The Jean-Baptiste De La Salle Award is presented by the Catholic Teachers Guild (Toronto Chapter) every August to a teacher who faithfully, joyfully, and humbly witnesses to Christ on a day to day basis in the context of his/her teaching assignment. Only one teacher is selected each year. This year (2018) the award was presented to Joaquim Alphonso, FMM Department Head of Science. As the chaplain of the Catholic Teachers Guild, I was asked to say a few words to Cardinal Collins and the many administrators and teachers present at the Education Mass dinner. The following is only part of what I had to say:
“Some of the most inspiring moments in a typical day at school for me, at least, are those times when I stop by the chapel and find students there, quietly praying before the blessed sacrament. It is equally encouraging to see teachers there. Over the years at Father Michael McGivney, it is the teachers in the Science department, for some reason, whom I have consistently encountered in the chapel. Joe is one of these Science teachers. But Joe has taken this a little farther. He not only drops by every day before school begins, to go over the readings and to pray for a while, he has for years led the Rosary every Wednesday morning before school, to which a number of students and staff consistently attend, including his two daughters who are exemplary students, and for the past few years he has led, every Friday morning, a half hour Eucharistic adoration.”
I’ve always known that Joe Alphonso is exactly the kind of teacher this award seeks to honour, and many who are on the Board believe so as well. Congratulations Joe. We are very proud of you.
Doug McManaman ~ Dean of Religion