Spiritual Life

Holy Thursday Retreat

On Holy Thursday, the community of Immaculate Conception school held its annual spiritual retreat. Family groups, comprised of students from each grade, gathered for opening and closing prayers in the church, planned and led by our Grade Seven class. In between the prayer services, the students participated in three breakout sessions focusing on the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.

Our retreat leader invited parents and the Grade Seven students to reflect upon and explore the blessings of these holy days. The retreat was a spirit-filled experience for all of us!

Grade Two Celebrates First Reconciliation


On Saturday, January 28th, I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we got to the church, we were early so we waited and prayed till everyone got there. When everyone was gathered in the church we started to sing the song “Father I have Sinned.” After that we started with confession. I was the fourth person to go up to the altar. First, I greeted Father Ken, then, I told him my sins. Together we prayed the Act of Contrition. Then, I said goodbye to him and bowed at the altar and I went back to my pew. I felt as light as a feather! Afterwards, once everyone was done we had a reception in the Parish Centre. I really liked the fruit and chips. Everyone looked so fancy in their nice clothes. It was a great day, one I will remember forever.
Written by a Grade Two Student

On Saturday, January 28th, I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We sang “Father I have sinned”. I had my confession with Father Paul. After we had a party to celebrate. My whole family was there. My heart was so clean. I felt different. I felt like my heart was happy, and I was happy too!
Written by a Grade Two Student

Spirit Day 2016

On November 5th, 2016,  many members of the Grade 7 class attended Spirit Day, an event organized and hosted by the CISVA to get participants excited about receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, and awaken the Holy Spirit in young and old alike.

This year, the event was held at Pacific Academy in Surrey.  We sat in a huge auditorium and got to listen to some music from WAL, a Catholic pop/rock band. We also got to follow the story of 6 people who ran the Amazing Race. We listened to them teach us how to pray and to love God, and to remember that we have strength in Him, hope in Him, and that we are alive in Him. That was the theme for Spirit Day 2016. During our general sessions, a Catholic comedy duo, Apex Ministries, performed for us.

Their performances were hilarious and taught us about God and how He loves us. We were lucky enough to have Archbishop Michael Miller lead Mass which was attended by a total of 1400 people (Communion took a long time!). After Mass, the participants shared a delicious dinner together and then we had one more general session filled with singing, praising, and jokes. In my opinion, the best part of the day, was Apex Ministries. They had me laughing non-stop, and they taught me that whenever I pray, God is listening.

Written by a Grade Seven Student

Care for our common home

LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”.   In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.  (Extract: Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis On Care for Our Common Home.)

In Laudato Si’  Pope Francis addresses “every person living on this planet” and makes an appeal for inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path.

The CISVA (Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver Archdiocese) heard this call and our theme for this school year is Care for our Common Home.   As a school and as individuals we will reflect on some of the themes of the papal letter, namely social and ecological justice, and will explore ways of taking action.  We invite you to do the same in your families and communities.


Video message from Pope Francis
Archdiocese of Vancouver Resources
Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Laudato Si”
CAFOD: Resources

Our Living Rosary

On Wednesday, May 18th, our school community came together to pray a living rosary.


A living rosary, is like a rosary but instead of using beads, we use a chain of people who have formed a circle. Each person represents a prayer or a mystery. There are five decades in the rosary, each containing an Our Father, a Glory Be and ten Hail Marys. This living rosary is very special because we want to celebrate Mary. May is the month of Mary and Mary is the patron saint of Immaculate Conception School.

Written by a Grade Six Student

Grade Five Field Trip to Westminster Abbey

In April we traveled to see the Benedictine Monks at Westminster Abbey. We learned that monks teach the high school kids how to train to become monks as well as seminarians. We also learned that Benedictine monks were the only order of monks that existed in the Middle Ages. Our class also took part in the prayer service. At the prayer service, we listened to a very spiritual hymn. Inside the church were beautiful stained glass windows, which our class drew. Afterwards, to stretch our legs out, we took a walk through the forest, which led to a sunny field where we could look down and see the Fraser River. We started to walk back, and saw a statue of our Immaculate Mary. We also walked to the church to see the old graveyard. Our class picked flowers and laid them on the gravestones. Our class had a wonderful time at Westminster Abbey.

Written by a Grade Five Student

First Holy Communion

After many months of preparation, the Grade Two class received their First Holy Communion on Sunday May 1st. Everyone was excited about receiving this special gift from Jesus. Here’s what a few students had to say about their Holy day.

“I felt very happy on my first Communion Day. The church was full of peace.”

“I felt really joyful on my first Communion Day.”

“I liked setting the table with Alexander, Samantha and Nadia. I felt special”

“I enjoyed being a reader at Mass. It was fun.” “It was a lovely day. I got to receive the Body of Christ and I felt grateful.”

“It was very nice to have my first Holy Communion. I felt special because Jesus was inside me for the first time”

Grade 7 vocations pilgrimage

In April, the Grade 7 class went on a pilgrimage, which is a journey with spiritual significance, to Westminster Abbey and the Monastery of the Poor Clare’s in Mission. This pilgrimage helped students learn more about vocations and how to dedicate their lives to God in preparation for their upcoming Confirmation on May 11th. The highlight of our trip, however, was meeting and speaking with Juan Lucca. Juan Lucca is a seminarian at Christ the King and our Grade 7 class has been praying for him since the Fourth Grade. He reminded us to pray and be joyful. He told us that joy helps keep evil away, and that it is a path to heaven.

Here are some of their realizations about vocations following this pilgrimage:

Peaceful . . . because it is very quiet and reverent in the abbey, and they are surrounded by nature
Joyful . . . because you can feel the joy and see the joy on the faces of the monks and seminarians that live there
Prayerful . . . because they dedicate their lives to praying to God and prayer at all times

Here are some of their realizations about vocations following this pilgrimage:

“I learned that to become a monk, it takes a lot of commitment and you can go through all the years of training and then decide it is not for you. The vocation you choose is what God has called you to do, not what you do just because.”

“Vocations can be a great source of learning important things.”

“Vocations are important so that you can follow God on the right path.”

“Vocations can play a big part in your life and could change your life forever.”

Honoring Mary ~ Living Rosary


Roman Catholics traditionally give special honor to Mary during the month of May. With that in mind this past Wednesday morning, our whole school prayed the Living Rosary. A Living Rosary is made of students, each representing a bead.  The Grade Seven students lead the scho0l through one decade of the Rosary. It was a truly holy and peaceful way to begin the day.

“The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, ‘The rosary, of course.’ . . . The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers. First are the introductory prayers: one Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), three Hail Mary’s (Ave’s), one Glory Be (Gloria Patri).” – excerpt from http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-rosary

For more information about praying the Rosary see http://rcav.org/prayer-and-spirituality-pray-the-rosary/

First Holy Communion

After many months of preparation, the Grade Two class received their First Holy Communion on Sunday May 3rd. First Holy Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in our lives – it is a significant milestone in the life of a Catholic. It is the first time that we receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the eating of consecrated bread and drinking of consecrated wine. Everyone was excited about receiving this special gift from Jesus. Here’s what a few students had to say about their Holy day.

“My First Communion was great. I felt full of Joy after receiving Jesus”

“I felt reunited with God. My favourite part was receiving the Body of Christ for the first time. I enjoyed being with my family.”

“I will always remember receiving the host for the first time.”

“I felt excited. I enjoyed bringing up the wine. I will always remember Jesus.”

Family and friends joined us in celebrating – even from as far a field as Germany.   Thank you to all the wonderful Grade One and Three families who planned and hosted the lovely, delicious reception in the gym afterwards.