{mosimage}A trek to the South Pole helped raise $101,595 for schools within the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

Four Hamilton, Ont.-area businessmen — Peter Turkstra, president of Turkstra Lumber, Steve Stipsits, owner of Branthaven Homes, Fred Losani, CEO of Losani Homes, and Mark MacLennan, director of manufacturing for The Econo-Rack Group Inc. — set out on their South Pole for Kids adventure in December in support of 35 charities that would provide help to underprivileged children. They raised $550,000 to support local causes.

Losani said they chose charities where they knew the money would go directly to helping the children. The Catholic school board had been particularly pleasant to work with after the group’s 2006 fundraising trip to the North Pole which Losani, Turkstra and Stipsits had completed with two other men, raising a half-million dollars.

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.

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.”

MBA programs need ethics reform

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{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.

Ontario Catholic Education Week extends beyond class

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{mosimage}Parishes across Ontario are being invited to support Catholic Education Week by getting involved with school activities, reflecting on the significant contribution made to the church and to society by Catholic education and by participating in prayer celebrations being held across the province.

The week of May 3-9 has been designated as Catholic Education Week in Ontario, but the celebration extends beyond classrooms. Parishes are being asked to include a notice in Sunday bulletins to invite parishioners to become involved.

Christian Brothers seek support for Mideast peace and Bethlehem University

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{mosimage}TORONTO - As they swing through North America drumming up interest and financial support for Bethlehem University , Br. Jack Curran and Br. Peter Bray of the Christian Brothers warn against any hard and fast convictions about who is right and who is wrong in the Middle East.

“To be pro one side or the other side is simplistic,” said Curran, the vice president for development at Bethlehem University. “But there has to be a truth some place in the middle.”

Tiny Bethlehem University, with less than 3,000 undergraduates and a sprinkling of graduate programs leading to masters degrees, isn’t going to singlehandedly find that truth and light the path to peace — but it has a role to play, said Bray.


Toronto board launches Respect for Life Week

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{mosimage}TORONTO - “Nobody’s a nobody,” Dr. Andrew Simone, founder of the non-profit Canadian Food for Children , told more than 80 students, education assistants and teachers at the Catholic Education Centre.

Everyone is a gift from God, Simone said in his talk, part of the kick off event of the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s 15th annual Respect for Life Week.


Arrowsmith program cancellation sparks lawsuit

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The head of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network says it’s “appalling” that parents of some children with learning disabilities must file a lawsuit against their own school board in order to save a program their children need.

“It’s ridiculous for parents to be put in this situation,” said chair Murielle Boudreau.

Boudreau was responding to news that five parents with children enrolled in a unique special education program called “Arrowsmith ” launched a lawsuit in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court against the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

New OECTA president, James Ryan, gets his priorities straight

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Limiting “data-driven education” and ensuring full-day kindergarten in Ontario are some of the key priorities for the new president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

James Ryan told The Catholic Register that these issues are on his priority list for his two-year term.

On the issue of testing, Ryan said North American schools, especially in the United States, have been swept by a “plague of accountability.” This is a trend, he said, which the association will oppose in Canada.

Quebec court says parents can't pull kids from religion course

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - A Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled against Drummondville parents who want to remove their children from a mandatory ethics and religious culture course.

The parents had sued their local school board, arguing violation of parental rights and religious freedom. But the Aug. 31 decision ruled the course does not violate religious freedom.

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

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{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.