One of the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Catholic Education was that parish and regional Catholic grade schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia be advised by an Executive Board of Elementary Education.
Little more than a year later, the recommendation has come to pass with the announcement March 4 of the creation of that board to serve the whole Archdiocese, and the commitment to create advisory councils in each of the five counties.
“The Executive Board of Elementary Education and the five County Advisory Councils will work very closely with the Office of Catholic Education and the principals of the elementary schools,” said Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald in a statement released by the Archdiocese.
The bishop oversees Catholic education in the Archdiocese and will serve as the chair of the executive board.
“The collective mission of the executive board and the advisory councils will be to understand and plan for the demographic shifts, enrollment trends and financial pressures that all schools face today so that working more strategically across the counties we can provide accessible, affordable, high quality Catholic education for all of those who desire it,” the bishop said.
The goal of the board and councils is to help parishes, their pastors and Catholic regional and neighborhood schools with strategic planning, marketing, enrollment and governance to help strengthen and grow the schools.
The councils are expected to work with three independent groups: Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), which has funded Catholic school scholarships for 33 years; the Faith in the Future Foundation, begun last winter with the goal of raising $15 million for Catholic education and which last August assumed operational control of the 17 archdiocesan high schools and four schools of special education; and the Independence Mission Schools, which manages 16 “mission” Catholic schools operating in poor neighborhoods of Philadelphia and Delaware County.
Formed last October, the executive board has been adding members ever since and forming the advisory councils. The regional bishop for each of the Archdiocese’s five counties will appoint members of the councils, to be made up of principals, pastors, parents and representatives from the community.
The current members of the executive board are: Msgr. Joseph Marino, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Strafford; Msgr. Daniel Kutys, moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese; Sister Carroll Isselmann, I.H.M., director of strategic initiatives at Immaculata University; Victoria Kim Flaville, an executive with the Connelly Foundation; Paul Mulholland, retired treasurer at Sunoco; Gerald J. Parsons, CEO of Communications Test Design; Brian Zwaan, co-founder and executive with Penn Liberty Bank; Alfred Christopher Dezzi, an executive with the Dezzi Group; Msgr. Michael J. Matz, pastor of St. Genevieve Parish, Floutown; and Jacqueline Coccia, archdiocesan superintendent of elementary schools.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103