Dufferin-Peel board launches book on history of Catholic education

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  • September 21, 2011

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - Grade 7 and 10 students in Dufferin-Peel west of Toronto are about to welcome 400 years of history on 252 glossy pages into their classrooms, and they have a couple of former students to thank for it.

Our Story. Our Tradition. Our Journey: Celebrating the Church-School Connection in Dufferin-Peel is the first book published in more than 30 years by the Catholic school board that covers Mississauga and Brampton. It’s a history of Catholic education in Ontario and the region. The timeline stretches back as far as the Jesuit martyrs of the 17th century.

Former students Daniel Francavilla and Jennifer Paul were asked to work on the book by their media studies teacher, Peter Fujiwara. What began as a little design and layout project ended up stretching out for a year. The pair graduated from St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School in Brampton, Francavilla in 2008 and Paul in 2009.


The contributors are impressed by the final product.

“I never imagined my name would be published in print,” said York University film student Paul.

Ontario College of Art and Design graphic design student Francavilla said the opportunity to see the book through to final production was “a really good opportunity.”

But more than experience with the technical side of publishing, the pair are happy that they learned about the sacrifices made so they could have a Catholic education.

“I’m so glad we had a Catholic education, because we really did fight for it,” said Paul. “I don’t think people appreciate that.”

The board ordered up 6,000 softcover copies of the book and will be distributing it to every school library, local public libraries and putting it in all Grade 7 and 10 classrooms. The book comes with a teacher’s resource to help integrate lessons about Catholic education history into the classroom.

An extra 100 hardcover commemorative editions will be deposited in various archives and distributed to dignitaries.

“This has been a huge project that has involved all of our principals,” said Dufferin-Peel director of education John Kostoff. “It’s a story to be proud of. We have much to be proud of.”

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