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Toronto Catholic District School Board

TCDSB’s Pastoral Plan: the Vision of Our Catholic Community

 

A pastoral plan…

Thomas Cardinal Collins in his 2012 pastoral letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto describes a pastoral plan “as a roadmap for our journey as a Catholic Christian community, identifying key priorities and goals on the path ahead”. It affirms the achievement of the community and establishes a clear pastoral focus for the future. The TCDSB pastoral plans affirm, reveal and communicate the vision and mission of the Board. Each of the past pastoral plans has deeply focused on reinforcing and supporting every aspect of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic plan, the Catholic Graduate Expectations, the Catholic Social Teachings and the Virtues of the month. Thus, our pastoral plans encourage and unite all of us in an harmonious effort to live our Catholic Values with integrity.   
 

The journey so far…

To affirm and support pastorally the tenets of TCDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic plan, uphold the core values of the Catholic Graduate Expectations, expose the apostolic nature of the Catholic Social Teachings, and highlight the Virtues of the Month, our Board, has always nurtured our community with a theme-based pastoral plan that is centered on strengthening our faith. From the previous pastoral plan of Word, Worship and Witness (2009-2012), which refreshed our belief that the Word of God is the light and guide of our life (cf.Ps.119:105), expressed as a community of faith in worship and sacraments (cf.Ps.100:2), and bears fruit through our lives as witnesses (cf.Acts.1:8); to that of Faith, Hope and Charity (2012-2015), the theological virtues (1 Cor.13:13), which are the ‘foundation of Christian moral activity’. “They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life” (CCC 1813). The two year journey of the Witness to Faith Cross through all our schools which began in the third and final year of our first pastoral plan, the Year of Witness, ushered in the Year of Faith, and the beginning of the pastoral plan of Faith, Hope and Charity. The Witness to Faith Cross, which remains in our Board’s atrium reminds us that as pilgrims, not as tourists, we embrace our struggles, knowing that we are not alone.
 

2015 TogetherWithOneVoice Banner.jpgWhere we are now…

This next three-year pastoral plan of Together with one VOICE: Harmonizing our Faith through Family, Parish and School (2015-2018) (cf.Rom.15:6) – the Educational Triad, launched by the Board and blessed by His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins on April 22, 2015, draws our attention to the three communities of faith that are the roots and foundations of Catholic education (cf. Matt. 7:24-25), and echoes the traditional African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Due to the myriad of challenges and opportunities presented to our students and parents by this excessively busy and pressure-packed society, the partnership of this educational “village” is more than necessary today and should be highly encouraged. In his message, Cardinal Collins articulates perfectly Ignatius of Antioch’s idea of the church as an orchestra and describes family, parish and school as “three elements of the symphony of our faith”. Family, the natural community willed by God, is and should be the most effective community where faith is planted; Parish, our faith family or better still, our ‘domestic church’ is where faith is celebrated in worship and sacraments; and School, a community of understanding and wisdom, ‘permeated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and love’, is and should be where faith is nurtured.     
 

Family, Parish and School – Unity in Diversity…

Though it is our goal to highlight in depth each community of faith from the educational “village” of family, parish and school every year, it is imperative for us to remember that each of these communities is not simply a discordant or isolated entity; instead, each with the richness of its diversity adds greatness to the harmony of God’s music of love. In other words, the unity of the whole (family, parish and school) does not and should not undermine the uniqueness of the individual. This relationship of unity in diversity reflects St. Paul’s notion of many parts, one body (1 Cor. 12:12-26). This present pastoral plan challenges us as a Board to continue to encourage this ‘symphony’ and build a harmony with ‘ONE VOICE’ in order to develop, celebrate and nurture the wholeness of the human person in our beautiful but sometimes discordant world.
 
Together with ONE VOICE, we look forward to the following:
  • 2015/2016: Year of the Family

  • 2016/2017: Year of the Parish

  • 2017/2018: Year of the School

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