Mass and Brunch: By the Numbers
It takes a village to bring a community together.
Case and point, this weekend’s Mother & Son Mass and Brunch --- the first major event of St. Michael’s College School 2019 calendar.
Now in its 4th year as an event convening multiple grades --- namely Grades 7-11 students and their moms --- the brunch, organized by the SMCS Parents’ Association, was previously held only for Grade 10s.
“It was really nice to my son hanging out with his buddies, to see the camaraderie between the boys, but at the same time being affectionate with their moms,” says Natalie, a first-time attendee with her son, a Grade 11 student. “It’s challenging to be affectionate and cool at the same time and yet this brunch makes that possible and it touches your heart.”
Some 500 people packed the gymnasium to hear mass presided by Fr. Andrew Leung, CSB Interim President of SMCS, who was also attending his first such event at the school.
“It was a delight to celebrate a Sunday Mass at the school. Usually, I am helping out at a parish and so this was a little bit different,” says Fr. Leung. “Something that struck me about the event was the uniqueness of a school in hosting a spiritual event on a Sunday. How many Catholic schools in Toronto are able to do this on a Sunday and with the pride that the students and mothers have for the school?”
Transforming the gym into a sacred space for mass and then a dining venue --- all only hours after it was the backdrop for the largest VEX Robotics tournament of the year --- was no small feat.
It took 11 staff (facilities, theatre, custodial, arena) as well as more than six student volunteers about three hours to convert the space late Saturday evening.
Eight kitchen staff, led by Jimmy Selimos, chef and SMCS Food Service Director, continued their work beginning at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning with food preparation, which included 500 waffles, 30kg of Greek yogurt, 120 lbs of potatoes, 140 litres of orange juice and tons of eggs.
Twenty hospitality staff were also on hand to ensure linens, cutlery, and table set-up as well as food service during the event.
Mass involved six students serving as altar servers and lectors, along with two priests, one spiritual coordinator and six staff members serving as Eucharistic Ministers.
The musical contribution during mass was provided by a cantor, an organist, a conductor and more than 20 Sr. Concert Band members.
A dozen Grade 12 moms, who will have the opportunity to attend a brunch for graduates in the spring also volunteered their time, as did more than a dozen SMCS staff and faculty.
A small army of staff and volunteers bringing their expertise to ensure a memorable event for all.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling,” says Mary, who was attending for the first time with her son Alex, a Grade 9 student. “It was nice because high school is very busy. They’re in their rooms doing homework and they’re out doing sports so it’s a nice time to spend with our sons.”