By Editor

Feb 28, 2024

OCSTA Newswire

Upcoming OCSTA Events:

OCSTA 94th Annual General Meeting and Conference
May 2 – 4, 2024
Sheraton Fallsview Hotel, Niagara Falls
Co-hosted by:

  • Brant-Haldimand Norfolk Catholic DSB
  • Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic DSB
  • Niagara Catholc DSB

Program and Registration


Catholic Education Week
May 5 – 10, 2024

The 2024 Catholic Education Resource Kit is available on the OCSTA website. The Resource Kit contains K-12 classroom curriculum content, liturgical resources, prayer cards, the annual poster, and music (featuring audio recording and lyrics for the 2024 Catholic Education Week song “We are Made for Love” by Brant Haldimand Norfolk CDSB Educator, Chris Rait).

Key Resources for Catholic Trustees

The OCSTA Virtual Library has been updated with two resources designed to specifically support the role of Catholic Trustees:

OCSTA Key Policy and Advoacy Priorities 2023-24:  This new online document has been created to provide Catholic Trustees with convenient access to OCSTA’s key policy and advocacy positions for 2023-24. The document provides page references and links to key briefs released within the last year and can be downloaded here. This document is also available in the Catholic Trustee Resources section of the OCSTA Virtual Library.

Reflections and Articles for Catholic Education Leaders: OCSTA President, Patrick Daly continues to share with CDSB Chairs and Directors of Education articles exploring faith inspired perspectives and reflections of interest to Catholic education leaders. For your reference and convenience, these articles are constantly updated and saved in the Catholic Trustee Resources section of the Virtual Library.

2024 Catholic Trustees Seminar Highlights


OCSTA was pleased to welcome over 220 Catholic Trustees, Student Trustees and Directors of Education to the annual Catholic Trustees Seminar which took place January 19 – 20th in Toronto.

Building on the event theme “Stewards of the Promise” the program focused on sessions designed to strengthen the impact of Catholic Trustees’ communications and advocacy efforts.

Setting the tone and context for the Seminar was the keynote presentation “Advocacy and Communication Consideration for Catholic Trustees” by the Director of Public Relations and Communications at the Archdiocese of Toronto, Neil MacCarthy. A former radio journalist, Neil has served for more than 20 years in his role at the Archdiocese, and most recently also assumed the Communication Lead for the 2022 Papal Visit to Canada. Neil pulled upon his rich experience advising Catholic Church and laity leaders, to provide a presentation tailored to the interests and needs of publicly elected Catholic School Board Trustees.

From emphasizing the importance of concise and consistent key messaging, to innovative constituency communications and the role of board protocols, Neil’s opening address was a helpful and much referenced session for delegates.

OCSTA President Patrick Daly opened his annual January report to members with a message of recognition and gratitude for the outstanding Catholic education leadership in Ontario represented by all Catholic School Trustees, Directors of Education and Student Trustees. President Daly went on to provide a timely update of the Association’s advocacy work which is outlined in the “Advocacy” section of this report to CCSTA.

Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous Education: Members were informed during the President’s presentation that the Association’s First Nations Trustees Advisory Council continues to meet throughout the year to identify and discuss priorities, review and comment on initiatives, including the new online Indigenous Course for students.

President Daly announced that OCSTA will be hosting the 2nd annual Catholic District School Boards Indigenous Leads Seminar, June 5-6, 2024 in Thunder Bay at Fort William Historical Park. This event provides an opportunity for CDSB Indigenous Leads to discuss presentations focused on current issues, practices and opportunities regarding Indigenous Education programming and events at CDSBs in Ontario.

On the topic of Truth and Reconciliation, OCSTA was pleased to welcome to the Seminar former Chief of the Cowessess First Nation, Cadmus Delorme. Chief Delorme gave an inspiring talk and challenged/encouraged all present to advance Truth and Reconciliation within their Catholic school systems and communities.


Catholic Virtual Ontario

President Daly reported to the membership that OCSTA’s virtual platform for the delivery of Catholic Education courses has to date released more than 80 distinctly Catholic online courses and 14 resource publications.

These courses have been developed by teachers from every Catholic school board in Ontario.

For more information on CVO visit


Minister of Education States Strong Support for Catholic Education

OCSTA was pleased to welcome to this year’s Catholic Trustees Seminar Ontario’s Minister of Education, The Hon. Stephen Lecce.

In addition to stating his personal and the government’s strong support for publicly funded Catholic education in the province, Minister Lecce discussed topics and questions regarding capital funding, the new curriculum, cell phones and vaping.


OCSTA Short Video Contest for Catholic Schools

OCSTA President Patrick Daly (far right) and Vice President Michael Bellmore (left), present the
First Place Secondary Catholic School Award to Francis Libermann Catholic High School. Receiving on the school’s behalf is the Toronto Catholic DSB Chair Nancy Crawford, Trustee Garry Tanuan, Director of Education,
Brendan Browne and Student Trustee, David Beshai.

On January 19th, the Association was pleased to announce the winners of the annual OCSTA Short Video Contest for Catholic Schools, as voted upon by Catholic school communities across the province.

This year’s contest theme – “We are Called to Love” – once again provided an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of how the life of Jesus Christ and acts of Christian service help to define the Catholic identity of our Catholic schools.

“People often comment that when they enter a Catholic school they feel a special presence. This does not come from the building or even the religious symbols that are an important witness to our faith. The presence comes from Christ who is proclaimed by word and example, and is evidenced in the way people chare for one another.”
Renewing the Promise, 2018, Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario

2024 Short Video Contest Results:


1st Place: St. Mary CES, Niagara Catholic District School Board

2nd Place: St. Clare of Assisi CES, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

3rd Place: Holy Family Catholic School, Toronto Catholic District School Board


1st Place: Francis Libermann Catholic High School, Toronto Catholic District School Board

2nd Place: St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School, Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board

3rd Place: Dante Alighieri Academy CSS, Toronto Catholic District School Board


Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick

On December 7th, OCSTA’s much loved Chaplain, Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick passed away peacefully in Toronto.

We have been blessed as an Association to have Fr. Pat as our friend and spiritual advisor for more than 20 years. Throughout those years, Fr. Pat inspired and guided us with thoughtful homilies, engaging presentations and memorable conversations.

As a former Toronto Catholic School Board teacher and staff member at both the Toronto and Dufferin-Peel Catholic Boards, Fr. Pat cared deeply about Catholic education in Ontario and across the country.

Fr. Pat will continue to be in our hearts as we pray for the Repose of his Soul.




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