This week’s Catholic School Matters Radio Hour features four guests from the NCEA Convention in Chicago.  First, Dr. Timothy O’Malley from the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame comes on to discuss the role of liturgy in Catholic schools.  He points out the liturgy should be worship with prayer at its center and discusses what good liturgy should look like.  Liturgy isn’t just communicating a message or completing our Catholic identity—it’s a prayer space bringing silence and contemplation into the lives of our students.  He also mentions the “fault lines” of conflict around the Mass and mentions that next summer (2020) the McGrath Institute will be hosting a summer conference focusing on liturgy in Catholic schools.  He also mentioned his book Bored Again Catholic: How the Mass Could Save Your Life which summarizes his thoughts on liturgy.

Jill Anable from the Diocese of Grand Rapids discusses her efforts on establishing a new professional development protocol based on Robert Marzano’s instructional labs.  These classroom learning labs are innovative and are bringing excitement and innovation to the Catholic schools in Grand Rapids which are seeing growth.

Julie Cantillon from the Diocese of San Diego discusses the great leadership team they have in San Diego and how they have been able to respond to the professional development needs of their schools in San Diego.  Julie has developed a great website featuring all their offerings as well as multiple newsletters highlighting their great programs.  Her model is certainly worth replicating and has borne fruit in new partnerships with their local Catholic university, USD.

Finally, my final guest is my old friend, Bernard Dumond.  He discusses how he came into Catholic education, his view on effective development programs, and his belief in the mission of Catholic schools.  His focus is on school vitality and growth.  He discusses how he has moved schools away from strategic planning and toward strategic thinking.  Because schools are closing due to low enrollment and finances, he is motivated to work for Catholic schools.  He discusses the impact of the Christian Brothers and Catholic schools on his life.

Here is another link to the podcast.