Opening Statement



Saturday, 14 January 2012

Steve Hnatiuk's Slide Show

Dear Colleagues:

We continue to pray for Steve, his family, friends, colleagues and for our JCM-TCDSB school community. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and life affirming. 

I have asked Steve's family permission to share the link here to the slide show of his life shown at the visitation, for those of you who couldn't attend, or would like to see it again. Please go to:

 http://vimeo.com/34942556

Anyhow, Friday Janet and I joined everybody at Steve's visitation, and gave our condolences to his family. It's amazing how much his brothers look like him. His mom shared some funny stories with us, and we learnt that he was the all Toronto Chess Champion! In Grade 6 that is! :-) It was especially touching to see so many of our JCM students present and often in their school uniform. This has been really, really hard on them. They are real troopers.

This Saturday morning was bitterly cold. That didn't stop Steve's many teacher and board colleagues from showing up to join his family and friends for the funeral at 11am in St. Monica's church. There had been some confusion about the time of the funeral. I hope my obituary helped if you weren't sure.

Lots and lots of our JCM students, some proudly wearing their basketball team colours came out to honour their teacher and coach. In his homily father reminded us that we we are baptised into the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a very comforting and uplifting, if not difficult message to sometimes accept at trying times. I'm sure many of us left feeling very inspired.

Steve's funeral was sad, but truly as father notes, it was a celebration. One could feel a great sense of community as we later lingered on the way out. There were teachers from Steve's schools, JCM, Jean Vanier and Marshall McLuhan, also many others, including Steve's friends, colleagues and fellow coaches from across the board. I saw Superintendent Rory McGuckin, a former principal at our school, and many of our VP's from the past. JCM VP Paul Raso was one of the poll bearers. President Rene Jansen from the TSU offices came to offer respects. Steve's family and many, many friends were then joined by the huge throng afterwards around the corner at Staccos on Yonge St., over coffee, drinks, snacks, and pool.

Death can tear us apart as a community. It can also bring us together. It was a fine tribute to Steve that so many of us were able to come together in his honour as a city wide Catholic school community over this past week, as trying as it has been, and in so many different ways. Surely we will continue to pray for Steve, and his family in our own pain and his resurrection with the Lord. Truly He is our spark of light and warmth here in the deep, dark depths of the winter night.


The service was at 11am Saturday in St. Monica's Catholic Church.



Here's Steve with the JCM Volleyball team at the 2011 TSU Volleyball Tournament out at PJ2.

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