Catholic Schools are in abundance in Calgary. Of course, not everyone who went to them was Catholic or even remotely holy - but they were there. It was a little bit of a struggle, however, because it often seemed that our rules were a little more uptight than the public schools, but we stuck it out since we all possessed the virtue of "perseverance".
In reality, though, Catholic School wasn't that much different from public school. People have this misconception that all we do is pray, but we are actually pretty fun. Of course, we learned the more sugar-coated version of everything and most of our lessons somehow related back to Christianity - but Catholic schools really just revolved around making their students better people/ Catholics. Whether it actually worked? ...Well, that's subjective.
If you went to a Catholic School in Calgary (or the surrounding area) you will probably relate to many of the following points. Feel free to reminisce (and probably vow to never send your future kids to Catholic School.)
Your school was probably named after a Saint, Bishop, Pope or Holy Figure.
And sometimes there were duplicates between Christ The Redeemer and Calgary Catholic School District. We have like 3 "St. John Paul" schools in the Calgary area, 2 "Good Shepherd"'s, and at least 2 "Holy Trinity"s.
Saying "Grace" before putting anything in your mouth ever.
"Johnny Appleseed" was our pre-lunch ritual.
You remember "Hot Lunch"
And you were so mad when they cut McDonald's from the menu.
Constantly getting the St. / Bishop schools mixed up.
"I can't remember if we're playing Bishop Grandin or Bishop Caroll.... Bishop McNally?"
Saying a prayer before our sports games.
It was that serious.
Writing out bible verses over and over were a form of discipline.
But you knew those Ten Commandments inside and out.
You always rubbed it in the public school kid's faces that we had more holidays.
Sucks that you guys don't celebrate Good Friday.
Our "field trips" were to Churches to attend Mass or to the Calgary Zoo.
Never Telus Spark. We don't believe in science ✋
Your school had a "prayer room" or "chapel."
But we never actually had mass in there or went in there often.
"Does anyone have any intentions?"
"For this, we pray to the Lord." "Lord, hear our prayer."
Standing for a good 25 minutes every morning for the national anthem, the morning bible verse/prayer, shaking everyone in the classes hand, and all the announcements.
Is it really necessary that I stand while you announce everyone who's birthday it is today?
You remember when we weren't allowed to touch each other during the Swine Flu (H1N1) outbreak so we were just tossing up peace signs.
"Peace be with you, my dude."
Your teachers would make up sing-songy rhymes to help you remember things from the Bible.
"Matthew, Mark, Luke and John hold the boat 'til I get on."
Hearing "is there still ashes on my forehead?" all day on Ash Wednesday.
We wore those ashes like they were a fashion statement.
Your favourite day of the entire year was Shrove Tuesday.
a.k.a Pancake Tuesday. And every Catholic School in the city would be serving morning pancakes.... Man, I love being Catholic.
If you went to Catholic School in Okotoks, you remember Father Steve.
He was the best.
Going to Catholic School in Calgary's surrounding areas and having to confess your sins to the only Father in town.
He knows it's me...
Getting in trouble for showing any skin ever.
We didn't have uniforms, but we were still to dress as such.
Getting excited when it's your turn to read the bible and you get to say "ass"
In reference to a donkey, of course, but "ass" nonetheless.
Jumping for joy when they announced that all the Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools get off school at noon on Fridays.
All these years and you're still unsure which shoulder to tap first when "dialing God's number."
A.K.A. performing the sign of the cross. Is it left-right or right-left?
Receiving all your holy sacraments alongside every kid in your grade.
First Communion and Confirmation were a bigger deal than Graduation.
Having lunch time at a different time than the public schools.
We weren't allowed to interact with them unless it was during a sports game.
Some schools dressed up for game days, we dressed up for Mass.
And you never did your homework for your morning classes when you knew you had Mass.
Taking "Sex-Ed" in Religion Class instead of Health Class...
There's nothing for you to know. The answer to every question was "abstinence." Don't have sex.
And we all had bracelets that asked us.
Your hallways were named after Bible figures.
JPII students had to remember whether their lockers were down "St. Matthew," "St. Mark," "St. Luke," or "St. John"
You knew someone who's parent worked for the church or Christ the Redeemer/ Calgary Catholic School Board.
And you always had to be on your best behaviour at their house.
Getting awards for being nice.
The "Christ Lives In Me" award.
You know you had beef with someone when you didn't shake their hand during the sign of peace.
"Peace be with you, and with you, and NOT with you."
Anyone who was no longer your friend was automatically named "Judas"
See, we pay attention in Religion Class.