Catholic School Matters

December 10, 2017

Las Escuelas Católicas

Una cordial bienvenida a todos mis lectores bilingües. Gracias por toda su ayuda sirviendo a nuestra Iglesia. Por favor haganme saber cómo les podemos ayudar servir a nuestros estudiantes y como hacerle para que nuestras escuelas Católicas entiendan cómo mejorar para que nuestra Iglesia sea más acogedora.

This week we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is a nice time to stop and ask, “Are we doing enough to prepare our schools for the future?” Or perhaps better, “are we doing enough NOW to open our doors to the burgeoning Hispanic population?” Already, Hispanic youth are the majority of Catholic youth. This is not simply an enrollment issue—meaning we need to change a few signs in order to attract more students. This is a critical Church issue. Are we going to change our schools to reflect and to include the majority of Catholic youth?

If a prospective family were to walk around your school with no students present, would they feel like they belong?

I took a look at my library of curated content and decided to put it all together. This is a bit of a deep dive but with a chance to relax around the corner, you might have a little more time to read!

· Start here! Watch this video by ACE which describes how Principal Joana Camacho and Sacred Heart School in Oklahoma City learned to welcome more Hispanic families. She describes their journey to becoming more inclusive and how to bridge the gap between a vibrant parish community full of Hispanic youth and an underenrolled Catholic school. Camacho gives practical suggestions which are relevant to every Catholic school and say the magic words, “I learned to work smarter, not harder.”

· Next, I encourage everyone to read the short study “Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church.” It is insightful and challenging. The study was shortened and modified in the Winter 2017 issue of Momentum. I wrote a short blog post summarizing the main points.

· The Latino Enrollment Institute at ACE also shared a great story of how one school in South Carolina opened their doors to more Latino students. Dr. Timothy Matovina from ND shares his thoughts on the importance of studying Latino Catholicism.

· The Archdiocese of Boston has launched a strategic program to reach out to Hispanic families in certain schools. Along the same lines, the Healey Education Foundation shared best practices for recruiting Hispanic students.

· Dr. Hosffman Ospino (Boston College) authored “10 Ways Hispanics are Redefining American Catholicism in the 21st Century” in America magazine October 30th. Ospino is one of the leaders in researching and advocating for Hispanic outreach. You can listen to my podcast conversation with him here. In this article in Crux, Ospino describes how “Growth of US Hispanic Population a Blessing for Church.”

· Hospino and Boston College have been instrumental in promoting Two-Way Immersion. US Catholic published a great article explaining the purpose and method of this system of schools. TWIN-CS publishes a great blog with school profiles and dual language resources.

· “Church growth will depend on reaching Latinos” from NCR explores the critical importance of Hispanic outreach. A 2015 article entitled “Pope Will Find US Church Struggling to Hold Onto Latinos” is just as relevant today.

· “More Latino Families Finding a Home in Catholic Schools” in February’s Catholic News Service.

· ACE has a program to help empower your school’s English Language Learners called the Hernandez Fellows

· Bishop Thomas Olmsted from Phoenix wrote “How Hispanics are Shaping the Church” in December 2016.

· Other podcast conversations which might be interesting: an interview with Dr. Luis Fraga from Notre Dame, Bill Daily from St. Mary Magadalen in San Antonio (a school which transitioned to Two-Way Immersion), and Dr. Martin Scanlan from Boston College.

Want to keep up with the conversations surrounding Catholic education? Set up your own Google Alert, subscribe to this newsletter by clicking "follow," subscribe to the Catholic Schools Daily, or subscribe to the Catholic School Matters podcast.

Dr. Tim Uhl

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What I'm Up To

The Church Documents podcast series continues this week with the seventh in the series covering "Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School" with guest John Galvan. My friend John is the outstanding Director of Schools for the Diocese of San Diego and a former religion teacher. Carmen Garcia from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Michael Zelenka from ACE will be the guest bloggers this week.

Last week, Episode #6 of the Church Documents series dropped. Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, the Vatican's 1982 document on the laity, was the topic. Sr. Mary Fitzgerald, SSND and Tom Schutte were the guest bloggers last week. You can find links to the documents as well as guest blogs, study questions, and more here. If you're interested in serving as a guest blogger, please contact me.

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.

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

  • Monday: Office (Helena) & evening meeting in Missoula; Podcast Episode 87: Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School with John Galvan
  • Tuesday: Office (Helena); Blog: Religious Dimension
  • Wednesday: Billings meetings; Wed book blog: Smartest Kids in the World (2014) by Amanda Ripley.
  • Thursday: Office (Helena)
  • Friday: Office (Helena)

Miles this week: 699 driving miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 13,838 road miles; 18,423 air miles

Sacred Heart School, Oklahoma City


  • NCEA's National Day of Giving January 30, 2018. Get ready!
  • NCEA Visions for Excellence Soul of Youth Sports Conference, Feb 21-23, 2018 (KC)
  • Convention, April 3-5, 2018 Cincinnati


What I'm Reading

  1. America's Original Sin (2017) by Rev. Jim Wallis
  2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017) by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  3. The Principal as Spiritual Leader (1994) Ed. by Maria Ciriello, OP
  4. Be Our Guest (2011) by The Disney Institute and Theodore Kinni
  5. The Power of Moments (2017) by Chip & Dan Heath.

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 from the Dec 5th Admin Virtual meeting
  • Jeremy Beck, the long-time and oustanding President of Missoula Catholic Schools, has announced his resignation effective at the end of the school year. We are currently formulating the search process.

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

December 3, 2017 Building Culture the ND Way

November 12, 2017 "How Are We Building Relationships?"

November 5, 2017 "Journal of Catholic Education"

October 29, 2017 Church Documents

October 22, 2017 Momentum Special Issue

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