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Center for Catholic Education at UD

Continuing Community in a Global Pandemic

By Emma Grace Geckle

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Toni Moore received a grant from a local foundation, the Keller Foundation, to design a program to foster leadership among educators. With this, she created the St. Remy Initiative. The grant was meant to last three years but, given its success, the Initiative was extended indefinitely.

The St. Remy Initiative is a community of Catholic school teachers and principals who engage in ongoing personal, spiritual, professional, and leadership development.” The program currently serves 63 teachers and 12 principals in 23 area Catholic schools. Over the past 13 years, the St. Remy Initiative has served over 205 individual Catholic educators, benefiting them on their mission to become better disciples while also fostering growth and collaboration between teachers and schools. As a result, a supportive community of ministers has emerged.

But what has the St. Remy Initiative looked like since Covid19 changed everything?

Using the gift of video meeting programs, the St. Remy Initiative has been able to continue its mission. St. Remy has done four different Lectio Divina sessions, offering an after-school session and an evening session every Tuesday. These sessions serve as a way for those in the program to pray and share Scripture with one another. The St. Remy community has also done one professional development session called “Memory & Student Retention” in which educators had the opportunity to learn how to help their students better retain information learned in the classroom. Additionally, Susan Ferguson and Cheryl Reichel have had monthly sessions with principals from area Catholic schools to discuss issues including Covid19 protocol and successful strategies these principals have found to be working in their schools. These sessions will continue throughout this remainder of the school year.

Despite the challenges Covid19 continues to present all of us, the St. Remy Initiative models how community-building can still continue in this time and do so meaningfully. Although they cannot currently be physically together, the Initiative will no less fulfill its mission, equipping Catholic educators and principles with the tools for success.

Thank you to Norm Rich of Alter High School, a member of the St. Remy Initiative team, for sharing this information with us. He expressed the hope for the St. Remy Initiative to meet again in-person once Covid19 protocol allows for it.


 Edited by Elena Niese



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