Catholic School Matters

April 29, 2018

Educating to Fraternal Humanism

One of my professional goals for this year was to read the Church documents on education. I started this project with a list of 10 Church documents on education and included a link to the document, a podcast conversation with another thought leader, a blog or two from another reader, and links to articles about the document. This became a virtual PLC resource for teachers, administrators, and superintendents in order to learn more about what the Church has said. After all, those documents can gather dust if they aren’t studied and most of us struggle to find them and need help to interpret them. I’ve aggregated these modules (including “Joy of the Gospel”) on this webpage.


Then I discovered that the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education came up with a document in 2017 “Educating to Fraternal Humanism.” So I have embarked on another module for the Church Documents PLC. First, I spoke to Cardinal Versaldi, the Prefect of the Congregation and the principal author of last year’s document. Listen to my podcast conversation with him where he describes his background and the purpose of the congregation.


Then I tackled the document with Michael Zelenka of ACE’s Remick Leadership faculty. Zelenka teaches the church documents course. Listen to the podcast here. I have asked four thought leaders in Catholic education to contribute their reflections on the document, too.


· Dr. Gail Donahue of Notre Dame (Maryland) found connections to the recent NCEA Convention and reflects on the challenge for higher education to create cultures of dialogue.

· Dr. Jeannie Ray-Timoney, associate superintendent for the Archdiocese of Portland, discusses the implications for dialogue and inclusion for our Catholic schools and her own call to help build a more peaceful world.

· Dr. Jim Rigg, the superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, reflects on the call of the document to put students at the center of our work and the importance of forming communities of support.

· Nicole Garnett, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame and Senior Policy Advisor, Alliance for Catholic Education, resonated with the call for Catholic universities to develop research to prove the value of Catholic schools. She also heard an echo of Blessed Basil Moreau’s observation that “Christian education is the art of bringing young people to wholeness in the image of Jesus Christ.”


These resources are meant to serve as an onramp for you to assist you in reading the document. It’s a short, dense document which calls us all to reexamine our role in promoting worldwide solidarity. Educating to Fraternal Humanism challenges Catholic schools to move beyond the simple instrumental view that education is self-serving and instead should serve the common good of the entire world. Schools should be a “framework of relationships that make up a living community” of faith which calls students to examine their call to serve the world. To be human means to be in communion, not separate and individualistic. Catholic schools are called to intentionally build communion and to instill in our students hope as opposed to a “paradigm of indifference.”


In the podcast, we talk about two other documents referenced in Educating to Fraternal Humanism—the 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio and the 2014 World Congress document “Educating Today and Tomorrow.” Below are links to other resources such as the Crux article from the time Educating to Fraternal Humanism was released, an article from Catholic News Agency “Inclusion, Dialogue highlighted in new Vatican guidelines for educators,” and the Vatican press release. I also included a different perspective from the Cardinal Newman Society.


This entire module and supporting documents can be found here. Enjoy reading!


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Dr. Tim Uhl

Big picture

Guest Blogs on Educating to Fraternal Humanism

  • Link to Professor Nicole Garnett's guest blog on the document
  • Link to Dr. Jeannie Ray-Timoney's guest blog on the document
  • Link to Dr. Jim Rigg's guest blog on the document
  • Link to Dr. Gail Donahue's guest blog on the document

"Educating to Fraternal Humanism" Links

What I'm Up To

This week I'm spending time in and around the office, getting caught up after a few weeks on the road. Tomorrow, my podcast conversation with Alicia Bondarella Simon of FADICA (Foundation and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities) will drop. Simon and FADICA was behind the influential 2015 publication "Breathing New Life Into Catholic Schools: An Exploration of Governance Models" as well as the recently-released marketing report. We discuss both items as well as advancement and foundations specific to Catholic schools. I'll host the administrator's virtual meetings on Tuesday, will record a podcast with Fr. Jim Keenan of Boston College on "Amoris Laetitia" on Wednesday, and will begin working on summer projects later in the week.


Last week, my podcast conversation with Sr. Helen Prejean dropped. It's a short, powerful conversation about the death penalty, the lessons she has learned, and the dignity of all people.


Here is the link to the podcast. 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.



  • Monday: Office (Helena); Podcast #127: Alicia Bondarella Simon.
  • Tuesday: Virtual Admin Meetings 9 am & 1 pm; Great Falls Meetings
  • Wednesday: Office (Helena); Wed book blog: Lost Classroom, Lost Community (2014) by Margaret F. Brinig & Nicole Stelle Garnett
  • Thursday: Office (Helena) & MIssoula meeting
  • Friday: Office (Helena)
  • Saturday: Mayfair Fundraiser, Billings Catholic Schools


Miles this week: 1005 driving miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 23,081 road miles; 43,483 air miles

NCEA News

Summer Conferences

  1. New Directions Assessment Conference, June 18-20 Philadelphia
  2. 16th Annual Education Law Symposium July 5-8, Louisville
  3. Institute for Catholic School Leaders, July 15-18, Los Angeles
Webinars:
  • May 1: Triage for the Bullied Child
  • May 2: Formative Assessment Firehose
  • May 3: STEM part 1

What I'm Reading

  1. Catholic School Leadership (2016) Ed by Anthony J Dosen & Barbara S. Rieckhoff
  2. Inside the Vatican: The Politics & Organization of the Catholic Church (1998) by Thomas Reese, SJ.
  3. A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (1992) by Thomas Reese, SJ.
  4. Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church (1989) by Thomas Reese, SJ
  5. Principles (2017) by Ray Dalio

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

For Montana Administrators & Teachers

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

April 22, 2018 "Learning to Listen"

April 15, 2018 "The Community of Catholic Schools"

March 25, 2018 "The Passion of St. Francis School"

March 18, 2018 "March Madness"

March 11, 2018 "Special Issue on School Violence"

March 4, 2018 "Bishop McNamara Leads the Way"

February 25, 2018 "New Catholic Schools, Week 3"

February 18, 2018 "New Catholic Schools, Week 2"

February 11, 2018 "New Catholic Schools"

February 4, 2018 "Turnaround Schools, Part 2"

January 28, 2018 "Turnaround Schools"

January 21, 2018 "Synthesizing Church Documents"

January 14, 2018 "What's Brewing in Milwaukee"

January 7, 2018 The 411 on 529's

December 17, 2017 Best of the Fall Issue

December 10, 2017 Serving Hispanic Catholics

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