Inside this Issue: Catholic Education Week Last week Ontario’s 29 Catholic District School Boards celebrated Catholic Education Week.  This year’s theme, Exploring Paths of Joy, was celebrated in classrooms and…

By Editor

May 11, 2015

Inside this Issue:

Catholic Education Week


Last week Ontario’s 29 Catholic District School Boards celebrated Catholic Education Week.  This year’s theme, Exploring Paths of Joy, was celebrated in classrooms and school communities using resources developed by the teachers and staff on the Catholic Education Week Committee and they include:

Elementary Resource Writing Team 2015

Jan Bentham, Ottawa CSB

Pat Carter csj, Huron-Superior CDSB

Nancy Davie, York CDSB

Paul DeVuono, Dufferin-Peel CDSB

Secondary Resource Writing Team 2015

Paul Beaudette, Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB

Jan Bentham, Ottawa CSB

Pat Carter csj, Huron-Superior CDSB

Katharine Stevenson, Halton CDSB 

CEW Song – Words and Music

Nancy Bodsworth, Dufferin-Peel CDSB

French Translation

José Gavreau, Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes Rivieres

Message from Pope Francis


Catholic Board Council Student Trustees – President, Joe McLeod (l.) and Vice President, Quinn Scarlett

Once again, following a tradition created by the 2013-14 Catholic Student Trustee leadership team,  boards were invited to celebrate the Catholic Education Week Mass on May 7th as part of a province-wide celebration of our faith and unity as a system. In addition to the celebration of Mass, this year’s student trustee leadership team, led by Catholic Board Council President, Joe McLeod and Vice President, Quinn Scarlett, developed  another original element for Catholic Education Week–the first ever Ontario Catholic Student Youth Day (OCSYD), which also took place on May 7th.

As was done last year, student leaders wrote a formal letter to Pope Francis requesting the Holy Father’s words of encouragement for this year’s Mass and launch of OCSYD.

The following message was received with great appreciation and shared with all boards:

“His Holiness Pope Francis sends cordial greetings to the Catholic community in Ontario as families, schools and parishes celebrate Catholic Education Week, and reflect on the theme this year of “Exploring New Paths of Joy.”  His Holiness prays that, united with their Bishops, all involved in the formation and education of youth in Catholic schools will deepen their faith in Christ, who prayed that his joy might be in them and that their joy might be full (cf. Jn 15:11).  The lasting freedom and joy which faith in Jesus Christ brings becomes the foundation for life of each Christian who meditates on the word of God, celebrates the sacraments – particularly Sunday Mass and regular confession – and who strives to serve others, especially those who suffer from loneliness, ostracism, illness or poverty.  Commending all the bishops, priests, parents, teachers, students and staff of the Catholic school system in Ontario to the intercession of Mary, Seat of Divine Wisdom, the Holy Father willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of full and lasting joy in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Catholic Education Week Highlights from Across the Province:

Toronto CDSB – Student Led Province-wide Mass [VIDEO]

York CDSB announces distinguished alumni in celebration of Catholic Education Week

Niagara CDSB Catholic Education Week Highlights

London DCSB Catholic Education Week Highlights

Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB – Bishop Crosby Message for Catholic Education Week [AUDIO]

Ottawa CSB – CEW Recap

CDSB of Eastern Ontario – CEW Highlights

See Halton CDSB’s “Faith in Action” photo/comment Twitter Highlights

The Northwestern CDSB’s Catholic Education Week Radio Announcement [AUDIO]

OCSTA Executive Director Receives CPCO Award

Kevin Kobus

Kevin Kobus

OCSTA is pleased to announce that the Association’s Executive Director, Kevin Kobus, was recently presented with the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario’s Fr. John Redmond Memorial Award. This award annually recognizes extraordinary service in Catholic education at the provincial level.

Kevin’s career spans four decades and includes successful terms as Director of Education at the largest Catholic school board in the country, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board in the beautiful Georgian Bay region.

During his career, Kevin was also appointed to various roles at the Ministry of Education, including Assistant Deputy Minister,  Business and Finance Division, Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Congratulations to Kevin!


85th OCSTA AGM and Conference Highlights


OCSTA President, Kathy Burtnik, with Gr. 2-3 students from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, TCDSB.

AGM and Conference Photo Album

View speaker presentations, hear audio and view video of Mass celebrated by Bishop Bergie and featuring music by the St. Michael Choir School (Senior Choir), Toronto CDSB

OCSTA celebrated a successful 85th Anniversary at the recent Annual General Meeting and Conference in Toronto (April 30 – May 2).  Our sincere thanks and appreciation are extended to our co-host board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, for providing poignant and beautiful liturgies and presentations by students, staff and trustees throughout this year’s event.

We’re pleased to acknowledge the following participating individuals and schools from the Toronto CDSB:

Michael Del Grande, Chair
Nancy Crawford, Vice Chair
Ann Andrachuk, Trustee
Patrizia Bottoni, Trustee
Frank D’Amico, Trustee
Sal Piccininni, Trustee
Garry Tanuan, Trustee

Angela Gauthier, Director of Education

Toronto CDSB Liturgical Committee

Sylvia Au
Glynnis Bernardo Dawson
Graziano Brescacin
Carmelo Cucchi
Rob Gallo
Geoff Grant
Susan HooKong-Taylor
Lisa Malcolm
Anne Marum
Fr. Obinna Ifeanyi, CSSp.
Michelle Peres

Staff and Students from:

Father John Redmond CSS and Regional Arts Centre
St. Michael Choir School (Senior Choir)
Marshall McLuhan CSS
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School

OCSTA Elections

OCSTA Regional Directors – Election Results:


Region 1 Colleen Landers, Northeastern CDSB
Region 2 Paul Landry, Kenora CDSB
Region 4 Beverley Eckensweiler, Bruce-Grey CDSB
Region 5 Linda Ward, St. Clair CDSB
Region 9 Michelle Griepsma, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington CDSB
Region 10 Todd Lalonde, CDSB of Eastern Ontario
Region 11 Arlene Iantomasi, Halton CDSB
Patrick Daly, Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB


Region 3 (at large) Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, The Northwest CDSB

OCSTA Award Recipients

OCSTA was pleased to award the 2015 Trustee Award of Merit posthumously to Wilf Garrah of the Algonquin and Lakeshore CDSB, who sadly passed away in 2013, but was recognized and celebrated at this year’s gathering for his long-standing commitment to Catholic education in Ontario. Accepting this award was Wilf’s wife Judy and his son Ryan.


The Association was also pleased to recognize the support, insight and faith-filled leadership demonstrated over 40 years by OCSTA Chaplain and veteran educator, Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick. Fr. Pat was presented with the 2015 OCSTA Special Award.



The following trustees were acknowledged for 25 years of service (or more) to Catholic education: Anna Maria Abbruscato, Dufferin-Peel CDSB; Marino Gazzola, Wellington CDSB; Mario Pascucci, Dufferin-Peel CDSB; and Bob Schreader, Renfrew County CDSB.



The OCSTA Conference program included many informative speakers including keynote presenter, Fr. Leonard Altilia whose presentation was entitled: “The Francis Effect” and the Future of Catholic Education.


As always, the Association was pleased to welcome the Minister of Education, The Hon. Liz Sandals who discussed the government’s current education platform and answered questions from delegates.



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