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Catholic Education

Faith-Based Education
The Catholic school is the vital and privileged place where students critically engage in a dialogue between faith and culture not only during religious education lessons but in all curriculum and events of the day. It is a place where they can be formed for roles of Christian service, vocations and responsible participation in the political and social spheres of community life. Students grow to understand that their faith brings meaning and direction to all aspects of human living. Through cross-curricular teaching, religious education provides a lens through which students can understand the world and their place within it. It will influence the way students understand history, the role of religion in culture, the person’s responsibility to care for nature, the values and attitudes that promote safe, inclusive communities, and the need for ethics in the workplace among other things of importance to a Christian way of life.
Page 23 of the Elementary Religious Education Curriculum, linked below.
Religious Education and Family Life
As a community of believers created in the image of God, we inspire and nurture strong communities of faith. Our Religious and Family Life Education programs impart the knowledge of our faith through Scripture, story, and tradition. The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, through the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE), provide curriculum policy documents which identify the expectations for each grade and describes the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate. Prayer, liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments are opportunities to demonstrate our thankful awareness of God’s presence in the world. 
"​Jesus provides the model for how our schools and parish communities need to accompany students and families with great respect, patience and love, inviting all to deepen their understanding of Christ and his Church," (Renewing the Promise, A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education, Page 7, 2018, ICE​). The collaboration of caring adults in the school, the home, and the parish supports students as they grow to become discerning believers and responsible citizens formed in Catholic traditions. 
Our Catholic faith is made visible in all subject areas through the infusion of Catholic Social Teachings, virtues and gospel values into daily learning experiences. The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations guide the learning journey for all students. 
Board Pastoral Theme

An Introduction to Our Pastoral Themes

 The vision of the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is that we imagine a world where every person is empowered to reach their full potential through faith and service.  Our mission is the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board builds faith-filled learning communities where each member is loved, inspired, and successful.  The new annual pastoral themes for the ALCDSB call us to express our faith through our vision and mission statements. 
Catholic education is nurtured by the home-school-parish relationship.  The annual pastoral themes will support the ALCDSB's Multi-Year Strategic Plan and will continue to nurture the members of home, school, and parish.  Each annual theme is enriched with connections to Scripture, song, prayer, the Renewing the Promise pastoral letter, Catholic Social Teaching, the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The ALCDSB pastoral themes were intentionally selected in a particular sequence.  Each subsequent theme is intended to build on the previous theme.  The first theme, “All Are Welcome in This Place" reminds us that as a Catholic education community, our first step is to establish relationships and ensure that every person feels a genuine sense of belonging.   Once this is established, we can learn more about what it means to be valued as “Beloved Children of God", called to celebrate the inherent dignity of each person who is created in the image and likeness of God.  We then respond to God's invitation to be “Formed in the Faith", seeking God, growing deeper in our relationship with God, and accompanying each other along our faith journey.  Recognizing that faith is a gift from God, we are “Blessed Beyond Belief", thankful for all of the gifts and blessings that we receive, which all come from God.  Finally, once we are equipped with the tools that we need, we are “Called to Witness", fulfilling the Church's mission to carry out and continue the work of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Blessed Beyond Belief



The fourth of five pastoral themes, “Blessed Beyond Belief”, calls us to open our eyes and our hearts to see all of God’s goodness that surrounds us. Recognizing that faith is a gift from God, we are thankful for all of the gifts and blessings that we receive, which all come from God. In response to all of God’s blessings, we offer our worship. We are blessed and chosen and that means God’s arms will always be open to us with mercy, grace, guidance and unwavering strength and love. God walks with us and knows our true heart. God is our lighthouse in the storm and casts away darkness and despair. 
Although there are many mysteries, Jesus has never hidden his blessings from us. He is always there. We celebrate the gift of ourselves, each other and the earth all around us. We also need to take the time to celebrate the joy we encounter in the Gospels and the Eucharist. We praise the Lord who gives life and love to all things, making each day new. In our Catholic school communities, we are called to worship and praise as Joyful Disciples. How will we raise an alleluia with everything that we have? How will we find a song of joy in the middle of a storm that is stronger than any other sound of doubt or darkness? How will we model joy in our imperfect world? How will we live out each day reminding ourselves that we are completely loved and accepted by God? How will we be a guiding light to help others see their blessings and to live more fully in Christ?​


The “Blessed Beyond Belief” logo is represented by a sunrise with the silhouette of a person with arms outstretched. There is a shadow of a cross in the distance. This logo reminds us to have open arms and open hearts to receive all of the many blessings of the Lord. When we accept all the Lord has to offer, we are set free. All things are possible when we put our trust in God.

Overview: 2023-2024
Blessed Beyond Belief

​​​​​​​​​Scriptural connection:​​​ Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
​- Psalm 118:26
​Theme song: ​10,000 Reasons
Matt Redman​​
​Renewing The Promise Focus: A Community That Forms Joyful Disciples
​Catholic Social Teaching Focus: Rights and Responsibilities Solidarity
​OCSGE Focus: ​A Collaborative Contributor
A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker
​​​​United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Focus: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Responsible Consumption and Production
Catholic Education Week

Celebrating Catholic Education May 5​ - May 10, 2024

During the first full week in May each year, the ALCDSB celebrates the significant contribution that Catholic Education has made to the ALCDSB community, the province of Ontario and to Cana​da. Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations challenge our students to articulate in society those fundamental values that underpin Catholic education.

Catholic Education Week Awards

Submissions for Catholic Education Week Award nominations open annually at the beginning of the calendar year​. Award recipients are selected based on the exemplary accomplishments of students, staff and community members who consistently demonstrate outstanding service.
The Elementary and Secondary Student Volunteer of the Year Awards will recognize an individual in each panel who has provided exemplary volunteer services to a school or work site to the benefit of those students/staff of that site.
The Adult Volunteer of the Year Award will recognize an individual who has provided exemplary volunteer services to a school or worksite to those students/staff of that site. 
The Katharine Award is meant to recognize an individual, group or school whose charitable efforts honour the spirit of giving of the late Katharine Splinter and are consistent with the character of the system as expressed in its Mission Statement. 
The Contribution to Catholic Education Award is to be broadly interpreted to include voluntary work for the Board, academic achievement, work excellence and long service. 
The Excellence in Supporting Catholic Education Award - CUPE, Support Staff Association and Senior Managers will recognize an individual who demonstrates excellence in the workplace while supporting faith-based education, community service, social justice initiatives, involvement in workplace and/or community life and personal accomplishment. 
The Archbishop Francis J. Spence Catholic Teacher of the Year Award will be presented annually to a teacher who is a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers; exemplifies the spirit of the Mission Statement of ALCDSB; has rendered meritorious service to Catholic education; has been active in Catholic education during the current school year; has made an ongoing commitment and contribution to Catholic education; and is committed to the teachings of the Catholic church through community and parish life. ​​ 

Catholic Education Week observes the following Multi-Year Strategic Plan initiatives:

MYSP Increase opportunities to support faith formation for all members of the community that are inviting, engaging, and purposeful.​

MYSP Create conditions for all members of ALCDSB to recognize, understand, and apply social-emotional learning and mental health skills in all areas of their lives.