Bishop urges grads to prize their Catholic education

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					             6                                                                                                              June 2009 The Vineyard

   Bishop urges grads to prize their Catholic education
     Catholic education has to be           or not you bring with you a power
not only cherished but also prized          that is in you that is greater than you
because of the extra dimension it offers    are. That power is nothing less than
students.                                   the presence of Jesus Christ whose
     That was the centerpiece of Bishop     ambassador you have become.”
James Wingle’s address to Niagara                Earlier, a PowerPoint presentation
Catholic District School Board (NCDSB)      highlighted some of the characteristics
graduates, about 1,900 in the Class of      that are part and parcel of Catholic
2009, from the board’s eight secondary      education. These include: fidelity,
schools.                                    integrity, faithfulness, compassion,
     “You have given yourself over to       justice, gospel values, nurturing souls,
this wonderful work in participating in     building minds, and more.
the noble and wonderful experience of            The graduates have all these to
Catholic education and for that we are      support them and nurture them as they
all proud,” he said. But the education      go out into the world and explore its
offered in Catholic schools has to do       challenges and realities.
with more than academic achievement.             “You are a sister, you are a brother
     “Certainly it’s important to be        of Christ who has called you and has
excellent in what you are studying, in      chosen to send you on your way in a few
sports, in social engagements, but you      weeks, send you to be his messenger,
bring something more than your own          his ambassador in the world today,”
excellence. Whether you realize it fully    said Bishop Wingle.                          Liturgical dancers from St. Paul Catholic High School, Niagara Falls, led the procession
                                                                                         into the exhibit building. They were (l-r) Rebecca Hall, Sarah Lanni, Erica Vitaterna, Coby
                                                                                         Wilson, Michelle Nave, Rachel Delduca, Meagan Daniels; front: Marcy Mussari.
                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Martin Schubert

The band and choir from St. Michael Catholic High School, Niagara Falls, directed
by teacher John Navarroli, provided musical entertainment during the graduation
celebration.                                             Photo by Martin Schubert        Drummers (l-r) Andrew Fortuna, Cameron MacDonald, Dimitri Karounos, Kasia North-
                                                                                         east, Nick Straughan, Chris Theodoropolus from St. Michael Catholic High School, Ni-
                                                                                         agara Falls.                                                Photo by Martin Schubert
    Bishop James Wingle read a
message to the graduates from Pope                                                       I found that he (Fr. Tony) really helped refocus me as a Catholic educator as
Benedict XVI. Each student will                                                          well as in my personal faith journey. Carl Mazur, teacher, Denis Morris
receive a copy of the message with
their diplomas.                                                                           “That was the best Faith Day ever!” Doreen Haine, teacher, Canadian Martyrs

“That was a fantastic Faith Day;                                                         Thank you for bringing him (Fr. Tony) to visit our board and allowing us to
from the choir to Fr. Tony. We were                                                      listen to him...There were so many points he made that I can teach/incorporate
all moved by the faith and really                                                        in the classroom. Joanne Santini, , St. Paul Catholic High School
enjoyed the day.                                                                         “I would like to thank you for the fabulous Faith Day. Fr. Tony was an amazing
Kim Marchese, Grade 2 teacher,                                                           speaker—very inspirational. His humour and down to earth presentation
Assumption                                                                               touched me. He is the kind of speaker we need to hear every year.”
                                                                                         Cathy Martin, Grade 1 teacher, Our Lady of Victory

    The      students     received
commemorative key chain to remind
                                        a                                                  Director thanks staff for their dedication
them of their call as followers of the
                                                                                              NCDSB director John Crocco addressed
gospel. One side of the key chain has                                                    teachers and staff at the Faith Day on May 15,
the NCDSB symbol, the other side a                                                       2009.
                                            Saxophone player, Victoria Stunt, St. Mi-
passage from scripture, “Do justice, love                                                     “I am witnessing first hand the very special
                                            chael Catholic High School, Niagara Falls.
kindness, walk humbly with your God.”                         Photo by Martin Schubert
                                                                                         gifts that you bring to Catholic education, to the
                                                                                         students and school communities throughout
                                                                                         NCDSB. I am very proud of what I am seeing
                                                                                         and to call you colleagues. On behalf of the
                                                                                         24,000 students and their parents, thank you
                                                                                         for being the caring and compassionate adult,
                                                                                         the inspirational teacher, the passionate leading
                                                                                              “Whatever position one holds in NCDSB,
                                                                                         we are all called by our vocation in a Catholic John Crocco
                                                                                         school system to be the beacons of light for
                                                                                         students and communities which symbolize our faith in action.
                                                                                              “The more we live out our faith, the more we live out the unique blessings of
                                                                                         a Catholic system.”
                                                                                              “Today we launch the new theme for next year as a board—ambassadors
                                                                                         of Christ. With each of you as the face of NCDSB, it is an important message
                                                                                         to students, parents and the communities we serve, of the mission as a Catholic
                                                                                         school system to be the ambassadors of Christ in the world with the good news
                                                                                         that Jesus teaches us and we in turn teach students.”
                                                                                              “I look forward to our continued journey together and invite you to be active
The Niagara Catholic District School Board staff choir and band under the direction of   participants along the journey, because it is up to all of us to continue to nurture
Jayne Evans performed during the Faith Day celebration.      Photo by Martin Schubert    the souls and build the minds of the future world.”