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History of the School

St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School opened in September 1990. It originally had 15 classrooms, a large library, a double-size gym with a large utility stage, and a very large front foyer, which can be partitioned off to create a multi-use room. St. Matthew School is a beautiful building, with skylights and indoor gardens in the front entrance way and hallways. A YMCA daycare was also incorporated into the building, and still is run at St. Matthew today.

The population of St. Matthew grew steadily between 1991 and 1996, to the point that spaces in the building such as the stage and the front foyer were used for classrooms. Portables were moved on-site for use as well.

Through the Years

Here are some highlights of our school story.

1994 – 1995 School production of The Wizard of Oz.
1996 – 1997 By this time, the population of St. Matthew's had grown so much that there were 10 classroom portables behind the school.
Spring 1997 Construction of a 10-room addition was begun. The addition was built around the outside of the gym, which jutted out the back of the building. The inside wall of the addition is the original outside brick of the gym.
Dec. 1997 – Jan. 1998 The addition was completed and classroom furniture and materials were moved in from the portables before the Christmas holidays. Classes began in the new addition in January.
April 2000 St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic School was officially established; its office was housed in St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School.
Sept. – Dec. 2000 St. Luke's opened with registered students, but because the building was not complete, students were housed at St. Matthew. There were classes everywhere, including in the gym, library, change rooms, on the stage and in the front foyer. We had two different schedules, so that our recesses and lunch hour did not overlap. Of course, all phys. ed was done outside. We had mixed emotions when the students and staff of St. Luke moved to their own building. Many of them had been St. Matthew students and staff, and we were sad to see them go, but at the same time we were relieved to be less crowded.
2001 – 2002 School production of Ezekiel Saw the… What?

Reaching out to the community

From the beginning, St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School has been an important part of the larger community, both at the local level and internationally. In many ways, it has reached out to help those in the area who are in need. This is most apparent at Christmastime. Since 2004, the school has been creating Christmas baskets for families in need. This initiative originally started as a Kindergarten class project and has grown to include the whole school. A number of families are helped, with each class responsible for supplying gifts and clothes for one family member or donating money for a food voucher. The families of the school are very generous and have put smiles on the faces of many other families.

St. Matthew also supports ShareLife. Twice a year, the school holds a dance for students with a $1 admission charge. The students find the dances to be a fun way to fundraise and the money goes to a good cause. Of course, ShareLife is not the only charity the school raises funds for. We also fundraise for the Terry Fox Fund and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Camp Oochigeas

In 2009, the school participated in a huge fundraising project for Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer. On June 9, the school held an assembly. To help raise money, a handful of children had their long hair cut short; the hair was donated to make wigs for people who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy treatments. In addition, the school's principal at the time, Mr. Cauley, had his head shaved bald. The children erupted into loud laughter as the nearly bald principal kissed what was left of his hair goodbye. In all, the school raised $6,500. Not only did the school raise money, but it also raised awareness in the students of the tragedy of childhood cancer.

St. Matthew and the International Community

St. Matthew has also shown an interest in and concern for people across the world. In 2007, the school's parish church, Holy Family, decided to support a village in Malawi. The church had an ambitious plan to build a medical centre in a small village. Not only was a building needed, but a source of fresh water as well. It appealed to the parish community to help. St. Matthew the Evangelist was one of a number of schools that took up this enormous challenge. The school raised over $10,000 – enough money to build a water tower and buy supplies for the medical clinic!

In April 2012, St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School participated in Soap for Hope, which is run by the Canadian Food for Children charity. The students of Father Leo J. Austin Catholic High School became interested in the project and asked other schools in the Board to join in. Over 5,000 bars of soap were collected to send to developing countries.

Environmental Responsibilities: Stewardship of Creation

The school recognizes that being part of a community can encompass many responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is an awareness of how the school's actions can impact the environment. The school launched a campaign to raise awareness in the students and to ensure that the school is environmentally aware. An environmental committee was formed and given the task of reducing garbage and making the school an EcoSchool. Currently the school is rated as a Silver EcoSchool and is quite certain that this year we will be Gold. In 2011–2012, the school won a recycling challenge, including $1000 to put towards making the school even more environmentally friendly.

 


 

Our Patron Saint

St. Matthew the Evangelist was one of the 12 Apostles Jesus chose. He followed Jesus and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension. For 15 years, Matthew preached the Gospel in Hebrew to the Jewish community in Judea. Later in his ministry, he would travel to other nations and spread the Gospel. Matthew died as a martyr.

 


 

Be a Friend

Song written by St. Matthew Alumni

CHORUS:
The joy is in the giving
Didn't you know
By making someone happy
Didn't you know
Share yourself
With someone else
The joy is in the giving
Now you know

1. The young girl in the schoolyard
Didn't you know
She is playing all alone
Didn't you know
She has moved here not long ago
She wants to find a friend
Didn't you know

2. The little boy
Watching foot hockey
Didn't you know
He dreams of playing with you
Didn't you know
So many times
He's heard you say no
He wants to be your friend
Didn't you know

 


 

St. Matthew

Song written by St. Matthew Alumni

Refrain:

Jesus saw Matthew
Working in the customs house
He said come follow me
Jesus is calling you, Jesus is calling me
He says come follow me
He says come follow me

1. Matthew was a publican
Collecting money
From all the people in the land
He'd count all that money
The taxes he'd collected
Then got it to the emperor's hands

2. Matthew listened to Jesus
He rose up and followed him
He left his business behind
He left it gladly to follow Jesus
No better treasure he could find

3. Matthew the evangelist
Preached the gospel
To all the people in the land
Jesus is calling us
Our whole school family
To give him a helping hand


 

Principals

Colin Edgecomb
Sheila Connelly
Linda Frost
Paddy Cauley
Michelle Lantaigne

Jim Raper