Webinar Series in November


“Parenting Positively in a Pandemic”

Webinar Series in November


Michael Way Skinner

Michael Way Skinner is a pioneer in Ontario on diversity, equity and inclusion. A passionate and spirited advocate of equity opportunities, his leadership has made a significant impact on the lives of so many in our York Catholic community and beyond.

Michael’s First Nations heritage provides him with a unique sensitivity and perspective about the realities of First Nations peoples. His own family represents a rich diversity of races, cultures, and abilities. Together with his wife, Christine, they and their family of five beautiful children embody diversity in every way.

Michael’s work with the LGBTQ community is widely recognized. He was the lead writer for “All God’s Children”, a resource providing pastoral support to LGBTQ students. Michael delivered the keynote address at the 2013 conference of the Catholic Association of Lesbian and Gay Ministries and was awarded the Canadian Society of Yad Vashem’s Merit Award of Excellence for Holocaust Education in 2007.

Michael is a modern day prophet. An expression commonly used to describe a prophet’s ministry is that “they comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” This epitomizes Michael’s very essence. He is strongly committed to fostering courageous, but respectful conversations at all times as he insists that “love, not anger, brings change in people.”

"There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere"

Saturday November 7 – 

Michael will lead us in a conversation including themes from his wife Christine and his book “There Must be a Pony in Here Somewhere” – One of the best ways to develop an intentional practice of looking for signs of God’s presence and goodness in the ordinary events of daily life. Through stories filled with humour and warmth, the Way Skinners book is an attempt to do just that.


Penny Patrician

Penny Patrician brings to her research a wide range of experience and expertise gained through a career in a large urban school board. Having enjoyed four decades in the education sector, in positions ranging from Teacher to Executive Superintendent, Penny has demonstrated a commitment to partnerships and shared high expectations for our children and youth.  Her contributions to education have been recognized provincially – a Realm award for innovation, and an Amethyst award recognizing team contribution to Safe and Accepting schools. Currently she plays a role in the development of policy as well as evidence-informed, leading edge tools and resources to promote parent engagement in their children’s learning.

Penny holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management. Deeply committed to life-long learning, she continues to learn alongside colleagues, researchers, and sector partners.

Parents Matter!

Saturday November 14 – 

More than three decades of research assures us of the importance of parent engagement to student success. In fact, parent engagement has been referred to as the single most important contributory factor to increased student achievement. This workshop will examine some of the myths of parent engagement and explore what matters most to children’s success.  Parents will also have an opportunity to learn about practical tools and resources to support parents in their roles as important members of their children’s education team – as the most important role models, mentors, and learners in their children’s world.



Dr. Anne Jamieson

Dr. Jamieson is a recognized leader in the Ontario education community and has served as a conference speaker, presenter and facilitator of professional development sessions across Canada in the area of curriculum delivery for Religious Education and in faith formation.  A former teacher and university lecturer, Dr. Jamieson is also a published author, who completed her Doctor of Ministry, in the area of catechesis, through the University of Toronto.  As a woman of deep faith, she is committed to building on the legacy of the countless religious women and men who forged and fought for our publicly-funded Catholic Education system in Ontario.

Nurturing Hope

Saturday November 21 –

This year’s theme for Catholic Education Week gives us an image of tender growth – Nurturing Hope.  We’re asked to think about our hope in terms of the whole caring process of preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, and harvesting the fruit. In this time of uncertainty, the need for tender care of our growing hope is clear. Join us as we reflect on who can nurture our hope, how it can be nurtured and what kind of harvest we can expect. Scripture promises us “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” (Is 40:31) Come to be renewed with us!


Miguel Martinez

Miguel was born in El Salvador, on June 5th, 1978 – then moved to Canada when he was six years old.  In his early years, he worked for MuchMusic, representing the network across Canada. He danced on various half-time sports games, television shows, movies, commercials, and music videos.  Miguel is passionate about instilling soft skills at an early age. He has worked with the First Nations to bring active programs to their schools. He has provided workshops for multiple school boards, visiting over 100 schools on average each year, with the MTCLife programs being taught in over 500 schools in Ontario. On a corporate level, Miguel’s program have increased productivity and community participation at Nascent, Gap, PLASP, faculties members for multiple school boards, Canadian Mental Health Association, and multiple churches. Miguel has found Passion & Purpose through Dance, Laughter, and Music – which now serve as cornerstones to MTClife Inc.

Parenting Through The New Normal

Saturday November 21 – 

As families grapple with an ever-changing normal, anxiety can escalate. Like students, parents are placed in difficult times. Trying to struggle with work, childcare, home-based teaching, and parenting may become overbearing. So how we deal with these stresses? Through this highly interactive and engaging workshop, caregivers will discover two principles 1) Strategies to help their child cope with complicated feelings and 2) Develop routines to reestablish normality and increase good mental health.

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