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Catholic Schools: Environments of Safety and Respect

To Teach as Jesus Did:

Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

April 20, 2015




Catholic Schools:  Environments of Safety and Respect

Within the past weeks, safety has become a topic of increasing concern in the city of Milwaukee, where multiple homicides have occurred in a matter of a few days and a record number since the beginning of 2015.  Community, civic, and church leaders are more serious than ever in trying to come to grips with both causes and solutions for the spiraling problem of violence in our midst.

As we reflect upon the theme of respect during April, Safe Environment Month in our parishes and schools, we consider what our Catholic school communities can do to ensure that our buildings are safe and those within them are treated with nothing but respect. 

Taking this year’s theme seriously, perhaps we could we end this month of April pledging to:


Receive each person who comes into our lives—student, parent, teacher, staff member, community or parish partner—as our brother or sister in Christ.


Engage completely and regularly, without deliberate distraction, in face-to-face communication with those in our care.


Solve problems through open dialogue, not silence or verbal violence.


Pray for those who have hurt us and for those whom we have hurt.


Examine our hearts for prejudices, biases, and judgments that drive us toward the darkness rather than the light.


Choose to use words as blessings, not weapons, in a manner that heals, not harms.

Think of no one as less than ourselves. 


Let’s work together to make every month a Safe Environment Month in our Catholic schools.


With wishes and prayers for peace,


Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools

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