Gratitude at heart of farewell Mass for Office of Catholic Schools

| Nicole Mamura for The Catholic Spirit | June 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
From left, Jill Reilly of the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools talks with Catholic school principals Sue Kerr of Carondelet Catholic School in Minneapolis, Jane Schmidt of Highland Catholic School and Mary Kay Rowan of St. John's School of Little Canada before Mass June 24 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

From left, Jill Reilly of the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools talks with Catholic school principals Sue Kerr of Carondelet Catholic School in Minneapolis, Jane Schmidt of Highland Catholic School and Mary Kay Rowan of St. John’s School of Little Canada before Mass June 24 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Catholic school leaders and faculty gathered with staff members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis June 24 for a Mass of appreciation for the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools. The Mass was held as a closing liturgy for the office, which will cease operating June 30.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens, archdiocesan vicar for Catholic education, expressed gratitude for the work of the office, which was formed approximately 20 years ago. He said the Office of Catholic Schools staff not only “teaches what the Church teaches, but they embody what the Church teaches.”

The auxiliary bishop quoted Pope Francis’ recent comments on athletic coaches: “The influence of an educator, especially for young people, depends more on what he is as a person and the way he lives than what he says.” He commended its six staff members for their compassion, dedication and service to Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

At the Mass, both Bishop Cozzens and Jill Reilly, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, thanked each Office of Catholic Schools staff member individually. Reilly plans to leave her position July 10 to work as a consultant in Catholic education.

Following the closing of the Office of Catholic Schools, the archdiocesan Office for the Mission of Catholic Education will launch July 11, with a renewed focus on strengthening local schools’ Catholic mission. The office will serve to promote a Catholic philosophy of education while providing formation, training, as well as resources in support of the formation of educators and other Catholic school leaders, according to archdiocesan officials.

Office of Catholic Schools employees have been encouraged to apply for jobs with the new office.

Following the Mass, several Catholic school leaders and faculty praised the Office of Catholic Schools for supporting Catholic education in the archdiocese.

“They offered their expertise, care and concern each and every time I reached out to them,” said Mary Kay Rowan, principal of St. John School of Little Canada.

Jane Schmidt, principal of Highland Catholic School in St. Paul, said the office played an important role in her career. “This is my 17th year [as principal]—they held my hand, got me started,” she said. “Anytime you needed something, you got a call the same day.”

Tags: , ,

Category: Featured, Local News