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Summer Institute



Catholic Education/Formation:
"From and For Faith"  

Introduction • Goals • Presenter and TopicsRestaurant • Catholic Identity • Location • Program • Cost & Registration • Directions and Maps • More Information



Every age has its gifts and challenges.  The challenge of ours is secularity. One way this manifests itself is in the increasing number of cultural but not active Catholics.  This situation begs the question, Why Catholic school-based education and parish-based formation?  Instead of downplaying the Catholic identity of our education and formation programs, we must renew their grounding in the Catholic faith and enhance their distinctiveness for our own age.  

The 2017 Summer Institute makes the case that Catholic education and formation tap into our faith’s deep wells of tradition.  They educate from a faith perspective by drawing upon the universal values of Catholicism to provide a distinctive philosophy and spirituality.  They educate for faith by proposing our faith as a dynamic resource for the life of the individual, Church, and world today. 

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As a result of the Summer Institute, participants will:

  • Work with one of the most engaging and well known Catholic religious educators today.
  • Reflect on what it means to "bring faith to life and life to faith" in school and parish settings. 
  • Learn about Catholicism as a way of life and its implications for an education or formation program's curriculum, purpose, and ethos.
  • Develop ways to cultivate faith among servant leaders in parishes and schools.
  • Through case studies and collaboration with peers, develop practical applications that can be implemented in school and parish. 
  • Develop a community of fellow education and formation professionals locally and nationally. 
  • For local participants, assist the Archdiocese of New Orleans in realizing the goals of its synod (entitled "Encountering Jesus, Witnessing with Joy"), especially the ones emphasizing transformational leadership and preparation of servant leaders for the Church.

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Featured Speaker: Dr. Thomas Groome, Author and Professor of Theology and Religious Education, Boston College
Dr. Groome will speak on Monday. He is an inspiring, humorous, and practically oriented speaker.  He hails from Ireland and holds graduate degrees in the U.S. from Fordham University and Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University. His publications include Catholic Spiritual Practices: Treasures Old and New and What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life. He is also author of Christian Religious Education, Sharing Faith, Educating for Life, and Will There Be Faith: A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples. He has written catechetical material for students of all ages and is editor, most recently, of Credo, a series published by Veritas that implements the USCCB's doctrinal framework for high schools.
Panel Topics
  • Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First:  Cultivating Faith Among Servant Leaders in Parishes and School
    As the end of the Great Commandment suggests (“Love your neighbor as yourself”), those in education/formation need to attend to their own spiritual lives in order to be a resource for others’.  This panel consists of practitioners who, drawing on their own experience, suggest concrete ways of cultivating a prayer and faith life among parish/school leaders.
  • It Starts with Adults: Bringing Life to Faith and Faith to Life 
    A common concern among leaders in Catholic education/formation is that the lack of faith formation among adults affects work with students. Catholic tradition suggests and Church documents emphasize that adult faith formation is the norm from which school and parish catechesis flows. Panelists in this session will discuss best practices for how school and parish leaders can a) be a faith resource for parents/guardians, who are their children's primary catechists, b) help teachers in various disciplines to see their work as contributing to "religious education across the curriculum," and c) provide ongoing, diverse faith formation opportunities for teachers, catechists, and all adults in the community. 
  • Go, Announce the Good News With Your Life:  Catholicism As A Way of Life 
    In baptism, all the faithful are charged with going out (“Mass has ended; go…!”) to announce the Good News of God’s enduring love, justice, and mercy.   The members of this panel detail ways in which they as education/formation leaders in parishes and schools embody such discipleship and enkindle it in all they meet—students, parents, catechists, teachers, coaches, children, neighbors, and friends.

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The Wednesday luncheon this year will be held at Dooky Chase's, a popular stop for visiting dignitaries to the city.  it is run by the world renowned chef Leah Chase.


This year’s Summer Institute explicitly addresses the following Defining Characteristics of Catholic schools—which also apply to parishes—as articulated in the Catholic Schools Standards Project:

  • Centered in the Person of Jesus Christ,

  • Contributing to the Evangelizing Mission of the Church,

  • Steeped in a Catholic Worldview,

  • Sustained by Gospel Witness,

  • Shaped by Communion and Community.

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Loyola University New Orleans, Danna Student Center, Audubon Room
6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118

On-campus housing is available. Contact Claire Moldthan (Information Below)


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8:00 AM-9:00 AM-Check-In and Breakfast
9:00 AM-3:30 PM-Institute: Professor Tom Groome

8:00 AM-8:30 AM-Mass
8:30 AM-9:00 AM-Breakfast
9:00 AM-3:30 PM-Institute: Panels and Case Studies

8:00 AM-8:30 AM-Mass
8:30 AM-9:00 AM-Breakfast
9:00 AM-12:00 PM-Institute: Case Studies and Wrap-up
12:00 PM-2:30 PM-Closing Lunch at Dooky Chase's

Mass will be held in Ignatius Chapel, Bobet Hall (optional).

Lunch on Monday and Tuesday will be served on campus.
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Registration has been closed because we have reached maximum capacity.  Questions regarding regiastration may be directed to Claire Moldthan or 504-865-3079.

  • $150 cost for all participants which includes daily breakfast, lunch on campus Monday & Tuesday, and closing lunch on Wednesday

  • All participants should complete a registration form, even if their registration fee is paid by someone else. 

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Getting to Loyola University New Orleans

Navigating the Main Campus at Loyola

FREE parking will be available on campus in the West Road garage.  From St. Charles Avenue, turn on West Road which runs along the left side of Holy Name of Jesus Church. The garage will be straight ahead. Once parked, take the elevator or stairs to the first level and proceed through the gates onto the Peace Quad. The Danna Student Center will be on the left and Bobet Hall (Ignatius Chapel for mass) will be on the right. Follow directional signs.

Download and print a campus map here.

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  • Credit is available from the Archdiocese of New Orleans for Parish and School Catechetical Leaders (SCL & PCL) and school Principals who attend the institute. For more information contact the Office of Religious Education, 504-861-6270 or the Office of Catholic Schools, 504-866-7916.

  • Any questions? Contact Claire Moldthan at or 504-865-3079

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The Summer Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans Offices of Catholic Schools and Religious Education and by the Loyola Institute for Ministry.  The Summer Institute has also received generous support from Veritas Religion publisher of the Credo Series, of which Professor Tom Groome is editor: