We are at a critical juncture in our world, Church and Diocese in this time of unprecedented change and challenge. Maintaining the status quo in how our schools are operated is no longer possible. To be true to the mission of The Church, to respond effectively to 21st century changes and challenges, and to preserve and develop our Catholic Schools, our Bishop commissioned Christ Before Me: A Strategic Vision for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Strategic Vision Statement
As a result of this process, the Office of Catholic Education has embarked on a journey to re-envision our Catholic schools.
“The four foundational statements fix as the pivotal ideas of our strategy that Jesus is the foundation of our Catholic school communities;… that discipleship is the primary emphasis of our vision; and, after our families, our schools are the very best environments for forming children as disciples of Christ.” – Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg
Letter from the Superintendent
Dear Friends in the Diocese of Harrisburg:
This is an exciting time for Catholic education in the Diocese of Harrisburg! Since July 2021, our Office of Catholic Education, in partnership with our Catholic school stakeholders, has been involved in a strategic vision process called “Christ Before Me: A Strategic Vision for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg,” in order to guide our Catholic schools towards sustained success. On May 12, after more than 120 interviews, 8,000 survey responses, and collection and analysis of other pertinent data, we announced the results of this work.
This vision process will continue the excellent work already happening in our Catholic schools, while focusing more intentionally on five key themes: discipleship, innovation, collaboration, support, and engagement. Through research, we have developed four objectives for this strategic vision:
- To form disciples of Jesus Christ. Our schools will have healthy enrollments and will be full of engaged students who experience the Gospel preached with joy and modeled with fidelity.
- To nurture an ethic of excellence in our schools and to employ an innovative and varied curriculum that will allow students to discover the wonders of God’s creation, their own dignity, and the dignity of others.
- To implement robust new efforts to acquire, develop and retain talented, committed Catholic school professionals. We affirm and value our teachers and staff as vital ministers of the Church’s “New Evangelization” mission, worthy of investment and compensated accordingly.
- To re-envision the structure, funding, and governance of our schools through a comprehensive and collaborative strategic planning process.
Since 1868, the Catholic schools in the Diocese have educated thousands of students in faith and in academics. Today, our 35 Catholic schools continue to strive for excellence in educating nearly 10,000 students. Although the research and development stage of the vision process is now complete, the work to implement this vision throughout our Diocesan Catholic schools will now begin. We will need your prayers and support.
As this process continues to unfold, please visit this page for the latest information on our progress.
Thank you for your dedication to Catholic education in the Diocese of Harrisburg!
Secretary for Education
Superintendent of Catholic Education
Catholic Identity & Mission
Emphasize high-quality instruction in the faith.
Invest in the formation of our educators.
Governance & Leadership
Commit to a strategic planning process for Catholic schools.
Design and implement a new “architecture” to connect our Catholic schools and foster collaboration.
Prioritize our people.
Ensure high quality training and coaching for teachers.
Explore and invest in new curricular approaches.
Measure academic results and set goals for academic achievement.
Improve communication among all stakeholders.
Proactively support the parish/school partnership.
Create and implement an assertive enrollment management plan.