Our School Name
When the Crusaders came to the Holy Land after 1000 A.D., they discovered hermits who were living in caves on the slopes of Mount Carmel, outside the city of Haifa, in modern day Israel. These hermits were eventually expelled from their caves, and over the years, found their way to southern France and England. There they attempted to maintain the same simple routine of prayer and solitude in allegiance to Jesus through the imitation of the lifestyle of the Old Testament prophet, Elijah. As the centuries passed, a religious Order developed from what were individual hermits. It became more difficult to maintain the hermit style of living since there were no caves or deserts in France and England and the countryside was becoming more urbanized.
A crisis developed in the Order, for it looked like they would cease to exist. Tradition says that the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, the Superior, around 1247, and gave him a pledge of heavenly protection against extinction. As a sign of this special bond, each Carmelite was to wear a "brown scapular," and it is still part of their religious dress today.
Over the last 700 years, Catholics have honoured Our Lady of Mount Carmel by wearing miniature brown scapulars. It is a visible sign that the wearer wants to live his/her life in a connectedness with the Lord, acknowledging Mary, His Mother, as a special guide, pointing us in the direction of her Son. Today, the modern day Carmelites direct St. John of the Cross Church in Mississauga.
Our School Mascot
The mascot for Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the majestic Lion. The Lion is the most widely recognized symbol of the 13th century Christian Crusaders. Historically, the Lion was a revered symbol in the geographical area where Mount Carmel is located.
During the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, the Lion exemplified the strength, power, courage, cunning, majesty, loyalty, and pride. The Crusaders sought to be identified with this ancient and noble beast.
The best known Crusader who exhibited those valued qualities was Richard the Lion-Hearted. It is here too, at our school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, that we wish to identify with these qualities. It is these values that we wish to pass on to our students to help them become good Christian students of our land, the nation of Canada.
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength... You must love your neighbours as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31
The Spiritual dimension of our school is evident in all of our programs and activities. It is expressed in our retreats, liturgies, and celebrations. It is also evident in our attitudes and behaviour. Students are required to take a course in theology each year to ensure solidarity with church teaching. There are liturgical celebrations, prayer experiences, and class reflections to supplement this teaching. The celebration of the Eucharist as a school community occurs several times a year as culmination points in the church and school calendar.
The school chapel is also designated as a place of quiet for prayer and solitude throughout the school day for students who wish to use it. In addition to the course and the chapel Mt. Carmel's spiritual dimension is illustrated by the fact that the school day and each class begins with a reflection or a prayer. This provides a unique opportunity for students and staff to gather their thoughts in a common purpose for that particular day and class.
Students have the opportunity to avail themselves of the sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent and Lent when the church calls us to be aware of our need for God's forgiving love.
Furthermore, we as a community consciously endeavour to permeate all that we do with the values of the Gospel. Gently, but continually, we remind one another of the Christian dimension of our lives. This is evidenced in our attitudes towards one another and in the responsibilities in which we have to reach out to the community beyond our school.
OLMC will be opening its 25 Year Old time capsule in the afternoon of November 10, 2015 as was promised in 1990 when the building opened!
Former principal Joe Geiser, retired co-ordinating teacher Lou Kurowski, Chris Beresford (Student Council Prime Minister at the time) as well as other dignitaries will be joining the Carmel community for the event.