Catholic School Matters

January 4, 2021

12 Days of Christmas Podcasts

Over Christmas break, I dropped 12 new podcast episodes which serve as a great sample of what I’m thinking about and what is capturing my interest these days. If you get a chance, subscribe to the feed or simply download an episode or two which interests you. Below is a preview of each of these new episodes:

· Michael Deegan, the superintendent of the Archdiocese of New York City, discusses the challenges of keeping the NYC Catholic schools open and how he has had to become an active political leader (and opponent) to fight for his schools. In the discussion we reflect on how many of our students have died from COVID (none, thankfully!) and how we feared a different outcome last March.

· Nicole Garnett, a law professor at Notre Dame, discusses how the Espinoza decision could open the door for a new game-changing reality—religious charter schools. We discuss the relevant legal concepts and implications for the future.

· Maka Black Elk, a Remick leader who is serving the Lakota tribe at Red Cloud School, discusses his new role as the Executive Director of Truth & Healing and how is helping to facilitate healing at the former Indian boarding school. He shares one poignant story about the pain caused by the Catholic school and discusses how we need to tell the truth about our experiences in order to bring about reconciliation.

· Dr. Jeannine Hill Fletcher of Fordham University discusses her 2017 book The Sin of White Supremacy. She believes that Christianity has undergirded prejudice and discrimination through its teachings and we need to understand how American society has worked to support and hide racism. I’ll blog a little more about this book next week.

· Six different podcasts focused on innovations which have occurred since the pandemic began. Dr. Leslie Lipovski and Mary Flock, the founding principals of virtual Catholic schools in the dioceses of Arlington and Orange, respectively, discuss their successes and challenges. Bruce Davis of Catholic Virtual discusses their innovative business model to support Catholic schools. Jeff Hausman of the Arrupe Virtual Learning Initiative (AVLI) discusses their collaborative efforts to support and to promote virtual education. Kyle Pietrantonio of Duc In Altum (DIA) Schools discusses their collaborate efforts to support Catholic identity in schools. Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski of the University of Dayton discusses the origins of the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) and how it has been uniquely positioned to succeed in this environment. These six podcasts serve to remind us that Catholic education is changing and adapting to new circumstances.

· Frankie Jones of ACE Notre Dame discusses her research on teacher efficacy and how she has been working to support ACE Academies throughout the pandemic.

· Mike Derrick, the founding principal of Cristo Rey San Diego High School (which opened five months ago) discusses why he left Milwaukee behind to help create this new school. He also shares the unique challenges of opening a brand new school in a virtual environment.

Now I’m turning my attention to Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis’s new encyclical. I suspect this encyclical will be as influential as Joy of the Gospel so I’m planning to break it open over the course of a few podcasts with a few different voices. These should be dropping in February. Until then, enjoy the podcasts!

Here’s another link to the podcast site.

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Dr. Tim Uhl

Catholic Schools

Link to an article about Chaminade-Julienne High School (Dayton) and its innovations to respond to the pandemic.


Teaching & Learning


Catholic School Matters podcast

Check out the past episodes from this season:

What I'm Reading

    The Last 5 Books:

    1. We're Still Here: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America (2019) by Jennifer M. Silva
    2. The Sin of White Supremacy (2017) by Jeannine Hill Fletcher
    3. Breathing Under Water (2011) by Richard Rohr
    4. Everything Belongs (2003) by Richard Rohr
    5. Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert

            Click this link for a full list of my professional reading

            Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

            Nov 9, 2020 "God in Disguise"

            Nov 2, 2020 "Sharks and Survival"

            Oct 26, 2020 "Mt. Rushmore Controversy"

            Oct 19, 2020 "The Cleveland Partnership"

            Oct 5, 2020 "Governance Reform"

            Sep 28, 2020 "Autonomy & Radar"

            Sep 21, 2020 "Learning While Doing"

            Sep 14, 2020 "Connecting the Disconnected"

            Aug 31, 2020 "Racial Injustice"

            Aug 24, 2020 "Figuring it Out"

            Aug 17, 2020 Serenity Prayer

            May 24, 2020 Value Proposition During Uncertain Times

            For previous newsletters, click this link

            Orchestrating Conflict

            A couple of years ago I set out to write a book which would explore the challenges of Catholic school leadership. My premise that there are no easy answers and that we have to learn from our (and other's) mistakes in order to form a mindset appropriate for orchestrating conflict proved presient as we all faced completely new and unexpected challenges in 2020. The book,Orchestrating Conflict: Case Studies in Catholic Leadership is now available on Amazon or on the Barnes & Noble site in print or e-book formats. The book explores issues in Catholic school leadership and the tensions between building community and following Church policies and introduces deliberate practice as a method for leadership formation.