Catholic School Matters
March 26, 2017
SPECIAL ISSUE: Undocumented Immigrants
One of the most disturbing items coming out of the recent spate of immigration crackdowns is the break-up of families. This new focus puts economic skills above keeping families together. The impact of these crackdowns has been palpable in the Hispanic community as the most vulnerable are targeted. As videos spread of ICE raids, fear has increased among the American-born and foreign-born Hispanic population alike.
I sense that many white Catholics have acquiesced to this policy, wrapping themselves in the “law and order” defense. But our leaders have not. Cardinal Tobin led a rally protesting a deportation, Cardinal Cupich issued directives banning ICE from churches and schools, Bishop McElroy criticized the federal government’s policies and called for widespread opposition to deportations, and the American bishops along the border issued a statement on immigration. Archbishop Gomez, who has traditionally been considered culturally conservative, is speaking out against the strict new policies. These leaders understand the value of reassuring Hispanics of their support.
Bishop McElroy’s statement pointed out that there are 200 thousand undocumented Catholics in his Diocese. His pastoral impulse is to shepherd his flock. But he has received flak from politically conservative Catholics in his Diocese. Just as the Irish and Polish immigrants changed the American Catholic church, Hispanic immigration holds the key to the future of American Catholicism and Catholic schools, too.
As church attendance and Catholic school enrollments have fallen, the number of young Catholics have swollen due to the Hispanic population. For example, there are 12.4 million school-age Hispanics in the US. If 10% of that population were to enroll in Catholic schools, the total current enrollment would double.
If you want to read a scholarly report discussing these issues, Boston College’s “Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church” is the gold standard. Published last year, the report describes the context and offers solutions to attracting and retaining Hispanic students in order to build a stronger church.
In the spirit of solidarity, Catholic schools should be offering resources to immigrants like the Justice for Immigrants project of the USCCB. There is now an app for undocumented immigrants to assist in dealing with deportation issues. In Los Angeles, the Catholic schools offered a FAQ to principals about the immigration issues similar to the one offered in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The LA Archdiocese is co-sponsoring information nights. Why can’t we do more? In Sacramento, for example, the public school system launched a program to assist undocumented families. Catholic schools could and should be offering more explicit support to undocumented immigrants in order to show solidarity and continue to welcome their Hispanic brethren.
Want to learn more? On Monday’s podcast, I’ll interview Dr. Luis Fraga from Notre Dame and on Thursday’s podcast, I’ll interview Dr. Hosffman Ospino from Boston College. These two Hispanic Catholic scholars share insights on the growing influence of the Hispanic population and their role in the Church. Here is a preview link to Dr. Fraga’s podcast and to Dr. Ospino’s podcast.
Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent
"Catholic School Matters" Podcast
This week, I have two great podcasts for your listening pleasure! Both episodes focus on Hispanic Catholic issues. Tomorrow, Episode #37 is in interview with Dr. Luis Fraga of Notre Dame. Luis and I discuss the impact and influence of Hispanics on American life.
On Thursday, Episode #38 is an interview with the scholar of American Hispanic Catholic life, Dr. Hosffman Ospino of Boston College. Hosffman and I discuss Catholic schools, the growing influence of Hispanics, and the future.
Last week there were two great podcasts for your listening and educational pleasure. Episode #35 is in interview with Jill Kafka, the Executive Director of the Partnership Schools in New York City. Episode #35 is an interview with the one and only Joe Womac, the Executive Director of the Specialty Family Foundation in Los Angeles, which supports struggling inner-city schools in Los Angeles.
Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the podcast so new episodes will automatically download. The show is also available on Stitcher and Google Play. If you don't have accounts with any of those content providers, here is the link to my basic page with the podcasts.
- TUESDAY: Jill Kafka's podcast
- WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be by Frank Bruni
- THURSDAY: Joe Womac podcast
- FRIDAY: Undocumented immigrants
This week, Dr. Uhl will blog about:
- TUESDAY: Dr. Fraga's podcast
- WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- FRIDAY: Dr. Ospino's podcast
You can find and subscribe to the blog at drtimuhl.com
The Week Ahead
Monday: Great Falls meetings
Tuesday: Missoula & Butte meetings
Wed: Day 3 of St. Mary's WCEA visit (Livingston)
Thurs: Helena meetings
Fri: Great Falls meetings
Next week: 841 driving miles
Last week: 1,122 driving miles; 4,290 air miles
2016-17: 27,129 driving miles; 23,396 air miles
What I'm Reading 2016-17
- How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg (underway)
- No One Way to School: Pluralism and American Public Education by Ashley Rogers Berner
- Back Blast by Mark Greaney
- Architects of Catholic Culture by Timothy Cook
- Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of an American Town by Brian Alexander
- Beyond Reform: Systemic Shifts Toward Personalized Learning by Lindsay Unified School District
- Spillover by David Quammen
- Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
- The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
- Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward by DeFiore, Convey, & Schuttloffel
- Missoula by Jon Krakauer
- Redeeming Administration by Ann Garrido
- Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be by Frank Bruni
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
- Stall Points by Matthew S. Olson & Derek van Bever
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
- Why Don't Kids Like School? by Daniel Willingham
- Tom Clancy: Commander in Chief by Mark Greaney
- Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam
- The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- Reading with the daughter: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 books)
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
- The Purple Goldfish by Stan Phelps
- The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
- Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
- Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption Cragun & Sweetman
- Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work by Fullan and DuFour
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
- Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatley
- The Orange Frog by Shawn Achor
For Principals & Teachers
- The Justice for Immigration project of the USCCB offers resources for undocumented immigrants.
- Montana's DEQ has provided a great resource on lead in drinking water in schools.
- Are you ready for ESSA? Here is a link to a massive amount of new documents. ESSA has not been repealed and it's time to get ready! Here's more guidance from the USCCB.
- Principal/President evaluation surveys have gone out to the following schools: Billings Catholic Schools, Butte Catholic Schools, Holy Spirit, Missoula Catholic Schools, Our Lady of Lourdes, Sacred Heart, St. Mary's, and St. Matt's. If you are a teacher, staff member, or Advisory Council member and have not received the survey, contact your principal/president.
- Reminder that March 30th is the deadline for all Safe Environment reports in the Diocese of Great-Falls Billings. Please submit to Laurie Horton at the Chancery.
- We have secured funding for all of our teachers to spend the night in Butte so that we can hold the Fall Professional Conference in one place! The Sophia Institute will be offering catechetical professional development on Thursday, Oct 19th and then we'll kick off the conference that night with Jonathan Doyle. We'll have Mass together on Friday morning and then will hear from Jonathan again and then we'll have breakout sessions.
- On the Horizon:
- St. Mary's WCEA visit: March 27-29
- Regional principal meetings: April 10 (GF), 11 (Missoula), 12 (Billings).
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS LINKS
Selfie of the Week
I posed with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) at Reagan National Airport.
St. Paul Mission Grade School WCEA team
We are grateful for the time and commitment of the visiting team: Katie Dempsey (chair) from Holy Rosary in Tacoma, Kim O'Leary from St. Jude, Anne Anderson from Sacred Heart, and Deb Hayes from St. Francis.
At the end of the school day, Sr. Helen blesses students and staff on their way home.
St. Paul Mission Grade School WCEA team
Past Issues of Catholic School Matters
March 19, 2017 "Growth Mindset Special Issue"
March 12, 2017 "Stall Points"
March 5, 2017 "Swimming Upstream"
February 26, 2017 "Parent Communication"
February 19, 2017 "What Makes a School Catholic?"
February 12, 2017 "Are We Ready for Vouchers?"
February 5, 2017 "Disruptive Leadership"
January 29, 2017 "Catholic Schools Week"
January 22, 2017: "Combatting Fake News"
January 16, 2017 "What's Your Purple Goldfish?
January 8, 2017: "How I Use Twitter"
December 18, 2016 "The 'Best Of' Issue"
December 11, 2016 "Brain-Based Learning Special Issue"
December 4, 2016 "Cultures Built to Last"
November 20, 2016 "Good News Issue"
November 13, 2016 "School Culture Special Issue"
November 6, 2016 "Diocesan Demographics"
October 30, 2016 "Catholic Leadership Summit"
October 23, 2016 "Classroom Management Issue"
October 16, 2016 "Professional Development Conferences"August 28, 2016 "A Senior Moment"