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Archbishop Leo's Message for Catholic Education Week

Posted : May-01-2024

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5 May 2024

My dear friends,

I join with the Catholic community throughout Ontario in celebrating Catholic Education Week, taking place this year from May 5-10 and drawing on the theme, “We Are Called To Love”.

It has been a joy this past year to visit Catholic schools in our archdiocese. I have witnessed the caring and thoughtful staff and volunteers who give so generously of their time and their heart to nurture and support students. It has also been wonderful to encounter the young people themselves, pupils who are striving to follow the example of Jesus, energizing our Catholic schools with their creativity, knowledge, service to others and faith in action.

I extend my gratitude to all those who support and strengthen Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Toronto. We are mindful of the critical partnership between parish, home and school, recognizing that each member is called to share the joy of our faith wherever we are, each and every day. “Called to love” entails looking to Jesus who showed us how to love and whom to love. His new commandment - to love one another as he loves us (Jn 13:34) - is both a challenge to witness what it truly means to be a believer and follower of the Risen Christ, as well as an opportunity to grow in virtue, personally and in community. Faith-led Catholic education is a tangible and life-giving way to love in the manner of Jesus, as we impart, through our Catholic schools, not only knowledge, but wisdom too; not only information but formation as well; not only a sense of our humanity but likewise the call to become saints.

In Ontario, we have a precious gift in publicly funded Catholic education, one that must be carefully and thoughtfully tended to as we nurture the seeds of faith in our young people and journey with families in their vocation. Let us be mindful of our huge responsibility to offer authentic Christian witnessing, to impart authentic Catholic teaching and to model the precepts of the moral life to our students. It is a grace-filled opportunity to invite them to discover and share with others the personal love of Jesus Christ, encountering Him in daily prayer, in the seven sacraments and in service to those in need, those who are lost, those who are abandoned in our community.  

Be assured of my prayers, gratitude and closeness with you as together we celebrate Catholic Education Week this year. May the example of our Catholic schools be pleasing to the Lord and may we continue to support and care for our precious youth, God’s children, as they grow and learn in their daily faith journey.

May the Blessed Mother, whom we venerate with special devotion in the month of May, continue to intercede for us with her Son, Jesus.

Sincerely Yours in Jesus with Mary,

Most Rev. Francis Leo

Metropolitan Archbishop of Toronto