In the presence of school board officials, teachers, students, parents and religious representatives, Fr. Jan Gogolewski, the pastor of Guardian Angels Parish, officially blessed the newly opened St. Daniel Comboni Catholic Elementary School in Brampton, Ontario, on May 9, 2018.
The school, which belongs to the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, actually opened its doors to both students and teachers on September 5, 2017 with a special ribbon cutting ceremony. St. Daniel Comboni School is a 60,320 square foot facility that can accommodate up to 553 students and features a two room childcare center for toddlers and preschoolers.
The Comboni Missionaries, who administer St. Joseph’s Church in Kitchener, were also present for the blessing. During the ceremony, Fr. Brian Quigley urged students and teachers alike to incarnate a spirit of collaboration, just as St. Daniel Comboni did with his missionary work in Africa. The Comboni Missionaries also presented missionary rosaries and prayer cards that will also be distributed in all the classrooms.
The vice chair of the board of trustees, Anna da Silva, took a moment during her speech to thank the Comboni Missionaries and others for the work that they did in Africa and Latin America many decades ago. She said: “It is because of these missionaries that we are gathered here today in Brampton with all this diversity to open a new school. It started back then with the passing on of the faith.” While it is not uncommon in other parts of the world to have a school named for Daniel Comboni, this is a first for Canada and an honor for the Comboni Missionaries, who have ministered both in Ontario and Quebec over the decades.
The blessing of the school ended with the following words: “May our youth grow in wisdom, age, and grace before You and all Your people. May this school always be a home of truth and wisdom, of faith and good will toward all. Through the prayers and example of St. Daniel Comboni, may this school help our community build Your kingdom of justice, light and peace.”
Pictures from the St. Daniel Comboni Elementary School official Twitter: @StDanielComboni