OECTA logoTORONTO - The head of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is calling for a popular aboriginal play to tour Southern Ontario schools to teach students about tackling racism.

James Ryan joined Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and Isadore Day, Regional Grand Chief for Lake Huron Region and representative of the Union of Ontario Indians, in proposing an aboriginal education initiative that combats cultural stereotypes about First Nations students.

Equity policy won't trample Catholic rights

Teacher pupilsTORONTO - Ontario Catholic schools will not be required under the province’s controversial equity and inclusive education strategy to maintain gay support clubs, according to a ministry spokesman.

Gary Wheeler said in an e-mail that the province’s new equity policy, which has sparked concern from Ontario bishops and Catholic educators, has “flexibility” that will permit Catholic boards to operate “within the context of denominational rights of Roman Catholics.”

Catholic student UN delegates hear they must work for justice

Jenny Cafiso TORONTO - Promoting the option for the poor and working for justice go hand-in-hand with the Gospel values that students are learning at Catholic schools, says Jenny Cafiso, director of Canadian Jesuits International.

And the United Nations, a forum of diverse nations, beliefs and ideas, is precisely the place where Catholics should be making their voices heard on behalf of the marginalized, she said.

Moustaches for Movember at St. Mike's College School

movemberTORONTO - Jamie Dowell will be growing a moustache this month. But vanity has nothing to do with it.

Dowell, a Grade 12 student at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto, is taking part in the school’s inaugural Movember campaign — a global initiative where men grow moustaches and raise money to increase awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer will probably affect at least someone we know in our lives and, being men, it’s something that we should have a basic knowledge about and support it in every way we can,” said Dowell.

Schools must be safe havens for all


Chris D'SouzaMISSISSAUGA, Ont. - With hate crimes on the rise in Canada, implementing the province's new inclusive education policy comes at critical time when schools must be “safe havens” for all students, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, says educator Chris D'Souza.

D'Souza spoke at an Oct. 22 workshop at the “When Faith Meets Pedagogy” conference on “Reaffirming our vocation to Catholic education and commitment in the service of students.”

D'Souza has been in 27 Ontario cities over the past nine months speaking about the government's new equity and inclusive education policy.

Teachers must find that moment of grace

Bishop Paul Andre-DurocherMISSISSAUGA, Ont. - As a teacher, Bishop Paul Andre-Durocher once taught a Grade 10 student who had a hard time mastering the baritone.

After many unsuccessful attempts, the student finally got it, to her delight and the joy of her teacher.

The Cornwall-Alexandria bishop used this as an example of grace in the classroom as he spoke to 1,200 teachers at the 14th annual “When Faith Meets Pedagogy” conference sponsored by the Catholic Curriculum Corporation.

York trustee Micheal Carnovale dedicated right up to the end

Micheal Carnovale, York Catholic District School BoardTORONTO - Just before going on vacation for two weeks, York Catholic District School Board trustee Micheal Carnovale called one of his colleagues to ask if she could look after some parents' concerns while he was away.

It’s this kind of dedication that characterized Mr. Carnovale’s 16-year career as trustee, says friend and board chair Elizabeth Crowe.

St. Clare School pumps out responsible citizens for the past century

Sr. Anicetus, CSJTORONTO - Maureen Curtis has fond memories as a St. Clare Elementary School student and will be celebrating and reminiscing with other alumni on the school’s legacy of faith and formation over its 100-year history.

The school marks its 100th anniversary this year with an Open House and a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Clare Church celebrated by Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins on Sept. 29. There was also a school blessing and the unveiling of a new statue of St. Clare at the school. And an archival display of St. Clare’s history since it opened in September 1910, including school and class photos, was to be featured. An alumni reunion was planned for Oct. 2.

Election's importance leads to Toronto archdiocese policy change

Archbishop CollinsTORONTO - Archbishop Thomas Collins has given the green light to campaigning for the Oct. 25 school board trustee election on Church property across the archdiocese.

Neil MacCarthy, the Toronto archdiocese’s spokesperson, said this signals an opening up of parish halls to all-candidate meetings for those running for trustee.

Catholic boards refute claims of phony Catholics seeking jobs

GTA school boardsTORONTO - As a recent graduate from teachers’ college, Guelph, Ont.’s Jesse Lloyd, a non-Catholic, applied to teach at a Catholic school a few years ago.

But he says didn’t get the job because of the requirement to be Catholic.

In his college days, he remembers how a few of his colleagues talked about being lapsed Catholics and having to relearn their Catholicism — or at least put up an appearance of Catholicity — in order to qualify for a teaching position at a Catholic school.

Putting a Catholic voice in schools

john kostoffTORONTO - When he was in Grade 8, John Kostoff had a choice to make: attend a prestigious high school with a longstanding tradition in academics and sports or an up-and-coming, smaller Toronto school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers.

Kostoff had seen a newspaper photo of a child from Nigeria holding a sign reading “Thank you, Neil McNeil.” That sealed the deal for Kostoff, who chose Neil McNeil High School because of the school’s active involvement in helping survivors of the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War.