Educational Forum

Please note this event has passed. It took place on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul. 

Discussion Question:

Why are Catholic schools essential for a strong Church and community?


To view a longer 22-minute version of the panel discussion, click here.

Photo Gallery

A nun in a white habit stands at a podium with her arms raised and smiling. Five people sit on a stage in the background.

Click the photo above to view the full event gallery.

Catholic Spirit Article

Communicating Catholic education benefits

Luis Fraga speaks while making emphatic hand gesture as Jean Houghton and Gail Dorn look onBy: Susan Klemond

Catholic schools’ combination of quality education and faith formation brings value to students, parishes and the wider community, but financial and social barriers to Catholic education remain for some families, including a growing Latino population, experts noted at a June 25 forum on education sponsored by the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota.

While Catholic schools foster growth in parishes and greater safety in their surrounding communities, the schools, in turn, depend on those institutions for support, six local and national experts said.

“The ‘value proposition’ is to break down barriers to allow those families to live a full spirituality that has then all the educational benefits, but, more importantly, has all the faith benefits that reinforce the cultural predispositions of the family,” said Luis Fraga, director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Titled “Why Are Catholic Schools Essential for a Strong Church and Community?” the forum was held at Cretin-Derham Hall high school in St. Paul and drew 90 pastors, donors, school administrators, educators and community leaders. It was part of CCF’s ongoing “Giving Insights” series, which explores the impact of Catholic philanthropy on the community.

Read Full Article

Moderator & Panelists


Sister John Mary Fleming, O.P.
Director of Education, St. Cecilia Congregation
Former Executive Director, Secretariat of Catholic Education, USCCB

Luis Fraga, Ph.D.
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame


Gail Dorn
Catholic Schools Center of Excellence


Jean Houghton
Aim Higher Foundation


Father Kevin Finnegan
Pastor & Canonical Administrator
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and Parish School
Saint John Paul II Catholic School

Nicole Stelle Garnett, J.D.
Senior Policy Advisor, Alliance for Catholic Education, University of Notre Dame
Lost Classroom, Lost Community