There is a great deal of excitement at the Office of Catholic Education as we begin the 2016-2017 school year. This year 9 schools will have new leaders and 62 new teachers have joined the fulfilling ministry of Catholic education. Members of the Fresno diocese can be proud of our 19 elementary schools; two high schools and one stand alone preschool. These schools educate 6,000 students in the faith with an emphasis on academic excellence and inclusion.
Also this year, a new Assistant Superintendent has joined the Office of Catholic Education in the first satellite office of the Chancery. Donna Smith, the previous principal at OLPH in Bakersfield, has her new office at St. Joseph’s Parish in Bakersfield. We are grateful to Father Miguel Flores and all of the staff and parishioners of St. Joseph’s for supporting Catholic education in this way. Mrs. Smith will be focusing her efforts on supporting the instructional practices and curriculum of our schools. As tuition costs rise, the strategies our teachers use in the classroom need to be effective for each child and at the forefront of our industry. I am confident that Donna will bring another layer of needed support to all of our schools.
As this new year begins, we ask for your continued prayers for the Catholic schools in our Diocese. Our schools face many challenges in California as some governmental agencies threaten the viability of faith based and private schools. The California Superintendents and CAPSO – our lobbying organization - work tirelessly to continue to preserve the religious freedoms of our schools and families.
If your parish does not have a Catholic school or if it has been a while since you have been to one of our schools, I encourage you to stop by and experience all of the wonderful opportunities our students have to grow spiritually and academically. The schools are listed below. The principals, teachers and students would welcome your presence at any time.
For over 100 years, our Catholic schools have helped students grow spiritually and excel academically by welcoming children into a faith filled community where they come to know, love and serve God. With the support and prayers of all Catholics in the Diocese of Fresno, this promise will continue for generations to come. God bless you!Mona E. Faulkner