Board Considers Renaming Mother Teresa School Following Canonization of Namesake
Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School opened its doors in the west end of St. Catharines in September, 2005. The first day of school that year was September 6, eight years and one day after Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, the city where she devoted much of her life to ministering to the poor.
On September 4, 2016, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa, naming her St. Teresa of Calcutta.
Niagara Catholic’s Naming of Board Facility, Designated Area or Chapel Policy (100.15), offers in its Administrative Procedures, offers the provision to rename a Board facilitiy in the event that an individual is canonized by the Holy Father. During the September 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees discussed renaming Mother Teresa to St. Teresa of Calcutta.
Consultation will begin with the Mother Teresa Catholic School Community of students, staff, the Parish Priest and Catholic School Council to reflect Mother Teresa’s canonization. The Ontario Ministry of Education has indicated that if the school community would like the name changed, it will be recognized by the Province as the official name of the school.
St. John Valley Centre May Become Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Centre
Niagara Catholic is considering re-naming the St. John Valley Centre, an outdoor education centre enjoyed by students for many years in honour of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
The request was brought forward by an Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of the Superintendent of Education – Program, the Student Success Lead and students and staff at the Centre.
The Centre is the Board’s new Indigenous Alternative Education Site, and the request to re-name the St. John Valley Centre in honour of Kateri Tekakwitha, (known as “Lily of the Mohawks,”) who devoted herself to God throughout her lifetime more than 300 years ago, is supported by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, which owns the property. The program offered at the Centre exemplifies St. Kateri’s conviction to working with those less fortunate as their advocate, and embraces the Board’s Outdoor Education Centre, as St. Kateri is the Patroness of ecology and the environment.
Prior to renaming the Centre, the Board will consult with Bishop Bergie, local Trustees, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board, the Director of Education, Board Chaplaincy Leader, and, when possible, facility staff, local Catholic School Councils and the local Catholic school community.
The Committee is expected to bring a recommendation to the September 27 Board Meeting.
Parent Reaching Out Grants
Niagara Catholic has received more than $25,000 from the Ministry of Education for programs to engage parents with the school community through Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants.
Twenty-six schools received approval for PRO grants for programs ranging from literacy and numeracy programs and online safety and technology sessions to programs focused on physical and mental health and being an effective parent.
The complete list of schools receiving grants, the amounts they received, and the programs, is in the September 13 Committee of the Whole agenda.
Capital Projects Update
Niagara Catholic has two schools currently under construction: The $10-million new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in Smithville, and a $4.4-million addition to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Grimsby.
Block masonry work is well underway at St. Martin, duct work has been installed and the roof is also under construction in some sections of the school. The new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School is scheduled to open in Spring 2017.
An architect has been selected and preliminary design work is underway for the addition at Our Lady of Fatima Grimsby, which will include six classrooms and three child care rooms.
We will continue to provide updates on these projects throughout the year.
Niagara Catholic in Wine Festival Grande Parade
Niagara Catholic students and staff will hit the streets in St. Catharines on September 24, for the annual Niagara Wine Festival Grande Parade. Elementary and secondary school students, members of Senior Staff and Trustees will be in the parade. Be sure to give a big cheer as they walk by!
Have you checked out the Good News section of the Board website lately? If not, you’re missing some great stories and photos about our students. Be sure to check it out often to keep up to date on the fantastic things happening in our schools and across the system.
To ensure you stay connected with Niagara Catholic news and events, please be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check our website often for updates and breaking news. It’s the best way to stay in the know. There are also still a couple of weeks to register your child for one of our Niagara Catholic Summer Camps. To find out more or to complete a registration form, click here.