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Catholic Education

Thank you for choosing our Catholic schools for your child’s education. Our mission is to serve students in a community that nurtures a living faith and provides a quality Catholic education that enables the individual to become a contributing member of the Church and Society.

Catholic education views human life as an integration of body, mind and spirit. Rooted in this vision, Catholic education fosters the search for knowledge as a lifelong spiritual and academic quest. The expectations of Catholic graduates, therefore, are not only knowledge and skills, but also values, attitudes and actions.

There is something unique and truly special about education that has faith and spiritual growth at the heart of academic and social learning. The distinct faith-filled experiences offered to our children on their learning journey will help prepare them for a positive future. We believe in our schools as well as the benefit and gift of Catholic education — we hope you will share this belief with us.

Catholic Graduate Expectations (link)

Catholic schools have been educating students in mind, body and spirit in Ontario since before the birth of the province. Since 1841, they have provided educational excellence within a school culture imbued with the Gospel values of Jesus Christ. Publicly funded Catholic education has been the foundation for millions of students to develop their full spiritual, academic, physical and social potential. Catholic schools have made a tremendous contribution to the vitality and success of Ontario’s education system, which ranks among the best in the world.

 

Our Catholic schools nurture the values inherent in the Catholic faith – including responsibility, accountability, collaboration, and caring within family and community – producing not just good students but good citizens.

Click here for information about Municipal School Support Designation.

 

Recent years have seen debate regarding the public funding of Catholic education, despite its longstanding history of academic excellence and contributions to Ontario society. 

 

The notion that creating a single education system in Ontario would save money is unfounded. As amalgamation in the education, municipal and health-care sectors has demonstrated, bigger is not necessarily better or more efficient.

 

Funding in Ontario is based on per-pupil calculations. Amalgamation would not reduce the number of students – who would still require similar levels of teaching and support staff, classroom space and administrative support in the schools and board offices. Economies of scale have already been achieved, with Catholic and public boards co-operating in areas such as transportation, school financing, purchasing and energy management.

 

In fact, trying to amalgamate into a single system would cost more money – not to mention time – to sort out the complex details. It would also unleash a period of great upheaval for students, parents, teachers and administrators throughout the education system.

 

Catholic education is built on a strong foundation supported by parents, students, alumni, teachers, administrators, religious sisters and brothers, the clergy and the community. It is a proven success story. There is no justification for eliminating a system that is working so well.

 

Some contend it is unfair for only one faith to have publicly funded schools. Historically, Ontario’s Catholic education system was established to address the needs of Catholics, at that time a religious minority in this province. In 1867, the British North America Act guaranteed that all educational rights held by minorities at the time of Confederation would be constitutionally protected. Without this protection of denominational schools, Confederation would not have been achieved. The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld this pillar of our nation.

 

Whether other faiths should receive public education funding is a matter of public policy debate. Ontario governments throughout the history of the province have recognized not only the legal rights of the publicly funded Catholic education system to continue, but also the merits of keeping it in place.

 

The fact is, Catholic schools have maintained and enhanced their foundational place in Ontario’s public education system as it has evolved. It would be unfair to the Catholic community and the people of Ontario to dismantle a school system that has been an integral part of publicly funded education since 1841. It would also set a dangerous precedent for minority rights in Canada.

 

Catholic schools are fully or partially funded in six other Canadian provinces. Education is a provincial jurisdiction, and school governance in each province is unique – including Ontario, where the history, commitment and support for Catholic education are unlike any other province.

We believe that faith development is a gradual, lifelong and community process in partnership with the parish, home, and school.

 

We work closely with our parishes to support prayer, sacramentality and share God’s love with our students and their families. We are dedicated to ensure that prayer, sacramentality and Catholicity are given priority in teaching and learning. The strength of the parish-home-school relationship is an integral element of our work to foster the Catholic faith of our students.

 

We are proud of the positive partnerships that we nurture with the parishes of the Diocese of London and other Catholic partners. We look forward to the guidance and leadership of parents to support the celebration of sacraments and the ability of students to express their understanding of God’s love.

 

Our Catholic partners provide support, resources and services that help students; staff, schools and parents reach the potential as outlined in our Catholic Graduate Expectations. These expectations not only focus on knowledge and skills, but also on values, attitudes and actions.

Diocese of London: Founded in 1856, the Diocese of London and it's parishes cover most of Southwestern Ontario.

King's College University: King's emphasizes the value of each individual and the importance of social justice. Respect for the human person is behind our commitment to diversity, accessibility, social justice and to building the common good.

Brescia University: Brescia is Canada's only women's university. They were founded in 1919 by the Ursuline Sisters.

Sisters of St. Joseph: The Sisters of St. Joseph center their lives on relationship. They care deeply about our relationship with God and, through this relationship, have been led to the awareness that all is in God and God is in all.​

With the release of Renewing the Promise (2018), a pastoral letter in the tradition of This Moment of Promise (1988) and Fulfilling the Promise (1993) the Bishops have provided us with a very positive and affirming message. The letter uses the scriptural account of the Road to Emmaus as the basis for their reflection on the mission and vision of Catholic education, celebrating that a true encounter with Jesus can and does take place, each and every day within our Catholic schools. The Bishops encourage all who share responsibility for Catholic education to continue to nurture and strengthen Catholic schools as communities that exemplify, in word and in deed, the Good News of Jesus Christ. 
 

Our Religious Education programs are published by the Ontario Assembly of Catholic Bishops (ACBO) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). At the elementary level, these programs invite students to experience the mystery of their Catholic faith through prayer and participation in the Liturgy, according to the focus of each year. As students move through the program, they gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of their Catholic faith according to the year’s focus. 

 

We invite you to view Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ for comprehensive information on our Religious and Family Life programming.

 

Fully Alive is a Family Life Education program sponsored by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO). Catholic Family Life Education is closely associated with Religious Education. In Ontario Catholic schools, it accounts for 20% of the Religious Education program, and is usually taught once a week.

 

Family Life Education, as it is represented in Fully Alive, is intended to pass on a distinctively Catholic view of human life, sexuality, marriage, and family. Its goal is to complement the efforts of families and to support what parents are doing at home. The entire program, from Grades 1 through Grade 8 is designed to encourage children to become the people God wants them to be — to be fully alive.

Catholic Education Week is held each May in all our Catholic schools. Information and resources are available here.
Each year, on the Monday of Catholic Education Week, one student from each elementary and secondary school who demonstrates the qualities of the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations are invited to a special celebration to be presented with a Spirit Award.
Each year during Catholic Education Week, we recognize a person or group with the Stewards of Catholic Education Award. Past recipients include:

  • 2019: Recreation Program Volunteers
  • 2018: Sisters of St. Joseph
  • 2017: Peggy David
  • 2016: Susan McMahon
  • 2015: Danielle Battram
  • 2014: Julian Paparella
  • 2013: Mary Lynn Hamzo
  • 2012: Ralph De Luca
  • 2011: Bernardine Ketalaars
  • 2010: Brittnei Berrisford
  • 2009: Joseph Hattayer
  • 2008: Peter Cassidy
  • 2007: Sister Margaret Ferris
  • 2006: Mike Circelli
  • 2005: Bob Thibert
  • 2004: John Callaghan

All our Catholic secondary schools have a chaplaincy leader to serve the spiritual needs of students and staff. School chaplaincy is a work of pastoral ministry carried out within the school community. 

 

Our chaplaincy leaders have been given the responsibility of providing spiritual care and supporting faith life for both students and staff. They spread the word of God and promote our Catholic teachings within the school setting.

 

Chaplaincy leaders coordinate a wide range of activities that serve to promote the spiritual development of members of the school community, including preparing and leading prayers, preparing for the observation and celebration of the special seasons and feasts in the Church’s liturgical year, maintaining a link with the local parish, fostering an awareness of social justice and encouraging students to respond, and much, much more!

 

Chaplaincy leaders are also available for spiritual direction and resource support. Students who experience loss due to a death, separation or divorce in their families or any other issue can find great comfort and support by turning to the school chaplain. By having a chaplaincy leader as part of the high school resource team, we are able to focus on the spiritual development of all students.

 

Liturgies are celebrated regularly in religion classes, in chapels, and at regularly scheduled Masses where students are encouraged to participate. Students are always invited and welcomed to spend time in quiet reflection and prayer in the chapel.