Knightly Weekly | Sept 25 – Oct 1

   September 2023 Week of Sept 25-Oct 1   

Sept 25 | Day 2 GHEF

Grade 8 Volleyball game
Truth & Reconciliation Service

Sept 26 | Day 1 DABC

School Picture Day
Gr.9/JR/SR Volleyball @ Byrne Creek
Grade 8 jamboree @ VC

Sept 27 | Day 2 HEFG

CLE Schedule
Grade 8 Volleyball game
Club Fair @ Lunch
Grade 12 Parent Night @ 6pm (Rm 127 & 129)
Grade 8 & 12 Mixer (6-8pm)
Swim Team @ Edmunds 3-4pm (practice)

Sept 28 | Day 1 ABCD

Staff Meeting – Late start
Club Fair @ Lunch
Cross Country Meet
Gr.9/Jr/Sr Volleyball vs Moscrop
JV Football vs GWG

Sept 29 | Day 2 EFGH

Mission: Jeans Day
Varsity Football vs CG
Gr. 8 Volleyball @ ND



Our First Advisory is in the books. Well done to the Waterford planning crew for starting us off strong! Next Advisory is mid October.

Club Fair is next week Wednesday and Thursday September 27th and 28th. If you have any questions please reach our to Mr. Power. If you would like to put in a last minute submission please fill out this form. Submissions will close Saturday at Midnight.


Grade 11 and 12 students and parents are encouraged to go on to the Education Planner website. This is a great resource to search and plan for possible post-secondary options! (This is also the site where gr. 12 students will begin their applications to BC post-secondary institutions.)

Gr. 12 Parent Night to review the process of Post-Secondary applications and Scholarships will take place on Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm in the Cafeteria.


Staff and students from several schools will be taking part in a three-day series of workshops designed to take students and staff from a model of service and charity to one towards true advocacy. The workshops will take place at the KW Hall at the SJPII Centre September 27-29, 2023.

STMC has arranged to bring in several individuals from the Westcourt Centre in Belfast, the North of Ireland to facilitate the three days of training. The Westcourt Centre is a Blessed Edmund Rice ministry managed and directed by Cormac McArt. Cormac and key members of his team, Dr. Aiden Donaldson and Brother Denis Gleeson, work hand-i- glove with the 111 Christian Brother Schools in the North and South of Ireland, as well as England to develop staff & student faith formation and domestic immersion experiences based around Catholic Social Teachings and the UN Social Development Goals.

We believe that for all of those involved would benefit significantly from learning what the City in Focus is currently doing around homelessness, as well as the myriad of intersectional issues that are inextricably connected the underlying causes/effects.


Have you ever thought about treading the boards of the stage? Ever watched a movie and thought ‘Hey! I could do that!’

Well, now is your chance! STMC Drama are putting together a production of Polly Teale’s Mermaid to be presented to the community at The Anvil Centre in April 2023. Mr. Walker and his team are looking forward to working with male and female students from Gr.8-12 on this exciting and very different piece of theatre that will engage your heart and your head in a dynamic style of performance.

This is a call out for anyone interested in experiencing a fun, character led but movement based piece of theatre. If you are interested, please watch this video for more information and/or ask Mr. Walker for more details.


Our first cross country meet will be on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Central Park. The meet begins at 3:30 on the grass field next to the Central Skytrain station. Feel free to come on out and cheer on the team!


After over a month of training and learning the game, the Grade 8 Knights finally have a jamboree against competition from other schools on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at VC.

The JV Knights finish their Exhibition season versus the always tough GWG Grizzlies 3:30pm Thursday, Sept 28 at Burnaby Lakes.

After 4 hard-fought Exhibition games, the AAA #4 ranked Varsity Knights take on the #3 ranked Carson Graham Eagles at 7:30pm Friday, Sept. 29 at Burnaby Lakes. Come out in all WHITE to support your Knights!



Knightly Weekly | Sept 18-24

Knightly Weekly | Sept 11-15

Pentecost Sunday: Unlocking Our Super Powers

On May 28, we celebrated Pentecost Sunday. I have always appreciated that Pentecost is a profound and significant event in the life of the Church, but Pentecost has meant many different things to me in my lifetime. When I was very young, Pentecost was “the birthday of the Church”. When I was a little older, I was obsessed with the idea that Pentecost marked the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples, empowering them to fulfill their divine mission. I used to fantasize that some fateful Pentecost Sunday, I would just start speaking in tongues, charismatically moved by, maybe even “possessed” by, the Holy Spirit. To 10 year-old me, the coolest thing that could ever happen would be If I started speaking in tongues. As I have grown and matured, I know I’m probably not going to start speaking in tongues on Pentecost Sunday, but the part of Pentecost that I have always embraced is my feeling of astonishment in the power of that event.

In his book Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church, Pope Francis tells us that at the heart of Pentecost lies child-like wonder, a very real and very fundamental element of pure astonishment. Pentecost, as we know, marks a pivotal moment in the Christian narrative. It is a time when the disciples, disheartened and seemingly defeated after Jesus’ crucifixion, experienced an unexpected event that astounded them and the surrounding crowd. The Holy Spirit descended upon them, filling them with courage and power, and in a single moment, they learned to speak a new language, a universal language that all people could understand, the language of love.

The early Church that emerged from Pentecost was an astonishing community. With the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were empowered to proclaim a new message, they were emboldened to proclaim the resurrection of Christ, and they spread this astonishing message in a universal language that transcended all cultural and linguistic barriers. Each person heard the disciples speaking in their own tongues, testifying to the greatness of God’s works. This divine intervention challenged all preconceived notions and left all who heard the message awestruck.

We live in a world of astonishment. We are literally surrounded by marvelous and amazing things everywhere we look. In our current reality, it is however difficult to astonish anyone. Last Sunday, at Holy Eucharist Cathedral, Fr. Mykhailo reminded me that perhaps the most astonishing power of the Holy Spirit, is that we already have the gifts of the Holy Spirit inside us all, gifts that we all received at our Baptisms, gifts that are greater than any super power, and gifts that are called to exist for all time.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are truly astonishing, the gifts carry with them the mission of proclaiming the victory of Christ over death, of spreading the message that God’s arms are always open, and that His patience is everlasting, waiting to heal and forgive all of us. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, that we commonly understand as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord, are truly superpowers that we all possess, these gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit at work within us. These super powers guide us, inspire us, and empower us in our journey of faith.

Fr. Mykhailo explained that the gift of wisdom enables us to discern God’s will and to make choices that align with His divine plan; the gift of understanding grants us the ability to delve deeper into the mysteries of faith, spurning us to continuously grow in our faith. The gift of counsel provides us with divine guidance and helps us navigate the complexities of life; the gift of fortitude strengthens our resolve and empowers us to face challenges and adversity with courage and conviction. The gift of knowledge enriches our understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ, deepening our relationship with God. The gift of piety nurtures our reverence and devotion towards God, fostering a profound sense of worship and gratitude. Lastly, the fear of the Lord, perhaps the most misunderstood gift, instills in us a reverential awe, reminding us of the greatness of God, of our dependence on Him, and encouraging us to “let go and let God” when we feel overwhelmed.

The last piece of wisdom that Fr. Mykhailo imparted to me on Sunday is that although the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are inside all of us, we don’t always choose to, or even know how to, “unlock our super powers”. Fr. Mykhailo compared the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to a six pack of abdominal muscles. We all have a ripped six pack of abs in our abdomen, but we don’t all necessarily do the things we need to do to get that “beach body six pack”. Sometimes, we make conscious choices and skip our ab exercises, and sometimes we don’t even know what dietary choices to make or what exercises to do to build those core muscles. This is often the case with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are inside us all.

On the day that Jesus’ disciples were imbued with the Holy Spirit, all who witnessed this miraculous event were truly astounded (cf. Acts 2:6–7, 11). This astonishing display demonstrated the true transformative power of the Holy Spirit; the Church was born at Pentecost, we became an astounding community, bearing a new message, speaking a new language, communicating to all that Jesus Christ has trampled “death by death” and proclaiming the universal language of love. The most wonderful part to me is that the same Holy Spirit is inside us!

I hope that the astonishment of Pentecost reminds us all of the words of Saint Paul, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). I hope that the astonishment of Pentecost ignites our hearts and minds, I hope that it unlocks our super powers, and I hope that it encourages us all to strive to be a Church that astounds, as we speak the language of love, and as we serve as living witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Take care, be well, stay safe, and God bless you all.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts… Forever!
The Admin Team

Holy Week

Dear STMC Community,

I hope that the experience of Holy Week inspires every member of our STMC community to be our authentic selves. I hope that the experience of Holy Week gives us the grace to think about all of the amazing people who have inspired us. I hope that the experience of Holy Week brings each of us closer to what Thomas Merton calls true self-knowledge.

I hope that reflecting on the Passion, the death and the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ helps us to see ourselves in an unvarnished and truly honest way; I hope we are better able to accept our failures and our faults, I hope we are able to see that all of our successes are achieved only with the help of others and only with the guidance and protection of God.

I hope that the experience of Holy Week helps us to be humble; Jesus modeled humility in every aspect of his being. Our Messiah rode into Jerusalem to conquer death on the back of a donkey, he did not bring us the hope of eternal life mounted atop a gallant white steed.

I hope that the experience of Holy Week helps us surrender all our cares of life and helps us to relinquish worry over all the things we cannot control to God and to His Mercy. Most of all, I hope that the experience of Holy Week allows us to encounter Jesus Christ in others, I hope that these encounters bring us all closer to our families, and to our Faith with the knowledge that Jesus is the light and the spark that is in all of us.

Take care, be well, stay safe, and God bless you all.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!


Ash Wednesday

We recently received the Imposition of Ashes together as a Faith and learning community on Ash Wednesday. Our Chaplain, Fr McGuckin, administered the imposition of the Ashes during our Ash Wednesday Service as our STMC gymnasium was transformed into a Holy place. Ash Wednesday is always a very special day, as we came together in fellowship with one another and received ashes on our foreheads we were reminded of the opportunity that Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent provides us.

Receiving ashes on our foreheads is a visible reminder that we are entering into the Lenten season. During Lent, we are being given an opportunity for personal conversion and for internal renewal. In many ways, Lent is about getting a fresh start, reinventing ourselves, and becoming a better version of ourselves; this is really a rare and powerful thing that God is offering us. Lent provides us an opportunity to be a little better every day than we were the previous day, and to be completely open to what God wants for us, at to be open to what God is asking us to do.

During our Ash Wednesday Service, we were also graced by the presence of Vice Principal, Paul Fontana and three students from All Hallows High School in the Bronx. The visiting staff and students from All Hallows also reminds us that Lent is a time for charitable works, for giving, and for standing in solidarity with those marginalized by poverty and injustice. Each year, STMC is committed to collecting missions money that goes to pay one full tuition for one year for a student at All Hallows High School.

My wife is Ukrainian and a very important Saint in the Ukrainian Orthodox church is St. John Chrysostom. On the topic of Lent, and charitable acts, St. John Chrysostom said, “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing.” St. John is reminding us of what Jesus said in Matthew, Chapter 6. When we make small sacrifices during Lent, when we give money to charities, when we volunteer, when we fast or give up something we like, we don’t need to tell people about our personal suffering, it is much more important that do something for others, that we ease the suffering of someone else.

Lent is a reminder to all of us that we are one, that we are a team, that we are all in this together. I hope that receiving ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday reminded all of us that Jesus asked us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves; I hope that receiving ashes on our foreheads reminded us that Jesus asked us to give preferential treatment to poorest of our neighbors, and to help them and to pray for them. During Lent, we must also remember our Christian Brother Communities in most need, our communities in the South Bronx, in Brownsville, Texas, in Peru, and in Dominica.

On Ash Wednesday, when the ashes were imposed on our foreheads, and we heard the words, “Remember that YOU are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”  I hope that this ritual that we experienced together reminded all of us that we are human, an we are flawed, but we are also a team, and, we are in this together, and, every day of our Lenten journey, we have been given an opportunity to improve a little bit and to work towards becoming the best version or ourselves; most importantly, we have been given an opportunity to help someone in need and to stand in solidarity with those marginalized by poverty and injustice.

Take care, be well, stay safe, and God bless you.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

The Admin Team,
Joe Adams, Principal | Cassie Lauang, Vice-Principal | Ethan Shoemaker, Vice-Principal

Season of Advent

The season of Advent is a sacred time, and the Advent candles are reminders for the Catholic Faithful. The purple “Prophecy candle” reminds us that Advent is a time to be grateful for the arrival of the Messiah, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The white “Christ candle” reminds us that this is time to celebrate the purifying “new life” that we receive when we accept Jesus Christ as our saviour. The pink “Shepherd’s candle” reminds us of the joy of the faithful, the celebration of Jesus’ anticipated return to us one day. Advent is a time of Gratitude, a time of Renewal, and a time of Hope.

Gratitude. On behalf of the Admin Team, we wish to express the deep sense of gratitude that we feel. Our students, our parents, and our Faculty and Staff worked together and have persevered through the challenges presented by COVID-19 in 2021-2022. The entire STMC family demonstrated the sense of community that defines us. The members of the STMC family truly lived out Servant-Leadership by putting the needs of others first, by helping others grow, by inspiring others to lead, and by helping the materially poor and the marginalized. We are grateful to have the privilege to lead this community.

Renewal. The new year provides us with an sense of renewal; a new year means new learning and new opportunities. The new year provides us with opportunities to blaze trails, opportunities to achieve our goals, and opportunities to actualize the STMC mission to lead, to learn, and to serve. As a new Admin Team, we embrace the challenge to lead STMC into a new year, to inculcate the joy of learning, to live out the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, and to continue to help every member of the STMC community pursue excellence in all endeavours.

Hope. A new year also brings hope. We are hopeful that we can embrace the true spirit of Truth & Reconciliation in the new year. We are hopeful that we can be committed to environmental sustainability and stewardship. We are hopeful that we will care for each other’s physical and mental health. We are hopeful that we can realize the STMC vision, “For every Knight to optimize their potential, to serve others, and to create a just and caring world.”

As we put the year 2022 behind us, we feel a deep sense of gratitude, an energizing sense of renewal, and an inspiring sense of hope. Like the candles of the Advent wreath, we endeavor to light the way for our Knights families. For some members of our community, we need to be a light in the darkness, for some members of our community, we hope to be the light of discovery and ingenuity, and for other members of our community, we will be the light that illuminates accomplishments and achievements.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

Take care, be well, stay safe, and God bless you all.

The Admin Team,
Joe Adams, Principal | Cassie Lauang, Vice-Principal | Ethan Shoemaker, Vice-Principal

Welcome to a New School Year

After 5 years of manning the helm at STMC, there are a few changes this year. I will be moving to the President position, taking over for Dianne Doyle who is now enjoying retirement.

Joe Adams is going to be the new Principal, with Ethan Shoemaker and Cassie Lauang as the Vice Principals.

Stay tuned for more updates!


Videos & Streams

Lots of things are happening in the school every single day. Sometimes, there will be live streams or recorded videos of such events. These can be found on our YouTube page.

Family Communication | Jan 7

Dear STMC Parents,

This is the third in our series of three IMPORTANT School Reopening Emails – Please Read

Our staff has been working hard behind the scenes this entire week to ensure that we are prepared for the return to in-person learning on Monday morning (January 10, 2022).  This plan, however, is predicated in the need to ensure that EVERYONE entering our school is in total and full compliance of the measures communicated in the Updated STMC COVID-19 School Safety – Communicable Disease Plan.  This updated plan was shared with you in our communication with you on Wednesday.  It has now been posted on the main page of our school website [link]. Families are reminded to review these measures with their daughter/son in advance of our school reopening on Monday.

Key Reminders

  • Full compliance with masking and hand hygiene measures:
    • Enter the school only through the doors at the Main Entrance on 12th
    • Students will be greeted by members of the Admin Team prior to entry each morning.
    • Always be conscious of your levels of personal responsibility – Control the controllables!
  • Students/Visitors must enter the building already wearing a mask.
  • Come prepared.  You remembered phone… Remember your face mask!
  • Masks are to be worn properly at ALL times.  They are neither ear-muffs nor chin-hammocks.  Ensure that both nose and mouth fully covered.
  • None of the above are things you should ever have to be reminded about.


Adjusted Daily Schedules for Gr. 8/9s & Gr. 10-12s

We are enacting the following schedule for the next month.  We will review and will re-adjust if it is deemed necessary at any time between now and then.

Junior Schedule 8/9

7-8:15 – X block
8:20 – Warning bell
8:25 – 9:45 – 1st block
9:50 – 11:05  – 2nd block
11:05 – 11:45 – Lunch
11:50 – 1:05 – 3rd block
1:10 – 2:25 – 4th block
2:30 – 3:45pm Y-block

Senior Schedule 10/11/12

7-8:15 – X block
8:20 – warning bell
8:25 – 9:45 – 1st block
9:50 – 11:05  – 2nd block
11:10 – 12:30 – 3rd block
**Staff will incorporate a stretch break for all Gr. 10-12s into their 3rd block classes**
12:30 – 1:05 – Lunch
1:10 – 2:25 – 4th block
2:30 – 3:45pm Y-block

 Only those students who have scheduled classes/tutorial, practices/games, or are actively involved in scheduled servant leadership activities (e.g. BERT or Green Team) will be invited to remain at the school after 2:25pm each day.  Classrooms will be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.  Only the Library-Learning Commons and the Cafeteria-Student Commons will remain open for limited student use.  The gymnasium will be limited to scheduled team use only and will be closed to ALL spectators.

 Completion of the Daily Health Check

As we prepare to return to school on Monday, our school safety plan mandates that we must diligently enforce our daily health check protocols. Emails containing your personal health check link will be sent daily at 4:00 AM, and it is essential that your health check be submitted prior to 8:00 AM on every school day.

Our office staff will be validating health checks for every student each morning, and will need to contact families immediately if a negative check has not been received for a student in attendance. If we are unable to confirm student health status with a family, school administrators will have to remove affected students from class until the issue has been resolved.

If you are unable to complete your daily health check online for any reason, please call the school at 604-521-1801 x1196 before 8:00 AM in the morning and leave a message as to the student’s health status.

STMC Protocols for Families

Please review the attached STMC Protocols for Families with respect to the need to Self-Isolate or Self-Monitor.  The procedures outlined are aligned with the measures directed to us by the BC Center of Disease Controls.

It is absolutely imperative that…

If someone displays symptoms of COVID-19 or is concerned in any way they need to stay home.  We also encourage that they call 8-1-1 or use the online self-assessment tool, If a student or a school staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we ask they isolate at home AND that they inform the school immediately. The current Omicron variant has overwhelmed each of the respective Provincial Public Health Authority’s ability to adequately conduct timely contact tracing. Public Health staff are doing their absolute utmost to manage any clusters or outbreaks. Sadly, if you do not inform us… we may not be notified of ANY confirmed positive cases until long after an individual is cleared to return to the school.

Declaring a “Functional Closure” & Shifting to On-Line Learning

We have been working on a variety of scenarios in the event that in-person learning is halted for any reason.  The only time we will need to shift to an on-line learning platform is IF:

  • The MoE directs all school to suspend in-person learning for a period of time (as they have done in other provinces)


  • Our staffing levels do not permit us to provide adequate services based on reported staff illnesses.

We will send a more detailed communication to families early next week outlining the rationale and need to potentially – on a temporary basis – shift from in-person to on-line learning.  We hope and pray that we do not need to activate plans as a result either of these two particular scenarios.  However, with that said… we will – as we have this entire pandemic – be ready to shift and alter our plans should we need to do so.

Finally, as we have asked in each of our correspondences with you since the start of the pandemic we ask that you pray for the continued good health of our two resident Christian Brothers – Bro. Bassett, Bro. Cass – as well as everyone associated with our St. Thomas More family!

Pax et Bonum!


Yours in Christ,
Dianne Doyle – President, STMC
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

COVID-19 School Safety

January 5, 2022


Dear STMC Parents,

This is the second in our series of three IMPORTANT School Reopening Emails – Please Read

The Ministry of Education recently requested that all schools review and update their COVID-19 Health & Safety – Communicable Disease Plans to ensure that they reflected the new measures that were announced last Thursday.  While we are constantly making modifications to our STMC COVID-19 School Safety – Communicable Plan we know we cannot be complacent with our approach to this new variant. We have, and will continue, to tweak our safety plan to ensure that we keep our two Christian Brothers, our staff (… & their families), as well as all of our students (… & their respective families) as safe as we possibly can.

While our COVID-19 protocols have always exceeded the minimum requirements, the release of the updated guidelines for schools by the Ministry of Education on December 30, 2021 provided us (once again) with the opportunity to both review and enhance our existing internal protocols.

Our UPDATED STMC COVID-19 School Safety – Communicable Disease Plan builds on our previous plans.  These plans have been centered on good hand-hygiene, use of face masks and other PPE, as well as our reliance on vaccinations.  With the emergence of the Omicron variant in early December 2021, a far more enhanced and involved COVID-19 School Safety – Communicable Safety Plan is required.

The Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings and WorkSafeBC regulations provides strong guidance and measures for us at STMC in order to maintain the health and safety of our staff and our students while at school. As outlined in the guidance documents, our school’s administrators, our staff, our students and our parents can contribute to the ongoing health and safety of the school environment through important measures, including:

  1. Being fully vaccinated (Doses 1 & 2, and the Booster when eligible)
  2. FULL Compliance with Communicated Health & Safety Protocols
  3. Staying Home When Sick
  4. Performing Diligent Hand Hygiene
  5. Practicing Respiratory and Personal Hygiene (i.e. effective use of all available and recommended PPE – particularly face masks)
  6. Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact
  7. Cleaning and Disinfecting

UPDATED STMC COVID-19 School Safety – Communicable Disease Plan (January 5, 2022):

This is admittedly a lengthy and comprehensive document.  But we do ask you to go through it prior to the re-start of classes next Monday.  It is in ALL of our best interests that we are all on the same page with these requirements.  It is attached now as a PDF but will be on our school website as soon as possible!

3rd & Final Reopening Email (Friday, January 7 by 4pm):

Our final restart email will hit inboxes late Friday afternoon.  This last one before the restart of classes next Monday will provide specifics regarding our revised lunch break schedules, as well as important information regarding Daily Health Checks and COVID Protocols for families with respect to the reporting of positive COVID cases, Self-Isolation, and Self Monitoring.

Finally, as we have asked in each of our correspondences with you since the start of the pandemic we ask that you pray for the continued good health of our two resident Christian Brothers – Bro. Bassett, Bro. Cass – as well as everyone associated with our St. Thomas More family!

Pax et Bonum!

Yours in Christ,
Dianne Doyle – President, STMC
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

School Reopening Delayed

December 31, 2021


Dear STMC Parents,

This is the first in a series of three IMPORTANT School Reopening Emails – Please Read

We truly hope that all of our families have all had an opportunity to safely reconnect with those they love and with those who love them most this Christmas!

School Reopening Delayed Until January 10, 2022:

If you did not have the chance to check out the briefing from Minister Dix, Dr. Henry, and Minister Whiteside live on Wednesday afternoon you now know that classes and instruction across the province will not resume until Monday, January 10, 2022.

A good chunk of the early part of next week will be set aside for planning and readying the school for the return of students the following week.  This will be the bulk of what we will be doing as a staff on Tuesday & Wednesday.  We need to completely update and submit an enhanced Communicable Disease Plan and will share that with you in our second School Reopening Email next Wednesday.  Additionally, as a teaching team we will be developing a series of contingency plans that we will be able to enact should we experience any further pandemic disruptions to learning moving forward.

The COVID-19 School Safety Protocols that we have in place – ones developed and refined over the last 21 months – need to be both reviewed and re-communicated to all within our school community. Collectively, we have admittedly grown lax since the wide-spread immunization programs took hold late last spring and it’s time to return to what we’ve had in place previously.

STMC is not only a school… But it is the residence to our two 85 year-old Christian Brothers.

Only the School-Based Admin, our Directors, Office Staff, and Facilities Team will be physically on-site at the school next Tuesday and Wednesday (January 4 & 5).  All of our other teaching and support staff will be working at home remotely until Thursday.  The bulk of our staff will return next Thursday.  Limited student entry into the school will begin next Thursday once our enhanced protocols are in place.

Looking ahead:

This is the first of three School Reopening Emails.  The next will hit inboxes next Wednesday, January 5, 2022 and the final one will come to you next Friday, January 7, 2022.

Until then…

We encourage our Gr. 12’s to continue preparing their Personal Profiles and completing their post-secondary and scholarship/bursary applications as deadlines are looming at the middle and end of January 2022. [Fear not… You’ve got this!!!]

For our Grade 8-11s next week would give each of our students an opportunity to review materials from previous units of study so that they can hit the ground running when we reopen on January 10, 2022.

Finally, as we have asked in each of our correspondences with you since the start of the pandemic we ask that you pray for the continued good health of our two resident Christian Brothers – Bro. Bassett, Bro. Cass – as well as everyone associated with our St. Thomas More family!

Wishing everyone a blessed, safe, and happy New Year in 2022.

Pax et Bonum!

Yours in Christ,
Dianne Doyle – President, STMC
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

Family Communication | Oct 2021

Dear STMC Students & Parents,

Keeping students and families informed and up-to-date to what’s happening and upcoming at the school is central to ensuring that the year ahead is as positive for all as it can be.

Stay Connected – Stay Informed!

The pandemic, and our need to respond to it, will continue to drive our ability to hold traditional events and to totally ‘normalize’ our operations to pre-March 2020 levels.  Our approach this year will again require us to be more pragmatic in our planning for most – if not all – of the events that we have calendared.  We will endeavour to communicate with people regarding upcoming events in three ways; via regular emails, via our STMC IOS App (available as a free download from the Apple Store), and via our website and social media platforms. Stay connected – Stay informed!

Key Calendar Events (October 18-29)

Monday, October 18, 2021 – STMC Parents’ Association (PA) Meeting

The October STMC PA Meetings is open to ALL STMC Parents.  The meeting will begin at 7pm in the Library-Learning Commons on the 2nd Floor.  In keeping with our COVID-19 protocols parents are asked to pre-register by emailing the PA Secretary:  providing them with your full name.  You will also be asked to sign an attendance sheet and provide COVID contact-tracing information upon entering the library.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 – Late Start Schedule

Thursday, October 21, 2021 – Grade 9 Parent Meeting @ 5:30pm, STMC Cafeteria [New Date]

We need to limit the attendance to this event and ask that only one family member for each Grade 9 (Grads of ’25) attend this session.  This meeting will be live and in-person and will not be filmed and broadcasted.  Masks are required and a parent/guardian sign-in for contact tracing purposes will be necessary.

Topics: The “Lost Year”… Setting Up for Success – Navigating the weeks and months ahead… STMC Community Development… The Role & Function of our STMC Parents’ Association.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – Grade 8 New Parent Meeting @ 5:30pm, STMC Cafeteria [New Date]

COVID-19 Prevented us from meeting with our New Gr. 8 families as we typically are able to do each June.  We need to limit the attendance to this event and ask that only one family member for each Grade 8 (Grads of ’26) attend this session.  This meeting will be live and in-person and will not be filmed and broadcasted.  Masks are required and a parent/guardian sign-in for contact tracing purposes will be necessary.

Topics: Setting Up for Success – Navigating the weeks, months, and years ahead @ STMC… STMC Community Development… The Role & Function of our STMC Parents’ Association.

Thursday, October 28, 2021 –  Afternoon PLC Pro-D [Early Dismissal Schedule]

As a Professional Learning Community (PLC), we annually conduct our Faith Development Day and one of our six annual Professional Development days prior to start Labour Day weekend and school start-up.  One of our PD days aligns with the Province-Wide PD day in October… one is a school-based PD day in early December… and the two remaining calendared days align with the CISVA’s Catholic Educators’ Conference each February.  We have made the decision this year split our final PD day over the course of the school year by utilizing a series of Early Dismissals.  The two themes for our PLCs this year are Standards Based Grading and Healthy Relationships.

Future Early Dismissal Dates: Nov. 29, Feb. 28, May 12, & June 13

Looking ahead to our early November Calendar!

• Monday, November 8 – STMC Parents’ Association AGM @ 7PM in the Cafeteria
• Tuesday, November 9, 2021 – Fallen Knights & Remembrance Day Services
• Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – Parent-Teacher Interviews [No Classes]

Details regarding format, times, and sign-up instructions forthcoming.

• Thursday, November 11, 2021 – Remembrance Day [No Classes]
• Friday, November 12, 2021 – TERM BREAK [No Classes]

Finally, as I have asked in each of my correspondences with you since the start of the pandemic I ask that you pray for the continued good health of our two resident Christian Brothers – Bro. Bassett, Bro. Cass – as well as everyone associated with our St. Thomas More family!

Pax et Bonum!

Yours in Christ,
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

All Aboard!

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

Dear STMC Students & Parents,

Metaphorically speaking, the train officially pulled out of the station a little less than two-weeks ago (Sept. 8th) with the start of classes for the 2021-2022 school year.  We are now picking up steam and moving forward.  That said… there will be lots of stops and side journey’s along the way until we reach our final destination – June 2022!  Keeping students and families informed and up-to-date to what’s happening and upcoming at the school is central to ensuring that the year ahead is as positive for all as it can be.

Stay Connected – Stay Informed!

The pandemic, and our need to response to it, will continue to drive our ability to hold traditional events and to totally ‘normalize’ our operations to pre-March 2020 levels.  Our approach this year will again require us to be more pragmatic in our planning for most – if not all – of the events that we have calendared.  We will endeavour to communicate with people regarding upcoming events in three ways; via regular emails, via our STMC IOS App (available as a free download from the Apple Store), and via our website and social media platforms. Stay connected – Stay informed!

Key Calendar Events (Sept. 21-October 11)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 – Late Start Schedule                                                                                    

PLC/Staff Meeting – Late Start
Adjusted Day Schedule
7-8:15AM Morning X Blocks
8:20-9:05AM Staff & PLC Meetings
9:15AM Warning Bell
9:20-10:25AM B-Block
10:30-11:35AM C-Block
11:40-12:45PM D-Block


1:35-2:40PM A-Block
2:45-4:00PM Afterschool Y Blocks


Thursday, September 23, 2021 – Gr. 8 – 9 – 12 Dance & Mixer

Sadly, this traditional event (which we had hoped would include our Gr. 9s) is one of the first calendar casualties of our COVID-19 Response.  It is still our hope that we will be able to host this event later in the year, but we will need to reassess later in the fall if/when protocols change.   [Hopefully] More to follow!

Friday, September 24, 2021 – School Photo Day

GradsBC, our School and Grad Photo provider will be here for a large chunk of the day this Friday to take student & staff photos.  As always, families will have the option to purchase a variety of photo packages.  PLEASE NOTE: we will be asking ALL students to get their photo taken – even if they are not planning on purchasing any of the package options – as we need photos for School ID, as well as BC Transit Go-Card purposes.

Saturday, September 25, 2021 – Greater Knight Open (GKO) Alumni Golf Tourney

The Greater Knight Open (GKO) Golf Tourney is our major annual fund-raiser for our Fallen Knight Bursary program – providing tuition assistance to a number of our current families.  I’m happy to announce this year’s event is fully SOLD-OUT!  If you would like to take part in next year’s GKO please reach out to our Director of Alumni Relations Dominic Zimmermann or our Director of Development & Community Relations, Brent Christensen

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 – Grad ’22 Parent Knight @ 6:30PM, Cafeteria

[Please note this is a change in date from what has been originally calendared]

We need to limit the attendance to this event and ask that only one family member for each Grad ’22 attend this session.  Masks are required and a parent/guardian sign-in for contact tracing purposes will be necessary.  Topics: The Year Ahead & Life Beyond STMC – Navigating the Post-Secondary Application Process.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 – National Truth & Reconciliation Day [No Classes]

It is with a great deal of humility that we announce that we are still in the midst of planning for a community event for this day.  We have experienced a significant shift in our thinking about what this day might look like.  Initially planned as a day-in-session with focused conversations/dialogue around truth and reconciliation we have had to significantly scale back our plans simply given time constraints.

We are currently working on both the timing and logistics of opening our school to our STMC families, students, and staff to come together to recognize this day.  The day will be optional but we would like to use it for the school to be a catalyst for our wider community to come together to acknowledge and reflect on the importance of this day.  A prayer service and a variety of presentations are being planned.  Our students and families are welcome to join us on the day! Please stay tuned for a separate email outlining what this inaugural National Truth & Reconciliation Day will look like.

Sunday, October 3 to Tuesday, October 5, 2021 – Grade 12 Retreat  

This year’s Gr. 12 Retreat will take place on Sunday October 3rd to Tuesday October 5th.  Our 12s and our staff will be taking over the Conference Centre at Camp Luther and full COVID-19 Protocols will be in place. Buses will be leaving the STMC parking lot at 1:00 PM on the Sunday and will return back to STMC between 1pm and 1:30pm on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 – Late Start Schedule


PLC/Staff Meeting – Late Start

Adjusted Day Schedule
7-8:15AM Morning X Blocks
8:20-9:05AM Staff & Department Meetings
9:15AM Warning Bell
9:20-10:25AM C-Block
10:30-11:35AM D-Block
11:40-12:45PM A-Block


1:35-2:40PM B-Block
2:45-4:00PM Afterschool Y Blocks


Thursday, October 7, 2021 – Thanksgiving Masses   

Thursday, October 7, 2021 – Photo-Retake Day

Monday, October 11, 2021 – Thanksgiving [No Classes]

Finally, as I have asked in each of my correspondences with you since the start of the pandemic I ask that you pray for the continued good health of our two resident Christian Brothers – Bro. Bassett, Bro. Cass – as well as everyone associated with our St. Thomas More family!

Pax et Bonum! 

Yours in Christ,
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

Controlling the Controllables!

Dear STMC Students & Parents,

Like most, I am also drawn into the daily news briefing by the our Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Minister of Health, Mr. Adrian Dix. And just like you… I too am concerned at the rising number of positive case numbers for COVID-19 throughout the Lower Mainland, B.C., Canada, and indeed, around the world. As we complete Week 7 of our new school year… now is the absolute perfect time to remind everyone in our STMC Family to continue to be on-guard. We implore ALL to not become lax in your behaviours – both here at the school, as well as within the wider community.

Our STMC COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan is very good! But only a fool would suggest that it is fail proof. Ultimately, it is completely underpinned by the need for everyone to do absolutely everything within their power to ensure not only their own safety… but the safety of everyone else too! If we are to safeguard our two Christian Brothers, my staff, and our entire student population we MUST all take measures to “control the controllables”, as Mr. Bernie Kully (’94) was famous for saying.

There are a number of things that EVERYONE can do to partner with us during this time:

  • Be caring and compassionate with your fellow STMC students and families. As a faith and learning community – more than ever – let us model our values of Care, Comfort, and Compassion for our every single person in our STMC Family.


  • Complete the Daily Health Check prior to coming to school each morning (and report any concerning changes). Staff or students who exhibit any of the symptoms listed or feel unwell, should not come to school.


  • Please be mindful when gathering with family and friends when you are not at school


  • Limit your bubble outside school. Keep your inner circle small.


  • While we can do our best at school to implement health and safety protocols, we are all at risk of inadvertently exposing ourselves to COVID-19 through work, socializing, and sports/arts activities. Be mindful in limiting these engagements as much as possible and take all precautions that you can.


  • Continue to remind our young Knights about the Health & Safety Protocols that we should all be following (i.e. physical distancing, hand hygiene, wearing masks where and when required, and most notably, stay home when sick).


The restrictions placed on community sports and fine arts programs are not the same as they are for schools. I honestly wish they were! Rightfully so, schools have had far more stringent requirements placed upon them in terms of the size, composition, and the mixing of their learning groups for contact tracing purposes. We are well aware that many of our students – students in different Families of House (MORE/RICE) – both socialize and practice/play on the same outside teams and clubs outside of school. All the more reason for us to be vigilant in our behaviours!

As the Holy Father, Pope Francis proclaimed on an overcast and (fittingly) dreary, rainy day in his Urbi Et Orbi address to an empty St. Peter’s Square at the beginning of the lockdown back in late March… we are all in the same boat… in the midst of an unexpected, turbulent storm. To survive it we must band together… and row in the same direction. Let’s each of us do our part and “control the controllables”!

Yours in Christ,
Steve Garland
Principal – STMC

A Prayer from St. Francis De Sales

Like most, I have attended a gazillion Google Meets and Zoom conference calls since the start of the pandemic. It would appear to be the new way things are and is likely something that will continue even when we get to the other side of our current reality. Over the course of the last two months, numerous individuals hosting the various meetings I‘ve attend have started or ended the meeting with a prayer from Saint Francis de Sales. Remarkably, these groups and individuals are not directly connected in any way. But I imagine that everyone who has chosen to recite it, has done so because it can provide comfort.

“We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right,
our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.
If at times we are somewhat stunned by the tempest, never fear.
Let us take breath, and go on afresh.”

Each time I hear this prayer it too helps ground me. It gives me renewed strength. It also gives me hope. Most importantly, it serves to remind me that I am not alone in this – none of us are. To stop, take stock, and draw breath before we move forward – but above all – to place our faith in God and in each other will never fail us in our quests. And it will not fail us in our current battle with the Coronavirus!

With gratitude…
Every opportunity I get, I thank our students and our staff for their commitment to our community, as well as their efforts to keep our school safe. Every action we collectively take enables us to continue to meet our important mandate as a faith and learning community. I want to use this particular opportunity to also thank you, our parents. This year marks my 31st in this craft. To say that the last seven months have been a challenge is a massive understatement. We are all working harder than we ever have before to ensure that the pastoral and educational care of our students remains top-notch. The overwhelmingly positive, unwavering support we have received from parents since March has provided the wind that all of our wings have required. We may stumble… We may even get it wrong at times. But to know that our families have our backs is incredibly heartening. On behalf on my entire staff… Mille grazie!

Yours in Christ,
Stephen J. Garland
Proud Principal of STMC

Love in the Time of COVID-19

Love in the Time of COVID-19
A shameless, pilfered reference to the title of a classic Gabriel García Márquez novel? Absolutely! And unabashedly so.
As the COVID-19 pandemic entered our lives a little over seven weeks ago I made a comment to our staff and to a number of our students that I did not fear the coronavirus as much I feared the loss of reason; the loss of compassion; the loss of our love for one another. I made these comments in the wake of the initial widespread panic buying and the genuine distress associated with the arrival of the virus in the Lower Mainland. The worry was palpable, and to some degree, I am certain that we all felt it. Indeed, it was almost impossible to not.
As a student of history, my faith in human-ingenuity and in science provides me with the confidence that we will eventually have a vaccine to this virus – a vaccine that will once again allow us to be more in communion (physically speaking) with one another than we are currently able to be. My belief and faith in God provides me with irrefutable evidence that the face of God is present in our lives… even during this pandemic. In times of hardship, uncertainty and fear, bearing witness to our faith is more important than ever!
Unbelievably heartwarming stories of care, comfort and compassion from all corners of the world fill our airwaves and inboxes each day. Even amidst the sobering daily COVID-19 updates, these stories of hope feature prominently on news and social media platforms. They have shown me that my initial fears of the loss of reason, the loss of compassion, and the loss of our love for one another were unwarranted. God’s love for us – and our love for each other – well and truly conquers all.
One of the greatest challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is that, to slow the spread of the virus, we must practice physical distancing and in our case, as a school, we have had to completely forgo in-person community. I am not going to lie – just as it has been for many of you, I too have found it incredibly challenging not being together. Community is our trademark and is something that many of us at STMC see as our “special sauce”. I know I do… and I know that many of you feel similarly!
Nevertheless, we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is because of our collective energies and our efforts to flatten the curve these past seven weeks that there is a genuine reason for optimism. However, until the day comes, when we CAN be as one, we need to continue to find ways to come together as a faith and learning community to worship and to celebrate.
Our school Mass on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – STMC’s first virtual Mass – honoured and celebrated our special relationship with Blessed Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers and was proof that community and physical distancing are not entirely incompatible. Thanks to fiber optics and a host of various technologies, we were able to maintain and grow the bonds of community among us even while apart. At STMC, community is central to our mission, vision, and values. It always will be!
In the coming weeks we will continue to have additional opportunities to worship and celebrate as a faith and learning community. The planning for our next two school masses – our Mother’s Day Mass on Wednesday, May 13th and our 2020 Graduation Mass on Thursday, May 28th – is well underway. We are also working on a plan to livestream the Night of Knights, our traditional year-end celebration and recognition of student contribution to our STMC community. This event is being planned for Wednesday, June 10th. Lastly, finding ways to properly fête the many accomplishments and varied contributions of our STMC Grads of 2020 are also in the works. Updates and details for all of these events will be shared via email with our students, our parents, and community partners as soon as we are able.
God Bless & Kind Regards!
Steve Garland
Principal – STMC

Ash Wednesday

I wished that I was more musically inclined than I am. For if I was… and had I been brave enough… I would have begun my post-Ash Wednesday Service reflection with our STMC staff & students by singing several of the verses and the chorus of “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”. You may be familiar with this hymn yourself. It has long been a favourite of mine, and it fills me with utter joy when I hear it being sung. Perhaps it is because we sang it almost every week at our Friday masses when I attended Sacred Heart in Ladner, but it is likely even more so because (even 40 years later) I can still see Sister Louise’s face light up with shear delight as we sang it. I’m certain that her emotional response had little to do with our less-than-angelic-voices and more to do with the sense of hope that it brought her.
The lyrics of the hymn never fail to lift my spirits for they help me see that – as a Christian – I am never alone. They also serve to remind me, as a follower of Jesus, of what it is that I am called to do. I believe Ash Wednesday serves these very same purposes. It helps us see, in a very visual sense, that as Christians we are not alone. It also reminds us of the courage that is sometimes required by each of us to proclaim and bear witness our Catholic identity. This year, Ash Wednesday and Pink Shirt Day (Anti-Bullying Day) fell on the exact same day. I shared with everyone in attendance at our service that I felt the coincidence of the timing could not have been more fitting. Early Christians and martyrs of the Church were marginalized and persecuted for their beliefs. Yet in spite of it all, they remained steadfast and brave in their commitment to the faith and the proclamation of the Good News of the New Testament. The mark of the ashes on our forehead allowed all 700+, pink shirt wearing individuals in the gymnasium last Wednesday to look around and see that they were not alone! We also used the occasion to call on all to continue to strive to live the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, to stand in solidarity with the marginalized, to celebrate the value and dignity of all, and to do as Jesus has asked us to do. It is the our call to action as Christians and it is precisely what the Ash Wednesday’s gospel reading (Matthew 6:1) professed.
May the prayer-filled, reflective period of Lent find everyone associated with St. Thomas More Collegiate buoyed with renewed courage to be a little more kinder and a little more gentle towards others. May our personal spiritual journey over the next forty-days bring us closer to others – and in turn – closer to God.
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored.
Chorus: And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.
Chorus: And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
We Will work with each other, we will work side by side;
We will work with each other, we will work side by side;
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.
All praise to the Father, from whom all things come;
And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son.
And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.
Chorus: And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Live Jesus in our hearts… forever!
Yours in Christ,
Steve Garland – Principal, STMC

Advent and Christmas

My home parish – St. Edmund’s in North Vancouver – experienced a bit of a ‘shuffle’ this past summer. Our long standing priest of almost 10 years was reassigned to a parish in Calgary in August and in early in September we welcomed a new pastor, Father Steny. Although I thoroughly enjoyed and miss our former pastor, our new priest’s homilies have really challenged my thinking. Advent, in particular, has taken on a bit of a new meaning for me this year. While I have always considered it to be the harbinger of renewed hope and the expectation of great things to com, it was something that Father Steny said during his homily on the first Sunday of Advent just a few weeks ago that has truly personalized the season for me.

As a teacher and educator I use the notion of hitting the ‘reset button’ or re-calibrating goals and expectations each and every time we begin a new school year (or a new term). You’ve seen me write this in the past and I will say the very same again in this message to families. It is a very natural way to think for those involved in teaching and learning – to know that we always have the opportunity to do different tomorrow than we did today. Until recently, however, I had never fully considered that the period leading up to Christmas allows us to do similarly from a spiritual perspective. As one liturgical year wraps up and we begin a new one where, hope, peace, joy, and love help prepare us for the celebration of the birth of our Lord. It is also a perfect opportunity for me to re-calibrate my spiritual compass.

For all of those associated with STMC, Advent is a period that serves to reminds all of us of the hope we harbour for our families, friends, and those we encounter in our life. It also reminds us our wish for peace on earth – for a better tomorrow for ourselves and everyone, everywhere. It reminds us of the joy associated with knowing that we can all be a better version of ourselves tomorrow than we are today. And it also serves to reminds us of the real love that we are all able share when we have the courage to stand to stand in solidarity with those marginalized with poverty and injustice, and when we celebrate the value and dignity of each person.

At the school level, this holy of seasons coincides with the period immediately following our fall Parent-Teacher Interviews and the distribution of our Term 1 Report Cards. It is a time where students and our staff are able to re-calibrate the academic GPS that we have independently set for ourselves before we hit ‘pause’ and head off for our Christmas Holidays. Students that were able to get off to a good start are able to readjust the benchmarks and goals that they established at the beginning of the school year to see where further improvements can be made. Equally important, it also affords those that have not had the start that they had hoped for to be able to wipe the slate off and begin anew.

The impending Christmas Holidays is the tonic that many need at this point in the school year. It is a chance for all of us to reconnect with those people and those things we love most. It also affords us a chance to rest-up and recharge our energies for that long stretch of hard work that we all know awaits from early January through to the middle of March.

On behalf of the STMC staff I would like to wish all of our families a joy-filled and blessed Advent and Christmas. May God keep you and guide you!

Steve Garland
STMC Principal


Welcome back!

Zdravo, Kamusta, Ciao, Halò, Salut, Hello! 

I trust that the summer has provided everyone associated with the STMC school community the rest and recovery time so well deserved.  Yet I also hope that the time away has been filled with moments of incredible adventure and great excitement.  In the end, this is what summer should be all about!

Here at the school, our administration and front office staff are currently going full-tilt to get everything ready for the return of our faculty later this week and for the return of our students to start classes on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018. 

I pray that the year ahead is extraordinarily rewarding for every member of the St. Thomas More Collegiate community!

Saint Thomas More… Pray for us!

Blessed Edmund Rice… Pray for us!

Live Jesus in our hearts… Forever!

Blessings to all.