ACE to send forth 254 Catholic school teachers and leaders in missioning ceremonies

Author: Bill Schmitt

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will send forth 254 Catholic school teachers and leaders to serve in more than 175 schools around the country, capping a summer of intensive study, community formation and spiritual fellowship on campus.

ACE’s annual missioning Mass, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday (July 25) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, serves to celebrate and bless the teachers and leaders as they return to the communities they serve across the country.

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Rodi, archbishop of Mobile, Alabama, will preside at the Mass as well as in missioning ceremonies to be held at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (July 24) at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. He will join Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C.; Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C.; and Rev. Lou DelFra, C.S.C., founders of ACE, in sending forth 178 teaching fellows, 54 participants in ACE’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program and 22 teachers in the English as a New Language program.

The missioning Mass marks the close of ACE’s summer programs of graduate-level coursework; leadership formation for Catholic school principals, superintendents and pastors; and professional and spiritual rejuvenation for Catholic educators on Notre Dame’s campus. During its first 20 years, ACE has gained national recognition as a leading provider of talent and resources to sustain, strengthen and transform Catholic elementary and secondary schools.

ACE teaching fellows earn a master of education degree after two summers of coursework and two academic years teaching in under-resourced Catholic schools. Most are also members of the ACE’s partner organization, AmeriCorps. Remick Leaders also earn a master of arts degree in educational leadership in a 25-month program, while ENL teachers earn ENL/ESL/ELL certification in their respective states.

Mobile, led by Archbishop Rodi, is one of 27 dioceses and archdioceses around the country that have invited ACE teachers to serve locally in their schools. A product and strong supporter of Catholic education, Archbishop Rodi attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools in his hometown of New Orleans before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Tulane University. In 2008, the National Catholic Educational Association awarded the archbishop the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award for his work in rebuilding Catholic schools after Hurricane Katrina in the Diocese of Biloxi, where he served as bishop.

As a part of the missioning events this year, ACE will also present the 2014 Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Service to Catholic Education to Scott Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer at Notre Dame.

Malpass will receive the award in recognition of his lifetime commitment to Catholic schools and to the mission of the University of Notre Dame, and for his support of the Alliance for Catholic Education since its founding. Inspired by the call made by the Notre Dame Task Force on Catholic Education in its 2006 report, Malpass has been the driving force to create Catholic Investment Services, a fund offering Catholic organizations the opportunity to invest with a world-class organization committed to Catholic values.

The Alliance for Catholic Education impacts the lives of several hundred thousand children nationwide by preparing highly talented teachers and school leaders, while offering research and broad support for Catholic Schools in the United States — the world’s largest private school system. ACE works in partnership with hundreds of schools to ensure that the students in their communities, many of them from low-income families in high-poverty communities, have access to a high-quality education.

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community groups at 25,000 locations across the country. This year marks the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since 1994, more than 830,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service addressing critical challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the dropout crisis.

Contact: Bill Schmitt, 574-631-3893,