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Catholic Education Week 2021

Nurturing Hope / Cultiver l’espérance

May 2 – 7

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31)

The theme for Catholic Education Week 2021 was inspired by the following considerations:

  • ​Recognition of the special Year of Laudato Si’ which will run through May 24, 2021, announced by Pope Francis on May 24, 2020, the fifth anniversary of his papal encyclical, “On Caring for Our Common Home.”

  • In the face of the ongoing reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong desire by the planning committee, along with those consulted, and supported by feedback from the survey, for continuity with the theme for Catholic Education Week 2020, Igniting Hope, which has served so well during the spring recess from in-school instruction.

  • The challenges to personal and spiritual well-being posed by the uncertainty and physical isolation of the current global crisis makes the timing and the concerns of Mental Health Week, which takes place during the same week as Catholic Education Week, all the more relevant.

  • Ongoing recognition of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the relevance of Indigenous culture and spirituality to the spirit of Laudato Si.

At a time of national and local crisis, it became clear that there was a need to celebrate the hope of Catholic education, now and in the future.


There are five sub-themes for Catholic Education Week 2021. Please see below for the sub-themes, as well as accompanying citations for each.

The sub-themes for Catholic Education Week 2021 are:

  • Monday: Preparing the Earth / Préparer la terre
  • Tuesday: Sowing Seeds of Gratitude / Semer la gratitude
  • Wednesday: Cultivating Relationships / Cultiver nos relations
  • Thursday: Harvesting New Fruit / Récolter de nouveaux fruits
  • Friday: Marvelling in Wonder / S’émerveiller​

Monday: Preparing the Earth / Préparer la terre

Preparing the soil for planting involves finding remnants of what has happened to the land before. In the same way, we look back to what has been learned and what has been lost during the past very unusual year that we have all shared. Part of that may have even been a return to the practice of gardening. The garden reminds us of the original garden, the many creation stories told by different communities, and the blessings of the earth that is our common home.

“Sir, let this fig tree alone for one more year, until I dig round it and put more manure around it.” (Luke 13:8)

«Maître, laisse ce figuier encore cette année, le temps que je bêche antour pour y mettre du fumier.» (Luc 13,8)

Tuesday: Sowing Seeds of Gratitude / Semer la gratitude

We can’t help but remember and be thankful for the healthcare providers, the essential workers, and the volunteers whose sacrifices contributed to the common good during our time of separation from each other. They are like the “Three Sisters” – maize, beans and squash – which were planted together in the gardens of Indigenous people and whose plants supported and enriched one another as they grew.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
«Rendez grâce au Seigneur: il est bon, éternal est son amour!» (Psaume 136,1)

Wednesday: Cultivating Relationships / Cultiver nos relations

One of the central themes of Laudato Si’ is the interdependence of all creatures, and COVID-19 has made clear how deeply we are all interconnected. The experience of staying at home for months, impacted our relationships with our families, friends, schoolmates, and nature, some of which were strengthened, and some of which suffered from the time apart. How have we or can we restore these relationships?

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

«Ce que vous voulez que les autres fassent pour vous, faites-le aussi pour eux.» (Luc 6,31)

Thursday: Harvesting New Fruit / Récolter de nouveaux fruits

The experience of the last year has helped us realize that things will never again be like they were before. But that may not be a bad thing, because the earth was in need of healing. Perhaps this pandemic can be part of an ecological conversion – a harvest of change – that will lead us to ask what it will be like for our descendants, seven generations from now. How can we help to bring about new fruit of sustainability, justice, and fairer economic structures?

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19a)

«Voici que je fais une chose nouvelle; elle germe déjà, ne la voyez vous pas?» (Isaïe 43,19a)

Friday: Marvelling in Wonder / S’émerveiller

When creation was completed, God saw that it was good, and rested. That Sabbath was not just recovery from all the work that God has done, but time for God to take pure delight in its goodness. We too, are invited to be silent and contemplate the beauty of the created order; to stand in reverence before the awesome gift that is our common home.

“Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe.” (Luke 5:26)

«Tous furent saisis de stupeur et ils rendaient gloire à Dieu, remplis de crainte.» (Luc 5,26)

Catholic Education Week Prayer​

Gracious and generous God, creator of the earth, our common home,
With each new day, we prepare the earth of our lives by sowing seeds of gratitude for all you have given. Inspire us to cultivate relationships with all living beings. May we harvest new fruit and marvel in the wonder at the beauty around us. Nurture us in hope.

View Catholic Education Week 2020 events below.
Catholic Education Week is also an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work done in our schools – on site before closure, and now virtually – to animate our Pastoral Plan – Rooted in Christ: we Belong, we Believe, we Become!  The TCDSB is celebrating Catholic Education Week in many ways this year:

  • Awards Night – To launch the week, the TCDSB is celebrating its 19th Annual Awards Ceremony on MONDAY, May 4th with an Awards Video honouring the accomplishments of our students, alumni, staff and friends of our Catholic education system. The video and details of the recipients’ accomplishments will be shard here: Awards Video.

  • Our Daily Nurture - The Nurturing Our Catholic Community (NCC) Team is providing DAILY reflections as a resource for spiritual help to Ignite Hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. To review these daily reflections on the TCDSB Website, please click here or see them posted daily on our Twitter account: @TCDSB_NCC​.

  • Province-Wide Prayer for Catholic Education WeekTUESDAY, May 5th, 9am.  Click here for a link to the prayer that all are encouraged to pray: Prayer for Catholic Education Week.

  • TCDSB Mass for Catholic Education – Father Obinna Ifeanyi from our Nurturing our Catholic Community Team will be celebrating a Mass dedicated to the TCDSB and to Catholic Education on WEDNESDAY, May 6th from our Loretto Abbey Chapel. Director of Education Rory McGuckin will be proclaiming the readings of the day. The Mass will be broadcast throughout the day on Daily TV Mass; see here for times and network providers, or watch on YouTube at any time on May 6th: TCDSB Mass on YouTube.

  • Province-Wide Mass for Catholic Education Week – Celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Collins on WEDNESDAY, May 6th, at 10 am, via livestream: Cardinal's Mass.

  • Our Weekly Board-Wide Online Liturgy - Join us on THURSDAY, May 7th at 4pm as we gather as a TCDSB community in celebration of Catholic Education and in prayer for HOPE FOR THE WORLD. We turn to Mother Mary, a true model and teacher of hopefulness and faith during these challenging times: NCC YouTube Channel.

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