From the Toronto Catholic District School Board: Students from 15 secondary schools across the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) carried the Witness to Faith Cross across the top of the city from Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School (1760 Martin Grove Road) to the Catholic Education Centre (80 Sheppard Avenue East) on Thursday, May 30th. Elementary students from across the Board lined the route as they shared in this final journey.
TCDSB embarked on a Journey of Faith in September 2011, with the blessing of the Witness to Faith Cross, which travelled to each and every school across the system throughout two school years, as well as various special events throughout that two-year period.
“The journey has been a tangible and visual reminder of our Catholic faith, and provided countless opportunities to celebrate in prayer and reflection at schools and special events throughout the two year pilgrimage,” says Director of Education Bruce Rodrigues. “The Witness to Faith Cross has served as yet another way to strengthen the faith life of our schools and to raise the public profile of Catholic education in Toronto.”
The Witness to Faith Cross was created by students and staff from Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School in time for our Year of Witness, the third year in the Board’s three-year pastoral plan focusing on Word, Worship and Witness. The travels of the cross bridged the transition from one pastoral plan to another, as in September 2012 the Board began its celebration of the Year of Faith, the first in our three-year plan focusing on the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
“Toronto Catholic schools have a proud history of inspiring students through curriculum that is rooted in Gospel values and informed by the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations, helping them to realize their potential and to know what it means to be a discerning believer,” says Chair Ann Andrachuk. “TCDSB schools witness their faith through the many acts of compassion and caring within their local school communities, their neighbourhoods and around the world. The focus on Faith, Hope and Charity supports the goals of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan with its focus on Living our Catholic Values and Student Achievement and Well-Being.”
TCDSB was pleased to share the end of this two-year journey with His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Collins at the closing liturgy on June 3rd at the Catholic Education Centre. Students, parents, staff, trustees and special guests were on hand for the special celebration, which included a retrospective of the travels of the cross.
Cardinal Collins referred to the cross as “the lens of Christ; allowing us to see what is there.” He also told the gathering that “love that is rooted in faith can transform the world.”
Following are two videos that were produced for the occasion (click on each image to play):
As Mr. Rodrigues told the gathering as we welcomed the Cross back to its more permanent home on May 31st, “Although the two year travels of the Witness to Faith Cross have come to an end, our own faith journey will continue.”