Features/Features

The world’s most famous quintuplets, the five Dionne girls, were born May 28, 1934 to poor Catholic parents Oliva and Elzire Dionne on their farm near Corbeil, Ont. They were the first quints to survive infancy and were instant global sensations. Fearing they would be exploited, the Ontario government made the girls wards of the province with special legislation (the Croll Bill). It prompted a fierce debate over parental rights, which played out in the pages of The Register. Later, a fierce custody battle resulted in the girls returning to their parents in 1943 after an early childhood that saw them put on public display in a specially-built hospital and nursery called Quintland. In 1998, three surviving sisters won a $2.8 million settlement from Ontario as a result of their exploitation. In the April 11, 1935 Register, the parents made their case against the Croll Bill in a letter to the editor:

Three-year plan puts Toronto Catholic schools to the test

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A new, three-year pastoral plan will drive Toronto’s 195 Catholic schools and 91,000 Catholic students to a deeper sense of who they are and what they are meant to be, even as campaigning Ontario politicians promise to tinker with school curricula to gain votes.

Assassination attempt on St. John Paul II stuns world

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There was worldwide disbelief on May 13, 1981 as word spread that Pope John Paul II had been shot four times in an assassination attempt. The gunman was sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned in 2000 at the request of John Paul. This is The Catholic Register’s report in the wake of the the attempt on the pontiff’s life, from May 23, 1981:

Kitchener students build a wall to break barriers

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The kids at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener, Ont., are breaking down walls with science, or more accurately, one particular wall in the middle of their school gym. 

Toronto students team up with suffering youth in Attawapiskat through soccer

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To the boys on the senior high school soccer team, it was only natural to reach out to people their age who were suffering in the northern part of the province. 

Catholic schools lead students to embrace lessons far from home

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Twenty-four Catholic high school students and five adult supervisors gathered in Consuelo, Dominican Republic, to debrief our day. We had toured a batay (sugar workers’ village) outside the city along a road that by Canadian standards would be considered impassible.

Are there lessons to be learned from U.S. educators?

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Bigger is better and if we don’t get better we’re going to get beat, is the message one religious education teacher has brought back from a giant American convention for Catholic teachers.

Ontario bishops commit to ‘renewing the promise’ of Catholic education

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Catholic schools have a “unique opportunity” to guide young people through the social, ethical and economic challenges of today, Ontario’s bishops say in a pastoral letter for education.

Abolition threats knock on the door of Catholic education

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A sampling of recent media indicates voices are again ramping up their call for one school system in Ontario or, in short, for the abolishment of Catholic schools.