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As we enter into February, we find ourselves in between the rich liturgical seasons of Christmas and Lent, and in the midst of winter, this dark season of waiting. This is the time of year when we stay home more, we stay in more, and the weekends aren’t as full of the kinds of outdoor, community and even social activities as are the rest of the year. As is happening imperceptibly outside, in what appears to be a state of dormancy, a lot of the life-giving growth in Religious and Family Life Education is happening quietly, steadily, below ground, in the parishes, in the offices, and in the various school boards throughout the province.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
Update on Revised Pastoral Guidelines and OESC Resources, and Secondary RE Policy Document:
Revision of the Pastoral Guidelines to Assist Students of Same-Sex Orientation, first published in 2003, is well underway. The revised document will be reviewed by the plenary session of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario in late winter for approval and publication.
The Ontario Education Services Corporation, through which English Public and Catholic, and French Public and Catholic school boards collaborated to produce resources for Equity and Inclusive Education for the Province of Ontario, is once again working to produce resources related to Bill 13.
Under the auspices of ICE, work is progressing steadily on the new Secondary Religious Education Policy Document and the expectation is that it will be approved by the Assembly to Catholic Bishops of Ontario either in the fall of 2015 or the spring of 2016.
Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ:
The Grade One program has been complete and will be available in April. The Grade Two program is well into development and will be available early next year. The front matter for the program has been described as “fantastic.” As part of a pre-conference event, Pearson Education has agreed to deliver an information session on the new program on the morning of March 26th at Queen of the Apostles. Further information to follow.
CARFLEO Conference 2015: “Called to Share God’s Story” is the theme for the CARFLEO Conference, which will take place on Thursday, March 26th and Friday March 27th at Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga.
Exploring the Theme of the Conference: “Called to Share God’s Story.”
The conference will provide opportunities to reflect on the use of Gospel narratives and the skill of storytelling as part of the call to being a Religious Educator. We have invited a master storyteller to share some of his insight, and some of his stories, with all those present at the conference.
Keynote Speaker: Jack Costello, S.J. did his graduate work in philosophy and is a long-time faculty member at Regis College where he teaches in the area of culture, justice and spirituality.
He has served as president of Regis College, director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, and is currently director of the Jesuit Refugee and Migrant Service and Adjunct Professor at Regis College.
Father Costello is an excellent speaker, and one who integrates spirituality and the living out of our faith in modern times.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting is a great opportunity to be brought up to date on developments among our Catholic Partners, who will be present to bring greetings and provide current information on happenings within their organizations. Partners invited to the Annual General Meeting include:
- The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO)
- The Institute for Catholic Education (ICE)
- The Catholic Curriculum Corporation (CCC)
- The Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative (EOCCC)
- The Northern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative (NOCCC)
- The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P)
Among the vendors confirmed are the following:
CARFLEO Awards of Excellence in Family Life and Religious Education:
The Award for Excellence in Family Life Education is named for Fr. Angus MacDougall, a Jesuit priest, Provincial of the Society in Ontario, secretary to the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops. A pioneer in the establishment of Family Life Education, he sat on the founding editorial board of the Fully Alive program. We commemorate his spirit and his contribution to Family Life education each year by recognizing an outstanding Family Life educator in Ontario, and honouring their contribution by this award.
The Award for Excellence in Religious Education remembers the work of Archbishop Phillip Pocock, among whose many contributions to the Canadian Catholic community was navigating the exciting and challenging waters of Vatican II in the Toronto Archdiocese. Under his leadership, the laity was included more than ever in decision-making; charitable works were expanded, most visibly through the establishment of ShareLife; and he played a significant role in strengthening Catholic education in Ontario, through lobbying government and encouraging interfaith relations.
This is a good time of year to begin thinking about colleagues whom you think might be worthy of recognition for their work in these important fields. Nomination forms are available at www.carfleo.org and the deadline for nominations is Feb 27th.
Names of previous winners of the CARFLEO Awards of Excellence can be found at http://www.carfleo.org/aboutus.html
The Venue: Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre
During the past two conferences, delegates have appreciated the wonderful “country in the city” setting of Queen of the Apostles. The centre is situated on twelve acres of beautiful property overlooking the Credit River.
Simple private accommodations include a two-piece washroom in each room. Queen of the Apostles is wheelchair accessible and there is plenty of free on-site parking.
The newly renovated dining room features family style meals, platters of food, served to each table. The creative chefs at Queen of Apostles never fail to prepare meals that satisfy the taste buds.
Registration for the CARFLEO Conference:
Registration can be done online at www.CARFLEO.org. Instructions are provided on the website. There are two options in terms of attendance:
Option A: Full conference attendance, with single room accommodation. $225;
Option B: Commuter attendance, with no overnight accommodation, for either Thursday, Friday, or both days, $160
Cheques can be sent to the CARFLEO Treasurer:
Pat Carter csj
Mount St. Joseph Centre
Catholic Curriculum Department
100 Ontario Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 1E3
Phone Number 705-945-5456
2014/2015 CARFLEO Executive Committee
Paul Beaudette, Chair, Kevin Welbes Godin, Past Chair, Sr. Pat Carter, Treasurer, Michael Way Skinner, Secretary,
Joe Bezzina, Sharron McKeever, MaryAnn Takacs, Les Miller, Sherry Chapman, Peter Crane, Ann Boniferro, Jan Bentham, John Podgorski, Joanna Newton, Marylin Dawson
Bishop William McGrattan, ACBO Liaison