The spiritual life of the school centred upon the celebration of monthly Masses, daily religion classes, the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation, annual retreats, prayer, to name a few. Holy Days of Obligation meant the celebration of Mass for the parish at St. Edward’s Church, and then having the rest of the day off! The CND sisters directed the choir and the altar servers. It seemed only natural that the life of the family centred upon the church and school. They were as one. Each altar server was responsible for at least one, if not two, full weeks each year of serving the daily morning Mass in the church. In some cases this required the server to hitchhike a ride into town from the farm. One thing was for certain – if you were assigned to serve, you had best be there! Sr. Helen Pickett, much-loved teacher and principal in the 1960’s, was in charge of the altar boys. In the 1978 parish history, Sister recalls one morning when she thought the altar boy was late, so she reached into the cupboard to get his cassock ready for him. As her hand went toward the clothes-hanger, another hand from inside the closet firmly seized hers and a voice said, “I fooled you this time! You thought I was late!” Sister Pickett laughed often about this incident. She concludes her reflection by saying that when a procession of the red-cassocked, white-surpliced altar servers would enter the sanctuary and carry out the ritual with decorum and efficiency, she felt more than rewarded. The nuns prepared the altar and were in the sacristy each day to assist the servers in getting ready for Mass, from vestments to reviewing responses (in Latin!) to the prayers of the daily Mass. The priest would say a prayer, and server and celebrant would then enter the sanctuary from behind the altar curtain to begin the Mass. Home-School-Church-Convent blended together to form the Parish. It must be acknowledged that the efforts to establish a Catholic school might not have been successful had it not been for the whole-hearted cooperation of the people of the parish...So great was their involvement in this parish endeavour that from that time on, the preservation of their system of Catholic education became a matter of vital concern to each member of the parish. (St. Edward’s Parish History - Westport, Ontario 1978) The teachers and pupils of St. Edward’s had a wonderful spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm. One could not be long among them without becoming imbued in that same spirit. I also learned, as well as the inhabitants, to answer to a nickname… rather an appropriate one… the Little General. A common statement was: “The Little General read me today.” She probably did! (Sr. Helen Pickett, teacher and principal in the 1960’s, from St. The Corner Stone from the Original School is on display at the Westport Museum. Work on the school began in 1885 and was completed in 1886. 6 Edward’s Parish History – Westport, Ontario 1978, page 64)

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