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Catholic School Advantage

¡Viva Cristo Rey! Honoring Saint José Sánchez del Río

Written by Katy Lichon, Ph.D., Clare Roach, M.Ed., Jennifer Dees, M.Ed., Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC on Thursday, 10 November 2016.

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio 1


This is the first installment of the English as a New Language Program’s Moments with Multicultural Saints, intended to provide useful classroom takeaways that will help you to broaden perspectives, teach about the universal Church, and find inspiration from saints from around the world. This month, we focus on Mexico’s newest saint, Saint José Luis Sánchez del Rio. You will find two different versions below, tailored to the appropriate age range of your students.

First "LEI on the Road" Gathers Catholic Schools from Across Mid-Atlantic Region

on Wednesday, 26 October 2016.

Mid Atlantic LEI

For the first time in the program’s five-year history, the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) was held off-site of Notre Dame’s campus. In partnership with the Diocese of Allentown and the Healey Education Foundation, the Alliance for Catholic Education welcomed 30 Catholic schools from around the Mid-Atlantic region to DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, October 10-12. Of the 30 schools in attendance, 20 were from right there in the Diocese of Allentown, while the remaining ten schools came from the (arch)dioceses of Baltimore, Camden, and Philadelphia.

“Together we celebrate the vibrant Latino present and future of the Catholic Church in the United States,” said Bishop John Barres, Bishop of Allentown, in his opening remarks. “We celebrate how the gifts of the Holy Spirit experienced in the Hispanic Catholic community enrich and inspire every dimension of our Catholic community and mission in the United States.” He continued by saying that “Dramatically expanding the Catholic Church’s education mission to Latino families in each diocese nationally is less a problem to solve as it is a challenge to celebrate, embrace, and boldly move forward on.”

LEI on the Road

on Thursday, 08 September 2016.

LEI on the Road

After welcoming its fifth and largest cohort to campus this past summer, the Latino Enrollment Institute will be hitting the road for the first time in the program’s history. In partnership with the Diocese of Allentown and the Healey Education Foundation, the Alliance for Catholic Education will offer the Mid-Atlantic LEI to 30 Catholic schools, representing the (arch)dioceses of Allentown, Baltimore, Camden, and Philadelphia. The program will be held at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, October 10-12, 2016.

Similar to the summer institute on campus, the Mid-Atlantic LEI will feature presentations and discussions led and facilitated by school leaders and with demonstrated success in developing innovative Latino outreach programs. It will offer strategies and best practices intended to boost Latino enrollment in Catholic schools, as well as better serve Latino families once they enroll. Among the topics of focus are:

  • Developing a deeper understanding of Latino cultures and traditions
  • Building intercultural competency and what that means for your school
  • Enlisting faculty, staff, and parents to reach out personally to Latino families and invite them to Catholic schools
  • How to think about development - cultivating and maintaining private and corporate donors
  • Bright spots - a look at specific schools that provide an ideal "witness to the possible" as regards

We look forward to this exciting opportunity to extend the reach of the LEI to a greater number of schools in the Mid-Atlantic region. Check back for an update in the coming months!

Speaking to the Heart of What Parents Want for their Children

Written by Steve McClure on Thursday, 01 September 2016.

Know your audience. This age-old wisdom for public speaking is something we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. It often serves as a guiding principle for any successful marketing campaign and similarly has profound implications for developing an effective Latino recruitment strategy.

When Joana Camacho became principal of Sacred Heart Catholic School in Oklahoma City, she inherited a school that had just experienced a significant drop in enrollment, with no signs of that turning around any time soon. At the same time, the weekend Masses at Sacred Heart Parish were extremely well attended, in large part by Latino families with young children. Despite her efforts to reach out to this population, through a combination of open houses, traditional advertising techniques, and even speaking at some of the Spanish Masses, it wasn’t until she began to understand what Latino parents really wanted for their children that she was able to convey the most effective message.

Watch the whole story here...


School Pastors’ Institute Extends Reach Across the Nation, Welcomes Largest Group of Pastors in Program’s History

on Thursday, 28 July 2016.

School Pastors’ Institute Extends Reach Across the Nation, Welcomes Largest Group of Pastors in Program’s History

This past summer marked the Catholic School Advantage Campaign’s sixth annual School Pastors’ Institute (SPI), a four-day conference held on Notre Dame’s campus designed to help pastors respond to the unique and increasingly complex challenges and opportunities related to serving as a pastor of a Catholic school.

Since the program first began in 2011, it has consistently garnered greater attention each year as word has spread, but this summer saw the most significant increase in participation as the SPI expanded to offer two separate weeks. 180 pastors from 67 different (arch)dioceses attended the Institute in July, bringing the total number of pastors who have participated in the SPI since its inception to 675, representing 127 different (arch)dioceses.

We were honored to welcome the Most Reverend Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Indianapolis, and the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, as the keynote speakers. In total, the SPI featured 18 different presenters and panelists who spoke on a number of topics, including the strengthening of Catholic identity in schools, financial management, strengthening the pastor-principal relationship, and recruitment and marketing strategies for attracting and better serving Latino families, to name a few.

The SPI also featured several tracks tailored to the unique needs of school pastors, including those who are first-time school pastors, those who are pastors of regional or combined school models, pastors of rural parish schools, and international priests who may be new to the U.S. Catholic school system.

It is because of the school pastor’s unique authority to articulate both the urgency and importance of this work that the School Pastors’ Institute plays such a vital role in the overall mission of the Catholic School Advantage Campaign. It is our hope that all who were in attendance this summer return to their parishes with a renewed sense of zeal for the Catholic school entrusted to their care, and we look forward to sharing with you the success stories that are sure to emerge over the coming year.

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