In November of 2017, the Catholic community of Ontario met to reflect on the past, present and future of Catholic education in this province. The symposium entitled “Renewing the Promise” brought together the many voices of those who value and contribute to the legacy of our fully funded Catholic education system.
After province-wide consultation and the rich conversation of the symposium experience, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario have written this pastoral letter, “Renewing the Promise”, in response to the many perspectives articulated by our Catholic community. This letter reflects the mutual hope we share for the future of Catholic education in Ontario.
The Catholic education community of Ottawa plays a significant role in the life of our Church. It is a community that accompanies, builds relationships, encourages engagement, instills hope and forms joyful disciples. Students, parents, teachers and education workers, support staff, principals and vice-principals, trustees, directors and supervisory officers are part of this community, as well as clergy and pastoral teams. Together we can all commit to Renewing the Promise of Catholic education for future generations and to work to build a strong foundation for joyful disciples.
As your Archbishop of the Ottawa Diocese and Director of Education of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we have been pleased to be part of these important discussions and discernment about the future. The pastoral letter describes this journey as one like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Our Christ-centred Catholic schools have the ability to invite all to a ‘joyful discipleship’. Thank you for your continued work in Catholic education and may the love of Jesus Christ continue to inspire this work in bringing the gospel to light in our world.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Denise Andre, Director of Education ✠ Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa
Renewing the Promise – A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education
The Institute for Catholic Education has released Renewing the Promise, a pastoral letter which provides us with a very positive and affirming message. The letter uses the scriptural account of the Road to Emmaus as the basis for their reflection on the mission and vision of Catholic education, celebrating that a true encounter with Jesus can and does take place, each and every day within our Catholic schools. The Bishops encourage all who share responsibility for Catholic education to continue to nurture and strengthen Catholic schools as communities that exemplify, in word and in deed, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Denise Andre is the Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), and was appointed in July 2015. She has been with the OCSB for 39 years and has served as a teacher, department head, vice-principal, principal, superintendent, and deputy (associate) director. Denise holds a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University, and has been married to Bob Thomas for over 32 years.