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BLESSING AND THANKSGIVING FOR THE MULTIPLEX
21 February 2012 at St Paul’s High School in Winnipeg
Fr Alan J Fogarty SJ
Reverend Fathers, Administration, Staff, Students, Friends, Builders and Faithful Benefactors—Good morning to each of you on this balmy February, Winnipeg morning. For 86 years now St Paul’s, in one form or another, has provided quality education to young men from the city and beyond its boundaries: both those who could afford to come here, those who could not and those in between who discerned the sacrifice was worth it. God has blessed this community and shortly we will pray to become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit’s infinite grace in our lives.
The 2004-2007 Strategic Plan, initiated by our Principal, Mr Tom Lussier and partnered by Mr Roy Cook and Ms Geraldine Wilcock, includes eight objectives. The first seven were easy to knock off compared to this… Objective 3, but all are directed toward the word used by the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola. That word is magis which, in essence, calls all of us to constant quality improvement on our discerned choices not for our greater glory, not for the greater glory of St Paul’s High School but to the greater glory of God or, ad majorem Dei gloriam, the phrase with which we are all familiar.
Today, we are seeing the insights of our prayer and discernment as a leadership team and as a community in dialogue with the professionals in whose expertise we have placed our trust. And for what? To simply build a beautiful building? To say we could build such a thing? No! The purpose of this project is to meet the needs of our students and families both current and future. As time changes and cultural norms become expectations, so must the school change if it is to continue to capture the imagination of middle school boys and instill in them the desire for that which is St Paul’s—a Jesuit education. Our goal and our responsibility is to respond directly to those changes in a discerned and reflective way. The turning of the sod today is but one small expression of our discernment and one small action that follows much prayer and dedication on the part of many. We are called today to be grateful and even joyful but, perhaps most importantly, to be humbled by the very generosity of this community and God’s blessings upon us.
The MultiPlex we will watch develop here, will meet the demands of our sports and health education programs, greatly improve on academic space and facilitate activities ranging from gym class to band concerts, tournaments and other large events such as all-School liturgies and bring home convocation as well as provide a place all alumni and friends can call home. Today is a physical sign of the spirit of St Paul’s: all the love and care shown by many for future students and, indeed, for the future of St Paul’s and this apostolic work of service of the Society of Jesus in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.
God has given us our physical powers in order that we may serve him joyously, help one another, and by discipline in accord with the law of God, make our body fit for every good work. God, therefore, approves of recreation for the relaxation of the mind and the exercise of the body. Care of our bodies fosters mental and spiritual well-being from which we more readily establish friendly and affable relations with others.
LET US PRAY
Lord, we sing your praises without ceasing, You rule over all things with wonderful order, you temper the cares and burdens of our toil, and, by giving us rest and healthy recreation, you refresh our weary bodies and minds.
We entreat your kindness, that our facilities will contribute to both educational and leisure activities that renew and strengthen the mind, body and spirit. Grant that all who meet here may find the enrichment of companionship and together offer you the praise that is your due.
We pray today with a deep sense of gratitude especially for all those who have gone before us at St Paul’s, for all those who worked endless hours to get us to this day, staff and volunteers alike, and for each of our benefactors whose love for our school and its mission are turning a dream in the present into a reality for future generations of Men for Others. May God bless this site and keep safe all the workers who will labour in the construction and the completion of the MultiPlex. Keep safe all who will meet here now and in the future… + in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Ad majorem Dei gloriam