St. Maurice is a Catholic, parochial school established and supported by St.Vital Roman Catholic Church. Our school is dedicated to creating a community which promotes academic excellence in an atmosphere permeated by Gospel values. Called to serve in the Church's mission of education, we, at St. Maurice School:
recognize, promote and foster the uniqueness of each child as a gift from God with individual needs, abilities and talents;
create within our school community a family atmosphere of faith, love, trust, and freedom in which each student can grow and develop as a Child of God;
foster a strong partnership between church, school, home, and community, with students, teachers, parents, administrators and the spiritual director working cooperatively to strengthen and nurture the religious, moral, and educational needs of our students and
enable students to explore, practice, and demonstrate commitment to their Catholic faith in an ever challenging and secular world.
Mark A. Tarrant
In September of 1958, under the direction of Monsignor Maurice Cournoyer, St. Vital Church, with assistance from the Sisters of Sion, opened a four-room school on Pembina Highway, just south of Manahan Avenue. On September 22nd, the school was dedicated to the Martyr, St. Maurice, in honour of Monsignor Maurice Cournoyer. The official opening and solemn blessing was conducted on September 28th by Archbishop Pocock. In the summer of 1960 four more rooms were added to the school building.
In 1967, Father John Currie succeeded Monsignor Cournoyer as Pastor and Director of St. Maurice School. Due to a declining enrolment over several years, the decision to close the school was made in June of 1970. After eight years of service, Father Currie was moved from the parish and Father Edward Morand was approached by Cardinal Flahiff to be the new Pastor of St. Vital Church.
On January 11, 1978, Father Patrick Morand arrived at St. Vital Parish to share the pastoral duties with his brother Father Ed until July of 1978 when Father Ed began as Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish. Through the relentless efforts of Father Patrick Morand, St. Maurice School was reopened in September of 1979, with the school becoming incorporated under the Corporations Act of Manitoba on September 4th, 1979.
The first St. Maurice School Board meeting took place on December 19th, 1979. In September of 1980, two additional classrooms were added and in the spring of that year a gymnasium and a parish hall were completed. Grades seven and eight were added in September of 1983 and two additional rooms were needed. Archbishop Adam Exner blessed the two new classrooms on December 11th, 1983. On June 24th, 1984 St. Maurice School paid tribute to its first Grade 8 graduating class. The High School wing was added on in 1987 and St. Maurice School opened its doors as the only Kindergarten to Grade 12 Catholic School in the Province of Manitoba. A new Parish Administration Centre and Rectory was built in 1990. This facility physically and philosophically provided a connection between St. Maurice School and St. Vital Parish Church, which now existed physically “under one roof”.
Due to an ever-increasing enrollment at the school, a new wing of six classrooms was built in 1999 and now houses the Grade 4 to 6 classes. The St. Maurice Daycare and the Before and After School Program opened in May 2002. Many new facilities were constructed during 2004-2005 school year. The three kindergarten classrooms were relocated to the second floor of 1619 Pembina Highway, just across Manahan Avenue from the main school and parish building. The library was moved to a central location in the elementary area of the school. The lower level below the gym was re-developed into a full service cafeteria and music/band room. The official opening and blessing by Father Morand took place on April 28th, 2005. After 30 years of service as the Director of St. Maurice School, Monsignor Patrick Morand retired in 2009.
Father Barry Schoonbaert became Pastor of St. Vital Parish and Director of St. Maurice School on July 1st, 2009 and continued in those roles until June 30th 2017. During his tenure as Director of St. Maurice School, Father Barry oversaw the modernization of the school’s finances and the continued growth of the student population to just under 700.
Father Mark Tarrant was appointed Pastor of St. Vital Parish and Director of St. Maurice School effective July 1st, 2017. He brings with him over 25 years of service as a Priest. Father Mark also has a wealth of experience working with parochial schools including his previous seven years at St. John Brebeuf Parish and School.
In his short time here, Father Mark has made an impression by being visibly present in the school and making himself known to students and staff.
Today, with an enrollment of over seven hundred students, St. Maurice School is the largest co-educational Catholic School in Manitoba.
May God continue to bless St. Maurice School!
Who was St. Maurice
Saint Maurice by Matthias Grünewald
Maurice was born and raised in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes (modern day Luxor, Egypt) in the year 250. He became a soldier in the Roman army and over time made his way up the ranks to be leader of the Theban legion comprised of 6600 soldiers. At this time in history, the Roman Empire regarded the Church as a threat yet Maurice was a self-proclaimed Christian.
The legion Maurice led was made up exclusively of Christians from Thebes. They were called to the Alps to aid Roman Emperor Maximian in the fight against the bagaudae, a group of insurgents. Prior to the battle, they were required to pay their respects to the Emperor and to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Maurice and his men swore allegiance to the Emperor but refused to worship Roman gods. Then they were ordered to harass the local Christian population; again led by Maurice, the legion refused. Consequently Maximian ordered their decimation – the killing of every tenth soldier and followed with further orders which the legion again refused resulting in a second decimation. Due to their stubborn refusal to harass local Christians or worship pagan gods, Emperor Maximian’s ordered the execution of all remaining soldiers in the legion. The location of the martyrdom was known as Agaunum, but today it is called Saint Maurice-en-Valais in honour of the Egyptian Christians great leader.
Eucherius, Bishop of Lyon, who died in 494 wrote this of the martyrdom:
"We often hear, do we not, a particular locality or city is held in high honour because of one single martyr who died there, and quite rightly, because in each case the saint gave his precious soul to the most high God. How much more should this sacred place, Agaunum, be reverenced, where so many thousands of martyrs have been slain, with the sword, for the sake of Christ."