This is my first attempt to blog about a “Catholic School Matters” podcast episode. I don’t want to summarize the episode—rather, I’d like to use it as a launching pad for my thoughts. I’m going to try to do release these the day after a podcast episode is released.
On Episode #13, Chris Mominey mentioned the 4 special ed high schools. I had never heard of Catholic special ed high schools. He mentioned St. Lucy high school for the blind, a high school for the deaf, and Our Lady of Confidence. I was impressed that Chris talked about cochlear implants and its effect on enrollment. My Dad was deaf (he passed away in 2006) and received a cochlear implant as an adult. Chris’ seemingly casual remark really knocked me off guard. “We have Catholic schools which serve the deaf community,” I thought. Wow.
Today I interviewed a principal from a Catholic elementary school which has a very inclusive model and should be replicated and imitated widely. We talked about how inclusivity—bringing students from the margins to the center—should be the goal of every Catholic school. (Look for that episode in March). So that’s where I was today, nostalgic about my Dad and engaged with this principal before I listened to this episode again. And perhaps thinking about my daughter (Lucy) and her First Reconciliation tonight.
There are a lot of great aspects to this podcast: option thinking, every mission has a margin, distributing leadership, moving away from hospice mentality, mindset, equipping saints for life. But it was the discussion about the school for the deaf and St. Lucy’s that struck a chord. The ministry of special ed speaks to the greatness of our work to which we should all aspire. We need the great business savvy and visionary leadership that folks like Chris provide. But we need the purpose and the great work of those special ed schools.
Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the podcast so new episodes will automatically download. The show is also available on Stitcher and Google Play. If you don’t have accounts with any of those content providers, here is the link to my basic page with the podcasts.