Dufferin-Peel's St. Roch captured the top prize of the OCSTA video contest for the secondary schools' division. Screen shot of "Selfless St. Roch" via YouTube [https://youtu.be/k3jjOD3Jx-g?list=PLto1VDXqXYlOsLQMm8pXtz2U9flcOuQam]

Videos brings Ontario Catholic schools' namesakes to life

By 
  • January 16, 2017

If there's one thing a school's name should do, it's inspire.

“A lot of thought goes into naming Catholic schools and for good reason,” said Pat Daly, president of the Ontario Catholic Schools Trustees' Association (OCSTA). “Names have a role to play in inspiring students.”

But that can't happen unless the students know the story behind the name.

“It is very important that our students have a good understanding and appreciation for the Charism of the person (or) symbol their school is named to honour,” he said.

With that in mind, the OCSTA came up with the theme "The Story Behind the Name of My Catholic School" for the association's annual video contest.

. The awards were announced during the OCSTA's annual Catholic Trustees' Seminar on Jan. 13.

“We started it as a way to engage our Catholic students,” said Sharon McMillan, a spokesperson for OCSTA who oversees the video contest. “They are using all of their creative skills to communicate as video gives you that opportunity.”

The St. Roch video features music and photos to help tell the story of the 14th-century French saint.

“We as St. Roch students are influenced by our school's (patron) saint,” said student Mario Antognetti in the two-minute video. “Just as St. Roch helped other through his kindness and prayers we support each other and are there for our brothers and sisters in their times of need.”

Born the son of a Montpellier noble governor, St. Roch, who was to succeed his father as governor, spent the first 20 years of his life with heightened social status. Following the death of his parents, however, Roch set out to minister to those impacted by the plague.

It is said that wherever Roch would go, the plague would recede and the sick would recover.

“He risked himself to heal others with his God-given powers and working miracles,” Antognetti said in the video. “How grateful we are to have an impactful story behind the name of our Catholic school.”

First place earned the school a $300 BestBuy gift card. York's St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School finished second and Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in the Waterloo Catholic school board third.

St. Michael the Archangel in York Region and Mary Ward Elementary in Niagara took home second and third in the elementary division.

The videos from all schools in the contest, first held in 2013, are uploaded to YouTube, taking their messages well beyond the confines of school property.

According to Media Technology Marketing, nearly 70 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 60 were regular users of YouTube in 2015 compared to about 50 per cent in 2011.

McMillan said that it is increasingly difficult to select the winner.

“We received outstanding videos using the full gamut of technology from rural areas and from urban areas,” she said. “It is pretty amazing to see what they've produced. Every one of the submissions was wonderful.”

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