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Bishop Walkowiak announces new strategic plan for Catholic schools

Image: Students, IHM, Grand Rapids with their arms around each other's shoulders, Bridging Faith & FutureMost Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, is pleased to announce the promulgation of a new strategic plan for Catholic schools in the diocese entitled “Catholic Schools: Bridging Faith and Future.” This plan will shape the direction of Catholic schools over the next five years.
“Catholic schools nurture students’ relationship with Christ. This relationship helps young people discover that their potential is much greater with Jesus than without him. Catholic schools are thus a mighty bridge between our faith and the future,” said Bishop Walkowiak.
“Catholic Schools: Bridging Faith and Future” focuses on four strategic areas: Catholic Culture and Mission, Programmatic Excellence, Affordability and Accessibility, and Stewardship and Sustainability. It includes promoting students’ and families’ active engagement in parish life, enhancing academic excellence and cocurricular opportunities, studying the feasibility of new schools and maximizing efficiency through shared services. The plan was developed through multiple rounds of public forums and consultation with decision makers at the diocesan, parish and school levels. The resulting five-year plan, available at, is in the beginning stages of implementation and is helping us realize our vision of an alliance of Catholic schools expanding outstanding educational ministry.
“Catholic schools form young people who will lead their communities, our country and the world,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools in the diocese. “Our students today will lead the future Church and continue to build Christ’s kingdom on Earth. We are confident that ‘Catholic Schools: Bridging Faith and Future’ will enhance our Catholic schools by providing more opportunities for students to grow in faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished.”
This comprehensive plan expands on the Bishop’s Catholic Schools Initiative, a three-year endeavor launched in the 2015-16 school year by Bishop Walkowiak to improve affordability of Catholic school education by increasing scholarships, growing professional capacity and developing a plan for future vitality. In its first two years, the initiative has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships and has helped grow enrollment by 199 students.
Learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids at
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 30 vibrant learning communities (25 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,500 preschool through 12th grade students within a seven-county area of West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.