Earlier this summer, DIA Schools Collaborative hosted a virtual discussion with Monsignor James Patrick Shea, President of University of Mary. Each year the DIA Schools Collaborative Fellowship includes a book discussion, and this year the Fellows read Monsignor’s recently released book, “From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age.” He was the special guest at an inspiring and engaging conversation with the Fellows and DIA’s Board and Advisory Board Members.

The discussion was moderated by DIA’s Executive Director, Kyle Pietrantonio. He complimented Monsignor Shea’s candor, and his sincere encouragement of Catholic school leaders to listen to how the Holy Spirit influences the efforts to embolden the future of our Church.

Megan Lengyel, Chief Academic Officer at Kolbe Academy, stated, “I was personally amazed by the back story on how the book came to be: he never got around to finishing it and then Covid hit, which provided him the time and brain space to finish; in addition, he intended it as just an internal article for UMary! He was so humble about its beginnings and where it has gone. All those of us in ‘mission territory’ are just eating it up in the field.” 

“Reading the book and listening to the discussion with Monsignor Shea, it is evident he has a heart for every soul.  His writings define our current age in ways I had not considered and reminded me that the Holy Spirit is at work in every age.  I found the last chapter of the book especially mind opening to me personally—’a way of seeing the whole of things,’” said Carol Szymanski, Fine Arts, St. John XXIII College Preparatory in Katy, TX.

Lengyel continued, “In fact, the book provided such clarity to me in our mission at Kolbe Academy that I went ahead and booked Monsignor Shea for our faculty in-service speaker in August, and he agreed!” 

Learn more about DIA’s Fellows here. To take part in the third Fellowship cohort of DIA Schools Collaborative, watch for the application in late October.