These new guidelines were developed over a period of 12 months of active engagement with Catholic education leaders, practitioners, innovators, and funders across the country.
In May 2015, the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved new guidelines to support the operational vitality of Catholic schools serving low-income families. These new guidelines were developed over a period of 12 months of active engagement with Catholic education leaders, practitioners, innovators, and funders across the country.
Below is an excerpt of Program Director Sister Rosemarie Nassif’s comments to the Board regarding the guidelines:
“April 17, 2008: I recall exactly where I was –at Catholic University in Washington, DC in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, a relatively intimate audience (as audiences of popes are rated) of less than 200 invited presidents of Catholic universities throughout the United States. Pope Benedict spoke on the mission, the responsibility, the power and the value of Catholic education. It was at that time that he stated the words on the cover page of our Catholic schools guidelines document:
‘No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.’
As we have explored the landscape for Catholic education today in 2015, we realize that it has become harder and harder for all families, most especially low-income families, to have equal access to this right. Correspondingly, as families in urban and rural areas have not been able to afford a Catholic education, the schools in those neighborhoods have suffered and many have closed.
We, as a Foundation, seek to do what we can to assure educational equity because we believe, as our Founder’s mother believed when she wanted her son, Conrad, to ‘start off right in a Catholic school’ that Catholic education transforms individuals and communities in ways that nurture the soul of a nation.”