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A Toast to Catholic Education

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Last night, November 27th, at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board’s Catholic Education Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, The World I Know: Virtues in Action DVD series (a co-production between Salt + Light TV and the Dufferin-Peel CDSB) had its official launch! There were close to 125 invited guests – representatives (both teachers and students) from the over 20 elementary schools and high schools that participated in the project, Dufferin-Peel CDSB staff, and Salt + Light team members. This is a landmark venture with the Dufferin-Peel CDSB, which is one of the largest and most diverse school districts in Ontario, with approximately 88,000 students in 144 Catholic schools throughout Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Orangeville. There was excitement in the air as everybody buzzed about the project that is highlighting what young people (and their teachers) are doing to make this world a better place.
kindness18.jpgJust briefly, The World I Know is an insightful and compelling 10-part series of 10 to 11 minutes each. Each segment or episode is hosted by engaging Catholic students who guide the viewer through various aspects of a specific virtue. The series contains reflections, stories and commentaries from people who know the power behind a kind word, a loving act and a quiet prayer. The World I Know supports the promotion of safe, caring, inclusive and healthy school communities by highlighting stories of: Faith, Empathy, Conscience, Hope, Self-Control, Respect, Kindness, Love, Acceptance, and Fairness. The DVDs will be distributed to all the DPCDSB schools in time for Advent.
The evening consisted of a reception, remarks from Senior Administration from both Salt + Light and DPCDSB, a Liturgy of the Word (presided by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., CEO of Salt + Light TV, and Fr. Terry Lozynsky, the Board chaplain), and the screening of a 19-minute DVD with excerpts from the 10 Virtues episodes. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School choir performed beautifully as well.
DPCDSB Director of Education John Kostoff said something that stayed with me afterwards. For anybody who asks why Catholic Education needs to exist and how it is unique, one great way of explaining to them is showing them the Virtues DVD and inviting them to “Come, and see.” In the Virtues DVD, you see young people speaking from their heart, striving to live virtuous lives with the support of their Catholic community, and personally living out their Catholic faith.
faith18.jpgFr. Rosica ended his remarks with the words, “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God. Virtues allow individuals not only to perform good acts, but also to give the best of themselves. Christ's gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues that are presented in this teaching series on virtues. I sincerely hope that these vignettes of the virtuous life will help all who view them to become like God.”
May Catholic Education continue to form our young people and educators to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

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