While the morning announcements at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) regularly serve as an update for students on news, upcoming events, tryouts, and more, this year they’re also helping them connect with the alumni.
Since the fall of 2020, alumni representing a range of graduation classes from 1980-2014 virtually joined the morning video announcements on a monthly basis to share their thoughts and reflections on the school’s virtues of the month.
“During the pandemic, the Alumni Association felt it was important to regularly connect with the students, it became a priority for us,” shares John P. O’Neill ’86, Alumni Association President. “We are grateful for the opportunity to connect virtually with the students and be a part of their journey.”
“Our goal for this initiative was to share how these virtues impact us as students and adults, as well as remind students that they are connected to alumni outside the walls of SMCS,” adds O’Neill.
"It has been a great honour to share the morning prayer with my fellow alumni,” shares Andrew Kiel ’09, who moderates the morning announcements and also serves as the school’s Coordinator of Spiritual Life & Student Activities. “I am thankful and appreciate the time they have all taken to help enrich the lives of our students. The fact that they are willing to give back to the community to enhance our spiritual life speaks volumes."
Here’s what some of our students had to say about the impact of the initiative:
"The alumni reflections during the morning prayers have made me realize that the values learned at St. Michael's are carried past graduation and for the rest of our lives,” says Jeremi Kolakowski, Grade 12 student and current Student Government President. “These reflections have demonstrated the widespread impact that the St. Michael's community has on each other and on the world."
“During the October reflections from alumnus Rui De Souza ’88, I was able to understand how to try and ignore the issues going on all around me and to focus not on those problems, but on what I did have in life,” says Ryan Fazl, Grade 11 student. “He reminded me to be thankful and grateful for the deeper and more meaningful things in life, and not be affected by external conflicts that try to distract me from myself. To see a fellow SMCS alumnus acknowledge all the issues current students are going through was great to see. The familiar face connected with me much more than any other person reflecting on our announcements would have.”
“Sean Khan's ’93 reflection impacted me by opening up my eyes on how I have spent so much time online recently — whether that is through my iPhone, computer, or gaming console — that I have not connected with my family,” shares Christian Fischer, Grade 9 student. “True joy is through family and human beings. I must unplug from technology in order to be truly joyful. This reflection has helped through the difficult times we are going through now.”
The Alumni prayers and reflections can be viewed here:
October: Gratitude - Rui De Souza
November: Peace - Joe Vernon ’98
December: Hope - Ron Scarafile ’05
January: Respect - Romeo Milano ’80
February: Love & Black History Month - Dwayne Samuel ’97
Ryan Williams ’97
Peter Thurton ’80
March: Forgiveness - Daniel Troiani ’05
April: Compassion - Todd Stewart ’12
May: Joy - Sean Khan ’93