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Our schools are filled with inspiring students and staff that are making a positive impact on the world around them. These stories highlight some of the wonderful things that are happening in Ottawa Catholic schools every day. If you have a story you would like to share, Tweet the link to us @OttCatholicSB or send us an email at connect@ocsb.ca
Oct
12

2016 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award Winner

This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Bishop Christian Riesbeck. An alumni of St. Pius X High School, he was born in Montreal on February 7, 1970. Over his lifetime, he's earned several degrees: a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Divinity from St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, and both a master's degree and a licentiate in Canon Law from Saint Paul University in Ottawa. He also speaks English, French, Spanish, and German.

Bishop Riesbeck has selflessly served the Catholic church for over 20 years. He was ordained to the priesthood as a member of the Companions of the Cross on October 12, 1996, by the then Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Marcel Gervais. After doing pastoral work in the Archdioceses of Ottawa and Kingston for brief periods in the late 1990s, he served as pastor of Queen of Peace parish in Houston, Texas from 1999 to 2008. After obtaining his degree in Canon Law shortly afterwards, he was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Ottawa in January 2011. Then, on January 7, 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Reverend Christian Riesbeck, C.C., as Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa. At the time of his appointment, he was the Chancellor of the Archdiocese and the Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross – a priestly society of apostolic life founded in Ottawa.

Bishop Riesbeck takes his responsibilities as a Catholic leader seriously. Before taking up his duties at Queen of Peace parish in Texas, he spent seven weeks learning Spanish so he could better serve the area's large Hispanic community. Under his committed leadership, the parish was revitalized: the number of parishioners, religious education classes, and the parish school enrolment all increased significantly.

His nominators describe him as a kind and approachable leader, and say he stands out as a young member of the Church who has chosen to dedicate himself to religious life at a time when ordinations are in decline. Despite always being very busy, he always finds a way to make time to assist with school and board activities. His kind presence is always welcomed by teachers and students, and he has been known to join student hockey games while visiting schools.

For all these reasons and more, Bishop Riesbeck is an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with, and an exceptional role model for all graduates of the OCSB. There is no one more deserving of the 2016 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.

Bishop Riesbeck has chosen to split the $5000 award between St. Pius X High School and Dr. F. J. McDonald School

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Oct
11

OCSB Schools Raise Over $25,000 for OK Clean Water

The OCSB is celebrating another successful year of partnership with OK Clean Water, as 28 of our schools brought in an impressive $25,443.84 to support sustainable clean water projects in Kumbo, Cameroon. Both students and staff participated in a wide variety of creative fundraising efforts: walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, spirit days, coin lines, bake sales, chores at home, and many more. One group of students put together a presentation for their classmates. Some staff even volunteered to shave their heads if fundraising goals were met - let's just say their heads have been chillier than normal recently!

Currently, thanks to OK Clean Water, 43 villages have access to clean water, and more villagers are waiting in hope. In addition to providing the materials and planning for the village projects, the Cameroonian engineer, Edwin Visi, provides workshops for the villagers to ensure the sustainability of their clean water projects. An Advisory Committee has also recently been established to oversee the projects in each village and to make suggestions whenever needed.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the following schools took part in fundraising efforts for this worthy and important cause:

Dr. F.J. McDonald, Good Shepherd, Holy Family, Holy Redeemer, Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, Monsignor Paul Baxter, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Victory, St. Anne, St. Augustine, St. Bernard, St. Brigid, St. Daniel, St. Emily, St. Francis Xavier, St. Gemma, St. George, St. Jerome, St. John the Apostle, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Luke, St. Michael (Corkery), St. Michael (Fitzroy), St. Michael (Ottawa), St. Rita, Thomas D'Arcy McGee Catholic, and Uplands Catholic.

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Oct
04

​October is Outstanding Principal month!

Did you ever have a principal who motivated you to do your best? Who helped you before and after school with some needed extra help? Who was the very best sports coach ever?

Well now's your chance to nominate your own child's outstanding principal!

After a rushed start-up to a new school year, October is a fitting month to sit back, smell the roses, as they say, and celebrate outstanding principals from across Canada.

The Learning Partnership is asking people to recognize and nominate the leaders of their children's school for Canada's Most Outstanding Principal.

President and CEO of The Learning Partnership, Akela Peoples, likens principals as the "linchpins of their schools. They are educators, managers and leaders in their communities, and we recognize their indispensable contributions in building and leading teams of great teachers and positively impacting student achievement and success."

We encourage all parents to share your stories online with photos, videos and tributes to principals who are making such a marked difference in your children's lives by using the #OutstandingPrincipals hashtag.

You can also visit http://cop.thelearningpartnership.ca and submit your nomination for a principal who you feel deserves this special recognition.

Don't be shy! But please hurry!

Nominations must be completed and submitted by midnight, October 31.

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Oct
03

Sent to be the Good News

We are excited to begin the school year with a new and profound Board spiritual theme – Sent to be the Good News.

This two-year theme represents a natural progression for the Board, as it provides a way for our staff, students and community to dig deeper in the Gospel to make real and meaningful connections.

This theme is inspired by the following passage:

Gospel of Luke, 4:14-20

"The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."

This passage calls for us to bring the Good News to all learners and their families, and to rediscover and deepen our commitment to the gift of faith in our lives.

Stay tuned to this webpage and individual school sites as we witness these words in action.

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Sep
23

Mother Teresa Holds Canonization Mass

On Tuesday, Mother Teresa High School hosted an open air mass to celebrate the Catholic Church's canonization of Mother Teresa. Students, staff, and special guests gathered in the back courtyard for the celebration, which was presided over by Archbishop Terence Prendergast. Opening remarks were made by Mother Teresa Principal Gerard Stephenson, OCSB Chairperson Elaine McMahon, and Director of Education Denise Andre. The school also presented Elaine McMahon with a framed picture of Mother Teresa to commemorate the special day. After the mass, a special reflection was read by the head of Mother Teresa's English Department Mrs. Jennifer Simpson, followed by doves being released. It was a truly beautiful and moving ceremony. Check out our Facebook album for more photos of the event.

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