By Editor

Dec 4, 2018

Upcoming Events

OCSTA Catholic Trustees Seminar
When: January 18 – 19, 2019
Location: Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport

For program and registration details please click here.


FACE Lobby Day at Queen’s Park

The annual lobby day for Catholic education coordinated under the FACE (Friends and Advocates for Catholic Education) umbrella took place on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.  On that day teams of Catholic trustees (representing OCSTA), Catholic teachers (representing OECTA) and Bishops from the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) gathered in Queen’s Park to spend the day meeting with various MPPs.

The purpose of this annual event is to raise awareness about the achievemets and contributions of Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools to community life and the goals of our education system. FACE lobby teams discussed with MPPs current priorities in education and provided infographic sheets that highlighted timely facts about Catholic education at the provincial and local levels.

We sincerely appreciate the participation of the following members of the FACE delegation teams:

OCSTA Representatives:

OCSTA President, Beverley Eckensweiler; Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB Chair and OCSTA Past President, Patrick Daly; Toronto CDSB Trustee, Nancy Crawford; Northeastern CDSB Vice Chair and OCSTA Director, Colleen Landers; Simcoe-Muskoka CDSB Chair, Carol Corriveau-Truchon, and OCSTA Executive Director, Nick Milanetti.

OECTA Representatives:

OECTA President, Liz Stuart; OECTA Past President, Ann Hawkins; OECTA First Vice-President, Warren Grafton; OECTA Second Vice-Presiden, Barb Dobrowolski, and OECTA General Secretary, Marshall Jarvis.

ACBO Representatives:

His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto; Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, Bishop of London; Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, Bishop of Hamilton; Most Rev. Wayne Kirkpatrick, Bishop of Toronto, and; Most Rev. John A. Boissonneau, Bishop of Toronto.

FACE delegates were also seated in the House galleries and were acknowledged during Question Period by Members. Following are exerpts from Hansard featuring acknowledgements and recognition of FACE members.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: …We have Colleen Landers, who is here with the English Catholic Boards. We welcome you all to Queen’s Park.

Hon. Bill Walker: …From the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board, board chair and chair of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, Bev Eckensweiler, and student trustee Mackenzie Finamore.

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: It’s a pleasure today to rise and also add my welcome to Beverley Eckensweiler from Mildmay, Ontario, in Bruce County. She is serving as chair of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, and she is joined as well by Nick Milanetti.

Mr. Sam Oosterhoff (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education): I also wish to introduce to the Legislature today those who are here today with Cardinal Collins and the friends of Catholic education who are in the members’ gallery. I look forward to joining you for lunch. Thank you for being here.

Ms. Marit Stiles (NDP Education Critic): It gives me great pleasure to welcome the many Friends and Advocates for Catholic Education who are joining us here today, including, as others have mentioned, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins; Beverley Eckensweiler, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association; and Liz Stuart, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association; as well as many trustees and other representatives. Thank you for being here.

Hon. John Yakabuski: I would also like to bring greetings from the House to His Eminence Cardinal Collins and all of the advocates for Catholic education here today.

FACE delegation teams met with the following MPPs during the day: 

  • MPP Sam Oosterhoff (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education), Niagara West (PC)
  • MPP Stephen Lecce, King-Vaughan (PC)
  • MPP Doug Downey, Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte (PC)
  • MPP John Fraser, Ottawa South (Liberal)
  • MPP David Piccini, Northumberland-Peterborough South (PC)
  • MPP Stephen Crawford, Oakville (PC)
  • MPP Marit Stiles, Davenport (NDP Education Critic)
  • MPP Jeff Burch, Niagara Centre (NDP)
  • MPP Laura Mae Lindo, Kitchener Centre (NDP)
  • MPP Nina Tangri, Mississauga-Streetsville (PC)
  • MPP Aris Babikian, Scarborough-Agincourt (PC)
  • MPP Doly Begum, Scarborough Southwest (NDP)
  • MPP Deepak Anand, Mississauga-Malton (PC)
  • MPP Ian Arthur, Kingston and the Islands (NDP)
  • MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell, Thunder Bay-Atikokan (NDP)
  • MPP Sara Singh, Brampton Centre (NDP)
  • MPP Goldie Ghamari, Carelton (PC)
  • MPP Faisal Hassan, York South-Weston (NDP)
  • MPP Natalia Kusendova, Mississauga Centre (PC)
  • MPP Billy Pang, Markham-Unionville (PC)
  • MPP Rudy Cuzzetto, Mississauga Lakeshore (PC)
  • MPP Kinga Surma, Etobicoke Centre (PC)

Following the day meetings with MPPs, a special FACE reception celebrating Ontario’s Catholic schools was held in the Legislative Dining Room. Representing the FACE partners and serving as host for this event was the Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro (ACBO). Bishop Fabbro welcomed and introduced the following key presenters for the evening:

  • Minister of Education, The Hon. Lisa Thompson
  • NDP Education Critic MPP Marit Stiles
  • Liberal Education Critic and Former Premier, MPP Kathleen Wynne
  • Green Party Representative, MPP Mike Schreiner
  • Ontario Student Trustees’ Association Catholic Board Council President, York CDSB Student Trustee Sophia Trozzo

OCSTA wishes to acknowledge and thank the following students and staff who participated in this year’s Lobby Day activities by demonstrating student and school achievements in art, music and communications:

Students from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board:

  • Hunter Tyska, Olivier Szczepaniak, Abby Barbosa, Lulia Habtemichael and Caroline Szawlowski – with teachers John Murphy and Marianna Worth. 

Students from St. Joseph’s College – Toronto CDSB:

  • Madeline Martino, Maya Mckeown, Sydney Tri, Michaela Cotter, and Abigail Cerna – with teacher Paul Sabyan.

Students from Cardinal Carter Academy (string quartet) – Toronto CDSB:

  • Sharon Nicholas, Zachary Alatraca, Emily Choi, and Aryan Ghosh with teacher Dr. Daniel Hasznos.

Student Trustees from the Catholic Board Council of OSTA-AECO: 

  • Sophia Trozzo, Cali Brake, Denzel Herrero, Will Charlebois, Rynel Pinto, Stephanie Mazza, Julia Cara, Sofia Zamorano, and Mackenzie Finamore.

Also in attendance at the reception were representatives from a number of Catholic education partners in Ontario including: The Archdiocese of Toronto; Association franco-ontariennedes conseils scolaires catholiques; Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario, Ontario Association for Parents in Catholic Education, English Catholic Council of Directors of Education, Institute for Catholic Education, and Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association.

This event was once again coordinated under the leadership of FACE Project Manager, Carol Allen. To enlarge the pictures below please click on the image.

CDSB Highlight: Niagara Catholic Welcomes Vatican Representative

(l. – r.) Niagara CDSB former Board Chair, Fr. Paul MacNeil, Director of Educaiton, John Crocco, the Most Rev. Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, and the Most Rev. Bishop Gerard Bergie.

The Niagara Catholic CDSB recently had the honour of welcoming the Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.

His Excellency travelled to Welland to concelebrate Mass with Bishop Bergie and outgoing Board Chair, Fr. Paul MacNeil in honour of the Diocese of St. Catharines’ 60th Anniversary.

Following Mass, Bishop Bonazzi enjoyed lunch and conversation with students. Lunch was prepared by the Culinary Arts students from Notre Dame College School, under the guidance of Chef Chris Begin. 



CSTA Student Short-Video Contest

The deadline of December 10 for submissions for the 2018 short-video contest “Community Builders” is almost here!

“Community Builders”

This year’s theme invites students to demonstrate in a 2-minute video how their participation in a school or parish based charitable/social justice initiative serves to strengthen their community.

Partners in the Community Builder Program

OCSTA is pleased to announce that the Ontario chapters of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and the Knights of Columbus (KoC) are collaborating with the Association in support of this year’s “Community Builders” short-video contest for students.

Many CWL and KoC chapters have or will be launching charitable initiatives this fall and invite students to explore these local Christian service activities as possible subjects for students’ “Community Builders” short-video submissions.

Given that CWL and KoC chapters are not located in every parish, students are encouraged to contact their parish to explore alternative parish based charitable or social justice activities or similar Christian service activities at their local schools.

Submission Guidelines and Forms

The contest is open to all students in grades 4 – 12 at Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools. Participants are asked to submit a 2-minute video that demonstrates how through Christian service in local social justice and charitable initiatives they are helping to strengthen their local communities.

The submission deadline is December 10, 2018.

Submission forms can be downloaded here.


First place: $300 Best Buy Gift Certificate

Second place: $150 Best Buy Gift Certificate

Third place: $100 Indigo Gift Certificate.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded at both the Elementary and Secondary panels. The winners will be announced in January.




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