Catholic board to mark ‘Faith Day’

Press Release

Annually, the Northwest Catholic District School Board prepares a full day of faith development for all staff in its schools as part of the system-wide professional development program.
“This year, the board will host two outstanding speakers to facilitate the sessions,” said NCDSB director of education Mary-Catherine Kelly.
“The focus will allow staff to talk about the challenges in Catholic education, and celebrate our history and our heroes,” she noted.
Staff from St. Patrick’s School in Atikokan and Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton will join the staff of St. Michael’s School and St. Francis School in Fort Frances on Nov. 28 to celebrate “Faith Day.”
“The day will begin with a celebration of the Eucharist at St. Mary’s Church, with Fr. Francis Pudicherry presiding,” said Catholicity co-ordinator Amy LaFroy.
“Dr. Mark McGowan will lead as our keynote speaker with the theme, ‘Catholic Education: Challenges We Celebrate,’ where he will speak of the history and heroes in Catholic education in Ontario,” she added.
Dr. McGowan is a historian and educator who specializes in the history of religion, ethnicity, and education in Canada.
He currently teaches history and communications at St. Michael’s College (University of Toronto), where he has been the recipient of four university teaching awards.
He served as principal of St. Michael’s College, where he founded the Book & Media Studies Program.
He also was a co-founder of the Concurrent Teacher Education Program between St. Michael’s, OISE, and five other university partners.
Dr. McGowan’s award-winning books include “Catholics at the Gathering Place” (1993), “The Waning of the Green: Catholics, the Irish, and Identity in Toronto” (1999), “Michael Power” (2005), and “Death or Canada” (2009).
Currently, he is writing a history of religious broadcasting in Canada as well as a book on Irish Catholics in World War I.
Meanwhile, LaFroy said staff from St. Joseph’s School in Dryden will join the staff at Sacred Heart School in Sioux Lookout.
Rev. Msgr. Pat Stilla will serve as the keynote speaker, with the same theme of “Catholic Education: The Challenges We Celebrate.”
“The day will end with a celebration of the Eucharist at Sacred Heart Church, with Msgr. Pat and Father Mike Mahoney presiding,” LaFroy noted.
“The board extends a warm welcome to all the board’s trustees and Catholic school councils to participate in these ‘Faith Day’ celebrations,” said NCDSB chair Anne-Marie Fitzgerald.