Dear DIA Collaborators,

As I write this, we are less than a month away from DIA’s tentpole event: the annual Schools Summit.  Reflecting on the past seven Summits and eagerly awaiting this one at JSerra Catholic High School reminds me of the joyful anticipation I had for Christmas as a child.  We had such cherished traditions around the season.  It was an annual reunion of family, lively conversations, and joyful feasting.

Having been a practitioner in Catholic education for two decades now, I have yet to experience an event in which there is such a mission-congruent, zealous, and courageous gathering of Catholic school educators.  This type of fellowship is now needed more than ever.  It includes both spiritual fuel and practical strategies for our critical and increasingly challenging work.  The friendships and trust that has grown from this network has only strengthened our mutual ministry and vocational call.  In many ways, the friendships formed over the past seven years have been quite special ones, and there is no shortage of inspiring discussions  and laughter-filled fellowship.

While some of us have changed roles or schools over the past seven years and new members have joined, there is a tight bond and attraction to the call of our schools to rechurch our Church.  In today’s increasingly dark world, we need a community of like-minded leaders to heed this call of Christ, to “cast out into the deep,” and to do so with the strength and support of others. 

Thank you for your commitment to DIA and to this deep work at your schools.  May God bless you and your ministry.

Duc in Altum!

P.S., I have recently re-read The Identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue published in March 2022 by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.  I would invite you to read this document and use it this school year for deepening conversations and dialogue with your teams on some critical topics.