August 16, 2018
WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement after a series of meetings with members of the USCCB's Executive Committee and other bishops. The following statement includes three goals and three principles, along with initial steps of a plan that will involve laity, experts, and the Vatican. A more developed plan will be presented to the full body of bishops at their general assembly meeting in Baltimore in November.
Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:
"Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report. Earlier this week, the USCCB Executive Committee met again and established an outline of these necessary changes.
The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity.
We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican. We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting. In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them.
The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.
Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified.
The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future. We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act.
The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier. Our 2002 "Statement of Episcopal Commitment" does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops. We need to update this document. We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms. Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options.
The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops. For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process.
We will pursue these goals according to three criteria.
The first criterion is genuine independence. Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop. Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution.
The second criterion relates to authority in the Church. Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power.
Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity. Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence.
Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do. Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership. The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone. This is a moral catastrophe. It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure.
We firmly resolve, with the help of God's grace, never to repeat it. I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures. It will take work to rebuild that trust. What I have outlined here is only the beginning; other steps will follow. I will keep you informed of our progress toward these goals.
Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions. Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd."
WASHINGTON— El Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo de Galveston-Houston, presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB por su sigla en inglés), emitió el siguiente comunicado después de una serie de reuniones con miembros del Comité Ejecutivo de la USCCB y otros Obispos. El siguiente comunicado incluye tres objetivos y tres principios, así como pasos iniciales de un plan que involucrará laicos, expertos y el Vaticano. Un plan más detallado será presentado al cuerpo de Obispos en su reunión de la Asamblea General en noviembre en Baltimore.
A continuación, el pronunciamiento del Cardinal DiNardo:
"Hermanos y Hermanas en Cristo,
Hace dos semanas, compartí con ustedes mi tristeza, enojo y vergüenza vinculadas con las recientes revelaciones del arzobispo Theodore McCarrick. Estos sentimientos se mantienen y se han profundizado a la luz del informe del Gran Jurado de Pennsylvania. Estamos frente a una crisis espiritual que requiere no solamente una conversión espiritual, sino cambios prácticos para evitar repetir los pecados y fallas del pasado que se han puesto en evidencia en este reciente informe. A principios de la semana, el Comité Ejecutivo de la USCCB se reunió nuevamente y estableció un esquema de estos cambios necesarios.
El Comité Ejecutivo ha establecido tres objetivos: (1) una investigación vinculada con las cuestiones relacionadas al arzobispo McCarrick; (2) la apertura de nuevos y confidenciales canales de información para reportar las quejas contra los Obispos; y (3) abogar por una más efectiva resolución de quejas futuras. Estos objetivos serán perseguidos de conformidad con tres criterios: independencia adecuada, autoridad suficiente y liderazgo significativo por los laicos.
Ya hemos iniciado el desarrollo de un plan concreto para alcanzar estos objetivos, basados en consultas con expertos, laicos y el clero, así como el Vaticano. Presentaremos este plan al cuerpo de Obispos en nuestra reunión de noviembre. Además, viajaré a Roma para presentar estos objetivos y criterios ante la Santa Sede, e urgir pasos concretos y adicionales basados en ellos.
El principal objetivo en todo esto es crear protecciones más fuertes contra depredadores en la Iglesia y cualquiera que los encubra, protecciones que mantendrán a los obispos en los estándares más altos de transparencia y responsabilidad.
Permítanme desarrollar brevemente sobre los objetivos y criterios que hemos identificado.
El primer objetivo es una completa investigación de las cuestiones alrededor del arzobispo McCarrick. Estas respuestas son necesarias para prevenir la recurrencia y de esta manera proteger a los menores, seminaristas y otros quienes puedan ser vulnerables en el futuro. Consecuentemente, invitaremos al Vaticano a adelantar una “Visita Apostólica” para tratar estos asuntos, en concordancia con un grupo de predominantemente laicos identificados por su conocimiento por los miembros de la Junta Nacional de Revisión y empoderados para actuar.
El segundo objetivo es hacer más fácil el reporte de los abusos y conductas inapropiadas de los Obispos. Nuestro “Statement of Episcopal Commitment" del 2002 no deja claro que camino pueden tomar las victimas por si mismas para informar los abusos y otras conductas sexuales inapropiadas por parte de los obispos. Necesitamos actualizar este documento. Necesitamos también desarrollar y promover ampliamente mecanismos confiables de reporte de terceras partes. Estas herramientas ya existen en muchas diócesis y en el sector público y nosotros estamos ya examinando opciones específicas.
El tercer objetivo es abogar por mejores procedimientos para resolver las quejas contra los obispos. Por ejemplo, los procedimientos canónicos que se siguen para una queja serán estudiados con un énfasis sobre propuestas concretas para hacerlos más agiles, equitativos y transparentes y para especificar que restricciones pueden ser impuestas a los obispos en cada etapa de ese proceso.
Buscaremos estos objetivos de conformidad con tres criterios.
El primer criterio es independencia genuina. Cualquier mecanismo que considere una queja contra un obispo debe ser libre de parcialidad o de excesiva influencia por parte de un obispo. Nuestras estructuras deben impedir a los obispos de desalentar quejas en su contra, de obstruir su investigación o de sesgar su resolución.
El Segundo criterio se relaciona con la autoridad de la Iglesia. Toda vez que sólo el Papa tiene la autoridad para disciplinar o remover a los obispos, nos aseguraremos de que nuestras medidas respeten tanto esa autoridad como la protección de los vulnerables ante el abuso del poder eclesiástico.
Nuestro tercer criterio es el involucramiento sustantivo del laicismo. Los laicos brindan experiencia a la investigación, aplicación de la ley, psicología y otras disciplinas pertinentes, y su presencia fortalece nuestro compromiso ante el primer criterio de independencia.
Finalmente, lamento y pido humildemente su perdón por lo que mis hermanos obispos y yo hemos hecho o dejado de hacer. Cualesquiera sean los detalles que surjan en relación al arzobispo McCarrick o de los muchos abusos en Pennsylvania (o en cualquier otra parte), ya sabemos que una causa arraigada es la falla del liderazgo episcopal. El resultado fue que un número de amados niños de Dios fueron abandonados para enfrentar solos un abuso de poder. Esto es una catástrofe moral. Es también parte de esta catástrofe que muchos sacerdotes fieles quienes están buscando santidad y sirviendo con integridad estén manchados por esta falta.
Estamos firmemente resueltos, con la ayuda de la gracia de Dios, a que nunca se repita. No me hago ilusiones acerca del grado en el cual la confianza en los obispos haya sido dañada por estos pasados pecados y faltas. Hará falta trabajo para reconstruir esa confianza. Lo que he destacado aquí es solo el comienzo; otros pasos seguirán. Los mantendré informados de nuestro avance hacia el logro de estos objetivos.
Permítanme pedirles que se mantengan pendientes con todas estas resoluciones. Permítanme también pedirles que recen por nosotros, que tomará tiempo para reflexionar, arrepentirnos y recomprometernos con la santidad de la vida e imitar nuestras vidas cada vez más con Cristo, el Buen Pastor.
August 10, 2018
This weekend, Archdiocesan faithful will have a chance to offer their support to retired and infirmed priests who dedicated their years of active ministry to the tireless care of God's people.
Aug. 11 and 12 mark the annual Infirm Priests' Collection at all parishes in the Archdiocese. This collection is a major source of revenue through which the Archdiocese is able to provide much needed medical and emergency support to priests who are retired or ill.
The goal of the annual collection is to provide our ill or retired priests with our best care and support in this time of escalating medical costs. With over a third of our priests over age 65, the Archdiocese is facing more responsibilities as priests age or face serious illness.
Thank you for considering support of our retired and infirmed priests this upcoming weekend.
August 2, 2018
WASHINGTON—Following the publication of the revised section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the change and echoed the call to end the death penalty in the United States.
The full statement follows:
"Today, we welcome the Holy Father’s decision to revise the Catechism and its explanation of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty. All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and the dignity bestowed on them by the Creator cannot be extinguished, even by grave sin, such that all persons, from conception until natural death possess inalienable dignity and value that points to their origin as sons and daughters of God. The new section in the Catechism is consistent with the statements of Pope Francis’ teaching on the death penalty, including his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, as well as the statements of his predecessors. Pope Benedict the XVI urged ‘the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty,’ and Pope St. John Paul II observed that ‘Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.”
“For decades, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the end of the death penalty in the United States. As the revised Catechism states, “more effective systems of detention…which ensure the due protection of citizens: exist, ones that also maintain the human dignity of all. It is our hope that today’s announcement will bring new attention to this critical issue, and speed along the end of this practice, which, as Pope Francis has said, in the light of the Gospel, is ‘inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’”
Texas Catholic Herald
August 14, 2018
A young student colors a butterfly at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Houston. More than 19,000 students in Catholic schools from Lake Jackson to Kingwood start the new school year in August. Photo by James Ramos/Herald.
When Debra Haney was asked by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo to serve as interim superintendent of Catholic Schools last summer, it was improbable to anticipate the chain of events that were to come in the fall.
“I had no idea what the task ahead would be as none of us knew that Hurricane Harvey would soon change all of our lives forever,” she said. “The major events that happened in just the first semester that affected us all is just amazing to me.”
Haney also cited other happenings, even highlights, outside of Harvey that affected Galveston-Houston this past year, including the Houston Astros’ World Series Championship and a never-expected snowfall in December. Of course, the schools and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey — including two Catholic schools that had to be temporarily relocated — remained front and center in everyone’s mind and action.
“Looking back, I am happy to say that we made it through the year being able to ensure the maximum number of school days for our students with as much instruction as humanly possible,” she said. “It is a testament to the school communities and their leadership teams that our students only missed between five to 10 days of school (depending on the damage the school incurred) after such a devastating and historical event. I am also humbled to say that — through the generosity of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Catholic Educational Association, other dioceses in Texas and around the country, parishioners in our Archdiocese, foundations and our own schools and families — no student had to leave our schools this year due to the financial impact of Harvey on their family.”
Haney, who was appointed superintendent by Cardinal DiNardo last January, said the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston never wavered in remaining committed to the families to ensure a stable and secure environment at school.
This month, 18,570-plus students, 1,850 teachers head back to class at 60 Catholic schools across the Archdiocese.
“For our schools, we have been through a lot in a short period of time and whether the events were happy or sad, we did it together,” she said. “We have been able to witness the goodness of people in trying times and the beauty of the human spirit in this last year; for this, I am grateful.”
This past academic year also provided a unique educational experience for Haney and the CSO, particularly in Harvey’s immediate aftermath and recovery.
“I learned that there are many selfless people that want to help and that we need to be best prepared to give people ways to help that are immediate, tangible and meaningful,” she said. “That quick and consistent communication with leaders at the schools was imperative for us to serve our schools best. Ensuring that students have the emotional support that they needed was critical as they returned to school and heard about the experiences of their classmates, teachers, and their parish and school communities.”
Haney said the CSO is still working to support the emotional needs of the students whose homes remain under construction or whose parents have suffered major financial hardships due to the storms.
Recovery and return
“We are pleased to say that the two displaced schools are returning home this August, and I know that this will be a happy day for them,” Haney said. “True Cross in Dickinson will have completed the repairs to their campus and will be functioning with a new ‘normal.’ St. Francis of Assisi will be back on their campus in temporary buildings and preparing throughout the year to move to another location. The new location will be a more permanent building that can be used until a new school can be built to replace the temporary buildings.”
St. Francis of Assisi principal Tawana Fulmer is looking forward returning back home.
“What I am most looking forward to with the return to our campus is getting to work alongside Farther Martin and the parishioners; students and teachers returning to their classrooms and being able to grow our school community with the help of all of our community partners,” she said. “I feel blessed to return to St. Francis. We have missed being on our home campus and getting to participate in the events that make us unique as a community.”
Fulmer said the school's teachers, staff and faculty have been — as always — actively preparing for the new school year.
St. Francis teachers attended summer staff development, including formation for science, technology, engineering and math, as well additional program support training, according to Fulmer.
At True Cross School, principal Yolanda Agrella said her staff is equally as committed to their students.
“The teachers are working to get their classrooms together,” she said. By early August, the school was still receiving books, furniture and instructional materials to be fully prepared for the new academic year.
The school is “truly committed to making the school a stellar learning environment,” she said.
Despite the stressful challenges wrought by Harvey, both Fulmer and Agrella were deeply thankful for the help the two schools saw and received from people across the world.
“I am in awe of the numbers of people and Catholic Schools around the nation and world,” said Agrella. “These folks sent us letters of encouragement and funds to help us rebuild. My faculty and I were brought to tears many times during the year. We actually experienced the hands of our Lord working through them. Hurricane Harvey strengthened our faith and our belief that all things are possible with God.”
Fulmer agreed and said “The consistent donations of time, talents and treasures of churches across the United States are forever written on our hearts and minds,” Fulmer said. “We are eternally grateful for their example of service, love and continual prayer and we look forward to continuing to grow in all of those areas moving forward.”
CSO's new additions
Haney said her experiences from the last year have impacted how the CSO will work with individual schools and pastors.
“Our hope is to develop stronger relationships with individual campuses so that our support can be more productive and effective,” she said. “Our goal is to be more present on campuses to share our support of the work being done for our students.”
Haney said the processes for planning have also changed as the CSO is better utilizing the feedback from principals and pastors to inform and direct their work.
“We have already started to do so by utilizing the input we have received from them to edit our principal evaluation form,” she said. “We have also used our surveys to principals to help us plan for the future.”
“The Catholic schools are truly critical to the life of their communities and work tirelessly to meet the individual needs of students,” she said. “The impact of the experience for students and families can literally be life-changing.”
Haney said she is thrilled with the new additions to the CSO.
Assistant Superintendent of Urban Achievement Dr. Angela Johnson replaced Lytia Reese, who now serves as the associate superintendent. Reneé B. Nunez, founding principal at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in The Woodlands as well as St. Laurence Catholic School in Sugar Land, is now serving as the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment and Data. Kimberly Pursch is the new assistant superintendent of stewardship.
“The team that has been assembled to serve the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese is a dynamic, vibrant, and energetic group of outstanding professionals,” Haney said. “We are as unique and diverse as the population that we serve, and we each bring to the team a desire to do what is best for our students in the most professional and responsible manner.”
The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese “are the best choice for a premier education in the Galveston-Houston area,” Haney said, and the CSO is working hard to engage parents and find ways to share the amazing things that are happening within Catholic schools.
August 14, 2018
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is committed to having high-quality Catholic elementary schools that are constantly working toward academic excellence, evangelization and financial stability.
The IGNITE: “Our Faith, Our MIssion” Capital Campaign will focus on making Catholic school education more accessible to all families. Photo by James Ramos/Herald.
HOUSTON — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is committed to having high-quality Catholic elementary schools that are constantly working toward academic excellence, evangelization and financial stability.
“In my experience, parents choose a Catholic school because they are seeking a place where their child can grow not just in the area of academics, which is very important, but also in the Catholic faith and moral development,” Christina Mendez, principal of Holy Ghost Catholic School in Houston, said. “Parents also want their children in a safer, more close-knit family environment where they can build friendships and support networks that last a lifetime.”
John Bates V, Assumption Catholic School principal, said the greatest impact Catholic schools have on families and their children is in their commitment to evangelization through education.
“Catholic schools form students not only through academic excellence, but through a commitment to the individual both socially and spiritually,” he said. “We walk life’s journey with children and families to ensure that children develop into responsible and faithful disciples of Christ.”
The $150 million IGNITE: “Our Faith, Our Mission” Capital Campaign, set to relaunch this fall, will focus on making Catholic school education more accessible to all families in Galveston-Houston by committing $20 million to Catholic School Education Endowments.
The Archdiocese considers Catholic schools vitally important to the future since these schools produce lay leadership, as well as vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
“Our Catholic schools are developing the leaders of our Church, and they need our help to continue the work of Jesus Christ in our communities,” Debra Haney, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said.
Catholic schools are often the place where children “first hear the call of God to serve the Church through a vocation to priesthood or religious life,” Mendez said. “The Catholic school is in a unique position to help support and nourish that student’s vocational call.”
The cost to educate children continues to rise. Parents today cite high-performing schools as their number one reason for choosing Catholic schools. Through IGNITE, $20 million will be infused into the existing grade school tuition assistance funds. The earnings from these funds will be available to help defray the costs of tuition for those in most need.
IGNITE funds will be used in two ways to support Catholic School Education Endowments.
First, the tuition assistance needs of our Inner City Catholic Schools are met with aid from two established endowment funds. Through the IGNITE Campaign, an additional $12 million will be infused into the Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Endowment Fund. The added funds will increase the amount available for tuition assistance by 63 percent, assisting at least an additional 280 students in the first year.
Second, in addition to the Inner City Catholic Schools, the IGNITE campaign recognizes that children with financial needs extend to all of the Galveston-Houston Catholic schools. The Archdiocese presently supports the tuition assistance needs of these students through the Scholarship for Catholic Elementary Schools fund. This campaign will provide an additional $8 million to the existing fund and will be available to all children with financial need throughout the Archdiocese. The added funds will increase the amount available for tuition assistance by over 138 percent assisting at least an additional 180 students in the first year.
According to Haney, education has seen tremendous changes in the last five to 10 years in the demands for schools to better address the advancements in technology and educational best practices, growing societal issues and emotional stressors students are dealing with in the world today. Due to these changes and the factors related to competition within school choice, Catholic schools are seeing increases in their budgets.
“Tuition assistance being available for families is imperative for our schools as the cost of educating students rises,” she said. “These all come with a cost that is balanced by higher tuition and fundraising efforts for communities.” By contributing to the tuition assistance component through the IGNITE campaign, parishioners are “investing in and supporting the growth of the Catholic community and the greater Houston community,” according to Mendez.
“Students who come out of Catholic schools often have a greater obligation as well as desire to serve others with their God given gifts and talents,” she said. “By investing in our children, they are helping to grow the future adults who will be filling positions that serve the community as doctors, nurses, teachers and first responders.”
This past school year, the Archdiocese awarded 1,100 students a total of $1,918,686, making the average dollar amount per student $1,744. The actual number of applicants for tuition assistance was 3,392 which leaves 2,292 children remaining on a wait list for funding.
Being committed to educational equity ensures that children are “academically and socially prepared to positively impact the community,” Bates said, and tuition assistance helps families provide their children with more opportunities.
“As Catholics we are called to serve the poor — and tuition assistance is one manner of ensuring that children that would otherwise not be able to afford Catholic education can receive an excellent and transformational education,” he said. “Catholic Schools are committed to the spiritual growth of children. Tuition assistance enables schools to serve more children, thus enhancing the school’s ability to evangelize within the community.”
The IGNITE Campaign will increase the opportunities for those wishing to support families that want a Catholic education for their children, Haney said. “Monies raised through the campaign will help make Catholic schools more accessible, affordable and available to all families.”
IGNITE is not only an important investment in students, “but an important way we can all give our part to make a stronger Catholic faith community that can truly witness to the greater Houston area,” Mendez said. “When we all come together to offer our gifts, big or small, to God through the campaign, He can transform them into something great.”
HOUSTON – La Arquidiócesis de Galveston-Houston esta comprometido con tener escuelas de primarias católicas de alta calidad que están trabajando constantemente para alcanzar la excelencia académica, evangelización y la estabilidad financiera. “En mi experiencia, los padres eligen a una escuela católica porque ellos buscan un lugar en donde sus hijos pueden crecer no solo en el área académico, que es importante, pero también en la fe católica y el desarrollo moral,” dijo Christina Mendez, la directora de la escuela católica de Holy Ghost en Houston. “Los padres también quieren que sus hijos estén en un lugar seguro, donde puedan construir amistades y redes de apoyo que duren toda la vida.”
John Bates V, el director de la escuela católica de Asunción, dijo que el mayor impacto que las escuelas católicas tienen en familias y sus hijos es su compromiso de evangelización a través de la educación. El dijo, “Las escuelas católicas forman a los estudiantes no sólo a través de la excelencia académica, pero a través de un compromiso con el individuo tanto social como espiritualmente. Caminamos el viaje de la vida con niños y familias para asegurar que los niños se desarrollen como discípulos responsables y fieles a Cristo.”
La campaña capital de $150 millones ENCIENDE: “Nuestra Fe, Nuestra Misión”, relanzará este otoño y se enfocará en hacer las escuelas católicas más accesible para todas las familias en Galveston-Houston al designar $20 millones a dotaciones de las escuelas católicas. La Arquidiócesis considera que las escuelas católicas son de importancia vital para nuestro futuro ya que estas escuelas producen gran parte del liderazgo laico de nuestras parroquias tanto como vocaciones al sacerdocio y a la vida religiosa.
Debra Haney, la superintendente de las escuelas católicas dijo, “nuestras escuelas católicas están desarrollando lideres de nuestra iglesia, y ellos necesitan nuestra ayuda para continuar las obras de Jesús Cristo en nuestras comunidades.” Las escuelas católicas son a menudo el lugar donde los niños, “primero escuchan el llamado de Dios para servir a la iglesia a través de una vocación al sacerdocio o a la vida religiosa. La escuela católica esta una posición única para ayudar apoyar y nutrir la llamada vocacional de ese estudiante,” dijo Mendez.
El costo de educar a los niños continúa en aumento. Los padres de hoy dicen que la alta calidad de educación y la formación de fe son las razones primarias por la cual eligen las escuelas católicas. La campaña busca recaudar $20 millones que se unirán a los fondos de asistencia de matrícula Arquidiocesanos ya en existencia. Las ganancias (los intereses) de estos fondos estaran disponibles para ayudar con la matrícula de niños que merecen ayuda financiera.
Los siguientes elementos explicara como los fondos de ENCIENDE ayudará apoyar las dotaciones de las escuelas católicas.
Dos fondos de dotación ayudan a satisfacer las necesidades de asistencia de matrícula en nuestras escuelas del centro de la ciudad. A través de la campaña ENCIENDE, buscamos añadir $12 millones al Fondo de Dotación del Arzobispo Joseph A. Fiorenza. Los fondos adicionales aumentarán la cantidad disponible a un promedio de 63% para la asistencia de matricula; asistiendo a un mínimo de 280 estudiantes adicionales en el primer año.
Además de las escuelas del centro de la ciudad, reconocemos que hay niños y familias necesitadas en todas nuestras escuelas. La Arquidiócesis directamente apoya las necesidades de matrícula de estos estudiantes a través del fondo de Becas para Escuelas Primarias Católicas. Esta campaña proporcionará $8 millones adicionales al fondo existente y estará disponible para todos los niños con necesidades financieras alrededor de la Arquidiócesis. Los fondos adicionales aumentarán la cantidad disponible para la asistencia de matrícula a un promedio de 138%, asistiendo a un mínimo de 180 estudiantes adicionales en el primer año.
Según Haney, la educación ha visto cambios enormes en los últimos cinco a 10 años en las exigencias de las escuelas para mejor abordar los avances de mejores practicas en la tecnología y educación, estresantes sociales y emocionales, que los estudiantes enfrentan cada vez mas en el mundo de hoy. Debido a estos cambios y a los factores relacionados con la competencia en las opciones escolares, las escuelas católicas están viendo aumentos en sus presupuestos. Ella dijo, “La asistencia de matricula disponible para familias es esencial para nuestras escuelas. Todo esto viene con un costo que es equilibrado por una matricula alta y esfuerzos de recaudación de fondos para las comunidades.”
Al contribuir al componente de asistencia de matricula a través de la campaña ENCIENDE, los feligreses están “invirtiendo y apoyando el crecimiento de la comunidad católica y la de Houston. Los estudiantes que se gradúan de una escuela católica a menudo tienen una mayor obligación, tanto como el deseo, de servir a los demás con sus dones y talentos de Dios. Al invertir en nuestros niños, están ayudando a crecer a los futuros adultos que servirán la comunidad como doctores, enfermeras, profesores, y personal de intervención.”
El año escolar pasado, la Arquidiócesis concedió a 1,100 estudiantes un total de $1,918,686., esto es un promedio de $1,744 por estudiante. El número actual de solicitudes para asistencia de matricula es 3,392, lo que deja 2,292 niños en una lista de espera para obtener fondos.
El compromiso para proveer oportunidades de educación ayuda asegurar que los niños estén “preparados académicamente y socialmente para impactar de manera positiva a la comunidad. Como católicos estamos llamados a servir a los pobres y la asistencia de matricula es una manera de asegurar que los niños que de otra manera no serían capaz de pagar una educación católica puede recibir una educación excelente y transformacional. Las escuelas católicas están comprometidas al crecimiento espiritual de los niños. La asistencia de matricula permite que las escuelas puedan atender a más niños, mejorando la capacidad de la escuela para evangelizar dentro la comunidad,” dijo Bates.
Haney dijo, “La campaña ENCIENDE aumentara las oportunidades para aquellos que desean apoyar a las familias que quieren una educación católica para sus hijos. Los fondos recaudados a través de la campaña ayudaran a hacer que las escuelas católicas sean mas accesibles, y disponibles para todas las familias.” La campaña ENCIENDE no solo será una inversión importante para estudiantes, “pero una manera importante que todos podemos dar nuestra parte para fortalecer nuestra comunidad de fe católica y asi ser verdaderos testigos ara todo Houston,” dijo Mendez. “Cuando todos nos unimos para ofrecer nuestros dones, grandes o pequeños, a Dios, a través de la campaña, El puede transformarlos en algo grande.”
August 14, 2018
Sasha Amelang, Eliza Morford and Brooke Yeomans, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart juniors, meet with St. Christopher Catholic School students. The high school students formed the Houston Agape Alliance to support Inner City Catholic Schools. Photo by Development Office,
HOUSTON — Since The Cardinal’s Circle was founded in 2010, it has helped 13 Inner City Catholic Schools (ICCS) in the Archdiocese maintain a standard of academic excellence in curriculum and staff. Through an annual contribution of $5,000 each, members of The Cardinal’s Circle invest in the lives of students at the schools.
Students at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School felt a call to help ICCS students be able to receive a Catholic education.
A group of juniors from Duchesne formed their own nonprofit organization called Houston Agape Alliance to raise money to purchase needed items for the schools this year.
Sasha Amelang joined Eliza Morford, Bridget Klenke and Brooke Yeomans in thinking of ways they could truly improve their Houston community.
“We took the things that we have learned from our education and strong faith community to reach out to others and improve the lives of children being educated in Houston,” Amelang said.
She said the main goal in their fundraising efforts is “to connect the funds directly to underprivileged schools in the Houston area to help better the education and experience for the children currently in school. We also hope that a better experience will inspire future generations to pursue higher levels of education such as college or university.”
Houston Agape Alliance’s fundraising efforts include social media outreach, hosting charity events and directly collaborating with the schools on other projects.
“The money will be going to items that are not part of the school’s academic budget,” Morford said.
When the group visited multiple Catholic schools in the area, they noticed the most urgent needs normally involved books, technology and playground equipment.
“The playgrounds of a lot of schools don’t have a lot of equipment or space and sometimes it is just too hot outside for the kids to play there,” Klenke said. “I think kids need a space where they can let their energy out and have fun in order to be successful in school. For example, if the playground of a school doesn’t have any coverage overhead, the plastic or metal structures get too hot for the kids to play on, so we would be raising money for a canopy-like cover over the playground.”
Klemke was inspired to join the organization when she noticed how the first impressions of school for the elementary school kids would affect how much they enjoy learning.
“If we help to make a positive first impression then the ICCS kids will enjoy school throughout the years and stay on the right track,” she said.
Students at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School are also helping ICCS. They used money raised during Steps for Students to become members of The Cardinal’s Circle.
Elisabeth Yoder, director of advancement at the school, said, “St. Vincent de Paul wanted to help with The Cardinal’s Circle because we were blessed with funds from Steps for Students and we wanted to share with our neighboring schools in need.”
The school had about 250 runners on their Steps team. Their donation assists ICCS in meeting the financial needs of the school community.
Morford, who wants to pursue a career in non-profit, said the schools need the continued support and donations of other organizations and people because “without their generosity most of these schools wouldn’t have some of the technology, supplies, or other amenities often taken for granted.”
For more information, visit www.choosecatholicschools.org/cc.