CARFLEO Newsletter Advent 2020

In this issue of the CARFLEO Newsletter:

  • CARFLEO responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • CARFLEO Retreat 2020/2021
  • CARFLEO Award Nominations
  • CARFLEO Annual General Meeting
  • Education for Justice
  • Curriculum Resources from Pearson Canada
  • Northern Nativity Redux
  • New Catholic Curriculum Corporation Resources
  • Catholic Education Week Advance Kit
  • In Brief
  • Prayer resources for Advent and Christmas

Last year’s Advent newsletter featured a number of images that could be used for Visio Divina.  We add more works in this issue for your prayerful contemplation for 2020.

John Collier, The Annunciation 2000.

Gospel   Commentary

CARFLEO Responds to the Covid-19 Pandemic

CARFLEO’s mission of putting resources in the hands of Ontario Catholic Religious and Family Life Educators has never been more important than this year. Increased emphasis on learning outside the conventional classroom has shown the value of the resources provided on the CARFLEO website. Our statistics have shown that is being used at twice the rate as the previous year. Currently we expect that about 225 000 pages on our website will be used in 2020.

We have published over 200 new posts this year, including over 50 song prayers that have lyrics superimposed over images as the music plays. Several new song prayers are being added for the Advent season. We have also curated a separate section to help with educators at home called Faith at Home. We continue to respond to the changing landscape of education with pertinent website additions. We are responsive to needs so please email suggestions to

Philippe de Champagne, The Dream of Saint Joseph, 1642-3

Gospel  |  Commentary

CARFLEO Retreat 2020/2021

Due to the pandemic we cancelled our spring retreat for 2020 and we anticipate reformatting our March 2021 retreat to an online version. Look out for details on

CARFLEO Annual General Meeting

You are cordially invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Catholic Association of Religious and Family Life of Educators of Ontario. Please save the date of January 13, 2021 from

9:30-10:30 a.m. We would like to share with you what we are doing to support your teachers who teach Religious and Family Life Education with Google Meet and the meeting link will be shared with you closer to the date.

CARFLEO Award Nominations

You can nominate an outstanding Ontario Catholic Religious Educator for the Archbishop Pocock Award or you can nominate an outstanding Catholic Family Life Educator for the Fr. Angus MacDougall Award. See the CARFLEO website for more information and nomination forms. The deadline is February 28, 2021. Last year’s winners were Terri Durham of Halton CDSB (retired) and Ann Boniferro of Algonquin Lakeshore CDSB (retired).

Br. Mickey McGrath, Windsock Visitation

Gospel. |. Commentary

Education for Justice

CARFLEO is continuing to offer school boards a complimentary access to the resources on the Education for Justice website.

“Education for Justice is a global digital subscription membership service that provides resources for those who wish to study, teach, and practice Catholic social tradition. We offer members access to a growing library of thousands of text-based and  multimedia  resources, a monthly e-newsletter, and other benefits to help them approach the world’s headlines from the perspective of Catholic social  tradition.”

Although the individual accounts typically cost $58/yr CARFLEO has covered this cost for the Religious Education Consultant or Coordinator of each Ontario Catholic school board for the year. They can share the link with Catholic educators in their board. Contact them to access these great resources. You will have access to resources on these Catholic Social Teachings:

  1. Overview Materials
  2. Dignity of the Human Person
  3. Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  4. Rights and Responsibilities
  5. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  6. Community and the Common Good
  7. Global Solidarity
  8. Care for Creation
  9. Role of Government and Subsidiarity
  10. Promotion of Peace, Nonviolence, and Disarmament
  11. Call to Community, Family, and Participation

Specific justice topics are also explored:

Other resources include prayers, lesson plans, units, fact sheets, videos, film and book discussion guides.

        Jackson Beardy, Nativity

Scripture  | Commentary

Updates from Pearson Canada

Pearson Canada has been given the mandate by the Catholic Bishops of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, to publish a Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ Kindergarten resource. They will be partnering with the Catholic community to develop “an exceptional resource that meets the needs of Canadian students and teachers.” The release date is expected to be August 2022. The components are still to be confirmed, but the price will be approximately $1000 per class, with possible add-on options.

Fully Alive is being made available digitally, free to those boards who have bought digital licenses to Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ. The final version of the etexts are available for Grades 1 and 2. Interim student texts are now available for Grades 3-8. Final etext versions of Grades of Grades 3 and 4 are expected to be released in April while Grades 5 to 8 are due in August 2022.

Grade 8 Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ is due to be released both in print and digitally in August 2021. Meanwhile the remaining digital components of Grade 7 of Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ are being released throughout this school year.

    William Kurelek, Northern Nativity, 1957

       Gospel  |  Commentary

Les Miller, CARFLEO’s website manager, has  published a new book called Northern Light: A Canadian Prayer Book, available from Novalis. It contains a prayer inspired by Kurelek called “Northern Nativity Redux”

Loving God look tenderly on Canada this holy season.

Look upon Yellowknife longing for a glint of Advent light.

Look upon an Annunciation in Regina where angel greets girl.

Look upon a pregnant teen at the Moncton bus station as she is joyfully greeted by her cousin.

Look upon a dreaming Joseph above his Sudbury workshop.

Look upon the holy couple as they approach Parliament Hill.

Look upon Northern Lights dancing your Gloria.

Look upon Okanagan shepherds awed by your heavens.

Look upon our wisdom figures from the Dene, Haida and Ojibwe.

Look upon a humble shed in east end Montreal underneath the bright lights of a rail sorting yard.

Look upon our refugee family escaping in the night.

Look upon our land in this holy season and give us the eyes to see Christ being born among us.

New Catholic Curriculum Resources

Sadly, When Faith Meets Pedagogy (WFMP) was cancelled for 2020. However, they have started a YouTube channel which features several videos including two of particular interest to CARFLEO. There is an excellent summary of WFMP from 2019 featuring CARFLEO Treasurer Peter Bagnall. There is also a video that explains the theme of the CARFLEO retreat titled: Laudato Si.  New resources published this fall include:

Catholic Education Resource Bank (CERB)

The CERB is a resource that collects and vets resources for Catholic teachers to use in the Catholic School context. The resources available will be updated regularly. They are intended to be easily accessible and to be used by teachers on a daily basis or on an as-needed basis to support their classroom work. It is a one stop place for Catholic activities that can be tied to Catholic curriculum. (K-12)

Faith and Science in Ontario Catholic Education

This resource explores how our Church approaches how scientific truth informs our faith. In this series of lessons, students in grades 5-8 are introduced to the idea that science and faith are not opposed to each other, but rather are mutually complementary. 

Analyzing the Ontario Science Curriculum for grades 5-8 resulted in highlighting 3 overall subject areas in which there is often confusion about what our Church teaches in that area: the environment, creation and outer space, and biology. This resource illustrates the rich teachings of our Church in each area, and reassures students that using their logic is a gift from God.

Growing in Faith Growing in Christ Grades 6/7 Combined Grades

Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ: Combined Grades 6 and 7 Teaching Strategies is a teacher resource intended to assist those teachers with a combined class of grades 6 and 7 students. The resource offers strategies that allow teachers to teach a combination of the two programs. Organization of instruction is by liturgical year, theme and clustered expectations. This resource while authored by, Roberta Gibson and Heather Murphy of London DCSB, is provided by Pearson Education.

Catholic Education Week Advance Kit

The Ontario Catholic Trustees have recently published the Advance Kit for Catholic Education Week for 2021. The theme of Catholic Education Week is Nurturing Hope. Download Catholic Education Week resources at their website.

In Brief

  • On 4 December 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. He is succeeded by the Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse who has served as Coadjutor Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall since his appointment in May 2020.
  • On 29 November 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Robert Bourgon from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Hearst-Moosonee and appointed the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, as Apostolic Administrator of Hearst-Moosonee. (CCCB)
  • On 28 November 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Ivan Camilleri Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. At the time of his appointment, Bishop-elect Camilleri was serving as Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs, Vicar General, and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Toronto. (CCCB)
  • On 21 November 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Father Wayne Lawrence Lobsinger Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton. At the time of his appointment, Bishop-elect Lobsinger was serving as the Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Hamilton. (CCCB)
  • On October 22 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Reverend Thomas Dowd Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Dowd was serving as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montréal. He will assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese currently under the care of Monsignor Jean-Paul É. Jolicoeur, H.P. (CCCB)
  • The WFMP will be held online in 2021.  David Wells has been booked to be the keynote.  The theme will remain – Guardians of Hope, Bearers of the Promise, Stewards of Creation. (CCC)
  • EOCCC is launching a new resource entitled Global Issues – Code to Learn for Grade 7 and 8 classes.  It uses Scratch and there are many points of entry.    (EOCCC)
  • The EOCCC face to face conference for 2021 is cancelled but they are hold out hope for the retreat which is scheduled for May 27/28, 2021. (EOCCC)
  • For the 90th anniversary OCSTA are celebrating with a Home – School – Parish Speaker Series.  Mark Mc Gowan led the first presentation.  Cardinal Collins will be speaking next. (OCSTA)
  • Development and Peace offers a Laudato Si’ certification program. (Development & Peace)
  • EcoSchools Canada offers a certification program for K-12 schools that nurtures environmental learning and climate action.”  (Ecoschools Canada).
  • OECTA’s Beginning Teachers Conference is scheduled for February 25 and 26 on a virtual. Platform. Keynotes will be held after school hours to reach more participants. (OECTA)
  • A Digital Citizenship Poster and accompanying resources are newly posted on the ICE website. (ICE)
  • The new Directory for Catechesis has been published guiding Catholic education around the world. ICE is creating resources to help explain the transition from six tasks of catechesis to five. The Office for Evangelization and Catechesis of the Canadian Bishops has a series of webinars on the new document. (ICE/CCCB)

Brian Kershisnik, Nativity

Gospel    |   Commentary

Prayer Resources for Advent and Christmas

Look for these pages on our CARFLEO website that give educators resources for leading students and colleagues in prayer during the Advent Season.

CARFLEO Executive

Sr. Pat Carter (HSCDSB-Chair), Paul Beaudette (HWCDSB-Vice Chair), Jan Bentham (ex OCSB Secretary), Peter Bagnell (PVNCDSB-Treasurer), Les Miller (Communications-ex YCDSB), Peter Crane (ex PVNCDSB), Nancy Davie (YCDSB), John Murphy (WCDSB), Paula Wheeler (CDSBEO), Mike Nerino (TNCDSB), Lisa Malcolm (TCDSB), Tish Sheppard (exDCDSB), Kate Veinotte (CDSBEO)

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