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Faith and Learning

Vancouver College is a Catholic School. All students are expected to fully participate in all aspects of our Religion Program. The Catholic tradition forms the basis for the life and work of the school. The Religious Studies program is at the core of the curriculum and life of the school. Through the explicit curriculum of the Religion courses and the retreats and liturgies which are part of the daily life of the school, the students are exposed to the rich traditions of the Catholic Church to assist them in their growth as children of God. A student is expected to pass Religion at each grade level in order to continue into each subsequent grade and to graduate from Vancouver College and participate in the Graduation Ceremonies.

The Religious Education program is one facet of the Christian education process. Creating a Christian community is the task of faculty, students and parents alike; all are encouraged to enter fully into the spiritual life of our school. A respectful presence is expected from all students at liturgical celebrations.

The Head of the Religion Department together with the Campus Ministry Team organize faith-based activities and events.

Classroom Prayer
Students are encouraged to develop and contribute to a prayerful atmosphere in the school, especially in their homerooms. Daily prayers have a special relevance for both students and teachers, giving meaning to all their activities.

Apostolic Activity
Mature faith must overflow into action, and individual Christian volunteer work in the community is encouraged as part of the religion program. In addition, students are called upon to make regular offerings out of their own pockets to Mission funds, which help to support Christian Brothers' Third World mission schools. In addition the Edmundian Society facilitates a program of service in the school.

One of the eight Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Education at Vancouver College is "Promote Vocations." A vocation is a call by God to a state in life be it married, single, religious, or priestly. A God who loves us and created us desires our happiness and calls us to a state wherein we can experience happiness. It is up to individuals to discern God's call and to use free will to make their decisions. For information that may help inform and shape such important decisions please click the following links, Archdiocese of Vancouver Vocations Office and Congregation of Christian Brothers of North America Vocations Office.

Grade Level and School Liturgical Celebration
All students are expected to attend all scheduled religious services throughout the year. This includes those students who might have an unscheduled block during a planned liturgical celebration. There are a series of Liturgical events that highlight the main religious feasts of the year. These are indicated in the school calendar along with opportunities to celebrate Eucharist by Grade level or by class.

Elementary School Religious Education
"Christ Our Life Series" (School Sisters of Notre Dame) is a sound program; a series that proclaims God's goodness, centers on Christ, includes the entire Christian message, follow Church documents, flows from Scripture, relates life experiences to the Good News, recognizes modern developmental theories, ministers to the family, involves the parish community, stresses topics of concern for today's Church. Throughout the year the elementary school journeys with the whole Church by celebrating each liturgical season. There are celebrations of the Eucharist wherein a special theme is enhanced, or other times. There are other liturgical services that celebrate other changes and events that take place in the lives of our students. The elementary religion program is designed to build on the faith developed in the student's home. The student text has a number of pages for parents to help them guide the student through a review of what has been examined in each unit. Other family-oriented activities are suggested at the completion of each theme to help the student grow in faith in the context of the family. God's invitation in Baptism is examined at each grade level.

First Communion
First Communion is a very important sacramental event in the lives of our elementary students. In Grade 2 they are prepared by parents and teachers for the reception of this sacrament. Since Vancouver College is not a parish school, the students receive this sacrament in their own parishes. Parents must register their children at their parish in September of their Grade 2 year.

Community Service
"Were we to know the merit and value of going from one street to another to serve a neighbour, we should prize it more than gold or silver." (Blessed Edmund Ricem Spiritual Founder)

Vancouver College Community Service is founded on the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice, Founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. Edmund left behind wealth and status to serve those abandoned by society.

The challenge for the staff and students of Vancouver College is to practice Gospel values in a volunteer setting both in and out of school. The purpose of the Community Service requirement, an integral part of the Religion curriculum, is to encourage students to utilize their talents and gifts to serve those in need, those less fortunate. This service will allow students an opportunity to give back to the community and to be enriched by serving others.

As part of the Religion Program in the Middle School, every student is asked to complete a minimum of 8 hours of community service per term. This service is to be outside the immediate family and cannot be for remuneration (money). The volunteer hours can be completed entirely within the Vancouver College community or within the students' own community, or the hours can be completed as a combination of the two.

Each Senior School Student must complete 30 hours of community service helping those less fortunate as part of his Religion grade. This will make up 15% of the Religion grade. The service is done with people whom the student would not ordinarily be serving. Certainly, the student would not be paid for his service. Doing jobs like helping your parents or answering phones, stacking chairs or ushering at a parish function are valuable but do not fit the description of helping individuals less fortunate than you. The service should be people-centered.