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Community Update: December 6, 2021

Start each day with a grateful heart…

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Saint Matthew Conference – Christmas Angel Tree Program

We ask, if you are able, to contribute towards our Christmas Angel Tree program.  We are requesting cash/cheque donations that we can use to purchase grocery and gift cards in bulk at a discount.  Cheques can be made out to Society of Saint Vincent de Paul – St Matthew.  There is also an online donation portal that you may access on our website: Should you wish to purchase a grocery/gift card yourself, we require $25 grocery cards from Metro, Sobeys, President’s Choice and Walmart, and $10 gift cards from Shoppers Drug Mart, Dollarama and Tim Hortons. Envelopes can be dropped off in the office up until December 3, 2021, at the church office and there is also a locked drop box outside both entrances of the church that can be used as well. Please address the envelopes to SSVP – Saint Matthew.  Should anyone have questions, they can be directed to Jennifer Monte at or that of the conference: Distribution will begin the week of December 6, 2021.

For more information please read the attached letter:

National Mitten Tree Day – December 6th, 2021

Please join us in giving the gift of warmth beginning Monday December 6th.  We invite you to participate by sending a pair of new mittens with your child to be hung on our tree beginning December 6th. All donations will be delivered to The Catholic Children’s Aid Society in time for Christmas! Thank you to our Outreach Committee for their support with this.

St. Matthew Catholic Parish NewsFrom the Pastor’s Desk…

Our Advent journey, as a Christian people, is always meant to be one of hope, but this year it feels a little easier to get on the bandwagon. In the weeks before we celebrate the Nativity, we turn ourselves to the task of cultivating expectation: that the Lord will come at the end of time to complete the process of redeeming and restoring Creation; that his light gradually fills, redeems, and restores our own lives as we turn to him; and that the more we live, as a people, the radical love that is his Gospel, the better the world around us becomes. With parish life—and life in society at large—inching closer to normal, our lived experience may help us with this age-old task. Listen carefully to the ancient prophecies read at Mass throughout the season, our own proclamations in the world are meant to be similarly stirring in their hopefulness. Christians are often characterized as preachers of doom and gloom, sometimes deservedly so. It bears repeating that it was never meant to be this way. If we, who live with God as our friend, cannot enunciate the peace and trustworthiness of his promises, who will? It’s not to say we’re without crosses and challenges, but we can’t allow bearing them to separate us from our most pressing vocation: proclaiming the Gospel.

~ Father Allen Varlaki

Follow St. Matthew Catholic Church on Social Media and keep up to date with all that is happening in our parish! There are four ways to connect to the parish:

Extended French Program (begins in Grade 5 at HCDSB)

The online registration process for the 2022-2023 school year will take place in December of this year. The online registration portal will be available on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 until Friday, December 17, 2021.

A direct link to online registration will be available on the Extended French webpage, and can also be accessed on the homepage of the Board’s website ( during this time period.

About the Random Selection Process

Student enrolment in the Extended French program will be determined through a random selection (lottery) process. Please note that only one (1) registration per child will be accepted and included in the random selection process. All duplicate registrations will be CANCELLED. Visit HCDSB’s website for more information on the Extended French Program.

Indigenous Art Family Paint Night

HCDSB families, students and staff are invited to participate in a virtual family paint night to get creative at home and learn about Indigenous art!

The online session will be hosted by Indigenous Artist, Moses Lunham, who will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create a painting at home. No prior artistic experience is necessary to get involved. However, those interested in participating can prepare for the art session(s) by collecting the following art supplies.

Save the Date!

Big Spirit Moon Paint Night

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

A link to the live event will be available on the scheduled time and day of the presentation on the Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel:

Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel

If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor at:

Apply to the HCDSB Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council

Our HCDSB schools are committed to creating safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environments that support student achievement and well-being in our Catholic schools. Human Rights and Equity are guiding values that are consistent both with Catholic Social Teaching, reaffirming the dignity of every individual, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code, which safeguards students and staff from discrimination based on the protected grounds.

The HCDSB Equity and Inclusive Education Steering Committee is in the process of forming a Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council (HREAC) to engage community stakeholders including parents, students and community organizations. 

About the HREAC

The HREAC will assist the board in identifying community needs and to provide advice and guidance on addressing systemic barriers and supporting historically underserved members of the 2SLGBTQ+, racialized and Black communities in the HCDSB. 

HREAC Membership Requirements

  • Lived experience and/or strong understanding of human rights, equity and inclusion, anti-racism, anti-oppression, homophobia and systemic discrimination in education and the community at large. 
  • keen commitment to dismantling systemic barriers to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. 
  • Available to attend 3-4 meetings per year, over a 2-year term.

Apply Now!

Parents/guardians and students in Grades 7-12 interested in serving on the HREAC are invited to submit an online application through the HREAC Membership Application Form, which will remain open until December 31, 2021.

Apply to the HREAC

All applications will be reviewed by the Equity and Inclusive Education Steering Committee. Successful candidates will be notified by January 14, 2022. 

For more information about the HREAC membership, click here.

Christmas Spirit Week at St. Matthew

St. Matthew’s will be celebrating Christmas Spirit week from Monday, December 13th to Friday, December 17th.  

Monday: Christmas hair or Christmas hat day (students in uniform)

Tuesday: Wear red, white, and/or green accessories day (students in uniform)

Wednesday: Wear red, white, and/or green accessories day (students in uniform)

Thursday: Pajama day

Friday: Christmas sweater and Spirit Day!

Promoting Well-Being – Take 15 minutes just for you

15 minutes for your spiritual health…

Spiritual wellness is about connecting with what is meaningful to you in a way that lightens or enriches your spirit.

“Research shows that spirituality is linked with physical well-being, and spiritual wellness can bring comfort and lend strength for handling life’s challenges,” says Tara McKendrick, CEO of CMHA Niagara. “Try exploring radical self-compassion, perhaps through learning simple meditation techniques that provide your mind a rest from doing.”

Other ways to enhance your spiritual wellness include:

  • Spend time in nature. Studies show it has a powerful positive effect on mind and body and that even spending 15 minutes per day outdoors in nature can be beneficial.
  • Indulge your creativity. Creativity can be an effective tool for enhancing our spiritual growth and help us to express our emotions. Try painting, drawing, writing, poetry, knitting, or practicing a musical instrument.
  • Practice gratitude. Write down three things that you are grateful for and why. Or take the time reach out to people that you love and tell them you appreciate them.


Gojmerac, AnnieCommunity Update: December 6, 2021