News Releases
HCDSB News Release
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
A New School Name for JV Catholic Secondary School

On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the trustees on the Halton Catholic District School Board unanimously approved St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School as the new name for the Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School​ community in Milton.

The decision to rename the school came about as a result of the inquiry findings released on February 22nd, which revealed reports of sexual misconduct by Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche Foundation and the former namesake of this school. 

The motion to begin a school renaming process was initiated by Milton Trustee, Patrick Murphy​, at the Regular Board Meeting held on March 3, 2020.

"As Catholic leaders in our community, we have a responsibility not to honour a person who, as it has come to light, has acted immorally," said Trustee Murphy as he addressed his motion. "To allow the school to be named in honour of such a person would be an injustice to the victims who suffered the abuse, and to the over 2200 students and staff who together have built a thriving community of caring, compassionate fellowship."

School Renaming Process

In accordance with Policy I-15, School Name Selection​, a School Renaming Committee was established to oversee this process. 

  • The Committee launched a consultation process, inviting input from students, parents and staff, as well as families in the Jean Vanier Family of Schools, and members of the parish community. 
  • The consultation drew an overwhelming response from the community, with over 3000 responses received. 
  • The Committee used the feedback gathered to create a shortlist of six (6) names, which were then put to vote by the community. 
  • The Committee's report and recommendations were presented to the Board of Trustees at the June 2, 2020 Regular Board Meeting​. Trustees voted to submit the preferred name (St. Francis Xavier) and an alternate name (St. Kateri Tekakwitha​) to His Excellency, Bishop Crosby, for review and consideration. 
  • In a letter dated June 5, 2020, Bishop Crosby confirmed his support for the proposed name, St. Francis Xavier. 
  • At the Regular Board Meeting held on June 16, 2020, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School as the new name for the JV community.
  • ​The new school name takes effect immediately.  

"We are very pleased with the way the community came together to rename this school," says Marvin Duarte, Milton Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Board. "St. Francis Xavier is an excellent patron saint, who will provide an exemplary model of service, compassion and faith for the students, families and staff in this community."

The school has initiated the design process for a new school logo, and are hoping to have all of the main visual identifiers such as the uniform crest and school signage updated and in place for September, 2020.

"We know that a new school name will not change who we are, and what we represent," noted School Principal, Katharine Stevenson.​ "The unique culture and ethos in our school community remains as strong and vibrant as it was before we learned of the devastating news back in February.

A new school name does, however, offer a tangible step along our journey of healing. It has been a very emotional period of time for many students, families and staff. We can once again say the name of our school with pride, with hope, and with conviction."

We wish this wonderfully diverse school community, now officially known as St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School, ongoing success as they continue building on the tradition of excellence for which it is known.


The Halton Catholic District School Board is a model learning community, widely recognized as distinctively Catholic. A provincial leader in student achievement, HCDSB provides exceptional educational experiences and services to over 34,000 students of all ages. God’s call to love and to serve is nurtured across our 45 elementary schools, 9 secondary schools, and 3 continuing education facilities, serving the communities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. With a focus on Achieving, Believing, and Belonging, we provide our students and staff with the tools for realizing their fullest potential, while also instilling a life-long commitment to the community.

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Media Contact:
Amanda Bartucci
Strategic Communications
Alternate Media Contact:
Juliana Gligoric
Strategic Communications 

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