Author Archives: Lucy Ross

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PODCAST: Educating to Fraternal Humanism w/ Michael Zelenka

Category : Podcasts


Michael Zelenka

One of my professional goals for this year was to read the Church documents on education.  I started this project with a list of 10 Church documents on education and included a link to the document, a podcast conversation with another thought leader, a blog or two from another reader, and links to articles about the document.  This became a virtual PLC resource for teachers, administrators, and superintendents in order to learn more about what the Church has said.  After all, those documents can gather dust if they aren’t studied and most of us struggle to find them and need help to interpret them.  I’ve aggregated these modules (including Joy of the Gospel) on this webpage.

Then I discovered that the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education came up with a document just last spring “Educating to Fraternal Humanism.”  So I have embarked on another module for the Church Documents PLC.  First, I spoke to Cardinal Versaldi, the Prefect of the Congregation and the principal author of last year’s document.  Listen to my podcast conversation with him where he describes his background and the purpose of the congregation.

Then I tackled the document with Michael Zelenka of ACE’s Remick Leadership faculty.  Zelenka teaches the church documents course.  Listen to the podcast here.  I have asked four thought leaders in Catholic education to contribute their reflections on the document, too.

  • Dr. Gail Donahue of Notre Dame (Maryland) found connections to the recent NCEA Convention and reflects on the challenge for higher education to create cultures of dialogue.
  • Dr. Jeannie Ray-Timoney, associate superintendent for the Archdiocese of Portland, discusses the implications for dialogue and inclusion for our Catholic schools and her own call to help build a more peaceful world.
  • Dr. Jim Rigg, the superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, reflects on the call of the document to put students at the center of our work and the importance of forming communities of support.
  • Nicole Garnett, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame and Senior Policy Advisor, Alliance for Catholic Education, resonated with the call for Catholic universities to develop research to prove the value of Catholic schools.  She also heard an echo of Blessed Basil Moreau’s observation that “Christian education is the art of bringing young people to wholeness in the image of Jesus Christ.”

These resources are meant to serve as an onramp for you to assist you in reading the document.  It’s a short, dense document which calls us all to reexamine our role in promoting worldwide solidarity.  Educating to Fraternal Humanism challenges Catholic schools to move beyond the simple instrumental view that education is self-serving and instead should serve the common good of the entire world.  Schools should be a “framework of relationships that make up a living community” of faith which calls students to examine their call to serve the world.  To be human means to be in communion, not separate and individualistic.  Catholic schools are called to intentionally build communion and to instill in our students hope as opposed to a “paradigm of indifference.”

In the podcast, we talk about two other documents referenced in Educating to Fraternal Humanism—the 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio and the 2014 World Congress document “Educating Today and Tomorrow.”  This entire module and supporting documents can be found here.   Enjoy reading!