The first constitution drawn up for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) in 1904 explains our mission in the following words:
To advance the general interests of Catholic education, to encourage the spirit of co-operation and mutual helpfulness among Catholic educators, to promote by study, conference and discussion the thoroughness of Catholic educational work in the United States.
While some things have certainly changed over the years and new wording has been crafted, the fundamental purpose and mission of the Association contains the same early and ambitious vision. The Association, started by seminary, college and parish leaders, now has strong departments for seminary, elementary, diocesan administrator, religious educator and catechist, secondary, and educational board ministries. The Catholic colleges and universities are affiliated members of NCEA. The idea of coming together in “mutual helpfulness”, knowing that no one need work alone or in isolation extends a fundamental Catholic belief about community. In our lives –especially our faith lives – and in our educational ministries, we are not only part of something bigger than ourselves, we are “in this together.’ Our work is essentially community work. One hundred and some years later, this Association is still encouraging the spirit of co-operation and mutual helpfulness.
The National Catholic Educational Association, 200,000 members strong exists to help you. Our programs, workshops, conventions are planned to help you in your ministry. You will find the people who work at NCEA – familiar with your experiences through their own – realize by helping you they are contributing to the larger purpose of our work. Please call on us and join us.