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Planting roots of peace at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School

St. Mark Catholic Elementary School in Stouffville recently gathered with its school community to celebrate St. Mark’s Feast Day by blessing its new Peace Garden, located at the front entrance of the school.

Diane Sharp, a former principal at the school planted the seed for the idea of the Peace Garden over four years ago. Since then, the school’s Eco Club, grew the project to create an inspiring place of nature dedicated to peace.

The school thanks Jason Fabbri, a local landscaper with JLF and Associates, who volunteered his time and expertise to help build the Peace Garden. With funding from the Catholic School Council and a grant from the Metro Green Apple program, St. Mark CES was able to break ground for the garden earlier this year, and completed the project in April.

The blessing was a celebration of gratitude for the efforts of those involved in creating the garden. Father Michael Hughes of the St. Mark Parish graciously blessed it, and Jason Fabbri was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the school community.

Stoufville Mayor, Wayne Emmerson, and Councillor Susanne Hilton, as well as Susan La Rosa, Drector of Education and Mary Deveaux, Superintendent, joined in the celebrations and said a few words, which can be viewed in this video. Over 150 students were also directly involved in the ceremony including the School Choir, Eco Club and the Luke 4:18 Council. The students beautified the garden by planting perennials, and presented prayer flags they created, which were hung from the pergola. Beautiful songs about peace were also sung.

A special invitation to the blessing was extended to the grandparents in the St. Mark school community, and following the blessing they participated in an art activity, making ‘peace rocks’ with their grandchildren, honouring a long-standing tradition at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School.

St. Mark CES sincerely thanks everyone who has helped and supported the Peace Garden, especially Director La Rosa, Superintendent Deveaux, school staff and students, and parent and community volunteers.