Lindsay Liske was voted to the position of Chair of the Board of Trustees in December. Earlier this month he gave his opening address after the inaugural mass for trustees at the St. Mary’s College chapel. The following was his address to the audience on Wednesday, January 16.
Welcome to everyone, a special welcome is extended to our school community who has gathered with us to celebrate this moment. Thank you for your support and presence.
The theme for this academic year as offered by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is; Living as Joyful Disciples. We started the year on Faith Day by acknowledging some of the staff who exemplify this theme and we were encouraged by David Wells (aka Mr. Bean – seriously he has been one of the best speakers we have ever had at a Faith Day) to be grateful disciples.
Each of the days during Catholic Education Week has one facet to Living as Joyful Disciples theme.
We are invited to be rooted in prayer. A few minutes in conversation with our God helps us to live out our baptism, of which last Sunday we celebrated Christ’s Baptism. Of all the lessons our students learn, the lessons on how to pray may be the most valuable for their whole lives. May we, as trustees and school staff, commit ourselves to grow in our personal relationship with God and so that we may be an example for others and show the broader community that there is a difference being part of the Catholic school community.
We are invited to live in community. We represent the Catholic learning community of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board. It is good for us to attend school community functions such as masses, plans Christmas concerts and bake sales so we develop the full potential of each child. If our decisions as trustees are to support our mission, we need to know and be part of the community.
We are called to do justice and create hope. Our board is known for its contributions to soup kitchens, food banks, Joyful Socks, Development & Peace and the Holy Childhood Association. We are working to slowly reconcile our relationships with our indigenous brothers and sisters through offering the Blanket Exercise to our staff and students. We are striving to decrease the negative influences that poverty can have in the lives of our students. One activity the trustees will be doing this year is having a retreat where we can self-reflect and look at ways on which we can be better stewards to our community and serve and promote Catholic education. There is always so much more that we can do.
Journeying together in faith can guide us. These are challenging times. Our new provincial government has its own priorities and we will have to adjust as it makes changes. There seems to be a tension in the world that did not seem as obvious the last time I was chair of the board. It is the time for us to work together every day to make the world around us more peaceful and joyful. We do this by treating everyone we meet as a child of God. By offering encouraging words we can support one another. Through out witness of faith we can offer hope to those around us.
Sharing the good news. This is the last of the daily themes for Catholic Education Week 2019. May our schools be places where the gospel is proclaimed using words and actions. May our schools be safe and vibrant places in which our students come to learn and grow. May God’s loving presence shower blessing upon all in our Catholic school communities.
We are entrusted with the profound responsibility of stewardship of the mission of Catholic education. It is a privilege, I cannot emphasize this enough, to serve the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board staff and students, a privilege that we should respect and not take lightly.