To Teach as Jesus Did:
Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
June 27, 2014
"Catholic Schools and the New Pentecost"
Three weeks ago this weekend, the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center was alive with the delegates, volunteers, and observers who gathered for the Archdiocesan Synod, the first such event in 27 years. It was truly an experience to remember--with music, worship, presentations, discussion, discernment, and voting on initiatives in eight mission areas to set the course for the Archdiocese in the next 10 – 15 years. It was, in every way, a transformational weekend and a “new Pentecost” for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin.
Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was considered to be, not a separate and “new” initiative for the Synod’s consideration, but an affirmed, ongoing priority that will be factored into Archbishop Listecki’s Synodal Declaration, scheduled for issuance on September 14, 2014, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
I was humbled to represent our Catholic schools at the various gatherings leading up to the Synod and throughout the events of June 6, 7, and 8. Now, as we end the current school year and gratefully recall the many blessings of 2013 – 2014, I share with you—the faithful leaders of our schools—the following summary of Catholic education in our Archdiocese that was provided for the Synod delegates’ information and inspiration:
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee uniquely integrate faith development with educational excellence. The Office for Catholic Schools works closely with the principals, teachers, parents, and staff at the 99 elementary schools and 14 secondary schools who serve nearly 32,000 students in the 10 counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Their vision is to develop schools that will be sustainable, affordable, and accessible for all present and future students who wish to attend them.
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are characterized by their strong Catholic Identity, their unique opportunity for daily Evangelization of students and their families, and their faithful Stewardship of students’ and teachers’ abilities in order to help transform the world in Christ.
During these warmer, more open and reflective days of summer, let us pray St. Augustine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit, the Synod delegates’ prayer of discernment, as preparation for the challenges ahead.
Breath into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Amen.
A blessed and peaceful summer to all!
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools