100 Stories

Tom Bonic, M.Div., M.Ed. OISE (Toronto)

Retired Teacher, Vice-Principal, Principal with TCDSB

Tom Bonic

Tom attended Campion High School between 1957 and 1961.

Tom is a teacher with a farm boy’s heart. He was lured, however, to the big city for the start of his Catholic education:

“Farm kids almost always went to boarding schools. There was also a history in the Davidson area that boys go to Campion in Regina, or Wilcox in Moose Jaw and the girls go to the Sisters of Sion in Saskatoon. So I left for Campion in 1957. I stayed there one year, then back to Davidson High for the next two years because school busses began to pick up students from the rural areas. However, I loved Campion and missed the friends I made, the academic environment and the Jesuit teachers, and so back I went in 1960, graduating in 1961, with Tommy Douglas speaking at our graduation. What a speech, and without any notes!”

In his wonder as to whether the priesthood would be for him, Tom would ultimately find himself set to discover the world in pursuit of his Jesuit training:

“My favourite memories of Campion are the friendships I developed during those two years. Some of those friends entered the Jesuit Noviciate in Guelph, Ontario, and I, in turn, entered the Jesuits in the fall of 1961. I studied with the Jesuits until I was to be ordained in 1972. However, that did not happen and so I took a year leave and worked at L'Arche with Jean Vanier at Trosly-Breuil, France. Then after 6 months, I left for India to work with Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity and also the Jesuits in Siliguri, India. During that time I left the Jesuits, grateful for my many years as a Jesuit. Coming back to Canada, I returned to teaching for over 40 years, in Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.”

Things happen for a reason some say and Tom believes that one derives meaning through the experiences they have. In turn, they help evaluate your life. Collectively, you can call it wisdom:

“If there is anything that I'm extremely happy about and grateful for, it is my wife Jackie and our two daughters Alyssa and Stephanie and their families. I will always love the Jesuits, and I owe them so very much, along with growing up on a farm in the 40’s and 50’s, giving me a solid foundation to be a teacher.”

Through this living wisdom, Tom practices a holistic approach to living, committed and with gratitude that shape his retirement years:

“In retirement, I enjoy helping my family more than ever and, if there is anything else I want to continue to accomplish, it is to keep healthy, be a loving person, and perhaps in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Be the change you that you wish to see in the world.’”