Innovative Marketing and Fundraising Efforts Boost Catholic School Enrollment


The following post is an excerpt from “New Movements in School Finance” by John S. Welsh, a feature article in the upcoming February/March issue of Momentum.  The full article will be printed in Momentum, available to NCEA Members and for single-issue purchase in February 2015.

“Rising costs of education, shifting demographics and competition from charter schools are among a litany of factors that have put Catholic education in a difficult place. But this is not the end of the story. Across the country, pockets of hope are forming, where just as Catholic schools have adapted in other areas to best meet the needs of the times, they are finding new ways to keep themselves financially afloat. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the neighboring Diocese of Columbus, people are working on a number of levels to bring innovative financial practices to these two important Ohio dioceses…

… In August 2012, after two years of research, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati released a strategic plan titled Lighting the Way: A Vision for Catholic School Education. This document addresses six categories identified as predictors of overall school vitality. The financial vitality metric delivers consistent, centralized evaluation while allowing a good amount of freedom and individuality among schools. Centralized data collection allows the archdiocese to evaluate the effectiveness of each school’s financial practices, to investigate possibilities for improvement, and to gather information about what is working particularly well.

Cristo Rey Columbus High School is part of the Cristo Rey Network, a national network of schools dedicated to the education of economically disadvantaged students in a Catholic, academically rigorous, college preparatory environment. Each school is independent in governance and operation, but adopts the mission and model of the network… What makes Cristo Rey Network schools both sustainable and affordable is their work-study program. In this program, Cristo Rey partners with local businesses to arrange employment for each of its students. Students work one or two days per week at hospitals, corporate offices, law firms and other places of business. Their paychecks go to the school and are used to offset tuition.

… In Dublin, Ohio, Saint Brigid of Kildare Elementary School is leading the way in what members of the school community hope will be a new movement in Catholic education funding… With these things in mind, Monsignor Hendricks and the committee came up with a bold solution: create an endowment large enough to freeze, lower, and eventually end tuition costs, to allow for future additions to the school, and to fund programming – in short, to fund all of the school’s operational costs indefinitely. About two years into the effort, the school has raised around $4 million – a small, but significant chunk of the eventual goal of approximately $50 million.

…Each situation within schools and dioceses requires unique answers. While schools maintain a common identity in Catholicism, each one has its own population, charisms, and challenges. It remains, then, for the local schools and dioceses themselves to seek solutions that are sustainable, prudent and in line with Catholic social teaching… Innovative solutions are being found to the financial woes afflicting America’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools. With a little creativity and determination, more and more are waiting to be found.”

Jack Welsh is currently a senior at the University of Dayton studying Secondary Catholic Religious Education. He recently worked as a research intern for UD’s Center for Catholic Education exploring creative financial models being utilized by Catholic schools in different situations in the Diocese of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Academic Excellence in Catholic Schools Provide Bright Future for Alumni

Guest post written by NCEA Seton Scholar, Katherine Barrett.

“What makes Catholic schools so incredibly special is the fact that they educate the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. Everyone who makes up a Catholic school is there for one reason – to help the students grow in their faith. All you have to do is observe a classroom in a Catholic school for one day and you will see this. From beginning and ending each day with prayer, administering the sacraments weekly, constant opportunities to reach out and serve others, to the silent witness of faith from the teachers; every where you turn you will see the face of Christ.

I am blessed to have attended a Catholic school since the first grade and with confidence I acknowledge that my Catholic education has made me who I am today. Success in this life can be measured in many different ways: wealth, popularity, happiness – the list goes on and on. However, I believe we are the most successful when using our gifts and talents to serve others. I learned this from my time in Catholic schools. It is through my Catholic education that I built a strong faith foundation that will remain with me for the rest of my life. Catholic schooling provides students with the most important thing in this life – a relationship with Christ. Thank God for Catholic Schools, for they are truly building up His kingdom each and every day.”


Katherine Barrett, a secondary education and biology major with a faith-based studies concentration, will graduate summa cum laude in May 2015 from Marian University. In addition to serving as a Marian University Student Ambassador and a senator for Kappa Delta Pi education fraternity, Katie is also a San Damiano Scholar. As such, she maintains a high level of academic achievement and takes additional faith-based courses while actively engaging in service activities with the Cathedral Soup Kitchen, the O’Connor House, and College Mentors for Kids. She also served in a 10-day summer service immersion at an orphanage in Guatemala. The oldest of five children, Katie sees her relationship with her family an extension of her relationship with God. She is excited to join the teachers who have guided her through school by becoming an educator herself. She is currently student teaching at St. Mark Catholic School in Indianapolis. 

(Photo: Katherine and her parents with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and First Lady of Indiana, Karen Pence at the NCEA Seton Awards Gala in October 2014.)

Reminder: Live Broadcast Catholic University Mass for CSW

Patronal Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic University Mass.

The Catholic University of America and Dominican House of Studies, in association with the National Catholic Educational Association, will celebrate National Catholic Schools Week at the annual University Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas, which will be broadcast live on EWTNThe Mass will be held Tuesday, January 27, in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 12:10 p.m. NCEA’s Executive Vice-President Patrick Lofton will be speaking at the Mass.  Tune in to watch as we share in community and faith!

Enter the CSW15 Daily Photo Contest!


NCEA is hosting a photo contest each day this week.  Schools and parish communities are encouraged to share your photos that represent the Catholic Schools Week daily themes. Tag your photos with #CSW15 on Facebook or Twitter and you may see your school in a future NCEA publication!

Here are the daily themes:

Sunday 1/25: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Parish
Monday 1/26: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Community
Tuesday 1/27: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Students
Wednesday 1/28: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Nation (National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools)
Thursday 1/29: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Vocations
Friday 1/30: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher Appreciation Day)
Saturday 1/31: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Families

It’s National Catholic Schools Week!


National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2015 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” This week, schools across the country will observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Join us all week for special stories and guest posts about Catholic schools. Use the #CSW15 hashtag and join others celebrating Catholic Schools Week in conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Share your own resources with videos on YouTube or pinning on Pinterest.

Good News for the Nation: Catholic Schools Are Thriving


Catholic schools offer academic excellence and faith-filled education for students nationwide. National test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance and other data show that Catholic schools frequently outperform schools in both the public and private sectors. While some Catholic schools are challenged by declining enrollments and school closures, the good news is that there is a strong demand and enthusiasm for Catholic schools. Thirty-one percent of Catholic schools have waiting lists for admission and new schools are opening across the country.  This infographic shares facts and figures about the ongoing excellence and promise of growth represented in our country’s Catholic schools.

This infographic

Learn more about Catholic school success and National Catholic Schools Week by visiting NCEA’s website.

Reminder: NCEA to co-host #CatholicEdChat

Join us on Twitter! @NCEATalk will be co-hosting a chat on Saturday, January 24, at 9 a.m. EST along with folks from #CatholicEdChat to discuss Catholic Schools Week and what schools are doing across the country to celebrate. NCEA Executive Vice President Patrick Lofton will be tweeting live for NCEA. Please join if you can!

Catholic Schools Across the Country to Celebrate Catholic Schools Week


The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) announces its annual National Catholic Schools Week (CSW) celebration to take place January 25-31, 2015. The theme, “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” will focus on the value that Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to the Catholic Church, local communities and the nation.
“National Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to showcase the academic excellence and faith-filled education that Catholic schools provide for students across the country,” said NCEA President Brother Robert Bimonte, FCS. Learn more about Catholic Schools Week on NCEA’s website.


Welcome to NCEA Talk

Praying handsAs NCEA embraces its bold and innovative new vision, we are excited to introduce our new blog: NCEA Talk. This blog promises to serve as a platform for discussion and celebration of all things related to Catholic education.

Join us as we lead, learn and proclaim! The blog will be live Catholic Schools Week 2015, so be sure to check back the week of January 25 to join the conversation.

Questions or comments? Please send us an email at