Schools Summit

High School Formation Summit

Catholic School Administrators, Teachers, and Campus Ministers from High Schools throughout the country are welcome to attend this professional development experience. The purpose of the summit is to create a national network of collaboration and idea-sharing to further the fruitful formation of students as authentic disciples of Jesus Christ.


Archbishop Bernard Hebda

Archbishop Bernard Hebda

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Mary Pat Donoghue

Mary Pat Donoghue

USCCB Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education

Daniel J. Mahoney

Daniel J. Mahoney

Author of “The Idol of Our Ages

Mary Rice Hasson

Mary Rice Hasson

Director of Catholic Women’s Forum

Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins

Catholic evangelist, author, and biblical scholar

Workshop 1 -“Excellence in Leadership”

Presenter: William F. Mohrman, J.D.
Description: Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson Law Firm in Minneapolis has been involved directly in some cases involving school speech and other First Amendment free speech cases. Groups are suing traditional Christian schools to compel those schools to either employ teachers or admit students or even provide instruction that is completely at odds with the theological and philosophical tenets of those schools. What can we do?


Workshop 2 -“Teaching Together – Where everyone’s gifts are used for the good of others”

Presenter: Mary Forr
Description: The mission of Catholic schools is to education the mind, body, and soul of their students. Catholic educators do their very best to teach not only math, science, and reading, but also more important lessons like love of neighbor, self-sacrifice, and carrying crosses joyfully. The Teaching Together program helps schools incorporate adults with disabilities into the school community through an internship program. The adults with disabilities are able to serve the school in a wide variety of roles ranging from classroom assistant to grounds keeper to assistant coach. In doing so, these interns share their gifts and help to carry the burden of teaching the lessons of math, science, and reading, while simultaneously teaching students about patience, perseverance, and love in a unique way. Join us to learn how your school can celebrate the dignity and gifts of every person in the community through Teaching Together internships.


Workshop 3 – “Male and Female He Created Them: The 2019 Vatican document on gender theory and its implication for Catholic school policy and practice”

Presenter: Emily Dahdah, Ph.D., Associate Director of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Description: The recent Vatican document Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education (July 2019) identifies and engages errors in popular theories of gender that undermine the fundamental project of Catholic schools and disorient the education of each person in the call to love. Given the serious implications of the widespread errors in dominant approaches to sex and gender identity, Catholic schools have a primarily responsibility to adopt policies and practices that are intentionally corrective. In doing so, they help students reflect more deeply the image of God in our world and flourish as mature men and women who can greet the civil, moral, and professional challenges of their societies.


Workshop 1 -“Sports Ministry for Saintly Athletes of the Next Millennium”

Presenters: Zach Eckert, Campus Minister, JSerra High School
Description: Sports can be one of the most effective means of evangelization. As JPII said, “Playing sport has become very important today, since it can encourage young people to develop important values such as loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing and solidarity.” The Catholic high school model can and must evolve to compete in a sports-minded culture, but also must baptize that culture to offer something that no other type of school can. Now more than ever, athletics can make Catholic schools a popular choice for students from diverse family backgrounds, giving the Church a defining moment in history to meet and influence young people who otherwise might never interact with the mission of Christ. For the school that wants to capture this profound potential, the key lies in a dynamic Campus Ministry, integrated and woven into the fabric of a school community in classrooms, gymnasiums, fields, and chapels.


Workshop 2 -“In Pursuit of My Identity: Homosexuality, Transgenderism, and My Life”

Presenter: Hudson Byblow, Lighthouse Talks/Augustine Institute
Description: In this joyful personal testimony, Hudson reveals the power of God’s amazing, love, mercy, and justice. Hudson honestly shares his life story with charity, clarity, and compassion and without compromising Catholic teaching. In a world that says the Catholic Church is the last place he should ever belong, Hudson reveals the truth and gives Campus Ministers the tools to help share that truth with others.


Workshop 3 – “The Method of Spiritual Accompaniment”

Presenter: Jonathan Lewis, Young Adult Office Diocese of Washington DC
Description: Spiritual accompaniment was the method of Jesus and the method of the Saints. Most of us are Catholic today because of the example and friendship of a role model or mentor who accompanied us in our journey of faith, yet most young people don’t have spiritual mentors. Recent Synod meetings and the writings of Pope Francis have prioritized the importance of mentorship and spiritual accompaniment of young people. Mentors go by many names: teachers, godparents, sponsors, parents, grandparents, coaches, catechists, etc. This talk will share the qualities of a spiritual mentor and discuss practical ways to unlock the Christian tradition of mentorship as a personal and ecclesial calling for schools and parishes.

Workshop 1 – “Navigating Higher Education: The Role of the Theology Teacher”

Presenters: Drs. Boyle & Naughton, Univ St Thomas Center for Catholic Studies
Description: Many high school students are unprepared to think wisely about choosing a college or university. 85% of students lose their faith in the course of their time in college. A significant part of the problem is choosing a college for good reasons but not for the most important reasons. A theology teacher can do much to prepare students to deliberate thoughtfully about this decision. This includes thinking in an integrated way about faith, morals, friendship, and professional life so as to inform a decision that will shape their future lives for both good and ill.


Workshop 2 -“Moral Education with Dr. King’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’”

Presenter: Dr. Arthur Hippler, Religion Department chair, Providence Academy
Description: In an age of moral confusion, Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” offers welcome clarity. But the heart of his argument, that man-made laws are just only if based on the moral law, conflicts with modern denial of a “moral law.” For man today, morality is seen as cultural or emotional or utilitarian — “moral law” is the leftover of outdated religion. King’s “Letter” helps our students see that the moral law is necessary for just relations among men. Conversely, the moral relativism our students unreflectively accept is democracy’s greatest threat.


Workshop 3 -“The Power Within: Unlocking a Future of Happiness, Success and Fulfillment through Emotional Intelligence, Guided by our Catholic Faith”

Presenter: Christopher D. Connors
Description: An interactive workshop discussion on 5 key areas of EQ (Empathy, Self-Awareness, Adaptability, Altruism (Servant Leadership) and Optimism/Passion); The purpose is to bring each leader into the discussion to understand and share how these qualities impact the lives of their faculty, staff, parents and students, as well as their faith, and daily leadership responsibilities. We delve into what we all can do to think deeper on the qualities and how to integrate them into our daily lives. Questions include: How can we as parents and leaders better understand our children’s social and emotional needs and wants? What does it mean to be an emotionally intelligent Catholic leader and how to positively influence the lives of others? How can we become more perceptive at building the teacher & parent/student relationship in an authentic, loving and Catholic way?

All of us have daily responsibilities and commitments to our families, schools, our church community and to ourselves. How can we discern what we truly need to address, versus things that we want (but won’t actually benefit us)? This workshop is an examination into ways we can understand and adapt to our social and emotional triggers to become better Catholics and leaders, and to use our intellectual curiosity to improve our lives and the lives of others.


“The Importance of Mission” – President Steve Minnis, Benedictine College

“Mission-Driven Schools” – Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

“Empowering Young Catholics for Life’s Big Decisions” – Deborah and Dana Nearmyer, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

“The Threat to Religious Liberty in America and How it’s Impacting Christian Schools” – Ray Kaselonis, Alliance Defending Freedom

“Integrating Christian Anthropology into the Whole Curriculum” – Chris Baglow

“Ministering to People in Their Brokenness ” – Sr. Veronica Mary, SV

“Duc in Altum: The Evangelistic Mission of Catholic Schools” – Bishop Vann

This year the Duc in Altum (DIA) Schools Collaborative will host the 5th Annual DIA Schools Summit at Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota. This is one of the most exciting new ventures to take place in the arena of Catholic school management and the formation of educators.

The DIA Schools Collaborative is dedicated to promoting sound Catholic identity and commitment to a robust catechetical approach that meets young people where they are, and then sends them out with the tools necessary to tackle a challenging contemporary culture. For the past four years, the Formation Summit has convened administrators, theology instructors and campus ministers to exchange exciting ideas and best practices for fostering a dynamic environment of evangelization that fosters authentic friendship with Jesus and a love for His Church in Catholic education institutions.

I wholeheartedly endorse this fresh endeavor within the Church for the cultivation of academic and spiritual excellence, combined with Magisterial fidelity. I hope to see this initiative expand and grow so that many more young people in our Catholic schools can reap the benefits of this effort to renew our Catholic Schools.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Andrew H Cozzens, STD, DD
Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

2020 Formation Summit

St. Cecilia Academy
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205

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