A provincial symposium hosted by the Institute for Catholic Education on May 9 and 10 focused on the topic of Adult Faith Formation in Catholic Education. The event was a unique gathering that brought together representation from across the province from both French and English publicly funded Catholic schools.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board sent a delegation of participants which included students, teachers, adult faith animators, parents, principals, Superintendents of Education, Directors of Education, Chairs of Boards and trustees. The symposium also welcomed Diocesan representatives, deacons, priests, and Bishops from across Ontario, and the organizations that support Catholic Education in both French and English. It was a representation of the breadth and depth of French and English Catholic Education in Ontario and beyond.
The theme this year, “On the Way/ En Chemin,” builds on Renewing the Promise that was grounded in the story of the road to Emmaus. Dr. Jill Gowdie, keynote speaker, reminded attendees that in the Catholic tradition, our journey of faith “happens only in and through each other ‘on the way’.”
Renewing the Promise points to the importance of adult faith formation: "The Catholic Education community is encouraged to support opportunities for faith formation for all members of the community in ways that are inviting, engaging, and purposeful" (p. 24).
“We know all of us are working on adult faith formation in Catholic Education with a wide variety of programming,” says Secondary Religion Consultant Jennifer Curtis. “Rather than focusing on programming itself, On the Way/En Chemin will help us examine the processes, principles and patterns that ground or ought to ground that programming.”
Extending a special thank you to Grace Cino and Melissa Caliris, senior art students at St. Jean de Brébeuf “for answering the call to create,” she added, “Collaboratively, Grace and Melissa brought the theme ‘On the Way/En Chemin,’ visually to life on a canvas that was brought to the symposium and added to a provincial installation displayed at the symposium.”