NCEA convention opens in Boston

Catholic educators must not only teach their students about God, but must witness to them how to live a Christian life by putting their faith into practice, said Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley, keynote speaker at the opening session of the annual National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) convention April 13. Approximately 14,000 people are expected to attend the convention held at the Hynes Convention Center April 13 through April 16.

The archbishop welcomed convention attendees to Boston for the 101st NCEA convention, entitled “Heritage and Hope: Faithful Past, Faith-Filled Future.” He thanked educators for their dedication to educating young people, telling them that their services are “contributing to a better world.”

He encouraged them to focus their efforts not only on teaching academic subjects but also on teaching morality.

“As educators, we must see our role as trying to prepare people to be good and virtuous,” the archbishop said. “Catholic education has always been about that quest — to form the whole person — to help people know about God’s plan for the world and to be a part of that plan.’’

“Our task is not just to teach people about God but to help them to know God and His love,” Archbishop O’Malley continued. Teaching students about their Catholic faith must be a process of mentoring, he said, where the Word of God is “not expected to be received as mere information,” but as having a “deeper meaning” for their lives.

Young people today are growing up in a secular world where violence has become entertainment, marriage is threatened and the sanctity of life is disregarded, he said. The Gospel messages that Catholic educators must teach are becoming “increasingly alien” to the views held by the majority of society, the archbishop stated.

An obstacle to truly transmitting the faith to schoolchildren is the lack of faithful witness by many of their parents and adult role models, said the archbishop. “A huge area where we are most deficient and which hampers our attempts to teach the young is that of adult faith formation,” he explained.

He declared that the Church should look to the apostolic movements, which have arisen after the Second Vatican Council, and have had “great success in communicating a deep spirituality to their members in the context of small, close-knit communities.” These movements “energize their people to be evangelizers,” who bring the good news they have received to those around them, he said.

“Catholic education is about making disciples, helping people respond to the call of holiness by being part of a faith-filled worshipping community struggling to be faithful to the Gospel,” Archbishop O’Malley told attendees.

Catholic educators and other influential adults in the lives of young people need to be models of Christian living, he said. Students will not learn how to be faithful unless they see examples of faith in their own lives and through the lives of the saints, the archbishop continued.

“We need to equip our young people to be disciples. They need to know the truths of our faith, but they need to know how to live those truths,” Archbishop O’Malley declared. “Young Christians need mentors” and will learn to live their faith by emulating their elders and the saints of the Church, he reiterated.

Convention attendees were also welcomed to the city by Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino, who attended Catholic schools for 12 years.

“My Catholic education gave me the foundation of who I am today,” he said. “That Catholic education made me a better son to my parents, a better husband, a better father, a trusted leader and most importantly a devoted Catholic.”

To ensure that generations to come have the same benefits of Catholic education, the NCEA drafted a mission statement in January. The mission statement was written in order to “strengthen the gift” of Catholic education, said NCEA president Michael J. Guerra.

Those in attendance verbally affirmed the language of the NCEA mission statement.

‘‘The vision statement that we will promulgate today is a landmark that will define us for a century to come,” Guerra told attendees. “Catholic schools carry out a great mission,” they are “a great service to these children and their parents and our country.”

Approximately 54,000 students in the Archdiocese of Boston alone benefit from Catholic schooling.

Archdiocesan superintendent of schools Sister Kathleen Carr, CSJ, welcomed the crowd and called the convention a “time of new beginnings.”

“With gifts of our heritage and hope in hand, we are invited to take the opportunity of the fresh possibilities ahead,” she said quoting from the title of the convention. “Seeing this large gathering of Catholic educators is a great inspiration for each of us.”

As models of dedication to Catholic education, two individuals were honored during the opening ceremony.

Peter S. Lynch, Boston resident and chairman of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which awards Catholic school scholarships to inner-city students, received the Catherine T. McNamee Award for his dedication to needy students. Sister Joan Curtin, CND, director of the catechetical office in the Archdiocese of New York, was awarded the C. Albert Koob Award for her contribution to Catholic education.

Thousands filled the main auditorium to take part in the opening session of the four-day convention. It began with a celebration of the history and diversity of Catholic education and a look forward to the next 100 years of instructing young people.

Musicians led a procession playing Revolutionary War tunes on drums and flutes. Local Catholic school students and staff, carrying over a dozen flags representing the many different countries that students in the Archdiocese of Boston come from followed.

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...