Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Celebrating the Sisters’ contribution to education in Terrace, B.C.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto attended the 50th Anniversary of Veritas School, in Terrace, British Columbia, for a weekend of celebration that started on Friday, May 21, 2010. Pictured left to right are Sisters Mary Catherine Doyle, Pat Connaughton, Betty Lou Knox and Mary Macoretta, with Bishop Gerald Wiesner OMI at the center. Friday featured festivities and speeches, Saturday a BBQ and dance, and Sunday featured a Thanksgiving Mass and pancake breakfast

In preparation for the 50th anniversary, school class pictures from 1959 to 2010 decorated the walls as well as a large collage displaying a variety of activities over the years.

As part of the opening ceremony, three students in their red school sweaters processed in with two plaques and a candle. One plaque was inscribed with names of all the Sisters of St. Joseph who had taught at Veritas, beginning with Sisters Edna Dohm, Roselyn Kelly, Teresa O'Brien in 1959 and ending with Sister Mary Macoretta in 1988. Sisters Pat Connaughton, who was music teacher, Mary Catherine Doyle, Betty Lou Knox, and Mary Macoretta, all of whom had taught at Veritas, were thanked for the contribution to Catholic Education that the Sisters of St. Joseph have provided in Terrace.

The second plaque displays the names of Frontier Apostles, including Sister Mary Sibbald, formerly an Frontier Apostle who worked in the school. When about twelve of the FA's were called to the front, the students presented each of them and the Sisters with long stemmed red roses.

The Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Mrs. Lynn McCracken, extended congratulations from the Prince George Diocese and outlined the history of Catholic Schools in the diocese. Our school in Prince Rupert was opened in 1914, Kitmat in 1956, and Terrace and New Hazelton in 1959. It is impossible to recall the history of Catholic Schools in the North without remembering Bishop Fergus O'Grady OMI, known as "Bulldozer Bishop" for his ability to get things done. It was he who had the vision and spearheaded the creation of the schools in the Prince George Diocese.

In her speech, Sister Mary Macoretta remarked that the students are our hope for the future. She encouraged the parents and teachers to "continue to nurture the students and assist them in developing their full potential so that the school motto 'Veritas' (Truth) may blossom in their lives and in the world."

Bishop Gerald Wiesner OMI celebrated Eucharist on Pentecost. “In our global world we are brought closer as neighbours, but are not living as Sisters and brothers," he said. He remarked that in our Catholic Schools students "learn how to give and serve, which is the message of Jesus." Acknowledging the Sisters, the Frontier Apostles and teachers who have been witnessing Jesus to the children, the bishop gave thanks for the 11,000 student years that have been fulfilled over the years at Veritas School.

At the pancake breakfast, more speeches of gratitude were made before people departed with hearts overflowing with joy, thanksgiving and wonderful memories.

Read Sister Betty Lou Knox's reflection on the 50th Anniversary.

By Betty Lou Knox CSJ


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