How Catholic Women Religious Partner with Notre Dame ACE Academies

by Sister Julie Ann on July 24, 2010

Franciscans at Notre Dame

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were invited to the University of Notre Dame, IN July 20-23, 2010 launching the Notre Dame ACE Academies in Tucson, AZ.

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Leonette Kochan, OSF, Sister Ellen Pachmayer, OSF, Sister Mary Ann Feminella, OSF, along with the entire faculty of Santa Cruz School, Tucson, AZ, as well as Sister Adrianna Schouten, FSCC General Administration Education Councilor,  were invited to the University of Notre Dame July 20-23, 2010 to begin a special partnership with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and the University of Notre Dame. Beginning in Fall 2010, there will be three ND ACE Academy schools in the Diocese of Tucson: St. Ambrose, St. John the Evangelist and Santa Cruz.

What is Notre Dame ACE Academy?

Notre Dame ACE Academy (NDAA) schools are parish schools that have a special partnership with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and the University of Notre Dame.

What is ACE?

The Alliance for Catholic Education is a movement based at the University of Notre Dame that strengthens and sustains Catholic schools. ACE was founded in 1994 as a two-year master of education program that prepares teachers for Catholic schools and has since grown to include a principal preparation program, an English-as-a-new-language program, and educational consulting firm and several other initiatives designed to strengthen and sustain Catholic schools.

Why was Santa Cruz chosen?

ACE selected the Catholic schools of Tucson, upon the invitation of Bishop Gerald Kicanas for several reasons:

  • Effective partnerships require the strong support of local leaders ( e.g. Sister Leonette is principal of Santa Cruz and has a strong history of support for ACE teachers who serve on the school’s faculty; Sisters serving as a school counselor and  teacher plan and serve together with ACE teachers.)
  • Schools are well-positioned to provide extraordinary educational and faith formation opportunities to a growing community.
  • Arizona’s strong individual and corporate tax credit program allows greater opportunities to extend the Catholic school advantage to students who need it most.
  • In December 2009 Notre Dame and ACE launched a campaign called The Catholic School Advantage, to double the percentage of Latino children in Catholic schools by 2020.

How will success be measured?

5 ways: Catholic identity, educational achievement, participation in Catholic schooling as measured by enrollment growth, financial stability and teacher quality and school climate (evaluated by surveys, test scores, high school and college graduation rates, balanced budgets, increases in scholarship support, low rate of teacher turnover ect.) 

Where can I learn more?

Check out these websites: Notre Dame ACE Academy Initiative, ACE, Catholic School Advantage Campaign. This is real history in the making.

10 thoughts on “How Catholic Women Religious Partner with Notre Dame ACE Academies”

  1. Lrizzo1950 says:

    The partnership of The Alliance of Catholic Education and the Unviersity of Notre Dame is good news for The Dicoese of Tucson's St. Ambrose, St. John the Evangelist, and Santa Cruz . These schools will have an opportunity to grow in all areas of their Catholic Faith and their Academics by being continuously enriched and assessed. God Bless All who will be involved with this new venture!

  2. Wonderful post, sister, and an exciting new initiative! Notre Dame is blessed to have such wonderful partners in the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity! May this seed of a partnership bear much fruit!

  3. Mbodwin says:

    Ithink this is just great. I wish the program all the success and Gods blessings.
    Sister Mary Bodwin

  4. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us. Thanks for the comments. This Notre Dame initiative is brilliant in trying to address the urgent need for more Catholic schools (rather than less) in our nation. How important to make steps in addressing a serious problem of youth not being catechized thus not finding true meaning in life, as well as not graduating from high school.

  5. Annemarie Lom says:

    I know the sisters will do their utmost to make this venture a positive and faith-filled one. I send my prayers and blessings to each of them, their faculty, staff, and all concerned.

  6. Sadrianna says:

    it was truly a privelege to be invited by the Sisters from Santa Cruz to attend the workshop. The entire experience was so hopeful for Catholic education, very committed to the Catholicity of our schools. May God bless with new effort with success and making the schools places of quality education for all students.

  7. Sannmary says:

    What a great opportunity! I'll keep you in my prayers that all goals are fulfilled. I'm sure they will be. God bless your efforts.

  8. Our Sisters tell wonderful stories of how they are enriched by the ACERS. I've also heard the young people speak of the wonderful mentors they have found in the Sisters and the dedicated lay faculties of Santa Cruz and San Xavier Schools. The Spirit is alive and the sense of community that is being built feels like Church at its best.

  9. Ricky Austin says:

    Good luck and God bless! We're looking forward to hearing hearing about all the successes when the school year begins!

  10. Srosangela says:

    I heard a little about the ACE program from one of our Sisters. She said the Notre Dame students were very committed to working in the Santa Cruz school. It sounds like the program is expanding to include more schools. What a wonderful opportunity for all those involved. What a boost for Catholic Education. God bless all of you.

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