The role of the Chaplain is carried out at the school level under the mandate of His Excellency the Bishop of Calgary. The Chaplain, responsible to the school Principal, carries out this role in a collaborative manner, being sensitive to the culture of the school. At the School District Level the Chaplain carries out her/his pastoral role in a collaborative manner responsible to the Superintendent of Instructional Services.
Giving witness to Gospel values, the Chaplain serves as an ambassador of the Roman Catholic Tradition. The Chaplain at Bishop O’Byrne High School therefore acts in various roles within the community. These roles can be understood within the separate contexts of educational, pastoral, spiritual, liturgical, sacramental and community roles .
The Chaplain serves as a support to assist teachers upon request, in matters that pertain to the spiritual development of the students. The Chaplain serves as a resource regarding issues of a moral spiritual and pastoral nature.
The Chaplain actively interacts with staff and students alike. Working closely with the school’s counselling department, the Chaplain provides pastoral counselling for students and staff alike. The Chaplain plays an active role within the school’s Critical Incidence Response Team, and the School District’s Critical Incidence Response Team. In consultation with the principal, the Chaplain can be available for pastoral visits to hospitals and homes. The Chaplain is also available to support various school projects, teams, etc. throughout the year.
The Chaplain demonstrates leadership in the prayer life of the school. The Chaplain challenges the spiritual growth of the students and staff by providing opportunities for involvement in serving those in need both locally and globally. In mentoring others in developing their own spirituality the Chaplain leads by example.
The Chaplain plans, organizes, and celebrates the liturgical seasons with the school community ensuring that as many members of the community have the opportunity to be involved in the formal faith life of the school. Working with local clergy, the Chaplain facilitates a means of encouraging as full a sacramental life as is possible within the school community. Organizing student and staff retreats also fall within the Chaplain’s liturgical role.
The Chaplain in responding to the spiritual needs of the school community works to advocate for local parish communities within the school, and for the school within the local parish communities. Part of the community mandate is for the Chaplain to actively participate in the meetings and work of the Pastoral Zones, the collective work of her/his fellow School District Chaplains, and the work of the Diocese.