The 2021 Catholic Education’s Year of Renewal Summit celebrated the Diocese of Brooklyn’s resilience during the pandemic and encouraged further development of vibrant, rigorous religious education in local schools and faith formation programs.
The 2021 Catholic Education’s Year of Renewal Summit will be open to the public and take place virtually on April 21. The event will celebrate local school students, teachers, staff, and parish communities who have made Catholic education possible throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tablet will officially launch its monthlong “COVID Relief Fundraiser for Catholic Schools” on March 15. Schools and students in the diocese’s 69 parish schools and Catholic academies will directly benefit by earning cash for themselves and their families through selling subscriptions to The Tablet.
The city’s Department of Education (DOE) has decided not to renew 105 “Pre-K for All” program applications for fall ’21 — including five programs in Catholic schools located throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn. The free, full-day “Pre-K for All” program has been one of the mayor’s signature initiatives since launching in 2014.
Inspired by Pope Francis, who recently declared 2021 as the “Year of Joseph” in his apostolic letter “Patris corde,” the Diocese of Brooklyn will be engaging in a “Year of Renewal for Catholic Education.” The overarching goal of the campaign is to strengthen the understanding that Catholic education is evangelization.
Local school superintendents have asked that Catholic school educators be included when city public school educators eventually become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes as vaccine distribution continues to be criticized for its slow rollout at the city and state levels.
On Nov. 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City public school buildings would temporarily close and move to remote learning the following day. The percentage of citywide positive tests exactly hit three percent that morning, using a seven-day rolling average.
On Nov. 15, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Chadzutko reassured families, faculty, and staff that all 69 Catholic schools and academies across Brooklyn and Queens will remain open and continue to provide in-person learning — irrespective of any impending decision pertaining to the status of city public schools.
The opening of schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn went smoothly, according to Msgr. David Cassato, vicar for Catholic Schools.
The Diocese of Brooklyn remains confident in its reopening plan as it gets ready to begin the new school year Sept. 9. As it stands, Catholic schools that share services from the Department of Education (DOE) — like nurses, transportation, meals, and special education and related services — will not be affected by the City’s delayed opening.