Kudos to Archbishop Cordileone for creating an office that will bolster the faith of young people and families and encourage deeper commitment to Christ and His Church. Pay attention to the pillars of the plan.
Read the full article by Valerie Schmalz: CLICK HERE
New focus on Catholic identity in high schoolsDecember 10th, 2014
By Valerie Schmalz, Catholic San Francisco.
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is creating a new Office of Catholic Identity Assessment for Catholic high schools starting Jan. 1 (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!) – an initiative that may be the first in the country.
The office will be led by (Dr.) Melanie Morey, who has spent the 20 years since she received her doctorate in education from Harvard writing, teaching, and working to more effectively address issues related to Catholic institutional life, culture, and identity.
“How do we create an excellent Catholic culture in our time? In our archdiocese?” asked (Dr.) Morey.
“Right now, the archbishop wants to focus on the high schools,” said (Dr.) Morey. “They are a tremendously important set of institutions in the life of the church. They are educating the future of the church: young men and women who are coming to know better what being Catholic means and what it means for their own lives.”
Certainly Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco are committed to being Catholic and trying to find ways to support and sustain their unique Catholic identity, (Dr.) Morey said (A positive, affirming statement of the good things going on that can be built upon.). Being able to do that over time however, requires that the schools get better at measuring Catholic identity and managing it, a process that can be summed up in one word – assessment. (Quality = orthodoxy.)(Dr.) Morey said the new office will focus on two main areas: assessment and formation.
The assessment component will concentrate on three priorities at Catholic high schools:
(Dr.) Morey will work with a board of still-to-be-appointed Catholic academics and education experts (Faithful Catholic allies are important to the success of the mission to subvert dissent!) to develop more particularized criteria related to the Western Catholic Education Association standards and principles of Catholic identity (orthodox content). These more specific expectations will guide teams of Catholic school teachers and administrators fielded by the Office of Catholic Identity Assessment who will visit each school every three years, (Dr.) Morey said. (Follow up/verification/quality maintenance.)
- Catholic content: Across the disciplines, in classrooms, in sports, music, drama, art.
- Catholic witness: “There has to be a significant number of Catholic faculty in the schools who integrate the faith in their own lives and are willing to talk about it with their students (adult catechesis),” (Dr.) Morey said.
- Catholic practices: An essential and intricate network of small acts or behaviors that remind students again and again of the Catholic faith.
The second focus of the Office of Catholic Identity Assessment will be formation for faculty and administrators. It will sponsor in-service days during the academic school year and summer immersion seminars for faculty, (Dr.) Morey said. (Ongoing professional development.)