Alliance for Catholic Education to celebrate 20th year with campaign, bus tour

Author: William Schmitt

Alliance for Catholic Education 20-year anniversary

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) is planning a cross-country celebration of Catholic schools that will mark ACE’s 20 years of service to underserved children and to the Church’s mission of educating hearts and minds.

“Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Schools” is the message that will literally roll out from the Notre Dame campus this fall, when ACE leaders, faculty and staff will travel by bus to events in nearly 50 cities, advancing their mission to sustain, strengthen and transform Catholic schools.

Spanning the 2013-14 academic year, the bus tour will be part of a 20th anniversary campaign highlighting the contributions that Catholic schools make to the rich education landscape in America and to society generally. An ACE-themed bus will visit communities where ACE has been privileged to send forth faith-filled teachers and school leaders as well as enter into a variety of innovative partnerships since it was founded in 1993 by Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C.

“We want to express our gratitude to the teachers, leaders, students and families that enable Catholic schools to develop the God-given talents of each child, and we hope to draw greater attention to the amazing legacy and bright future of these schools that form engaged citizens and advance the common good,” Father Scully said. “After 20 years of providential growth that has allowed the Alliance for Catholic Education to work with so many communities, dioceses, schools and partners, we want to stand alongside them to renew our commitment to serve to more children and families through Catholic schools.”

An array of events are scheduled at Notre Dame and across the country to convene supporters of Catholic schools to pray together, to honor local leaders and to celebrate the profound contributions of Catholic schools for the Church and the nation. To reflect ACE’s work in scores of dioceses, a specially outfitted tour bus, provided by a generous benefactor, will bring a Notre Dame presence to cities big and small — from New York to Tampa, Tucson and Dallas; from Baton Rouge and Memphis to Chicago and Los Angeles.

The bus tour will come home to the Notre Dame campus for events on the weekend of the Notre Dame-Navy football game in early November to commemorate the first ACE recruiting meeting, on Nov. 4, 1993, when students learned of a new opportunity to serve as teachers in under-resourced Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Those students constituted the “ACE 1” cohort and began their preparation for teaching following their graduation from Notre Dame, in the summer of 1994. The “ACE 20” cohort, consisting of about 90 graduates competitively selected from colleges and universities across the United States, begins its two-year formation experience this summer.

Segments of the bus tour will continue in spring 2014, and the broader celebration will culminate that summer.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, notes ACE’s strong connection to the University’s values: "The mission of the Alliance for Catholic Education uniquely embodies the University’s mission to ‘create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.’”

Learn more about the upcoming celebration at a special section of the ACE website.

Contact: William Schmitt, Alliance for Catholic Education, 574-631-3893,

Originally published by William Schmitt at on January 24, 2013.