CORNWALL, Ontario – Members of the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Ottawa, students, representatives of the school board and local politicians came out to celebrate and bless the new Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School.
Located at the old General Vanier school site next to St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Sacred Heart students are wrapping up their first year in a new building.
“The new Sacred Heart, with the extension of the 7/8 wing to St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School provides students with a smooth transition, familiarity and a strong sense of Catholic community,” said St. Joe’s Principal Renee Rozon during the opening of the ceremony. “A unique experience where students exter our building in Kindergarten and graduate in Grade 12 from the same building.”
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) acquired the new building from the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) in a trade last spring and remodeled the building to house Sacred Heart, and students from St. Columban’s Catholic School, which closed at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
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“This is Catholic Education at its best,” said CDSBEO Board Chair Todd Lalonde. “Don’t listen to the naysayers, we see here today a centre of excellence. Without our co-terminus board, they wouldn’t have the facilities they require and we wouldn’t have the facilities we require.”
A blessing ceremony was conducted by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast who reminded the students gathered in Sacred Heart’s gymnasium that faith and education can go hand-in-hand.
“Sometimes we feel that faith and science are incompatible, they are not,” the Archbishop said.
The ceremony included students and priests traveling throughout the building to bless all of the school’s facilities and the unveiling of a plaque that will be hung in the hallway to commemorate the occasion.
Sacred Heart has over 350 registered students. The junior kindergarten to grade six school consists of 23 teachers and multiple support staff, including teaching assistants and early childhood educators.