Our Lady of the Lake… a beautiful name with a rich history. The story begins with Mary herself, the mother of Jesus. Especially described in the gospel of Luke, Mary is the loving servant of God who says ‘yes’ to giving birth to Jesus and raising him. Mary praises God after she visits her cousin Elizabeth while both are pregnant in the words that have become our school motto: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Luke 1.46). Throughout the events of Jesus’ infancy, Mary is the one who “treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2.19). She anxiously searches for Jesus when he is lost in the Temple, she is there at the end of Jesus’ life, and is present again at the start of the early Church.
Mary is ‘Our Lady’ who has been known by so many titles of honour throughout the centuries: Our Lady of Peace… Our Lady of Sorrows… Our Lady of Good Counsel… Our Lady of Perpetual Help… and many, many more. There are many litanies, lists of titles, that are uttered in prayer and devotion to describe the many aspects of Mary’s prayerful protection.
The history of our own school name, Our Lady of the Lake, is very closely associated with the history of our local parish in Keswick, after which our school is named. Our Lady of the Lake Mission Church began as a summer colony of cottagers and weekend visitors from Toronto. Beginning in 1937, Mass was celebrated for them in a tent by Rev. Dr. W.D. Muckle, pastor of St. John Chrysostom parish in Newmarket. In 1940, largely through the interest and generosity of Mr. J.J. Fitzgibbons and a group of resident families and summer cottagers from Toronto, a site for a permanent structure was purchased at Five Corners in Keswick, and in 1942 the original little building was constructed.
On Sunday, August 23, 1942 His Grace the Most Reverend James C. McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto, solemnly dedicated the white frame chapel. It was the Archbishop who, inspired by the beautiful view of Lake Simcoe on this occasion, chose the name “Our Lady of the Lake.”
In January, 2001 our school began with the beautiful name of the parish, and with the intercession of Our Lady of the Lake.