SCRIBES: Chaplaincy at a Catholic High School

by Brady Lorenz and Shaunacy Barron, St. Joseph’s Catholic High School

Featuring the work of young journalists from Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District High Schools

I believe that I’m very lucky to be a student at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Barrie. I enjoy my classes, the staff, and my friends.

Coming to St. Joe’s from a public school, I wasn’t sure how the Catholic faith would play out in my day to day activities. But I’ve quickly learned to appreciate the Chaplain at my school and the role she plays at St. Joe’s. The current Chaplain, Ms Jeffrey-Price, has become a good friend, as well as a former teacher.

Quite honestly, I didn’t fully understand the distinction between a Guidance counsellor and the Chaplain. I sat down with Ms Jeffrey-Price last Thursday for an interview-type session to ask some questions about her role in our school, and to gain some understanding about the two positions.

My original thoughts were that Chaplaincy and guidance from a counselor was sort of the same thing.

I found out that I was a little bit off the mark.

She broke it down for me with a one simple phrase: “Where is it that you find faith in your daily life?”

This question is different for everyone, and from it grows the foundation of a Chaplain’s job within the school setting.

Ms Jeffrey-Price also explained to me that there are many more responsibilities she enjoys that we may not realize.

She prepares monthly Masses, organizes spiritual retreats, charity events, and daily prayers, among other things.

We ended our interview with a lengthy discussion about religion, philosophy, and the state of the world in general, the kind of conversation that I love to share with people.

It was also a healthy reminder of how much I missed her as my teacher. It was an even bigger reminder of how lucky our school is to have a Chaplain amongst its staff and have the opportunity to live out our faith as a school community.