Master’s students in Marymount’s Catholic School Leadership Program are on campus for the next two weeks, and Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington welcomed them on Monday with an Opening Mass at the university’s Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel.
The 36-credit Administration and Supervision master’s degree program prepares students to be administrators in PreK-12 schools, with a special emphasis on Catholic schools. The future education leaders come to Marymount’s campus for two weeks during the summer for two years, with the rest of the courses conducted online during the fall and spring.
There are 15 new students in the program this year, 12 of whom are from Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington and three others from dioceses in New Orleans, Mobile, Ala. and Savannah, Ga. Twelve students in the program are returning to campus, eight from the Diocese of Arlington as well as four others from dioceses in Washington, Philadelphia, Lafayette, Ind. and Mobile, Ala.
The program provides for the development of Catholic values and perspectives essential to fostering Catholic unity and identity within a school community. The program’s structure also focuses on the Church’s history, teaching and moral perspectives while encouraging participants’ own faith and spiritual growth.
At the Opening Mass, Bishop Burbidge stressed three themes to the students’ chosen, courageous and contemplative. He explained that according to God’s plan, they were all chosen to play a special role in assisting parents in the formation and education of the next generation. Burbidge added that it’s necessary for Catholic educators to display courage in this day and age by teaching the Gospel with truth and love. Finally, he described the importance of being contemplative, quiet and still in the presence of the Lord.
“How blessed are you to pursue your studies on this campus with access to this beautiful chapel,” Bishop Burbidge stated during his homily. “I hope it is a place you visit frequently so that you may be with the Lord, and allow him to speak to your heart the messages and reassurances he wishes to give to you.”
Celebrating the Mass along with Bishop Burbidge were Rev. Joseph Rampino, Chaplain of Marymount, and Rev. Stephen Schultz, Chaplain of St. Paul VI Catholic High School.