St. Joseph CES Douro celebrates and blesses new school addition

Oct. 16, 2023

The St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School community in Douro gathered Saturday, Oct. 14 to bless and celebrate the school’s 6,786-square foot addition, a renovation that includes four new classrooms, a library and a staffroom among other site improvements.

Peterborough Bishop Daniel Miehm officially blessed the new Catholic school facilities and each new classroom space before joining principal Mark Collins and Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board Chairperson Kevin MacKenzie for an official ribbon cutting.

Director of Education Stephen O’Sullivan described the occasion, which marked the first significant expansion of the school since 1989, as a great day for Catholic education in Douro.

“Our commitment to offering a nurturing environment for spiritual, academic, and personal growth remains steadfast,” O’Sullivan said. “Bishop Daniel Miehm, who has graciously presided over today’s blessing, we extend our heartfelt thanks to you. Your presence sanctifies our endeavor and ties us closer to our Catholic values.”

Teacher Jonathan Berlingeri piped in a procession of dignitaries that included Peterborough-Kawartha MP Michelle Ferreri, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, Douro-Dummer Mayor Heather Watson and Curve Lake First Nation Chief Keith Knott, all of whom brought greetings to the celebration.

“This school is not just a place of learning; it is a cornerstone of our community. The significant expansion we are inaugurating today, with four new classrooms, a library, and a staff room, speaks volumes about the growth and promise of our young generation,” said Peterborough County Trustee Jenny Leahy, who brought greetings on behalf of the Board. 

 “To the local politicians and dignitaries present, your participation and backing are vital to the growth and success of our schools. Together, we are not merely cutting a ribbon; we are opening new pathways to learning and spirituality for our children.”

The St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School Choir directed by teacher Tina McCarthy provided beautiful music for the event, which wrapped up with fresh servings of cake.