Fast From Hate, and Feast on Acceptance

Soon we will be starting our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday.  During Lent I often reflect on a portion of William Arthur Ward’s poem that is always hanging on my fridge:


I would like to add another line: Fast from hate, and feast on acceptance.

Last week I attended the annual Southwestern Alberta Teachers’ Conference Association convention at the University of Lethbridge.  It is a great opportunity to gather new ideas, reaffirm some current practices, and connect with existing peers and new friends.  I would like to share one new connection.  Dr. Eva Olsson ( was one of the presenters at the convention.  She is a wonderful person, and she is a Holocaust survivor.  In 1944, at an age of 19, Eva and her family were forcefully moved from Hungary and shipped to various concentration and work camps, including the death factory of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  She had the unfortunate experience of meeting the Angel of Death, Dr. Joseph Mengele.  Eva exhibited resiliency and survived; she was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen camp by British and Canadian troops.  Unfortunately, the only other survivor of the Holocaust was Eva’s younger sister.  The rest of her family perished.  After the war Eva married and settled in Sweden.  With the fear of Soviet Union aggression, Eva immigrated to Canada.  Now, at the age of 92, Eva continues to share her story.

Dr. Olsson has many reasons to hate.  As a school administrator I am privy to some hardships that students and/or staff have experienced, but nothing that I have experienced or been witness to, compares to Eva’s experience. There is no hatred in her
voice, there is only acceptance and love.  She reminded me people learn to hate, they are not born with it.  If Eva can ‘fast from hate, and feast on acceptance’ I believe we all can.

eva-olssonPlease consider keeping the traditional practices of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving this Lent, but as we hear about growing hatred south of our border and witness it creep into the fabric of our Canadian identity, I challenge all of us to ‘fast from hate, and feast on acceptance’.  If Dr. Olsson, a Holocaust survivor, can do it, surely we can.

Lenten blessings,

Greg Kostiuk

March School Council

At the February School Council meeting our Parent Fundraising Committee (PFRC) requested that we do a parent survey about an idea.  Here was the survey question we asked:


Thank you to everyone that submitted a response.  Here are the results:


Our PFRC is planning to make a decision regarding this project at the March 14th School Council meeting at 6:30 pm, everyone is welcome.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Greg Kostiuk

Telling Our Story – January 2017


We hope you enjoy these pics from January 2017.  Our Lady of the Assumption School is a wonderful place to learn:

Jr. ATB Launch


Backwards Day


Career Day


Social Justice – Art Gala donation to Lethbridge Association for Community Living


New West Theatre – Luke’s Lunchbox


Blackfoot Smudging and Prayer


These are just a ‘few of our favorites things’ from the month of January.

Greg Kostiuk

Parent Input


As part of our 2016-17 Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) we wanted to increase parent decision making.  Earlier, parents decided on the school photographer we will be using next year.  We think it is very important to give parents a voice.  Private meetings and School Council can be an important part of this voice, but a simple survey works too.  Here are the results of our recent Parent Survey and the planned action:

Our parent survey is helping to give parents a voice and has definitely influenced the decision making at Our Lady of the Assumption School.  We hope to continue to use this strategy.

Thank you for your insights,

Greg Kostiuk