The following comes from a Jan. 30 story on the website of the Cardinal Newman Society.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who recently announced the formation of an archdiocesan office to ensure the Catholic identity of Catholic high schools, emphasized the need for schools to focus on proper faculty formation and hiring in order to effectively hand on the Catholic faith to students, according to the National Catholic Register.

“I would like to focus on what is uniquely Catholic and instill a sense of confidence in what the Church teaches,” the archbishop reportedly said.

Archbishop Cordileone stressed “the need for careful attention to teacher formation and hiring of faculty,” which are “critical elements of [a] Catholic-identity initiative,” the Register reported.

“We hear stories of children going through 12 years of Catholic education and then they leave the Church,” Archbishop Cordileone reportedly remarked. “Somehow, we are not instilling a sense of Catholic identity in many of our students.”

As a solution, the archbishop hopes that the new initiative will “strengthen the transmission of Catholic faith and culture to the next generation” without relaxing religious standards, the Register wrote.

Melanie Morey, who has been hired to lead the initiative, will reportedly visit the archdiocesan schools and help to provide them with a “baseline assessment of their Catholic identity.” Then the schools will regularly report their progress to the Office of Catholic Identity and cooperate in achieving the expected standards, the Register reported.

Archbishop Cordileone also highlighted the importance of effectively teaching the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Archbishop reportedly suggested “incorporating great music, art and literature [and] celebrating the Church’s contribution to science and scheduling Eucharistic adoration” as integral factors in promoting “a Catholic educational environment.”

And if “the school is going to further its Catholic mission, those entrusted with furthering its mission cannot be acting against it,” he told the Register.

In late December, Morey met with high school administrators within the Archdiocese to answer questions and discuss the Office’s goals. The meeting was reportedly well-received and generated fruitful discussions, indicating a positive start to Archbishop Cordileone’s Catholic identity initiative.