The Basilian Network for Education and the New Evangelization (BNENE) brought together presidents and principals of the three North American Basilian high schools as part of ongoing formation on the Basilian approach to Catholic education. The BNENE Committee determined it was important to have the presidents and principals meet on an annual basis to provide an opportunity to get to know one another and engage in dialogue on the issues they face.
“Through these meetings, our goal is to establish a strong network of administrators at our three North American high schools that can provide support and fraternity among themselves as they share ideas and experiences,” said Father John Huber, CSB.
It was especially important for the schools’ leaders to meet as many of the administrators are relatively new in their positions. The conference was held at St. Thomas High School and the University of St. Thomas from February 6-8 and attended by presidents and principals from St. Michael’s College School in Toronto, Ontario; St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas; and Detroit Catholic Central in Detroit, Michigan; as well Father Kevin Storey, CSB, superior general, and Father Huber and Father Dennis Noelke, CSB, co-directors of BNENE.
In addition to large and small group discussions, representatives from each school presented an initiative happening at their schools.
Participants learned about St. Thomas’ Camp Aquinas program, where freshmen attend a four-day camp, away from the school campus and without any devices, to get to know their fellow students in a spirit of brotherhood and to learn about the experience that awaits them at St. Thomas. Senior students help lead these days in a spirit of Christian fraternity.
St. Michael’s College School presented on its action plan in light of recent serious incidents of student-on-student abuse, and on its ongoing student safety and wellness plan.
Detroit Catholic Central presented its new program that stresses the three Basilian charisms of goodness, discipline, and knowledge. Participants received a booklet that describes how a Man of Catholic Central incorporates these charisms in specific instances in his life, both in and outside of school.
Father Patrick Fulton, CSB and Father Noelke also shared how Catholic Central’s BNENE teams, which were formed following the 2017 BNENE gathering, have helped in the preparation of faculty workshops and retreats.
Dr. Stuart Squires from University of St. Thomas’ Center for Faith and Culture delivered a talk on Saint Basil’s teachings on education.
The conference concluded with Mass celebrated at the Chapel of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas and a Tex Mex dinner at a local restaurant.
A larger BNENE conference that will include community members from the Basilian schools is being planned for the summer of 2021.
Basilian Network for Education and the New Evangelization
Statement of Purpose
The BNENE, an initiative of the Superior General and Council, seeks to contribute to the New Evangelization, and specifically to Catholic Education as one of its integral components. We strive to teach goodness, discipline, and knowledge through three initiatives:
The ongoing formation of school leaders, teachers, support staff and communities in the apostolate of Catholic Education;
Teaching what the Church teaches on teaching with clarity and conviction (i.e., through thoughtful and prayerful reading of and reflection on key magisterial teachings on Catholic Education);
Through encouraging and promoting the educational ministry of our schools, and eventually of others, as a collaborative ministry that includes all those who serve them.