{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.

Loretto Sisters going green

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{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.