The Parish Community of St. Kevin

Served by the Holy Cross Fathers

303 Niagara Street
Welland, Ontario  L3C 1K5
905-735-5885
News

On this page, we will post items of interest to the Parish and the community.

If you have suggestions, please contact the Fr. Vijay or Tim Donohue

 

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"Buttons for Syria"

 

Pictureed above:  Lauren Audino, Sophia Belcastro, and Owen Gallagher

"Children Making a Difference"

 

The "Buttons for Syria" campaign at St. Kevin School was a huge success. The social justice team created and sold handmade buttons everyday at lunch to raise money to donate to Development and Peace, which will be matched by the government ($364.30; therefore, $728.60). They also sold buttons at two masses raising money ($309.00) to directly help the Syrian refugee families that will be hosted by parishioners here in Welland. That is over a $1000 impact!!

The Children Making a Difference (social justice) team consists of students in Grades 6-8 that have a passion for making the world a better place. We support many causes throughout the course of the school year, such as, monthly contests for each grade to donate non-perishable food to Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (food items that are in turn donated to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank at St. Kevin Parish), the recent "Buttons for Syria" campaign, a Hat and Mitten tree collection during Advent (donations to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank and Harvest Kitchen patrons as well as Women's Place), filling Backpacks of Hope during Lent to send to children in Guatemala as well as other Free the Children fundraisers such as selling Rafiki chains and collecting spare change. We attempt to follow the "Me to We" philosophy which means to think less of ourselves and more of the greater good, just like Jesus taught us to do.  'For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11

 

Gunn To Share Views On Ecological Justice, Climate Issues

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – For growing numbers, it is the hottest issue on the planet.
Climate change – and ecological justice – will be the focus of an address by Joe Gunn, executive director, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), when he visits Welland.

Gunn is guest speaker for St. Kevin Parish’s 2015 Distinguished Speaker Night, Monday, Nov. 23.

His address is titled: Living Faithfully Into a New Climate – Christian Responses to Ecological Justice at the Paris Climate Summit.”

Timing of the address in Welland could not be more perfect. It is only days before the Paris climate conference opens and weeks after release of the Pope’s encyclical letter, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be To You) so the topic should be high profile, especially in view of the advance coverage that will be accorded the summit meeting and the coverage already given the encyclical letter.

It also dovetails with similar-themed activities taking place in the parish earlier in November and afterward. More information on these will be available at a later date.

Gunn is well versed on ecological justice, the encyclical letter and the climate summit. He has written pieces for various publications about them and in addition, ecological justice is a focal point along with refugee rights and poverty elimination, of CPJ, a member-driven, faith-based public policy organization in Ottawa.

One of his articles, Can the Pope’s Letter Create a “Tipping Point” on Climate Change was written for Huffington Post and can be found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/joe-gunn/pope-climate-change_b_7619898.html

This November’s will be the 18th Distinguished Speaker Night at St. Kevin’s. Previous guests have included journalists Joe Fiorito and Michael Valpy, theologians and social justice activists Father Bill Ryan SJ, and Mary Jo Leddy, and Merton scholar and academic Michael Higgins. It is held in St. Kevin’s parish hall, start time to be announced. Distinguished Speaker Night is open to the community.

(Joe Barkovich, a former reporter and city editor, lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario)

Three Receive Social Justice Scholarship

 

Three students, two of them graduates of Notre Dame College School, Welland,  and one a graduate of E. L. Crossley Secondary School, Pelham, are recipients of the 2015 St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship:

 

Notre Dame grad Brevin Graziani is a recipient of the 2015 St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship, presented at ND’s convocation Wednesday evening, June 24. Brevin will be in Brock University’s Dramatic Arts – Co-op, Fine and Performing Arts program in the fall. Soup’s On!, a luncheon held at St. Kevin parish, Welland, annually in January, is the main fundraiser for the $1,000 scholarship. Brevin is shown receiving a copy of the Social Doctrine of the Church from scholarship committee member Mim Gibbons June 9 after interviews with the committee.

Notre Dame grad Tasha Trudel is a recipient of the 2015 St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship, presented at ND’s convocation Wednesday evening, June 24. Tasha will attend University of Guelph, in the Leadership and Occupational Management program in the fall. Soup’s On!, a luncheon held at St. Kevin parish, Welland, annually in January, is the main fundraiser for the $1,000 scholarship. Tasha is shown receiving a copy of the Social Doctrine of the Church from scholarship committee member Jessica Soul June 9 after interviews with the committee.

E.L. Crossley grad Jessika Elizabeth Rimar is a recipient of the 2015 St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship, presented at Crossley’s convocation on Thursday evening, June 25. Jessika will attend Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, in Business Accounting/Business Administration Accounting (Academic/COOP) program in the fall. Soup’s On!, a luncheon held at St. Kevin parish, Welland, annually in January, is the main fundraiser for the $1,000 scholarship. Jessika is shown receiving a copy of the Social Doctrine of the Church from scholarship committee member Jessica Soul June 9 after interviews with the committee. Pictured in the background in all three photos is St. Andre Bessette, Congregation of Holy Cross.

Thank you Joe Barkovich


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Valedictorian, Conary Coyne, presented an eloquent speech to the graduating class stressing the importance of gratitude and assisting one another in life. Conary is the recipient of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship; one of 25 engineering scholarships given out in Canada. Conary is pictured here with ND principal Ralph DeFazio (Photo courtesy Kevin Grand/Notre Dame College School)

Valedictorian Speech, Conary Coyne, Notre Dame College School Class of 2015, Wednesday, June 24.

Good evening family, friends, guests, faculty of Notre Dame and fellow graduates. I am truly honoured and humbled to have the privilege to represent the amazing graduating class from Notre Dame College School in 2015.

Congratulations! We made it! The last four years together have been an amazing journey and on behalf of all the graduates I would like to extend a thank you to all of those who have touched our lives and helped to guide us along the way. First off, I’d like to thank the big man himself, our principal Mr. DeFazio. The memories of the accordion-playing leprechaun and the man who became like a father to us, will remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives. To our VP’s, Mr. Belcastro and Mrs. Quinn-Boyer, our teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, chaplain, the Holy Cross Fathers, secretaries, caretakers and all the staff who worked tirelessly to make Notre Dame a second home for us, thank you. And to you, our parents and family members, for all the sacrifices you have made to raise us to the people we are today. We would not be here without all of you. Thank you.

We are here to celebrate our milestone of graduating high school and the journey that we have been on together for the last few years. For many of us, high school has been the best years of our lives. For others, this journey has come with many challenges and difficulties. But we are all coming out of this together, as one graduating class. Our experiences have shaped us into the people that we have become today, and Notre Dame has become an integral part of our lives. Our Catholic faith and teachings have molded us into upstanding citizens, with strong moral consciences and who are always there for one another.

Four years ago, we entered Notre Dame as baby-faced, naïve children, awestruck by the seniors towering over us, the crowded maze of hallways, the pressure of having to write exams for the first time. And now, in just a blink of an eye, we are sitting here together, decked out in cap and gown, as graduates. We have been through a lot together on this journey. Whether it be through academics, athletics or clubs, we have enjoyed numerous experiences that have bonded us into a tight-knit family. We bled blue and gold as we worked together in the class room, as we gave it our all on the sports fields, as we hit the slopes with ski club, as we performed in the musical, as we solved intricate math problems for Mathletes, as we challenged our brains through chess, Reach, or other clubs. We worked together to instill the Catholic faith teachings and invoke social justice through the Pilgrimage and the Walk Against Male Violence. Under the guidance and influence of Catholic educators, we were able to create a strong faith community that promoted the dignity and acceptance of all. Notre Dame has a great deal to offer and we all found our own individual niches and flourished within them, but when put together we became something even greater. Together we have learned new skills, discovered new interests, developed long-lasting friendships. We have learned how to live as a Catholic citizen in the global community and we have become a part of the undeniable Fighting Irish tradition.

I have mentioned a number of times that our four years together at high school was a journey, and it truly was. To help me with this, I have brought along a familiar face. For those of you who do not know the goose that is now on my head, I will provide a quick back story. Following our graduation prom, we gathered as a class for one of the final times, and I brought along six of these geese that quickly became a hit amongst the graduates. However, these geese are much more than some crazy thing to wear on your head. In fact, they epitomize our journey together, our journey as students of Catholic education and our future journeys through life.

When geese migrate, they fly in a V-formation and take turns leading the way and breaking the wind for their flock mates. They would never be able to complete their journey on their own, they need the support and co-operation of every member in the flock. We are not graduating today as 263 individuals, but we are graduating as one. We were on this journey together, and we all helped to carry each other through it. We were all pivotal members that displayed loyalty, camaraderie, compassion and teamwork as we worked together towards graduation. The memories and friendships that we have created together as classmates on this journey will last for all of our lifetimes. Graduates, look to your left and to your right, look around this arena at all of our classmates and all of the wonderful people that came here to support us tonight. We could not have made it here without them, and they could not have made it here without us. Our journey has been shaped by all of the characters and loving people in our lives.

When a goose gets sick or injured on their journey, a healthy one will stay behind and nurse it back to the group. Whenever one of us were down or struggling through the difficulties of high school life, there were numerous faces to turn to for support. As a class, we never let our friends or classmates fall behind because we were all on this journey towards graduation together. The Notre Dame family can be likened to Mary Stevenson’s famous poem about a person is walking with God through the sand as their life flashes before them. However, during the most difficult times in their life, they can only see one set of footprints, because God is carrying them. Whenever we struggled through our journey, we were not only carried by God, but we were carried by our classmates, family and teachers as well. God was the guide and together we travelled on His back and on the backs of us all.

As we move on in our separate ways, no matter what they may be, remember that all of life is a journey and in order to make it through, we need to support those in our lives and be supported in return. A journey is not a solitary trek, but rather a group effort as we all strive to achieve our goals and share them with others.

We will never forget this four-year journey through high school and the amazing bonds we formed together. We will forever be Fighting Irish. Nobody can take these memories and this tradition away from us. Congratulations Class of 2015 and together let’s all say this with me. We are…!

Response: N.D.!

Thank you

(Photo courtesy Kevin Grand/Notre Dame College School)

Thank you Joe Barkovich


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We’re Not Taking Care Of Each Other, Columnist Laments

 

Columnist Joe Fiorito was guest speaker Monday evening at St. Kevin parish, Welland. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)
By Wayne Campbell and Joe Barkovich, Scribblers-at-large
Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiorito in observations and readings drew a grim sketch of Canadian society today.

 

This year’s guest at  Monday evening’s St. Kevin’s Distinguished Speaker address said we are developing into a society in which we are not taking care of each other.

He gave examples of politicians, social workers, and social housing operators turning their backs on those in most need of help.
In his column, Fiorito writes about social problems and triumphs in Toronto.
Too often it is the former rather than the latter, he said. The popular column appears in The Star’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday editions.
He would like to stop writing about the misery and start writing about a revolution.
Something is wrong when governments are not really motivated to help “the lowest of the low,” he said.
He told the story about an elderly man evicted from his apartment who died after sleeping under the porch of his building for a week.

 

No one thought to ask him why he was sleeping there, said Fiorito.
The inquest into his death brought down 85 recommendations in what was called “death by bureaucracy.”
It basically told social workers, housing officials and other government workers “to do your damn job,” he said.
A major problem today is that governments are afraid to collect taxes.
“By saving money in the short term they are causing incredible misery.”
This in turn leads to increasing costs in policing, health care, and other major expenditures to deal with the outcome.

 

“Who says we live in a world of scarcity?” he asked about the typical political response.
Fiorito said the work done by churches “should be the icing on the cake for society, unfortunately the cake is disappearing.”
More and more social services are falling on the shoulders of churches and other charities.
“Food banks were supposed to be a temporary measure now they have become an institution.”
(An unforgettable headline is one that appeared in The Star, June 30, 2003, about how food banks moved from a short-term to long-term measure: “How a snack became an endless meal”).
Fiorito said Canada is moving toward an American model where the reliance for care is on private charities. Those in need must come to them as supplicants rather than as deserving citizens.
Despite the gloom Fiorito sees solutions.
“We have to call our politicians to account,” he said.
“They have to be led, cajoled and kicked in the butt.”

 

At the same time, organizations that want change have got to get together.
“Churches now do it individually, not collectively,” he said. “Do you realize what your collective power would be?”
To the audience of about 80, Fiorito suggested starting a community newspaper as a worthwhile project to tackle community issues. But it should not be as an organ of the church, he said.
Throughout the evening, the columnist stressed the need for each person to take responsibility for the society they want to live in.
“Take pride in your contribution and don’t let it be whittled away.”
To those in despair of acting, he said “we are all in this together, there is no use sitting around doing nothing.” ‘We’re All In This Together’ was the theme of his address.
Later in the evening, Fiorito said those promoting social justice and a caring society “should not just make moral arguments but also make economic arguments.”
If you have less poverty and more people working, you have more contributing to economic health of the society, he said.
The money spent on training, housing and other programs to get them out of poverty are paid back many times over.
Fiorito declined the honoriam for being guest speaker, choosing to donate it to St. Kevin Food Bank.


 (Wayne Campbell and Joe Barkovich are long-time journalists and also parishioners at St. Kevin Church, Welland, where Distinguished Speaker Night is held annually. The next is on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.)