Father Ronald Nuzzi to chair Catholic schools taskforce on ministerial covenant

  • Written by Northwest Catholic
  • Published in Local

SEATTLE – Father Ronald Nuzzi, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to chair the Special Taskforce for Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Seattle. The panel will study the ministerial covenant that is signed by those working in the archdiocese’s Catholic schools.

Father Ronald Nuzzi. Photo: Alliance for Catholic Education

“The ministerial covenant ensures that our 73 Catholic schools reflect our Catholic faith,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne. “How it is applied across our Catholic schools is of great interest not only to me, but to all our principals, teachers, parents and students,” the archbishop said.

Under Father Nuzzi’s leadership, the taskforce will study the covenant and recommend to Archbishop Etienne how it can “embrace the fullness of church teaching while honoring and appreciating the sense of the faithful,” the archdiocese said in a news release.

Father Nuzzi “has a wealth of experience as well as a great passion for the faith and Catholic schools,” Archbishop Etienne said. “I’m so grateful Father Nuzzi agreed to lead this important body of work.”

“Catholic schools are such a vital part of the mission of the church,” said Father Nuzzi, who is known for his published resources for Catholic educators and his leadership programs for Catholic school principals. “I am enthusiastic about this taskforce and its potential to help shape a brighter future for youth, children, and families.”

Three key areas of focus

Father Nuzzi is reviewing nominees for taskforce membership, including Catholic school principals, pastors, parents with children in Catholic schools, Catholic school teachers and members from the Office for Catholic Schools.

“We plan to be deliberate and thoughtful in identifying and inviting people to serve, cognizant of the need for diverse membership in every respect,” said Kristin Dixon, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “I am honored to work with Father Nuzzi and trust he will do an excellent job leading this taskforce.”

Panel members, expected to be announced in July, will meet from August through June 2021, focusing on three key items:

  • Reviewing and studying church documents about the official teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church, specifically focusing on issues like conscience formation, free will, human social and sexual development.
  • Assessing, analyzing and summarizing the understanding, convictions, beliefs and opinions from archdiocesan stakeholders regarding the ministerial covenant and its use in employment decisions.
  • Developing a recommendation based on an informed and thoughtful approach to renewing the ministerial covenant that values and respects both of the above goals and embraces the fullness of church teaching while honoring and appreciating the sense of the faithful.

The commitment to serve on the panel represents approximately 100 hours of volunteer work per member, including preparation time for meetings. The members are asked to be collaborative and agree to maintain confidentiality about all taskforce deliberations.

“The Archdiocese of Seattle is a vibrant church with a longstanding tradition of excellence in its Catholic schools,” Father Nuzzi said. “This taskforce aims to harness that excellence and seed an even stronger culture to sustain, strengthen and transform Catholic education in a manner that we will be an example and inspiration to other dioceses.”