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September 20, 1991     The Message
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September 20, 1991

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98g' esi' tius' Bis' ?aso, pril ctO'[ ;oPt t -l'j tl, t E S CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 22 NUMBER 3 g September 20, 1991 Catholic education leaders ,'hoose issues By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message Editor Put 250 Catholic educalion !eaders from all over Indiana In one building. Have them discuss and decide what is- SUes should get attention in planning for the next century. Then ask them to select the most important of them all. leTheto.p issue is an issue of "To elicit (:lear and definite UpPort for. and con]mitment ,o, Catholic schools from all ChUrch and community lead- ers, especially bishops and all Clef ,, • . gY, is the number one Choice. Participants in the Indiana COngress on Catholic Schools for the Twenty-first Century not only chose that issue of SUpPort as their number one priority They chose it with enthusiasm, applauding the Statement as it was read aloud to the assembly in Indi- anapolis, Sept. 16. Th participants came from all ,ire dioceses in the tate  the Archdiocese of rtdiananolis and the dioceses f EVansville, Fort Wayne- °th Bend, Gary and • ayette. Archbishop Ed- Ward T. O'Meara of Indi- apolis, and Bishops Gerald ' Cettelfinger of Evansville, hn M. D'Arcy of Fort F ayne-South Bend, Norbert • Gaughan of Gary and William L. Higi of Lafayette participated in the congress. Catholic school leaders from each of the dioceses planned the congress. They included Sister Lawrence Ann Listen of Indianapolis. Phyllis Beshears of Evansville, Jeanette Kam of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Rev. lames P McGrogan of Gary, and Eugene Piccolo of Lafayette. Participation of church and school leaders on such a scale and at snch a level was termed "historic" by Sister Listen. "It is an historic moment for the church in Indiana." Sister Listen said, after the day-long congress had con- cluded. "The issues were clearly delineated." she said. "It is exciting, and a challenge to continue the momentum." Beshears agreed that the congress had been exciting, adding, "It is very important that we follow up on these is- sues, not only to take them to the national congress, but to follow up within the state, to study them further and to im- plement them." The Indiana Congress was one of a series of regional meetings in the country. The top issues from more than 20 such assemblies will be pro- cessed at the national congress in Washington. D.C.. in November. The process used in each of the regional meetings is simi- lar. After a keynote address. participants gathered in five small groups to discuss five broad areas: public policy and political action, school and society, governance and finance• leadership, and iden- tity. Some of the same topics came up at several of the small meetings. Some men- tion of marketing, publicity, or "telling the story of suc- cess." was mentioned in four of the small groups as a pri- orty. The development of leader- ship in various areas was also a priority in several small groups. Small group discus- sions focused on encouraging parish and school families to get involved in political ac- See CATHOLIC Page 2 Governor Evan Bayh of Indiana holds up a "Discover Catholic Schools" tee shirt which was presented to him at the Indiana Congress on Catholic Schools in Indianapolis, Sept. 16. -- Message photo by Pau R. Leingang ynoter traces CatholLic This overview of CathoBc education in the United States was written by. Dr. Robert Kealey, Dr. Kealey is the Executive Director of the Department of Elementary Schools for the National Catholic Educational As- sociation in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kealey delivered the text of this article as the keynote ad- dress at the Indiana Congress, Indianapolis Ind., Sept. 16, 1991. American Catholic Schools: Their History of Success and Commitment to the Future My brothers and sisters in the ministry of Catholic school educa- tion, _ May God our Provider, the Lord Jesus our Savior and the Spirit of Wisdom give you blessings and peace. This morning we come together to celebrate the past achievements of Catholic school education and to make a firm commitment to the fu- ure of Catholic schools. To introduce you to our task-today, I would .IKe to tell you the story of American Catholic schools which includes the hundreds of thousands of educators revolved' m' the largest system of private education in the world, which includes the millions of par- ents who for a hundred years built schools with pennies, nickels and dimes, and which includes the millions and millions of students who entered the mainstream of American life and have held positions of re- Sponsibility in all areas of business, entertainment, athletics and public and church service. To tell this story, I would need hours. So I will mention only seven events in this long tale. As you listen to these seven events, I ask that you recall the five themes that the National C.ongress on Catholic (heels for the Twenty-first Century will address. You will notice that the five themes of: 1) Catholic identity, 2) leadership of and on behalf of Catholic schools, 3) Catholic school and society, 4) governance and fi- ance, and 5} political action and public policy are interwoven roughout the history of Catholic education. When I finish my presen- tion, you will plan the future of Catholic schools around each of ese themes. Let us start our story at the beginning. Mission of School 1606 was the year that the Spanish landed in Florida and estab- I I I I lished the first permanent settlement of Europeans in what was to become the United States. In this same year in St. Augustine, Flori- da, the Franciscan mission- aries opened a school. In the records describing this school, we read tlat it was established to "teach Chris- tian doctrine, reading and writing." The founding of this school is significant for two reasons. When the Catholic Church first came to these lands, it brought with it- schools. This showed the timate connection between the church and its schools. Jesus pointed to this con- nection when he charged his disciples in the same breath to teach and baptize. Some 382 years after the first school was opened in DR. ROBERT KEALEY Florida, the Vatican Congregation on Education issued in 1088 its detailed document on Catholic schools entitled The Religious Dimensions of Edu- cation in a Catholic School. This modern document clearly presented what the first Catholics in the Americas believed• It stated this about Catholic schools. •.. the Catholic school has had a clear identity, not only as a pres- ence of the Church in society, but also as a genuine and proper instru- ment of the Church. It is a place of evangelization, of authentic apostolate and of pastoral action  not through complementary or parallel or extra- curricular activity, but of its very nature: the work of educating the Chris- tian person• (section 33) :;Almost four hundred years ago the first European Catholics to come See KEYNOTER Page 3 I I I " I I" I I I