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In the Spotlight: Steve Camilleri

on Friday, 17 February 2012.

ACE has changed a lot since its first class of aspiring teachers attended an information meeting in 1993, according to a member of that ACE 1 cohort. Steve Camilleri remembers dropping off his ACE application to Father Tim Scully after the Easter Vigil Mass later that year, and he has watched the program’s impact grow over the nearly two decades that followed. “We used to say that ACE stands for ‘always changing everything,’” he says, “because ACE is changing the future of Catholic education, changing the lives of students and teachers everywhere, and changing principals, classrooms, communities, and everything it touches.”

Steve adds: “ACE changed me.” First, it opened his eyes to the life of a teacher—a vocation that drives him today as executive director of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless. The pillars of ACE, bringing together service, community, and spirituality, also inform Steve’s life as a parent and parishioner. He and his wife are delighted that their kindergartener and first grader are going to a Catholic school that “educates them in the faith.” His service on the parish stewardship committee includes a plan “to implement stewardship in every classroom at the school,” passing the message of the pillars along to a new generation.

ACE people like to say “we’re just getting started,” and Steve remembers ACE when that was literally true. He lightheartedly proposes that the slogan is another thing that could change over time. “In ten years from now, we’ll be saying, ‘it’s only getting better.’ In twenty years, `the best is yet to come.’” He wants to stress that lives are being changed every day because ACE cares, and that can change everything. “Who knows where the Spirit will take us now?”

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