Catholic School Matters

October 22, 2017

Special Momentum Issue

Four times a year, the NCEA publishes an issue of Momentum, their award-winning magazine. This fall’s issue will be mailed out this week. I’d like to make sure that every Catholic school teacher, administrator, and parent can see the great content contained in this issue.

Below you will see short summaries of each one of the articles and links to the articles themselves. I sometimes hear principals ask “Is my membership to NCEA worth it?” It is today. Enjoy the articles. Share them widely.

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Dr. Tim Uhl

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What I'm Up To

When you read this, I'll probably be in Tempe for the NCEA Catholic Leadership Summit. While there, I plan to do at least one on-site podcast interview to find out what the market research says about Catholic schools.

Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Here are videos showing you how to download and subscribe to a podcast on iTunes and how to download and subscribe a podcast on Android.

I'm continuing to develop a "Church Documents" podcast study series. The series will kick off October 30th and will trace Church documents on Catholic education from Vatican II until today. I recommend you order At The Heart of the Church so that you can read along. On Wednesday, I'll share my blog on What Happened at Vatican II by Fr. John O'Malley, who is one of my guests on the first Church Documents podcasts. It's an outstanding and very accessible book on Vatican II.

Here's what I'm working on this week:

  • Monday: CLS (Tempe)
  • Tuesday: CLS (Tempe)
  • Wednesday: CLS (Tempe); Wed book blog What Happened at Vatican II.
  • Thursday: WCEA previsit at Bishop Manogue HS (Reno).
  • Friday: office (Helena)

Miles this week: 3,318 air miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 10,723 road miles; 4,866 air miles

A Catholic School is Born

The exciting story of St. Ignatius Catholic School in Meridian, Idaho is told in the eighth article. Andi Kane, the extraordinary founding principal, describes how this suburban Boise parish was able to fund a brand new $10.5 million school.

Ensuring a Catholic Approach to Principal Preparation

Kristin Barstow Melley of Boston College presents an overview of their principal preparation program in the first article in Momentum. She advocates for a "Both/and" approach to including excellent educational and Catholic preparation.

Effective Hiring for Catholic School Leadership

The Superintendent of Montana Catholic Schools offers a process and interview questions for school leaders in the fourth article. These interview questions (and the proper place for the questions) come in a PDF format that can be downloaded.

Faith Formation and the Personal Relationship with Jesus: How Catholic Education Can Help

Dr. James Ball offers suggestions on how to approach the age-old question, "Do You Have a Personal Relationship with Jesus?" in the third article. A relationship with Jesus, argues Ball, is more of an "encounter" (to use Pope Francis's term) and is not a private matter. Further, asking someone that fated question assumes that the questioner possesses a relationship, and not the questioned. It's an affront to our religious reality, says Ball, and he argues that Catholic education can provide an atmosphere of respect.

Partnership Coalitions: A Response to Crisis in Catholic Education

Bill Gartside, the Head of School of Saint Columbkille Partnership School in Boston, offers the story of the creation of his school in the second article. Saint Columbkille is the result of a partnership with Boston College.

The Importance of Personal Choice in Choosing Catholic Schools

Marc and Lisa Ashton tell the remarkable story of their son, Max, in the ninth article. Max is legally blind but they chose Brophy Prep in Phoenix for him and they tell the story of his struggles and success at the Catholic school.

Children & Christian Meditation

Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski offers suggestions on understanding and implementing meditation for children in the sixth article.

Soul of Youth Sport: An Opportunity for Sports and Spirituality

Teacher/Coach Anne Sricherz of St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco argues for the value of athletics and sports in a Catholic school in the seventh article.

Assessment & Admissions

Dr. Pam Bernards of NCEA offers suggestions on building a comprehensive prospective student profile & review process in the fifth article.


  • Catholic Leadership Summit October 22-25, 2017
  • NCEA Visions for Excellence Soul of Youth Sports Conference, Feb 21-23, 2018 (KC)
  • Convention, April 3-5, 2018 Cincinnati


  • Nominations for the spring awards are now open: Lead, Learn, Proclaim Awards; President's Awards; and Youth Virtues, Vision and Valor are now open. Click here for more information.

Professional Development

  • Click here to register for webinars
  • Oct 26: Catholic Identity in the 21st Century Classroom
  • Oct 30: Dia de los Muertos: Infusing Catholic & Cultural Traditions Into Your Classroom

What I'm Reading

  1. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership (2007) by Gary L. McIntosh & Samuel D. Rima (underway)
  2. You Don't Have Say You Love Me (2017) by Sherman Alexie.
  3. Queen Sugar (2014) by Natalie Baszile
  4. When Breath Becomes Air (2016) by Paul Kanalithi
  5. Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night (2017) by Jason Zinoman
  6. Wait, What? And LIfe's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan.

Click this link for a full list of my professional reading along with links to Wed Book Blogs

For Montana Administrators & Teachers

  • Here is the slideshow for the Oct 3rd Admin Virtual meeting, including the login info and agenda. Please read pp. 41-54 of Redeeming Administration.

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

October 15, 2017 "Anthem Protests"

October 8, 2017 Classroom Managment Special Issue

October 1, 2017 "The Un-Themed Issue"

September 24, 2017 "Joy of the Gospel"

September 17, 2017 "ESSA"

September 10, 2017 "On Leadership"

August 27, 2017 "American Catholic News"

August 20, 2017 Back to School Issue