Research projects such as Catholic Schools and the Common Good and Lost Classroom, Lost Community reveal that the strength of Catholic schools is the community. Church documents as far back as Declaration on Christian Education, point to schools as faith communities, not simply institutions. But how do we intentionally build community?
At St. Matthew’s Catholic school in Kalispell, students participate in “Holy Hoops” every March. This is the 8th annual basketball tournament and envelops the week. Every students in grades 5-8 is placed on a team. Every student plays and St. Matt’s alums serve as the coaches. The 8th grade captains of each team pick the saint name for their teams. The teams are selected by the teachers to make for fair competition. There are four nights of games (round robin then a championship bracket). On the final night, Fr. Rod Ermatinger, the pastor who brought Holy Hoops to Kalispell, challenges local priests to a free throw contest. The event kicks off on Sunday night with a parade of teams and a spaghetti feed.
As I write this, I’m immersed in the latest Vatican document, Educating to Fraternal Humanism (2017). The central quote from this document applies here. “One needs…to humanize education, that is, to make it a process in which each person can develop his or her own deep-rooted attitudes and vocation, and thus contribute to his or her vocation within the community.” (paragraph 8). At St. Matt’s in the midst of March Madness, they are giving each student a role in the community and coming together to have fun and to humanize education.
Want to keep up with the conversations surrounding Catholic education? Set up your own Google Alert, subscribe to this newsletter by clicking “follow,” subscribe to the Catholic Schools Daily, or subscribe to the Catholic School Matters podcast.
In the spirit of March Madness, I share a blog about the “Holy Hoops” tournament at St. Matt’s in Kalispell. It’s a great way to build community.
- Keeping the same theme, I included an article in the American Catholic News section about Sr. Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who joins the Loyola-Chicago team on the bench.
- In the Leadership section, the first two articles are on culture. The first article from HBR is one of the best articles I’ve read in some time. “Create a Growth Culture, not a performance-obsessed one” contradicts many of our metrics- and outcomes-based orientations that are so prevalent in education. How can we truly adopt a growth mindset in our schools? The second article from David Brooks points out how principals build culture in a school.
- The 3rd article in that section is a tribute to the recently departed Roger Bannister and the 4-minute mile breakthrough.
- In the Teaching & Instruction section, “The Danger of Teacher Nostalgia” is self-explanatory. It’s a struggle every school needs to confront.
- The first link in the Miscellany section is an important article for all of us to read. “6 Ways to Cure Your Smartphone Addiction” from HBR is full of great tips and suggestions on how to deal with the always-connected mobile office at your fingerprints.
Have a great week!