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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Rooted In Christ’ Continuing our School Parish Connections. we Belong, we Believe, we Become

2018-2021

 

 
  • Does your school have parish information in your monthly newsletters? Mass times as well as information about special events. If not, could you consider including something as a standing item? And does parish offer the school a spot in the parish bulletin to share information about events etc?
 
  • Look at the school calendar for the year ahead and the parish calendar for the year ahead and see what events, meetings etc the pastor or parish rep might want to be part of at the school, and see if there are any parish events that the school could become involved in to support the activity. This could include regular CSPC meetings, staff meetings, curriculum night, parent teacher interview night, and special events like swim meet, concerts etc
 
  • Does your pastor have a specific interest or hobby that could be explored? For example, if he enjoys sports, is there a way to include him in skating excursions, ski trips, coaching a team or participating in noon hour house league sports?
 
  • Talk about sacramental preparation—find out what role the parish would like the school to play in preparation
 
  • Work collaboratively on a blurb for the parish bulletin about the year of the parish. Invite input from the parish community on how to strengthen the school-parish relationship.
 
  • Family literacy day—how can parish be involved—can your pastor come and read to the kids?
    Consider inviting knights, CWL, CYW into school to talk about what they do—part of monthly mass or some other event
 
  • Consider inviting your pastor in for career day to discuss vocations
 
  • Would you consider a school Sunday where students, staff and parents from the school sing, serve, read, bring up the offerings etc.
 
  • Does your school do student led learning walks? If so, have you considered talking to the parish about setting up a learning walk in the parish lobby, and have students available to talk to parishioners about curriculum and the close links to Catholic Graduate Expectations, Catholic Social Justice and Virtues of the Month.
 
  • Because this will be the 175th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Toronto, why not consider a birthday party for your parish? Get together with the schools in your parish family to coordinate a gathering with cake and coffee to congratulate your parish and thank them for all they do for your community.
OR
Consider designing a giant birthday card and presenting the card to the parish on behalf of the school. This could be an art project for some of your students.
  • Revisit your school’s website and make sure that the history of your parish and the history of your school are well represented. Include information about founding orders, and a complete history of the saint for which your school is named.
  • Does your parish need any help with gardening or cleaning? Consider a service project where students and staff do a clean up of the parish grounds, or some planting of flowers, or cleaning pews, or any other initiatives where assistance might be appreciated.
  • Consider collaborating with parish on annual faith day/PA day--invite pastor to participate (lead liturgy or prayer service) or discuss community service ideas with your parish (parish may need assistance with a project and would appreciate the help).
 
  • Remember to share your good news stories—photos and write ups—via email to parish.project@tcdsb.org so we can spread the word throughout the year and celebrate your joint initiatives.  The Board is open to showcasing a slideshow of some of your parish-school partnership events at the annual Exemplary Practice Awards, and even introducing a new category to recognize excellence in building school-parish relationships.
 
 
More Ideas and Discussion Topics that Came from the Regional Conversations:
 
  • Opening up masses to more grades via the choir
  • Learn how to pray the rosary together
  • Canvas student voice to see how they would like to celebrate the parish
  • Add visual representation of the parish throughout the school
  • Curriculum displays at the parish
  • Scheduled priest visits--consider afternoon sessions or whatever works best for the parish priest
  • Mutual events--invite school to parish events; invite parish to school events OR host events together
  • Inclusion of school information in parish newsletters; inclusion of parish information in school newsletters; Sharing of similar information on school/parish websites
  • More emphasis on ShareLife—educate students about the work the agency is doing—consider less of an emphasis on Me to We and more on ShareLife
  • Brand the food drives specifically for ShareLife
  • Participate in church initiatives
  • Invite pastor to social events at the school
  • Day of reflection—adult faith formation
  • Staff should be encouraged to live the faith
  • Getting to know the Bible
  • Youth Mass
  • Walk/pilgrimage to church
  • Opposite grade groups sitting together for Masses and liturgies
  • Invite all members of the community to provide input—connect with youth groups, knights of Columbus, cwl etc
  • Invite church reps to break bread—collaborate on plan for the year
  • Ensure that all staff, parents and students are represented in discussions
  • Invite priest to provide staff with workshops to learn about religion
  • Enhance the connection between leadership groups and parish groups—St. Vincent de Paul, ShareLife etc
  • Youth groups in parishes
  • Students need to see the person of the church, and see the church as humane as well as human—find ways for the students to get to know the priest, and for the priest to increase comfort level with young people
  • Use school to promote opportunities for students such as the children’s choir
  • Is church welcoming? How do we welcome newcomers? How can we connect families with the church? Is music engaging?
  • School can help to encourage parents to invest the time and effort into building that connection with parish and child
  • Get youth into the church—movie nights
  • Class tours
  • Give children a reason to come to church—advent wreath making, family move night
  • All schools within the parish family to coordinate one liturgical mass—perhaps for Advent or Catholic Education Week or end of the year--consider having it outdoors
  • Bring back the “wine and cheese” meet and greet at parish with all schools in the parish community
  • Include pastor in graduation and special events
  • Staff retreat or faith day with parish
  • Encourage students to attend mass and go to confession
  • Involve parents
  • Provide unique opportunities at the parish—clubs, interest groups
  • Dialogue with priest
  • Parental involvement in sacramental preparation (particularly non-Catholic parents)—find ways to be inclusive
  • Involve parish team in what’s happening in schools
  • Build something together—mosaic table
  • Garden together—harvest at Thanksgiving

 

 
And Some of the Many Wonderful Things Already Happening in Our School-Parish Communities:
  • Monthly liturgies
  • Food/toy/clothing drives
  • Christmas concert in the parish
  • School masses
  • Sacramental preparation
  • Praying the living rosary
  • School visits—not all grades
  • Programs for youth at parish
  • Pastor is in the school often; he knows the students and teachers
  • Pastor invites grade 2 and 7 teachers for lunch to discuss sacramental preparation
  • Rosary Apostolate visits regularly
  • Partner with St Vincent de Paul on Christmas baskets
  • Pastor involved in monthly masses and virtues assemblies
  • Students are altar servers or participate in the choir
  • Life giving music ministry
  • Edge Camp
  • Grade 8 students involved in the parish
  • Involvement of knights of Columbus (free throw)

 

 
 
 
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