ACE to send forth 272 Catholic school teachers and leaders in missioning ceremonies

Author: William G. Schmitt

Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will send forth 272 Catholic school teachers and leaders to nearly 200 Catholic schools across the country in the annual Missioning Mass, capping two months of professional formation and spiritual renewal. The ceremony, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday (July 24) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, will celebrate and bless the next steps on the educators’ journeys back to their respective schools and classrooms.

The Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, will preside at the Mass as well as in missioning ceremonies at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (July 23) at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. He will join ACE’s co-founders, Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., in sending forth 187 participants in ACE Teaching Fellows, 57 participants in the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program and 28 participants in the teacher licensure program for English as a New Language.

ACE Teaching Fellows, an initiative founded in 1993, forms outstanding college graduates to teach in elementary and secondary schools in 30 dioceses, including Peoria. ACE Teachers earn a Master of Education 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.

The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program is a 25-month graduate program, delivered over three summers and two academic years, for educators seeking to develop skills to become transformational leaders in their Catholic school community. Upon completion of the program, participants earn a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame and can be eligible for K-12 administrative licensure.

English as a New Language, a one-year licensure program that responds to teachers’ growing need to assist English language learners in their classrooms, advances those skills through ongoing coursework and mentoring while those educators remain in service in the schools that employ them.

As part of the missioning events this week, ACE will also present the 2015 Scott C. Malpass Founders’ Prize to two ACE graduates who have gone on to careers of special distinction. Jennifer Ehren, who taught science at St. John High School in Biloxi, Mississippi, later earned a Ph.D., and, amid her own successful fight with cancer, has contributed to important therapeutic advances at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Greg Gomez, who taught science and religion at St. Malachy School in Los Angeles, later continued graduate studies at Columbia University and served as special liaison to the inner-city schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston before accepting a principal’s post at St. Francis of Assisi School in inner-city Houston.

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 an array of resources for Catholic schools in the United States — the world’s largest private school system.

Bishop Jenky of Peoria is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, which founded the University of Notre Dame and in which ACE founders Father Scully and Father McGraw are priests and scholars. Father Scully is the Hackett Family Director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives. Holy Cross is known internationally for its mission of education to help make God known, loved and served.

Contact: Bill Schmitt, Alliance for Catholic Education, 574-631-3893,