Archdiocese Local Religious education

Archbishop encourages Catholic school leaders

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The ministry of Catholic educators is among the most important work done by the church today, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann told archdiocesan educators at a Mass on Aug. 7 at Savior Pastoral Center here.

“Thank you for taking up this important responsibility of giving your lives and dedicating your life to this very important work educating our young people, but even more importantly, being instruments of passing the gift of faith to them,” said the archbishop in his homily.

Some 50 Catholic school principals, assistant principals and presidents took part in the annual School Leaders Kickoff, which was sponsored by the archdiocesan school office.

The event began with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Naumann, and was followed by a morning business meeting in the Archbishop Keleher Conference Center. In the afternoon, school leaders viewed a DVD featuring Sister Clare Fitzgerald, SSND, founder of the Catholic School Leaders Program at Boston College.

In his homily, Archbishop Naumann noted that the work of the Catholic educator is not just about helping youths develop their talents for future careers and supporting their families, but also passing on the faith.

“You’re doing that and something even much more,” he said, “that is the transmission of the beauty and truth of our Catholic faith — the source of our life, the source of virtue, the source of truth for our young people. “You’re helping to open their eyes and their hearts to their eternal destiny.”

The archbishop also noted the importance of forming a faithful Catholic faculty to transmit the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith.

“I would suggest to you that perhaps that among all these very important and significant endeavors, that the most important one that you are involved in is the formation of our faculties,” he said, “and helping each member of that faculty to be part of this team that is focused on one thing — that is, bringing the love of Christ to the young people that are entrusted to your care.

“And, in addition to that bringing and making real that love of Christ to them, passing on with fidelity the truth of our Catholic faith to them.”

Each educator received a book as a gift from the archbishop, the “Shorter Christian Prayer,” which he blessed at the conclusion of the Mass.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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