Each year, the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) looks forward to celebrating students, staff and community members’ achievements with events and activities throughout Catholic Education Week. This year, as a result of the public school closures due to COVID-19, York Catholic will continue its tradition by moving these celebrations online from May 3 to 10, and beyond!
The theme for this years’ celebration is Igniting Hope. Throughout this week, York Catholic will honour public education, its Catholic faith and become messengers of hope by sharing their inspiring stories. To view these stories, follow @YCDSB, #IgnitingHope and #CEW2020 on Twitter.
Please view this special message from Cardinal Thomas Collins for Catholic Education Week as he encourages us to find hope in our faith and commitment, and to show that faith by loving our neighbours so that we can fulfill the mission which was given to us by the Lord.
Some Good News Stories from our Schools
Blessed Trinity CES
Kindergarten, Primary, Junior and Intermediate students at Blessed Trinity CES in Maple, put together a video presentation to acknowledge all frontline workers who are Igniting Hope by helping us fight COVID-19.
Divine Mercy CES
Staff at Divine Mercy CES in Maple, shares this message to their school community: Hello Divine Mercy Family! We hope you are staying safe and healthy. We miss you very much. God bless everyone. See you all soon!
Father Bressani CHS
Students at Father Bressani CHS in Woodbridge, shared their creative approach to igniting hope in others by putting together a list of physical activities to stay mentally and physically healthy.
One student, Deema K., shared a heartwarming story of how her parents, Housam and Rania, inspire her daily. She details the story of her parents immigration, their hope and determination to give their child the best life possible.
Another student, Madeline S., shares her inspiration for hope, and draws from famous authors, real world problems and her personal experience of overcoming obstacles. Read her inspiring story of hope.
This Grade 10 student and co-president of the Mental Health Committee at Father Bressani CHS shares their presentation on how one can maintain and inspire hope throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a look at an assignment by Father Bressani student, Victoria B as she shares how Michelle Obama inspires her and how she’s been spending time with her family.
Father Frederick McGinn CES
Students at Father Frederick McGinn CES in Richmond Hill, were tasked with sharing their positive affirmations, including who inspires them, what inspires them and what motivates them. Take a look at one student, Gabriella Catalano, as she shares her affirmations.
Father John Kelly CES
Students at Father John Kelly CES in Maple, created their Paper Boats of Hope. They created homemade paper boats and shared how they want to ignite hope in others through their dreams and desired profession.
Father Michael McGivney CA
Students from Father Michael McGivney CA in Markham, shares a video message of how they Ignite Hope throughout Catholic Education Week and beyond.
Good Shepherd CES
Staff at Good Shepherd CES in East Gwillimbury, shares their message of hope and positivity for their students throughout the school closure period as a result of COVID-19. They remind students of their important message – that we’re all in this together. Check out the video to be inspired!
Holy Name CES
Grade 3 students at Holy Name CES in King City, celebrated Catholic Education Week through many forms of art. Students shared what Igniting Hope means to them through word art, poems, drawings and more.
Ms. Caramanna and Ms. Dissanayake’s class presents the meaning behind cherry blossoms. Every year during this time, many celebrate the beloved tradition of going to High Park to catch a glimpse of the beautiful cherry blossom trees. These trees were donated by the Japanese Ambassador in 1959 as a gift to the citizens of Toronto for their support of Japanese- Canadian refugees after World War II. This year’s theme, “Igniting the Hope” is most appropriate as we as Christians are called upon more than ever to provide love, hope and support to our communities and the world.
Our Lady Help of Christians CES
This year, York Catholic schools are celebrating Catholic Education Week virtually as a result of COVID-19. In honour of their school community, Our Lady Help of Christians CES in Richmond Hill, put together a video to reminisce on the school year and their virtual celebration.
Our Lady of Fatima CES
Staff at Our Lady of Fatima CES in Woodbridge, printed surgical extenders from the school’s 3D printers and donated them to local hospitals.
Our Lady of Grace CES
Grade 2 student, Hunter S., from Our Lady of Grace CES in Aurora, wrote his very own story on how Hunter, Filip and Lucas joined together to save the world from COVID-19. Spoiler alert: they all live happily ever after!
Our Lady of Hope CES
Our Lady of Hope CES parents in Richmond Hill, created these special video messages to thank their teachers for their continued work to deliver education throughout distance learning.
Our Lady of the Annunciation CES
Grade 7 and 8 students at Our Lady of the Annunciation CES in Richmond Hill, put together a special video presentation to showcase how they Ignite Hope this Catholic Education Week and beyond.
Our Lady of the Rosary CES
Students at Our Lady of the Rosary CES in Concord, share their messages of hope through artwork.
Sacred Heart CHS
Lydia Wade, student at Sacred Heart CHS in Newmarket, is a volunteer champion and received the Neighbourhood Network’s Give Back Awards for her efforts. Lydia’s ability to think creatively and offer alternative solutions to problems makes her stand out as a leader. Not only is she active in her church, she’s VP of her school’s athletic council, supports many fundraisers, acted as academic guidance tutor & more!
San Lorenzo Ruiz CES
St. Augustine CHS
Students and staff St. Augustine CES in Markham, celebrated Catholic Education Week virtually by sharing a glimpse of their home with one another. What a great way to get closer to one another at a distance!
Fun fact: The music in the video is written and produced by Father Bressani alumni, Alyssa Rubino. The song is titled, “Hope” and was released on April 30. We are so proud of you, Alyssa!
St. Bernadette CES
Kindergarten students at St. Bernadette CES in Sutton, share their messages of hope and appreciation for frontline workers.
St. Brendan CES
Staff at St. Brendan CES in Whitchurch-Stouffville, created a video to tell their students how much they’re missed. To their surprise, St. Brendan students put together a video to tell their teachers and staff how much they missed them back. Please click here to view the full story from YorkRegion.com.
Grade 1 student, Joshua Banta, from St. Brendan CES in Whitchurch-Stouffville, signs the Our Father for his fellow classmates.
St. Brigid CES
Students at St. Brigid CES in Whitchurch-Stouffville, spreads kindness and joy by making motivational cards for the elderly in local seniors homes.
St. Cecilia CES
Despite the Ontario school closures, students and staff at St. Cecilia CES were determined to share their production of the Little Mermaid with their audiences. After all, the show must go on!
St. Clare CES
Ms. Pucci at St. Clare CES in Woodbridge, asked her students what hope meant to them. The result is a word art collage of her students’ answers.
St. Clement CES
St. Clement CES in Woodbridge, shares their messages of love and hope through artwork to Ignite Hope.
St. Edward CES
St. Elizabeth Seton CES and St. Paul CES
Musician Nic Cester put out a request on social media for musicians to cover his song, Eyes on the Horizon. Responding to his callout was Mark Scarmato, music teacher at St. Elizabeth Seton CES and St. Paul CES. Together with his students, they performed Eyes on the Horizon which caught the attention of the musician who included the school’s video in his music video!
St. Gregory the Great CA
St. Gregory the Great CA in Woodbridge, celebrated Catholic Education Week in a number of ways – through prayer, reflection, art, writing, and song. Students and staff put together a video project called, The Living Rosary. Together, students, staff and families prayed the rosary together to ignite hope in one another.
St. Jerome CES
St. John Chrysostom CES
Students at St. John Chrysostom CES in Newmarket, share their messages of hope and positivity through artwork and painting them on rocks.
St. Joseph CES (Aurora)
Staff at St. Joseph CES in Aurora organized a drive-by parade to wrap up their Catholic Education Week celebrations. Students and their families drove by the school to say hello to one another. Students brought homemade posters and letters that were dropped off at a local retirement residence to share messages of hope! Check out their celebration on CTV Toronto.
St. Julia Billiart CES
St. Luke CLC
St. Luke Catholic Learning Centre in Woodbridge, reminds each other “in times of trial and challenge, we hold tightly to our faith to keep us grounded and to remind us that we are a people of hope.”
St. Margaret Mary CES
Students at St. Margaret Mary CES in Woodbridge, spread messages of hope and positivity by painting rocks to the theme of Igniting Hope, and leaving them around the neighbourhood for community members to find.
St. Mary CES
Students and staff at St. Mary CES in Nobleton, reminisce on their school year with photos showcasing their faith, past celebrations, trips and more.
St. Mary Immaculate CES
Students in Mrs. Swirla’s class at St. Mary Immaculate CES in Richmond Hill, created thank you and inspirational posters for frontline heroes.
St. Mary of the Angels CES
St. Mary of the Angels CES in Woodbridge, staff share their inspirational messages of how students and families can Ignite Hope together while being apart.
St. Matthew CES
Grade 5 and 6 students from Ms. Kruger’s class at St. Matthew CES in Unionville, wrote letters to thank first responders, including paramedics. The letters were shared with paramedics and in return, they sent a letter of appreciation back.
St. Matthew CES’s virtual spirit week for Catholic Education Week began with Superhero Monday. Students and staff dressed in their favourite superhero outfits to honour all essential workers.
St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS
Giving Back to Sophia means good people working with other good people in order to accomplish and do extraordinary things. Sophia is very involved in both her school and community. She’s conducted research in Microbiology, taught swim lessons, serves her church, leads a variety of fundraisers, and is a part of school clubs and teams.
Lily is an accomplished cross-country runner who even gave up training to continue her volunteer work. She volunteers for countless organizations, including Best Buddies Canada, The Alzheimer’s Society, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Youth at Risk, Operation Hero, Because I am a Girl and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the list goes on!
St. Michael CA
Grade 7 and 8 students at St. Michael CA in Thornhill, share their messages of hope for Catholic Education Week and beyond with motivational messages and quotes.
Grade 6 student, Yza, created beautiful artwork in honour of Catholic Education Week.
St. Michael the Archangel CES
Cristina Zuccaro, teacher-librarian at St. Michael the Archangel CES is using the school’s 3D printer to print headbands for face shields (PPEs). These PPEs will be provided to healthcare institutions and hospitals. CP24 featured Ms. Zuccaro as she provided a demonstration. St. Padre Pio CES and St. Brendan CES have also lent their 3D printers to various healthcare institutions.
St. Patrick CES
Mrs. D’Ingillo’s daughter Laura, received a birthday surprise in the form of a drive-by parade on her birthday. Check out her vlog!
St. Paul CES
Students at St. Paul CES in Newmarket, are living examples of the gospel by creating thank you posters to show their appreciation and support for all frontline workers.
St. Rene Goupil - St. Luke CES
Students at St. Rene Goupil – St. Luke CES in Thornhill, celebrated Catholic Education Week through artwork on posters and on their driveways!
St. Robert CHS
Celebrating Catholic Education Week also means celebrating its alumni. We are so proud of Matthew, Soroush and Flaviu, alumni from St. Robert CHS Class of 2017. These three were featured on CTV for starting their Stay in Touch Initiative to help seniors in long-term care homes stay in touch with their families during this difficult time.
St. Thomas Aquinas CES
Students at St. Thomas Aquinas CES in Keswick, created posters with images and poems to thank all essential workers on the frontlines supporting their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out how students, staff and community members are Igniting Hope and listen to the official Catholic Education Week theme song.