My name is Erika Rath and I am the Director of Student Services at the Sacred Heart School of Montreal. I want to thank you in advance for reading and partaking in this forum. The goal is to hear different points of view on various topics that will ideally help our students by enriching their lives in and out of the classroom.

How will the forum work?

First, I will read an article that discusses educational trends regarding female students. Then, I will post my opinions, ideas and suggestions on the highlighted topic with the hope that many of you will engage in an online conversation with the Sacred Heart Community. This is a place for you, the reader, the parent, or even the student to share your own opinions, strategies and tools that may or may not have worked.

I am proud to say that I have worked at this school for the past 8 years in various capacities and am truly honored to call this place my second home. Come join me on this journey of reading, writing, laughing and learning, because by working together we can help our students Be Exceptional.

The Importance of Gratitude

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The first snow has fallen and the stores are all getting ready for the next big Holiday – Christmas, the season of giving. However, there are many in Montreal and around the world who are not as fortunate as we are and who are not able to celebrate the way we do. At this time of year, we are reminded that giving back should not just happen once a year, but all year round.  Teaching our daughters and students about the importance of giving will make them appreciate what they have and will help them have empathy for others.


Charity starts at home. First, we must understand why charity is so important and how it can help so many. Everyone who gives, needs to feel that they are indeed making a difference. In fact, according to the Atlantic article that I’m using as inspiration for this blog post, kindness is actually declining and students are less likely to feel concern for people who are less fortunate and they seem to be less bothered by seeing others treated unfairly. 


We need to help teach our children and students that they can care about themselves and others at the same time. They can be both generous and self-respecting. Here at Sacred Heart, we encourage our students to consider the needs and feelings of others and they learn that in order to be treated well, they must be considerate to others. We need to show our students that kindness and generosity matter. Sure, grades count, but part of being successful is being empathetic and kind towards others. 


Sacred Heart prides itself on helping the community and not just at holiday time, but throughout the entire year. Our students are expected to complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service between Sec. II-IV. Most of our students go above and beyond those numbers and have a deep passion for community service. One of our goals is “A Social Awareness which impels to Action.” Our students are incredibly aware and are constantly coming up with new ways to help because they are much more exposed to events that happen around the world and they know when a natural disaster hits. They care deeply about others and understand when there is an injustice occurring. 


It’s important for our students to realize that the holidays are not filled with joy and warmth for everyone and that it is our responsibility to share what we can with others who need it most.


I wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and most of all love. Let us cherish those around us and be thankful for what we have. Let us instill generosity and kindness in our youth and pray that we will live in harmony together.


Erika Rath, Director of Student Services
514-937-2845 ext. 121