The Waterloo Catholic District School Board today announced plans to maintain its St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres campus at 80 Young Street in downtown Kitchener, potentially until 2035.

The opportunity to remain at the very heart of the Waterloo Region community comes as a result of a new lease agreement with the Catholic religious order, the Congregation of the Resurrection (CR) — which has owned the site for more than 150 years.

The school board’s current 25-year lease with the CRs was set to expire in 2020. St. Louis has operated at the site since 2002. Catholic educational institutions (most notably the former St. Jerome’s High School) have existed there since 1866.

The opportunity to renew the downtown Kitchener lease at this time will allow St. Louis to continue offering programs and services to those most in need in the community, while also aligning with the Congregation’s values and mission to “work together for the resurrection of society, bringing His life and love to all: through our personal witness, through the witness of our life in community in which all can experience the hope, joy, and peace of Christ’s resurrection”. The school board and St. Louis look forward particularly to continuing our close relationship with St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Parish.

Renewal work at the St. Francis (Kitchener) campus of St. Louis was planned in anticipation of relocating certain programs and services after the current lease at 80 Young Street expired. This work will continue.

Quotes:

“We are absolutely thrilled with the successful negotiation of a new lease that allows St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres to remain in its current location at 80 Young St.  Waterloo Catholic is grateful to the Congregation of the Resurrection for their willingness to work with us and for recognizing the great value of the programs offered at St Louis.  With our long history of serving a diverse student population, and given the strong Catholic roots in downtown Kitchener, we are enormously proud and happy that this legacy has been recognized and can now continue for years to come. We are also eagerly anticipating the work that this agreement will allow to flourish between St. Louis and the parish of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, where a community-focused energy is gaining great momentum.  It is a day for celebration for downtown Kitchener, for Waterloo Catholic and for students of all ages and talents”.

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education, WCDSB

“Our founding Father in Education — Resurrectionist Fr. Louis Funken C.R. — had fire in his heart and passion in his soul when it came to the launch of St. Jerome’s in 1866. As a Resurrectionist, ‘he believed that education was a source of life and liberation for those who had the privilege to experience it.’  (Fr. Jim Wahl C.R.)  The Congregation of the Resurrection celebrates his legacy and the legacy of all Resurrectionists who have taught over the years by supporting the WDCSB in its ongoing wonderful ministry at the St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres, formally St. Jerome’s High School”.

~~ Fr. Murray McDermott C.R., Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Resurrection

“The St. Louis site (former St. Jerome’s High School), has been an integral part of our education system in the heart of the City of Kitchener for well over a century. “We are thrilled with the announcement by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the Congregation of the Resurrection that this downtown site right across from Kitchener City Hall will continue to serve thousands of students in the years ahead – everyone from new Canadians to those pursuing their lifelong learning goals as adults.”

~~ Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and St. Jerome’s High School Graduate

QuickFacts:

About St. Louis:

  • The St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres have been a proud part of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for 33 years, serving more than 250,000 learners.
  • The total current number of St. Louis students of ALL AGES served across all programs = 12,500.
  • More than 38,000 hours of additional after school, Saturday and Summer Literacy and Numeracy supports is provided to students from Grades 7-10 annually.
  • The number of day school credits earned by St. Louis students = 6568 – and several hundred adult learners receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma via St. Louis annually.
  • Over the last 15 years, more than 2,800 students have graduated from St. Louis’ award-winning, accredited certificate, apprenticeship and licensing ‘school-to-work’ programs (Chef, Hairstyling and Personal Support Worker).
  • 82% per cent of Chef and Hairstyling graduates and 98% of Personal Support Worker graduates find employment in their fields within six months of graduation.

About the Congregation of the Resurrection:

  • Founded in 1836 in Paris, France, the Congregation of the Resurrection became established in what is now Waterloo Region in 1857. In 1865 the order — under the leadership of Fr. Louis Funcken, C.R. — founded St. Jerome’s College in St. Agatha. The College moved to Berlin (now Kitchener) in 1866, with the buildings eventually becoming St. Jerome’s High School. The College relocated and is now St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo.
  • A fundamental belief of the Resurrectionists is that God calls them to work together for the resurrection of society, so the order’s twin priorities have always been parish work and teaching.
  • Today, Resurrectionist priests, brothers, and deacons work in such ministries as social work, spiritual direction, counselling, administration, hospital chaplaincy, retreat directors, missionary activity, vocations, writing, and various ministries in Canadian and ethnic parishes (mostly Polish, but also German, Italian, Spanish and French).
  • Recent efforts by Fr. Toby Collins, C.R., Fr. Dan Lobsinger, C.R., Fr. Joseph deViveiros, C.R. and the staff team at St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Parish in downtown Kitchener to house and feed the homeless in the face of a severe cold snap were well covered in media reports, and speak to the important ongoing contributions of Waterloo Region’s CRs.

Related Links:

St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres

Congregation of the Resurrection

St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Parish

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 184-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer

(519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca