In partnership with the Office of Catholic Schools, we continue to support the work of strengthening Catholic identity in all of our schools through the Christ in the Classroom (CIC) program. CIC is a catechetical certification program for all Catholic school principals and teachers, funded by a grant through the Fulcrum Foundation. The principals gather for a retreat in the fall hosted by the Office for Catholic Schools, and use what they learned to conduct two retreats for their own staff throughout the school year.
The second retreat this year explored the Missionary Spirit. For example, Matthew DeBoer, principal at St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle, embraced this spring’s theme by integrating the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which coincided with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “The timing was perfect,” explains DeBoer, “integrating CIC and Dr. King draws even deeper on the Missionary Spirit theme. It was a perfect unification of the mission of our school, the charism of the founding order of the parish, and the legacy of Dr. King’s life work.”
The school staff were offered core principles of Missionary Spirit, with topics ranging from teaching students to acquire and demonstrate skills for recognizing their gifts from God, to cultivating one’s own faith journey. St. Therese teachers walked away with a deeper understanding of missionary discipleship. “I think this gave me a renewed sense of what it means to be a follower of Christ,” says one teacher, “and that will help me be a model of Christ-like behavior for my students.”
The principals conduct each of their retreats with their own style, keeping to the theme set forth by the CIC curriculum. DeBoer certainly inspired his team to act justly and use their classrooms and teachings to explore the Missionary Spirit.