“School chaplaincy is a pastoral role carried out in an educational setting in a collaborative and cooperative manner in order to promote the spiritual and human development of the members of the Catholic school community.”
– Ontario Bishops, Pastoral Letter on Catholic Secondary School Chaplaincy, OCCB, March 2009
It is understood to be an essential ministry to the whole Catholic school community, students and staff. This ministry is collaborative and encourages the gifts of others; it is pastoral and spiritual, involving liturgy and prayer, teaching, counselling and witness.
Chaplains are professionals who have undergone theological education and formation to prepare themselves for this role. Chaplains understand that they share in the Church’s ministry to its members and are guided by the Church’s teaching and practical advice; they foster a sense of collegiality with all the Church’s ministers; and, they understand their specific ministry in the broader context of the life of the Diocese.
About Our Chaplain
Mrs. Kandy Harkin is the Chaplain at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School. The Chaplain is available to support and guide all members of the school community on their faith journey. In order to do this the Chaplain provides opportunities for prayer, sacraments and celebrations of the Eucharist, staff and student retreats, pastoral counselling, resource for student projects, prayer services and class discussion.
By calling forth the talents and gifts of students and staff, the Chaplain encourages a strong sense of Christian community in our school. Fostering both a sense of caring and of social justice, the Chaplain shares in what makes our school a special experience for all who are a part of STA Catholic Secondary. Students are welcome to drop by the Chaplain’s office at any time.
Chaplaincy is one of the resources available to students of St. Thomas Catholic Secondary School. The School Chaplaincy Leader requires your input and support as he/she prepares and conducts school liturgies and other service projects that signify we are a Catholic Christian Community. Get to know your School Chaplaincy Leader by visiting him/her in his/her office or by volunteering your talents for one of the school projects. Social justice issues such as homelessness, pro- life, and environmental causes are a few of the many projects the School Chaplaincy Leader oversees. The School Chaplaincy Leader is available for personal, confidential counselling and for spiritual guidance.
Retreats and School Liturgies
At various times during the year, students shall participate in scheduled liturgies and retreats. Such involvement is not only compulsory but essential to building commitment and witness to Christian faith in our Catholic secondary schools. These activities are a vital part of our curriculum. By choosing to attend St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, a student accepts various religious activities, including school liturgies, retreats or other special events, as a compulsory component for everyone in our community.Chaplaincy