January 25, 2008

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

2007-08 facts about Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Franciscan Sister Shirley Gerth, third from left, parish life coordinator of St. Anne Parish in New Castle and St. Rose Parish in Knightstown, accepts a check for $16,488 for the St. Anne Building Fund on Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, from St. Anne parishioner Doris Addington-Brooks of New Castle, left, and St. Michael parishioners Connie Smith, second from left, and Lori Mayfield, right, of Greenfield. St. Michael Parish gave half of the proceeds from their annual fundraiser on Nov. 3 to help rebuild St. Anne Church, which was destroyed last year in an arson fire on Holy Saturday, April 7. (Submitted photo)

Click to see a larger version of this chart.

Archdiocesan Administration

The Secretariat for Catholic Education and Faith Formation of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis includes the Office of Catholic Education (OCE), the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and St. Mary’s Child Center.

The Office of Catholic Education oversees and assists the Catholic schools, parish faith formation, evangelization and youth ministries for 151 parishes and missions in 11 deaneries throughout a

39-county area of central and southern Indiana comprising some 13,757 square miles and serving 230,086 Catholics.

Special programs operating under the auspices of OCE are “A Promise to Keep,” a peer-mentoring sexual abstinence program sponsored by St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, and SPRED, the Special Religious Education program serving developmentally disabled ­parishioners.

The Office of Catholic Education was founded in 1974 when the former school office and office of religious education were formed into one of the first offices of “Total Catholic Education” in the nation.

Under Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein and in consultation with the Archdiocesan Education Commission (AEC), the OCE utilizes a team management approach in support of the teaching mission of the local Church— “learning, teaching and sharing our faith.”

In 2002, youth ministry was added to the OCE mission. In 2003, evangelization ministries were added.

Support for site-based programs is provided through direct service, resources, consultation, training, community-building, and collaboration with constituents in the parishes and schools in conjunction with other archdiocesan agencies.

The OCE received a historic $10 million challenge grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. for school improvement in Marion County for 2002-06. The challenge was met with more than $5 million in matching gifts from generous corporate and individual donors and grants.

Project EXCEED has focused on a new set of the “three R’s” in our Catholic schools:

  • Recruit, retain, reward and develop the best school teachers and administrators.
  • Raise the level of students’ performance and report their progress.
  • Reach out to special populations with advanced capabilities or special needs.

Results of the initiatives under this project have been impressive. It is hoped that many programs begun under Project EXCEED can be sustained and replicated through the Legacy for Our Mission capital campaign, grants and other sources.

Major constituencies of the Office of Catholic Education include pastors, principals, parish administrators of religious education, youth ministers, and members of school and faith formation commissions and high school boards.

Constituents are involved collaboratively in projects to design and develop curriculum, policies, provide inservice training, produce manuals and guidelines, carry out studies and participate in professional development. For more information, please visit the OCE Web site listed below. †

Office of Catholic Education


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