News & Press

APRIL 4, 2012 - Catholic Educators Convene In Boston for 109th Annual Meeting

Braintree, MA (March 29, 2012) —Members of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) will convene next week in Boston for the association’s 109th Convention, Convocation and Exposition. The convention runs April 11-13 at the John N. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

To review the program, schedule and list of speakers please visit http://www.ncea.org/events/NCEABostonCentral.asp.  

More than 8,500 delegates are expected to participate in 300 informative workshops. These sessions are selected to appeal to a wide spectrum of educators—teachers, administrators, board members, parents, pastors, directors of religious education and librarians. Attendees will have opportunities to visit an exhibition hall featuring more than 294 booths showcasing 267 vendors.

“The Archdiocese of Boston is pleased to host the 2012 NCEA Convention in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Hartford and all the Dioceses New England.   We look forward to welcoming thousands of Catholic educators to this first-ever regionally sponsored convention,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley.   “For more than one hundred years education has been a priority for the Catholic community as we have prepared generations of young people for leadership in the Church and society at large.  At the Archdiocese of Boston, Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Catholic Education and Superintendent, and the dedicated team at our Catholic Schools Office work closely with pastors, principals, boards and benefactors to strengthen Catholic education for the students and families we serve.”

Convention keynote speakers are Rev. Ron Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Tex.; Mary McDonald, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Memphis, Tenn.; and Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, professor of the practice of religion and public life at Harvard University Divinity School and secretary for social services and the president of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The annual convocation of the National Association of Parish Coordinators and Directors of Religious Education (NPCD) and the Catholic Library Association (CLA) will meet concurrently with the NCEA meeting. Parish catechetical leaders and coordinators of religious education will participate in liturgies, workshops prayer and fellowship. Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, bishop of Portland, Maine, and Joe Paprocki, consultant for faith formation for Loyola Press in Chicago, will give opening and keynote addresses.

During the convention, liturgies for all participants will be celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Atlanta and chairman of the NCEA board of governors; and Most Rev. Arthur L. Kennedy, auxiliary bishop of Boston.

The Catholic Library Association will present the Regina Medal to author Patricia Polacco in recognition of her lifetime achievement in children’s literature.

NCEA President Karen Ristau said, “One of the things NCEA does best is to convene people, to gather them together from all aspects of Catholic education to share ideas and to learn from each other. Our annual convention does just that and we are looking forward to this year’s meeting. “You can tell our members like Boston conventions,” she said, “because we keep coming back. In addition to the wonderful programs NCEA plans, Boston offers so many opportunities for our participants to gather and socialize informally after convention hours.”

Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education/Superintendent for Catholic Schools, said, “We are thrilled to welcome to Boston our colleagues from around the country and the world.  This is the first ever convention hosted not just by one city but by the region. All 11 New England dioceses are the hosts.  We are especially proud to partner with our fellow New England dioceses, bishops and education colleagues to showcase for the country the exceptional and inspiring story of Catholic education in the United States.  We are grateful that the NCEA has selected Boston as the host city and we look forward to a wonderful event in April.” 
 
Boston has hosted the NCEA convention six times, beginning in 1909. The last Boston meeting was in 2004. The archdiocese of Boston ranks ninth among U.S. dioceses in enrollment of Catholic school students, with 122 schools serving 41,964 students.

The Catholic dioceses of New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) are hosting the convention along with the Archdiocese of Boston. Combined, those dioceses encompass more than 1,324 parishes serving more than 14 million people. The dioceses contain 420 elementary and secondary schools enrolling 119,804 students.
NCEA, founded in 1904, is a professional membership organization that provides leadership, direction and service to fulfill the evangelizing, catechizing and teaching mission of the church. NCEA's members include elementary schools, high schools, parish religious education programs and seminaries.

Contacts:
National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
Barbara Keebler
Brian Gray
Phone: (800) 711-6232
Fax:     (703) 243-0025
E-mail: communications@ncea.org

Archdiocese of Boston
Terry Donilon
Phone: (617) 746-5775
E-mail: tdonilon@rcab.org