Catholic schools to be served by new mission-focused initiative

| April 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

A new initiative by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for Catholic Schools is unfolding, Bishop Andrew Cozzens announced April 17. It is set to launch July 1.

Bishop Cozzens, the vicar for Catholic education, is rolling out a new plan that will transform the existing Office of Catholic Schools into a new Office for the Mission of Catholic Education.

The new office “is going to focus more directly on the mission of evangelizing our children, which is the primary mission of the whole Church,” he said. “I see the office becoming a resource for developing Catholic culture in our schools and for helping our teachers become even more excellent Catholic educators.”

The centerpiece of the plan, which has emerged from consultation Bishop Cozzens has been involved in over the past year, will be the hiring of a chancellor of Catholic education. The chancellor then will hire other key staff as necessary. Bishop Cozzens said he hopes to have a new chancellor on board by July 1. He does not yet know who in the current Catholic schools office will take on new roles with the transition.

“We’re going to post the job within the next couple of weeks,” Bishop Cozzens said. “We need a person who has both excellent educational expertise and excellent understanding of the Catholic faith and who understands what it means to form a Catholic culture in our schools.”

The chancellor will report directly to Bishop Cozzens and will be charged with implementing five “critical competencies” in Catholic education outlined in the proposal, including virtue, spiritual, apostolic (service), intellectual and vocation.

“Catholic formation encompasses much more than just making sure our schools have a faithful religion curriculum,” Bishop Cozzens wrote in his proposal. “Rather, it is making sure that our schools have within them a Catholic culture which forms the students in the dignity of the human person and a Catholic view of our world.”

Bishop Cozzens has spent the last year meeting with Catholic education leaders in the archdiocese. Archbishop John Nienstedt appointed him to his post as vicar of Catholic education immediately after his ordination as auxiliary bishop in December 2013. That assignment has taken him to schools on a regular basis.

“I’m really grateful for all that our faculty, staff and principals do to make our Catholic schools great,” he said. “And, I’m excited at the opportunity to continue to strengthen them.”

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