{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

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{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.

Gun violence spurs teacher to action

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{mosimage}With three of his former students struck down by gun violence, teaching veteran James Flaherty says he was driven to try to make a difference.

The graphics and technology teacher has been at Malton, Ont.’s Ascension of Our Lord High School for 15 years and has used his film-making skills to try to make that difference.

Catholic educators must stand up for rights

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{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Catholic schools need to fight for and preserve their “Catholicity” in a social and political climate that is becoming increasingly hostile to publicly funded Catholic education, say some educators.

John Kostoff, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board’s director of education, says Catholic educators need to “take a step back” and re-assess their goals and identity.

Benemerenti Medal goes to Ottawa educator

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{mosimage}Over the seven years he’s been Ottawa District Catholic School Board ’s education director, James McCracken says what’s been most rewarding has been being able to help students in need.

This year, Pope Benedict XVI has awarded McCracken the Benemerenti Medal for distinguished service to Catholic education in the Ottawa archdiocese. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., presented the award on Oct. 9 in front of the board’s more than 3,000 teachers, administrators and support staff.

Bringing light to Poland's Holocaust past

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{mosimage}TORONTO - During the early 1980s, in her teen years, Sr. Anna Bodzinska began to learn that history in Poland wasn’t told quite the way it happened. 

The extent of the atrocities of the Second World War, the treatment of Jews in Poland and Christian-Jewish relations were suppressed to suit the communist ideology of the day. But now Canadians will get to hear from Bodzinska about the initiatives for restoration and understanding taking place today.

Kielburgers to speak on their lives in service

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Children’s rights activist Marc Kielburger says being a graduate of the Catholic education system has taught him about the importance of leadership and helped him in advocating for human rights around the world.

Kielburger and his brother, Craig, will join Salt + Light TV CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., as keynote speakers at the Catholic Curriculum Corporation’s When Faith Meets Pedagogy XIV conference Oct. 22 to 24 at Mississauga’s DoubleTree Hilton.

Catholic school trustees are called to serve

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TORONTO - In his 25 years as a Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic school trustee, Patrick J. Daly says he’s learned these key lessons: the importance of setting a good example and understanding your role as a trustee.

Daly, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board chair since 1991, was one of several speakers at a series of workshops for potential Catholic school board trustees which began on Jan. 9 and ends Feb. 13.

Canadian school campaigns lend a hand

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Three weeks after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, children’s rights activist Craig Kielburger says remarkable efforts are already underway towards the rebuilding of the country.

Those efforts are being bolstered by the generosity efforts of Catholic students who are raising tens of thousands of dollars in Canada,

Maple school deals with student deaths

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{mosimage}MAPLE, Ont. - A wooden cross now stands at the crash site which took the lives of two St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School students earlier this month.

A busload of students from the Toronto suburb of Maple school gathered two days after the accident, led by principal Antonella Rubino, to pray for their friends, Ryan Sheridan, 17, and Niko Di Iorio, 15. The students were killed in a car crash on Feb. 1.

Trustee controversy opens voters’ eyes, says Ontario education minister

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{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.