The York Catholic District School Board held its biennial Luke 4:18 Social Justice Symposium, “Living the Promise” for elementary school students on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at its Catholic Education Centre in Aurora.
The symposium was attended by elementary students from across the Board who are members of their school’s social justice councils, called Luke 4:18. This scripture reading provides the vision and mission of the school councils:
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18)
The day began with a smudging ceremony led by Todd Jamieson, YCDSB Knowledge Keeper, and included several sessions that focused on Indigenous peoples and the need for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect. Students were encouraged to reflect on practical ways to promote love, acceptance and belonging in order to live out the mission of Jesus today, and were engaged in a variety of experiences to deepen their understanding of social justice issues High school student volunteers from Sacred Heart Catholic High School led elementary students in experiential, hands-on activities as well as thoughtful discussions on “faith in action” and ways to live out our Gospel values by participating in acts of charity and justice. His Excellency, Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick celebrated Mass in the afternoon as part of the symposium.
It was an exciting and inspiring day-long event filled with discernment, community building, problem solving, and joyful celebration of our faith.