Celebrating our Catholic faith and aspiring to be models of Christ

At HCDSB, we are committed to being a model learning community, widely recognized as distinctively Catholic.

Our distinctiveness as a Catholic school district is reflected in the curriculum that is delivered through a lens of faith; through the vibrant partnership that exists between school, home and parish; and in the many ways in which our staff and students know, live and express their faith in action.

Our Goals Under the Priority of Believing:

  1. All learners experience a Catholic learning environment rooted in Gospel values and the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.
  2. Our schools foster the relationship between home and parish.
  3. Staff and students are discerning believers, formed in the Catholic faith community, who model Christ in their actions.

The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey revealed that 81% of HCDSB stakeholders agreed or strongly agreed that the HCDSB promotes a Catholic learning environment rooted in Gospel Values and the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations (OCSGE).


The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey revealed that 70% of respondents indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed that HCDSB schools and parishes work together to strengthen home/school/parish relationships.


The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey revealed that 72% of HCDSB stakeholders agreed or strongly agreed that HCDSB students and staff model Christ in their actions. HCDSB schools and parishes work together to strengthen home/school/parish relationships.

Journeying Together in Hope During Catholic Education Week

HCDSB, along with school boards across the province of Ontario celebrated Catholic Education Week from May 2 through May 7, 2021.

The province-wide theme of Catholic Education Week was Nurturing Hope, reminding us that Catholic education is a call to service to bring the message of Jesus Christ into the lives of our Catholic faith communities and to the students and families we serve.

To celebrate, HCDSB students, staff, families, parishes and members of our community were invited to participate in virtual activities, prayer, and reflections at home.

In honour of Catholic Education Week, HCDSB’s annual Walk with Jesus took place on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The theme of this year’s Walk with Jesus was, Journeying Together in Hope, encouraging our Catholic faith community to stay hopeful as we live, learn, and work together in solidarity during the pandemic.

A virtual Liturgy to commemorate Walk with Jesus took place with greetings from His Excellency, Bishop Douglas Crosby, as well as a Liturgy of the Word from the Very Reverend Con O’Mahony at St. Benedict Parish in Milton.

Special messages, prayers, and musical performances were performed by HCDSB students, staff and Trustees.

Members of our HCDSB community were able to join the conversation online using the hashtags: #HCWWJ, #NuturingHope, and #CEW2021, and tune in to the live Liturgy:

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Elementary School Raises Over $1500 for Joseph Brant Hospital Frontline Workers

From March 26 – April 9, 2021, students at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Elementary School participated in the Join the J initiative to support and honour healthcare heroes at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington. 

Join the J serves to celebrate Halton’s healthcare heroes who have been on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Students participated in a variety of activities while raising funds to support healthcare teams at the hospital including the Labour and Delivery and Mental Health Units. 

“The most heartfelt moment was seeing all our students [dressed in scrubs and hospital attire] recognizing that our healthcare workers are the real heroes that have carried us through this pandemic,” said Grade 3 teacher Christine Gaudet.

Students also participated in a live Zoom call with Anissa Hilborn, President of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and Dr. Arshad Hack, Chief of Family Medicine. Anissa and Dr. Hack explained to students what it looks like working in the hospital during the pandemic, how they are taking care of patients and details about the vaccination process.

Congratulations to the Sacred Heart community for raising $1528 dollars for Joseph Brant Hospital, exceeding their initial goal of $1000!  

Congratulations, SHOJ community, for this outstanding achievement!

And the Keeping Christ in Christmas Winners Are…

Students at the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) were invited to participate in the 8th annual Keeping Christ in Christmas contest, which began in October, 2020.

Students of all ages and abilities were invited to submit work that best described the theme of the contest and highlight how we can all do our part to Keep Christ in Christmas!

The call for submissions went out on October 28 and all entries were due by November 30, 2020.

Quick Facts:

  • The response was overwhelming, with over 550 student entries and over 9,300 votes to select the winners of the top prizes during the voting process!
  • 4 categories were open for submissions: Original Artwork; Original Video; Original Song; and Short Story/Poem, providing opportunities for students to work with different mediums to showcase their creativity.
  • All 16 student finalists were recognized at the December 15, 2020 virtual Board Meeting.

Special thanks to all student participants for submitting their amazing entries, and to HCDSB families and staff for their participation!

A note of appreciation is extended to the Halton OECTA Elementary Association and the Halton OECTA Secondary Association for their continued partnership, and support of the contest through generously donating the top prizes.

Holy Cross Students Spread Joy to Amica Georgetown Residents

Senior residents at Amica Georgetown

In December 2020, Grade 1-8 students from Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School shared their Christmas cards and artwork with residents at Amica Georgetown.  

Amica Georgetown​ is a senior living residence that neighbours Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School.

With COVID-19 measures in place to restrict in-person visits, Holy Cross students were dedicated to sharing their joy and excitement by singing and playing music for the residents during the holiday season.

Special thanks to Holy Cross students and staff for their kindness and generosity of spirit!

Sharing the Spirit of Christmas and Supporting Families in Need

Keeping Christ in Christmas card

During the 2020 Keeping Christ in Christmas contest period, HCDSB once again put the spirit of this contest into action through the sale of Christmas Cards!

Student artwork that was submitted to the contest was used to create Christmas cards. Mixed bundles of the Christmas cards were then available for donation, with all proceeds supporting families through the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

When we began this initiative in 2018, our intent was to start small, only actively promoting this initiative with our Central Office Staff.

In 2019, we expanded the sale of Christmas cards by sending out a ‘call to action’ to all families across HCDSB and to all of our staff, inviting them to purchase Christmas cards to support families in need.

An online submission form was created, allowing parents, families and staff to submit their donations through PayPal.

Through the outpouring of generosity, we were able to raise $10,793 dollars to support families in our HCDSB community!

System Chaplaincy Leader Gillian Federico Appointed Chair of the Interfaith Council of Halton!

In March, 2021, our System Chaplaincy Leader, Gillian Federico, was appointed Chair of the Interfaith Council of Halton!

The Interfaith Council of Halton (IFCH) was formed after the events of September 11, 2001, in response to the need for greater awareness and understanding amongst the people of our increasingly diverse community. 

Gillian joined the Interfaith Council of Halton after serving as Military Chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces, where she shared her wealth of knowledge on all world religions serving as a subject matter expert on Ministry in a Pluralistic Environment in the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Since joining the IFCH, Gillian has participated in many important initiatives, including faith walks that took place after the devastating mass shootings in Quebec, where members of the community created a circle around Al-Falah Mosque in Oakville to allow prayer in peace. She has also been a part of IFCH summer camps, film nights, and more recently, virtual events to celebrate diversity and community.

“At a time when our secondary schools welcome students of many faith traditions, it is important for us to be focused on our commonalities and the call to fraternity which has been reinforced by Fratelli Tutti.”

Congratulations, Gillian, on your appointment to Chair of the Interfaith Council of Halton! We are beyond blessed to have you as part of our HCDSB community!

Celebrating our Catholic Faith & Aspiring to be Models of Christ

A number of initiatives took place during the 2020-2021 school year for members of the HCDSB community to explore and celebrate their Catholic faith:

  • Information about the liturgical year and how to celebrate it was provided through Grace Notes, as well as an online newsletter, shared prayers, liturgies, resources, and PowerPoint presentations offered virtually to schools and classroom teachers.
  • A Prayer Liturgy for Catholic Education Centre staff and trustees was offered on a weekly basis.
  • The Chief Social Worker, Chief of Mental Health Programming, and Religious Consultant provided Catholic Values Training to all external agency partners that work in our HCDSB schools and sites.
  • HCDSB staff were invited to several Culturally Responsive Relevant Pedagogy (CRRP) events to explore Catholic thought and theology, as it relates to equity and inclusion.  
  • The February 2021 Faith and Equity Day provided opportunities for staff across each school and Board site to celebrate in our Catholic faith and explore how faith and equity are intertwined.
  • The new Auxiliary Bishop, Most Reverend Wayne Lobsinger presented at several sessions that spoke about our faith and wellness throughout the pandemic, with Catholic Education Centre staff and trustees in attendance.
  • Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) sessions took place during the 2020-2021 school year. The sessions focused on the themes of equity and our faith, both personally and professionally.  

Adult Faith Formation Sessions – Fall 2020

Adult Faith Formation sessions continued to run during the 2020-2021 school year, with the support of many Diocesan staff. Here are the sessions that were offered in the fall 2020:

  • October 14, 2020, February 3, 2021, and April 14, 2021: Eco Café
    Presented by: Sr. Mary Heather
  • October 15, 2020: Loving and Forgiving Are You, O Lord…
    Presented by: Fr. Joseph de Viveiros
  • November 18, 2020: 7 Moments on the Journey to Emmaus
    Presented by: Dr. Anne Jamieson
  • December 7, 2020: The Road to Bethlehem…and Beyond
    Presented by: Renata Dean

Adult Faith Formation Sessions – Winter & Spring 2021

Below are the Adult Faith Formation Sessions that were offered in the winter and spring 2021:

  • January 27, 2021: Let All That You Do Be Done in Love
    Presented by: Very Reverend Con O’Mahony, Vicar for Education
  • March 10, 2021: What Can We Learn from the Dead Sea Scrolls?
    Presented by: Sr. Eileen Schuller
  • February 10, 2021: Reflecting God’s Love
    Presented by: David Dayler
  • April 28, 2021: Do You Love Me? Shall We Dance?
    Presented by: Adriana Rerecich
  • April 30, 2021 and May 1, 2021: How Wide are God’s Arms?
    Presented by: Dr. Murray Watson, Adult Faith Facilitator
  • May 20, 2021: Do You Love Me? Choose Life!
    Presented by: Gillian Federico and Adriana Rerecich

Coffee, Faith and Conversation with Father Con O’Mahony and Chaplaincy Leader Adriana Rerecich

As a way to support the faith formation of the communities of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School and St. Andrew Parish during the pandemic, Father Con O’Mahony and Adriana Rerecich, Chaplaincy Leader at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School began recording their conversations on a weekly basis during the Lenten and Easter season in 2021.  

Fr. Con and Ms. Rerecich discussed the themes of Lent and Easter in light of what we were experiencing. The conversations were filled with humour, book suggestions, a good dose of theology, and practical spiritual takeaways. These conversations were shared with the St. Thomas Aquinas school and St. Andrew Parish communities, and many looked forward to these to add to their Lenten and Easter journeys.

Visit Ms. Rerecich’s YouTube channel to see the full playlist of Coffee, Faith and Conversation videos!

St. Thomas Aquinas Students & Staff Celebrate their Faith & Give Back to the Community

The St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (STA) community were busy in the 2020-2021 school year celebrating their faith, participating in the Youth Ministry Program and giving back to the community through various charity initiatives.

Here are some of the highlights of ‘faith in action’ at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School!

Students gathered in song and prayer with Father Adam Zettel for the St. Dominic Parish Conquest & Challenge Catholic Youth Ministry Program. Father Zettel spoke to grade 10 students about the opportunities available in the Youth Ministry Program.

Students attending the grade 9 retreat gathered in prayer and were introduced to Michael Aguiar, St. Dominic Parish Lay Pastoral Associate/Youth Minister.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Aid Club collected $1090.00, in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Society Thanksgiving Drive at St. James Parish! St. James Parish Deacon, Patrick Crowley and his wife Marilyn are photographed above.

STA students took part in the spirit of giving during the Christmas season by generously donating to the Advent Gifts of Warmth Drive. Pictured below are STA students with Sandra De Tina, St. Vincent de Paul representative from St. Andrew Parish.

Students and staff at STA went virtual for their 2020-2021 Thanksgiving Liturgy! Thank you to Father Joseph Ahilan for delivering his homily and for his spiritual guidance.

The 2020-2021 Director’s Annual Report Sections

Continue browsing the Director’s Report by clicking any of the “View” buttons below.


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Foundational Elements

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About the Director’s Annual Report

The Director’s Annual Report provides a snapshot of some of the great things happening across our school district. The real story of accomplishment, however, is captured daily within the walls of our schools and workplaces through the many individual successes that are celebrated by students, staff, and members of our Catholic learning communities.

Multi-Year Strategic Plan

To view our complete Stratetic Plan, please click here

View our Strategic Plan Monitoring Reports
Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5