Features

{mosimage}TORONTO - Some call it the “monster” model. For years, critics have charged that MBA schools have been teaching business students the mantra of maximizing shareholder profits with little regard for anything else.

But according to CEO and business ethics researcher John Dalla Costa, it's critical to have a reform of this business mentality now, given the depth of the economic crisis the world is facing.

Toronto Catholic parent group seeks school supervisor’s removal

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The chair of a Toronto Catholic parent group says she plans to file a complaint with Ontario’s ombudsman over the potential conflict-of-interest position of the provincially appointed supervisor for the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

In a letter to Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, Murielle Boudreau of the Greater Toronto Parent Network wrote that Norbert Hartmann “is usually in a conflict-of-interest situation whenever he presides over many aspects of the administration of the board” as his wife and daughter are Toronto Catholic school teachers.

Future looks brighter for these Afghan refugees

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto’s Catholics have nearly tripled the number of refugees they’re bringing to Canada, but more parishes need to volunteer if the archdiocese is going to sustain the new level of refugee sponsorships.

In 2008 parishes and religious orders in and around Toronto sponsored 147 families who can’t return to their homelands for fear of war, persecution and chaos. That’s up from 51 in 2007. The number of parishes involved in sponsorship grew to 28 in 2008, up from 22 the year before. There are 32 parishes, out of 224 in the archdiocese, so far on board for sponsorships in 2009.

Parent groups, unions upset at Ontario Education ministry’s school finder web site

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{mosimage}TORONTO -It’s “discriminatory,” “demoralizing” and should be taken down.

At least that’s what an Ontario Catholic parent group is saying about a new government web site called “School Information Finder.

Brian Evoy, president of the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education , said the web site allows parents to choose schools based upon some discriminating indicators such as the percentage of students from lower-income families and those who don’t speak English as a first language. Provincial test scores are also a criteria.

Capturing the Catholic spirit of Quebec’s maritime region

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{mosimage}GASPE, Que. - Nothing prepared me for the incredible variety of Catholic churches to be found in the maritime region of Quebec.

Turning south on 132 after visiting Miguasha Park, we drove to where the highway meets Chaleur Bay. In Carleton, a sign pointed to Mont St-Joseph. We drove along a trail which wound up high in the heavens, 555 metres to be exact. We were barely able to discern the mission’s outline in the thick fog. The site was founded by Carleton’s St.-Jean-Baptiste Society in 1878 when it erected a cedar cross, covered in white iron, to protect parishioners and save them from the sea’s dangers. That cross stood until 1918. That year, the statue of St. Joseph was taken in procession from the parish church up a rough trail. In 1935, inspired by Carleton’s parish priest, Abbe Plourde, the construction of a chapel began. Once completed, it became a popular pilgrimage site, due in great part to the Sisters of Charity who had a convent and school in Carleton. Pilgrims come here to pray in the beautiful oratory of the Blessed Virgin. There’s a museum and art gallery here, including an unusual crèche scene in which The Star of Bethlehem is a sea anemone and Baby Jesus rests on a mushroom.

Archdiocese of Toronto helps launch school-based faith initiative

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Gospel, liturgical worship and community witness will be the pillars of a new three-year faith initiative at the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the April 15 launch of “Nurturing Our Catholic Community through Word, Worship and Witness.”

Dufferin-Peel film warns of dangers of gang life

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{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - When gunfire interrupted a funeral and killed Darren Watts’ friend, it was a wake-up call about gangs for the 19-year-old high school student.

“Beware of the company you keep. They can lead to your downfall,” he said during an interview at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic High School in Mississauga.

Watts is describing the message of Mouse, a short film on the dangers of gang lifestyle. He plays Clutch, a fictional gang leader who preys upon a 10-year-old  whom he nicknames “Mouse” and convinces to steal and sell drugs for him and the gang.

Mary Ann Robillard chosen as Toronto Catholic School Board's newest trustee

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has a new trustee but the same old problem, says a Toronto Catholic parents group.

Murielle Boudreau, chair of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network, says appointing Mary Ann Robillard, a former trustee and one-time assistant to Oliver Carroll, to the seat vacated by Carroll is like appointing her old boss.

Toronto Catholic District School Board budget cuts for special ed programs

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Close to 6,000 students enrolled in the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s special education programs will suffer from the upcoming reassignment of 67 teachers, says the head of the teachers’ union.

“How can you remove 67 teachers and not expect it to have a detrimental impact on the neediest students?” said Anthony Bellissimo, president of the Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers , adding there is a waiting list to get needy students into special education classes.

The Passion of Christ in Toronto

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Twice each year Catholics demand vivid, compelling images of Jesus. In Advent we set up creches in our churches and on our coffee tables to enact the drama of Christ’s incarnation. In Lent we turn our faces to the cross and endure with Jesus the tragic walk to the summit of Calvary.

Station 1

1. Jesus Condemned
In 2002 the world watched as World Youth Day transformed downtown Toronto with the stations of the cross on a huge scale. But the rehearsal earlier that afternoon were also moving, winding its way through a busy workday in ordinary clothes.


We do it every year. Every year we are happy when we see the little cows and donkeys, shepherds and angels, Mary the new mother and Joseph the worried father. Every year we grieve as Jesus falls the first time, the second time and the third.

This is not an exercise in biblical scholarship. Our creches confuse the nativity stories in Luke and Matthew. The stations of the cross include details of legends not found in any Gospel and leaves out important elements of Gospel accounts of Jesus’ execution.

Equitable financing sought for Ontario schoool extracurricular activities

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{mosimage}TORONTO  - The Ontario Student Trustees’ Association says students don’t have equal access to after-school activities in the province.

In a January 2009 report called “Equitable Education? The Cost of Extra-curriculars in Ontario’s Schools,” the association recommended that the provincial government and school boards adopt a standardized fee system in Ontario and address the lack of access to after-school activities by students who can’t afford to participate.

“A substantial part of education is neither free nor equitable. The rich receive the benefit of experience while the poor receive a no-frills education; the wealthy can afford to participate in extracurricular activities while the poor cannot,” the report said.