Father Henri Voisin officially opens

Red Deer’s new Catholic elementary school, Father Henri Voisin, officially opened yesterday with a ceremony and blessing.

Members of the clergy, including Archbishop of Edmonton Rev. Richard W. Smith, joined together with council members, Catholic School Board trustees and the Father Henri Voisin Elementary community to officially celebrate the opening of the newest Alberta Catholic school and to accept a blessing from members of the church.

Dean Sarnecki, executive director of the Alberta Catholic Schools Trustee Association was present at the ceremony and offered a few words of thanks and celebration to the community.

“There are over 400 Catholic schools in Alberta, Father Henri being the newest of those as of today. This is one pillar in the Catholic community in Alberta Education, and in the family of Jesus. It’s a privilege to be a part of Catholic education in Alberta, and today we celebrate that,” he said.

Sarnecki also presented the school with a plaque to, “Remind them of the greater community they are a part of.

“We bring a plaque that we hope you hang in front of your school that reminds you that you’re part of something bigger – the Catholic education community. When Father Henri was growing up he lived a life with Jesus as his model and wanted to focus his life on Jesus. We have to remember that we, the Catholic education community, are interconnected across Alberta and across the world.”

Mayor Tara Veer also took part in the celebration acknowledging, “All of the hard work” put forth by members of the Alberta government to bring and officially open Father Henri Voisin Elementary School.

“We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to the leadership, staff, volunteers, parents and students of Red Deer Catholic for ensuring the ongoing and thriving presence of Catholic education in our community,” she said.

“We are so grateful for the tenacity of Father Henri Voisin. He played a very crucial role in bringing Catholic education access to Red Deer, as well as the rest of Central Alberta. Having new schools in our community is a demonstration of the fact that we are moving forward as a City.”

Father Henri Voisin has been open since September and is located in Clearview Ridge. The school hosts students from Kindergarten to Grade 5. Principal Denise Kofin said she is, “Living an administrator’s dream as principal of this fantastic learning facility.” She gave her thanks to the many volunteers, the staff and members of the community who brought this school into fruition.

The school received a blessing for students, as well as in the classrooms and community. Two Kindergarten students who were the first to enrol at the school were given the opportunity to officially open the school with a ribbon cutting.

Red Deer Regional Catholic School Board of Trustees Chair Guy Pelletier was also present at the event and gave his greetings on behalf of the board.

“We’re so blessed in Alberta to have access to Catholic education. I want to acknowledge and thank our friends in government for their continued support of Catholic education in the community.”