The following is based on a June 8 email from ’Joe Catholic’ in San Jose.
According to May 9 story in Cal Catholic, the Drexel Initiative set up in the San Jose diocese requires participating parochial schools to raise millions while eliminating the pastor’s authority over the school. In the midst of the controversy the pastor in charge of St. Clare School in Santa Clara was publicly humiliated.
From the May story: “Diocesan PR spin can be found here. ‘Mandatory’ priest meeting regarding the initiative a couple weeks ago was apparently ignored by the vast majority of the priests, who understood that yet another San Jose scam was upon them. PR doesn’t reflect the reality of the changed governance structure: principals and school staffs will henceforth report to the superintendent, not the pastors.”
The June 8 emailer reports: “In its bid to prevent parents from moving their students out from schools joining the Drexel Initiative, the diocese of San Jose has reached absurd lengths. The diocese has now instructed all parochial schools in the diocese not to accept refugees from St. Clare School and other Drexel schools whose parents do not want their children to become guinea pigs in the new blended learning experiment, which also separates schools from their host parishes.
“Even neighboring parochial schools desperate for admissions are not allowed to take students from these schools. Parents fleeing dysfunctional parochial schools or not looking to be part of the experiment are looking at home schooling or Protestant schools, even while hoping that sanity is restored at some point before the next school year.”
“The Drexel Initiative has become too big too fail, allowing non-Drexel schools to thrive and preventing potential loss of the faith of Catholic school age children.”
Who or what group conceived the Drexel Initiative? The article doesn’t explain what it is. It sounds like it came from an anti-Catholic group. Did the order come from the bishop that children leaving Drexel schools could not be enrolled in other Catholic schools? What is “blended learning?” Since individual schools must raise millions of dollars, that in itself may kill the Drexel Initiative. How many parents can come up with huge sums of money?
Good questions. I hope you get a published reply.
It seems the PR spin from the diocese has been removed from website, no longer available. What does that tell us ?
New Academy of Blended Learning to Benefit San Jose Catholic School Educators — https://www.scu.edu/news/releases/release.cfm?c=16261
“New Alchemy of Blended Learning”?
Santa Clara University sent out a press release on May 15 entitled — “New Academy of Blended Learning to Benefit San Jose Catholic School Educators” — detailing the Blended Learning portion of the Initiative.
here is the presentation of the Initiative – https://www.stclareschool.org/docs/drexel_meet01.pdf
The PDF copy of a slide presentation explaining the “Drexel Initiative” can be found as the first link shown when “Googling” .
Bad signs abound. The “Drexel Initiative” is “based in the California Common Core Standards,” appears to compromise the authority of the pastor and parish school board, and involves “Partnering with Santa Clara University” [a thoroughly corrupted institution where (for example) the “Office for Multicultural Learning” has its own web page devoted to “LGBTQ Community Events,” including a “Rainbow Prom” and “Everyone is Gay” performance].
The frequently asked questions document sent to parents – https://www.dsj.org/files/FAQsforparentsofInitiativeSchools4.pdf
The so-called Drexel Initiative, which has nothing really to do with the incredible and wonderful Mother Katherine Drexel (she would laugh at it, I am sure, with her great sense of humor), cuts out any authority of the pastor of the parish over the parish school. So, here the pastor is encouraging people to financially support the school in the 2nd collection each Sunday, and he is merely advisory. Yes, it is unbelievable, and yet perfectly epitaphic of the bishop and the diocese of San Jose —make priests, even pastors, powerless puppets. The principal and teachers would now answer directly to the diocesan superintendent of schools office. You can see their powerpoint/pdf presentationwhich tries to put the best face on it at the St Clare School site. (I would give the URL or link but we arent supposed to at Cal Catholic). Oh Lord, how long here must we have this bishop? In San Jose Diocese, instead of “pray-pay-and-obey”, it is just “pay, pay, pay” PJ and his friends.
How was the pastor of St. Clare’s publicly humiliated? He did not attended the meeting.
I was wondering the same thing about the pastor being humiliated — he probably spoke his mind and got slapped down by some big wig from the chancery office! Isn’t this the very same diocese where the bishop forces people to stand during the Eucharistic prayer when they SHOULD be kneeling? What’s going on down there?!?
“Blended learning in the Catholic tradition is firmly rooted in our concern for the dignity, value, growth, and development of each person. It affirms the Catholic value of subsidiarity in placing decisions about, and problem solving in learning, at its actionable level: students, educators, parents and community partners.” The Jesuits are behind this and it sounds like they sold the diocese on it (you can also track it back to Loyola Chicago). Removing the pastor from a K-8 school essentially puts everything in the diocesan education department’s hands – who tend to be dictatorial in method and personality. Students and parents don’t matter, “they” know best!
Many pastors know nothing about how to run a school and just let the principal do everything. And the principals create little fiefdoms where only their friends and people like them teach at the school. So, this is no change. Just trading one dictator for another.
I inadvertently enclosed the search string for the related “Drexel Initiative” slide presentation (to which I referred above) in what are considered “html tags,” so the search-string text was removed.
Instead, this site’s webmaster kindly inserted the needed link just above my earlier post — and added one for FAQs (showing San Jose Diocese and PR firm propaganda) as well, apparently to show what Steve Phoenix mentioned as the diocese’s continuing attempt to “put the best face” on this incursion.
I see from the slideshow that the pastor is removed as the supervisor of the principal in favor of the Assistant Superintendent. If I was a pastor whose school was taken from me, I sure as heck would have skipped the meeting which no doubt was a slick PR effort. It would be a humiliation to sit through such a thing. Better to have a beer with my priest buddies singing, “Bye bye Miss American Pie,” as Orthodox Catholicism sinks below the parochial school waves in NorCal! You can bet that whatever Catholic influence that exists at that school will slowly drain away as most Bay Area parochial teachers get their teaching credentials from SCU and USF. We really are in desperate times for Catholic education!
And no way would I promote a Sunday collection for my former parochial school! SP, that’s horrible!
And nice trick, not letting students transfer to other schools. So much for Catholic teaching that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children. Did no San Jose priest stand up to such a ridiculous edict? Talk about emasculated!
It sounds like the bishop there has already castrated his priests there — maybe he also removed their vocal cords so they can’t protest his nonsense!
In SoCal, many of the teachers get their degrees from LMU – so things are not any better down here (Jesuit schools don’t, for the most part, believe in having mandatums and their graduates don’t know the Faith very well, either). You almost can’t become a principal without having gone there now, too.
Things will become more problematic for schools since it appears that many (most?) dioceses are heading for Common Core and all the headaches that is brings. Do they have to? No. Should they, no for many reasons – first among reasons is that Catholic schools have historically always done better and the change is for comparison (with public schools) purposes.
Taking schools away from a parish will separate the school from it. As parishes grow older, they increasingly become divorced from their schools. If the bishop doesn’t currently support Catholic education, there is no reason to think he will when the change is implemented.
In all due respect, Father, it is not your school. It is the parish school which is part of the Diocese. The local parish is a branch of the primary church of the Diocese, the Cathedral. That having been said, we need to come to grips with the fact that we are not producing enough Priest of American background. We are importing Priests and seminarians from around the world who don’t understand our culture, know how to get things done in our culture, in many cases cannot give a sermon that people can understand, etc. We need to change the model. The local priests generally don’t know enough about learning science to be effective. If they did, we would already have blended learning, certification programs for teachers, etc. It is time for a new model. The presentation that I read gives a good overview of an approach worth trying.
Obviously Bob One or Anonymous (being generally bitterly anti-clerical, based on their other comments) don’t believe in the priest,who is appointed to the parish as “pastor,” or associate pastor, as literally “shepherd” of souls, nor the pastor’s responsibility under Canon Law for the cura animarum, the care of souls, of all his parishioners. The pastor has a right and responsibility to be more than a smiling visitor at his own parish’s school. Most pastors don’t actually try to manage and run the school itself, and work closely with their principals. All of this will now be circumvented. by a new faceless (and mostly lay) bureaucracy at the chancery. This is another move in the direction of making pastors/priests and associate pastors/priests mere functionaries. Is it a wonder why most able and masculine young men do not want to become priests anymore?
What is the issue? Are we supposed to be against trying to improve the Catholic School system? Is the current system, based on parish ownership and management the best model for the 21st century? Does this program offer any advantages over the current system. I must admit that I don’t understand what would make people upset. We all know that the educational system in the U. S. sucks when we compare it to other advanced countries (except at the university level). In California, nearly 40% of freshmen at state universities need to take remedial courses. In my day they would not have been admitted to college. Teachers lecturing in the front of the class no longer works. Information is too much a “now” thing. Every student has the learning of the world on their phone, ipad or laptop right in the class, in real time. So, I would ask again, what is the issue here?
The issue, Bob One, is tyranny, which flies in the face of Jesus. It is not the secular govt in collusion with Catholic school bureaucracies which is God’s educator, but the parents along with their local Catholic communities. Catholic bureaucracies are not Catholic communities but secular govt apparatchiks. Don’t you know anything of Catholic religion, Bob One? You seem so ignorant of it, and such a robotchik puppet whose strings are pulled by govt money changers … Jesus threw them out of His Father’s House … but you bring them back in.
WHAT???? Have you been listening to conspiracy theorist again? This has nothing to do with tyranny, but improving the outcome of Catholic Education for the children.
On the slide there is a line from the Pastor to the Principal.Pastor is still responsible for the faith formation and religious eduction at the school. The Pastor is no longer responsible for the operations of the school – facilities repair and maintenance and meeting and exceeding California curriculum standards for academic subjects like languages arts, science and math. The Pastor is throwing out the baby with the bath water. Since he cannot continue to mismanage the finances of the school to shore up the parish’s finances, he is throwing a tantrum and refusing to be the spiritual leader of the school.
Patrick J. McGrath is the Diocese Bishop of San Jose.
Everything “Catholic” within his Diocese falls under his authority – for good or for bad.
Never forget that the Diocese Bishop is always ultimately in charge of everything “Catholic” within his own Diocese.
He is the person to contact if there is an issue.
If that does not work, write to the US Papal Nuncio in Washington DC and the Vatican.
It does sound like the Diocese Bishop is violating the CCC – in that the PARENTS (not Bishops or Priests) have the prime responsibility to raise their children in the Faith. By forbidding them to pay tuition at the Catholic school of the parents choice, the Bishop is interfering with the parents.
Does Bishop McGrath require a morality clause (adhering to the CCC) in every contract as a condition of employment for ALL Diocese employees ?
(This is especially important for those who have any contact with or set examples for children.)
I attended a Continuing Legal Education (CA Bar approved) course at Santa Clara University – and despite being wary of ‘Jesuit’ education to begin with, was appalled at the level of MISANDRY (Separatist / Neo-Exterminationist Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity and Normal Heterosexuality) that pervaded the pogrom.
To call SCU a ‘catholic’ institution – is like calling the Larry Brinkin posse a ‘human rights’ group… Or is that grope: Here is a copy of my complaint – which SCU simply ignored, as it does the Magisterium of the Church too:
Santa Clara University 4/16/2012
President Michael E. Engh, S.J.; SCU Faculty and Administrators.
Re: Viewpoint Discrimination & Illegal Retaliation at SCU CLE Class 4.13.12
I write to both lodge a formal Complaint and express my Outrage at the despicably biased and discriminatory treatment I received from your Faculty and Security Services, when as a Licensed Attorney properly registered for a State Bar Certified Continuing Legal Education class on 4/13 /12 at Santa Clara U. – I was Confronted by 4 Campus Security officers and Denied Re-Entry to the final segment of class.
“Taking Notes in Class” as in “Writing Down What People Said” – were given as the primary cause for denial of permitting me to finish the final 90 minutes of the CLE class (‘Race, Sexuality & Social Justice’ 4/13/12) by Assistant Director for Campus Security Bersch. When I was told this and then took out one of the notepads provided by the University in my class packet and began taking notes of what Bersch and the other officers were saying, Bersch became quite angry and exclaimed – “See, you’re doing it again”, and demanded I stop taking notes of their statements.
Bersch stated that he was following instructions of Professor Wildman, who along with other faculty was angry that I was writing down what the speakers said in the notebook they had provided, and had asked a few relevant albeit unwelcome questions in class. As one of those placed on several radical homosexualist stalker lists (e.g. ‘lavender liberal’) in retaliation for having both written an Amicus Pro-Se Brief for the State and Federal Proposition 8 ‘marriage’ cases, and donated to the Same Proposition 8 Campaign endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church – I am accustomed to harsh reactions against supporters of the Wise Moral Teachings of the Magisterium on such issues as the types of “EVIL” attacking the Church.
However, this Retaliatory Discrimination was also a Professional
Abuse by Radicalized Misandrist Law School Staff of a State Bar CLE class I was properly attending. The cannons of Professional Ethics do not allow for Neutral Bar Courses to be used to exclude otherwise valid students because of different viewpoints.
Bar CLE Courses are Supposed to be open to parties on the opposite sides of legal / political issues, even if they disagree with faculty members. This is particularly so at an event Hosted at a Catholic University, regarding subjects about which the Teachings of the Church are Clear – even if flagrantly mocked and denied by said faculty.
I had exited the classroom for the 3pm break and was directed outside the lobby (in full view of all participants) and faced off with a wall of 3 Security Officers, including the guard from the class and Bersch. Having previously notified Campus Security in writing of my desire to avoid any problems with those on the other side of some of the Controversial Political issues the class dealt with, a Security Guard was present in class during the entire event. When questioned in front of Bersch the guard contradicted claims made by the radical Misandrist behind the vendetta, and stated that I had only asked questions when called upon by the moderator during the Q&A sessions, and the guard agreed I had asked a total of 3 Qs taking less than 30 Seconds aggregate.
When I pointed out the Nature of the Forum was Not Private but Limited Public / Professional – in that it had been Opened to Members of the Bar such as I – by agreement and For Credit, Bersch went inside to consult with Wildman and returned to say that I should apply for and would be Given Credit for the Whole Class.
When I pointed out that this amounted to Subornation of Perjury on the part of Wildman (who really should have known better, and perhaps did), as I would be guilty of defrauding the Bar to claim credit for hours I did not attend, Bersch again became angry with me and reiterated that he did not want me taking notes about what he said. At that point I recognized the futility of reason, and after security went inside and retrieved my belongings (and Class Notebook) from my seat inside, I left.
At least Bersch’s reaction to being quoted was consistent with your faculty, given that My Openly Taking Notes / Quotes In Class (Wildman and others may have looked over my shoulder as I wrote at least some) was held out as enough to cause Un-Good “Feelings” amongst the Professoriate – who to a Womyn during class flaunted their ‘in your face’ Living Out of Radical Activist / Anti-Catholic MISANDRY.
Much of the ‘class’ was simply an overt and eminently quotable Display of Hatred for All they see as Tainted by ‘Linear’ Sexuality, Maleness, the “Patriarchy” and the Catholic Pope and Magisterium. The litany of venomous hateful bile spewed during the event at “Straights”(a Deliberately Demeaning Slur repeatedly used), White Men & White Women, Christianity and Catholicism… was as continuous as it was dogmatically repetitive. As addendum I provide Some of the more hateful quotations, for use in the next ‘Diversity Legend’ awards.
The alleged “Authentic Conversations Across Differences” advertised for this class turned in to an authentic partisan Political Vendetta by angry radical feminist / homosexualist faculty, intent in using their power to silence Authentic differences of Viewpoint. Hence, I do believe that the case of ‘University of Wisconsin v. Southworth, 529 US 217 (2000) also applies to their abuse of this type of Forum.
As a responsible member in good standing of the State Bar I properly attended an authorized Continuing Legal Education class and was Illegally Discriminated against and subject to Retaliatory Harm based on Viewpoint Discrimination motivated by MISANDRY – the Hatred of Men, Masculinity and Normal Heterosexuality, as well as Hatred for Catholic Teachings.
That such egregious violation of the Law and lack of respect for the Forum was done at a Catholic University is disappointing, if not wholly unexpected. I note that another similar disgusting diatribe featuring what is billed as a “Good Rape” (a Womyn rapes a young girl) – in a Tantrum Theater production called the “vagina monologues” – is also scheduled for staging on campus, which is just another sign of the deep hostility to Men, Heterosexuality and the Catholic Faith in the ‘professional’ faculty.
I Expect an Apology, and that those responsible be properly disciplined for amazing stupidity if naught else. Really Folks – Suborning Perjury by instructing me to claim CLE Hours they all knew I never attended, particularly as the Bar is now cracking down on just this type Fraud… Pull the other one Professor, it has bells on it!
Beyond that starting point, I expect the University to Do Something Positive to Make Amends for this Disgrace; and perhaps even Promote Real Diversity – By Including those who support the Magisterium in future presentations. I offer my services to a Genuinely Diverse Panel on the type issues that were subject to only one-sided Misandrist Diatribes during the 4/13 travesty.
Such a program would naturally want to recruit others in opposition to the monolithic Radical Gender Feminism of your faculty, including scourges of the PC Apparatchik world like Daphne Patai, author of “Professing Feminism”; or UNC Law Professor / columnist Mike Adams, author of the insightful if unapproved book: “Feminists Say the Darndest Things, A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts “Womyn” on Campus.” Adams would be perfect as a lecturer for SCU, as he also coined the term “GAYSTAPO” for just these type tactics used by your staff.
Regardless, I shall be formally complaining to the California State Bar about this Unprofessional treatment, as this is not just a private Santa Clara matter, but an issue of Viewpoint Discrimination in providing State Bar Education Services to Licensed Members, even those on opposing sides in the issue…. Which is Wrong in Many Ways.
Michael J. McDermott
* This sample of quotations is only a part of the contents from my class notebook, including more from “Legend of Diversity” Frances Kendall, who said:
“White Women are the Greatest Enemy of Blacks” & “White Women Reinforce the Superiority of Whiteness”
Property Rights Advocates who want to: “Be in charge of their own land are like White Supremacists in Idaho or the Tea Party.”
OR – Proposition 8 Attorney Shannon Minter, who disapproved of a Judge in a sports case for: “Treating Bisexuals as if they were Straight Men trying to Bully their way in.”
Minter then went on to embrace the diversity of “Bisexual Men” – distinguishing them from the: “Dangerous Outsiders like Straight Men.”
The logic works like this: If homosexual acts are moral, as so many now insist, then they should be normative. If they are normative, they should be taught in our schools as a standard. If they are a standard, they should be enforced.
And so it has come, and is coming, to be. Education is an essential part of the drive to universalize the rationalization for homosexual behavior; so it must become a mandatory part of the curriculum.
What began as a plea for diversity ends with a demand for conformity.
The infiltration of higher education by LGBT studies is well known. However, less attention seems to have been paid to the effort to spread LGBT propaganda in elementary schools and high schools. Because of the young ages of students K through 12, the introduction of pro-homosexual materials has required a special sensitivity from those who are trying to get away with it.
They must avoid the explicit nature of the LGBT courses offered at the college level and disguise the effort in terms of something other than what it really is. Therefore, they use a stealth approach under the cover of issues such as school safety, diversity, and bullying…
Micahel, blogs have declared your brief to be one of the funniest works of fiction ever filed before the California Supreme Court. Write that down!
No it is not. One of my relatives went to Santa Clara University in the 1980’s, and her parents were expecting her to get a good Catholic education. Radical feminism was rampant in some of the textbooks. Not only did she not get a Catholic education, but not even a Christian one in many of her classes. She is no longer even Catholic because she thinks the Church is full of lesbians and homosexuals. She came out totally confused on Church teaching. I suppose some of the classes are good, but one certainly has to be wary and know just exactly which ones are according to Church teaching and which are not.
I agree with you Anne. I went to Georgetown University class of 1998. One of my teachers was professor Monica Hellwig. I took her class Intro to catholic theology. I came out more confused than anything. There was a protestant in the class who thought this lady’s teachings were blasphemy. The jesuits definitely have some explaining to do.
@Anonymous 6/12 9:34 PM
“On the slide there is a line from the Pastor to the Principal. Pastor is still responsible for the faith formation and religious education at the school.”
Anonymous, you read a lot into that line stretching between principal and pastor. As far as we know, that line could represent a meeting between pastor and principal discussing sharing the parking lot. I find it interesting that in both Power Points there isn’t a word said about responsibility for Catholic formation and identity. And even if the pastor is responsible for faith formation and religious education at the school as you assert, what influence does he really have? Will the teachers report to him for religious items and the principal for everything else? Highly unlikely and overly cumbersome to pastors and teachers if it were to be implemented.
In my experience, Catholic schools with strong faith have all involved extensive priest presence in the schools. I cannot imagine a school whose Catholic nature will thrive with the marginalization of priests. Yet that is what these two Power Point presentations suggest.
I have to admit that your unusual capitalizations are off-putting to me as a reader, but the events you relate are deplorable. Godspeed in getting your complaint heard before responsible authorities.
Most of the seven schools in the initiative were going to be closed this year because their enrollment was horribly low, the expenses were high, the facilities are not being maintained – doesn’t sound like the pastor’s were doing a great job to bring with. Priests are trained in the bible, the catechism, the sacraments, homiletics. They are NOT trained to run a school; they aren’t even trained on the finance management of a parish, which is why so many parishes are financially mismanaged. PLUS Catholic high schools are complaining that the students coming from the catholic elementary schools are way behind in basic language arts and math skills. I guess you all were prefer the schools to be closed than do anything to fix problem.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR?
The Initiative model frees clergy from the administrative burden of the school and emphasizes the pastor’s role as spiritual advisor. Because a critical objective of the Initiative is to strength Catholic identity, the Pastor will be the significant religious and spiritual leader of the school community. The Initiative encourages Pastors and Parochial Vicars to spend a certain number of hours engaging with the students at school. Clergy will no longer have to worry about the details of running a school.
This is just more centralization of “control” by the catholic schools. You might look at common core or agenda 21 as the synonyms for this sort of stupidity. Centralization is bad. Why does everything have to be the same as everything else? (simple, because when all is homogenous, the error ways stick out alot easier when the whole mass of humanity is all brainwashed into doing everything the same way, far easier to identify and deal with the Critical Thinker once such has been “normalized” on the public.)
Dear Moderator – I have reposted my reply to ‘anonymous’ – although it may have been removed (why was not said). I will submit this as an amended post – but if the problem is with use of the term “Dyke” – I suggest you stop by Mission Dolores Church on next June 29 – and see all the Self Avowed Dykes taking over the street – and Banning Males from the public road.
“… blogs have declared your brief to be one of the funniest works of fiction ever filed before the California Supreme Court.”
Well – who can argue with anonymous blogs, or bloggers for that matter? After all – humor can be such a personal thing, particularly in the former ‘City of Saint Francis’.
Just for idle curiosity – which provided the biggest belly laugh, my discussion of Gaystapo Terrorist spray-painting swastikas and slurs against the Pope – on the Church (Holy Redeemer) where my parents were married?
Or the Annual Tax Subsidized Anti-Male Hate Riot known as the SF Dyke March (Next scheduled for 6/29/13 – starting from the steps of MIssion Dolores), which although it refuses to apply for any permits or pay any costs, still Bans Male Citizens from the Public Street?
BTW – the ‘lamesteam media’ used to report on the Dyke March – but after my Brief was filed, they now Censor it completely – although the city is still gridlocked during the annual display of hate fueled tantrum theater.
Personally – I always got a chuckle out of their placing the officially designated “Fat Dyke Porta-Potty” inside the designated “Scent Free Zone”…
Because after all – only the intolerant would believe that Fat Dyke Odeur exudes any odor.
There have always been diocesan schools that are owned by the bishop and managed by the superintendent of schools. While the school may be housed at a parish, it is part of the juridic person of the diocese under the authority of the bishop (rather than of the parish which is governed by the pastor). In most cases, diocesan schools are formed when pastors return the authority over the school to the bishop, when a previously closed parish school is re-opened by the diocese, or when the pastor agrees to “outsource” the governance of the school to the diocese.
In 1967, there were 35 diocesan schools, representing less than 1% of Catholic elementary schools in US. Four decades later, these schools grew to nearly 600 or roughly 10% of Catholic elementary schools and still growing. The steep rise in diocesan schools negatively correlates to parish school closings, suggesting that the diocesan model has been utilized as an alternative to the closing of a parish school.
In diocesan schools, the principal reports to the superintendent, the
designated canonical administrator representing the authority of the
bishop. Many diocesan schools utilize boards, either in an advisory
capacity or with policy-making authority. The pastor from the host parish, as well as pastors from surrounding parishes, can serve as spiritual/pastoral leaders but without canonical authority over the schools.
The diocesan superintendent oversees these schools. Participating in a
larger diocesan system potentially facilitates access to improved practices in curriculum, instruction, professional development, strategic planning, and pooled resources such as Title funding. Pastors also report feeling “freed up” of school administrative duties to focus more on pastoral ministries.
One example is the Jubilee School in the Diocese of Memphis. In 1998, the
Superintendent of Schools in Memphis, Mary McDonald, was charged with
the task of reopening Catholic schools that had been closed in downtown
Memphis. McDonald accepted the challenge. Over a decade later the
eight reopened Jubilee Schools serve over 1,300 students.
The “Miracle in Memphis” is a rare example of a diocese that has opened schools and experienced increased enrollment. The Jubilee Schools are governed by the Diocese of Memphis and supported by innovative marketing and capital campaigns to secure financial support from local philanthropists and foundations. Memphis Jubilee schools revitalized Catholic education in Memphis.
A second example is the Diocese of Bridgeport. In 2003, a study by Meitler
Consultants pointed to an issue of “blurred authority” within the Diocese
of Bridgeport Catholic Schools. They noted a void in leadership where no
one “owned the mission of the schools and their operations.” In response,
Bishop William E. Lori announced that a new model of diocesan school
governance would be pursued under the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Schools Corporation. Superintendent Margaret Dames explains that the schools were charged with developing their own advisory boards while the Corporation would be responsible for supporting, sustaining, and governing the schools. In 2011, the Diocese of Bridgeport managed 33 elementary schools and 5 high schools, which together serve over 11,000 students.
A third example is the Archdiocesan Collaborative Schools (ACS) in
the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The Archdiocese’s strategic plan states
that all parish schools will eventually transform into the ACS model
in which schools will be owned and operated by the Archdiocese. The
implementation of the ACS model will be incremental. Schools will become
ACS schools in one of three ways: (1) the school had previously been
operated by the Archdiocese; (2) the pastor voluntarily cedes canonical
authority over a parish school to the bishop; or (3) as a condition for the
appointment of a new pastor. Twelve schools (about a quarter of the
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese) converted to the new model in July
2011, with a second cohort to change over in 2012. Each ACS is tasked
with forming a school board with decision-making authority in the areas of strategic planning, finances, facilities, development, and marketing.
Another unique aspect of the ACS model is that the pastors, as canonical
representatives, are charged with maintaining the relationship among
the school, the host parish, and the surrounding parishes.
Monsignor Robert Hartnett, Executive Director of the Office for School Planning and Implementation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, explained, “Some who have read about the ACS model mistakenly believe that it minimizes or does away with altogether the school and parish relationship. In fact, we believe the ACS model will strengthen – and expand – that relationship, not diminish it” Canonical representatives will work with the school’s president and/or principal to develop opportunities for mutual engagement between the school and each parish.
I am surprised by the tone here.
The Bishops, including The Most Reverend McGrath, are the successors of the apostles; they collectively receive the authority to teach and govern that Christ bestowed upon the apostles. Please pray for him; do not cause scandal by disrespecting him in a public forum. God bless and protect all our priests!!
He is required to prove his calling, and sadly most of them don’t, but cavil to the world, the flesh and the devil. But bishops do not have to give in because Christ strengthens them when they choose … they don’t choose though and thus we read “The streets of Hell are paved with the skulls of bishops”. Wisdom calls us to press the measure down to push the air out of it. But you Anonymouses of this world in your giddy false imitation of obedience and respect wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing … rather you simply let a bishop have your boys and play games with them. Anonymous, guess who it is that glues those skulls to the pavement.
It is a little confusing to follow this thread with all the posters using the Anonymous handle. Nonetheless it appears that some of the Anonymous posts here are by educated people who may or may not know the situation in San Jose. Not being a San Jose priest, I am in no position to understand the canonical terms of San Jose’s initiative. FWIW my SJ friends I have spoken with have told me that they do not understand the canonical grounds either. But being old enough to remember the separation of Catholic universities and high schools from their founding religious orders, we know from recent historical experience that the US Catholic education establishment is unable to propagate the Catholic faith among professors and teachers on its own. Only a few truly orthodox Catholic colleges still exist in this nation and the majority of Catholic high schools are suspect as well. What evidence do we have that extending this “professionalism” to the elementary schools will strengthen the Catholic identity of these schools? None.
The Anonymous posting of June 14th, 2013 4:41pm uses a lot of words (and contradicts itself in the process) to assert that “there have always been diocesan schools that are owned by the bishop and managed by the superintendent of schools.” Not at all: This has not been the case of the US Catholic parish school system historically, which has been a great success story overall. I can vouch for the several schools in several dioceses I have worked in that the principal worked directly for the pastor and the pastors were very concerned to support their principal—-but if something was happening in the school that the pastor needed to immediately change, he had the power to do so. The Drexel Initiative removes any real authority of the pastor over the school in his own parish and is de jure in conflict with canon law. The school/principal is now a satellite orbiting the chancery office sun. The pastor is an outside visitor to his own parish school. Look at their own diagrams that prove it. I also know that teachers who have worked in the chancery office system have been jumped on if they teach specific moral teachings (one teacher got fired for telling the children about Fatima—oh boy, is that verboten). Eventually the Drexel Initiative school will move these schools in the direction of a secular institution, just as Catholic Charities and “Catholic” hospitals and universities have done. Some of the commentators blame the pastors for the fact that these schools had low enrollment (I don’t know how that works, but it is consistent with the anti-clerical attitude that “this isn’t working because of the priest.”) They do not assess the situation in the Diocese of San Jose that pre-exists this problem where most Catholic parents do not find a real Catholic presence and Catholic teaching in the school. Yes, that I place on the shoulders of the current bishop, who is more concerned about writing columns about gun-control and raising the minimum wage than personally being an example of following Christ in poverty and in hardship and in standing up for the moral law of the Gospels. Now the contrast between him and a Pope Bergoglio is even sharper on all these matters (Bergoglio was never a slouch standing up for dangerous life-issues in Argentina). The silence here is deafening from the episcopal office, and the Drexel Initiative is wholly consistent with it. And in San Jose, the secular-atheist slide continues.