Greater St. Albert Catholic holds sod turning ceremony for new Catholic elementary

Above: MLA Glenn van Dijken, Joe Becigneul, Joan Crockett, Minister David Eggen, Serena Shaw, Barry Turner, Cathy Proulx, Noreen Radford, Rene Tremblay and Gary Gagnon.

by Lucie Roy

The St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy Sod Turning Ceremony took place Feb. 19 in the Westwinds development at 980 Westwinds Drive, just a short distance from the new Shell station and McDonald’s.

Construction of the elementary level Academy comes with a $12.2 million budget and expected occupancy is September 2020. This project is the first school the District has built in Town since Morinville Community High School opened in 1994.

Welcome remarks were provided by Greater St Albert Catholic Schools Superintendent David Keohane followed by the singing of O Canada by more than 25 students from the École Notre Dame School Choir.

Blessing of the land and smudging was performed by Gary Gagnon of Alexander First Nation and a prayer by Edna Arcand.

The Liturgy and Blessing were performed by Bishop Paul Terrio, Archdiocese of St Paul and St Jean Baptiste Parish Rev. Trini Pinca.

Dignitary remarks were provided by Honourable Minister of Education, David Eggen, Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken, Morinville Mayor Barry Turner, Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association President Serena Shaw, and Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools Chair Joe Becigneul.

The St. Kateri Tekakwitha includes areas west of 100 Street and north of Railway Tracks in the Town of Morinville, the areas of Carbondale, Namao 4×4 (north of Hwy 37) and the rural areas surrounding Ward 2.

École Notre Dame includes area East of 100 Street and north of the railway tracks in the Town of Morinville.

Honouring the namesake St. Kateri

Symbols of St Kateri- Patron Saint of Ecology, the first Native American to be canonized in the Church will be visible throughout the school. These areas include the Blue Blanket fabric inspired wall covering, Longhouse with tree bark inspired wall covering, Lily of the Mohawks with pollen-bearing part of the lily inspired wall covering, and Turtle Clan with turtle shell inspired wall covering.

St. Kateri was skilled at traditional techniques which included weaving mats, baskets and boxes hence Basket Weave with basket the weave inspired wall covering.

She wore a blue blanket, longhouses were used for residences and as a chapel, lilies are found in the area where she was born and when her family dies she was adopted by a Chief of the Turtle Clan.

Greater St Albert Catholic Schools Trustee Rene Tremblay- Morinville Ward presenting a gift to Edna Arcand. She did the prayer at the event.

Edna Arcand with a few St. Kateri Tekakwitha items.

Honourable Minister of Education David Eggen, Greater St Albert Catholic Schools Trustee- Morinville Ward, Noreen Radford and Morinville Mayor Barry Turner.-Ceremonial First Dig.

Welcome remarks Greater St Albert Catholic Schools David Keohane, Superintendent of Schools.

Gary Gagnon of Alexander First Nation -Blessing of the Land with Joe Becigneul, Board Chair St Albert Catholic Schools.

Honourable Minister of Education David Eggen

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