10 Reasons Why Catholic Education Still Matters

pdf 10 Reasons (313 KB)

Catholic School Teachers as Ministers

"As plans are made to celebrate another Catholic Schools Week, I want to thank all those who sacrifice and serve in our Catholic schools.

Teaching in a Catholic school is a ministry, and all who serve in our schools are teachers. The most important job of those who serve in a Catholic school is to help evangelize students. Through words and actions, they partner with parents to form students into disciples of Christ. On the playground, in the halls or classrooms, situations occur, questions are asked, comments are made and those who serve in Catholic schools view these events as opportunities to help draw students closer to Christ. That is the mission of our Catholic schools!

Through the priests, religious, principals and teachers in the classrooms, the students learn that doing their best academically is about more than getting a good grade, scholarship or acceptance into a great school. They are taught to do their best because they were created by God for a purpose. They are taught the truth, challenged to discover God’s plan for themselves, and are equipped to evangelize in a world that desperately needs them.

Students are taught to respect and take care of the school by the actions of those who do the maintenance in the school. They are taught to understand their responsibility to honor those who sacrificed to build the building and make sure the building is in good shape for those who will come after them. Through the efforts of those who work in the cafeteria, they learn not to waste and to realize how blessed they are to live in a country where food is readily available for them. They are taught how to be good stewards. Those who serve in the office, answer the phones, greet the parents, and take care of the sick children, embody the scripture, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord . . . ” (Col. 3:23). Every interaction and communication not only completes a task but provides an opportunity for formation.

Those who serve in the parishes where the Catholic schools are located are often present in the schools and serve as role models of faith. Students are taught their Catholic school education is a gift that is being provided through the sacrifice and support of their parents, parish and the entire Catholic community of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. They are taught to show gratitude for all who make this gift possible.

Everyday actions that happen in all schools across America are responded to differently by those who serve in Catholic schools. The lessons, explanations, corrections, and actions are all intentionally tied back to our faith. At the entrance of one of our Catholic schools, there is a picture of Christ that says, “This Master Teacher Has Been Part of Our Faculty for Years!” Those who serve in our Catholic schools are carrying on the teaching ministry of Christ, passed on to us through centuries by the disciples, saints, religious and all the Catholic school teachers who have dedicated their lives to serving in our Catholic schools. They not only do a great job, they share the Good News and evangelize the hearts of the students.

THANK YOU for all your hard work, sacrifice and efforts to form the future of the Catholic Church one student at a time."

By Holly Goodwin, Superintendent of Catholic Education, Diocese of Colorado Springs

Lent - A Time of Renewal


Lent is a time for renewal.  Our Catholic faith encourages us to
approach Lent with sacrifice, almsgiving, and prayer. These three disciplines
remind me of Stewardship-true Stewardship.  When we truly begin to believe
that all we have is a gift from God, and not just the fruits of our own hard
work, then sacrifice, almsgiving and prayer become a part of our daily
life.  Who gifted you with the ability to perform hard work?  Who
gifted you with skills and talents to perform a certain occupation?  Who
gave you a family to support your efforts?  Who willed you into
existence?  All were gifts from God.  All He asks is that you take
time to realize, reflect, be thankful, give back to help others and spend time
with him.  He asks that we become good stewards of the gifts he has given

This Lent in our Catholic schools we will walk with our students as they
reflect on the gifts God has given them, and examine habits or actions that may
be keeping them from being the light of Christ to others. Time will be provided
for confession, service to others, reflection, fasting, forgiveness, prayer,
Stations of the Cross, Adoration-many faith traditions to help students prepare
for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus- yet another gift from God.  Our
Atriums will allow our youngest students to re-enact Scripture, and share their
understanding of Holy Week, the liturgical calendar and the Easter
Season.  Our older students will unpack their Baptismal Vows and
participate in spiritual exercises. The fact that in Catholic schools we are
able to learn, live and share our faith daily, is truly a gift from

Holly Goodwin,

Superintendent of Catholic Education

National Catholic Standards and Benchmark and our Strategic Plan

Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school. 

He is the unseen but ever present teacher in these classrooms. 

He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.”  


The statement above graces the entrance of so many Catholic schools and can now be judged through a series of National Catholic Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic and Secondary Schools (NSBECS) developed in March 2012 by the University of Loyola Center for Catholic School Effectiveness.  The standards themselves serve to ensure that “From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illuminated by the light of faith and having its own unique characteristics, an environment permeated with the Gospel spirit of love and freedom.” (The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, #25)

The NSBECS are based on Church teachings, best practices, and a commitment to the future of Catholic education in the United States. The standards speak of Mission and Catholic Identity, Governance and Leadership, Academic Excellence, and Operational Vitality. Please visit http://www.catholicschoolstandards.org/ to review the nine characteristics that define the Catholic identity of Catholics schools, the platform on which the standards and benchmarks are based. Also available on the website for your review are the 13 Standards, which describe the policies, programs, processes and structures that should be present in an effective, well-managed Catholic school. The 70 Benchmarks are measurable descriptors for the 13 Standards.

I bring your attention to the NSBECS as a resource to help understand our Mission and Vision for Catholic education in the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Over the next few weeks, our Diocese, in collaboration with Catholic School Management, will be conducting surveys, meetings, and interviews with Pastors, school administrations, parishioners, parents, and members of our communities asking for comments, suggestions, and input regarding Catholic school education. These events are just a portion of our work to ensure the sustainability of Catholic education in the Diocese and continue the academic excellence and faith-filled education that has been a trade mark at our schools.

Thank you for your support, and I ask for your prayers as we continue Diocesan efforts to develop a strategic plan for our Catholic schools.

God Bless,

Holly Goodwin



Introducing a Strategic Plan for our Catholic Schools

In this Year of Mercy, it is my pleasure to introduce: 

Forward in Faith
A Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools - Diocese of Colorado Springs 2015-2020

Grounded in the National Standards for Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, the vision, direction, and priorities for our Strategic Plan were identified to ensure the long-term viability of our Catholic schools and make quality, faith-based education available for those parents who desire assistance in educating and forming their children to be disciples of Christ.



About the Superintendent

Holly Goodwin is the Director of Total Catholic Education and the Superintendent of Catholic Education. Holly oversees curriculum development, budgeting, tuition and financial aid, human resources and planning for the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.

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