TORONTO - A motion calling for the province to delay implementation of Ontario's controversial new sex-ed curriculum in Toronto Catholic schools has been defeated.

Published in Education

TORONTO - Toronto’s Catholic school board will still see fewer dollars from the provincial Grants for Student Needs next school year.

Published in Education

TORONTO - Budgeting blunders that left an unexpected deficit, coupled with a potential two-per-cent cut in provincial grants, could leave the Toronto Catholic District School Board with more than 300 fewer frontline educators in September.

Published in Education

TORONTO - An accounting error in the previous budget means that the Toronto Catholic District School Board is expected to end this school year with a $16.9-million deficit.

Published in Education

TORONTO - As he lay dying, Spiritan Father John D. Geary didn’t just listen to classical music on the stereo in his room, he conducted the invisible orchestra.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Michael Del Grande has come full circle, reclaiming his old seat as a trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and plans to use his connections to tap into funds that are there for the asking.

Published in Catholic Education

TORONTO - A balanced budget for the Toronto Catholic District School Board has made increased class sizes a reality, and that leaves some educators worried about the success of students, specifically those who struggle. 

Published in Education

TORONTO - In recognition of Fr. Pat Fitzpatrick’s dedication to Catholic education and the faith in general, the Toronto Catholic District School Board presented him with its Award of Merit.

Published in Catholic Education

Catholic Education Week is a time to celebrate. We will celebrate excellence in academics, sports and innovation, but as a Catholic community we will also celebrate exemplary practices of community, charity and solidarity.

Published in Catholic Education

TORONTO - Three Catholic students will be in Kenya this month building a school through their carpentry pre-apprenticeship program run by the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Carpenters and Allied Workers Local 27.

Published in Catholic Education

TORONTO - The rigours of a regular classroom can be too much for some students. They struggle to cope for a variety of reasons, be they social or emotional, mental health or medical needs.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Peter Aguiar wants to have Toronto’s Catholic students talking about netiquette this year.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Ann Andrachuk will serve as chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board for her third term following her election at the annual caucus meeting Nov. 29.

Published in Education

TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board, through its A Catholic Call To Service (ACCTS) program, is looking to expose students to the true meaning ofservice.

“It’s a program in which our students get an opportunity to witness, in action, their faith,” said Deb Gove, the board’s secondary resource person forreligious education. “It is a totally unbelievable experience for boththe students and the people (they help).”

ACCTS, which launches Oct. 17, will see 35 Catholic secondary schools across the city send 10 students into the downtown region to help out at a varietyof social assistance agencies. These agencies include shelters, missions and food distribution groups.

On the day of service, students meet and are divided into groups before heading off to the appropriate location. Everything is wrapped up around 7 p.m.following a liturgical service. But there is more to it than just a single day of service.

“It’s not just a day, it’s a taste of what service is like,” said Gove. “It’s life-long learning.”

Lasting about 10 hours, the day does not count towards the students’ compulsory 40 hours of community service for graduation in the Catholic system. The focusis on teaching students about the importance of helping others without any personal gain.

“If we’re just out there looking after each other and not looking after those who need it we’re not doing what Jesus asked us to,” said Gove.

“It’s important that we take care of the poor and vulnerable.” That’s a message which stuck with Raffi Degralstanian after participating in ACCTS last fall.

“I hadn’t actually had a good idea of what service was until I was actually there,” said the Grade 12 Brebeuf College School student. “It definitely opened my eyes to when people need service and how I should give it to them.”

Degralstanian was one of the students who helped clean up Mary’s House, a downtown women’s shelter, after it suffered significant damage from a fire.
The experience touched him so much that when the opportunity to participate in this year’s 15th anniversary program came, Degralstanian immediately wentonline to register.

“It was like wow, I did something here, I was able to contribute my physical being and apply it to this place and it made a difference,” said Degralstanian.
“Giving your sweat and being there physically doing something is much more meaningful than donating five or 10 bucks.”

When the group of 10, which included Degralstanian, returned to Brebeuf the following school day from their various assignments they instantly becamepivotal figures in establishing the school’s own Street Patrol program. Details of the school’s program, which is independent from ACCTS, are still beingdeveloped, but the objective is feeding the homeless at least once a month during the school year.

“It speaks a lot to the meaningful experience they receive on this given day,” said Robert Gregoris, Brebeuf chaplaincy team member.

“For a lot of them it is an eye opener. A lot of them don’t see the difficulties and the challenges that the human spirit goes through.” Although Gregoris said he understands the importance of the day’s message of unrewarded service he does think the students receive something in return — a closer connection with God.

“It’s a real tangible way where young people get to experience the message of Christ and the face of Christ,” said Gregoris.
“It gets to their heart, it gets to their soul.”

Published in Vatican

Article has been amended for updated information on Fr. Carl Matthews' wake

TORONTO - Fr. Carl Matthews, S.J., a former publisher and editor of The Catholic Register, died Sept. 26. The 80-year-old Fr. Matthews was in his 62nd year of Jesuit life.

Fr. Matthews died peacefully at Rouge Valley Hospital in Ajax, Ont. He had been at the Rene Goupil Jesuit Infirmary as his health deteriorated since his retirement from parish life in 2010.

It is Fr. Matthews' dedication to Catholic education where he made his name. He served for 14 years as a trustee with the Metropolitan Separate School Board, the predecessor of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and is among those most responsible for full funding being extended to Catholic schools. Along with the late Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, Fr. Matthews worked tirelessly in the halls of Queen's Park to bring equal funding to Catholic high schools, which up until 1984 were only fully funded up until Grade 10.

In the early 1990s, Fr. Matthews was publisher and editor of The Catholic Register before returning to parish life. He spent 16 years, from 1994-2010, as pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Waubaushene, Ont., on the shores of Georgian Bay in the northern reaches of the archdiocese of Toronto.

Born in Kingston, Ont., in 1932, Carl Joseph Damien Matthews attended Regiopolis College in his hometown before entering St. Stanislaus Novitiate in Guelph, Ont., in 1951. After first vows and two years of Juniorate, he went on to Regis College in Toronto. He returned to Regiopolis to teach for two years before returning to the University of Toronto to study education.

Fr. Matthews was ordained a priest June 4, 1966. He served in a number of parishes in the archdiocese, including Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ont., Good Shepherd parish in Thornhill and St. Michael's Cathedral.

A wake will be held for Fr. Matthews on September 30th from 2-4 p.m. (service at 3 p.m.) at Manresa Retreat House in Pickering, Ont., and from 7-9 p.m. at Rosar Morrison Funeral Home, 467 Sherbourne St. in Toronto. The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on October 1st at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 520 Sherbourne St. Burial is at the Jesuit Cemetery in Guelph.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
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