Our School is Named for the Holy Family
The first Sunday after Christmas, on the liturgical calendar, celebrates the Holy Family. Pope Leo XIII instituted this feast in 1892, encouraging societies honouring the Holy Family to be established everywhere. He established this feast day to remind families of the sacredness of the family and to provide the laity with a model upon which to structure their own families. In 1974 Pope Paul VI wrote, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus (For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary):
On the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (the Sunday within the octave of Christmas) the Church meditates with profound reverence upon the holy life led in the house at Nazareth by Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, Mary His Mother, and Joseph the just man (cf. Mt. 1:19).
In this meditating on the interior life of the Holy Family we discover those areas of our family's life that need improving. We also find a model for family life that ultimately leads all its members to heaven. Today, let us pray for the grace to lead lives that imitate those of the Holy Family. As we prepare to leave the stable in Bethlehem let us turn our gaze to the house in Nazareth, for it was in the "ordinary" life of the Holy Family that "extraordinary" holiness was lived.
Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Family
Dear Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love
that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence
he needs to support and direct those under his care.
Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing.
For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be.
Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents.
Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man.
Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy
and at peace in our true home with You.
History of Our School
The original five-room school was built in 1950 with an enrolment of 60 pupils. The school, the former S.S. No. 23 of Chatham Township, is now located within the municipality of Chatham-Kent (Wallaceburg) under the St. Clair Catholic District School Board. The school was expanded several times. A new two-room $40,000 addition to the Holy Family School was blessed in ~1960 by Rev. Fr. William Morris. The blessing was attended by members of the school board and Sir Henry J. Payette, K.S.G., Chatham, inspector of separate schools for Kent. The school would now house 180 children without the crowding which had been prevalent for some months. Rene Vandevelde was trustee chairman and principal was Rev. Mother Mary Alice of the Ursuline Order. In 1966, Rev. W. E. Morris, of Holy Family Church, blessed a four-room $80,000 addition to the school. Now the school had an enrolment of 465 pupils, 13 classrooms, a gymnatorium and staff quarters. It was the fourth time the school board officials faced expansion. Mayor E.N. Savage complimented officials on their leadership, especially those from earlier years. "The Church has fostered education down through the years and a prayer of thanks was given for many dedicated teachers. A welcome was extended by Mother May Ellen, Principal, Patrick Dunlop, chairman of the board, and Maurice Van Damme, chairman of the property committee who headed the building program.