.  Next week we will reach out to our community through the ThoughtExchange tool and we will invite you to share your thoughts with us so that we can hear from you and we can continue to reflect on what more we can do to serve our Waterloo Catholic family.  This week our WCDSB web page, and specifically our WCDSBLearn@Home page was populated with new material, including a comprehensive FAQ and new a WCDSBPray@Home link.  We hope that as you have journeyed through Holy Week and as you look to the Easter Season, that this is a site you will visit often.

This is indeed the season of rebirth.  And just as surely, we believe that the son of God suffered and died for us, we also firmly believe that the tomb was empty on Easter Sunday.  That He died so we might live.  So, as we mark the Holy Triduum not in churches, nestled side by side, and as we celebrate Easter Sunday not in the spendour of our parishes and with extended families gathered around tables, let us pause.  Pause to remember that we are not alone.  Not one of us.  That Jesus walks with us.  And that each of us is #CalledToBelong as a member of Christ’s family and of Waterloo Catholic’s family.  And as surely as Mary Magdalene and the disciples found faith and hope, we too will find new life in the days ahead.

Let me wish each of you all the blessings of the Easter Season.  Let us find joy in the simpler things we are being invited to notice.  Let us find hope in the resurrection and in each other.  This Easter Season may you be released from your burdens of worry and may your hearts fill with the hope of new life.

Loretta Notten

Director of Education