As a result of these closures, more than , fewer children enjoy the advantages of Catholic schools today. In ACE, we have come to believe that the primary unit of change in education is the school, and the evidence is clear that nothing transforms a school like a strong leader. Now, more than ever, our schools, our nation, and our Church need exceptional leaders. The Remick Leadership Program prepares transformational school leaders who make God known, loved, and served by managing school resources, leading learning,, and building robust Catholic school communities.
Remick Leaders never stop learning. Effort trumps ability. Remick Leaders do whatever it takes to ensure that every child succeeds.
They set a high bar for both academic achievement and spiritual growth, promoting rigor in the classroom while nurturing a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Remick Leaders foster a sense of family in their schools, providing safe, loving environments where children learn to thrive with others. In the years following Vatican II, American Catholic education experienced a steady transition to lay teachers and leaders. By , less than 3 percent of full-time professional staff were clergy and religious.
The new challenge of properly forming lay teachers and leaders has made it necessary for the Church to discern and prescribe qualities of school leadership, once previously assumed in the leadership roles of clergy and religious. The result is a richer understanding of how the school leader upholds and advances the mission of Catholic education. Documents in the s began to highlight the ecclesial, spiritual, and pastoral dimensions of school leadership required of the laity who were now more involved in leadership roles within Catholic schools:.
The lay Catholic educator is a person who exercises a specific mission within the Church by living, in faith, a secular vocation in the communitarian structure of the school: with the best possible professional qualifications, with an apostolic intention inspired by faith, for the integral formation of the human person, in a communication of culture, in an exercise of that pedagogy which will give emphasis to direct and personal contact with students, giving spiritual inspiration to the educational community of which he or she is a member, as well as to all the different persons related to the educational community.
The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School elaborated on guidelines for Catholic education, acknowledged the movement of laity into leadership positions, and encouraged the development of formation programs necessary to ensure that administrators obtain training comparable to religious. Research highlighted the urgency for programs to prepare Catholic school administrators and the shortage of educational leaders who understood the concepts of theological and spiritual leadership.
From the late s, Church documents emphasized the relationship between faithful Catholic leadership and Catholic identity, expressed the need for preparation and formation, and linked those who served in these positions to the long-term viability of Catholic education. At the turn of the century, the Congregation for Catholic Education acknowledged the important role of lay administrators in evangelization, building Christian community, and pastoral care in The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium The preparation and ongoing formation of new administrators and teachers is vital if our schools are to remain truly Catholic in all aspects of school life.
Catholic school personnel should be grounded in a faith-based Catholic culture, have strong bonds to Christ and the Church, and be witnesses to the faith in both their words and actions. Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether moral, intellectual, or spiritual.
In , the United States bishops identified leadership as a priority for the future of Catholic education:. Clarity of vision and strong leaders formed in the faith are critical to establishing a rich Catholic culture in the Catholic school. Being academically excellent is critical and necessary but not sufficient. The schools whether primary and secondary or colleges and universities must be fully Catholic. Formation of this kind would include pastors, administrators, teachers and all those serving in the Catholic schools.
Faith formation that includes individual formation in prayer, sacramental life, Scripture, doctrine, and knowledge of the nature and purpose of Catholic education would appear to be component parts of the formation of future leaders and teachers. Some dioceses have established foundations that pay for formation of leaders and teachers during the school year.go
Catholic School Leadership
Other dioceses have partnerships with diocesan programs, associations, academic institutes and Catholic higher education to offer formation and education to teachers and staff. Bishops and pastors should be actively engaged in identifying and forming present and future leaders in the schools. Some dioceses have established certificate and degree programs for future administrators and superintendents.
Creating interest and incentive in education for the future is critical to long-term viability and success of the colleges, universities and schools. In addition to programs of training, there should be an intentional and emphasis on the sacramental and spiritual lives of the future leaders United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, , III, B, a. Without this intense spiritual dimension, Catholic education would only mirror secular private education and fall short of fulfilling its divine mission of evangelization and sanctification.
Specific writings directed toward Catholic educational leaders have blossomed over the years, yet most documents written on the topic of educational personnel are still very much focused on Catholic school teachers. When one reads about unique dimensions of formation and witness for these teachers, one can be certain that these apply also to its educational leaders. Thus, this document might be read in tandem with its sister document, The Call to Teach: Expectations for the Catholic Educator in Magisterial Teaching Called to a special role within the Catholic school environment, educational leaders hold themselves out as formal collaborators with the ecclesial Church and are, therefore, held more accountable.
Reviewing what the Church asks of them through documents such as The Call to Teach and The Call to Lead allows school leaders to substantially and efficiently fulfill the professional formation the Church asks of them. Using the formative questions at the end of this document can help school leaders with self-assessment and the development of plans for self-improvement.
It is hoped that this document will help them in that endeavor. Leaders in Catholic education, called by God and led by the spirit of the Gospel, work for the sanctification of the world. This vocational aspect requires each leader to live in faith within the communitarian nature of the school. Through faith they will find an unfailing source of the humility, hope, and charity needed for perseverance in their work.
Catholic school leaders should have the necessary professional qualifications and an apostolic intention inspired by faith to pursue the integral formation of the human person. Beautiful indeed and of great importance is the vocation of all those who aid parents in fulfilling their duties and who, as representatives of the human community, undertake the task of education in schools. This vocation demands special qualities of mind and heart, very careful preparation, and continuing readiness to renew and to adapt 5. In this way they can make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope, and charity 7.
Because of the experiences that lay people acquire in their lives, and through their presence in all of the various spheres of human activity, they will be especially capable of recognizing and clarifying the signs of the times that characterize the present historical period of the People of God. Therefore, as a proper part of their vocation, they should contribute their initiative, their creativity, and their competent, conscious, and enthusiastic labor to this task. In this way, the whole People of God will be able to distinguish more precisely those elements of the signs that are Gospel values, or values contrary to the Gospel One specific characteristic of the educational profession assumes its most profound significance in the Catholic educator: the communication of truth.
And if there is no trace of Catholic identity in the education, the educator can hardly be called a Catholic educator. A Vocation, rather than a Profession: The work of a lay educator has an undeniably professional aspect; but it cannot be reduced to professionalism alone. Professionalism is marked by, and raised to, a super-natural Christian vocation. The life of the Catholic teacher must be marked by the exercise of a personal vocation in the Church, and not simply by the exercise of a profession.
In a lay vocation, detachment and generosity are joined to legitimate defense of personal rights; but it is still a vocation, with the fullness of life and the personal commitment that the word implies. It offers ample opportunity for a life filled with enthusiasm. It is, therefore, very desirable that every lay Catholic educator become fully aware of the importance, the richness, and the responsibility of this vocation.
Lay Catholic educators must be very aware of the real impoverishment which will result if priests and religious disappear from the Catholic schools, or noticeably decline in number. This is to be avoided as far as is possible; and yet, the laity must prepare themselves in such a way that they will be able to maintain Catholic schools on their own whenever this becomes necessary or at least more desirable, in the present or in the future And the school should use every means possible to encourage this kind of commitment; without it, the objectives of the school can never be fully realized.
It must never be forgotten that the school itself is always in the process of being created, due to the labor brought to fruition by all those who have a role to play in it, and most especially by those who are teachers Above all else, lay Catholics will find support in their own faith.
Faith is the unfailing source of the humility, the hope, and the charity needed for perseverance in their vocation Just as a consecrated person is called to testify his or her specific vocation to a life of communion in love so as to be in the scholastic community a sign, a memorial and a prophecy of the values of the Gospel, so too a lay educator is required to exercise a specific mission within the Church by living, in faith, a secular vocation in the communitarian structure of the school While invited to deepen their vocation as educators in the Catholic school in communion with consecrated persons, the lay faithful also are called in the common formational journey to give the original and irreplaceable contribution of their full ecclesial subjectivity… As educators, they are called on to live in faith a secular vocation in the communitarian structure of the school: with the best possible professional qualifications, with an apostolic intention inspired by faith, for the integral formation of the human person Organized according to the diversities of persons and vocations, but vivified by the same spirit of communion, the educational community of the Catholic school aims at creating increasingly deeper relationships of communion that are in themselves educational.
Precisely in this, it expresses the variety and beauty of the various vocations and the fruitfulness at educational and pedagogical levels that this contributes to the life of the school Amidst the persistent call for ongoing formation, there was an emerging sense of the vocation of Catholic school leaders, almost an awakening of the apostolate for administrators, teachers, board members and pastors. Catholic education is not just a job, it is a vocation. Competent and capable leaders are able to address other needs like finance, governance, and recruitment.
Faith filled Catholic leaders keep Catholic identity strong, set a positive tone and bring the community together. Catholic school leaders need to see themselves as part of the mission and respond to the call for co-responsibility and collaboration. These men and women need to take their own faith journey seriously. Potential resources for formation were identified as: Catholic colleges and universities, Catholic studies institutes, leadership programs within seminaries, and cooperative efforts with parish and local faith communities 2. Their role is to imbue their students with the spirit of Christ, striving to excel in pedagogy and the pursuit of knowledge in such a way that they advance the internal renewal of the Church and preserve and enhance its influence upon the modern world.
The ultimate goal of all Catholic education is transmitting clearly and fully the message of salvation, which elicits the response of faith. Hiring for mission is essential to the future success of Catholic education. Leaders must be committed to Catholic identity and mission. All who are responsible for Catholic education must keep sight of the mission and apostolic value of their work so schools enjoy the conditions in which to accomplish their mission of pursing the individual good of the student specifically his or her salvation and service to the common good.
The sacred synod earnestly entreats young people themselves to become aware of the importance of the work of education and to prepare themselves to take it up, especially where because of a shortage of teachers the education of youth is in jeopardy. If all who are responsible for the Catholic school would never lose sight of their mission and the apostolic value of their teaching, the school would enjoy better conditions in which to function in the present and would faithfully hand on its mission to future generations.
The lay Catholic working in a school is, along with every Christian, a member of the People of God. As such, united to Christ through Baptism, he or she shares in the basic dignity that is common to all members. They have the same filial grace and the same vocation to perfection. There are times in which the Bishops will take advantage of the availability of competent lay persons who wish to give clear Christian witness in the field of education, and will entrust them with complete direction of Catholic schools, thus incorporating them more closely into the apostolic mission of the Church Lay Catholic educators in schools, whether teachers, directors, administrators, or auxiliary staff, must never have any doubts about the fact that they constitute an element of great hope for the Church.
The Church puts its trust in them entrusting them with the task of gradually bringing about an integration of temporal reality with the Gospel, so that the Gospel can thus reach into the lives of all men and women. More particularly, it has entrusted them with the integral human formation and the faith education of young people. These young people are the ones who will determine whether the world of tomorrow is more closely or more loosely bound to Christ May they always abound in the works of God, knowing that they will not labor in vain when their labour is for Him Cf.
For a Catholic educator, the Church should not be looked upon merely as an employer. The Church is the Body of Christ, carrying on the mission of the Redeemer throughout history.
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It is our privilege to share in that mission , to which we are called by the grace of God and in which we are engaged together 4. The ultimate goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ.
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In faith we know God, and the hidden purpose of his will Cfr. In faith we truly come to know ourselves. By sharing our faith, we communicate a complete vision of the whole of reality and a commitment to truth and goodness. This vision and this commitment draw the strands of life into a purposeful pattern. I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has a programmatic significance and important consequences. I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are.
School heads must be leaders who make sure that education is a shared and living mission, who support and organize teachers, who promote mutual encouragement and assistance III,1, b. Conference of Catholic Bishops, We need Catholic educators that are strong leaders committed to Catholic identity and mission. They were described as truly Catholic, well-formed in faith and morals, active in the faith and involved in parish life 2. Hiring for mission is essential to the future success of Catholic schools.
School administrators, teachers, coaches and staff need to be thoroughly evangelized and living vibrant Christian lives. This atmosphere begins with formation of leaders in school; principals need encouragement in personal faith formation and in encouraging faculty and staff in their faith formation. Catholic education is about making sure we do everything we can to form and educate the future leaders in our Church and society. Training for teachers in an integrated curriculum is part of Catholic identity in the schools 4. Through prayer, sacramental life, Scripture, doctrine, and knowledge of the nature and purpose of Catholic education, they cultivate their own spiritual formation and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
School leaders assume responsibility for the ecclesial and pastoral mission of Catholic education. As practicing Catholics in good standing, they understand and accept the teachings of the Church and moral demands of the Gospel. They participate simply and actively in the liturgical and sacramental life of the school and provide an example to others who find in them nourishment for Christian living. Catholic education leaders serve the Church in a type of ministerial function under the direction of the hierarchy  and participate in the threefold ministry of Christ: to teach doctrine, to build community, and to serve.
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Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead – Bóksalan
Our nation's Catholic schools need people with the energy, enthusiasm, and tenacity to lead with zeal. I hope you'll consider joining the next national cohort of Remick Leaders. Catholic schools in the United States face unprecedented challenges today. Between and , more than 1, Catholic schools have closed or consolidated.
As a result of these closures, more than , fewer children enjoy the advantages of Catholic schools today.
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In ACE, we have come to believe that the primary unit of change in education is the school, and the evidence is clear that nothing transforms a school like a strong leader. Now, more than ever, our schools, our nation, and our Church need exceptional leaders. The Remick Leadership Program prepares transformational school leaders who make God known, loved, and served by managing school resources, leading learning,, and building robust Catholic school communities.
Remick Leaders never stop learning. Effort trumps ability. Remick Leaders do whatever it takes to ensure that every child succeeds.