Archives for March 2009

Happy Annunciation Day!

Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which celebrates the conception of our Lord by the Holy Spirit. We also commemorate Mary’s “yes” to God, without which we would not have salvation. Here is today’s Gospel reading:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from herĀ  (Luke 1:26-38, NAB).

Ways to Create a Vibrant Catholic School

I am thinking of developing a presentation that incorporates the “best practices” of successful Catholic schools, in order to help schools in our diocese move forward in areas of enrollment, Catholicity, etc. I am particularly interested in Catholic schools in semi-rural areas, because I have pretty much lived my entire life in these areas, and really hate to see these areas losing Catholic schools.

Does anybody know of any resources or research that details why some schools are thriving and others are not? I am open to suggestions and speculation as well. I have a lot of my own ideas, but I would like to come up with some solid evidence of what is working. If you know of anything helpful, please let me know.

On a related note, I will be attending the National Speakers Association, Ohio seminar on Sunday March 8, in Columbus. If anybody reading this is going to be there, look me up! A big thanks to Father Joshua Wagner for setting this up!