Good Shepherd clients and staff were graciously invited to join St. Francis of Assisi Parish School in Oakville to partake in their eclipse festivities on Monday, August 21. Staff members and clients – three young moms and two babies – headed from Good Shepherd to St. Francis to be in full totality of the eclipse. With a focus on STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math), the staff at St. Francis had plenty of activities planned to learn about both the scientific as well as theological aspects of the eclipse.
Mike Herries, computer and science teacher at St. Francis, utilized the eclipse as a learning opportunity for students, teachers, and parents alike. Each student was prepared with eclipse glasses and a demonstration on how to safely view the eclipse. Before totality, the school gathered in the gym to watch the live stream of the NASA footage of the eclipse across the country and learn about what causes the eclipse. Fr. Anthony Yates, pastor at St. Francis, led the assembly in prayer to give thanks for the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. As totality occurred right after lunch, we brought bag lunches and snacks, including Starbursts, Moon Pies, Sunkist soda, Milky Ways, and Sunmaid raisins.
Soon, it was time to head outside with our glasses to view the totality of the eclipse. As the moon inched towards fully covering the sun, students took notes of changes: darkness, insects chirping, and changes in bird flight. They were equipped with pinhole projectors to note changes in shadows and thermometers to measure changes in temperature. We were blown away by the beauty of the totality of the eclipse and the “ring” that was created by the moon and the sun aligned. It was a magnificent sight to behold and a wonderful experience for our clients (and staff) to have partaken in.
Our staff and clients are so grateful to St. Francis Parish and School for their hospitality in inviting Good Shepherd to join them for the eclipse. This parish’s generosity towards our clients goes back many years, as Good Shepherd is one of the beneficiaries of the parish’s Christmas “Giving Tree” drive and various parish ministries support the work that we do. We greatly appreciated their inclusion of our clients in their festivities for the eclipse as well. Not only did they offer for us to join in the activities for students, but also provided the parish’s rectory basement for a safe, air-conditioned, and private space for our young moms and babies to spend time in while we waited for the eclipse. It was a fun, educational outing for our clients and a truly amazing experience. Thank you, St. Francis of Assisi Parish and School!