This year, for just the second time in history, we were blessed to have the successor of St. Peter visit our home and province, Alberta.
The Holy Father came to us with a somber and humble purpose: to support the process of Reconciliation being undertaken in this country. He came here to listen firsthand to ‘hold a synod’ or ‘walk together’ with the Indigenous peoples of Canada . In undertaking this journey Pope Francis follows the example of Christ in a most fundamental way; that, in the person of Jesus, God physically came to walk among us. He loves us, He wants to listen to us and be close to us.
In keeping with the spirituality of the ongoing Synod, and following this historic visit, the provincial Catholic education partners – ACSTA, CCSSA, GrACE, and the Bishops of Alberta – have decided to adopt the theme Walking Together in Catholic Education for the duration of the 2022-23 school year. Just like Pope Francis, we are all called to imitate Christ. The Holy Father tells us to “be shepherds with the smell of sheep”; therefore, we should ‘walk’ with the people we serve through our work in Catholic education – especially those with whom we seek reconciliation.
Of course, attempting to imitate Christ requires steadfast faithfulness to our God. This year the Congregation for Catholic Education issued the instruction The Identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue, which states, quoting Pope Francis: “We cannot create a culture of dialogue if we do not have an identity”. To accompany and complement our 2022-23 provincial theme, then, we have also selected the following Scripture passage from the Book of Micah (chapter 4, verse 5):
As for us, we will walk
In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.
While walking together we heed the words of the prophet Micah by remaining faithful and obedient to our God, as our Lord Jesus Christ exemplified so perfectly (Matthew 5:17).
On behalf of all the provincial Catholic education partners, we sincerely look forward to Walking Together in Catholic Education with you throughout the 2022-23 school year!
 "To hold a ‘synod’ means to walk together.” 4 October 2013 Address of Pope Francis at the Cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi.