To all those who support our schools:
May God bless you during this joyous season of Easter. I am filled with hope and energy as we begin this season of celebration and rebirth. God continues to bless our schools, and carefully guide our efforts to educate the people of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Know that you are in my prayers as we celebrate this holiest of days.
I announced to the school principals earlier today that we will be adding a new position of Coordinator of Latino Outreach for Catholic Schools to our office for the 2011-2012 school year. I am extremely excited about this position. Through this individual, I am hopeful that we will be better able to reach out to the growing Latino population in the Archdiocese. The position is meant to represent a pilot program for the first year. As such, the Coordinator will work solely with Catholic elementary schools within the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public Schools.
As we build our vision for Catholic Schools, one of the central issues we will focus upon is that of affordability. As expressed by the U.S. Bishops in their publication Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, it is our sincere desire to ensure that our schools are available to all families, regardless of their economic background. This is a substantial challenge; the costs of providing a high-quality education have risen over the decades.
As we have moved through the initial stages of our visioning process, I have relied heavily upon the hard work and insights of a 12-person Vision Steering Committee. This committee was initially formed in early November. The initial purpose of the committee was to define the process of how we would build our vision. As we establish our vision, I know that there will be much work ahead. The Archdiocese is incredibly complex, and people rightly feel passionately about their schools. Our charge is to establish a common roadmap for the future of our schools, and study new systems of support.
I am very pleased to announce some additional information about the upcoming Visioning Sessions for the Catholic schools (if you have not yet read my last post about the visioning process, I advise you to do so). Our Visioning Sessions are designed to be one of the key ways of gathering the insights, opinions, and observations of those who care about our schools. It is critical that our vision reflect the needs of the people of the Archdiocese. Our vision for the Catholic schools will not be the vision of a single individual or committee.
We have been receiving some attention lately for our ongoing efforts to construct a unified vision for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. I remain incredibly optimistic about what we are doing; we have some wonderful schools in the Archdiocese, and I know that our vision will encourage the continued growth and vibrancy of our excellent schools.
I am continually amazed at the diversity that exists among the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese. Since beginning my duties in July, I have had the pleasure of visiting over 65 of our Catholic schools. These schools have varied from the inner cities of Dayton and Cincinnati to the small towns of the country. I have been flabbergasted at the differences between the locations and populations served by our schools. Each school seems to have its own unique identity and culture.
Registration time in the Catholic elementary schools has officially started! If you are parents of school-aged children, now is the time to check out our excellent schools. I strongly encourage you to use our School Directory to research the schools in your area. I know you will be impressed by the quality and variety of the many instructional programs. I likewise know that you will be pleased by the dedication of the teachers, and the positive and nurturing approach that they take to their instruction. We are truly blessed to have such fabulous, Christ-centered schools.
It is only fitting that we conclude Catholic schools week with this Sunday’s wonderful Gospel reading from the fifth chapter of Matthew. In this reading, Christ reminds us that we are the Light of the World; we must reveal our light for the world and allow our good deeds to spread the Glory of God.
Catholic Schools Week is upon us! I truly enjoy this week; it is always a joy to see the mix of religious, service, and fun events taking place in our schools. I am greatly looking forward to the Catholic Schools Week Masses on Tuesday and Wednesday. Likewise, the Archbishop's broadcast to the high schools on Friday promises to be an illuminating event. I am constantly heartened by how our community rallies around our wonderful Catholic schools.