Catholic Education Week 2021: Nurturing Hope

The first week of May is always a very special week for Catholic schools in Ontario – it is when we celebrate Catholic Education Week!

Catholic Education Week provides staff, students, and families an opportunity to give thanks for the precious gift of publicly funded Catholic education, and to celebrate the significant contributions that Catholic education has made to our community and world.

People often wonder what the difference is between Catholic Schools and other schools – the answer really, is quite simple and it hangs on a plaque in the foyer of not only St. Kateri but all the schools in our school board – it reads:

Be it known to all who enter here, that Jesus is the reason for this school.  He is the unknown but ever-present teacher in its classes, He is the model for its faculty and the inspiration for its students. 

Catholics played a very important part with founding and establishing the country of Canada.  It was important to them that their rights to educate their children in Catholic schools be protected.  Those rights were protected, and are protected, in our constitution – the British North America Act, 1867.  It is our job now, as teachers, EAs, support staff, parents, and students to continue building on the strong foundation we have in our Catholic schools.  Catholic schools have been doing an outstanding job educating students in a faith-based education system in Ontario for more than 200 years, so let us celebrate the positive impact they have had on our society this week!

This year’s theme, “Catholic Education: Nurturing Hope,” is taken from the book of Isaiah, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength: (Isaiah 40:31).  So let us continue to pray to God in hope – hope for an end to this pandemic, hope for a safe return to school very soon, hope for God to give us strength to face all of life’s challenges.  God is there to love and support us – so keep hope alive by praying to our Lord every day in a meaningful way.

Catholic Education Week is traditionally marked by special activities at the school and system level, including prayer celebrations and service activities.  This year, once again due to the pandemic, these activities have gone online. We encourage families to reflect on the importance of Catholic education and what it has meant to your family.  Please talk to your parents and explore some of the great resources that have been developed by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA).  Resources include prayer services, book lists, movie samples, inspirational messages, and a host of family activities aimed at bringing hope to our community.

 

Have a wonderful week, everyone – and please, take some time with your families to reflect on the wonderful gift that is Catholic Education.

Catholic Education Week Prayer
Loving God,
You sent your Son, Jesus, to be our hope.
We feel his promised Spirit at work within us;
We recognize his risen presence among us
as we gather in his name in prayer,
and celebrate the Eucharist.
He is the hope which inspires us to share
as members of Catholic educational community,
in your church’s mission
to announce the Good News to the whole world.
We thank you for the gift of Catholic education.
May it continue to be a place where Christ ignites within us,
an abiding confidence in a future filled with hope.
We make this prayer through the same Christ, our Lord.

St. Kateri, pray for us…

Amen.