May 3, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Today begins Catholic Education Week, a province-wide celebration that was kicked off this morning in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board with a special Mass live streamed from St. Ann’s Parish, Ancaster by His Excellency, Bishop Crosby. Catholic Education Week takes place each year during the first week of May and is marked by daily prayer activities, service projects, and various school and community events that celebrate the unique dimension of publicly funded Catholic Education. “Nurturing Hope,” this year’s theme, is especially fitting during this time of pandemic when hope has provided so many of us not just with the courage to carry on but with the strength to endure the challenges of this most unprecedented time.
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). More than the scriptural inspiration for this year’s celebration, this quote by the prophet Isaiah speaks to the promise of Catholic education and the rootedness it provides in our lives.
In his homily, Bishop Crosby referenced the important role that Catholic schools play in nurturing hope. “Hope urges us to action,” he said. “If we live in hope, we learn that good things happen when we use the gifts and talents God gives us in ways that help others.” He urged students to open their hearts and minds to the possibility and promise that is within them.
“Your hopes and dreams are God’s hopes and dreams for you. God wants you to be happy and bring happiness to others. This is possible and is what your teachers want for you too.”
That sense of happiness, hope and well-being is also what the HWCDSB wants for our students which is why we will be launching a ThoughtExchange consultation to ensure that as we plan for the coming year, we are best able to support the needs of our learners. We invite you to share feedback on your children’s experiences with online, remote and/or in-person learning, specifically what you think has worked well, what have been the greatest challenges, and what the HWCDSB can do to further support student faith formation, well-being and learning. This information is important in helping us to continue to support students and families, respond to student learning needs and improve learning outcomes. The ThoughtExchange will open tomorrow, May 4th and will close on May 10, 2021. More information will be shared via SchoolMessenger and will be posted on the HWCDSB and school websites.
As always, we thank you for your continued support of publicly funded Catholic Education.
Patrick J. Daly
Chairperson of the Board
Director of Education