Born March 25, 1347
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:
On behalf of our staff at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, I would like to welcome you to our community! Our school was established in September of 2000 as a result of tremendous growth in the city of Barrie and in particular, its' south west area. Students who were originally attending an overcrowded St. Nicholas Catholic School, which had grown to a student population of over 1200, established two new school communities...our St. Catherine of Siena and St. Bernadette Catholic.
Our school is named after Catherine of Siena (picture above). Here is some of her story:
St. Catherine of Siena was born during the outbreak of the plague in Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was the 25th child born to her mother, although half of her brothers and sisters did not survive childhood. Catherine herself was a twin, but her sister did not survive infancy. Her mother was 40 when she was born. Her father was a cloth dyer.
Despite Catherine's religious nature, she did not choose to enter a convent and instead she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, which allowed her to associate with a religious society while living at home. Fellow Dominican sisters taught St. Catherine how to read. Meanwhile, she lived quietly, isolated within her family home. St. Catherine developed a habit of giving things away and she continually gave away her family's food and clothing to people in need. She often visited hospitals and homes where the poor and sick were found. Her activities quickly attracted followers who helped her in her mission to serve the poor and sick.
St. Catherine was drawn further into the world as she worked, and eventually she began to travel, calling for reform of the Church and for people to confess and to love God totally. She also established a monastery for women in 1377 outside of Siena. She is credited with composing over 400 letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, and her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church. She is one of the most influential and popular saints in the Church.
St. Catherine's feast day is April 29, she is the patroness against fire, illness, miscarriages, people ridiculed for their faith and nurses.
We are proud to have our school named after Catherine of Siena, a woman of deep faith who lived her life in service to others and with a deep concern for the well being of the less fortunate. Our school community works hard to emulate the fine example Catherine gave to us. Our school community undertakes social justice initiatives regularly in an effort to follow her example.
Our school works closely with our Parish, Holy Spirit to support the faith journey of our students. Sacramental preparation, monthly Masses and several other liturgical themes are coordinated with our Parish. Father Tad and his Parish team are highly visible in our school. As well, twice a year our entire school community gathers during Advent and to conclude our school year by attending Mass at Holy Spirit Church.
Our Catholic School Community Council is a vibrant and active partner in our school's mission (see our Mission Statement). It meets regularly throughout the school year expressing the views of our parents and supporting various school initiatives. All parents are welcomed to attend CSCC meetings.
Our school prides itself in providing an inclusive, challenging and supportive academic program for all of our students. St. Catherine of Siena has an incredibly active co-curricular program. Several clubs, teams and artistic opportunities exist for our kids outside the classroom.
I am proud to be a member of our community as principal and look forward to working with you in providing an experience for your child that will support his/her spiritual, academic and social growth.