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February 3, 2020
 
 
Dear Fathers, Principals and Catholic School Leaders,
 
As we reflect on our annual celebration of Catholic Schools, I want to thank you, on behalf of Archbishop Vigneron, the Department of Catholic Schools and the Catholic Schools Council for all you do to bring young souls to Christ. We know your work, while fruitful, is not easy.
 
Educating tomorrow’s leaders and saints in our Catholic faith and tradition is core mission work in our efforts to Unleash the Gospel throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit and beyond. Countless children have been entrusted to our care by their parents and grandparents to help form Catholic men and women, and all Christians, to be Christ’s leaven in the world, a world sorely in need of God’s mercy and love.
 
Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation, “Catechesi Tradenade: On Catechesis in our Time,” that “We have but one teacher, Jesus Christ.” This great saint for the New Evangelization said: “Those who study are bound to bear the stamp of their studies, to be introduced to cultural or moral values within the atmosphere of the establishment in which they are taught . . . . thus the Gospel will impregnate the mentality of the pupils in the field of their learning, and the harmonization of their culture will be achieved in the light of faith” (69).
 
One of the four dimensions in our Vision for Catholic Schools, which we released a year ago, is the Proudly Catholic dimension. Metrics demonstrate that our Catholic school students excel academically and are imbued with a Christian worldview. However, without the centrality of our Catholic faith and Christ in all we teach and do, we fail. The Department of Catholic Schools and Catholic Schools Council, through its Catholic Culture Committee, developed Catholic Culture Guideposts. This brief document reviews what makes a school Catholic and offers the minimum standards for our elementary and high schools to help students encounter, grow and ultimately to give witness to Christ.
 
We recognize and appreciate that many of our schools offer and participate in these sacramental and liturgical practices, but perhaps not all that are listed in the document. Implementation of these Catholic Culture Guideposts is to begin during 2020-21 academic year and the Department of Catholic Schools is happy to serve as a resource for schools regarding advice surrounding implementation.

For archdiocesan and parochial schools, this is part of the accreditation process that evaluates the four Catholic identity standards. We ask you to prayerfully reflect on these guideposts with your school leadership teams and develop strategies to fully integrate Catholic culture at your schools. For our schools owned and operated by religious orders, you are encouraged to share these guideposts with your religious superiors so as to harmonize these expectations with your order’s charism.
 
May Christ, our one great Teacher, abundantly bless all those in our Catholic school communities.
 
The Most Rev. Robert J. Fisher
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
Catholic Schools Council Member
Copyright © 2020 Archdiocese of Detroit, All rights reserved.


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