Principal's Message

Principal's Welcome Message
michael lawlor pic

Dear Students and Parent/Guardians,

It gives me great pleasure as Principal of Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School to welcome you into our vibrant, faith-filled community! Since its inception in 1958, Bishop Ryan (B.R.) has sought to exemplify the teachings of Jesus Christ as a school “where faith, pride, and effort promote excellence”. Those connected with this exceptional school regularly fulfill this credo while leading extraordinary lives. Our patron Joseph Francis Ryan (1897-1990), the sixth and longest serving Bishop of Hamilton, is one such exemplar who worked tirelessly to fortify Catholic Education and family life by championing the construction of new schools and creation of services intended to help the social well being of people. Similarly, and in the image of our patron, alumni of our school have been known throughout history to do great things in the area of sport, politics, the arts, the law, business, education, the civil service, social justice and more. In particular, we are proud to have graduated captains of industry, many clergy and religious, a number of Olympic athletes, and even a Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. Choosing to be a Bishop Ryan Celtic means that you begin your journey as part of this storied tradition.

What Can I Expect as a Student of Bishop Ryan?

Our school motto “Virtus et Scientia”, Virtue and Knowledge, nicely sums up our pledge to our pupils and their families. Bishop Ryan provides a comprehensive educational experience for all students that focuses on quality character development and building academic skills. Specifically, students fulfill the Catholic Graduate Expectations becoming:

A Discerning Believer Formed in the Catholic Faith Community

An Effective Communicator

A Reflective and Creative Thinker

A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life Long Learner

A Collaborative Contributor

A Caring Family Member

A Responsible Citizen.

Students achieve these expectations throughout their secondary school journey. Furthermore, our highly skilled educational staff ensure that all students are able to master these objectives as they relate to the Ontario provincial curriculum. Bishop Ryan is blessed to offer a wide variety of educational programs that include compulsory subjects such as English, Languages, Geography, History, Science, Mathematics, and Physical Education in addition to specialty areas in Health Care, Construction and Automotive Technology, Videography and Photography, as well as the Visual, Dramatic and Musical Arts. Students may also choose to pursue a Specialist High Skills Major in a particular academic focus area in order to give them a uniquely concentrated diploma. Our partnerships with local businesses and post-secondary institutions also provide pupils with an opportunity to earn dual and Cooperative Education credits. Most importantly, the school offers a robust, faith-filled compulsory Religion program delivered by skilled religious educators. Students are provided with the opportunity to explore their relationship with Christ and his teachings. Our helpful Student Services Department is always available to provide more information about any of these programs.

Complete Your Education by Getting Involved!

Bishop Ryan has a long tradition of offering quality co-curricular opportunities. Our athletic programs are regularly competitive with the best of the best in our city and province. The school offers rugby, soccer, hockey, football, baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, field hockey and more! Our girls’ and boys’ wrestling program is one of the best in the province regularly competes at the prestigious OFSAA finals.

The school also offers interest teams and clubs for students with all sorts of interests. Our Robotics Team, CELT-X Robotics (Team #5406), has competed successfully at numerous local, provincial and national competitions. BR Xpression, our internationally renowned music program/group, is regularly recognized with several prestigious awards and is a highly sought after concert attraction. Celtic Circle is a student leadership group that dedicates their time and energy to promoting a safe and inclusive school community through a variety of transition and mental wellness activities. The Celtic Circle has won the YMCA Peace Medal, the Daryl L. Cook Peer Helping Award from the Ontario School Counsellors’ Association, and the respected Governor General of Canada’s Champions of Mental Health Award. These interest teams and clubs are phenomenal examples, but only a small sample, of what Bishop Ryan has to offer.

Bishop Ryan students are also devoted to assisting the downtrodden in our local and international communities. Pupils can take an active role in our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives, the Halloween for Hunger Campaign, Christmas Gift Basket initiative, and the Winter Coat Drive to name a few student-run charitable movements. The D.R.E.A.M.S. program brings Celtic students and teachers together on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic where they live among the poor for one week and assist them by building homes, schools and other facilities. Our school’s commitment to compassion and generosity provide life altering opportunities for pupils to discover their true character.

In their pastoral letter Renewing the Promise, the Ontario Bishops implore you to “ask Jesus to help you to become a good student, a true friend, and a loving son or daughter”. My prayer is that you use the Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School community and all it offers as a place to fulfill this noble mandate. Wishing you a wonderful year with your high school journey ahead of you!

Yours in Christ,

Michael Lawlor
B.R. Class of ‘97