8113 Fatima Court
Niagara Falls, ON
CHAIR FRANK FERA’S REMARKS
Annual Organizational Meeting
of the Niagara Catholic District School Board
December 4, 2018
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am honoured to acknowledge His Excellency, Bishop Bergie, the Honourary Chair of the Board; a true disciple of Christ and a Bishop who tends to his flock with the utmost piety and sincerity. Thank you, Your Excellency, for your presence here this evening and for celebrating Mass with us on this important occasion. I also wish to acknowledge the co-celebrants of this evening’s Mass, and thank them for their participation, Monsignor Clutterbuck, Father Paul MacNeil and Father Aji Varghese.
A special welcome to the newly elected trustees, who have entrusted me with this vote of confidence as Chair of the Board, a position I will hold seriously, with integrity and humility.
To begin with, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to those who daily are given the distinct privilege of touching the lives of our students in so many capacities: Thank you religious leaders, principals, teachers, support staff and custodial workers. It is you who are the heart of our schools. It is all of you whom we owe a debt of gratitude. Thank you. Let us always keep in mind that it is our students who give us purpose and hope.
As we move forward focusing on students as a priority, at the centre of our Board’s mandate, we must keep Catholicity at the core of our decision-making. This is what makes us unique – let us embrace it. Together we must work collaboratively to create a culture of kindness, a system that values and upholds positive communication with all employees.
Communication is essential to the credibility and welfare of this Board. It will be the conduit for our successes. Above all, I wish to remind all of the trustees that it is our job to listen and receive feedback from everyone in the community that we serve, especially the parents and guardians who depend on us to ensure that their voices will be heard.
Furthermore, we have an obligation as trustees to inspire our staff and, in turn, our students, to instill faith in them, to encourage them and to provide them with unique opportunities to walk in the footsteps of Saint Paul and become true followers of Christ. And this should not be taken lightly. For it is my profound belief that our public activities are undeniable manifestations of what we profess as a Catholic community.
Lastly, as we begin this new Board year, with the overwhelming theme of bringing forth positive change, together, let us embark upon a fulfilling journey of hope and faith, and let it be our priority to help to grow and support our students and staff. As we strive to encourage the triad that is our school board, let us draw upon the words of Bishop Bergie, who, in a recent article of The Vineyard, stated, and I quote:
there can be peace and calm in our faith in the midst of any storm, but to find it, we must go deep and encounter our faith.”