Story by Lesa Tines
WAVERLY (SNR) - Forty-four administrators from Catholic schools across the Diocese of Lincoln gathered at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly June 9 and 10 to take part in a retreat.
Laura Knaus, principal of Sacred Heart School in Lincoln, presented the idea of providing administrators a time to receive information and formation about Catholic schools. Diocesan superintendent Msgr. John Perkinton agreed and the Education Office began working to find a retreat master.
Father Ron Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, was invited to lead the retreat. Father Nuzzi is the founder and former director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. According to their website, the program “prepares transformational school leaders who make God known, loved, and served by managing school resources, implementing rigorous academic programs, and building robust Catholic school communities.”
Father Nuzzi is also the director of ACE Rise, a program through the University of Notre Dame which strengthens under-resourced Catholic schools through leadership formation. Its mission is to ensure that all children have the opportunity to receive a Catholic education.
Father Nuzzi made five presentations during the two-day event. The topics covered many areas of Catholic education and the impact it makes on parishes across the country.
“Each administrator was able to identify all the ways their school is uniquely and clearly a Catholic school,” said Sister Collette Bruskewitz, OSF, assistant diocesan superintendent. “I hope each administrator knows how important they, and the work they do, are.”
Among the information presented by Father Nuzzi was the effect Catholic schools have on society. Catholic schools are having a great impact on children, not only while attending school, but for the rest of their lives. Their education positively affects their participation in their parish through vocations, a respect for all life, and the contributions they make to society.
After each presentation, administrators participated in small group discussions. They were also given the chance to prayerfully reflect on the information learned and celebrate Mass together.
Knaus was pleased with the outcome of the retreat.
“Many people gleaned much information from the presentations and discussions that both affirmed current practices in our schools and may potentially compel administrators to make some changes,” she said.
Becky Redl, principal of St. Patrick School in McCook, said Father Nuzzi “inspired us all to look into the upcoming school year and focus on our Catholic identity, realize the history of Canon Law in our schools and enjoy our great gift of our Catholic schools in our Lincoln Diocese.”
Although Catholic school administrators meet twice a year, this was the first overnight retreat event.