Column: Help CEF honor our Catholic school pastors

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

by Michael Morrisey

This will be my last article until after the summer, so I wanted to enlighten you and provide some “food for thought” during the upcoming months!

I know you have played the “did you know” game, right? If you have, then you will be with me. If you haven’t, then please catch up and don’t tarry.

I will start with a “do you know” question. I know it’s a “did you know” game, but, my rules.

In our world today, do you know what CEO stand for? The brilliant ones are saying chief executive officer. Right? Wrong! I will get back to you on this one.

OK, the focus of our “did you know” game is pastors with Catholic schools. Here we go . . .

Did you know that these individuals have a high school degree, a college undergraduate degree, a background in philosophy (two more years), at least four years of graduate work and other schooling as deemed appropriate?

Did you know that they participate in archdiocesan ministries, serve on advisory committees, high school boards, other boards and regional pastor boards?

Did you know that they attend rehearsal dinners, perform wedding ceremonies, work with parish and school staffs, attend many school and parish meetings and make hospital visits?

Did you know that they are counselors for: husband and wife marital issues, parents worried about their kids, individuals that have lost their jobs, family financial problems, etc.?

Whew — and that is just in the morning!

I know you know that they are prayerful, hear confessions, do funerals and say Mass often.

In addition, did you know that ultimately they have the responsibility of their Catholic school?

Did you know they help our students prepare for the sacraments and often teach religion classes?

Did you know that, in partnership with our principals, they are the focal point of the Catholicity in our schools, they ensure that the school is the primary mission of the parish and they are tasked with continuing the legacy of the school by making sure our children are disciples of Christ?

Wow, these guys do a lot! They are definitely CEOs. I know I have missed many things, but you get the gist.

How can we thank them for all that they do? I know you know I have the answer — by honoring them at this year’s Catholic Education Foundation Gaudeamus event.

Mark your calendar for Oct. 8 where we will be honoring the “Catholic School Pastors.”

Our hopes are to have the 47-plus pastors in attendance for this celebration of Catholic education. This experience will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

For more information on this year’s Gaudeamus event, go to the Web site at:, or call (913) 647-0344.

Oh, by the way, CEO in my book stands for Catholic education officer!!!

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Michael Morrisey

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