Twenty-one-hundred and fifty St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School (St. FX) students will celebrate Shrove Tuesday (on Tuesday, February 21, 2023) at their school with a pancake breakfast featuring over three-thousand-one hundred pancakes. The students will enjoy a hearty breakfast while learning about Shrove Tuesday’s spiritual significance and raising funds for charity.
School Principal Sean Powers says, “A Shrove Tuesday event of this size can only happen when the parent community, volunteers, businesses, educators, support staff and students come together in the spirit of almsgiving.”
Special guests manning the griddles between 7 am and 8 am in the school’s main foyer will include Riverside South-Findlay Creek Councillor Steve Desroches, OCSB Trustee of Barrhaven, Gloucester-South Nepean Spencer Warren, St. FX Principal Sean Power and Dounia Saikaley, owner of Friendly Restaurant and Pizzeria in Rockland. Ms. Saikaley donated a massive grill and provided her cooking expertise to ensure the pancakes were hot and ready for the students.
Ottawa Catholic School Board Director of Education Thomas D’Amico says, “While some call it Pancake Tuesday and others call it Shrove Tuesday, for Christians world-wide, this day is significant to mark the start of Lent. We’re proud of the traditions at St. Francis Xavier high school, and we’re pleased to see so many community partners help us celebrate and raise funds for various charities.” Director D’Amico added that thanks to the assistance of local businesses such as the Loblaws South Keys and Barrhaven Costco, every student can participate in the event if they choose.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School opened in 2009. With an enrollment of 2,100 students, the school is one of Canada’s largest that offers grades 7-12 and mainly serves the communities of Riverside South and Gloucester.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) that Catholics observe in part by finalizing one’s Lenten sacrifice and eating pancakes and other sweets. During Lent, Catholics are encouraged to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the less fortunate and performing other acts of charity.