DIRECTOR'S EASTER MESSAGE

April 2018

To all of our students, parents, teachers, educational assistants, early child educators, custodians, secretaries, central support staff, vice principals and principals, senior leaders, and to all who support us in Catholic Education here at PVNC: Happy Easter!

In the gospel for the Easter Vigil, according to Mark, we hear about  a young man at the tomb of Jesus, dressed in a white robe, telling Mary, and the other two women with her, to go and tell the disciples that Jesus, who has been raised, is going to Galilee, as he said he would, and that they will see him there.  I am struck by that phrase “go to Galilee”!  Galilee is where they are from, where Jesus is from, where it all started. It’s really saying, “Go back home, take with you everything you have learned, and there, back where you began the journey, you will meet the risen Jesus.” It means that we are called to meet the risen Christ in our familiar places, where we are most comfortable, but where perhaps it is too easy to miss him. It’s easy to feel that we are in God’s presence in the beautiful celebration of the sacraments, or in touching encounters with others, or in experiencing the majesty of the mountains or the quiet of the forest. It’s not so easy to find him in the mundane, the ordinary, and the everyday stuff of our lives. Yet that is precisely the invitation extended to the women at Jesus’ tomb, the disciples, and to us. This Easter season, let us help each other through prayer and encouragement to find the risen Christ where we often miss him, right beside us.

This spring brings us continued opportunities for learning and growth. More and more of our teachers and students are engaging in deeper inquiries into topics they care deeply about. Not only are they learning deeply, but they are deeply influencing their local and global communities by setting their learning into action for the good of others. This spring we are engaging in ongoing consultation: first, through the bi-annual School Climate Survey for students, staff and parents; and second, through our one-year anniversary survey about our 2017-2020 strategic plan.  We want to know how we are doing: how you feel about our schools as safe, welcoming and inclusive places of learning and what we might need to pay more attention to, and how you think we are doing in the first year of our new Vision, Mission and Strategic Priorities.  Both surveys will be launched in the last week of April, 2018.  Watch for more information on these important vehicles for you to exercise your voice and to tell us what you think.

Of great importance this year is the focus on strengthening our commitment to Catholic Education in Ontario. This year, we have been engaged with all of our educational partners in a deep dialogue called “Renewing the Promise”, an opportunity for all of us to articulate what Catholic Education means and why our Catholic Schools are so important to us. We are encouraging all students, staff, and parents to put your names forward in a show of support for Catholic Education by going to the www.togetherinfaith.ca website and signing your name as a show of support.  The unique Catholic character of our schools is so evident in the generous support everyone shows to those in need through fundraising, service projects, and the critical awareness we have of how important it is to support and celebrate the life of every person, from conception to grave, in all circumstances, regardless of where they find themselves on their life’s journey.

May the blessings of Easter and the joy of new life in our midst be yours. May you experience the joy of the risen Christ in your home, “in Galilee.”

Michael Nasello, Director of Education