Catholic School Matters

September 24, 2017

The Joy of the Gospel

In the first year of his papacy, Pope Francis published the apostolic exhortation Joy of the Gospel, a book-length ode to evangelization. Four years later, the meaning of missionary discipleship is beginning to surround us. Last summer, the USCCB convened a special meeting to analyze, celebrate, and establish a common understanding for the American Catholic Church.

This fall, the NCEA has decided to use Joy of the Gospel as the source for its new vision for Catholic schools. Do you want to be part of the conversation? Then you need to read Joy of the Gospel. Start by picking up a copy then read my Wednesday Book Blog describing how to approach it.

Next, read the coverage of its release and the introductory pieces on it:

1. Fr. Stephen Bevans, SVD, offers a great introduction to Joy of the Gospel.

2. The National Catholic Register describes 9 Things to Know and Share about Joy of the Gospel

3. America presents an introduction to Joy of the Gospel

Have you read it yet? You really need to make the effort to read Joy of the Gospel. Once you do, listen to my podcast with David Faber, the outstanding superintendent of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, on the Catholic School Matters podcast. This podcast will drop Monday, September 25th and is intended to help superintendents and other Catholic school leaders as they prepare for the Catholic Leadership Summit in October.

Then, try reading some of the lengthier pieces on Joy of the Gospel:

1. Kevin Cotter’s “Focus on Campus” blog offers some helpful tips on how to read Joy of the Gospel—including sharing great resources. He provides a great way to understand it depending on your level of interest.

2. Cardinal DiNardo shares his thoughts on Joy of the Gospel in a Crux interview. It’s interesting and a quick read.

3. Bishop Robert Barron describes Joy of the Gospel in a short video (9 minutes). Bishop Barron is always interesting to watch and the 9 minutes go by very quickly.

4. The Vatican provides a synthesis of the apostolic exhortation. Do you want to know the official word? The party line? Here it is!

5. Church Life, a scholarly magazine published by the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame, published a special issue on Joy of the Gospel with lots of scholarly takes. The introduction is especially insightful but the issue itself will lead readers in a variety of directions.

If you’re interested in developing a faith formation program for your staff, here are 3 great options:

1. Paula Gooder from Church House Publishing offers a six-session study course in sharing faith based on Joy of the Gospel

2. The Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice produced a resource for discussion and reflection on the Joy of the Gospel.

3. Catholic Theological Union (CTU) has a great introduction and a study guide with a 12- part series of videos/podcasts which can serve as an online PLC. These are short little vignettes from a variety of different topics. I've listened to these and really enjoyed their thought-provoking nature.

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. Keep reading.

Dr. Tim Uhl

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What I'm Up To

After two weeks of Catholic Leadership Summit (CLS) previews, I am now turning my attention to a more focused approach to the CLS. Dr. Tom Burnford has declared that NCEA will be incorporating Joy of the Gospel and market research of Catholic schools into creating a new vision for American Catholic schools. Tomorrow, podcast #76 will be an interview with Superintendent David Faber about Joy of the Gospel. In a week, podcast #77 will be a dive into the market research. Finally, I'll talk to Dr. Tom Burnford on October 9th. He'll preview his ideas about incorporating the two.

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.

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

  • Monday: Office (Helena); record future podcasts with Bishop George Murry, Kimberly Chang of Monterey & Renee Porter of Cristo Rey Oklahoma City; evening meeting in Great Falls; CLS Preview Podcast Episode #76: Joy of the Gospel with David Faber.
  • Tuesday: Office (Helena).
  • Wednesday: Morning chancery meeting in Great Falls; Evening meeting in Missoula; From the blog: Wed book blog How Not To Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg.
  • Thursday: Office (Helena); record future podcasts with Kristin Melley of Boston College & Nick Morgan from Epiphany Catholic School in Katy, TX; Diocesan Review Board & evening meeting in Butte.
  • Friday: Office (Helena); continue production of Church Documents podcast series; meeting with Bishop Thomas.

Miles this week: 733 road miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 7,402 road miles; 4,866 air miles

Joy of the Gospel Links

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

September 17, 2017 "ESSA"

September 10, 2017 "On Leadership"

August 27, 2017 "American Catholic News"

August 20, 2017 Back to School Issue

What I'm Reading

  1. Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night (2017) by Jason Zinoman.
  2. Wait, What? And LIfe's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan. (finished)
  3. Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today by Eric Sheninger & Thomas Murray (finished)
  4. The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis (finshed)
  5. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild (finished)

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 flyer advertising the Catholic Teacher Days October 19th & 20th in Butte, America. Since the University of Notre Dame jumped on board with two different presentations--one on Science & Religion and another on reaching high-risk students by the American Indian Catholic School network--here is the new flyer with schedule.
  • Here is the flyer for the Sophia professional development for religion teachers on October 19th in Butte, America
  • Here is the slideshow from the Sep 5th Admin Virtual meeting. Included are all the links to the documents & reports we discussed. Next meeting scheduled for Oct 3rd!