{mosimage}BURLINGTON, Ont - Alice Anne LeMay recalls playing the role of “hot dog lady” at a basketball game for special needs students in the Halton Catholic District School Board .

LeMay, whose son has a hearing disability, said it’s activities like these which highlight the Catholic and “inclusive” spirit of the Halton board over the past four decades.

St. Joseph's Morrow Park gets three-year reprieve

{mosimage}TORONTO - St. Joseph’s Morrow Park High School students can breathe a sigh of relief — at least for the next three years.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board is finalizing a deal with Tyndale College, which has been leasing the property to the board since 2006, that would allow students to remain at the school temporarily. Tyndale bought the 20-hectare property from the Sisters of St. Joseph three years ago. 

Loretto Sisters going green

{mosimage}TORONTO - Eight years and $5.2 million later, the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary look on the big blue bank of solar panels gracing the roof of Loretto College and know that it is more than worth the trouble.

“It’s God’s planet and we need to take care of it,” explained mother superior Sr. Evanne Hunter.

Teachers' federation head pledges support for Catholic schools

{mosimage}TORONTO - Newly elected Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Reno Melatti says he remembers the days when Catholics had to fight for publicly funded education.

Preserving public Catholic schools today and in the future, he said, is a matter of equality and part of Ontario’s history.

Melatti, who became the 66th president of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on Sept. 2, is a graduate of and former teacher at Ontario Catholic schools. From his own experience, he said he learned about the positive impact and value of Catholic education.

Toronto Arrowsmith program saved

{mosimage}TORONTO - The newly appointed provincial supervisor of the Toronto Catholic District School Board is overturning a controversial decision to axe the Arrowsmith program, effectively ending a lawsuit against the board and Ontario’s education minister.

Richard Alway said in a letter to parents that after a “careful review,” and in consultation with the board’s director of education, he has decided to continue the program for students currently enrolled until 2012.

Berrigan's God overcomes all other gods

{mosimage}Long before Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan became famous for getting arrested — the “radical priest” in Paul Simon’s song “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” — he was a poet, a man of letters and imagination.

At 88 Berrigan can still combine words in ways that startle readers awake. Which doesn’t mean that he’s given up getting arrested. This man with eight others burned 378 stolen draft files using homemade napalm in 1968. He hammered on nuclear missiles then poured his own blood on documents and files at the bomb-maker’s headquarters in 1980. When U.S. President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2002, Berrigan decided to sit in at the Times Square recruiting office in Manhattan, getting arrested along with several of his students.

John Paul II lit up Canada 25 years ago

{mosimage}When Pope John Paul II made his Canada-wide visit 25 years ago, people feasted their eyes on the largest event the country had ever known.

After having landed in Quebec City Sept. 9, 1984, the pontiff crisscrossed his way across Canada in a monumental 12-day trip that took him to every province except Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, drawing tens of thousands at every site.

Brampton school named after Cardinal Ambrozic

{mosimage}BRAMPTON, Ont. - More than 300 students celebrated the opening of the first Canadian high school named after former Toronto archbishop Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic on Sept. 8.

Principal Tim Lariviere said the Brampton school is honouring Ambrozic in a number of ways. Its coat of arms includes many of Ambrozic’s own coat of arms, complete with the cardinal’s hat, cross and the picture of the lion representing the Gospel of Mark, the topic of Ambrozic’s doctoral thesis.

Church needs to use technology to its advantage

{mosimage}If every modern church has a box full of microphones and a covey of speakers perched around the sanctuary, why do so many people complain they can’t hear the readings, the prayers or the homily?

“I’ve seen around the world a kind of misuse of technology where it becomes counterproductive,” said Richard Osicki, a Winnipeg communications consultant and Catholic studies lecturer. “It distracts. It emphasizes things they don’t intend to emphasize — priests forgetting to turn on their microphones or blasting through the microphone.”

97 Greater Toronto Area students granted a Hope for Children Foundation scholarship

{mosimage}TORONTO - For most kids, foster care is no joy ride to a brighter future.

“There’s so much else going on in your life. There’s the reasons you went into care in the first place,” points out 18-year-old Nevena Seke.

This year Seke is one of 97 Greater Toronto Area students granted a Hope for Children Foundation scholarship to help launch her post-secondary education. This year the foundation which supports Catholic Children’s Aid of Toronto handed out $180,000 in scholarship money.

New Regis College aims to anticipate God's glory

{mosimage}TORONTO - The new Regis College won’t be finished when theology students arrive for academic orientation Sept. 10, and even when construction wraps up before the end of September the academic home of the Jesuits won’t really be finished. However, Regis Dean Fr. Gordon Rixon couldn’t be happier.

Weaving among the trucks in the driveway as he emerges from the dust and occasional thump of construction crews, Rixon is as calm and contented as a monk in a garden.