Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - Volume 12, Issue 10

A message from Administration

On behalf of the Administrative team we would like to wish each of you and your families the joy and happiness of the Christmas Season. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our entire community for a wonderful first few months at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

When we return in January, the students will be heading into their final month of the first semester and before you know it, we will be heading into final evaluations. Outside the classroom our school is fortunate to have an amazing staff that continues to provide a multitude of activities for our students. A few highlights of the term include our successful production of Beauty and the Beast, the numerous athletic successes, our advent liturgy and the many engaging and fun activities planned by the student council that continue to build spirit for our community. This coming week we continue with Christmas festivities and an assembly.

Finally, as we have been preparing ourselves during this advent season for the coming of Emmanuel. Our community has generously donated numerous gifts to our Christmas Hamper Campaign and other initiatives that involved raising funds for charities and our Saints Fund which assists our own students in need.

May we look to forward to 2020 with anticipation and hope. May it bring a year of health, happiness, wisdom and peace to all.

Mrs. Ingoldsby, Mr. Borba, Ms. Riley, Mr. Stehlik

Celebrating the Season

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ we are reminded that Jesus came for all. The St. Benedict community is a diverse one in terms of cultures, faiths, and backgrounds... and languages!

The staff at St. Benedict's wishes you all...

Sretan Božić

Veselé Vánoce

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Feliz Natal



Wesołych Świąt

Feliz Navidad

Joyeux Noël

Buon Natale

hyvää joulua

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S !

Chaplain's Corner

By Mr. B. Rempel

Advent is the time we remember that love came to town; when Jesus came to earth. We know love has come to our world when people show love through kindness and generosity. St. Benedict students and staff have been kind and generous in many ways this Advent season. We have donated socks, mitts and toques; we have filled Christmas baskets; our civvies day will support water projects around the world; our donations of school supplies will provide lunches for students in Kenya. Love has come to the town of Cambridge. Wishing you much joy this Advent and Christmas season.


Director's Annual Report 2019

Please click here to view the Director’s Annual Report from Waterloo Catholic DSB. It is a proud reflection of all of the incredible, inclusive, faith-filled work that characterizes our system day in and day out. It celebrates our many accomplishments against our articulated goals from our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, which was renewed and launched in January of 2019. It bears witness to our strong relationships with parishes, parents and our community.

We hope you will take a few minutes to journey through the report and to enjoy the many accomplishments of our #WCDSBAwesome staff and students!
man w transparency

Uniform Reminder

With the colder weather upon us, we would like to remind parents/students about our uniform policy at St. Benedict. The only item to be worn under a uniform top is a plain white, or navy blue short/long sleeved crew neck shirt. No hoodies or sweatshirts are to be worn under a uniform top at any time of the school year. If students are unable to be in proper uniform, they will be asked to work in the Main Office.

Bus Delays Information

Does your child take a yellow school bus to school? Would you like to receive updates on bus delays and cancellations? If so, please visit and click on "Delays & Cancellations" on the top right hand corner. Then click on "Subscriptions". Enter your email address, and you will be able to sign-up for text message alerts which will notify you if your child's bus is running late.

Community Supports for the Holiday Season

Christmas is a time for family and a time of joy and celebration. It can also be stressful.

The Community Outreach Program can help link families with supports and resources, such as Financial/Food Supports, Grief and Coping over the holidays, and subsidies for Children’s Recreation Programs. For more information call (519) 742-8327 ext. 240 or email

Support is also available from the Self Help Foodbank, call (519) 622-6550 to see if you qualify.

If you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed and hopeless over the holidays and you don’t know where to turn, call HERE 24/7 1 (844) 437 3247,

Sensitive Santa

Is your child sensory sensitive? If so, they can still have a visit with Santa through the Sensitive Santa program.
This sensory friendly environment provides lower lighting and a quieter surrounding. Each family that attends will receive a complimentary photo with Santa to commemorate this magical holiday season.
This special time to visit with Santa is reserved for children with social, emotional or behavioral needs.
To keep this event sensory friendly and organized, we ask that each family
Register in advance. Space is limited.
Please contact or call (519) 740-4680 ext. 4292 to register.
Help us spread the word about this magical Holiday Event!
Invite gr8 night 2020

News from Guidance

Who is your Guidance Counsellor?

Mrs. Lesley O’Toole A-Di & International Students ext. 5190
Mrs. Karla Arkell Dj - Ki ext. 5636
Mr. Nick Betik Kl - Pl ext. 5633
Mrs. Laura O’Neill Po - Z ext. 5634
Mrs. O’Connor Administrative Assistant ext. 5631

Are you considering volunteering at St. Benedict?

man w transparency
Volunteers are a welcome resource at St. Benedict C.S.S. The school is in a position of trust with regards to students and must strive to protect their intellectual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As such, the WCDSB administrative procedure (APO 001) mandates that all volunteers be screened, references checked, and Criminal Background Check (CBC) done. School administration reserves the right to oppose or rescind any volunteer placement.

If you would like to volunteer at St. Benedict, please contact Ms. Fondacaro or visit our Volunteering page on the school website.

Support Catholic Education


Updates to the GRT fare card promotion

Fare Cards processed after September 1 are now preloaded with $25
Students currently attending a Cambridge high school and who have not previously taken part in this promotion are eligible to receive GRT’s EasyGO fare card pre-loaded with $25 in stored value (increased from last year to still be equivalent to 10 rides at the new 2019 high school reduced fare rate).

Students have until December 31, 2019 to take advantage of this promotion. More information can be found here:

New! Online Request Option for Parents and Students
In an effort to make getting the card easier, parents and students can now request a card by completing the online consent form available here:

The card, loaded with $25, will be sent directly to your high school for student pick up.
GRT Tap and ride


Enriching the Lives of Students

There many opportunities for students to enhance their learning experience: Enrichment courses, LEAP, OYAP, UCEP, Co-op, Home Build, SHSM, and Skills Canada. Visit the Enrichment blog for information on all these opportunities. The Blogroll contains a plethora of learning enhancements. To learn more about what we offer, click on Enrichment@St.Benedict.

English Corner

To receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) each student must obtain four credits in English (one credit per grade). Visit the English blog to read the course offerings provided by the Saint Benedict English Department. The Blogroll has great resources for both students and parents. Enjoy! English@St.Benedict blog.

Coop students share their Coop experiences

By Mrs. M. Crowell

The coop career fair on Monday Dec 9th was a great success. About 50 students showcased their placement experiences to date and shared them with other students, staff, employers and visitors.
We had representatives from SHSM, the Volunteer Action Centre, Lutherwood Job Connect and YMCA Employment Services here to work with students for volunteer hours and part time and summer employment.
The coop career fair on Monday Dec 9th was a great success. About 50 students showcased their placement experiences to date and shared them with other students, staff, employers and visitors.
We had representatives from SHSM, the Volunteer Action Centre, Lutherwood Job Connect and YMCA Employment Services here to work with students for volunteer hours and part time and summer employment.

Do you see Sector Partner Contextualized Component (SPCC) on your compulsory certifications?

Here is more information about that, from the Ministry of Education
  • This required component includes one of the following options: Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) training, coding and mathematical literacy.
  • The Sector-Partnered Contextualized Component will require an approximately 6-hour activity, delivered with a sector partner and have an experiential and an assessment component.
Semester 2 we will be offering some full day sessions with an outside provider to help students complete this requirement.
Or if you are doing something with an outside partner through school or the community (think ICE Challenge, APPS for Learning, E-car, Robotics competitions, Programming contests, DECA, Mock UN, Drama Festival, HOSA competition, Art Battle Stock competition, Skills Canada) this could count.
See Mrs. Crowell in the co-op office (2nd floor) for a form to complete and check to see if it will meet this requirement.

Arts & Culture





Health & Wellness

Hospitality & Tourism

Info & Communications Tech

Justice, Emergency Services & Community Safety




Are you signed up for SHSM?

Training opportunities are happening! Check your school email account for messages about upcoming certifications.
You can also go to and go under trips and trainings for your school and sector to see what is coming up.


See your guidance counsellor or Mrs. Crowell in the co-op office.

St. Benedict Library Learning Commons

On Thursday, December 19, young adult author, Kristen Ciccarelli will be in the St. Bennie’s school library during lunch hour for a reading from her new novel, The Sky Weaver.

Kristen Ciccarelli is the author of The Last Namara and The Caged Queen.

The reading will be followed by a Question and Answer and a book signing.

Please come out and support this wonderful Canadian author.

All St. Benedict students should have an Idea Exchange library card.

This card allows you to access your school’s library databases and eBooks, and to sign out books and other materials from your Library Learning Commons. Printing is available from the library computers for a cost of 25 cents per side. Your school print credits cannot be used in the library.
If you aren’t sure if you have a library card or you have lost your card, please come to the member services desk.

The Season of Giving

By Ms. L. Varriano Lane & Ms. D. Trentini

While we are all revving up for the upcoming holiday season, we know that our faith also calls us to act during this season of Advent, especially to ensure that the more vulnerable in our local community feel a sense of belonging.

Ms. Varriano Lane's grade 10 religion classes have been thoroughly enjoying working with Ms. Trentini's Active classes this semester! A small group in particular - Amal, Sara, Jack, Wendy and Victoria - have worked especially diligently to put together an Advent Giving Calendar including a bulletin board encouraging staff and students to get involved.

We know that our school community is called upon to give in many ways during the year - and even more during this season - but anything we are able to collect is a bonus! No donation is too small! Travel size, gently-used and loose items are welcome!

We are collecting the following items to help those in need in our community:
  • tissues
  • shaving cream
  • mittens/hats
  • body wash
  • towels
  • feminine products
  • hair elastics and pins
  • dental products
  • first aid products
  • wipes
  • lip balm
  • cosmetic bags
  • reusable water bottles
  • soap
  • lotion
  • conditioner
  • deodorant
  • socks
  • hair brushes
  • shampoo
As always, your generosity is greatly appreciated!


Sr Boys Bballers in Windsor

Congrats to the Sr Boys Basketball team who won Silver at the 63rd Annual University of Windsor Tournament over the weekend. The boys beat St. Anne's from Windsor and Oakwood from Toronto on their way to the final. They came up short 69-62 versus the number one ranked high school team in Ontario, Windsor Kennedy. Raf Llorin and Ben Mascarenhas were named tournament all-stars.
The Saints head into the break 7 and 0 in league play and 17-3 overall. Next up for the Saints is the Adidas Holiday Challenge in Miami.

Sr. Girls Volleyball action

It was an exciting match up between the Eagles and Saints in volleyball action yesterday. Your senior girls volleyball team worked hard and persevered as a team to come out on top in 5 sets. Please congratulate them on an awesome game. The girls face the St. David Celtics here at Bennies on Wednesday for their final game before Christmas break. Come cheer them on! Go Saints!

Sports results

Resurrection CSS 67, St. Benedict CSS 53
St. Benedict CSS 46, Woodland Christian HS 17
St. Benedict CSS 79, St. David CSS 42

St. Benedict CSS 89, Resurrection CSS 35
St. Benedict CSS 88, Woodland Christian HS 35
St. Benedict CSS 3, Monsignor Doyle CSS 0
St. Benedict CSS 82, St. David CSS 43

St. David CSS 3, St. Benedict CSS 2
St. Benedict CSS 3, Rockway MC 0
St. Benedict CSS 3, Monsignor Doyle CSS 1
ES Pere Rene-de-Galinee 3, St. Benedict CSS 2

St. David CSS 3, St. Benedict CSS 2
St. Benedict CSS 3, Rockway MC 0

St. Benedict CSS 5, St. Mary's HS 2
St. David CSS 1, St. Benedict CSS 0
Resurrection CSS 4, St. Benedict CSS 1

Novice Basketball Boys win tournament

Novice Boys Basketball team competed in a tournament today in Oakville and came home champions. They went 3-0, beating Saint Thomas Aquinas, Jean Vanier and Bishop Reding to win the tournament. The score of the final game was 66-42.

Get ready for it!

Saints Invitational logo

24 senior teams ∙ 16 junior teams

January 10 & 11, 2020

For advertising opportunities in our tournament program book, please email Mr. A. Milardovic.

Student Activities


Green Bin Program coming to St. Benedict in January!

Did you know that food waste takes up about 40% of landfill space?

Did you know that when food waste breaks down in a landfill, methane gas -- a harmful greenhouse gas that's MUCH worse than carbon dioxide in terms of its power to contribute to Global Warming -- is produced?

Did you know that when food waste is properly composted and collected in green bin programs, it turns into healthy soil and fertilizer that is sold locally to farmers?

Thanks to an incredibly generous grant from the Waterloo Catholic Schools Foundation, we are now able to implement a green bin program right here at St Benedict - and we need your help!

Starting in January, green bins will be stationed throughout the school, and students, staff, and community members using the building will all be responsible for making sure the right stuff goes in them, and the wrong stuff stays out.

Here's a helpful guide. Please review it with your children to ensure the success of this program, and help the St Benedict community stand up for our environment, take action on Climate Change, and embrace its role in acting as stewards of the Earth!

Doctor Who Pre-Christmas gathering

The annual CHRISTMAS DOCTOR WHO CLUB BLOW OUT is this Friday, December 20th, after school in room 226. Join us for a screening of 2015 holiday special THE WEDDING OF RIVER SONG, to be followed by our mega-prize raffle and the sonic screwdriver giveaway. Everyone is free to join us for our annual holiday trip through time and space.

Champions for Change news

The Champions for Change Club would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to the teachers and students of the St Benedict community for their generosity. We collected 2 huge boxes of donated hats, scarves, gloves, mittens and socks to share with our needy or homeless Cambridge neighbors. Trinity Community Table is so very grateful for this generous gift of caring. They are anxious to share these items with all their guests at their annual Christmas dinner.
Watch for more news and opportunities with this gifted and motivated group of students. We meet each Tuesday at lunch in room 123, and new members are always welcome.

Eco Club update for the season

As we prepare for the Christmas season, Bennie's Eco Club has some great activities planned and lots of Eco tips for the environmentally conscious individuals!
In early December, the Eco Club will be giving away FREE hot chocolate at lunch for anyone who brings in a reusable mug. We will also be hosting an Eco-friendly gift wrapping session at lunch mid-December. Stay tuned for the dates for these two events and follow the Eco Club on Instagram: bennies_eco_club.

Christmas Eco Tips:

  1. Use LED Christmas lights
  2. Instead of wrapping paper (which is NOT recyclable), use Eco-friendly gift wrap like newspaper, brown paper, cloth (table cloths, scarves), etc.
  3. Make your own Christmas cards using recycled paper and materials
  4. Instead of buying gifts, make a donation on someone's behalf (eg. towards planting trees, donate to an organization like Friends of the Earth)
  5. When buying gifts, choose companies that are Eco-friendly (eg. Ten Tree plants 10 trees for every article of clothing that you buy!)
Have an amazing November and December and join the Eco Club on Mondays at lunch in room 300 to be part of the solution!

The Arts

Other News

Parish Connections: Christmas Information

St. Clement's Parish

745 Duke Street, Cambridge, Ontario
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Clement,

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas is three days away. Some of us are anticipating familiar gatherings. Others, who have celebrated weddings or welcomed babies, are looking forward to beginning new traditions. We rejoice with you. Still others have experienced loss and only know that Christmas will not be the same. If you are such a parishioner, we want to assure you that as a parish family we do care and offer you our support.

There are so many circumstances, and all so different, but the one thing we share, is the one thing most important: God is with us. And the Gospel for Christmas morning celebrates this:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God ...
And the Word became flesh and lived among us …” – John 1:1,14a

He who has always been, He who is eternal, He who loved us into being: He became one of us and knows our joys and sorrows. Jesus walked on this earth and He walks with us now. Take some time before Christmas, step away and spend some quiet time with the Lord. If this is a time of gladness, Christ rejoices with you. If this is a time of suffering, ask Christ for His strength. If this is a time of sadness, Christ hears you and will not grow tired listening. No matter the circumstance, God knows your heart and He is with you. I pray that He will bless you with all that you need.

Brothers and sisters, I look back with gratitude. You are a loving and generous people; I am grateful to be your pastor and I look forward with hope. May God bless you for your many kindnesses, and may your faith and hope be renewed as we celebrate His love. Merry Christmas!

Yours in Christ’s service,
Father Peter

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Eve
Tuesday, December 24
5 p.m. (with Christmas pageant)
7 p.m. - Mass
10 p.m. (music begins at 9:30 p.m.)

Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 25
9 a.m.
11 a.m.

St. Mary of the Visitation Parish

16 Cooper Street, Cambridge, ON

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Eve
Tuesday, December 24
5:00 p.m. Family Mass with Pageant, Children's Ministry for JK to grade 4, shuttle service from St. Gabriel school
7:00 p.m. Children's Ministry for JK to grade 4, shuttle service from St. Gabriel school
10:00 p.m.

Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 25
10:00 a.m.

St. Patrick's Parish

53 Wellington Street, Cambridge, ON

Christmas Is…

Just Around the Corner

On this last Sunday of Advent, as we prepare for Christmas, both Deacon Terry and myself - and our entire parish staff - extend to you and your family our prayerful best wishes for a holy and blessed celebration of Our Saviour’s birth.
May this much-anticipated sacred season, which is almost upon us, be an occasion for each one of us to share the divine love of our newborn Saviour with family, with friends and with everyone we meet.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Ross Campbell

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Eve
Tuesday, December 24
5 p.m.
7 p.m.
10 p.m.

Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 25
10 a.m.

Chaplin Family YMCA Teen Drop in Zone

The YMCA Teen Drop in Zone is a safe place for teenagers age 13-19 to come together and enjoy the space for free and without a membership. In the Teen Zone, there is a variety of fun activities that youth can participate in including pool and ping-pong matches, jam sessions in the music room, games in the lounge room, and basketball in the gym. There are some programs run through the Teen Zone such as Dinnertime on Wednesdays, Girls Group on Thursdays, and ‘Flix Fridays. Other programs require registration such as the Just Hangin’ Out program for youth with special needs and the Newcomer Youth program for newcomers to Canada. Visit the Chaplin Family YMCA for more information and to hang out!

Chaplin Family YMCA Newcomer Youth Program

The Newcomer Youth Program is a 10-week program for newcomers to Canada. During these 10 weeks, registered youth have opportunities to participate in recreational activities, build leadership skills, connect with their community, and make friends from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This program is for teenagers ages 12-21 and runs on Fridays from 5:00-7:00pm. Registration for the new year starts soon! For more information, email or visit the Teen Zone in the Chaplin YMCA building.

Calendar of Events

Be sure to visit our school website for an updated calendar with detailed information links for most calendar entries.
Wednesday, December 18
SAC Christmas Week
BENN Newsletter release
7:00pm: Wintersong

Thursday, December 19
SAC Christmas Week
10:40am: MCU Club
10:40am: DECA Business Club
10:40am: Chess Club
10:40am: Racing Saints E-Car Team
2:15pm: Band
3:30pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs St. Mary’s
4:10pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs St. David’s #2
4:50pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs Resurrection #2

Friday, December 20
SAC Christmas Week
Christmas Assembly
10:40am: MCU Club
10:40am: Coders Club
2:15pm: Doctor Who Video Club

Saturday, December 21
Winter Solstice

Sunday, December 22
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Monday, December 23
Christmas Holidays begins

Tuesday, December 24
Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 25
Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 31
New Year's Eve

Wednesday, January 1
New Year's Day

Monday, January 6
School re-opens (Full Day of classes)
10:40am: Fresh Club
10:40am: MCU Club
10:40am: Finance Club
2:15pm: Choir
Tuesday, January 7
Graduation Photos
10:40am: Arts Council
10:40am: DECA Business Club
10:40am: Champions for Change Club
10:40am: Racing Saints E-Car Team

Wednesday, January 8
Graduation Photos
BENN Newsletter release
10:40am: Eco Club
10:40am: Model UN Club
10:40am: Cosmo Club
10:40am: Spoken Word Club
10:40am: MarioKart Club
10:40am: Racing Saints E-Car Team
2:15pm: Magic the Gathering club
3:00pm: Sr. Girls Volleyball vs Rockway MC
3:00pm: Jr. Girls Volleyball vs Rockway MC
3:30pm: Sr. Boys Basketball @ St. Mary's HS
5:00pm: Jr. Boys Basketball @ St. Mary's HS

Thursday, January 9
Graduation Photos
10:40am: MCU Club
10:40am: DECA Business Club
10:40am: Chess Club
10:40am: Racing Saints E-Car Team
2:15pm: Band
2:30pm: Sr. Boys Hockey vs St. Mary's HS
3:00pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs Monsignor Doyle CSS
3:40pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs St. Mary’s
4:20pm: Novice Girls Volleyball vs St. David’s #3

Friday, January 10
Saints Invitational Basketball Tournament
Graduation Photos
8:00am: Wrestling: Jacob Hespeler Tournament
10:40am: MCU Club
10:40am: Coders Club
2:15pm: Doctor Who Video Club

Saturday, January 11
Saints Invitational Basketball Tournament

See the calendar on the school website for the most up-to-date information!

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