We are pleased to announce that Corpus Christi has recently wrapped up its strategic planning process and is ready to move forward with a bright future and clear vision! This process began in Fall 2018 with multiple stakeholder interviews and focus groups. This inquiry resulted in the S.T.A.R.S. report, highlighting key areas for the school to improve upon, including efforts to improve sustainability, transparency, accountability, and return to mission. Additionally, the pastors from both of our parishes collaborated to create a singular pastoral vision (read below) for the school which was released in January 2020.
Inspired and guided by these two documents, the Corpus Christi Board of Education embarked on the process of addressing concerns and dreaming of the future. We have established a Mission Effectiveness committee within our Board in order to ensure faithfulness to mission and ensuring the formation of Disciples of Christ.
We are increasing parent and teacher collaboration to continue to build a strong community. We will continue our tradition of strong academics and work toward sustained excellence. With our parishes, we are strengthening our partnership to establish consistency of faith formation and development as well as sustainable business practices.
Thank you for your partnership in our mission as we continue to serve families who desire Catholic education in the greater Holland/Zeeland community!
1 In keeping with the STARS model that clarifies the relationship between St. Francis de Sales, Our Lady of the Lake, and Corpus Christi Catholic School, this document further outlines our vision and our expectations for the leadership of CCCS, beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year. We have every confidence in our principal, faculty, board members, and parish staffs. As pastors of the two parishes, we wish to clearly share these general principles with one voice, so that all stakeholders can work together to implement this shared vision.
1. Two Parishes, One Vision, United Commitment
2 As pastors of the two parishes, we want to make it clear that we share one vision and have a united commitment to the mission of CCCS. We treasure the unique identities of St. Francis de Sales and Our Lady of the Lake and stand together to build an identity and future for CCCS that will serve both parishes equally well.
3 We wish to avoid any past practices which may have caused the parishes and leadership to deviate from unifying in their vision and commitment to CCCS. This document is the first written expression of that shared vision, and the mandate we are giving to the School Board and Administration to implement it.
4 We believe this vision and our reinvigorated commitment will enhance and solidify confidence and unity within our Catholic community and help our school grow and thrive.
2. Integrated Into and Serving the Parishes
5 While the school is not physically attached to either parish, CCCS is a parish school. CCCS exists primarily to serve the ministry and families of Our Lady of the Lake and St. Francis de Sales. We believe it does this in three ways.
6 First, the Catholic faith is primarily expressed and lived through the sacramental life within a parish church. Therefore, CCCS must equip and support its students and the families of those students to live their faith through active participation in parish life. Second, the Catholic Faith is holistic, addressing the needs of the whole person, and the whole family. Therefore, the school and the parishes must coordinate and collaborate effectively to provide a holistic ministry to students and families in every dimension. Third, the Catholic Church is led, at the local level, by parish pastors that address needs and set priorities. Therefore, CCCS must follow our lead in pursuing its mission within our community.
3. Intentional Community
7 The Catholic community of Holland-Zeeland is quite diverse, with a broad range of ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural elements, interacting in complex ways. Additionally, that diversity is served by two parishes with distinct parish cultures and traditions. The broader Catholic community along the Lakeshore area adds yet other dimensions that can add to the CCCS school community.
8 We wish to emphasize that we give thanks and praise to God for the blessings and the richness of diversity, culture and ethnicity we experience in our community. It truly is an image of the Universal Church and reminds us that each one of us is lovingly and uniquely formed in the image and likeness of God.
9 The common denominator which unifies all of us is our Catholic faith. In order to create an intentional community, authentically guided by the Holy Spirit, we believe there should be a primary focus of time, energy and resources around making passionate disciples and being witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
10 We accomplish this most visibly, fully and faithfully by centering and allowing our lives to be formed around the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Eucharist, the center of our Catholic spirituality; and the teachings of the Church.
11 Therefore, CCCS will serve any family who desires to passionately and authentically educate their children in and through the Roman Catholic faith.
4. Mission, Identity, Brand
12 We believe that the CCCS mission, identity, and brand need to clearly communicate the vision we are articulating to our current and prospective families.
13 The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#31-35, 2500-2503) tells us that we come to know God through his transcendent properties: the true, the good, and the beautiful. The identity of our Church has been shaped by its historic quest for truth, goodness, and beauty. We discover it in the sacramental life, scripture, apostolic and magisterial teaching, prayer, Christian community and service, pursuit of charisms and vocations, and the historic and cultural treasuries of the Church. We also discover the true, the good, and the beautiful by pursuing excellence in learning, art, athletics, and the other components of a solid primary education.
14 Therefore, we ask the school administration to work with the Mission Effectiveness and Marketing committees of the School Board, and the parish leaders to better articulate what we mean when we say that CCCS will authentically educate children in and through the historic Roman Catholic faith; and be a first-rate educational institution in which the true, the good, and the beautiful is evident, modeled, and relentlessly pursued.
5. Viability and Sustainability
15 We are committed to the mission of CCCS as long as it pursues that mission in a viable model with sustainable operations. The mission, as worthy as it is, cannot justify plans or actions that ultimately render the school unsustainable and non-viable. The parishes, the parents and the students are all giving CCCS their time, talent, and treasure, and therefore they deserve a reliable organization with a sound future.
16 We want the school to deliver the most possible good to the students, parents, and parishes, but that good must be measured over time. We are building a school that will bless babies born today with an education that must be in place thirteen years from now.
17 Therefore, we require stakeholders to weigh the long-term implications of any CCCS plans and decisions alongside any short-term benefits, and not to compromise the next generation’s Catholic education for temporary or short-term agendas.
6. Shared and Accountable Leadership
18 In order for CCCS to succeed in educating future generations of students, it is crucial that all leadership stakeholders engage themselves fully and share responsibility and accountability in a consistent and transparent way.
19 As the parish pastors, we commit to provide vision, direction, pastoral involvement, and accountability as the stewards of the school. We expect the School Board to play an active role in oversight, capital management, and resource development. We expect the School Administration, led by the Principal, to deliver the educational product, plan and manage resources, and pursue the mission through excellence in operations. We expect parish leadership —staff, councils, etc.—to support and collaborate with the school through promotion, joint programming, and the encouragement of school families.
7. Fruitful Outcomes
20 Over and over in his parables, Jesus returns to the theme of fruitfulness: the nature and quality of a tree is revealed by the fruit it bears; good work bears much fruit; the master expects his stewards to produce fruit with what he entrusts to them, etc. Having a school is not an end in itself. It is instead a means by which we produce a harvest for the Kingdom of God in the lives of students, families, the parishes, the Church, and the world.
21 We are parish pastors. We stand at the baptismal font and look down into the faces of prospective students for CCCS and up at the faces of parents that will entrust their children and resources to this school. We ask all of the stakeholders involved in planning and bringing about the future at CCCS to ensure that CCCS provides compelling reasons for these parents to view our parish school as their first choice for their child’s education.
22 Help us ensure that CCCS will provide their children everything that a school can give to help them become healthy, well-educated, passionate disciples of Jesus Christ and faithful Catholics who will pursue Christ through truth, goodness, and beauty for the rest of their lives.
Father Charlie Brown, Pastor, St. Francis de Sales Father Mike Cilibraise, Pastor, Our Lady of the Lake