Monthly Archives: January 2018

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PODCAST #4
To Teach Them: Statement on Catholic Schools: November 20, 2017

Category : Podcasts

1976: United States Catholic Conference

Link to the Document To Teach Them

Gwen Byrd, Executive Director for Catholic Education/Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Mobile, one of the longest-serving Catholic school superintendents, explores the impact of this follow up from the US Bishops.

STUDY GUIDE & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

To Teach Them (US Bishops, 1976)

  1. Reading Questions
    1. How many Catholic youth are enrolled in formal religious programs?  In schools?  How many are not enrolled?  How do those numbers compare with the present day?
    2. In the fourth paragraph, the document points to reasons why some children are not enrolled.  What are those reasons?
    3. In the second section, the document refers to the threefold purpose of Catholic education as outlined in To Teach As Jesus Did.  What are the three purposes?
    4. In the same paragraph, the document points to teacher formation as crucial to Catholic schools.  On the next page, the document returns to this theme.  Why is teacher selection, evaluation/motivation, and formation so important?
    5. The Bishops offer 5 reasons why they support Catholic schools.
    6. The Bishops discuss the “concerted focus” of schools and point to evidence of lay collaboration.  Give a few examples.
    7. In this section, the Bishops point out the changing role of administrators–many of whom are staffed by lay people.  How has the role of the administrator changed?
    8. Later the in section, the Bishops spotlight the efforts of Catholic schools to educate the Black community.  Why is this so important?
    9. In Section 4, the Bishops contextualize the struggle for governmental support to the United States (as opposed to the entire world).  What is their central argument?

 

  1. Reflection/Discussion Questions
    1. How collaborative is your school community?  Are parents active stakeholders?  Past parents?  Students?  Teachers?
    2. How frequently does your school talk about racism?
    3. Do you believe Catholic schools should serve primarily Catholic students?  Or are they instruments of evangelization?
    4. In Section 3 under the “Pastors and the Community” section, the Bishops argue that Catholic schools serve the entire diocese.  Do you believe your school(s) serve the entire diocese?
    5. List 3-4 quotes that you could pull out from this document to use in your own communication.

 play on iTunes

RESOURCES


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PODCAST #3
To Teach As Jesus Did: November 13, 2017

Category : Podcasts

1972 Pastoral Message on Catholic Education from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (the precursor to the USCCB)

 

Link to a scanned copy of the document, courtesy of ACE Press and At the Heart of the Church: Selected Documents of Catholic Education.  I highly recommend you order the book here.

 

To order a copy directly from the USCCB, here is the link

 

Dr. Tom Burnford, the President/CEO of the National Catholic Education Association, explores the impact of this document from the US Bishops.

STUDY GUIDE & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

To Teach As Jesus Did (US Bishops, 1972)

  1. Reading Questions
    1. What is the “perennial” task for the Church? (6)
    2. What is the measure of success of education? (8)
    3. What is the threefold purpose of Catholic schools? (14)
    4. Is effective teaching of religion an imparting of knowledge? (18)  How do you teach church doctrine? (84)
    5. How does the emphasis on community mark a departure from the “institutional” paradigm? (21-26)
    6. How does the emphasis on service change the “fortress” mentality? (29)
    7. What changes to the parish school are recommended? (94)
    8. Why are Catholic schools the “best opportunity” to fulfill the Church’s purpose? (101)
    9. How are effective teachers described? (104)
    10. What is the solution to teaching racial tolerance? (109)
    11. What are the roots of the shrinking enrollments? (114-115)
    12. What do the Bishops teach about School Choice? (116)
    13. What are their 10 recommendations for action steps? (120) How relevant are their recommendations today?
    14. What kind of attitude should we avoid? (122)
    15. How do the authors view collaboration? (142)
  2. Reflection/Discussion Questions
    1. How well does the threefold purpose of Catholic schools match up to your school’s mission and purpose?
    2. List 3-4 quotes that you could pull out from this document to use in your own communication.

 play on iTunes

RESOURCES


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PODCAST #2
Declaration on Christian Education: November 6, 2017

Category : Podcasts

Please read the Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) before listening to the podcast. 

Sr. John Mary Fleming, OP, the Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Education, explores the impact of Vatican II on Catholic schools.

STUDY GUIDE & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Declaration on Christian Education (Vatican, 1965)

  • Reading Questions
    1. Who has the right to education? (section 1)
    2. What are the purposes of a Christian education? (2)
    3. Who are a child’s primary educators? (3)
    4. Why does the Church have the duty of education? (3)
    5. Does the document take a position regarding school choice? (6)
    6. Explain the role of teachers (8)
    7. Who should support Catholic schools? (9)
  • Reflection/Discussion Questions
    1. How does this document change the paradigm from an institution to a community?
    2. List 3-4 quotes that you could pull out from this document to use in your own communication.

 play on iTunes

RESOURCES


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PODCAST #1
Context of Vatican II: October 30, 2017

Category : Podcasts

Rev. John O’Malley, SJ, the author of What Happened at Vatican II and many other works on Vatican II and church councils, is the first guest and explains the background and context of Vatican II as well as its impact.  Fr. O’Malley was present in Rome during the council and is a valuable resource.

 

Rev. Oliver Doyle grew up in Ireland during the tumultuous times surrounding Vatican II and speaks to the changes in the church over the past 50+ years.

 play on iTunes

RESOURCES

 


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January 21st newsletter

Here is the link to the Jan 21st newsletter

This week, I have a very lengthy blog which tries to bring together lessons I have learned from the Church Documents series.  Monday’s podcast marks the final podcast in the series and I wanted to draw your attention to the landing page for the Church Documents PLC.  My top 5 links:

  1. Religious Education is Broken is more than one year old but I find it remarkably relevant. How we are conducting religious education in parishes and religion classes in schools is simply not working.  I think treating it like a subject is part of the problem.  Activity-based programs such as Catechesis of the Good Shepherd have met with success.
  2. Further down in the American Catholic news section, Sarah Silverman’s interview with Fr. Greg Boyle is stunningly effective. They begin to talk about brokenness and humanity and it is surprisingly sweet.
  3. ‘Tis the seasons for announcements of school closings. Check out the School News section for information on schools as well as parents who are rallying to save certain schools.  It can get depressing but believe it or not there are still people out there who don’t full grasp the enormity of the crisis.  They are the proverbial frogs in the water as it is slowly heating to a boil.
  4. The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a great article about time management but it also serves as a reminder for Catholic schools to be mission-driven/market-sensitive as opposed to mission-sensitive/market-driven. What are you supposed to be doing?  Spend most of your time doing that, says McKeon.
  5. Complexity Bias is a great article in the Miscellany section which explores our preference for complex solutions. Beware the consultant who makes the simple seem complex!

 


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Innovation in Catholic Schools

Here is the link to the Jan 14th newsletter.

This edition of Catholic School Matters is devoted to Catholic school innovation.  I blog about my visit last month to Seton Catholic Schools in Milwaukee, a remarkable charter-like Catholic school network.  It would benefit any school or diocesan school leader to pay attention to what’s going on there.

I then include descriptions and links to thirteen other innovative models: ACE Academies, Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, Cristo Rey, Faith in the Future, Drexel Schools, Healey Education Foundation, Independence Mission Schools, Jubilee Schools, Lumen Christi Schools, Nativity/Miguel network, Partnership Schools (NYC), Seton Education Partners, and TWIN-CS.

My top 5 all focus on Seton Catholic Schools (Milwaukee):