Catholic Schools Week is an annual opportunity to formally celebrate what is unique about our Catholic schools. We often take our Catholic schools for granted, and we may be hesitant to “toot our own horns.” It is important, however, that we recognize and celebrate the “Good News” of Catholic schools. The definition of the word conspicuous is “plainly visible, remarkable, stands apart from the ordinary.” We can certainly apply this definition to the impact of our Catholic schools!
The mission of Catholic schools, academic excellence and Catholic faith formation, is at the heart of the Church. The effectiveness of Catholic schools is well documented, and Catholic schools have responded to societal needs over time through these defining characteristics:
• Centered in the person of Jesus Christ.
• Contributing to the Evangelizing Mission of the Church.
• Distinguished by Excellence.
• Committed to Educate the Whole Child.
• Steeped in a Catholic World View.
• Sustained by Gospel Witness.
• Shared by Communion and Community.
• Accessible to All Students.
• Established by the Expressed Authority of the Bishop.
The tradition, excellence, and impact of Catholic schools are central to the Church and broader community. Catholic schools look different than they did several decades ago, because they have evolved to respond to societal needs and current educational research on best practices in teaching and learning. The Catholic community is committed to continuing the legacy of Catholic education within the Archdiocese of Louisville, and as we do so, we seek to explore evolving models in governance and finance to ensure the operational vitality of our schools.
The heart of academic excellence and faith formation will continue to beat strongly, and the models by which that mission is delivered will continue to increase and diversify to meet the needs of the various communities they serve.
We celebrate our Catholic schools, and we embrace our values of living faith, celebrating community, embracing service and inspiring achievement. Each day, we encourage our students to learn, serve, lead and succeed!
Leisa Schulz is the Archdiocese of Louisville’s superintendent of schools.