Ontario bishops pleased with McGuinty's about-face on sex ed curriculum

Sex EducationTORONTO - The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario has welcomed Premier Dalton McGuinty''s decision to rethink a controversial sex ed curriculum for elementary school students.

“We certainly welcome this new round of consultations and the Catholic community will offer its input. We will continue working with the Ministry of Education as we always have,” Lou Piovesan, the Assembly's general secretary, told The Catholic Register.

Sr. Helen Prejean to lecture at Regis College

Prejean PosterTORONTO - Well-known capital punishment opponent Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., will be giving the inaugural lecture honouring the prison ministry of the late Fr. Martin Royackers, who was murdered in Jamaica nine years ago.

Royackers was 41 when he was gunned down in front of his parish in Annotto Bay, Jamaica.

Toronto students help commemorate Holland's liberation

{mosimage}TORONTO - Students from Toronto’s Don Bosco High School are helping to commemorate the historical bond between Canadians and the Dutch people in a new monument celebrating the 65th anniversary of Holland’s liberation from the Nazis.

Don Bosco Catholic High School teacher Tim Stewart wrote the English and Dutch text accompanying a 1.2-metre tall, 900-kg black granite memorial that will be unveiled April 13 at Queen Wilhelmina Park in Meppel, Holland. The text speaks of the Toronto Scottish Regiment’s contribution to the liberation of Holland as the Second World War ground to an end.

Toronto school board aims to buy Loretto Abbey

{mosimage}TORONTO - Putting to rest rumours that Loretto Abbey is going to close, the Toronto Catholic District School Board says it plans to buy the Catholic high school property from the Loretto Sisters.

Angelo Sangiorgio, the board’s associate director of planning and facilities, told The Catholic Register that the board’s lease with the Loretto Sisters, also known as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, expires in 2013.

Catholic principals to meet in Windsor

{mosimage}TORONTO - The 12th annual Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario conference will highlight the vocation of Catholic school principals across the province.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Embracing Our Catholic Vocation.” The conference runs from April 22 to 24 in Windsor, Ont.

Council president Paul Lacalamita said principals are “invested” in the faith formation of their community.

Catholic college headed Peterborough's Trent University

{mosimage}Catholic higher education is about to establish a new outpost in Peterborough.

Peterborough Bishop Nicola DeAngelis has collected $1.6 million in donations and entered into talks with Trent University in hopes of offering university level liberal arts courses at Sacred Heart parish in downtown Peterborough.

The first non-credit courses at Sacred Heart College could be up and running as soon as this September.

Trustee controversy opens voters’ eyes, says Ontario education minister

{mosimage}TORONTO - A silver lining to the troubles plaguing the Toronto Catholic District School Board over the past three years is that it has encouraged members of the Catholic community to stand for election or become more informed voters, says Ontario’s new education minister.

“I think it’s fair to say that what has unfolded at (the Toronto Catholic board) has required everyone to look at the role and function of school board trustees. I think that’s an important outcome,”  Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky told The Catholic Register.

Students connect to the church through the arts at St. Michael’s Choir School

{mosimage}TORONTO - Angelic voices fill the auditorium at St. Michael’s Choir School on an early Sunday morning.

At 8:30 a.m., Grade 5 and 6 students attend their weekly rehearsal for the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Along with tuning up their pipes, students stand tall and practise the proper enunciation of “Christe” for the “Kyrie Eleison.”

On this day, junior choir conductor Caron Daley encourages the boys to keep their focus on their singing. With guests featuring police officers, firefighters and dignitaries such as Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor David Onley, the annual Police Mass could create some potential distractions for the young students.

Importance of retreats not lost on educators, students

{mosimage}TORONTO - One of the things that differentiates Catholic high school students from their public counterparts is participation in sacrament-based retreats.

Fraser Garteside, a teacher from Francis Libermann Catholic High School, is the school’s chaplaincy leader and has planned and led retreats for two years. 

“It’s vitally important that students have an awareness and engagement with their spiritual life,” Garteside said.

Faith helps athletes focus

{mosimage}TORONTO - Sudbury’s Marymount Academy Catholic High School volleyball player Jordana Ealdama says sport has a spiritual connection.

“If you believe in yourself and let God in your life, you can achieve your greatest goals,”  Ealdama, 16, told The Catholic Register from Kenora, Ont., where the school’s senior volleyball team was playing at the Ontario championships.

Coach Tammy Jutilla said she’s tried to instill in her players the importance of having faith and trust in God’s plan, and knowing “where that strength is going to come from.” It’s not all about winning but also about dedication and playing as a team, she said. Jutilla said the team’s success this year has been due to its commitment to improving and working together.

Catholicity put into action in Burlington school

{mosimage}TORONTO - St. Paul Elementary School student David Buitraeo of Burlington, Ont., says he was anxious about getting his head shaved in front of the whole school. But since it was to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake relief effort, Buitraeo volunteered to do so, along with some other students and teachers.

“Since we are in Grade 8, we thought we should be leaders in the school,” he said.

It’s these kinds of actions merging faith and Catholic social justice teachings that principal Lori Naar says reflects the Catholicity in a Catholic school.