Bringing the Catholic community together to discuss Catholic education and its role in Canada encourages conversation and connectivity, which is why the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association is counting down the days until this September’s national conference, Catholic Education: A National Conversation.
With a theme of ‘Nurturing the Seed’, this year’s conference will build on the groundwork laid in 2008’s initial conference, and will be held in Ottawa from Sept. 22-24, 2011.
CCSTA President Paula Peroni says this conference will encourage dialogue, helping to better define the role Catholic education plays on a global and national scale.
“The conference’s purpose is to bring people together from across the country in order to articulate just what Catholic education is,” she says. “We all know it is different but we struggle with the wording at times. It is also about the promotion of Catholic education and to let people know that it is alive and well and that it continues to be a success story.”
Peroni says attendee participation and interaction is what made the first conference such a success.
“I believe that the first event was so successful because of the conference format,” she says. “We engaged everyone in attendance and it was truly a conversation. It was very interactive and people really enjoyed the fact that they could participate so fully, not just attend and listen.”
CCSTA wants to ensure Catholic education remains at the forefront of our minds, and we invite and encourage you to attend.
Who Should Attend
Peroni says everyone within a Catholic parish would benefit from attending the conference.
“We invite everyone to attend because in some way, as Catholics, we are connected to and are responsible for Catholic education. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have children in the system or are not directly related to the education sector in some way,” she says. “But our connection is our Catholicity. So we invite CWL, Knights, educators, trustees really anyone from our community.”
Peroni also encourages parents and teachers to attend, as they will walk away with better perspective of the Catholic education system.
“I think that parents, teachers and the whole Catholic community in attendance will gain a deeper understanding of just what our education system is; to hear of its continued and ongoing success, as well as our challenges,” she says. “It is a great opportunity not only to learn, but to share.”
What to Expect
The planning committee has incorporated keynote speakers as well as vignettes, conversations and liturgies into the schedule, allowing for full participant engagement and dialogue.
CCSTA has lined up an exciting keynote speaker roster, all of whom bring religious knowledge, experience, and ideas to the table.
The conference will launch with a keynote address from Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN John Allan. The speaker list also includes Lou Rocha, Fr. Michael Dechant, Archbishop Thomas Collins, Pierre Allard and Sylvain Beauregard. To learn more about the keynote speakers, visit the conference website.
Registration is Open!
Registration opens Monday, March 21 for the September conference, and you can sign up electronically by visiting the conference website. The cost per participant is $350, and out of town participants can make hotel reservations at the host venue, the Marriott Hotel in downtown Ottawa. The rate is $169 per night when you use the reservation code CETCETA. For further information about the conference, registration and hotel reservation, visit the conference website or contact CCSTA Executive Director, John Stunt, at 613-224-4455 ext. 2521 or via email at
CCSTA encourages you to join us and help enrich our conversation on the future direction of Catholic education in Canada, because nurturing the seed is as vital as sowing the seed.