Biography of Bishop Vital Grandin (1829-1902)
Bishop Vital Grandin was born on February 8, 1829, in Mayenne, France, and was ordained a priest in the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1854. Shortly after his ordination, he devoted himself entirely to the conversion of the Indian peoples and to the aid of the prairie settlers.
He was only 42 years old when he was appointed Bishop of St. Albert (Alberta) in 1871. His motto was: “Infirma mundi elegit Deus” (God chooses the weak of the world). For his coat of arms he chose a bent reed and a cross. For the next thirty years, the first Bishop of St. Albert faced a sometimes hostile environment and thousands of square miles of uncharted wilderness, travelling and serving with unceasing dedication.
When Bishop Grandin arrived in Alberta, there were only five Catholic missionaries serving the entire northwest. When he died in 1902, there were 65 missions, 50 schools, three hospitals and two seminaries.
Because of his empathy and love for the First Nation Peoples, Bishop Grandin often drew the anger of the traders of the Hudson Bay Company demanding fair trading practices in the fur industry. It was because of this friendship that he earned the title ‘First Nations Bishop’.
Bishop Grandin was a great man in his own time who became a legend throughout the west and northlands. His life is an outstanding role model for today because of his courage, tenacity and faith.
We are indeed honored to have Bishop Grandin as our patron. We pray that his cause will continue to progress in Rome and that the Vatican will someday recognize the sainthood of this holy man.
Statement of Philosophy
The role of the school is to share with the students the invitation of Jesus to be engaged in a lifelong relationship with Him and to be a member of His kingdom. The school’s special contribution is to give the student information about Jesus and His kingdom and how that kingdom relates to the world of the student. In its many teachable moments, the school helps students understand themselves and their relationships with others. Students and teachers are in the process of discovering their humanity and their relation to their Creator as person – Father, Son and Spirit.
The love spoken of in Scripture must be visible in the schools as well as the larger Christian community. Rules and structures must be servant to that love, and in love, servant to the student.
Expectations of Bishop Grandin Students
You are expected to assume a great deal of responsibility and demonstrate a high standard of productive behaviour while attending high school. This includes regular attendance which is a requirement of enrollment. It also includes making wise program choices because, once you select a course, you will be expected to complete that course. You assume responsibility for the courses which you choose this year in that these choices may determine which courses you will be able to take next year. Finally, past experience has shown that students who take responsibility for planning a program of related courses tend to be more successful in completing the courses which they start. They are also more successful in preparing for training beyond high school.