What does spirituality in ACE look like?
The spirituality of ACE is rooted in the belief that we are called to an encounter with Christ the Teacher, and it is the Holy Spirit who calls people, as the Spirit called the first disciples, to this encounter. Grounded in the Catholic faith, ACE emphasizes an invitational spirituality during the two-year experience and beyond. ACE welcomes teachers of all faiths and denominations and encourages the development of personal spirituality and faith in the context of community, sharing with one another the journey of becoming committed Catholic school teachers.
ACE’s efforts at pastoral formation strive to meet ACE teachers where they are and invite them to a deeper relationship with God and a deeper sense of how their service and life in community are connected to their spirituality. ACE seeks to form Catholic educators who integrate their personal, communal, professional, and spiritual lives in their journey to answer the Holy Spirit’s call to serve.
What opportunities for spiritual growth do ACE teachers have?
An important goal of the program is to provide ACE teachers with the tools to become reflective professional educators and to live out their faith daily. First and foremost, as Catholic school educators, ACE teachers will have the opportunity to form and guide their students in their faith lives, which in turn will shape their own. Summers at Notre Dame offer a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth including coursework, retreats, Mass, and prayer services. Members of each ACE community together develop their spiritual and prayer lives, embracing personal experiences and inviting each other to grow in faith. In addition, ACE teachers often find spiritual support, direction, and challenge from the pastoral staff.
Though participants formally commit themselves to only a brief experience as teachers, ACE seeks to provide talented young people with a meaningful opportunity to explore teaching as a vocation. Whatever professional pursuits our graduates undertake, ACE invites all participants to become lifelong advocates for Catholic education as leaders who serve our country’s most valuable asset: its children.