February 1, 2022

Dear STMC Parents & Class of 2022,

IMPORTANT UPDATES – Please Read to the End

Yesterday marked the halfway point in the school year and the turn towards the home stretch for our Grade 12s.  A good number of the post-secondary applications deadlines have now passed and while offers for admission are beginning to trickle in for some, most of our students from the Class of 2022 are now anxiously awaiting news as to where they may be attending next fall.  It’s a nervy time.  Our current cohort is my 32nd group of grads that I’ve worked with and I can honestly say that it’s been that way with every single one of them.  As I said when we met group back on September 30, 2021 they (your daughters and sons) just need you to love them ‘more and more’ right now.  History proves that when the dust settles… our students will have multi-options available and open to them.  It is the waiting to know what the fall will look like that is the hardest – especially right now. For the first time since they entered Kindergarten there is a little uncertainty about the details of that next step.  Our prayers are with all of them!

Please Note: Many of the schools (notably UBC & SFU) will wait until they receive Term 2 Marks before they begin to send out general offers for 1st Year admissions.  So for our students… their focus and attention to the details needs to be laser sharp as these next 5 weeks before the end of the current term is crucial. Maintaining the standard that our students have set for themselves in Term 3 will be equally important as the vast majority of offers that our students will receive will be on the ‘condition’ that these standards not slip in the final term.

Once we return from Spring Break it will feel as though time is literally flying by.  Most of our students at that point will have a good sense of what life beyond STMC will look like for each of them, and, they will also begin to tangibly feel that their time here is drawing to a close.  From the middle of May to the end of June our school and PA Grad Committee will do their utmost – as we always do – to mark this occasion and to fete our Grads well. They have worked hard – individually and collectively – and we want to ensure that they are also able to enjoy as many of the trappings of this rite of passage as we are possibly able to offer!

Key Grad ‘22 Dates

Saturday, April 9, 2022Grade 12 Parent Pub Night & Fun(d)-Raiser

COVID-19 dependent, but a team of Gr. 12 parents are working hard behind the scenes organizing this fundraiser and Gr. 12 parent social.  Details to follow… but this event will be held at the school.  Please Note: This event falls outside of the K-12 Guidelines and is completely subject to Indoor Gathering Restrictions and Protocols, as well as Proof of Vaccination requirements for entry.

Thursday, May 19, 2022 – Graduation Mass & Reception

Our current plan is to hold our Graduation Mass at Our Lady of Mercy – as is our tradition – and have the reception that follows outside in our Courtyard.   Plan B will be to hold the Mass in our School Gym with the Reception again being outside in the Courtyard.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 – Last Day of Classes & Grad ’22 Farewell Assembly

This last official school assembly symbolically marks the passing of the mantle from our outgoing Grad Class to those of our incoming Grade 12s – the Class of 2023.  It is a student only event but will be livestreamed.  We will post the link for families as we get closer to the date.

Thursday, June 23, 2022 – Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony & Reception

We have already begun in earnest to plan this year’s convocation.  Please Note: Everything we are currently planning is COVID-19 dependent but we are tentatively announcing now that this year’s event will be held outside here at STMC in a tented area on the school field with staging and seating for our Grads and their parents.  We will obviously need to adjust our current plan to ensure that we are able to stay within the COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols as they will be at that time.  The planned reception to follow, as is the case with our Graduation Mass, will be held outside in our Courtyard.  This event will be livestreamed for extended family and friends (near & far) to be able to view.

Friday, June 24, 2022 – Graduation Dinner at the Vancouver Hotel

The date is now confirmed and we look forward to welcoming Grads and families to this event.  And while we will need to adhere to event restrictions at that time, we are obviously hoping that dancing will be allowed after the dinner.  Either way, there will be entertainment. Please Note: This event is deemed non-essential and falls outside of the K-12 Guidelines. It is also completely subject to Indoor Gathering Restrictions and Protocols, as well as Proof of Vaccination requirements for entry by all.

Saturday, June 25, 2022 – Dry Grad (midnight to 5AM)

The PA Grad Committee has a booked The Metro Hall, a venue in New Westminster for the Dray Grad.  Precise details to follow… but participating students will be bussed directly from the Vancouver Hotel to this venue following the Graduation Dinner at the Vancouver Hotel.  Please Note: This event is also deemed non-essential and therefore falls outside of the K-12 Guidelines. It is also completely subject to Indoor Gathering Restrictions and Protocols, as well as Proof of Vaccination requirements for entry by all.

Monday, June 27, 2022 – Graduation Breakfast

This is a time honoured tradition at STMC that is hosted and put on here at the school by our PA Grad Committee. It is an opportunity for our grads to bid farewell to our staff and the school.  We will have a several notable retirements this June.  Having our 12s there to fete our ‘graduating’ staff is always special.  Though weather dependent, our current plans have this event being held in our Courtyard.

My staff have pulled off minor miracles in ’20 and ‘21 to ensure that we could to fete and celebrate our Grads in the best possible ways.  We remain steadfast in our resolve to do similarly for our current Grade 12s for they too deserve nothing less.  During each of the previous two years we held off for as long as we possibly could before committing to a plan to ensure that we could stay within the ever-changing pandemic restrictions.  Essentially, we took the approach that ‘delay was victory’ – the longer we waited, the more we could be sure of vis-à-vis COVID-19 Graduation Guidelines and Protocols.  This year will mark our third pandemic graduation season.  Knowing and communicating our end-game now will allow us to secure everything we need to pull these events off.  It will also enable us to adjust when required to do so.

My typical closing asks for you to keep our two Christian Brothers and all within our STMC Community in your thoughts and prayers.  While I continue to ask you to do so… today I also ask that you include the victims of the tragic house fire in East Vancouver on Sunday.  Among those that died was a young Gr. 4 student at Corpus Christi Elementary.  Please pray for the repose of her soul, as well as the souls of the other the other victims.  May eternal rest be granted onto them, Lord and may your perpetual light always shine upon them!

Yours in Christ,
Steve Garland

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