In collaboration, the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame and the United States Province Office of Apostolic Mission & Charism hosted all the Province’s parish pastors with parochial schools, along with their school principals, for a three-day retreat. The gathering was held from October 2-4 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.
The retreat began with Mass in the Christ the Teacher Chapel in Carol Sandner Hall, with Fr. William Lies, C.S.C., Superior of the United States Province, presiding.
The opening plenary on the state of Catholic parochial education in the US was given by Dr. John Staud, Executive Director of ACE. Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C., Vicar and First Assistant of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and Br. Prodip Placid Gomes, Second Assistant, attended the first session, as did Fr. Pete Jarret, C.S.C., Vicar of the United States Province.
The attendees spent the next morning touring local Holy Cross elementary schools such as St. Adalbert’s and St. Joseph’s in South Bend. After Mass at the Basilica and lunch hosted by the Holy Cross community at Notre Dame, Dr. Chris Haug, Provincial Assistant for Apostolic Mission & Charism, offered an afternoon workshop on charism in action.
Fr. Drew Cleary, C.S.C., and Matt Bartek from the United States Province’s Vocation came to facilitate a conversation on cultivating an environment in schools for vocations to flourish. Dr. Marco Clark, President of Holy Cross College, led a second plenary session on school leadership through the lens of charism. The day ended with a reflective tour of campus given by Mr. Chuck Lamphier from the Office of Mission and Church Affairs of the University of Notre Dame.
The final morning the pastors and principals got to meet with representatives of ACE to find out what resources the institute can offer for continuing professional development. Dr. Katy Lichon, Director for the English as a New Language Program and the Director of the Catholic School Advantage with ACE, also hosted a parent panel to explore educational issues from their perspective.
The final Mass was celebrated by Fr. Lou DelFra, C.S.C., Director of Pastoral Life at ACE. The retreat concluded with a walk to the grotto on the university’s campus where each pastor and principal lit a candle for their school and prayed together for their school.