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Global Teacher Prize nominations

Maggie MacDonnell, niece of Sr. Margie MacDonnell, CND is one of 10 teachers from around the world to be nominated for the Global Teacher Prize. The prize, established by the education charity Varkey Foundation, highlights the importance of teachers while awarding the top educator with $1 million US. Nominees will attend the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March, where the winner will be announced.

Maggie has always been interested in the way sport and recreation can improve many aspects of a person’s life. When she was asked to develop a life-skills program to improve school enrolment for the Kativik School Board in the arctic region of Quebec six years ago, she did much more by establishing fitness programs as well. In a community where the risk of developing diabetes is high and youth suicide is a concern, she wanted to teach kids healthy coping strategies. Maggie worked with the municipality to build a fitness centre that is open to adults and the local schools, and she started a running club to keep kids motivated. The runners are now the faces of the Healthy Choices tour, visiting schools across the region to offer peer-to-peer presentations about issues of mental health, addiction, dropping out of school, and using physical activity to help overcome some of these challenges. The runners are gaining new skills of leadership and public speaking in the process. If Maggie wins, she said she would establish non-profit runs and environmentally-focused programs for northern youth. Visit website

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Lenten Reflection

CND Associate Sharon invites us to see the loving God as always searching for ways to reach through to us.  Blessed Lent!

A reading from the Book of Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7.

I have listened to the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace from varying perspectives over the years, as a child, a parent, and now a grandparent.


The Parent in me echoes:

Never take candy from a stranger!

Be home by 10.

Don’t text and drive.

Just say no!

Don’t eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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March Article for The RI Catholic

Patrick of Ireland is revisited every year by Irish Americans in a quasi-nationalistic-religious way in the days leading up to March 17th. The songs of the many revolutions and dreams of the Irish are sung and cried over; the dancers kick up their heels; the marchers parade, and the drink is passed around freely. Aside from the initial greeting of “A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to ye,” few even mention the man for whom we have the holy day/holiday.

That is unfortunate because Patrick indeed deserves the place he holds in the Church and among the Irish. The many myths surrounding him about shamrocks, snakes and deer pale in comparison to the reality of his life. Patrick was born a citizen of Rome in the area known today as Great Britain. He was the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest. (The Roman Catholic Church had married priests up to the 11th century.)

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