Catholic Education

TORONTO - The majority of Ontarians are opposed to the public funding of the Catholic education system, according to a survey by Forum Research.

Of 1,072 randomly selected adults polled on May 14, a standard sample size for Ontario, 53 per cent disagreed with current economic support of Catholic schools. This is a four-per-cent jump since Forum Research last asked the question in January. Forty per cent of respondents favoured funding Catholic boards while six per cent were unsure.

Catholic Civil Rights League challenges anti-bullying Bill-13


TORONTO - The Catholic Civil Rights League of Canada has challenged the Liberal government's proposed Bill-13 over the anti-bullying legislation's focus on gender and sexual orientation.

Joanne McGarry, executive director of the league, along with league president Phil Horgan, addressed the Ontario government’s standing committee for social policy May 15. They expressed the league's opposition to Bill-13 because of its focus on gender, its infringement on denominational rights and its impact on curriculum.

St. Mike's severs all ties with major junior hockey


TORONTO - St. Michael's College School is officially out of the Ontario Hockey League.

After reappearing in the major junior hockey ranks in 1997 after a three-decade hiatus, with the sale of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors earlier this month, the midtown Toronto school has severed all links with the OHL team.

Visa problems quash meeting between Nicaraguan and Canadian students


Three 16-year-old Nicaraguan students’ had their dreams shattered as an all-expenses-paid trip to Canada ended before it began when they were denied visas to enter Canada.

“The day I got the phone call here in my office I sat here and cried, literally sat here and cried,” said Brenda Holtkamp, chaplaincy leader at Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School in Caledon, Ont., which had sponsored the Nicaraguans. “Not only was I sad for myself and all the students here in the school that worked so hard for this reality, I was really very said for the young people in Nicaragua who have never had the opporunity to travel, who were so close to being here . . . and just because of bureaucracy they were turned down.”

Embracing change at St. Jerome’s as new president Katherine Bergman settles in


As a researcher, Katherine Bergman has an intense interest in the past. As the new president of St. Jerome’s University, Bergman wants to talk about the future.

Bergman has been studying how southern Saskatchewan went from a giant lake to a semi-arid plain — that is “the transition of the Devonian Elk Point Basin from fully marine to desiccation.”

Fire strikes Senator O'Connor House


TORONTO - A heritage building being restored to its former glory on the Senator O'Connor College School campus was ravaged by a two-alarm blaze Wednesday afternoon.

Two staff members inside the school's library spotted thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the O'Connor House just before 3 p.m. One phoned 911 while the other notified the school office.

"They alerted me they had called 911 and then I pulled the fire alarm for the school," said principal Susan Baker.

Defending Catholic education high on Marino Gazzola’s OCSTA agenda


TORONTO - Marino Gazzola, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s (OCSTA) new president, said he will be working to defend and promote the Catholic school system during his two-year term.

Gazzola was chosen the trustees’ association president at its 82nd Annual General Meeting held in Kingston, Ont., April 26-28.

TCDSB launches new pastoral plan


TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board's new three-year pastoral plan will focus on virtues of faith, hope and charity, one for each of the next three school years.

About 800 students, staff, parents and parish representatives from across the city were gathered inside the Montecassino Banquet Hall for the May 2 launch of Pastoral Plan: Faith, Hope and Charity. The plan aims to grow upon the areas of focus from the previous pastoral plan, word, worship and witness.

Pope tells U.S. colleges to strengthen Catholic identity


VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI called on America's Catholic colleges and universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity by ensuring orthodoxy in theological studies and accepting the oversight of bishops.

The Pope made his remarks May 5 to U.S. bishops from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming, who were making their periodic "ad limina" visits to the Vatican.

York University honours former CFL coach Frank Cosentino


TORONTO - Frank Cosentino, who parlayed his start in coaching with the Catholic Youth Organization to the Canadian university ranks, will be honoured by York University for being the most successful football coach in school history.

The Toronto university will be holding a dinner to honour Cosentino on May 11.

“I’m honoured and very pleased that a group of people got together and thought I contributed something to their lives,” said Cosentino, a 10-year Canadian Football League quarterback, from his Eganville, Ont., home.

Facelift for St. Mike’s hockey program


TORONTO - Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School is revamping its Senior Division 1 hockey program with the aim of improving student grades while maintaining a competitive hockey program.

“The program we had, as it was, wasn’t working because the student athletes were asked to juggle too many commitments,” said Paul Forbes, the midtown Toronto private Catholic school’s athletic director, noting that many players were committed to the school team as well as their community team.

“The reality of it is that they don’t really have time to play for two competitive teams in this day and age.”