Living as Joyful Disciples, while delivering Catholic education, was the focus of Faith Day 2018 hosted by the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board on Friday, September 28. Employees from all eighteen HSCDSB schools, representing the communities of Blind River, Chapleau, Elliot Lake, Espanola, Hornepayne, Massey, Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa and White River, gathered at St. Mary’s College for the annual Faith Day celebration.
The day began with a video tribute to employees who act as joyful disciples to our students and staff. Director of Education Rose Burton Spohn then addressed the gathering, emphasizing the impact that various employees in Catholic education had had on her life and reminding HSCDSB employees that they might never know the impact that they currently have or have had on the students and families they serve.
This was followed by a celebratory mass officiated by Father Jean-Pierre Mukuna. The highlight of the day was keynote speaker, Dr. David Wells, a renowned speaker from Exmouth, England. Dr. Wells enlightened the staff with his inspirational talk, focusing on being joyful in the workplace, being mindful of the lives we touch, and striving to make these experiences positive and happy for others.
“It was a tremendous day that saw great cooperation, and engagement. This is in large part because of our inspiring keynote speaker, Dr. David Wells; the joyfully celebrated Eucharist; the beautiful slide presentation created by our Communications Department; and the many people who helped to serve and lead throughout the day,” said Burton Spohn. In the afternoon, breakout groups discussed the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations and the pastoral letter ‘Renewing the Promise’ written by the Catholic Bishops of Ontario. The focus of discussion was how to incorporate both documents authentically into our school communities.
Staff members voiced their positive feedback of the day:
- “I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful Faith Day. Though we’ve had many, this by far has been the best one yet! The “opening acts” were very inspiring. Our guest speaker was equally amazing and he left us with something that I think a lot of us really needed, acceptance of who we are and the courage and inspiration to carry out our vocation as Catholic teachers.”
- “I always enjoy when our entire system joins together for mass because it is something so special that sets us apart. David Wells was such a great speaker. His message had me really thinking and reflecting a lot last night. Also, the slideshow about joyful disciples was really wonderful. I think Faith Day was a great success.”
- “I cannot express enough gratitude for today’s Faith Day. What a truly moving and uplifting event. This is what coming together and experiencing our love of our faith is all about. Thank-you, thank-you, thank you!”
This year’s Faith Day celebration reinforced the Board’s theme for the 2018 school year, which is, ‘Living as Joyful Disciples’.