Shepherding the Shepherds
A retreat program designed to integrate the school administrators’ spirituality fully with their ministry. The program fosters this integration through a series of exchanges with peers in other Catholic elementary and/or secondary schools. Together they explore the faith-building dimensions of Catholic school leadership. Taking the 2 days for reflection, relaxation, conversation and prayer, they gain new insights and renewed energy for their leadership role.
The Purpose of the Shepherding the Shepherds Retreat
A group of Catholic presidents, principals or other school administrators decide to come together for a retreat experience focusing on the common ground of their leadership role in Catholic education, particularly the call to spiritual leadership. The program is open to both elementary and secondary schools. Often, elementary and secondary school leaders will come together for the retreat. Based on Christ the Good Shepherd as the model of leadership, the goal of the retreat is the authentic integration of spiritual life with leadership ministry.
The retreat is held at a retreat house, or a similar setting, in the local area. Participants select either a 2-day or 2½-day format.
The 2-day format enables the group to begin on the morning of the first day and conclude about 4:00 PM on the second day. The 2½-day format allows the group to begin the retreat on the evening of the first day, continue through the next day and conclude around noon on the third day.
The facilitators, selected by NCEA, guide the group members’ reflections and discussions on their experiences, journeys, callings and responses as religious people in their roles as educational leaders.
For NCEA member schools a fee of $200.00 per person and $260.00 per person for non-member schools generally covers retreat facility expenses and other program costs.
Organizing a Retreat
The program begins with an initiative at the local level. A participant or someone in the diocesan office assumes the role of the local coordinator. This person works with the NCEA program director Chris Scalise, in organizing the retreat - communicating to participants and making the arrangements for the retreat. Chris Scalise can be contacted at (202) 337-6232 or by e-mail at email@example.com
What past participants have said about the program.
- "Shepherds deepened my faith in the increasingly lay leadership of our Catholic schools.
- "It was a wonderful experience of community, sharing, laughter, prayer and commitment to our schools."
- "Go for it! It has clarified and renewed my vision of faith leadership."
- "I found Shepherds personally satisfying and deeply moving. All administrators need someone. I discovered that--through my colleagues--I have a lot of "someones" in my life."
- "I was fortunate to share in this experience as a beginning principal."
- "It captures my vision of what a president should be. It made me feel that my work is im portant, and that I am not alone in my mission."