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Message from the Parish of St. Mary of the Visitation: First Holy Communion for Grade 3 Students

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Along with the respective schools of your children, we joyfully welcome your families back into the school year with prayers of gratitude.  We, here at St. Mary of the Visitation, hope that this summer was enjoyable and safe for everyone.  We also thank you for your patience as we continue in our efforts to plan and organize the sacramental celebrations.  We would like to inform you of the following with regards to the long-awaited First Holy Communion celebrations for your children.


For the children who missed their First Holy Communion last spring, and are now in grade 3,  we have scheduled the following celebrations:

Saturday, October 2nd – Our Lady of Fatima School

Saturday, October 16thSt. Gabriel School

Saturday, October 23rdSt. Elizabeth School

Students that are homeschooled or attend public schools may select a weekend.  St. Isidore students are asked to join their home school.

There will be two ceremonies each day:

Morning Ceremony – 10:30 am

Afternoon Ceremony –  1:00 pm.


There are currently no capacity limits for churches, provided social distancing is maintained.  Each ceremony is limited to a maximum of 15 children.  Each family will have an assigned pew in the centre section of the church.  Each pew can hold only a maximum of 5 people comfortably.  Seated in this reserved pew will be the child, parents, and other siblings.  Only if space permits, other family members may join in the reserved pew.  Extended family members and friends will be seated in the remaining areas of the main church, hall, and foyer where the Mass is broadcasted on screens.  We are asking each family to limit their total family members and guests to 10 people; this includes the child and his/her immediate family.


To sign up for a celebration, please go to the parish website (https://www.stmaryhespeler.ca/date-registration)  and choose a Mass that corresponds to the school of your child.  If the assigned date does not work, you may choose to join another school.  As mentioned in the previous email, you may also choose a regular scheduled Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.  Please contact the office for this option.

Immediate Preparation:

Online Mass – Due to the pandemic, many people are not attending Mass regularly.  It would be helpful to watch a televised Mass online in order to familiarize your child with the responses for Mass.
Receiving Communion – The wearing of masks will make receiving communion a challenge.  Please instruct the child as follows:

  1. Place one hand over the other.
  2. The priest will hold the host and say, “The Body of Christ.”
  3. Respond, “Amen.”
  4. The priest will place the host in your palm.
  5. Take a couple of steps to the left or right (depending on where the child is seated)
  6. Unhook your mask first, then put the host inside your mouth.  Do this before walking back to your pew.
  7. Place your mask back in position.  Return to your pew.

It would be helpful to your child if this procedure is practiced with a host substitute.

Certificates and Donations:

Your child’s First Communion certificate and your offertory envelope will be placed in your assigned pew.  Your support is much appreciated.


We ask that you refrain from taking pictures/videos during the Mass.  Father Ed will make himself available after Mass for a quick photo.

Gluten intolerance:

We have low gluten hosts; please contact the office to request this option.


Thank you once again for your patience and cooperation.  Despite the challenges of these times, we encourage the completion of the First Sacraments of your children.  St. Mary of the Visitation Parish continues to offer our support, assistance, and prayers for your family and the sacramental life we wish to share with you.  For further questions and concerns, feel free to contact us.



Catherine Quinto
Pastoral Associate

St. Elizabeth School Catholic Advisory Council

Thank you to the parents who have already declared their candidacy for an elected position on CSAC. The nomination forms are available on School Cash Online, or you can complete the form below and email it or send it in with your child, if you are interested in being a parent representative:

Nomination form 2021-2022

Our first meeting will be on Monday, September 27th at 6:30 pm and will be held virtually. Invitations to attend will be sent to all parents who submit their forms.

We will need to elect the following:





Daily Screening

Dear parents/guardians

Please ensure that you complete the daily screening for each of your children. The screening app is found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Signing a note to confirm screening or emailing your child’s teacher a screenshot of the completed screening will help us to monitor this important step to keep our students safe.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back, Eagles!

We are so excited to begin a new school year and to see everyone in-person once more! I hope you all had a good summer, and were able to enjoy some relaxing times with your families.

School will begin next Tuesday, September 7th, at 9:10. We will meet in the yard, and teachers will collect their classes and escort them in, as we did last year. We ask that parents say goodbye and then either go home, or stand back on the field or on the footpaths, so that we can maintain physical distancing when students line up. We remind you once again that you may not park on school property, and please do not walk your dog onto school property. In order to continue keeping our students safe, we ask that people continue to wear masks while on school property. Any students who arrive late must press the front door buzzer to be met and admitted into school by a staff member. Parents are to remain outside.

If you wish to know your child’s class placement for the coming year, please sign up for Aspen through the parent portal. The information will be posted on Friday. Please do not call the school to ask about this. If you did not sign up in June, then please check your email and your junk mail. The invitation to sign up was sent to the confirmed email address you registered previously with the WCDSB and the school. The email sender will show up as noreply@pd.myontarioedu.ca. You only need sign up once for portal access, to gain access for all of your registered children. At the moment you can only sign up with a PC, laptop, Chromebook or Mac book (not on a phone or tablet).

Parents of new Kindergarten students should by now have heard from their children’s teachers and been given their appointment time to meet the Kindergarten team. There is a staggered start for our Kindergarten classes, and the teachers will let you know when your Year 1 (JK) child should attend. The first day for our Year 2 will be on Wednesday, September 8th.

Transportation information for our bus students has been available since August 23rd. If you need to check your bus information you can visit www.stswr.ca to access the information through the student login portal. Please remember that all Kindergarten students must be met off the bus by a parent/guardian.

The WCDSB will once again be providing learning kits with all the school supplies for the year. There is no need to provide anything else for your child other than a backpack, refillable water bottle, lunch and snacks in a lunch bag, and indoor shoes. Please write your child’s name on all personal belongings.

We are all looking forward to seeing you again on September 7th.

Mrs. Jo Goossens

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