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Nota Bene Dec. 9, 2018

What blankets and works of mercy have in common

By Agnieszka Ruck

Grade 4 students at St. Catherine's Elementary learned about First Nations traditions and the corporal works of mercy during a blanket ceremony Nov. 24. (Photos courtesy of St. Catherine's school)

It was a cultural experience with a Catholic lesson. Grade 4 students at St. Catherine's Elementary in Langley participated in a blanket ceremony Nov. 24 to learn about First Nations people and the importance of the corporal works of mercy.

From teacher Maria Canil:

The Grade 4 class at St. Catherine’s Elementary School in Langley is responding to our CISVA theme, “What Do You Want of Me, Lord?” through an outreach project that focuses upon the Corporal Works of Mercy: Clothe the Naked and Shelter the Homeless. The way in which they have undertaken this work is by collecting blankets for the homeless who are in need of warmth during the cold season.

The Grade 4s also felt it would be good to merge their study of Corporal Works of Mercy with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters who regard blankets with sacredness.

On Nov. 24 in the gym the Grade 4s participated in a ceremonial blanketing event to honour specific guests: Mr. Ould (Founder of Blanket B.C.), his son Benjamin and daughter Emma, and our very own Mrs. Hadden. An honour song was sung and drummed by Kwantlen members to the honoured blanketed guests.

Grade 4s studied Coast Salish weaving and created their own woven miniature blankets under the instruction of Nanette Jackson which they presented to all classroom teachers and parents who attended. It is a traditional teaching that the first thing made by an artist is to be given away as a humble gesture. The Grade 4 class would like to thank everyone for attending the ceremony and to remind all of us of our sacred duty to care for each other and particularly those who are in need.