We don’t build community. We reveal it (Nuzzi & Hunt, 2012, p 6).
As believers in the mystery of the Trinity - the belief that there are three persons in one God - we recognize that God Himself is a relationship. Therefore, for those of us made in His image and likeness, which is all of us, we were created for relationships.
Relationships, then, are pathways to holiness, and our Triune God undergirds every connection, every encounter, every relationship with another person. This is why as Catholics we do not build community. Rather, we reveal the beauty of the relationships that God has divinely orchestrated in our lives.
This is the foundation of the communal approach of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program as well as the approach that we propose every Catholic school should also adopt. We believe that since we are created in the image and likeness of God that we are made for one another. Because of this, we have designed our program as essentially communal.
First, Remick leaders move through the program within a cohort, a group of disciples with hope to bring with whom they learn, live, eat, study, work, play, and pray throughout the summer.
Because we believe that we are made for each other, Remick faculty ensure each leader will be called by name from the very first moment they step foot on Notre Dame’s campus. We echo and take seriously this mandate from our Church, “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 illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics” (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988, #25).
Furthermore, because we believe that we are made for each other, we honor the inherently social/relational aspect of learning. Remick faculty employ in-class dialogue, processing with cohort-mates, group work, and co-generation as signature pedagogies.
During the school year, while the cohort scatters across the country and sometimes the world, Remick leaders gather for monthly video conferences with a professional learning community of about five of their cohort-mates and an Executive Coach, a veteran Catholic school leader who acts as a confidant, advisor, mentor, guide, and to fit with its title, a coach.
To offer yet another layer of communal support, Remick leaders from different cohorts gather into Houses, cross-cohort groupings of Remick leaders and one of the core faculty members to promote a greater sense of community across the entire program, offer structures of support and inclusion, as well as generate a spirit of camaraderie and pride.
The Remick Leadership Program unites like-minded and like-hearted Catholic school educators around a common mission to make God known, loved, and served by sustaining, strengthening, and transforming Catholic education. Forging our individual gifts and talents into a unified force for good, we wholeheartedly profess, “What you dream alone remains a dream, what you dream with others can become a reality” (Edward Schillebeeckx).
Come dream with us.
We are better together.
*This blog originally appeared on the Alliance for Catholic Education's website: https://ace.nd.edu/news/the-remick-leadership-program-s-commitment-to-community
*Interested in becoming a Remick Leader? Know someone who would make an outstanding Catholic school principal and/or school/diocesan leader? For more information on the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, visit this link: https://ace.nd.edu/leadership/become-a-leader/how-to-apply
The Congregation for Catholic Education. (1988, April 7). The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19880407_catholic-school_en.html
Nuzzi, R., & Hunt, T. (Eds). (2012). At the heart of the Church: Selected documents of Catholic education. Notre Dame, IN: Alliance for Catholic Education Press.
Rolheiser, R. (1996, July 17). Dreaming With Others. Retrieved from https://ronrolheiser.com/dreaming-with-others/#.X3IgTJNKgdU