More than 10,000 registrants and exhibitors will attend the 104th annual National Catholic Educational Association convention in Baltimore April 10-13.
“This is an opportunity for educators from across the country to exchange ideas,” said Dr. Michael Murphy, president of Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn, whose students will be performing at the Celebration of the Arts and the NCEA convention. “We are all doing the same type of work, just in different parts of the country.”
Superintendents of Catholic education from different dioceses, principals and teachers in elementary and secondary schools, rectors and staff of seminaries and parish directors and teachers of religious education will join in the convention activities. Anyone interested in Catholic education is invited to participate, said Brian Gray, editor of Momentum Magazine.
“Sometimes people think of the convention as just Catholic schools,” said Mr. Gray. “The organization and the message is broader than that, and there are many worthwhile sessions for people working in parishes.”
Participants can attend many sessions, and four keynote speakers have been selected based on their reputations and the messages and insights they bring to the large group.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, will kick-start the convention at 9 a.m. April 10.
“He is widely regarded as the Vatican’s most able diplomat,” said Mr. Gray.
Sister Clare Fitzgerald, S.N.D., a native of Massachusetts, will speak April 11 on the topic of an “Anchor of Faith, Harbor of Light.”
“She is an international lecturer on the value and distinctiveness of Catholic education,” said Mr. Gray. “In 2006, she received the NCEA St. Elizabeth Ann Seton award, given by the NCEA president, for her lifetime contributions to Catholic education.”
Joe Garagiola Jr., senior vice president of baseball operations for Major League Baseball, will speak on the topic of sports and Catholic values April 12.
“He will speak as part of Catholic Sports day, a day dedicated to looking at Catholic values in sports,” Mr. Gray said.
On April 13, Mike Patin, who has worked with teenagers and youths in a variety of settings since 1984, will give a speech titled “Anchors Away!”
“The overall aim of the conference is to provide professional development and a spiritual experience for attendees,” said Mr. Gray. “The sight of thousands of Catholic educators worshiping together reinforces one of the distinctive aspects of Catholic education.”