2024 Inaugural Board Meeting

Chairperson Patrick J. Daly Embraces the Spirit of Advent, Inspires Hope, and Casts a Vision for Catholic Education at 2024 Board Meeting
Posted on 11/22/2023
Chairperson Patrick Daly

Patrick J. Daly, Chairperson of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, delivered an address at the 2024 Initial Meeting of the Board on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, held at the Father Kennedy Catholic Education Centre.

Opening with the words, "From the quiet Galilean hills explode a hope, a promise, a guarantee," re-elected Chairperson Patrick Daly set a tone of anticipation and gratitude as the community approached the blessed season of Advent, 'that period of anticipatory joy.’ In a gathering that included His Excellency Bishop Crosby, special guests, fellow Trustees, Student Trustees, Senior Staff, family members, and other attendees, Daly expressed appreciation for the hope and promise that Catholic education contributes to the lives of students, families, the Church, and society.

As the Board begins its second year of this term of office, Daly recognized the faith-filled service of his colleagues, the Trustees of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, portraying them as shining examples of effective advocates, political and servant leaders, and good stewards of publicly funded Catholic education.

Restating his conviction regarding the urgency of prioritizing naming, claiming, and giving witness to the Catholic Identity of Catholic schools, Daly drew inspiration from an article he continues to reflect on, highlighting the chance and courage Catholic schools possess in being courageous and different within a culture sliding toward sameness.

"We are in a culture that loves to talk about difference – but actually, our educational institutions are constantly sliding toward sameness, so Catholic schools have the chance and the courage to be different."

Daly reiterated the urgency with a conviction rooted in a deep appreciation for the Catholic school system's 171-year rich tradition. He clarified that this urgency arises not from discouragement but from a clear-eyed understanding of the changing and increasingly valuable contribution Catholic schools make to the evangelization of young people.

Highlighting causes for hope and opportunity, Daly acknowledged the goodness of staff and students, citing specific examples of opportunities for the future.

Regarding opportunities, Daly outlined three significant recommendations:

Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) Development: Reflecting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board prudently deferred the MYSP during the 2018-2022 term. Daly proposed initiating the development of a new MYSP for 2024-2027 in early 2024.
Renewal of "Learning with Faith": Due to the pandemic and other factors, the renewal of the Board’s Catholic school identity resource was delayed. Under the leadership of the Superintendent, a committee has been re-established to review and re-found this valuable document. Daly expressed hope for the positive impact of this process, awaiting consideration by the Board of Trustees and eventual sharing throughout the Catholic school system.
Three-Step Budget Driver Development Process: Daly recommended a strategic approach to the budget driver development process, consisting of a foundational commitment to “place Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church at the center of students' learning experiences”, six pillars expressing key commitments, and identification of annual priorities.

Daly commented on the six pillars he envisioned as being;
Foundation – Placing Christ at the Center
Dignity of the Human Person
Adult Faith Formation and Catholic Leadership Development
Home – Parish – School Triad
Student and Staff Mental Health and Well-Being
Good Stewardship

In recognition of the distinct yet complimentary vocations of all those who contribute to the strengthening of community within our Catholic school system, Daly quoted St. John Paul II who wrote, “This work bears a particular mark of humanity, the work of a person operating within a community of persons.”

Daly concluded his address with words of thanks to Bishop Crosby, his family, fellow trustees, Director of Education David Hansen, Associate Director of Corporate Services Paola Pace-Gubekjian and members of Senior Administration, principals, and vice-principals, employee group representatives, administrative and support staff, teachers and school staff, parents, parishes, and students. With deep appreciation and conviction, he restated his belief that now “is the God given time of grace to sail boldly and courageously into the sea of evangelization and mission.”

In other business, Trustee John Valvasori was re-elected Vice-Chairperson of the Board. Trustee Mary Nardini was elected Chairperson of the Religion, Family Life and Faith Formation Committee and Trustee Mark Valvasori was elected Chairperson of the Student Achievement and Well-Being Committee.

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board looks forward to a year filled with hope, promise, and opportunities, guided by their unwavering commitment to Catholic education and the teachings of Christ.

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Daly, Chairperson of the Board
905-525-2930, Ext. 2162

Board building