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My devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was greatly inspired by Sister Jane Frances, who served with love and devotion at the Catholic school where I attended the first through eighth grades.

These many years later, I still remember her. Along with all the sisters, clergy, faculty and staff at that parish school, Sister Jane Frances taught me and my classmates not only how to read and write, but also how to become men and women of virtue who know and love Jesus Christ and are prepared to live as his disciples. 

This is the mission of Catholic schools; this is our charge as we seek to renew and reinvent Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Detroit. God is calling our children to become joyful missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, and our schools exist to assist parents in equipping their children for this mission.

To successfully renew Catholic education in Southeast Michigan, we first and foremost must affirm that our schools are the responsibility of all Christ’s faithful. This is our foundational principle, the direction we heard from the Holy Spirit through Synod 16. We discerned together that our Catholic schools are one of the most effective ways to make Christ’s presence manifest in our communities. 

To implement this vision of renewed Catholic education in our archdiocese, we also must re-imagine funding and governance of Catholic schools so that any Catholic family seeking an excellent Catholic education for their children can have one. Woven through these efforts is our commitment that school leaders will make evangelization and discipleship the heart of their ministry and their highest priority. Catholic schools should be places where children fall in love with Jesus and find their God-given purpose in this life.

Catholic schools cultivate servant leaders who bring the light of Christ out into their communities and future families. They have Jesus Christ, the master teacher, as their guide. They are integral to the life
of the Church, not optional. Our future as a missionary archdiocese is closely tied to the success of our renewal of Catholic schools in Southeast Michigan.

We are well on our way to this vision, with schools in the archdiocese committing themselves to serving as centers of evangelization and discipleship. Let us thank God ahead of time for his continued graces and guidance as we work to ensure all our children grow and move forward with hearts and minds of Christ, ready to unleash the Gospel wherever they will go.