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Fr. Stan Fortuna: what works for Catholic schools.



Toronto -- At a time when the existence of Ontario Catholic schools is being questioned, and in a place where many students have barriers to learning, Fr. Stan Fortuna, C.F.R. drilled home the basics of "Faith and Family" with a three-day high school mission to students, parents, and teachers on May 16-18, 2007.

Thanks especially to the efforts of dedicated staff, the internationally-known "Rapping Reverend" from the South Bronx was welcomed back to Dante Alighieri Academy, a Catholic secondary school in northwest Toronto, for an expanded follow-up to a concert the previous year.

Dante students frequently come from families struggling to pay their bills, settle into a new country following recent immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. , and adjust to tragedies, separations and/or divorces. Disproportionate numbers of students speak languages other than English LOTE or Languages Other Than English is the name given to language subjects at Australian schools. LOTEs have often historically been related to the policy of multiculturalism, and tend to reflect the predominant non-English languages spoken in a school's local area, the  at home, and/or require special education. Just 72 percent of Dante's grade nine students passed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is a standardized test that is compulsory for students who wish to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. It was established in 2001, under the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario government under Mike Harris.  (OSSLT OSSLT Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (Canada) ) this year, compared to 84 percent in the province as a whole (www.tcdsb.org, Mar. 2007).

On top of these burdens, the students are immersed in media which disparage dis·par·age  
tr.v. dis·par·aged, dis·par·ag·ing, dis·par·ag·es
1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.

2. To reduce in esteem or rank.
 the values that had traditionally been conveyed through the cooperative efforts of home, school, and parish. But by regularly 'switching channels' in his delivery, Fr. Stan kept the attention of students used to constant change with their electronic devices. He was well-received as he interspersed serious messages from Scripture, the lives of the Saints, and papal teachings with a wide range of music and comedy. Throughout his visit, he exhorted his audience to faith and morality through conversion to Christ.

The mission got underway with an evening talk for parents and teachers on "Reaching Youth in a Media Culture." On the second day, Fr. Start gave a school assembly for the students, on the search for authentic love. He used an acronym for F.A.M.I.L.Y. also found in his lyrics: "Forget About Me, I Love You." On the third day he offered an Instructional Mass--in which he meticulously explained each part of the liturgy, beginning with the vestments he wore. Later on, he concluded his visit with a concert demonstrating his eclectic style and reverence for Truth. "He has challenged students to really think about life's most important questions and the answers, religion teacher Robert Quaglia told Catholic Insight.

Taken as a whole, the mission attested to the importance of strong Catholic schools. Ticket prices were offset by grassroots fundraisers and by support from the both the CSAC CSAC California State Association of Counties
CSAC California Student Aid Commission
CSAC Computer Science Accreditation Commission (ACM)
CSAC Cyberspace Snow and Avalanche Center
CSAC Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
 (Catholic School Advisory Council, primarily comprised of parents) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is one of three school boards in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is one of two English boards of education in the Toronto area.

For French language schools see Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud.
. Committed teachers met with a group of students called the "Fr. Stan Crew" every week over several months to do logistical planning. "Fr. Stan gives of himself so much, and we too encourage the kids (Crew) to give without counting the cost of what they get back in return, really give!" said Quaglia.

While Fr. Stan will be invited to return to the school, it is also anticipated that his third year of involvement with Dante will involve deeper exposure to worship and service with the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal or CFR are a Roman Catholic mendicant offbranch of the Order of the Capuchin Franciscans. This order's members are also known as the Friars of the Renewal. . Fr. Stan is one of the original eight members of the C.F.R., which has been serving the materially poor and evangelizing the Church for 20 years. His own apostolates Organizations of the Catholic laity devoted to the mission of the Church. Explanation
Most understand the term "apostolate" to be synonymous with the term ministry, or outreach, such as "youth ministry.
 include a recording studio and a youth cultural centre, both in the South Bronx.

"We hope to plan a trip to New York (in 2008) and visit the Francisan Community. The trip will be open to all past Fr. Stan crew members who have helped over the years. The trip will be a faith and culture event in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
, maybe over the March Break," said Quaglia.
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:622
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