The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Pastoral Plan is a Board-wide common mission to renew the promise of Catholic education.
The theme for the 2021-2024 Pastoral Plan is “Walking with Christ: with eyes of faith and hope, with hearts of kindness and love, with minds of justice and peace.”
While “Walking with Christ”, we deepen our sense of belonging and caring in our schools and communities. We walk with our Catholic communities and follow in Jesus’ footsteps by exemplifying love of self and neighbour as revealed by the prophet Micah.
“Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly With Our God.” - Micah 6:8
The above passage from the prophet Micah helps us transition from our previous 3-year pastoral plan to our new one, with an increased awareness of our fragile world. As we emerge from this devastating pandemic, and global struggles of injustice and racism, the acute need for equity and inclusion will be the heart of our new pastoral plan.
This plan, which is divided into three years, begins with a focus of our own personal understanding of God who is revealed through Jesus Christ, our teacher and guide. We are moved with compassion to love as Jesus did through our efforts to increase equity, inclusion and anti-racism as revealed in the scriptures: "with eyes of faith and hope, with hearts of kindness and love, with minds of justice and peace.”
Our new Pastoral Plan builds on the TCDSB’s previous pastoral plans, and is in support of our Multi Year Strategic Plan, Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations, and Catholic Social Teachings.
It fortifies the public profile of Catholic education, and enhances relationships in our local communities amongst staff, students, parents, guardians, volunteers and parish members.
It inspires all stakeholders to partake in a faith community, as we focus together on the sacramentality of life, in connection to the TCDSB mental health strategy of well being within, between and around our families, schools and communities.
During this first year of our 3-year Pastoral Plan “Walking with Christ: with eyes of faith and hope”, we lay the foundation for the subsequent 2 years, “Walking with Christ: with hearts of kindness and love and with minds of justice and peace”.
Our Pastoral Plan calls us to be living signs of Christ’s presence in the world today as we live the Gospel--believing what we read, preaching what we believe and practicing what we preach.
Through our actions as a community, we commit ourselves to spiritual renewal and growth. We evangelize the proclamation of the Gospel and share the Catholic faith through active participation in meaningful liturgical celebrations in our school and parish communities.
As a TCDSB family, we were blessed to have His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins reflect on our newest Pastoral Plan. His words inspired us profoundly.
“...to walk with Christ is to embody our engagement with our life with Christ. ‘Walking with Christ: with eyes of faith and hope. Our eyes allow us to see Jesus clearly and to get to know him. Our faith allows us to see beyond human reason which gives us hope, energy and reason...to see things in life within the context of the will of God or the vision of Christ with faith. We need to see what is there and have the faith to see what we need to do and then do it. In our heads, we need to know the Lord, in our lips to speak and in our hearts to live it truly, to actually do what God tells us as we see the face of Christ in others.” - His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins during the June 2021 TCDSB Pastoral Plan launch
Walking with Christ: with eyes of faith and hope, with hearts of kindness and love and with minds of justice and peace” reminds us that we are called to continue to strengthen our sense of belonging to God and one another, to express our belief in God through our vision and mission, and to work to achieve our goals as people on a common mission.
“Seeing things through the eyes of faith does not mean wearing rose colored glasses and approaching things with a certain naiveté. Rather, faith is the lens that helps all of us to see God’s hand at work in our lives and in our world, perhaps especially when that presence is not immediately obvious." As we read in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is confident assurance of what we hope for; conviction about things we do not see.” "Seeing with the eyes of faith, then, is nothing more, but certainly nothing less than believing that the God who loved us and our world into existence, will always hold us in love, and ultimately will bring us home to live with God forever.” - Susan Hoo-Kong Taylor, TCDSB NCC
By walking humbly with God, we are invited to closely examine our identity, privilege, and the gifts that God has accorded to us, in relation to the systems of oppression still in existence, and through this, discern what God calls us to do, as models of faith and hope.
Furthermore, we are encouraged to discern how our daily choices impact nature, and how this in turn leads to inequities, so that we can live with faith and hope to honour all of God's creations in mindful ways.
Together, we embody being one Body of Christ, as we minister to others with justice and compassion. Collaboratively on a life-long faith formation journey, we nurture our spirit and strengthen our faith as Catholics called to full and conscious participation in Sacraments embracing Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation.
Access our Year 1 resources: