Six times every school year everyone at CCH heads over to St. Peter's Cathedral to celebrate mass. This past Wednesday was the annual "Farewell Mass" for graduating students and retiring teachers. I thought I'd snap a few photos to commemorate the event. Our "spot" over the years has been in the left apse - nice and close to the altar.
I sat beside Natalie and after a few tries managed to snap a "selfie" of the two of us that didn't cut off our chins or foreheads! Nothing like a good serving of jowls to keep one honest and humble!
There's my dep't head, Fil, who is also retiring this year. Both of us have come to accept that physically and mentally we wouldn't survive another year.
Isn't St. Peter's glorious? Although I'm Anglican, not Catholic, I have come to love this cathedral for its beauty and architectural details.
Here's a view of the altar from where I was sitting - you can see the other apse waaaaaaay over there! We have about 1200 staff and students in total and there is still room for more.
There is so much to look at! My senses go on overload every mass. CCH is famous for its music students - both vocal and instrumental. The "strings" group plays for us as we assemble and to set the tone.
Upstairs (you can see a snippet of the pipe organ and orchestral (celestial:) choir on the right side of the above photo). The various choirs at CCH have a professional pianist/organist that accompanies them when they sing. Such talent!
Trying to catch David but whenever I turn the camera in his direction he snaps his head around :) Ok, I can take a hint...sort of...
The principal called up the retiring staff and the school chaplain gave us a crucifix to mark our leaving. I gave another "unprepared" farewell speech which was well received. I paid tribute to the Best Buddies club that I've run for the past 8 years and to the welcome I received from students when I first began teaching at CCH: on my first day of school I was dashing to my classroom with my arms full of books and supplies when I lost my grip and everything fell on the floor. About 8-10 students immediately came to my aid, picked everything up, opened the doors for me and helped me to my room. Their kindness helped me get through a tough first day and I'll never forget them. By that point in my speech my voice was getting shaky and tears were forming so I ended my remarks and sat down to much applause.
After getting back to school students stopped by for hugs and to let me know they liked my speech - I soooooo recommend simply reflecting over the years to see what rises to the top and to go with that vs a written, well-rehearsed speech. It works for me.
My counter now reads 18 days. Over the past few days my emotions have run the gamut from apprehension to sadness to euphoria and all stages in between.
I do believe my imminent departure is starting to sink in!