Skip to main content

Saint Remy Initiative

Creating a spiritual & professional community where Catholic school educators thrive

Saint Remy programThe Saint Remy Initiative is a collaborative effort between the University of Dayton Center for Catholic Education and the Catholic School Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Its purpose is to provide Catholic school principals and teachers with an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge and skills in the spiritual, academic, and managerial dimensions of their ministry.

Each school team (made up of the principal and two teacher leaders) develops a school-wide project for enhancing the Catholic identity within their school.



Members per school team


Local Catholic schools served


Year Saint Remy Initiative was established

Pillars of the Saint Remy Initiative

Throughout the year, participants take part in sessions that are tied to the four pillars of the Saint Remy Initiative:

  • Spiritual: Develop relationship with God & Church so educators can be strong witnesses of faith (through Merton discussions, prayer, retreat, annual pilgrimage).
  • Professional: Develop skills in order to be more effective educators (through speakers & Professional Learning Groups).
  • Personal: Foster personal growth and develop the emotional IQ necessary for modeling discipleship to students (through Noble Purpose Groups & speakers).
  • Leadership: Develop leadership skills that will help individuals build a culture of faith in schools (through planning teams & school projects).

Program components

During the annual pilgrimage (held in the summer), Saint Remy participants travel to destinations that represent the rich cultural heritage of Catholic schools in our area. Participants also spend time in prayerful reflection and spiritual centering.

  • Faith sharing: Participants start the day discussing a writing from Thomas Merton and sharing their personal experience of faith based on the reading.
  • Learning teams: Every class day, a speaker will be invited to share their knowledge in the areas of personal growth, spirituality, leadership and education. Saint Remy participants will discuss information and gain insights that lead to personal, spiritual and professional growth.
  • Community building: Because establishing community is such a vital part of Saint Remy, there is a community building activity every class day that fosters a culture of positive relationships.
  • Planning teams: In an effort to foster leadership and collaboration, Saint Remy is a self-organizing program. Participants spend a small amount of time in various teams to plan the retreat day, pilgrimage, school projects and other activities for the year.
  • Principal sessions: Principals gather for two afternoon sessions. One session is to study and discuss an assigned book related to leadership. The second session is an open forum, which allows principals to discuss issues they are facing in their schools and share ideas for effective school management.
  • Professional learning communities: At the end of the day, educators meet according to grade level to discuss a common book which focuses on ministry as Catholic educators. Teachers benefit by gaining ideas they can implement in their classrooms.

Schools receive a modest stipend to implement a program which fosters Catholic Identity in their school during the school year. On the final class day, each school displays a tri-fold board explaining their Saint Remy project from the past year. Participants from various schools will explore the displays and exchange ideas that can be implemented in their schools.

Each January, Saint Remy participants attend a retreat day. The day is designed to help participants develop their relationship with God and each other.

How did the Initiative get its name?

The name "Saint Remy Initiative" was suggested by Brother Ed Brink, former Director of the University of Dayton Center for Catholic Education. He discovered that the first Marianist Normal School for the Professional Development of Christian Teachers was founded in 1824 by Blessed Father Chaminade in Saint Remy de Provence, France.

Father Chaminade believed that too much emphasis was placed on the acquiring of skills for the teacher and not enough time is spent in forming the heart of the Catholic school teacher. He described his vision for normal schools that would serve in the formation of Catholic school educators as one of his principal undertakings “the one which is closest to my heart and generally interests me most.”

We feel this same vision is at the heart of our initiative, and that Saint Remy is an appropriate name for it.

Who we serve

The Saint Remy Initiative serves 23 local Catholic schools:


Saint Remy Initiative

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2967