Catholic schools planning in refinement stage Print
Our Catholic Schools
Thursday, Mar. 04, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

Our Catholic Schools by Michael Lancaster

The work of the Catholic schools planning steering committee drew to a close in late January as they met for the final time to review the recommendations resulting from nearly 18 months of meetings, regional gatherings, and the diocesan wide schools planning congress that was held last October.

In November and December, the steering committee met to collate the recommendations resulting from the congress, adding consideration for the input that we received from regional meetings and task-force sessions, which were held throughout the diocese.

This work was then further refined by the advisors from the Institute of School and Parish Development (ISPD), who have been assisting the Office of Catholic Schools in this planning process. Their resulting product was then given to the steering committee in late January for a final review.

Prepare planning document

The next step for the Office of Catholic Schools, in conjunction with the Office of Planning, is to prepare an integrated parish and school planning document, which will be presented to Bishop Robert C. Morlino for his review.

The outcome of this review, similar to Trusting in the Spirit for parishes, will be a comprehensive list of directives and recommendations for schools that are integrated with the plans for parishes.


Once the directives and recommendations are announced, implementation will begin at three distinct levels: a) the cluster level, b) the parish/school level, and c) the diocesan level. Individual clusters will receive ideas and suggestions specific to their cluster regarding how to proceed with the implementation process.

The work of implementation will be completed primarily by existing cluster implementation teams and parish/school education commissions. The work will be overseen by the current diocesan planning and implementation team.

Although the final recommendations are still in the refinement stage, they will address all the major categories explored by the congress, which may be found online by clicking here.


As we prepare to end the formal planning process and move into the implementation phase later this spring, I extend my sincere gratitude to the 30 members of the steering committee, including pastors and principals, along with the nearly 100 members of the core teams, without whose insight, experience, and wisdom this process would not have been possible.

As always, thank you for reading this column and may God continue to bless you and your families.

Michael Lancaster is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Madison.