Tennessee Register: Aquinas to host conference for Catholic educators

June 08, 2016

The Tennessee Register, the biweekly newspaper of the Diocese of Nashville, recently published an article on the Center for Catholic Education’s W.I.S.E.: Formation for Catholic School Educators, June 13–16.

Aquinas to host conference for Catholic educators

Joseph Telli

When Catholic educators from around the world gathered in Rome last November for the World Congress on Catholic Education, they identified several priorities for Catholic schools, including professional formation of teachers and others who serve in Catholic schools.

Inspired by those discussions, Aquinas College’s Center for Catholic Education and its School of Education are hosting a conference – “Witness, Inspire, Serve and Educate: Formation for Catholic Educators” – June 13-16.

Sr Elizabeth Anne by Jeanne Marie Liggio

Sister Elizabeth Anne, O.P.

The conference will focus on understanding and fulfilling the mission, nature and identity of Catholic schools as is set forth in the documents of the Church, said Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, O.P., director of the Center for Catholic Education.

Organizers limited this inaugural WISE conference to 22 participants, and were able to fill those slots with Catholic educators from nine states and 11 dioceses. The attendees will include educators in every level of a Catholic school: superintendents, principals, a chaplain, teachers, a counselor, and board members.

Almost every way of participating in Catholic education is represented, Sister Elizabeth Anne said. Such a wide range of experiences and ways of involvement should enrich the dynamic among the participants and give a broad perspective to the aspect of community, which is characteristic of Catholic schools, she said.

During the conference, Sister Elizabeth Anne and Sister Mary Anne Zuberbueler, O.P., dean of Aquinas’ School of Education, will lead a discussion of the elements of Catholic identity. Another session will be led by author and art historian Dr. Jem Sullivan, director of research for the Shrine of Saint John Paul II in Washington, D.C., and the author of “The Beauty of Holiness: Sacred Art and the New Evangelization.”

Other highlights will include a retreat held at the Bethany Retreat House and a panel discussion featuring a pastor with a school, teachers and parents of Catholic school students.

The WISE conference is one of several activities and resources offered by Aquinas College’s Center for Catholic Education. The Center was founded three years ago to collaborate with and give support to Catholic elementary and secondary schools, particularly in providing professional development.

Other resources for use by those who work in Catholic schools that are offered by the Center include links to Church documents along with discussion and study guides, resources for strengthening Catholic identity, and more. For more information about the Center, visit its website at www.aquinascollege.edu/centers-for-excellence/ center-for-catholic-education/.

The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Daily also published an article about the W.I.S.E. conference.