On February 26, Divine Child High School was fortunate enough to welcome the Archdiocese of Detroit Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Kevin Kijewski, add Fr. Pullis, the Archdiocese Director of Evangelization and Catechesis of Catholic Schools, to visit and spend the day among the Falcons. The Archdiocese of Detroit, which they represent, span throughout the entire state of Michigan, encompassing six sub-Dioceses that consist of 260 parishes and 240 Catholic schools.
Mr. Kijewski and Fr. Pullis spoke about incorporating certain aspects of Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s recent pastoral letter, Unleashing the Gospel, into Catholic schools in a new and vibrant way. Mr. Kijewski is focusing on initiatives that will make tuition cheaper and Catholic education more accessible to all families, since the Archbishop believes that a Catholic education should be available to everyone who would like to attend, regardless of income. He is traveling throughout the Archdiocese, meeting with parents and educators at different schools, and listening to ideas on what new plans may work in the near future. Fr. Pullis is focusing more on how Catholics can relate more to young people and their faith. He notes that the family is the root of the Church, and would like to incorporate more familial aspects into schools and catechism programs. He believes that kids attending Catholic schools have a great advantage for the future in terms of participating in their faith and becoming successful outside the classroom. By evangelizing and influencing students to become “joyful missionary disciples,” Fr. would like to change the vibrance and community around Catholic schools into a joyful and evangelizing place.
Also, the Archdiocese takes part in two athletic programs that span throughout the state uniting its Catholic youth and teen populations – CYO, Catholic Youth Organization, and CHSL, the Catholic High School League. These sports organizations allow youth that attend a Catholic school or are part of a Catholic parish to participate in sports with coaches, teammates, and opponents that share the same faith as them. They allow place for morals and ethics to be instilled within the youth through the examples of their coaches and all of those leaders within the organization as well as their peers. By providing healthy and educational competition, these programs make youth work together as part of a team and help instill not only core Catholic values like selflessness and kindness, but great life skills like cooperation and teamwork.
Currently, the Archdiocese is taking action to help grow faith and spirituality through these organizations. They’ve gotten the Play Like a Champion Foundation, a Catholic foundation that exists to provide seminars on sportsmanship and goodness in sports, to come to Detroit and to hold a seminar for CYO sports players in which they’ll discuss how to play in a way that allows them to have fun while exemplifying goodness and spirituality. Right now, Mr. Kijewski is working to get a similar program for CHSL athletes so that the idea of faith-based athletics is maintained all the way from elementary through high school.
Having organizations like CYO and CHSL have helped thousands of children to become more exposed to a welcoming and faith filled environment that teaches Christian morals from a young age. Fr. Pullis shared his own insight on faith in sports, saying that they helped him to develop into the man he is today and that they helped to teach him more about being a good Christian. The Archdiocese is taking advantage of the promising ability that sports have to make our youth better Christians and better people.