Archdiocese to survey schools as part of strategic planning process guided by Unleash the Gospel

Jan 26, 2018
For more information contact:
Holly Fournier,

“Catholic Schools are an apostolate that is the responsibility of all parishes 
and all Christ's faithful. This conviction needs to be a foundational principle for the r
enewal of this ministry.” — Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Unleash the Gospel


The Archdiocese of Detroit announced Friday that it is distributing surveys to parents, faculty, staff and students in fifth grade and above at each of its schools as part of a campaign to strengthen and refocus Catholic education within the six-county archdiocese.

Schools will use their survey results to help develop new strategic plans by the start of the 2018-19 school year. The plans will be rooted in Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, which calls on schools to be centers of evangelization and discipleship, accessible to any Catholic family seeking an excellent Catholic education.

“When Catholic schools have evangelization and discipleship as their highest priority, they offer an unparalleled opportunity to form joyful missionary disciples,” Vigneron said. “We would not be the Church that Jesus wants us to be without Catholic schools available to assist our families in this kind of formation for our children.”

The surveys will be distributed by email during Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 2. A second survey will be sent in the coming weeks to non-school parishes in the archdiocese.

Pastors and principals were notified of the strategic plans in November and regional meetings are underway. Schools are currently forming “planning teams” that include the principal, pastor, at least one parent of a student at the school, a parent who does not have a child at the school, and a representative of a neighboring non-school parish.

Each institution has ownership of its future, said Deacon Bill Kolarik, project manager of the strategic planning process for the archdiocese. Led by the “planning teams,” each school in future months will evaluate itself in a “bottom-up” approach, using national accreditation standards and benchmarks for Catholic schools – Catholic mission and identity, governance and leadership, academic excellence, and operational vitality.

The new strategic plans will be submitted this summer to the archdiocese for evaluation and input from the Catholic Schools Council and Office of Catholic Schools, then forwarded to Archbishop Vigneron for approval.